Nowhere on the packaging or in any of the accompanying materials does it say that Make Up For Ever 15 Artist Shadow Palette is a Holiday 2015 item, but it is a limited edition, even though the eye shadows themselves are part of the permanent collection and can be purchased individually. I picked it because I had my eye on several of these colors, loved the textures and performance, and it is a spectacular value ($59 for $221 worth of product. Individual Make Up For Ever eye shadows retail for $21 each, though there is a sliding scale when you buy more of them, and the eye shadows in the Artist Palette are slightly smaller than the full size: 0.06 oz compared to 0.07oz). In any case, I could not resist the offer and the colors, some of which were completely absent from my collection.
Make Up For Ever 15 Artist Shadow Palette offers fifteen colors from neutral to disco in various finishes. The texture is impeccable, even though if in some of them you need to break into the pan a little before you get the actual perfection. They are smooth, densely packed, saturated to the max, and does not cause fallout on one's cheeks, even if the palette itself can get a bit messy with continued use. The best brushes to use with these Make Up For Ever shadows are of medium firmness, not your fluffiest gray squirrels, but blended bristles instead (Hakuhodo has several synthetic+squirrel and synthetic+goat that work well, as does pony hair). Some of the colors are so bright and bold that I keep them close to the lashline and don't blend them too much, while others can be melted into each other.
Make Up For Ever give their eye shadows letters and numbers instead of magical names. I appreciate the no-nonsense attitude, even if sometimes it's hard to remember which is which. In any case, this is what we have here, top to bottom, left to right (the colors are arranged in trios that can form a full look, though obviously you can mix and match to your heart's desire):
The neutral cool trio:
I-550 an iridescent medium taupe (what MUFE call Iridescent" is what I'd refer to as low-shimmer/satin
S-522 satin beige champagne, super buttery
I-528 an iridescent off-white, a true highlighter, even more buttery.
The warm earthy trio:
I-524 an iridescent peachy-pink beige
D-826 diamond (high shimmer) rosy plum with brown leanings
I-662 an iridescent golden amber
The reason I almost didn't buy this palette trio:
I-916 the palest frosted lilac
D-830 brown with purple glitter. Once you get past the outer layer it is much softer, smoother, and far less glittery. Don't overblend.
I-922 electric violet, actually a MUFE blush color if you can believe it.
The reason I did buy the palette trio:
D-236 diamond Caribbean water
S-228 satin (demi-matte, actually) petrol blue. To die for.
ME-216 metallic (not really, more gleam than metal) medium blue
Ye Ole Smoky Eye trio:
S-102 satin black
S-114 the lightest satiny dove gray
ME-122 super shiny white
Not all of the colors are complex or extremely unique, but they're useful, layer very well to create more combination, and wear the way they should: like a pro product. The little booklet that comes with the palette offers five tutorials to get you started. from there it's a matter of creativity and courage to leave the house wearing electric blue.
Bottom Line: I'm hooked.
Make Up For Ever 15 Artist Shadow Palette ($59, made in Italy) is available from Sephora, online and in store. The palette is a limited edition, the eye shadows themselves are not.