Big things, little packages: A quick review of the Huda Beauty Obsessions palettes

If I were to try to describe most of the beloved palettes in my collection, it would be hard to find a unifying trait. The closest you would get would be to tackle size, because apparently I tend to like my palettes big. From sensibly generous Anastasia palettes to downright unwieldy Kat Von D holiday palettes, I just tend to yearn for more than a more restrained quad or travel palette can give me. I want to be able to let my laziness fly free, pull colours from the same place, and to be inspired by a colour scheme that I am given. I want something that oftentimes a little baby palette can’t offer me.

Nothing had ever really given me reason to dip my toes into the well of Huda Beauty. I had no sentimental connection to Huda Kattan herself, having never really come across her content on any social media platform, and had never been one for false eyelashes. I’d managed to refrain from having my interest piqued by her liquid lipsticks, and the highlighter kits all seemed fairly run of the mill. I’ll admit to being intrigued by the new foundation, although hand swatch showed up the kind of scent that makes me shiver at the memory. When I heard that palettes were launching, I was thoroughly unmoved – that is, until the photos came.

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If you’ve ever read this blog before, you’ll know which of these colour schemes sung out to me instantaneously. It sung so loudly that we’re talking track-down-a-palette-on-launch-day. My thirst for true to pan yellow and hot pink eyeshadows is deeper than any known trench, and it was love at first sight with the Electric Obsessions palette.

I picked up the Electric Obsessions palette within the first week of its launch at Sephora Australia, right as my hair was transitioning to purple, unshaken by its $48 price tag. I did apply a 10% coupon with some of my many, many stockpiled points, but I mostly ignored the little voice in my head that was saying “$48? For a palette the size of your palm?” (That may not sound small, but it helps to know that my hands are famously small, and that I would say they are the size of the hands of an average ten year old) I was treating myself to get through retail Christmas, and if it was a good palette, it would be worth it.

It would have sucked if this had been a bad palette. Instead, there are nine vivid brights squeezed into the size of a typical quad with no wasted space, and each pan holds a decent amount of product. Some shades are shimmers, others are matte, and all of them pair logically with at least one other partner shade in the palette. It is not a conventional standalone palette, but just this and a matte mid-tone brown single is a cohesive look; if I’m feeling up to it, I don’t even bother with other shades to mute the palette. All of the colours apply smoothly and with great reflection of what they look like in the pan, even that striking yellow. There’s even a good sized mirror and a magnetic closure.

As you can see, I now own two of these little palettes. I picked up the Smokey Obsessions palette several weeks later. I was torn between it and the Warm palette, which felt very versatile within itself, but I felt like travelling with just Electric and Smokey would allow me to do most of the eyeshadow combinations I ever dream of. Basically, I’ve come to view these palettes as the perfect travel palettes. They aren’t as soft as something like an Anastasia palette, so I don’t have to worry as much about their transport, but they allow for a great amount of versatility within a very small amount of space. Between these two palettes, I have the very me brights and the purples to complement my hair along with the neutrals for everyday and metallics to transition to evening. If I don’t have to travel with the bulk of my Kat Von D Shade and Light palette, I sure as hell won’t. The quality is consistent, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see another eventually end up in my collection (perhaps as something else transitions out).

I’m not about to go out and pick up the full sized Huda Beauty palettes, which don’t appeal to me at all, but I do think these are a smashing success. I wish that the beauty industry would start to adopt this trend away from conspicuousness and absurdity and garishness – I feel like these next few seasons will see a muting in the holographics and the unicorns and the things designed to be flashed. I can handle the signalling implied with a practical 3×3 palette in matte black; I know what it’s saying about me and my attitudes and my place. I’m not as comfortable with what is being signalled by brands with over the top packaging whose emphasis is on the fetishisaton of cuteness and whimsy and childishness or sexiness. I want to know where I stand.

The Makeup I Travel With (AKA packing for a trip with a makeup hoarder)

Something different today, because I actually leave the country tomorrow and as I packed my makeup bag I was struck with the sudden urge to share. I do think there’s value in posts like there because it indicates what products I feel like I really do need or fit specific needs. I also totally understand the joy and fascination of peeking into someone else’s mind, not to mention their bags.

I’m off to two very different climates necessitating some very different products, but I also intend on buying a whole bunch because I’ll be outside of the notorious Australian makeup markup and have been popping money aside for a long time. I will also be going to a place that elicits a bit of discomfort in me right now, which I know is the everyday reality for a lot of people, and I strongly believe that the decision to remain apolitical is a political decision of its own. So in an environment where a lot of my identity is at total odds with the apparently opinions expressed by a distressing amount of people, I’ll continue to hold onto makeup as my masking device. My little comfort blanket, in spite its own deeply complicated relationships with consumerism and patriachy. On a less buzzwordy, personal level, I won’t bore you with my long mounting thesis on protest in makeup, but rather just dig into some quick photos and reasons behind the stuff that’s been shoved into my travel makeup bag.

My guidelines: minis where possible except on products that break easily, take stuff that’s near finishing if you’re intending on buying new stuff, pick products for sturdiness and versatility and lack of needing brushes. Perfumes that are small and don’t break easily, base products in squeeze tubes rather than glass bottles where possible, minimal on options (except in lipstick, where I know myself, and I know I need options and will wear an obscene amount).

Base

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  • Primer – Travel sized Hourglass Mineral Veil is the primer I’ve been using recently. This trip is not about heavy base makeup – half of it is going to be spent by the pool- so when I do wear it, I wanted something lightweight and smoothing, but not overly heavy or silicone feeling.
  • Concealer – Two concealers where I would normally carry one. The most essential, Maybelline Super Stay Better Skin, is lightweight but good enough coverage for round the face. I suspect I will not be sleeping much, because I’ll be sharing a bed, so I did also pack the It Cosmetics Bye Bye Undereye for if we go out and I need to look like a human being who’s slept through the night.
  • Foundation – For full coverage in the colder half of the trip, Tarte Amazonian Clay which smooths my skin out and I can easily work with using my fingers. I really wanted to avoid bringing brushes. I expect to more regularly reach for the It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream for everyday, and I’ll just be using sunscreen alone the rest of the time. Really come to love this one and it’s very easy to use when your skin is on the oilier side – so for me, only during the warmer weather.
  • Powder and Brush – Pretty easy for me. Need a powder to pop in the bag on makeup days, and the one I use is The Body Shop All in One Face Base so I packed the retractable Real Techniques retractable bronzer brush to apply it with and then there’s the sponge inside for touch ups. I prefer that brush to their other retractable brush, didn’t want to bring multiple brushes, and really wanted to bring one with a lid.

Not-Base, Not Lipstick

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  • Eyeliner – Not bothering with eyeshadow, though some will probably be purchased, but an easy wing with the Kat Von D Tattoo Liner is an easy way for me to look fancy.
  • Mascara – Just picked one of the two mascaras I had deluxe sample sizes of because I don’t have any that I adore open at the moment. This is the Bobbi Brown Smokey Eye Mascara and it’s nice? I only do mascara when I’m going out at night, so I didn’t need a real workhorse here.
  • Brows – One of the few steps I’ll probably throw on almost every day because of the sparseness where I’ve stress-picked at my brows through my life, not to mention how great the shape is at the moment. This is a mini It Cosmetics Brow Power pencil which is good if I want precision, but I also brought the mini Benefit Gimme Brow for an easier soft fill.
  • Perfumes – A few choices for different climates, sturdy small bottles that I’ve travelled with before. Solstice Scents Blackburn’s Parlour  is banana-vanilla-chocolate and I wear it in all weather, my ultimate comfort perfume; Solstice Scents Sycamore Chai is my favourite rainy day perfume; Fortune Cookie Soap Paradise Found is sweet and fruity and summery.

The Lipsticks 

Oy vey, the lipsticks.

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  • The Body Shop Lip Definer in Beech is a grey toned pink nude (?)  that wears beautifully alone or under most lipsticks to mute them, and NYX Sierra Lip Liner is my favourite deep red liner that isn’t too wine coloured
  • The Mac lipsticks are my collection staples and don’t require much thought – Russian Red is the perfect balanced red, Bowl Me Over is a more muted, rusty brown red and Antique Velvet is a rich brown with red hints. Clearly my favourites involve red and brown. I plan on probably picking up a few more reds abroad – Mac lipsticks are definitely a product Australians get shafted on.
  • For Kat Von D, one of my favourite liquid lipstick formulas, Lolita for the off chance that I decide to go neutral here and there and Nosferatu for when I want a red but in a liquid lipstick formula rather than Russian Red.
  • I find I only reach for bright, fruity colours on summer days, so some definitely-just-Hawaii colours are Revlon Colorburst Matte Balm in Showy (I may actually wear it in Sultry to the airport) which is the easiest crayon formula, and the NYX Butter Lipstick in Fireball is a hot orange red in a way glossier formula than I ordinarily go for, but nice for cocktails by the beach.
  • A couple of Pretty Zombie Cosmetics liquid lipsticks because I need my more out there colours on hand – I grabbed Sea Witch and 3 witches but there were lots of close calls.
  • Similarly, some witchy colours – Black Moon Cosmetics Armageddon and Sorrow which are truly beautiful and make me feel like a goddess.
  • I needed the possibility of a green, because I might feel like a green, so Impulse Cosmetics Boggart is one of my favourite metallic green shades and very serpentine on the lips. It’s an aesthetic I go for.
  • And finally, a comfy almost-neutral that makes my eyes look beautiful, Colourpop Ultra Satin Lip in Mess Around which I’m sure will get reached for a lot.

Look, I don’t recommend the average person takes a separate bag of lipsticks away with them. I don’t advise that they then intend on buying more. I don’t advise this lifestyle. I know my life and my limits, and I know that I wear at least two lipsticks a day, and I know that I’ll probably end up with new clothes which might match different things. I imagine this has given you some insight into my life and my lipstick drawer. These aren’t even my favourite lipsticks – I mean, lots are, but it’s missing some major ones (I’m not bringing any black lipstick or teal or bronze and even writing this is making me want to go and pack more, yikes).

I’ll be away until a bit into December, and then I launch into working retail christmas, which will be a combination of magic and sheer hell. I’ll do an empties post for the two months together, and my subscription boxes will most likely be late or missed all together (depending on how many shifts I’m working). I’ll also try and at some point to another Recent Lipstick Wrap-Up, with a couple of past purchases (Fyrinnae Magic Whipped Metallics, Colourpop Ultra Metallics, the new Body Shop liquid matte lipsticks and matte bullet lipsticks) and probably the ones I purchase in the US, but it might be a little bit overwhelming? We’ll see.