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Every year, my Christmas haul yields many makeup products, from foundation to eyeshadow palettes. In the weeks after Christmas, I've been able to develop a thorough opinion of the products gifted to me. Are they worth it? What are their price points? Are there dupes? I’m gonna help you out. Let’s start with what I got the most of: eyeshadows.

Huda Beauty - Mercury Retrograde

This palette is absolutely gorgeous and unlike anything I’ve seen before. I'm definitely a sucker for packaging, so this iridescent palette caught my eye. At first glance, it may seem a little intimidating with all the shimmers and pastels. However, Mercury Retrograde is so versatile; it’s great for every day and for when you want a dramatic, space-like dream. There are 18 shades, with nine mattes and nine shimmers. The price point is a little on the high side, though. It’s $67, each shade being about $3.70. I really feel as though the price point is reflected in how well the shades blend and how beautiful the shimmers look on the lid. My overall rating for this palette is a 9/10, taking off one point just because of how pricey it is.

Huda Beauty - Naughty Nude

Naughty Nude is great for everyday looks, from cute daytime to sultry nighttime. Nude palettes are very common, but the shades in this one add just the right amount of ~spice~. I can’t really explain it, but the best I can say is that the darker shades have almost an eggplant undertone, which makes them so spicy and cute. The shadows are so creamy, especially the shade "Hard" — this one is amazing as an eyeliner. You probably have something in your collection that is similar to this 18-pan palette, but if I had to compare it to anything, I’d say that Naughty Nude is the hot, older sister of Naked 3 from Urban Decay. Because of how common the colors are, and since it is $67 like Mercury Retrograde, I’m gonna give her an overall rating of 8/10.

Colourpop - Fade Into Hue

When I saw this beauty on Colourpop’s website, I was hooked. It’s a rainbow of possibility: it is literally a rainbow. When it ended up with me on Christmas Day, I knew I had to play with it. This is where it gets tricky. The shimmers in this palette are creamy and shiny, but the mattes are what I've had trouble with. The yellows and greens are where I encountered a little bit of trouble blending, but this may just be user error because I'm not used to such vibrant formulas. This palette is still one that I would turn to for any neon or glittery look, despite blend-ability issues, because of how bright and fun the colors are. Overall, I’ll rate Fade Into Hue a 7/10.

Colourpop - The Child

Baby Yoda fans, your prayers have been answered. I saw this cute little nine pan palette and added it to the top of my Christmas list. “The Child” palette is adorable and has beautiful color payoff. The greens are gorgeous, and I didn’t experience any patchiness while playing with them. My favorite shade is "Right Hand Mando," a glittery silver with green flecks. It's unlike any other shimmer I’ve seen. The best part? It’s $16. This baby palette can give you green looks and neutral looks alike with amazing pigmentation. My rating is a 10/10.

Rare Beauty - Best of Rare Beauty Lip and Cheek Mini Duo

Selena Gomez has done it again. The tinted lip balm in this kit is super moisturizing and offers a mauve tint. It’s just enough color, not to mention that it’s easily buildable. The liquid blush took a little while to learn how to use, but once I did, my cheeks were glowing. My recommendation is to do one cheek at a time because the product dries fairly fast. One or two little dabs of the product are good enough for a healthy glow; blend with a beauty blender and you’re set. I’d rate this $15 mini set from Rare Beauty a 9/10.

Rare Beauty - Mini Lip Souffle Matte Cream Lipstick Duo

The second product I got from Rare Beauty was a mini liquid lip duo, also $15. I’m not normally one for matte lip products, but these are actually incredibly comfortable to wear. I started with some lip balm underneath, layered the color on top, and blotted for a beautiful color turnout. My favorite lippie is the deep mauve "Fearless," because the product can be diffused to be lighter or layered to be darker. The red, "Inspire," is super fun for a holiday party or a date night, and it’s more of a blue-based red that makes your teeth look whiter. Overall, I would rate the lip souffles a 9/10.

Overall, none of the products that I got have been things that I hated. I have used and will continue to use all of the products mentioned, because each of them has a purpose and is good for certain looks. You want a date night look? Naughty Nude. You want long-lasting lipstick? Rare Beauty Lip Souffle. I hope you found some new products that will up your makeup game and bring your looks to the next level.

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Baylee is a Senior at the University of Central Florida, originally from Clearwater, Florida. She is a Political Science major, with two minors in Legal Studies and Diversity and Social Inequality. When she's not figure skating, you can find her reading a book on campus and drinking Starbucks.
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