Too Faced Peanut Butter & Jelly Palette - review and swatches

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I've owned this palette for over a year now and I haven't reviewed it because previously I hadn't used it enough to do so, nor had I spent enough time comparing it to other palettes. I have now.

Around two weeks ago, I brought this palette into my Project Dent series (see here), with the aim being to make visible progress in the shadows and also give them a good test run to see how they perform overall. So here I am to write that review and later on I'll update you on my Project Dent progress.


I do like the packaging of this palette. Most Too Faced packaging doesn't float my boat, but I think this one's sweet.

This was the first palette I bought that wasn't just a bunch of plain neutrals (yes it's still neutral, but it's warmer than my older palettes), and I remember doing a lot of research before purchase because I don't like buying things I'm not going to use. Well, who does ; )

After seeing so many rave reviews, I eventually bit the bullet. I must say that I wasn't too thrilled when I first used it. I was worried that it would be too warm on me and would take me into allergic reaction/sick territory, which indeed it does if I don't use it right. Please note that it doesn't do that for everyone - perhaps it's just something to do with my light-medium to medium, yellow-based colouring - but that's something to be aware of.


For me, the biggest problem with this palette is that I feel it's missing a cool-toned crease/transition colour that's matte and that I could use to 'pull back' the warmth of the other shades so I don't look sick. 

Interestingly, I don't have the sick problem with the ABH Modern Renaissance palette. Why? Because ABH completely nailed the tones. I don't think I've seen anyone complain that they look sick when they wear the MR, but I know I'm not the only one who feels the tones in this one aren't quite right. It won't suit everyone, but the ABH one comes close.

While I can make this work, I always need to pull in either a matte grey or a matte neutral brown from another palette. If Too Faced had removed either the peach (Spread the Love) or the white (Extra Creamy) and replaced it with say a mattte, mid-toned, purple-based taupe or a matte lavender, this would have been a stand-alone palette for me - and it would also have addressed the issue that many people have with this palette, being that there's too much 'peanut butter' and not enough 'jelly'.

I have to agree. 


Now I've just gone to insert my usual 'product details' section and I've seen that this palette is no longer available at Mecca, which may mean that it's no longer available full stop - so in some ways this review is redundant. I'm still going to write it, though, because I often look at reviews when I'm using the palettes I own to get ideas, so I'll assume that others do too.

Worth noting is that the packaging of this palette is some of the rare Too Faced packaging I like. Don't shoot me, but I personally don't want makeup that looks like a chocolate bar or an inflated gold coin. I know that's a draw-card for many people, but it's just not my style.

There's the palette photographed in direct sunlight:


And again:


Now for swatches. 

What I've done below is given you swatches of each shade in different lights, and I've first done a finger swatch for each and then one with a fluffy blending brush. I haven't used primer. Even though I always wear one, I feel that the finger swatches give you a good representation of how the shadows look when worn with a primer, while the brush ones show you how they will look if you don't.

Below are the first four shades, swatched in direct sunlight, first with my finger and then with a brush:


*L-R: Spread the Love, Peanut Butter, Peanut Butter Cup, Bananas

Spread the Love is a light-medium peach that's matte but has gold micro-glitter. It's reasonably soft and smooth so it's nice to work with, plus it blends and applies well. Many people love this as a transition colour - but on me, it's not pigmented enough so I can't use it for much else than a base shadow. It does work well as a blush (although I have to build it), but I would much rather it came without the glitter. Yes the glitter isn't that noticeable and some of it blends away when you apply it, but I can still see it on my face and I think it's unnecessary in this type of shade. That's just me.

Peanut Butter is a matte, mid-toned orange-y brown. It isn't quite as soft and smooth as Spread the Love so I don't love the texture to the touch, but that doesn't affect performance. This shade can pull too warm on me if I don't pair it with something cooler or more neutral. It applies and blends well. I like this shade: it's pigmented and easy to work with.

There we are again in natural light (outdoors):


 *L-R: Spread the Love, Peanut Butter, Peanut Butter Cup, Bananas

Peanut Butter Cup is a medium-dark, yellow-based bronze with a satin finish and gold micro-glitter. It's a bit rough to the touch but it applies and blends well. The pigment is good and it looks nice on the eye, but there's something about this bronze that I don't love. I think the colour isn't quite rich enough and I have other bronzes that suit me better and do more for my brown eyes. I do like it well enough, though.

Bananas is a gold shimmer with peach undertones. It's smoother than Peanut Butter Cup so I prefer the texture, but it's still a tiny bit rough/gritty. The pigment is good and it applies and blends well. This is my favourite colour in the palette: it's the nicest gold I own. I don't know what makes it so good and so unique, but I can't get enough of this shadow. I often reach for this palette, just to use this gold. I love it on the eyes and as a highlight for the face too, although it does emphasise texture on the face so I don't wear it that way if I'm going out.

Now for the other five shades, swatched first with my finger and then with a brush, direct sunlight:


L-R: Peanut Brittle, Jammin', Extra Creamy, Jelly, Nuts About U

Peanut Brittle is the shadow everyone raves about, and I can see why. It's beautifully soft, creamy and pigmented - it has the best texture of all the shades, and the most pigment. It's a gorgeous, bright orange/copper metallic shadow that looks fantastic on others but pulls too warm on me so it makes me look sick. I have to be really careful of how I use this shade.

Jammin' is a deep purple/grape colour. It's slightly rough and gritty but not as bad in texture as Peanut Butter Cup, but it's similar because it's a satin with gold micro-glitter. It's more matte than Peanut Butter Cup though. This is the only shade in the palette that I find difficult to blend and it's the worst-performing shadow in the palette. It's not as pigmented as most other shades but I tend to prefer that with my darker colours. Mind you, it can look rather grey/muddy on me and I think that's partly a pigment problem.

Natural light (outdoors):


L-R: Peanut Brittle, Jammin', Extra Creamy, Jelly, Nuts About U

Extra Creamy is a matte off white and it's the only shade in the palette that I don't like because it's too stark and too white for my colouring. Nevertheless, it has the second-best texture in the palette - it's beautifully soft and smooth, and indeed extra creamy. It applies and blends well, and it also has a surprising amount of pigment for such a pale colour. This is the colour I would remove first in favour of another shade (the second would be Spread the Love). It can look dry on me, but that may be partly because it's easy to apply too much, given how soft it is.

Jelly is a bright orchid purple that offers a beautiful, iridescent sheen (with no detectable glitter). It almost looks wet on the skin and I love that about it. It's a bit drier and less smooth than some of the other shades, but it applies and blends well. The complaint most people have about this shade is that it's not very pigmented, but I don't mind this. It's so bright that I don't want it to be pigmented, and because it's more sheer, it almost 'melds' with the skin so it doesn't look powdery at all: it just looks like colour. This makes it a great shade for my dry, 37yo old eyes because it's very flattering and it doesn't emphasise texture.

Nuts About U is a deep, matte terracotta and it's my second favourite shade in the palette. It's smooth and creamy, and it applies and blends well. It's also quite soft. I love the texture. Even though it looks warmer than Peanut Butter in the pan, on me this has a better undertone so it's less likely to make me look sick. This shadow looks extra good when paired with Jammin' and it's the only reason why I don't consider Jammin' to be a complete dud.

Verdict

I've said most things above so I won't ramble on too much here. 

Note that all these shadows last reasonably well on the eye (I use a primer) and none of them are ageing - except Extra Creamy, but not if I use the tiniest layer. That's a big thing for me because some shadows make me look older, which is one of my biggest complaints with many formulas.

Interestingly, even the metallic Peanut Brittle doesn't emphasise texture on my eyelids, which is unusual because many metallics do, so that's a huge plus.

Worth noting is that when you mix Bananas with Jelly, something magical happens. I discovered this by accident when I applied Bananas on the inner corner, then went in with Jelly on the lid, then went back and added more Bananas on the inner corner. Some Jelly was left on the brush and I'm so glad I forgot to switch brushes because when you throw a tiny bit of Jelly over Bananas, I swear bloody angels start singing. It's as though both shades (which I like anyway) are suddenly elevated to some kind of transcendent purple/pink/peach/golden goodness. Just gorgeous.

That's all from me. I hope this review was helpful, and that everything's well with you.

Speak soon x


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