I ended up buying this palette for multiple reasons 1). Caitycat_meow (IG and Twitter) has done some amazing looks with this; 2). I loved the volume 1 and 3). it was on sale. If you haven’t read the review for the Equalizer Vol. 1 check it out here.
You can pick up this Sample Beauty palette from the company website (see here) and also Beauty Bay (here). Full price this retails for £21.95 but I managed to snag it in a Beauty Bay sale for £10.95. You get free UK shipping on orders over £25 with BB and it was delivered within a day of ordering. Sample Beauty also offer free UK shipping on orders over £20.
The packaging is so gorgeous. I love the metallic, duo-chrome finish to the palette and its outer sleeve. It’s the polar opposite to the Equalizer I palette. The company and palette name can be found on the front and the ingredients are on the back. The lid has a magnetic closure so it’ll stay closed if you want to get rid of the sleeve. It’s not heavy or awkward to hold and there’s a huge mirror in the lid. There’s also a sleeve inside to protect the mirror and shadows. Since purchasing this one, Sample Beauty have changed their packaging but I’m not loving the new one as much as the old.
This is a 30 pan palette with an equal mix of shimmer and matte shades. It’s the first neutral toned palette from Sample Beauty but contains a beautiful mix of warm shades including a splash of colour. I have to admit the product images online do not do this palette justice. Honestly the shadows pop so much more when it’s in front of you. The shimmers made me gasp when I opened it. The pans are a great size and they’ve been clever with the shade names again. I love that attention to detail and it also helps pair colours together.
When doing the swatches, all of the shadows felt soft but some of the mattes did have a chalkiness to them. Despite that, they were easy to swipe and had great pigment. I think only the light pink needed a double layer. All of the shimmers felt like butter and swiped so well. Many of them contain different coloured glitter particles giving them a duochrome look.
On the eye, this performs the same as the Volume 1. The shadows are highly pigmented but can look patchy with the wrong technique. You definitely need to build and blend the mattes to get an even blend with great pigment. Don’t overload your brush and pack the shadows on as it makes them harder to blend as well as causing patchiness. The shimmers are best applied with your finger or a damp brush and they look stunning. Some have more sparkle than others but all have great shine.
I’ve barely had any issues with this palette. Naturally there is some kickback in the pan and a tiny amount of fallout under the eye but its minimal. There’s some staining around the eye with the purple mattes but it went after a day. The shimmers can crease quite a lot when the eye isn’t properly prepped but with a smooth base they can last for hours. The shadows are fairly easy to remove even the shimmers although the glitter particles can go everywhere. I’ve not experienced any irritation to my eyes or skin when using this palette but I don’t have sensitive skin. If you are having issues remove it immediately and seek medical advice.
Overall, I am so happy with the Equalizer Volume II palette. Personally, I love the old packaging so much more than the new however the contents are still the same. It’s a good price for the amount of shadows you get and they should last you ages. The shadows are highly pigmented though you need to build and blend them in layer to stop them going patchy. The shimmers are so pretty and are truly the highlight of this palette. The images online do not do them justice.
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