When I first saw Too Faced’s Holiday 2016 “The Chocolate Shop” Collection, my initial thought was, “whoa, that’s a lot of shadows to pack in one palette!”. With 21 shadows and 3 cheek powders, I worried that the brand might have erred on the side of quantity over quality – something they have been guilty of in previous holiday collections. The reviews have been mixed on this one, and I can see why: there are some definite underperformers here. There are some really beautiful shades in this collection as well, but are there enough to make this palette a win for me?
Too Faced The Chocolate Shop Holiday 2016 Collection
Let’s start with the actually Chocolate Shop Collection itself: Too Faced is no stranger to over the top holiday palettes and sets, and this is no different. It comes in a box that, once top removed, folds open to display an adorable storefront display which has a mini Melted Chocolate in Milkshake (a gorgeous caramel pink), mini Better Than Sex Mascara, and Shadow Insurance Eyeshadow Primer in the display window (all permanent range products). I like all three of these products, and while the mascara is a standard sized mini, both Milkshake and Shadow Insurance are generous minis that easily will last for some time.
The palette itself can pop out of the cutesy display (smart move Too Faced, worth noting though: no mirror) and houses a whopping 21 shadows, cheek highlight, blush and bronzer. While the cheek products all perform as expected and blend together nicely (Chocolate Soleil Bronzer is a permanent shade available), I honestly feel the brand should have eliminated about 7 of the shadow shades and focused on making it a much more cohesive colour scheme. While I get they wanted a bit of everything, a couple of the colour choices are out of place and without partners to make a complete look.
So let’s talk about the elephant in the room: Some of the mattes in this palette not only disappoint, but actually had me gobsmacked that they got through quality control. Shades like Cookie Dough, Guilt, Glaze and Chocoholic would normally be huge staple shadows in a palette like this, but they were so stiff in the pan I could barely get them onto my finger to swatch! These shadows would normally be popular choices for transition/crease/browbone highlight but are pretty much useless here. Slightly darker tones like Toffee Crunch and Tootsie perform a bit better over primer, and can be built up unlike the previously mentioned shadows, as well as a few paler choices like Banana Date and Cake Batter.
Thankfully, the metallic/shimmer shadows more than make up for the crummy mattes here! Shades like Butterscotch, Mint Chip, Lava Cake, Honey Dip and Pound Cake apply as expected from a brand I have come to love for shadow palettes. These shadows all swatched full pigment with one swipe, and applied well to my lids with a brush, which is such a stark contrast from some of the ‘duds’! It was a real gamut of reactions swatching these in fact, I kept saying’ “Oh that’s pretty!” then followed with, “Why wont this swatch!?!”…
I wish Too Faced had scaled back the size of this collection and focused more on pigmentation and shadow quality. The handful of near-invisible matte eyeshadows tarnish and otherwise really pretty, fun holiday palette. I feel when brands go overboard like this in spectrum, what often happens is it actually makes it harder for the consumer to use; Too many choices often leads to not visualizing which shades work well together. I do think if you purchase knowing that this isn’t a palette for matte-lovers, you are still getting your value’s worth given the quality of everything else included.