Tuesday, January 7, 2014

em Cosmetics The Life Palette Mini: Ice Bunny Edition Review (and Swatches!)

Hello loves! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and are ready to start off the new year feeling refreshed! During the holiday sales-specifically the 12 days of em sale- I picked up this little palette...The Life Palette mini/moment- Winter Life Ice Bunny Edition. I've been eyeing this particular palette (like crazzzyyy) ever since I first saw it on the site. Was it worth it? Let's find out!
Ever since the lovely Michelle Phan released her makeup line, em cosmetics, soooo many people have been talking about it. I really wanted to try out something from her line, but I couldn't decide what...until I saw the Life Palette Mini: Winter Life Ice Bunny Edition *insert angelic heavenly music here* (direct link to product here).

The emcosmetics site is very bright (and full of life... ;] ) but still pulls off a clean vibe. All the makeup products have swatches and a corresponding video to demonstrate or present the product, which I think is pretty cool.

em is a reflection of me. Right on the packaging, you can see what em means: "meaning of em: a vietnamese word expressing youth...a term of endearment..of adoration." I really like how she incorporated her heritage, her culture, a part of her into the naming of this make up brand.


When I received the package, it was wrapped in a pink tissue paper with the "em michelle phan" logo sticker-ed on. The packaging for the palette is very chic and sleek, with little snapshots that follow the theme of the palette. The logo and some of the words are embossed on the packaging. The packaging of the palette itself is nice plastic material with magnetic closure and a nice big mirror! It doesn't feel cheap; it feels really sturdy! It has the em logo and words engraved (?) on the front of the palette. The logo and the words look like they are right under the top most layer, so it won't get damaged. The words engraved say emerge, emotion, embrace, empower, embody, esteem, embellish, and embark, following the whole word play of em.

 Top (L-R): avalanche, snow day!, ice bunny, bundle up, winter chill,
black pumps. Bottom: Snuggle up peach, parisian nude, dressed up.
There are six eyeshadows, two lip glosses, and one blush in the palette. The names of the colors are on the back of the palette, which I really like. The names are also printed under the pan, and the pans are easily removable. You can just grab a little toothpick and take it out. (Just be careful not to poke the eyeshadow/lip gloss/blush!) I like how the names aren't right next to the product as well, because that would just be overwhelming, considering all that's going on in the palette already. A huge thing I dislike about the layout is that the lip glosses are right next to the eyeshadow, so now one of my lip glosses has bits of black eyeshadow in it. Maybe the lip glosses should have some kind of covering to prevent anything from falling into them. (And I do try to keep my palette sitting upright to prevent stuff getting into the lip glosses, but it doesn't work 100% of the time.)

This palette also includes a dual ended brush (angled liner and flat eyeshadow brush). I really like the liner brush. I don't have many brushes to begin with, but the liner brush helps me create a nice fine line, as well as a thick cat eye look. The major thing I have against this though, is that it doesn't have a place in the palette for it. Maybe it can be retractable and slide into the palette like the stylus for the Nintendo DS? I don't know, but it's not travel friendly in that regard if you are planning on using just that brush. Most palettes that do include a brush would have a place for it, so it's a bit strange that this palette has a brush, but doesn't have a home for it.


The formula of the eyeshadows pleasantly surprised me. When I first swatched them, they are very soft, velvety and buttery. I feel that there is a little bit of chalkiness, but its very minimal. Most of the shadows are highly pigmented. There were a couple of colors, not as pigmented as the other ones- winter chill and black pumps (grey and black). I also feel that the frosty blue could have been slightly more blue; sometimes I mistake it for the frosty light beige color (avalanche). They both have the same finish and they look almost incomparable on my skin tone. The colors are long-lasting and they are very buildable. The colors are a bit too frosty/shimmery for me, but it does fit into the ice bunny theme. I wish that one of the browns would be less shimmery, or more matte even. Snow day! (lighter brown) and Bundle up (darker brown) are very similar in color with the same finish. I find myself using my finger most of the time to pat down the frosty colors on my lids. For the browns/grey, I'll grab a crease or flat eyeshadow brush to smoke out the look or make the look more defined. For the grey/black (and sometimes brown!), I tend to use the liner brush to line the eyes or create a clean line. I do experience a little fall out with these eyeshadows.
Top to bottom: no gloss, parisian nude, dressed up

Lip glosses!

I'm not much of a lip gloss wearer, but the two lip glosses- parisian nude and dressed up- in the palette are very natural on the lips. They have a soft, sweet scent to them, and add a very subtle tint and shimmer to my lips. I find the formula of the gloss not too sticky, and it doesn't make chapped lips look terrible. The glosses do slightly moisturize the lips as well!


I'm not really much of a blush wearer, but like the eyeshadows, the blush is smooth and buildable. It's a bit shimmery and it adds such a nice shade to my cheeks. It's a warm peachy color, hence the name "snuggle up peach," that compliments the other colors in the palette well.


I really like the concept of the Life Palette Mini and hope that em cosmetics will continue to do these eye, cheek and lip palettes. Again, I purchased this during their sale, so I got it for $22. It's currently on the site for $29. I think that it's a bit on the higher end in terms of pricing, but you do get such a variety of good products for your money that it can be justified. (I can't say anything about their other products, since I haven't tried them yet!)

This palette (besides the whole brush issue) is travel friendly. I brought only this palette (plus mascara and brushes) with me for my weekend in SF a while back, and there are a lot of different looks you can get with the palette. Overall it's a very playful palette, and the shimmery/frost colors can easily allow you to achieve a wide awake/bright eye look.

I give this an overall 8.75/10, docking off points for the lip glosses next to the eyeshadow and the brush issue, as well as similarity and too much frosty/shimmer going on in some of the eyeshadows. (I partially blame myself for not realizing that the browns would both be shimmery, but still... it's not what I had expected.)

I don't know how long it will be on the site, because it does mention that it is a limited edition palette. If you are interested in purchasing, I highly recommend you go for it. It's a fun and unique mix of colors that will surely bring out the ice bunny in you.

Have a lovely day!

Note and samples (lip gallery sampler & great cover up sample card) also included in order.
Two complimentary samples for all registered users with any purchase! 
Edit! 20 January 2014! This palette and the New Years Countdown is on the site for only $25 now!