Review: Morphe Jaclyn Hill Dark Magic Palette

Hi friends!

I’m very excited to bring you a review today on the Morphe Jaclyn Hill Dark Magic Palette, which is available at Ulta now. This is one part of the larger Vault palette release (which I believe was either 4 or 6 palettes) that debuted last year. The release got completely shrouded in controversy pretty quickly both online and on social media, with reports of chalky, poor-performing shadows and tons of customer returns.

Needless to say, I was very intrigued to try one of them out for myself when I passed the Morphe counter at my local Ulta recently. And the Dark Magic Palette, with its smokey greens, blues & pewters, really spoke to me.

Now, I don’t care a fig for Jaclyn Hill personally. I don’t watch her videos nor do I follow her on social media, so her celebrity in no way factored into my decision to buy this palette. I just wanted to see what all the hype and controversy was about. So now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s get to the review!

Shop the Dark Magic Palette at Ulta here.

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION

Show your dark side with the 10 creamiest, sultriest eyeshadows to burst onto the midnight scene. Jaclyn Hill is giving you the code to a killer vault where she’s stashed some of her top-secret shades with this badass Morphe x Jaclyn Hill Dark Magic Eyeshadow Palette. JACpot!

Ulta.com

SHADES / SWATCHES

Poof (matte cream)
Power Cut (metallic silver)
Shhh (matte dusty taupe)
Trickery (sparkling emerald)
Diversion (shimmering gunmetal)
Potion (matte avocado green)
Busted (matte ocean blue)
Inside Job (matte dark jade)
Mojo (matte smoked hickory)
Temptress (glinting pitch black)

Ulta.com
Swatches of first row of Morphe Jaclyn Hill Dark Magic Palette
From top to bottom: Poof, Power Cut, Shhh, Trickery, & Diversion
Swatches of second row of Morphe Jaclyn Hill Dark Magic Palette
From top to bottom: Potion, Busted, Inside Job, Mojo, & Temptress.

My THOUGHTS ON PACKAGING

Nothing special here, to be honest, but nothing too offensively cheap either. But I will say it’s quite small, sleek & lightweight, so perfect for travel if that means anything to you.

RATING: 4 / 5 ⭐️

MY THOUGHTS ON APPLICATION

While testing this palette for review, I dipped into every single shadow to use on my eyes in some capacity. And I have to say, nearly all of them applied & blended very well. The only shade I had a little bit of trouble with was the matte army green called Potion. It got a little patchy on my lid when using a fluffy brush, so I had to go back in and pack some color on with my finger. Other than that, I virtually had no issues.

RATING: 4.5 / 5 ⭐️

Read this: Review: Juvia’s Place Eyeshadow Palettes

MY THOUGHTS ON COLOR RANGE

Interior of the Morphe Jaclyn Hill Dark Magic Vault Palette

(Quick disclaimer: It was really hard to get all the color tones to show up in this photo. I realize it all just looks dark, but I can assure you the bottom row is not just a row of black shadows!)

There’s no way around it, this is a smokey, sultry color story. Most of your looks are probably going to end up dark. But you kinda should know that going into it considering the name is Dark Magic. I love how this palette favors more matte textures over shimmer & metallics. But that being said, I would have loved one more mid-tone transition shade in the first row. Shhh applies darker than you would think, and Poof is too light to be a transition.

If you’re interested to know, my favorite colors in the palette are Diversion (the shimmering pewtery color), Potion (the matte army green), and Busted (the matte blue).

RATING: 4 / 5 ⭐️

MY THOUGHTS ON PIGMENTATION

Pigmentation is awesome in this palette! All the shades, even Poof, show up pretty true to color without very little effort. The only thing I will say is that Trickery, the shimmery dark green, loses it’s punchiness as you sheer it out. So after blending, it kinda just looks like a grey or charcoal color, not a green.

RATING: 4.5 / 5 ⭐️

MY THOUGHTS ON LONGEVITY

I didn’t notice any fading on any of the colors throughout the day. One exception is, again, Potion. The color didn’t fade, but it did slightly crease on me within just a few hours of wearing it. (For reference, I always wear a eye primer before laying down powder shadows.) But truthfully I love that color so much that I’m willing to forgive it!

RATING: 4 / 5 ⭐️

MY THOUGHTS ON PRICE

This palette is just $15.00 for 10 shadows. I think that’s a very fair price for the quality you’re getting here. Just think of it as a slightly more expensive drugstore palette.

RATING: 5 / 5 ⭐️

Read this: Review: Urban Decay Born to Run Eyeshadow Palette

FINAL THOUGHTS

Pushing last year’s controversies aside, I really had a great time experimenting with this palette. I found it quite easy to put different looks together, and overall the shadows were very user-friendly. I guess whatever issues Morphe had on the production side have been solved at this point. Not sure. I did notice that Morphe is no longer selling the Vault palettes on their site. So if you’re in the U.S. and are interested in this palette, you’ll have to go to Ulta.

THE LOOKS*

*These are not the only looks I’ve created with this palette.

I used Power Cut all over the top lid, into and above the crease. Then I blended Trickery on the outer corner and slightly into my crease; I also took that shade along my lower lash line and really smudged it out. Lastly, I smudged just a bit of Mojo along my top lash line, but just at the outer corner.

I used Poof all over my top lid, and then blended a mixture of Shhh & Potion very lightly into my crease. I then smudged Mojo along both my top & bottom lash lines, at the outer corners.

I applied Diversion all over my top lid, into & above my crease. I also blended it all along my lower lash line too. I then smudged Temptress along my top & bottom lash lines (in the outer corners).

I applied Potion all over my top lid, into & above my crease. I then smudged Shhh along my lower lash line.

Have you tried any of the Morphe Jaclyn Hill Vault palettes? If so, what did you think? I’d love to know!

Xo, Erica

PIN IT!

Check out my in-depth review of one of the infamous Morphe Jaclyn Hill Vault Palettes: the Dark Magic Palette!
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Summer trend how-to: blue eyeshadow

Every summer heralds bright, bold colors into makeup from everything to lipsticks, to blushes and eyeshadows. Bright corals & pinks, and deep bronzes & oranges typically dominate the color schemes of spring and summer. This season one of the trendiest colors that seems to be popping up everywhere is bold blue eyeshadow. Every other big palette launch this season has some variation of blue, from deep shimmery tones to brighter royal blues to indigos. Good examples of this are the KKW Beauty x Mario Palette from earlier spring, the new Urban Decay Beached Palette, and Fenty Beauty’s Moroccan Spice Palette. So if you’re going to play with color, summer is a very inspiring time to do so. You’re spoiled for choice.

But how do those that are “color-adverse” experiment and play with such bold, bright colors? Is there a way to make blues more wearable? Blue can be notoriously hard to work with, both texturally and optically. For example darker navy shadows, particularly matte ones, can be difficult to blend across the eye without catching. Lighter blues or baby blues can sometimes look dated or retro on the eye, especially if you blend them all the way up to the brow (I don’t mean retro in a good way here).

But like any other makeup trend, it’s not what you apply that makes the difference so much as how you apply it.

So here is my practical guide to making the blue eyeshadow trend your own this season.


First, let’s start with a few easy application tips.

Application tip #1: Soften your edges

When applying blue eyeshadow, remember to keep blending as much as possible! As I mentioned earlier, blue can be difficult to pull off so you want to make sure you’re softening and blending the edges of your shadow to create a more wearable apperance. If you find your shadows are getting patchy, try blending a matte flesh-toned shadow over your eye primer first; it will take away the slight tackiness of the primer that some shadows can cling to. This happens particularly with mattes.

Application tip #2: Don’t blend too high

I won’t stay here long since I mentioned this earlier, but blending blue too high up towards the brow can look dated and weird depending on the tone you’re using. Just avoid it.

Application tip #3: Concealer

After applying your blue shadow, make sure to apply a good correcting concealer under your eyes. This will help cancel out the blue/purple undertones that occur naturally around our eyes. If you skip concealer, all those blue tones between the shadow and the undereyes could make you appear a bit ill.


Now let’s move onto ways to wear the blue shadow. There are 3 main tactics that I use to make blue eyeshadow more wearable on myself, which I hope you’ll find helpful.

Tactic 1: Strategic placement

This is all about where on the eye you choose to place the bright color. The easiest and most fun thing to do is smudge it underneath your lower lash line. You can do this with either an eyeliner or a powder shadow, or layer both. Paired with a more basic or neutral color on your eyelid, the contrast between the upper and lower lid space will really stand out. If you don’t like the idea of putting such a bright color under your eye, you can certainly line your top lash line instead. It’ll still add a lovely point of interest without letting the bright color take over your look.

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Look #1 Lower Lash Line – I applied the Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Pencil in Chaos with a limited edition Chanel shadow layered on top. Contrasted with the sepia color on the eyelid, it’s like color theory in action.

Tactic 2: Neutral color pairings

This is about grounding the look with more wearable colors so that the brights stay in a more supporting role and don’t overtake your look. Neutrals like brown, gray and of course black work perfectly alongside most bright colors. In the look pictured below, I used a slightly darker blue than in the first look and paired it with a bronzey brown. This look is slightly more editorial in nature since I placed the blue towards the front of the eye, but paired with the neutral brown it becomes a lot softer. I wouldn’t recommend this look though if your eyes are naturally close together, as it will make them appear even closer. In that case, you could switch the placement of the brown and blue, so that the brown is towards the inner corner and the blue is on the outer third of your eye.

This look is a recreation of an old Pixiwoo video that you can watch here.

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Look #2 Neutral Color Pairing – I applied a mixture of Earl Grey from the Too Faced Chocolate Bon Bons Palette with a limited edition navy-teal shade from Chanel to the inner corner of my eye. I paired it with a very wearable bronzey brown.

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Road Movie Quad from Chanel’s Fall 2017 Collection (discontinued), containing the teal blue shadow used in Look #1 (lower left side) and the darker navy-teal shadow used in Look #2 (lower right side). The bronze on the upper left side was also used in Look #2.

Tactic 3: Use more flattering tones 

Perhaps you’re not into these bright summer-trend colors at all, but you’re tired of just using the same tones look after look. The more the color is mixed with a neutral, the more wearable it will be. So think about using navy blues or gray-blues instead of bright royal blues, for example. You’ll still get the effect of the color but not all the attention or drama, so to speak. That’s what I did in the look pictured below. I used a gray with a pronounced blue undertone in the crease of my eye. The blueish color just peeks out above the crease, so the overall effect of the makeup is quite soft and very wearable.

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Look #3 Flattering Tones – I applied Dagger, a dark gray-blue from the Urban Decay Smoky Palette, in the crease of my eye and just above it for a soft peek of color. I smudged a matte gray underneath the eye for an overall more neutral look.

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Some examples of gray-blues from the Urban Decay Smoky Palette. Dagger is second from the top.


If you’re looking for some color inspiration, here are some swatches of both bright blues that can pep up your look, or more wearable blues to dress-down your look.

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Bright royal & teal blues. Top: Urban Decay Chaos Liner; Bottom: teal shade from Chanel Road Movie Quad.

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Darker, more wearable blues. Top: Dagger from Urban Decay Smoky Palette; Middle: Contrast from MAC; Bottom: navy-teal shade from Chanel Road Movie Quad.

A lot of bright blues come in palettes since pairing them with other shades is often necessary to complete a look. However, if you do not want to buy a whole palette just to get a blue you can easily go to MAC, ColourPop or Makeup Geek to buy a single shadow or create your own palette. I bought Contrast as a single and then put it in my MAC neutral palette. You can of course opt for a blue eyeliner if you’d rather not use a shadow. Your choice of products will all depend ultimately on what kind of look you want to achieve.

What do you think of bright blue eyeshadow? Would you wear it? Do you have any tips or particular looks you like to do with blue shadow? I’d love to know!

xo, Erica

Introducing the Makeup Beginner’s Series!

A quick announcement today to tell you that the next several posts on my blog will be part of what I’m calling my “Makeup Beginners Series.” The posts will have a more educational angle for those of us who struggle with understanding makeup or certain aspects of makeup application. For example, finding the right foundation for your skin tone or how to get more mileage out of your lipstick, or how to apply eye liner. The inspiration for this series comes from some of my best girlfriends, who will tell me from time to time that makeup often intimidates them. They don’t understand where to put what on their face or what colors most flatter them.

I think what people need to keep in mind is that you certainly don’t have to be an expert to apply or experiment with cosmetics. Makeup is all about creativity, having fun, and making ourselves feel like our best version. It should be open to all of us and like any other skill, practice makes perfect! Since I’m not a professional myself, all the information and tips I will be sharing come from years of absorbing makeup knowledge from artists and experts both online and in print; in addition to the knowledge I’ve amassed through shopping for and applying cosmetics onto my own face.

My goal with the series is ultimately to demystify makeup and take it back to basics. So whether you are a novice or are more experienced but looking for additional tips or tricks to hone your skills, this is for you! Foundation will be the first installment this week. I hope you enjoy!

xo, Erica