The Too Faced Return of Sexy eyeshadow palette ($48, Sephora) is a permanent collection item featuring 15 mostly very shimmery eyeshadows. The formula for these shadows is a little different from the usual Too Faced formula, being based on a Japanese formula (this comes from an email exchange I had with their PR people). They include a large sample of Shadow Insurance with the palette, along with a full-size Perfect Eyes eyeliner in Perfect Black and three “get the looks” cards.
Where this formula differs from their usual palettes, such as Summer Eye and Natural at Night, is that it’s a little bit softer. That means it can kick up some powder when you dip your brush into it (think Stila), but this didn’t cause problems for me. Some reviewers have complained about fallout, but even without primer, the only fallout I got was minimal. With primer, which they include, I had no fallout at all. I had very good wear time from these and no creasing.
As I mentioned, this palette is very shimmery – there’s only one matte, and the other shades range from pearl to shimmery to a sort of extremely micro-micro-glitter that I would call sparkle rather than glitter. This palette is definitely all about sparkle, so if that’s not your thing you should probably look at other palettes instead.
So let’s talk about the colors, and the performance of each individual shade. The back of the palette shows the names, so you can follow along with it:
This first set of 5 shadows is called “The Ingenue” and is brown to gold. Here’s a closeup of those shades, followed by swatches:
- Naive (top) is pale cream with sparkle. It’s pigmented with good color payoff, applying just a tad more sheerly than some of the other shades. It’s also drier than some of the others. It reminds me of Heavens by Kat Von D, except Heavens is more metallic.
- Ingenue (left) is a medium brown with lots of gold sparkle that gives it a slight yellow cast. It goes on very creamy and opaque, with very good color payoff.
- Innocent (middle) is a warm light chocolate brown with a metallic finish – no sparkle. Color payoff is very good, and the texture is smooth and buttery
- New in town (right) is a bright metallic gold. Color payoff is good – it can build up to the brilliance you see in that swatch, but it can also apply more softly. It’s a little less creamy than Ingenue and Innocent, but more than Naive.
- Casting Couch (bottom) is a deep brown metallic with slight gray-blue undertones. Color payoff is good enough for it to be used as liner, as their “looks” cards recommend. The texture is about like Naive’s.
The next set of 5 is called “The Icon” and it’s a neutral to purple collection.
- Pink Diamond (top) is the sole matte in this collection, and it’s a very pale shell pink. This one is surprisingly opaque for a pale matte.
- Icon (left) is… well, it’s really a medium brownish-pink with lots of pink and gold sparkle. But the overall effect is a very sparkly mauve metallic with cool brown undertones. It’s my favorite in this palette because it’s rather unique and it goes on like butter melting into your lids, and with such good color payoff.
- Divorcee (middle) is a medium dark brown pearl-metallic with cool undertones. It reminds me of Lost by Urban Decay. Color payoff is very good, and it applies well.
- Hapless Romantic (right) is a bright purple pearl finish with fuschia undertones. The color payoff is very good, even though the texture is just a little stiff.
- Primadonna (bottom) is a very deep purple with a black base and a pearlescent sheen. This one is very pigmented with very good color payoff and can be used as an eyeliner (as they recommend).
The final set of shadows is called “The Bombshell”, and it’s smoky grays and browns.
- 7 Year Itch (top) is a very frosty silvery white. Color payoff is very good, and it doesn’t like to be sheered out so apply it lightly if you’re using it for a highlight (yep, learned that one the hard way).
- Bombshell (left) is a silvery gray metallic with faint blue undertones. It looks bluer in the swatch than it would on most people, because I’m one of those whose coloring somehow brings out the blue in gray eyeshadows. This is another super creamy one with pigmentation to match.
- Hollywood (middle) is medium-deep gray pearl finish. Color payoff is very good, and you can sheer this one out for softer looks or apply at full strength.
- Maneater (right) is a frosted light pinkish-brown. This is another color that’s buttery and highly pigmented.
- Beautymark (bottom) is a black with lots of silver sparkle. Once again, this one is pigmented, opaque and creamy enough to be used as a liner.
The eyeliner in Perfect Black is a dense black that feels and looks a lot like Urban Decay’s Perversion to me. It’s very creamy, but not quite creamy enough to move or fade through the day – once it sets, it stays put and holds its color. It has a smudging tip on the other end.
Shadow Insurance is one of my favorite eyelid primers – it’s medium on thickness, a little bit wet and slightly moisturizing.
Though it’s a different formula, Return of Sexy lives up to Too Faced’s usual high standards for eyeshadow. While several shades have a more powdery/soft texture than Too Faced fans will be used to, every shade performs well on the lid. This is a very sparkly palette, so make sure that’s what you want.