Like millions of others online, I have been following Shane Dawson’s docu-series about the beauty industry / six-hour makeup advert. And like millions of others, I waited not-so-patiently for the palette’s launch, frantically refreshing the page until I managed to get through to the checkout. After a week of playing around with the palette, I’m ready to share my thoughts on the Conspiracy palette and some of the looks I’ve created with it.
Conspiracy Colour Story
One of the main complaints directed at the palette from people online has been about the lack of a ‘colour story’. A colour story can mean an overarching colour theme throughout the palette or seeing connections between each of the colours, easily finding blendable transition tones. The conspiracy palette has none of this, and really smacks of a palette that has been put together by someone with little knowledge of actually doing makeup – which to a certain extent, it has been. When I think of making a set of eyeshadows in the theme of ‘Conspiracy’, I would expect a range of greens, blues and purples with a grungy, spacey feel – and that would be a colour story. Instead, the palette is simply another form of merch for Shane Dawson fans, with each shade and their name being a reference to aspects of his life.
Having said this, it is kind of nice to have a palette that has such a mishmash of colours. I normally stick to pink-toned palettes, so to have one with a range of different shades is a change. However, I can see that this palette may not be best for the casual makeup user, as trying to work out which shades to use together isn’t immediately apparent. I feel this makes the palette a bit inaccessible for those who don’t have a lot of experience blending out eyeshadows.
The Shades of Conspiracy
There are 18 shades total in the palette. The first line includes day-to-day wearable and base shades like ‘Tanacon’ and ‘Diet Root Beer’. The middle line has brighter shades, like ‘Food Videos’, ‘Trisha’, ‘Cheese Dust’ and ‘Flamin Hot’, which are all vibrant and highly-pigmented shades. The bottom row is deeper shades of purple and black like ‘Not a Fact’ and ‘My Ride’s Here’, as well as intensely glittery shades like ‘Diet Cola’ and ‘Sleep Paralysis’. Of the shades, I would happily wear about seven or eight of them for day-to-day looks, whereas some of the brighter and darker shades I would reserve for my makeup playtime or fancy events.
For me the standout shades in the palette are ‘Diet Root Beer’, as a great everyday brown shade, ‘Conspiracy’ a very shimmery light green that could work for all occasions, ‘Trisha’ a vibrant, glittery pink, ‘Sleep Paralysis’ a smooth and glittery metallic shade and ‘My Ride’s Here’, one of the most intense black shades I’ve ever used.
Of the 18 shades, eight are not intended for use around the eye area, due to not being FDA approved. This isn’t really anything to worry about and doesn’t mean the palette is harmful; it just means that these shades are more intensely pigmented and may cause a bit of staining. This is an ‘issue’ that occurs with many palettes that use vegan formulas for their pigments. Having used every shade in the palette, ‘Pig-ment’ seems to be the only one that has stained my eyelid a little, and I was left pink for a day.
One of the things that really sold me about this palette was how pigmented the shades looked. Every swatch video and image I saw, they looked incredible, and I’m all about a well-pigmented bright colour. I hate having to work hard to create a look, and if I can sweep on a colour without having to build it up for ages, it’s a winner for me. Unfortunately, actually using the palette has been mildly disappointing, considering the hype surrounding it.
Don’t get me wrong, there are some shades, particularly the glitters, that will instantly amaze you, but others like ‘Pig-ment’ (ironically) and ‘Flamin Hot’, I find you have to work a bit harder to build up. They are still greatly pigmented shades, but I just feel like they could be a bit better, especially when I can get brighter colour out of my $12 Colourpop palettes with one sweep of the brush. To get the colour as bright as I could in the dual-eyeshadow image, I actually used a completely white base shade across the whole eye (Revolution Cut Crease Canvas), which I wouldn’t normally do.
The biggest issue for me with the Conspiracy palette is the amount of fallout I experience with some of the shades. This occurs both in the palette and on the face. Even with tapping the brush off, I can still see plumes of powder coming off the brush as I blend in a colour, and my under eye area become absolutely covered in fallout – more so than with any other palette I have ever used! The palette itself has quickly become mucky with the fallout from some of the shades, and the mirror is completely covered in eyeshadow ‘dust’.
Some shades are okay, but others are terrible for this, with Tanacon being the worst for fallout by far. As someone who prefers to do foundation first and eyes last, this poses quite the problem, and I’ve really had to change up how I do my makeup to make this palette work. I don’t own any of Jeffree Star’s other palettes, so I’m not sure if this is a common theme with his eyeshadow shades, but it’s certainly not something I’ve had to deal with to this extent from other palettes I use.
One area where this palette really excels is the blendability of the shades. They apply pretty easily and can be built up into a bright and strong colour. When you’ve worked out which shades you think will go together, blending out is super easy, and the shades will combine and work well. This is a good palette for bold looks that cover the whole eyelid area, and each shade can be blended out to create this kind of result.
The packaging really is something – there is nothing quite like it – and clearly, a lot of time and money has gone into producing this part of the palette. I love the idea of a trunk, with the little clasps on the side for a palette, and the fact that this has been turned into more of a pyramid with the triangle logo is one of the only things that screams ‘Conspiracy’ about this palette. While the palette does look fantastic in this box, it does sort of restrict the usability of it for me. I travel every now and then and love to take a palette or two with me when I do. The sheer bulk of this palette means it’s just way too big to be packing into my suitcase, so the Conspiracy will always be staying at home, which is a bit of a shame.
Would I Recommend the Palette?
The answer to this question really lies with how much of a fan of Shane Dawson and Jeffree Star you are. If you want to support them, then I don’t think you’d be disappointed by the palette. You can craft some really great looks from it and get really creative. However, this wouldn’t be a palette I’d recommend to people outside of this community, especially if they only hold a casual interest in makeup. I can see that some makeup artists and enthusiasts would probably love to have a play with some of these shades, but for a casual fan of makeup, it’s quite a hard palette to dip into and find looks that work well.
At £48 (price paid at the time of launch), there is definitely more you can get for your money. I do not regret buying the palette one bit, and will absolutely be using it time and time again to create some wild looks, but I just don’t see it becoming one I turn to when I’m getting ready for work in the morning. If you want to get your hands on the collection, then check out the Jeffree Star website for pre-orders and updates.
If you want to read more makeup reviews, check out my Kiko Waterflower Magic Review – my favourite everyday mini palette!