Friday, July 4, 2014

Review: LORAC Pro Palette 2

The LORAC Pro palette is my favorite neutral palette. When someone asks me, "Which Naked palette should I buy?" I always ask if they have considered the creamy, perfectly-laid out LORAC Pro over Urban Decay's shoddy piles of mediocre grit.

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.


  1. Great review! I agree with you that this one doesn't seem particularly cool-toned compared to the first one. I thought that it was more cool toned at first, but I think that might be partially because the packaging and that one blue shade. If you took the blue out and used brown packaging I bet that the rest of it would look a lot warmer.

    I actually hate it when there are a lot of highlight shades in palettes (looking at those Too Faced ones with the highlights that are twice as big as the other shades). I'm brown enough that three of those shades look like they'd work as highlights on me, but I think that if they're going to only put one true pale highlight, they should have made one that's easier to use than frosty white.

  2. Hmmm. It's really all down to personal opinion. I've always kind of wanted to get the original Pro because of the quality , but could never pull the trigger, because I find the color choices just bizarre. 8 of the 16 shades I would just never use. When I saw the color choices in this palette I was like "FINALLY! GOOD COLORS!" I actually think having one shimmery, cool-toned highlight (Snow) and one matte, warm-toned highlight (Buff) was a pretty smart choice.

    1. out of curiosity, what do you find bizarre about it? The color choices all feel pretty neutral and necessary to me. Also, I love the large amount of light color shades... it makes blending and creating contrast way easier.

  3. Damn it, Plum alone is speaking to me so much that I practically need this palette. But oh well, because I live in Germany, I can't even get hold of this here :(

  4. I have had my eye on the original palette for a while, and I would probably still get that one over this one, but I do really like a lot of the individual colors in this palette. I don't usually rely on just one palette for my whole look, so I feel like I could mix and match the pretty individual colors with other palettes. (Chrome and Cool Grey, though... I have so many eyeshadow shades that look like that but I just can't stop myself!)

  5. My absolute favorite palette (right now at least ) is the it cosmetics naturally pretty...they're all matte except for one transforming pearl shade. They blend so well, not a lot of fall out, and love the mix of colors! You need to review it :)

  6. I didn't really get what you meant by the colors leaning warm until I saw your pictures wearing them. It does not look like they arranged this pallete with fair, cooler skinned peeps in mind.

    Heck, even that blue has a sort of brightness to it, it would look phenom against yellow or on tan skin.

    I'ma pick one up, though, since I'm light neutral (leaning slightly warm) and everything is made to complement my tones.

    1. My mom has fair skin, leaning towards the warm side, and this palette worked great for her! She has a video where she talks about how she uses it. You should check it out!

  7. I think this is the first time a tepid review has convinced me that I want to buy something, which might come from being darker/warmer-toned and having a preference for palettes that are predominantly warmer colors. I was pretty unexcited about the palette until I saw your review, and it definitely helped to have something so detailed to change my mind. I'm still debating between this and the Unzipped palette, so I'll have to trek out to Ulta at some point to make up my mind.

  8. Great review of the palette! I have to agree with you, the only thing I don't like about this palette is that there isn't a good highlight shades! Otherwise, its a great product! I need to get my hands on it!
    <3 Pauline, ­­Addicted to Makeup

  9. It's interesting what you say about the UD Naked Palettes (although I only have #2), because I can't imagine much that's more buttery than that! We don't have LORAC here, so I can't make the comparison, but it makes me really interested to try! I mean, yes, UD does make some damn gritty shades alsong with their buttery ones (gritty Grifter vs buttery Half Baked, as an example), but in general I've found more butter than grit. Whatever the case - I'm glad you have a palette that you really like!

    The new one looks kind of 'meh' to me except for that blue, which has impressive pigmentation and very little muddiness for the apparently difficult (for mainstream eyeshadows) colour 'dark blue'. If LORAC sells singles, I'd consider investigating Navy, but that would be about it.

  10. See I love the Lorac Pro 2 but I definitely see it as a sequel to the first palette instead of a replacement. That's something I personally enjoy but know that people looking to make their first palette purchase definitely would not. The original Lorac Pro is definitely a perfect first palette in my opinion but I am probably pretty biased as it was indeed my first nondrugstore eyeshadow palette.

  11. Oh man, I love that Navy shade. I wish I could get that just by itself. The other colors I have fairly similar ones in other palettes or freestanding shades, but I don't have anything QUITE like that navy shade.

  12. Thank you SO MUCH for saying that this palette leans warm. My coloring is almost identical to yours, right down to skin undertone, hair, and eye color. (I might be slightly paler than you!) Everyone seems to claim this is cool-toned, so I was excited to go look at in the store, as I don't trust the color accuracy of my monitor, nor other people's photography and/or lighting. So, color me surprised when I looked at it in person and saw it was warm. There is no way most of the colors would work on me. I looked at two or three times in the store, thinking I must be imagining the warm tones, but nope. I swear people see the gray packaging, and it fools them into thinking they are cool colors. Or, they see blues, purples, and grays and automatically assume "cool", discounting undertones. Sadly, I really wanted to get this, but the colors won't work on me. But thank you for confirming that it is not, in fact, a cool-toned palette!

    1. Hi Jenn! Even if you are cool toned, it doesn't mean that you can't wear warm colors. It's more important, what eye&hair color you have and if it suits your overall look :) just a tip

    2. Hi Isa! I appreciate your feedback, but what I was saying was that I can't wear THOSE warm colors from the palette. They would make me look like death. :) Any blues, purples, and grays need to be cool or neutral to look right on me. The only colors I can get away with that contain some warmth are green and rose gold. My eyes are neutral/cool dark green with a hint of warm brown in the center, but I prefer to play up the cooler outer portions of the iris, so I stick to cooler tones most of the time. My (natural) hair and skin are cool; when I color my hair a warmer color, then I can get away with warmer tones in my makeup. My hair was previously colored a light auburn red, so some warmer eyeshadows worked. But I'm now growing out my color (between medium and dark ash brown), and cooler tones make my skin glow. I'm just disappointed since so many touted this as a cool palette, and in reality, it's not. The original Lorac Pro palette has more cool tones than this one!

  13. Awesome review! Do you know if they sell the first lorac palette anywhere in Europe? Unfortunately, I live in Vienna and Lorac stuff is not sold in our stores :(

  14. First off, I love your blog. It's fantastic.
    Second, Have you tried the it cosmetics naturally pretty palette? I would seriously love to see you review that.
    It's all matte and fantastic. I didn't think there was anything that would beat the Lorac Pro palette for me... but that palette brings some serious competition. I would love to hear your opinions on it!

  15. Hi Robyn! Long time reader, first time caller.

    I was wondering if you would do a post on why glitter polish is so hard to remove? I find it baffling that, even when the glitter has a base coat or I've painted it on top of a creme, the damn glitter refuses to budge. Surely it should slide right off once the base coat is removed? Sigh.

    1. check out the foil method for removing glitter polish, it's the only frustration free method that i've found.

    2. Oh, I have heard that works well - I'm just wondering why it's necessary!

    3. What I have found (it is more obvious with bigger glitter) is that the remover doesn't actually get under the glitter. I've done a removal where it seems like all of the polish is gone but that one big stubborn chunk of glitter, then pulled the piece of glitter off to reveal a nice glitter-shaped dot of polish still on the nail. There are some base coats that do a better job of "wicking" the remover so it gets under the glitter pieces more quickly (Picture Polish "Revolution") and some designed to peel off without damaging the nail (Nail Pattern Boldness "Glitter APeel") but for the most part, time for it to soak along is what seems to work best, hence the foil method. Use those rubber finger tip covers from the office supply store instead of foil, cheaper and more environmentally friendly!


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