When the LORAC Pro Palette 2 was announced, I was obviously pretty pleased.
The palette is identical in layout to the first iteration, with two rows of eight shadows each: one matte, one shimmer. Instead of a black case, the new guy is housed in a slate gray.
As before, it comes with a mini 0.19 oz of LORAC Behind the Scenes Eye Primer, which is a super high-performing eye primer that I have previously reviewed here. This is my everyday primer because it is quite inexpensive per ounce but it does a kickass job.
Although many people have suggested that this palette is a cool-toned alternative to the original LORAC Pro, I feel that the whole shebang is warm as the fucking July sun. Every color leans a little bit yellow.
I don't know if I'm alone in this, but I actually get a bit of an "Old West" feel from the palette, like all the colors have been mixed with a little bit of dust. It's the eyeshadow I would use to paint an all-makeup portrait of Clint Eastwood.
Most of the colors are pretty different from the original palette, save for the matte black hanging out in the top right of each. The only other colors I might compare are Taupe (from the original) and Light Brown (from LORAC 2), which are similar in shade but differ in undertone. (Taupe is much cooler.)
LORAC 2 also has slightly more "out there" colors than the original. It reads less like a conventional neutral palette.
I appreciate that LORAC didn't produce two interchangeable eyeshadow collections. Unfortunately, I don't think that the second Pro palette is nearly as well thought out as the first.
The original palette has a really beautiful mix of warm and cool colors, whereas the second version feels like it leans so warm that the versatility of the palette has decreased. I do like warm shades of eyeshadow, even on my cool-toned skin, but it makes the palette feel a little bit one note. There's a level of contrast that you simply can't play with. Even the traditionally cooler colors feel warm for cool colors. Like, the silver shade has an underlying warmth. There is a color that is literally called "Cool Gray" and it's a taupe that's cool for a brown, but warm for a gray. It's not a cool gray. It's a warm gray. The warm nature of the palette is especially prominent among the lighter shades in the palette.
Another issue I had was the lack of highlight shades. In the original palette, I can use White, Cream, Light Pink, Nude, and Champagne all as highlight shades. In this palette, the only shade that is light enough for a true highlight on me is Snow, a frosty white shade that is admittedly beautiful, but certainly can't carry every eye look ever. Y'all know that I use palettes for quite a while before I give you my official opinion. I frequently struggled to use this palette without supplementing from another palette. I think the product designers wanted to avoid having too many similarities between the two products. Unfortunately, they ended up eliminating my ability to create contrast on my eye. The vast majority of the colors in this palette are sort of medium shades.
The quality is definitely there. I feel the shades are beautifully pigmented, blendable, and gorgeous. No problems in terms of caliber. I just don't believe that this is a complete-feeling palette on its own. If you love the colors and feel super inspired them, fucking go for it. For me, though, this palette will only be used to supplement palettes that I already own.
But I bet you still want some goddamn swatches.
Buff is a yellow-y light beige.
Light Brown is a warm, well… light brown. It is the color of the coffee poking out from under a cappuccino's foam.
Cool Gray is a grayish taupe. If you are very cool toned and have a light hand, it actually makes a half-decent contour. I never got my hands on Chanel Notorious, but this is kind of what I imagined it might have been like (only more matte, of course). If you're finding that conventional cool-toned contours like NYX Blush in Taupe are too warm and you bought this palette anyways, I'd recommend giving it a try.
Nectar is a rusty peach shade that would have looks like it would have been right at home in a badly decorated house from the 1970s.
Plum is a grayish dark purple.
Navy is a very bright, denim-esque dark blue.
Charcoal is a warm, medium gray.
Black is a black. …yup.
Here are a few looks done with the matte section of the palette (mostly):
|Note: I needed help from the shimmery side of the palette to make this look happen.|
Snow is a super vibrant, frosty white that, if badly applied, would look straight out of the 1980s, and, if well-applied, looks like ice princess makeup. It's the only shade in the palette that is a successful highlight on me.
Beige is a warm, peach-leaning beige shade.
Rose is a bronzy shade with a ton of pink hiding inside. You've heard of rose gold? This is rose copper.
Mocha is a warm, medium brown.
Chrome is a muddied silver color, like a layer of brown dirt over a pewter knife.
Silver is a super-metallic, disco-ball silver.
Jade is an olive green that looks like it belongs somewhere on a set of camo pajamas.
Cocoa is a reddish medium brown. It's a shimmer, but it's the least shimmery of the shimmers.
Here are a few looks done with the shimmery section of the palette:
I wouldn't discourage eyeshadow collectors from purchasing this palette because, again, fantastic pigmentation, lovely texture, yada yada.
However, if you're like, "Oh, I need a neutral palette and people seem to like these LORAC shadows… maybe I should get the new one!" imagine a buzzer noise and a big thumbs down from me.
If you came into my house and burned all of my eyeshadow palettes tonight, the first palette I would re-purchase would be the original LORAC Pro. The second Pro palette wouldn't even make the list. I could use the original palette every day and give you a new look. The new one? Well, I struggled to make six looks I liked enough for this post. If you are deciding between the two, I would recommend the first version every time.
Both LORAC Pro palettes retail for $42 for 0.32oz of eyeshadow and 0.19oz of eyeshadow primer. If you count the eyeshadow primer as a free gift, that's $131.25 per ounce. The primer mini has an estimated value of about $7.60.