Review: LORAC Private Affair Palette

By Voxy  

This post is entirely the fault of Chaosbydesign, who seduced me into breaking my low-buy and running to Sephora to pick up this palette. Just so you know.

Here’s a conversation that I doubt actually happened at LORAC product headquarters:

“Hey, Ed?”

“Yeah, Bill?”

“I have a problem with the packaging for the new Private Affair palette.”

“What’s the matter with it?”

“Well, Ed, it … uh … kind of looks like a coffin.”


“No, it doesn’t.”

“Yeah, Ed, it kind of does.”

“Maybe we should put more handles on it.”

“Actually, I think that would make it worse.”

… but like I said, I doubt this conversation took place because they made the damn thing anyway and it DOES look like a coffin. I know that Twilight is still coasting on its (hopefully short-lived) wave of popularity, but come on, people. LORAC is above this. Right? Right?

Anyhoo. Yes, I just did a LORAC palette review the other day, but this one is just out and I want to review it now so you can pick it up for fall if you’re interested.

Purple is very, very hip for fall, which is just fine by me. No blush in this one — it’s six shades of eyeshadow, plus (in the little pull-out drawer) a mini version of LORAC’s Behind the Scenes eye primer and a completely useless double-ended brush which you ought to just throw out immediately because it’s so prickly it’ll poke your eyes out. Had they not bothered with the drawer, the palette 1) would not look like a coffin, and b) would be so much more slim and suitable for travel (as CBD pointed out in her comment on a previous post). I’m going to try to figure out if I can put anything else in that drawer; there’s a divider in it that isn’t meant to be removable, but that divider hasn’t met me yet, so we’ll see who wins on that one.

Like the shadows in the Croc palette, these are a little too loosely pressed, I think. Too much shadow gets kicked up by the brush, and it’s more work to prevent fallout than it ought to be. The texture is generally up to LORAC’s standard, but I wish that some of the colors had been tweaked just a bit. I did an eye look below using only shadows from the palette, but I suspect that in real life I’ll end up mixing them with other shades from other brands.

The colors are listed as follows: creamy beige with pearl (I’d describe this as champagne gold), champagne rose with shimmer (this is the cooler, more silvery version of the first one), soft taupe with pearl, platinum grey with pearl, deep wine with shimmer (this one is the biggest win in the set), and black with sparkle (it’s not really black, and the sparkle is purple and quite noticeable).

Closeup, swatches, and a look done with the palette:

A look done with the LORAC Private Affair palette. This is just a little too dark for work, but I’d definitely wear it for an evening out. From left-to-right in the photo above, shades 1 & 2 used as highlighter, 3 and 5 on the lid, 5 in the crease, and 6 in the outer corner and as eyeliner (applied with a liner brush; not the one that came with the palette, though). Shadows applied over TFSI; mascara is Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes! I have some other, less-dramatic looks in mind for this palette, or at least for some of the colors in it.


LORAC Private Affair Palette: $38, exclusively at Sephora

Provenance: Purchased. Under duress. By Chaosbydesign. She made me.

Price/Value Ratio (high-end: poor/fair/good/excellent): Only a “Fair” on this one, because of the unnecessary inclusion of the scratchy brush and the poor packaging.

Purchase again? Oof! I hope that I hate their holiday palette so that I won’t be running to Sephora or ULTA to pick it up.

(Have you used this product? Love it? Hate it? Want it? Give a holler in the comments!)

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  1. avatar marigolds
    Posted August 25, 2010 at 3:34 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Unrelated question: what is the best way to apply Tarte cheek stain? Before or after foundation? Or over foundation and powder? I have been using it over foundation, but I’m not convinced that this is the correct method of application…  

    I often apply stains/gels/creams more heavily and UNDER foundation; it makes it look really natural and gives it more lasting power. AND I think you’re not supposed to (prescriptive makeup rules! How weird) apply a cream product over a powder product; it’s like water- and oil-based housepaints. Cream to cream and powder to powder.


  2. avatar chaosbydesign
    Posted August 24, 2010 at 6:08 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Oh, and I also bought Smashbox ‘Camera Ready Full Coverage Foundation’ (which, for a change comes with a decent brush!) and NARS loose powder in ‘Beach’, but I don’t feel so bad about telling you about those as I’m assuming you don’t need any new foundation or powder right now…


    • avatar Voxy
      Posted August 24, 2010 at 6:45 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Nah, I think I’m good with foundation, though soon it will be time to replenish my cream foundation, I think. And I have powder coming out of my ears. Hopefully not literally.


  3. avatar chaosbydesign
    Posted August 24, 2010 at 4:27 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Hehe. Am I a bad influence on you, Voxy?

    I won’t tell you about what I bought this afternoon or how awesome it is yet then. I would not want to be responsible for breaking your low-buy again.

    You’re right about that brush, it’s useless. I have no idea why they bother including crap brushes like that, especially when it makes the packaging awkward (and I can’t help but wonder how much cheaper this product would have been sans brush). Also, I cannot look at it now without thinking of coffins.

    Great eye pictures by the way. That colour really brings out the green in your eyes.


    • avatar Voxy
      Posted August 24, 2010 at 4:33 pm | Permalink | Reply

      “I won’t tell you about what I bought this afternoon or how awesome it is yet then. I would not want to be responsible for breaking your low-buy again.”

      I hate you.


      … no, but seriously, what did you buy???? Spill it!


      • avatar chaosbydesign
        Posted August 24, 2010 at 5:59 pm | Permalink | Reply

        The new NARS15 palette, in ‘Wild At Heart’. Maybe you won’t want to rush out to buy this as you (I don’t really know how to say this) didn’t like Orgasm, but the shadows and lip colours that come with it are really nice shades — good for work as they’re not too dark/dramatic. That is my excuse for buying it, anyway…


        • avatar Voxy
          Posted August 24, 2010 at 6:45 pm | Permalink | Reply

          Phew! Although I like my Amour blush, I’m generally immune to NARS’ other offerings, so that palette does not particularly tug at either my heartstrings or my wallet. (I did buy the eyeshadow primer during my recent spree and am testing it for review, but that’s it.)


          • avatar chaosbydesign
            Posted August 25, 2010 at 11:55 am | Permalink | Reply

            I’ve never bought anything from NARS before now. Blame the sales assistant, she was very good at selling this palette. I do really like it, though. I am experimenting with new ways to apply eyeshadow (I tend to just do the same thing no matter what I’m using) and may need your opinion on how they look, if I can ever manage to take a decent picture to email!

            Unrelated question: what is the best way to apply Tarte cheek stain? Before or after foundation? Or over foundation and powder? I have been using it over foundation, but I’m not convinced that this is the correct method of application…


            • avatar Voxy
              Posted August 25, 2010 at 3:39 pm | Permalink | Reply

              Marigold took the words out of my mouth! It does depend to a certain extent on what kind of foundation you’re using. If it’s a cream or liquid, it’s OK to put the cheek stain on either underneath *or* on top. Sometimes I put on my foundation first, then the cheek stain, then tap a tiny bit more foundation on top with the Beautyblender to soften it a bit. Then finishing powder goes over the whole thing.

              If you’re using a powder foundation, you should seriously consider putting the cheek stain on first. Technically you are not supposed to apply creams over powders — but that’s only because they can get gunky. So if you can do it without gunkiness, more power to you, and I say do it in whatever order you want.

              For the Tarte ones I usually apply by stippling (with the stain itself, not with a brush) and blending with my fingers. Since I use a brush for other non-powder blushes, I have also experimented with using a brush on these as well, and that works all right but I think it’s kind of unnecessary.


              • avatar chaosbydesign
                Posted August 27, 2010 at 6:13 am | Permalink | Reply

                Thanks Marigolds and Voxy! Good to know I’m not doing it too wrong…

                I am using a cream foundation and powder over that, so I think I will continue using the Tarte cheek stain over the foundation and before putting on the powder. I think if I did manage to get it on over the powder without it going gunky, the colour might be too intense. I like how putting the powder over it softens the colour (though maybe I am putting too much cheek stain on in the first place).


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