As a result, beauty junkies are always looking for that next great inexpensive brand that performs as good as some of the pricier mid-tier brands (usually comparisons are to MAC, but can really go for anything from Urban Decay to Make Up For Ever).
The latest brand to set the blogosphere on fire is a Polish brand called Inglot.
Let's take a look!
The Product: A full-line beauty brand, they carry everything from eye shadow to bases to concealers, lip products, nail products. If it's make-up related, they likely have some form of it for sale. For this review, I'm going to focus on their Freedom System Eye Shadow Palette, which tends to be most people's introduction to the brand.
The Price: Varies. Overall the price-point is somewhere between Nyx and MAC. Single shadows cost $12, eyeliners for $9, nail polishes are $10. Freedom System Eye Shadows vary in price, the more you buy the cheaper they are:
Buy - Per Unit Price
1 - $7.00
3 - $5.00
The palette itself will cost you $5 if you buy enough shadows to fill the palette, whether you are buying a 3 shadow palette or a 20 shadow palette. The five shadow round palette shown hear cost me $24.00. The palette with the square pans - the only eyeshadows I can find for the palette system online - will cost you $30.00 for the same size. You get a good amount of product either way, but if you're like me and you take forever to hit pan, you don't necessarily -need- the larger size.
Unfortunately, the only way to get the round shadows seems to be in person, at one of their few boutiques or at a make-up show.
First off: the palette. It's fantastic, amazing. I adore it. It's kinda of hard to tell in the picture, but the lid is held on by four magnets. The lid there is hovering on maybe 20% of the palette and won't go anywhere. This is the only palette I own that I feel that I can toss into a suitcase and not worry about the lid falling off. The downside with the palette is there's no good day to keep track of your colors (more on that in a moment) save something homemade, like taking labeling dots (you know the kind you see at yard sales) and stick them on the lid. Also, the pots are in there tight so if you're a fan of rearranging your palettes, it can be nigh impossible without some creativity.
As for the shadows themselves? At the palette price of $5 or $4.50? Damn good. At the single price of $7 or the potted price of $12? Pretty good.. Overall, they have nice pigmentation, and they wear pretty well (not as good as Urban Decay or MAC, but better than Nyx) though primer definitely helps because I did notice some fading by day's end and I do think they need to be built up a bit. They aren't powdery shadows either. The line can be a bit inconsistent with some shadows being patchy or less smooth than others. If you can swatch before purchase, I'd highly recommend it.
Are they MAC-like? Ehhh. I guess. I'd say if you're looking for a cheaper MAC substitute, they're a good place to look. Are they as good as MAC's (permanent) shadows? I don't know that I'd go that far and the colors themselves aren't necessarily the most unique. They'd be best for filling in a collection with shades you want that you haven't found at other brands you like, or shades you want to use once in a while or play with and not quite ready to commit to in higher-end brands.
Another knock against it is that the value isn't quite as good as it looks on the surface. With only seven retail stores in the United States, most people are going to have to order online. Shipping will you back at least $8.00 (and goes up with the value of your order) which is ridiculously overpriced. There's no reason that a small order (sans nail polish) can't be shipped in a cheaper flat-rate pack from USPS but that's not even a given option. Those extra fees means that some of the money saved isn't really saved at all. With sales tax (because they do have a store in California) and shipping, the $50 10 pan palette comes out to $64.16 - or $6.41/shade - you've all but negated the bulk discount. Before shipping, you saved 35%/shadow by buying 10. With shipping you're saving not quite 8.5% Big difference.
The website does have a tremendous selection of colors - but the nomenclature is awful. We know what to expect from a matte and a pearl. But what about a "Double Shine" "AMC" or "AMC Shine?" AMC supposedly stands for Advanced Makeup Components, but how that translates into the real world is still a mystery to me and what's worse, there's nothing on the website to explain the differences. This, compared to the fact that many of the shades are very close relatives to other shades, makes the tracking of the shades you do own so incredibly vital. It's just too difficult to know what to reorder or what to avoid ordering again if you don't. Never mind that the name "491 DS" isn't exactly catchy.
I'm also not hugely sold on the website itself. While the stores only carry what I presume must be the most popular colors in the line, the website has hundreds. There are no descriptions, only the maddeningly vague names and no way to sort by color to make the page size more manageable. I also wish that instead of annoying little box with your totals scrolling as you move the page, that there was a something static on the side of the page instead.
As I've not ordered line, I can't speak to experience of actually making a purchase - but for what its worth, I've heard good things about customer service and mixed things about the packaging of the orders themselves.
I love the palettes more than anything, but they aren't a value if you aren't buying shadows with them. The shadows are nice, but aren't earth-shattering in anyway. The palettes are still a good value for the size of product you get, but they aren't what most people would consider cheap either. And really, outside of true die-hard junkies who is going to order the kind of volume you'd need to order to make them truly cheap?
There are some colors on the website that I'm tempted by, but to be honest I've not been able to pull the trigger. Knock off a couple more bucks and I'd really be all over it, but at this price I just can't get that enthused.
My grade: B-