Name: Kokeshi Palette in Dark Blue
From Pupa’s website:
An elegant and complete palette, with decorations that are reminiscent of the Kokeshi world.
What I liked:
– eyeshadows and blush are soft to the touch and not powdery
– eyeshadows and blush are easy to blend
– blush is pretty, shimmery and pigmented
– blush is longlasting
– glosses are sheer and are perfect to add shine to lipsticks
– mascara lengthens lashes
– glosses are very shiny
– mascara doesn’t clump nor smudge, lasts long
– beautiful packaging
What I didn’t like:
– eyeshadows are poorly pigmented and fade soon
– some may find the glosses too sheer when used alone
– glosses are sticky
– mascara doesn’t add volume
– if you don’t like cream and powder products in the same palette, this is not for you
Kokeshi is a type of Japanese wood dolls that decorate Japanese houses and were thought to bring good luck to their owner. Nowadays, they have become a symbol of Japanese beauty and femininity and have inspired Pupa to create a whole collection of palettes dedicated to them. The palettes have an Oriental Zen atmosphere, elegant shades and a cute packaging (although mature ladies may be put off by it and consider it too childish for their taste). Inside, you’ll find 4 eyeshadows, 4 lipglosses, one blush, a mascara and a sponge-tip applicator (this one is useless). Let’s start with the eyeshadows, shall we?
There are 4 eyeshadow shades: white, lilac, soft grey and black, all of which have a pretty snowflake etched on them. I love the design, it looks really pretty. The eyeshadows are also soft to the touch and not powdery at all but very sheer. Too sheer. The white and lilac shades barely show up even with a primer underneath, while the other two shades only provide a soft wash of color on the lids. I remember years ago when the eyeshadows in Pupa palettes had an intense color payoff so it breaks my heart to see how poorly pigmented they are now. If you have pale skin and like barely-there eyeshadow looks, you may enjoy them, but I doubt the colors will show up on those with darker skintones. They also fade after a few hours, unless you use a base underneath.
The blush, instead, is gorgeous. It is actually the best product in the palette and I absolutely love it. It is a beautiful pinkish brown with gold shimmers that adds a nice pop of color with a subtle sheen to your cheeks. It’s a shame the gold shimmers didn’t show up properly on the swatch above as they make the shade really interesting and beautiful. The texture is soft and smooth, it blends easily and the pigmentation is good: it’s not so sheer that you need layers for it to show up but it’s not so intense that you risk looking like a clown if you’re not careful. On my dry cheeks, it lasts the whole day.
Next, the glosses. There are 4 of them: a white shade with white shimmers, a silver shade with multicolored shimmers, an antique pink shade with gold shimmers and a deep red with multicolored shimmers. The first two shades, as you can see in the swatch above, are practically clear when applied. It is not necessarily a bad thing as I’m not sure who would want to wear pigmented and opaque white and silver shades. Instead, they are perfect to add some shine to lipsticks. The other two shades are also sheer: they offer just a hint of color with a frosty finish that adds some shine to your pout. The texture is sticky so while the color disappears quickly the shine remains for a few hours.
The mascara is ok: it is a deep, true black color, has a nice formula that’s not too wet and watery nor dry and just applies well. It adds length but no volume so the end result is natural. It’s an appropriate mascara for daytime but if you’re looking for false lashes in a tube, you won’t find it here. I also find that it lasts well throughout the day without smudging nor flaking. Oh, and it’s not clumpy either.
There is also a long, but not too high mirror to make application easier but you can only see a small part of your face with it so I don’t find it all that useful. Also, while it is a handy palette to bring on holiday, if you don’t like your cream and lip products to be in the same palette, then this is not for you. I can see things getting a bit messy with regular use.
Overall, I have a love/hate relationship with this palette: I adore the packaging, the blush is beautiful and works so well, the mascara does a good job if you want a natural effect and the glosses are ok. The eyeshadows though are a big disappointment. The end result if you use all these products together is a very natural, barely there look which is pretty (but not my style) and if that’s what you’re looking for, you will enjoy this palette. But I expected a lot more from it, considering the price tag and how pigmented the eyeshadows in Pupa palettes used to be.
Available at: Pupa counters
It was hard for me to give a rating to Pupa Kokeshi Palette in Dark Blue because the quality of the products in it is hit and miss. The blush is beautiful, pigmented and longlasting while the eyeshadows are very poorly pigmented and fade soon without a base. The glosses are sheer and sticky and the mascara gives length and a natural look to lashes. If you’re a teenager just starting to wear makeup and love the barely-there look, this palette may be worth considering but there are much better palettes around. The packaging is adorable though!