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Glossier Monochrome Eyeshadow Palettes – Worth the Hype?

Megan K.
ByMegan K.Nov 3, 2021 | 5 comments

Image via Glossier

As a big fan of Glossier, when they recently dropped their new Monochromes Eyeshadow palettes, the whole idea really spoke to me. Sure, I have reviewed literally thousands of makeup items in the last few years (and my collection is seriously terrifying), but I would absolutely describe myself as a makeup minimalist when it comes to an everyday look. Sure, that doesn’t mean I avoid eyeshadows altogether, but who doesn’t have that one special color that is almost empty in a giant palette where so many others go untouched? You know, that perfect shade you can practically apply without a mirror or brush and somehow works every single day?

Glossier seems to have leaned way into this idea with these very minimal palettes. The collection features 10 core shades, but each palette has a trio of the same shade in three different finishes: matte, satin, and metallic. I don’t know if I have ever seen this sort of concept before, and I immediately placed an order for 2 very different shades that I thought could show the range of the colors and still both be flattering and similar to shades I regularly reach for from my own collection. I also ordered their signature eyeshadow brush to test out too!

Also worth noting about the formulas Glossier has created:

Formulated without: talc, natural mica, and fragrance. Recyclable, dermatologist tested, ophthalmologist tested, suitable for contact lens wearers and those with sensitive eyes.

Add to that the fact that each of these palettes is refillable for only $18? Sweet. I have always admired this brand’s thoughtfulness when it comes to ingredients and performance and their minimal chic way of approaching makeup, skincare, and beauty. Let’s see if these shadows deliver!

My Subscription Addiction paid for this product. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes).

The Packaging

My palettes arrived in the traditional white Glossier box and cheerful pink bubble bag. Shipping was speedy, as usual, with these arriving about 3 days after I ordered them.

 

Both of the palettes were in clean white boxes with minimal text.

 

Interestingly, the palettes themselves were metal! I guess I expected them to be plastic, but I prefer the metal for sure. There was a very cool 3D trio of squares embossed on the top that mirror the three finishes inside. Each was clearly labeled with the shade inside on the reverse and featured a mirror inside.

Glossier Monochromes: Prarie – $22

The first shade I added to my cart was Prarie, a shade Glossier describes as “a rich olive”. I have brown eyes with a little green, so this is a very easy sort of shade that I reach for often. It is also a color I think will be super flattering on loads of people! In typical Glossier fashion, they display all swatches on their site on different skin tones which really helped me make my color choices.

Here is a view of all three finishes in the pans. The satin and the metallic look similar in the pans but swatch really differently on skin. My favorite way to use this palette was by applying the matte shade over my lower lid, and then highlighting the center of my lower lid with the satin or the metallic depending on how sparkly I wanted the look to go.

Top to bottom: Matte, Satin, Metallic

The sparkle factor of the metallic shade is intense and hard to really capture. But it is such a perfect holiday shadow that I can’t wait to use it! Meanwhile, day to day, I will stick to the matte and the satin.

Glossier Monochromes: Mist – $22

Glossier describes Mist as “a cool lilac” and I think that is mostly accurate. I would probably designate it as closer to a cool lavender taupe. If you like this sort of color for a shadow, you are going to love these! This color is one I love wearing, but I always need it to be a little more neutral sort of purple instead of a true purple. And this is certainly that. The matte shade is especially stunning all by itself all over the lid and blended up towards the brow. It is that very perfect not-makeup makeup look that makes you feel instantly chic but still works with a bold lip.

Again, the satin and metallic look like twins in the pans, but on the skin the sparkle factor is wildly different. I loved all three of these solo on my lid (especially the metallic!) and found that they also worked well combined in a simple look too.

The matte shadow of this shade was softer than Prarie, but so beautiful on. The metallic was also less sparkly but still made a great statement on the lid.

Here are some side-by-side comparisons:

Here is Mist on the left and Prarie on the right. I ended up really loving both of them, and I kind of already want a few more for my collection – namely Clay and Rosin – though I am pretty sure that yellow won’t be flatting on me. I still really want it. All in all, both of these colors were winners, and I don’t think I could choose one over the other. If you want two, I highly suggest choosing two very different colors like I did so you get the whole experience. Again, the multitude of swatches on the Glossier site were super helpful for choosing the shades right for me.

Here are both matte shades on my lower lids alone. Both are wonderful daily looks and couldn’t be easier to apply.

And here I used all three finished on both lids. The look is still subtle, but in person, the sparkliness of the metallic really comes to life.

In terms of texture and color payoff, I have no complaints. All of the pans were wonderfully buttery and applied beautifully. For a product that only has three shadows, this is a make-or-break detail, and these all passed with flying colors. I like that the satin and metallic shades are both a little sheer and buildable too, as I often like a semi-sheer and sparkling lid.

The Eyeshadow Brush – $18 (or save 13% by bundling the brush with a palette!)

 

This brush was custom designed to work with the Monochromes palettes. It features a shader side and a blending side for easy application. The bristles are a very nice synthetic. While this brush is adorable, it isn’t a must-have, so if if you already have similar brushes in your arsenal you could skip this and not really miss out.

The Samples

It wouldn’t be a Glossier review if I didn’t include the awesome samples they sent. Since this is an eyeshadow focused review, I will keep this short, but, I mean, we all love swatches, right?

Glossier Ultralip and Cloud Paint

Ultralip – $18

These little pods were way cute and held a pretty generous amount of each shade that I can get a few wears out of.

Top to bottom: Vesper, Trench, Fete, and Villa.

This formula is incredible. If you like a balm with loads of tint and great conditioning, this is an add to cart.

Cloud Paint – $18

I already know and love this stuff and I actually already own the second shade, Puff! The darker Storm shade was moodier and perfect for the colder months and holidays!

Top: Storm, Bottom: Puff

Should You Buy A Glossier Monochromes Palette?

I feel like these palettes are geared towards a very specific type of beauty enthusiast who probably is more on the makeup-minimalist side of things, and who already knows and loves Glossier approach to beauty. I fit pretty perfectly into this mold, so I can easily say that I am loving this whole concept and the products themselves (and I want more, which might totally undermine the whole “minimalist” thing). That being said, if you are someone who likes a ton of color options and bolder eyeshadow looks, this might be a pass. For $22, I am already planning on ordering at least one more shade, and I will freely admit that the Prairie shade hasn’t left my purse since I opened it. It is just way too easy to apply on the go and add sparkle for evening if needed and the whole experience from packaging to product is just pure Glossier magic.

What do you think of these new Glossier eyeshadows? Want to pick out your new favorite shade? Check all 10 out here!

 

Megan K.
Megan K.
I love natural/vegan beauty products, Korean skincare, unique jewelry, and weird candies from far away places. When I am not waiting for my next exciting box you can find me painting or taking photographs of interesting people. I never leave home without pug hair somewhere on my shirt and a bold lipstick on my smile.

Megan K.
Megan K.
I love natural/vegan beauty products, Korean skincare, unique jewelry, and weird candies from far away places. When I am not waiting for my next exciting box you can find me painting or taking photographs of interesting people. I never leave home without pug hair somewhere on my shirt and a bold lipstick on my smile.
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5 comments

Kate K.

Super helpful and detailed review. Thanks, Megan! I didn’t even know about these palettes before and now I want both of the ones you just purchased, lol.

Carol

Not really a minimalist, but I want that lilac palette! I had a similar palette from ELF years ago that I panned and the shades worked so well with green eyes.
Great review!

Sarah J

Wow, this really makes me want to buy that lilac Mist shade! These look gorgeous! Thanks for this review.

Snow

Oooh this was super up my alley! Minimalists unite!! I actually really like this concept….how smart. I love the eyeshadow on you, Megan. I kinda wish both eyes were done the same to get a “total” look, but I appreciate seeing the two different colors. Mist is really calling my name and I tend to shy away from eyeshadow. Thanks so much for bringing this to our attention 😊

Jessica Hapak

1) your skin looks flawless
2) the eyeshadow makes your eyes POP
3) I’m really into mist

Our reviewers research, test, and recommend the best subscriptions and products independently; click to learn more about our editorial guidelines. We may receive commissions on purchases made through links on our site.