em cosmetics by Michelle Phan The Party Life Palette Review, Photos, Swatches

The beauty realm is abuzz over the launch of em cosmetics. This collaboration by Michelle Phan and L'Oréal was two years in the making, with Michelle's fans providing input throughout the entire process. em cosmetics is an intro-to-luxury brand that boasts an extraordinary 250 products, and I will continue this Life Palette series by introducing you to the refillable eye, cheek, and lip palette in Party Life. Click more to view all swatches and discover if it is worth the splurge! 

"LIFE HAS A LOT OF LOOKS. Wear them all."
The signature item from em is called the Life Palette. There are six different variations available, each curated for a specific mood and/or lifestyle. I was fortunate enough to view all six palettes at the YouTube Space a couple months ago, and I found that I was most drawn to the Day Life and Career life palettes, since they are the most wearable. The Beach Life and Love Life palettes, however, had the most variety in color and texture. The Night Life and Party Life palettes are very bold and dramatic, with lots of glitter and shimmer.

Every Life Palette comes armed with a de-potting wand (see above). This way, 9 of the individual products can travel with you in the travel sized palette! I will demonstrate how easy it is to pop out the pans in my comprehensive em cosmetics video review and tutorial sometime next week. This innovative feature is what I appreciate most about the Life Palette. I am a minimalist when I travel, so I love that I can take my favorites pieces from the palette along without sacrificing too much in the variety department. If you like to apply your daily makeup on the go or touch up and add more makeup throughout the day, this refillable style of palette is perfect for you.

There is a dual-ended synthetic brush included with the palette, though I much prefer natural hair bristles because they are more gentle on my eyes. The angled eyeliner side is useful in a pinch, but the all-over shader side is not wide or dense enough for my liking.

The Life Palette is broken up into four quadrants called Looks, and the laminated insert above provides helpful tips on how to utilize every color in the palette. All of the color schemes are well paired, smoky yet colorful.. perfect for any kind of part. I highly recommend following the directions and trying out the set Looks first for this particular palette because these bright and dark eyeshadows are not the easiest to use successfully.
  • Look 1: Midnight Dance
  • Look 2: Party in Pink
  • Look 3: Birthday Surprise
  • Look 4: Out on the Town
Now, I was hesitant about the inclusion of open lip product pans in such close proximity to the powder blushes and eyeshadows, but I have not experienced any fall out issues since I use my makeup neatly out of habit. My recommendation? Rough/heavy-handed ladies and gents, take it easy. Also, wipe down the edges of the pans with a tissue or wet wipe if necessary. 

Each palette comes housed in a large flap-top box with a plastic shield to secure the pans and tools. The top flap reveals an example of each of the four looks the palette can create. The Life Palette contains a nearly overwhelming amount of product — 24 eyeshadows, 4 blushes, 8 lip shades (four lipsticks and four lip glosses). The price tag of $75 USD may seem steep at first glance, but the Party Life palette weighs a whopping 1.33 pounds and contains 26.8 grams of product. 

--The blushes are of sheer to medium pigmentation. The colors are supremely wearable, and they feel most like Lancôme blushes (not too soft, not too powdery).
--The eyeshadows kick up a little bit of dust since they are of the softer variety, but they are fabulous! I was not expecting them to be so creamy or pigmented, and they blend easily without fading away. I have been wearing the eyeshadows consistently without eye primer, and I only experienced a little bit of creasing after 8 hours. These em cosmetics eyeshadows are far more pigmented and smoother than I expected. Some of the glitter shades in the Party Life palette are sheerer so they will require a firm, confident hand and perhaps some Too Faced Glitter Glue for application. 
--The lipsticks are much more lightweight than I expected, considering how creamy they are. I did not experience any feathering, but I recommend using a lip brush for more precise lines and full opacity.
--The lipglosses pair well with any of the lipsticks in each palette. The color coverage is sheer to light with a bit of weight, and they feel very comforting on the lips. The glosses are not too sticky, which is much to my relief. The lip gloss junkie in me is hoping that em cosmetics launches some traditional lip glosses (with a wand applicator) soon!

Now, I present the swatches of all 36 pans (taken with my fingertips). Placement from Left to Right: blush, eyeshadows — starting from the top left of each quadrant — and then the lip products.

Look 1 is, by far, the tamest of the eyeshadow color schemes. The cool-toned pastel purples are lovely on most complexions, and Midnight Dance is an optional color to smoke out the outer corner. More realistically, it can be used as a powder eyeliner. My favorite eyeshadow in this quadrant is Lavender Stars because it can be swept all over the lid, much like a neutral, and finished off with a brown-black liner for an easy sophisticated look. Pink Soireeé blush is deeper and brighter than I tend to wear, though the slightly frosty finish makes it perfect for party photo ops.  I love the Lavender Lust lipgloss, but the rich, even pigmentation of Fuchsia Affair steals the show.

Look 2 is the hardest quadrant to wear. It screams, "Barbie." I am not a fan of the eyeshadows individually, but the blue microshimmer in Black Sky really brings out the cool duochrome of Dance Floor when blended together. They create a fabulous royal purple eyeshadow that looks great with the lilac-pink Chic lipgloss. All the colors are fairly pigmented, but Spwarkle is sheer and very chunky. Sensitive eyes, beware. Everyone else, use a glitter glue as I recommend at the beginning of the post. Also, the Party in Pink blush took me by surprise because the silver shimmer is not as apparent on the skin. It is a rather lovely, every day-appropriate blush color.

Look 3 is my favorite because it reminds me of the fall season. It is sultry and sexy. I probably will not be wearing Just Fab on its own, but it does look more tame with the Caramel lipgloss on top. Sexy Nude blush is a pretty rose with a hint of brown. I love the idea of 'mixed metals' with the inclusion of the metallic Poppin Bottles, which keeps the look from veering too warm and coppery. Mink Coat is my favorite near-black color from the entire palette since the gold shimmer is more flattering against my yellow undertones. Rich Rust reminds me of Rush Hour from the Day Life palette, though Rich Rust is much easier for me to wear because it contains more brown and less pink. 

Look 4 is another difficult quadrant to wear all together on the face, but it houses some of my favorite products from the entire Party Life palette. The gold glitter called Confetti is stunning! The base is not as sheer as Swparkle's, and the glitter applies more smoothly. I just adore how non-traditional this cheerful, sunshine-yellow is. Black Moonlight was creamier than I expected, with very little fallout considering the extra high shimmer content. Girl Time is a gorgeous silver taupe, highly pigmented. Sassy Chic blush is quite bright, so apply with a duo fibre brush and/or a light hand. On the Prowl is an incredibly bright red satin-matte lip that looks pretty as a stain or dramatic when layered for full color coverage. Peach Fuzz is my favorite gloss of the bunch.

Last but not least, I have for you a randomly organized refillable travel palette with some of my favorite pans from the Party Life Palette. I was not able to include this compact with my Day Life Palette review, but this refillable concept is why I love the em cosmetics Life Palette concept so much. My favorite products from the Party Life palettes are as follows:
  • Blush: Party in Pink and Sassy Chic
  • Eyeshadows: Gold Lamé, Bronze Cuff, Confetti, Girl Time, Copper Groove, Mink Coat, Midnight Dance
  • Lipsticks: On the Prowl, Fuschia Affair, Lavender Lust
  • Lipgloss: Peach Fizz and Caramel

I've seen complaints about the packaging, so I wanted to address some of the concerns. There is a substantial weight to the plastic and acrylic. The em cosmetics Life Palette build is thick and durable, made of the kind of quality plastic that beauty addicts associate with designer and luxury products. Though the rounded corners and "bubble" themed pans in varying size do not appeal to my structured and rectangular preferences, but I see and acknowledge the thought process behind it. em cosmetics as a brand is targeted toward the young adult crowd (teens to twenties) unlike Tom Ford or Chanel's more mature audience, so the em packaging reflects a younger vibe. 

Eyes: em cosmetics Wearing Gold Lamé & Bronze Cuff eyeshadows with Waterliner in Black Night, Lancome Artliner and Velour Lashes with Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation
For those that never know which eyeshadows are best paired together for the perfect smoky eye, the Party Life Palette is a $75 commitment worth making. I ultimately prefer the Day Life palette's eyeshadows because there are is more variety in the finishes (matte, pearl, metallic) whereas the Party Life is all about the pearls, metallics, and glitters. The Party Life Palette, however, makes a great gift since there are so many bold yet exciting colors to experiment with. The blushes and lip colors have a lot of variety, non too similar to another. I think college girls and twenties ladies who enjoy partying and clubbing will favor this palette most. I was not convinced at first, but the quality of the products and the utility of the refillable concept make this palette a steal!

Bottom Line: The packaging may not be perfect, but the em cosmetics Party Life Palette has so much to offer in terms of quality and variety, making this truly worth the investment for colorful smoky eye fiends. 
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  1. Your lip colour is gorgeous! What shade is that? Xx

  2. Birthday Surprise hands down my favorite.. The swatches are exceptionally gorgeous. I love those metal colors. The entire palette is so fun and wearable. :)

    1. Totally agree with Julie here! The color selection looks fab and wearable to me and great for this season, too! P.S. that lipstick looks absolutely beautiful on you btw

  3. Can you buy these looks separate? I really like Look 3 but I don't like the other looks.

  4. I absolutely love your swatches! I also love the Tom Ford lippie!

  5. hello
    beautiful life palette but not disturb in france!

  6. Thank you for the great swatches. The colors make more sense when laid out beside each other rather than when seen as random dots of color in a palette. I think this would be a fun palette for someone just experimenting with makeup looks. I can think of a young niece or two who would love this for the holidays :-)

  7. I have been reading and watching reviews on these palates. Overall, it has been mixed, but nobody really swatched the products, which I thought was weird. I think you are the only one so far did such an extensive swatches. Thank you. I love the shades of the eyeshadows. They seems like they might be similar to lancome color design shadows? Have you compared them?

    1. I think the reviews are mixed because people are taking issue with the sticker shock and/or look of the white packaging.. the quality of the products is positively apparent, whether I apply them with my fingertips or using my brushes. Overall, I would say that these eyeshadows are most similar to the Lancome Color Design palettes :)

  8. your reviews are just amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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