Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Pippa for Blank Canvas Cosmetics- the Pippa Palette - Swatches, first impressions, mini-review

I don't often publish posts within hours of receiving products so the very fact that I am sitting down at 11pm on a schoolnight to write this post together is probably already indicative that I have been *blown away* by the hot off the press #PippaforBlankCanvas palette, a collaboration between top Irish blogger Pippa O'Connor and one of my favourite Irish companies, Blank Canvas Cosmetics. We have been tempted/taunted with releases and spoilers for the last week, and there was no doubt but that my interest was piqued from the get-go, but I did not actually appreciate this palette until I put the products on my face and since I have, I literally have not been able to stop admiring my makeup all day. I actually feel compelled to tell you how this has filled my heart in the last 12 hours. 

When I saw the packaging first, I adored the pink flowery detail, but I was a little worried that it would be the flimsy cardboard packaging from brands like Barry M and Collection- however, this packaging is sturdier than I thought and has a good strong magnet that should keep the shadows safe. It is made of cardboard but it feels quite weighty and sturdy. It comes with a huge decent quality mirror and no space is wasted with a rubbish sponge applicator (readers of my blog will know how this bugs me). On the back of the palette, you get a list of ingredients and a little bio of powerhouse Pippa herself. 

I am a huge fangirl of Pippa O'Connor for years- I always thought she was so put together and sensible compared to many of the other models from that generation, an understated elegance, a strong work ethic and obviously beauty to burn. I think Pippa is savvy enough that if she was going to put her name and face to something, that it better be a damn good product. She just always lets off an air of integrity and professionalism and I had high hopes that this palette would be something special.

I'm sure you have all had your timelines bombarded with pics of the Pippa palette but to remind you, this palette contains 6 matte eyeshadows, a highlighter, a blush and a bronzer laid out in the order you can see above. None of the shades are particularly dramatic but together the palette gives you everything you need to create a natural, neutral, fresh makeup look. Lord knows I love me some matte eyeshadows and I wear neutral colours like 99.999% of the time, and I also loved the idea of a do-it-all palette as I travel quite a bit. 

Collectively, the eyeshadows are matte and velvety with minimum fallout and maximum pigment. These are so smooth and so easy to blend and the colour payoff for a matte eyeshadow is incredible. These are more buttery and blendable than the matte eyeshadow shades in the Urban Decay Naked Palettes in my opinion and I do not throw that statement out onto the blogosphere lightly. All of the shade names have a significant meaning to Pippa and she took us through each one in her blog post- have to say she is a girl after my own heart naming shadows after her pets, grandparents and beloveds. Taking each of the six eyeshadows individually:

Lily is a gorgeous, extremely pigmented ivory vanilla shade that reminds me an awful lot of my favourite Urban Decay eyeshadow in 'Virgin'. Like Virgin, this is not a flat matte but has a hint of sheen to it. This shadow is named after Pippa's beloved pooch Lily, a white Bichon Frise from Kildare (hence Lily!). I applied this all over my lid from my lashline to my browbone and it applied beautifully, evenly, easily, and had an instant brightening effect. 

Ollie is a stunning nude/beige colour that reminds me of both WOS from the original Naked Basics palette and Stark from the Naked Basics 2. This is great for a crease/transition colour and again applied beautifully on my lids over Lily. This shadow is named after Pippa's little man Ollie, who she describes as her pride and joy. 

Tobi is a gorgeous warm brown that leans almost peachy when blended out. This is the colour that I always wished was included in the Urban Decay palettes. The closest I have to this in my collection would be a mix of Makeup Geek's Creme Brulee (but not as dark) and Makeup Geek's Peach Smoothie (but not as peachy)- if these two had a lovechild, it would be called Tobi! This could very well be my next favourite crease colour- against blue eyes, this was something else. If warm toned mid tone eyeshadows are your thing, look no further. Thank me laters! Also, this shade was named after the first pooch Pippa ever owned as a kid. I adore this shade.

 Susu is a matte mid tone cool brown shade, perfect for adding into the crease for depth, applying along the lash line for extra lash volume or a subtle liner, under the eye or even in your brows if the colour suits. This shade is named after Pippa's only sis and best bud Susanna. This is similar enough to Cover from the Urban Decay Naked Basics 2 palette, Again, this applied like a dream and blended easily and beautifully over the lighter shades underneath.

Dodo is a rich, dark chocolate brown that has warm red undertone to it. Again, this is quite an unusual colour but if I had to pick a comparison shade, it would probably be a warmer version of the shade Espresso from the original Lorac Pro Palette. This is just divine applied in the outer V of the lid and blended out, particularly with Tobi in the crease. This is named after Pippa's beloved gran, Doreen. All I'm saying is that if I created an eyeshadow palette of my own in the morning, the first shade name I would pick would be sth that would represent my nana who passed away earlier this year. I think I have a soft spot for Dodo just because I relate so much to the sentiment (and it's a freakin' amaaazing colour).

Finally, the last eyeshadow is a matte black that goes by the name of K.D. The original K.D. was Pippa's grandpa and she named the strongest eyeshadow in the palette after him AND put Dodo (the grandma) next to K.D. (the grandpa)- too sweet. This black is incredibly highly pigmented and in my opinion, applies better than the shade Crave in the original Urban Decay Naked Basics palette. I used this with the Blank Canvas Cosmetics E44 brush to line my eyelids and it worked a charm- I often use a black shadow instead of a gel or pen eyeliner when I am looking for a more subtle, natural enhanced lashline, I think it adds a nice bit of volume to the lashes. 

Pippa Palette eyeshadow swatches- from L-R: K.D., Dodo, Susu, Tobi, Ollie, Lily
Along with the six eyeshadows, there are three facepowders included in this palette also. I'm going to start with the absolute star of the show in my eyes, the Lulu highlighter. 

I'm not in the habit of making grand sweeping statements but HOLY MOTHER OF GOD this is an INCREDIBLE highlighter. All day long my cheeks have been sheening and shimmering any time I catch the light and I swear I have never looked in the mirror as much as I have done today because it just made me feel alive and lit from within like a Christmas tree. I actually would not have believed the sheen off this had I not seen this for myself, and I have never ever known an eyeshadow palette to produce such an amazing highlighter. I know it's early days but I think I am preferring this to MAC's Soft and Gentle, Becca's Moonstone and even good old Mary Loumanizer by the Balm- there is something so elegant about this champagne highlighter that it just makes me want to ditch every contour powder I own and join the strobing cult. This is named after Pippa's mum Louise who passed away unexpectedly last year and Pippa said that this is her favourite shade in the palette as it is named after her mother. When I read Pippa's post last week and she explained how her mother had quizzed her about highlighters before she passed away, I honestly felt a lump in my throat beginning to form, it was so touching. This was the absolute find of this palette and I actually dare you to try this and not fall for it. 

Next up is the blush offering in the palette, Pipsy. Pippa informed us that Pipsy is her nickname amongst her galpals and that she thought Pipsy was the perfect name for the peachy pink blush she chose to include in the palette. This is like a three in one blush- I can't make up my mind whether it is pink, peach or coral. Maybe it's a 3in1 but I feel more drawn towards a different colour everytime I look at it. Pipsy is matte and, like the eyeshadows, is buttery smooth, incredibly pigmented and easy to blend. It is such a beautiful shade that I would absolutely go for even if it wasn't included in this palette. 

Lastly, the final colour in the pan is the shade Amour which represents the love between Pippa and her husband, Brian Ormond. This is a matte warm bronzer/ contouring shade that, to be honest, didn't look like much in the pan to me but absolutely knocked my socks off when I applied it to where I imagine the hollows of my cheeks would be and blended it. This blends amazingly well- so velvety, so smooth, it's like second skin and not just powder on your skin. This is incredibly pigmented also so I would be careful not to load your brush up with too much product or else to give it a good tap and knock off the excess before applying to your face. I can imagine this shade would suit a lot of different skin tones and also, because it blends so beautifully, I imagine it could easily be built up for greater colour depth. 

From L-R: Lulu, Pipsy, Amour

On my face in the pics above I am wearing pretty much every shade in the palette. I started with Lily all over the lid, applied Ollie to the crease as a transition colour for my transition colour, applied Tobi as my actual transition colour, Susu to darken up my crease, Dodo on the outer corner well blended out and K.D. as eyeliner just along my lash line. On my cheeks I have the Pipsy blush, I used Amour to carve out my cheekbones a little and then applied Lulu on cheekbones for highlight. I actually applied Lulu with my Blank Canvas Cosmetics F29 brush which is a duo fibre brush and check out that sheen. 

And also- for the sake of completeness, these eyeshadows not only held up beautifully over the course of wear but also lasted amazingly well also. I applied a little of my new Catrice Eyeshadow Primer on my lids before applying the shades, and they did not crease at all over the course of wear, about 13 hours after first applying. I did not have to top up my eyeshadow, blush or highlighter once over the course of the day, and they lasted well over my Estee Lauder Double Wear Light foundation. 

I am saying this- not because I have a huge fangirl crush on Pippa or because I have been an advocate of Blank Canvas Cosmetics for the last three years- this is a great palette. I know there was a bit of huffing and puffing over the price of this on Facebook but let me tell you now, and you know I only ever tell my readers the truth on this blog, I would happily pay the full €34.99 for the Lulu highlighter alone because it is actually phenomenal. The fact you get 6 decent matte eyeshadows, a gorgeous neutral health faking blush and a deliciously smooth bronzer is kind of just a bonus in my mind. 

I did get this palette for consideration of review, and I was under no obligation to review it or use it, and if I didn't like this or felt meh about it, I would probably not feature this at all, but I cannot actually convey in words how genuinely impressed I am by this palette. It ticked every single one of my boxes, and I am picky. I'm absolutely thrilled for Pippa and the Blank Canvas team that they have created something so special, and not just put their names to another mediocre product sponsored by an influential Irish blogger. The Pippa Palette is a winner in my eyes, it exceeded any expectations I had. I'm not going to add to the hype around this palette but I am going to tell you to believe the hype.

If you are interested in picking up the Pippa Palette for yourself, it is available from the Blank Canvas Cosmetics website, the Cloud 10 Beauty website or Pippa's website  for a special pre-launch price of €34.99. Next Monday, 20th July, the palette will be on sale at regular price of €39.99. So do yourselves a favour and pre-order it now and save that fiver! I know €40 sounds like a lot but for what you get, I honestly think it's worth it and I would have no qualms in forking over my hard earned wages for a slice of this Pippa Palette pie. #PippaforBlankCanvas all the way! If you are into neutral, fresh faced, glowing, healthy makeup, this palette will do it all for you. I predict the Lulu highlighter is going to be the star of the show.

Have you been tempted by this palette and pre-ordered yet or are you holding out for a while longer to make up your mind? 


  1. Love this post missus. Your photos and swatches are top notch as usual! I love the background of how Pippa came up with the names and the shades really do look wearable and I'd probably get a huge amount of use out of it. I just wish there was more product in it for that price. When I first saw the photos of it without the price, I guessed it'd be around the €20 - €25 mark, but I totally agree that it's brilliant that she worked on it herself and put thought and effort into it rather than slapping her name onto sommat. I think I'll need to ponder whether to fork out €40 blips on it, but your review was really thorough and helpful, thanks missus!

  2. PS Pippa gets bonus points for not putting one of those rubbish sponge tipped applicators in it!

  3. I love Pippa, I love the sentiment, and I love how everything was thought out to compliment the overall colour scheme, it's so pretty. I'm not into mattes so there's absolutely no point in me getting it, if it were €20 I'd probably get it but not at €40 when I know I wont use it! Your review almost swayed me but it's a no for me, adore the woman all the same.

  4. Great review I'm a bit with Karen on this one in that I thought it was a bit spendy but a lot of consideration seems to have gone into it and the quality looks good.

  5. Love your review, she seems like a really sound girl!

  6. I've never heard of this brand nor palette! The packaging is super adorable and sure to catch anyone's eye! The pigmentation is crazy for sure, brilliant! Good review xx

    Jasmine || blogsallbeautyy.blogspot.co.uk

  7. Very pretty, I like most have never heard of this brand.

  8. Great review, as always, ahhhh now I want it, I wasn't pushed but then I have a massive girl crush on her too and she almost deserves everyone to get behind it because its good, because its thoughtful and because she's fabulous!


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