LA Colors, Part 5: A New (Matte) Beginning

Published on April 3, 2018 by   ·   1 Comment

LA 01LA 03I don’t know how this whole LA Colors/Friday the 13th franchise thing started, but I might as well keep it going!  After all, we’ve talked about 4 sets of lip products (HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE) and we’ve even had LA Colors highlighters up against ProFusion in a Freddy vs. Jason-style battle royale.  With this post, we’re expanding our reviews to talk about some 5-shade matte eyeshadow quints.  New products, new beginning…clever?  Maybe?!

Whatever.  I think it’s funny.

LA Colors pops up in all kinds of places where you find bargain cosmetics, but these goodies are once again treasures that I scored at Daiso on a recent trip to Seattle.  There is something about that store that makes cheap makeup purchased feel just a little more special.  And special it should feel, because these mini-palettes were marked at $2.00 each!  I know, I know, pretty extravagent just to do a quick review.  But that’s how much I love all of you.  I take this job seriously.

I picked up 5 of the quints to swatch and review: Nude Suede, Blue Denim, Pink Chiffon, Teal Argyle, and Black Lace.  I swatched all 5 shades in each one with my fingers over a base of Urban Decay Primer potion in Anti-Aging (no pigmentation).  The palettes are listed as having 7.1 grams of product each, or 1.42 grams per pan, and an amazing cost of only $.28 per gram!  That seems high for the size of the pans, but I’m going to believe the label.  What am I, the makeup police?


LA 05
The first quint didn’t blow me away.  The shades are all pretty sheer, though they are buildable.  For all of the swatches I did two layers to get a decent representation of the color; for some of the lighter shades (which tend to be a little trickier), I did three layers.  This one is pretty basic, and I guess it could be a nice palette to keep with you to provide transition shades and a deep brown to darken if you’re working with “accent palettes,” but there’s nothing really special going on here.  The cool taupe in the middle was my favorite, but it was a little fussy to apply.  The two shades on the left are just meh, and are almost indistinguishable from one another.  The deep brown shade is nice, but I have this one, and in better, more pigmented formulations.  Even for a cheap palette, I think this one is an easy one to skip.  You can find a million palettes at all price points that have these shades in them.


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The blue and grey quint was a little better, but the greys are both kinda throwaway shades.  The bright blue is nice, and builds up pretty well.  The black performed better than I expected, though not as well as the one in the Black Lace palette.  The light blue is ok, but you have to put on a few layers and go pretty ham to get the blue color to really stand out.  It just kind of looks grey otherwise.  This will give you some nice basic looks, and the payoff is nice.  Again, though, I wish there weren’t the two grey shades that are way too much the same.  They could have traded one out for a much more unique color to make this more special.


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Finally we get a quint with 5 separate and distinct shades.  The two pinks are different enough that you could make a nice gradient with them, the pop of red is really nice, and I love the peach shade in the middle.  It’s a great sort of creamsicle orange shade and mixes nicely with the others.  The off white shade is a little boring, but it’s a nice enough accent or browbone highlight shade.  I played around with the peach, dark pink, and red shades to see if they would play nice, and I was happy to see that they blended well together but didn’t break down into a sloppy, muddy mess.  I’m definitely keeping this as an accent option.


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The green palette – obviously I loved it.  I don’t want to hear it.  The heart wants what it wants; let it go.  Seriously though, 4 out of the 5 shades in this quint are pretty good.  The forest green on the end is dark but still stands out, the light green is bright and applies nicely (limes like that sometimes get a little patchy because of all the white pigment).  The two teal blue shades are nice and very distinct from one another.  The only shade I could do without is the putty/cream shade in the first pan.  It’s fine, and it applied well enough, but it’s nothing special.  When it comes to using blue, I’d much rather work blues and greens together to get a more dynamic (IMHO) look, so this sort of collection is always going to turn my head more than the blue denim – but the two used together could be fire!  Or, I guess, water.  Whatever.  It would look great.


LA 09
I liked this one more than I expected to!  Both the matte black and the matte white are actually pretty good.  The white went on a little patchy but blended out really well.  The greys are all distinct, though a little boring for me (does anyone really do an all greyscale eye look?!).  I don’t think I’ll keep this one, just because I have lots of blacks and whites in my collection already (thanks Kat Von D), but I was really impressed.  This could be a good, cheap basic to add to your collection to help you work with other palettes.  It’s an easy way to use a shadow single to create a monochrome look, or darken/highlight an accent palette.


LA 04
For funsies, I decided to pick up 5 of their jumbo eye pencils.  I picked shades that worked well with the Teal Argyle palette in case I get the wild hair to create an eye look with just LA Colors.  The 5 shades, left to right, are Summer Love, Limeade, Beach Resort, Caribbean, and Bikini Time.  Summer Love was kind of a dud to me: the base green is lovely but inconsistent, and it’s got some serious silver glittery chunkiness going on.  Usually I love glitter, but I’m not a fan of this!  I tried blending it out and it just became a mess.  Limeade is a nice bright green and would make an amazing base to use under the green shade in the Teal Argyle Quint.  Beach Resort is a little too…something.  I don’t know.  I love a cool-toned green but this one almost seems to have too much of a silvery look to it.  Caribbean is a pretty periwinkle blue and has just the right amount of sparkle.  Bikini Time was a bit of a disappointment: the color is way more sheer than it looks like it’s going to be; it would make a nice base to lay something over, but I don’t think it’s pigmented enough to use on its own unless you want just a hint of purple.  I don’t really do subtlety – sorry bout it.

Let us know what you think: are you going to give these coordinated quints a try?  Do you love their buildable coverage, or do you just need more intense pigmentation in your life?  Has this brand won you over, or is it a Crystal Lake nightmare?

Although it’s not always a summer camp dream, LA Colors has really impressed me with how low their prices are and how often their products are hits.  The matte and cream lipsticks I reviewed were aboslutely fantastic, and while these shadows aren’t as good as those (especially compared to the vivid lovlieness of bargain brands like BH Cosmetics and Crown Brush), they are a nice option for very little money.  The pencils are not products that I typically gravitate toward, but I was pretty impressed with these as well and will probably only ditch the first one.

Like a certain hockey-masked serial killer, you never know when a new review of the LA Colors brand will claw its way into the makeup forum.  Lucky for us, more ofthen than not they come to SLAY.

Now Go Forth & Get Painted!

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Readers Comments (1)
  1. Brida says:

    Oooh I didn’t know they had these in Diaso. I have Natural Linen (the best one as it had a greige and a khaki), Brown Tweed, Purple Cashmere & Black Lace. I’ve been wanting a couple of others and didn’t know they were in Daiso. I used to frequent there but since I moved up to Capitol Hill I’m further away. I have a bunch of those shadow sticks too, my fav has to be Bikini Time.

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