em by Michelle Phan Valentine Life Palette Review & Swatches

em Valentine Life palette 1

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I was so excited to get this, and I really wanted to love it.  Sadly, I didn’t.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I like it, but I don’t love it.

em Valentine Life palette 3

I got the Secret Admirer Edition of the Valentine Life palette, which consists of six eyeshadows, one blush, and two lip colors.  One of the eyeshadows, Candy Kisses, can also be used as a highlighter.

em Valentine Life palette 2

The packaging is great- the outer box has a flap that lifts up, and velcros shut.  The palette itself is clear, white, and black with a magnetic closure and is very sturdy.  The pans are removable and can be placed into the larger Life palette.  This size, though, is great for travel, especially with the mirror inside.  There is also a little brush in the box, with one end for the shadows, the other for the lip colors, but it doesn’t fit inside the palette.

em Valentine Life palette 4

Counterclockwise from top left: eyeshadows Candy Kisses, Cupid Shimmer, Moody Two Shoes, Candlelight Dinner, Just a Glance, and Darling Shimmer; followed by lip colors Black Cherry and Chic; Day Dreaming blush in center.


My problem with this palette is the inconsistent quality and pigmentation.  Candy Kisses, the lightest shade, is the most pigmented, followed by Cupid Shimmer, another light shade.  The worst pigmentation is Goody Two Shoes, an iridescent pink- it was nearly impossible to even get any product onto a brush, and I tried several.  When I finally did get some shadow up, it went on in little chunks.  This is really disappointing because it’s so beautiful in the pan!

em Valentine Life palette swatches

Left to right: eyeshadows Candy Kisses, Cupid Shimmer, Moody Two Shoes, Candlelight Dinner, Just a Glance, and Darling Shimmer; followed by Day Dreaming blush; and lip colors Chic and Black Cherry.

Candlelight Dinner, a sort of golden taupe, is my favorite, but it took several layers to get it to show up, but at least it’s buildable.  Just a Glance is my second fave, but it’s not very pigmented at all, and again, it takes several layers.  Finally, Darling Shimmer, the darkest shade seemed like it would be great for a smoky eye, but it was just as poorly pigmented as the Goody Two Shoes.  But, since it didn’t go on chunky, I’ll rate it a step above.

em Valentine Life palette 7

Wearing Goody Two Shoes all over, from lash line to brows, Candlelight Dinner on my lids, Just a Glance in creases, and Darling Shimmer on upper lash line; Day Dreaming blush on cheeks; and Chic lip color on lips.

The good thing about the shadows is that even though pigmentation is ranges from okay to crap, they are easily blendable.  Wear time wasn’t great- about four or five hours with my Urban Decay Original Primer Potion, and about six hours with my Elizabeth Mott primer.  I didn’t notice any creasing, the color just sort of started to fade.

em Valentine Life palette 9

Wearing Candy Kisses all over, from lash line to brows, Candlelight Dinner on lids, and Darling Shimmer in creases; Day Dreaming blush; and Black Cherry lip color on lips.

The blush was decent- not great, but okay.  It’s kind of soft and powdery, but it’s buildable and blends easily.  However, the color was perfect, and is very versatile!  The lip colors are more like glosses, and went on easily, and were not sticky- they actually wore quite well.

Overall, this is not a great palette, but it’s not terrible, either- it’s definitely better than what you can get at the drugstore.  The colors in the pans are gorgeous, and they are well coordinated.  If you have trouble putting colors together, this is a great product.  It’s also great for teenagers who are first getting into makeup, and want something better quality than drugstore brands.

Although it’s no Urban Decay palette, this is something I’ll absolutely get some use out of, especially on days when I want a more subdued look.  It’s also the perfect size to stash in my handbag.  The price is also decent at just $34, and is available at emcosmetics.com.  However, I would recommend signing up for Ipsy if you’re interested in em cosmetics.

em cosmetics were started by a collaboration between Michelle Phan and L’Oreal’s prestige division, but recently, Michelle purchased the company from L’Oreal.  Ipsy, founded by Michelle, now offers the brand as part of their rewards program.  So, you can get stuff for FREE just for posting reviews and social media statuses about the products you receive in your Glam Bag.  At this moment, as of this writing, there is a Life Palette with lip colors available as a reward, and there have been others in the past.

To sign up for Ipsy Glam Bag for just $10 per month with FREE shipping, just click here!  You can cancel any time.