Beauty Test Drive: Sephora Moonshadow Baked Eye Palette

When Sephora sent me their Moonshadow Baked Eye Palette  to test, I was concerned. First of all, there’s lots of sparkles. As much as I love a sparkly highlighter to fake cheekbones in my big ol’ chipmunk cheeks, I stopped wearing glitter on my eyes around, oh, age 17. Sparkly-ness is not something I look for in an eyeshadow. This picture from doesn’t accurately portray just how glittery these shadows are, but trust me, they’re shimmery. 

Second of all, that cobalt blue shadow scared the crap out of me.

Let’s talk about the basics of eyeshadow for a second. Lots of people — say, me before I knew how to put on makeup — just swipe one color across the whole lid. That’s totally okay. But women usually wear makeup to create some kind of optical illusion with their face, such as making their eyes stand out, and that requires a somewhat more artful approach. The simplest way to do up your eyes are with three areas: the browbone, the crease, and the lashline.

The browbone is — duh — underneath your brows and refers to the loose upper skin of your lid.  

The crease refers to the skin over the eyeball that — duh — creases.

And the lashline refers to — duh — the area right above your upper eyelashes. (Leave the lower ones alone. Please. I beg of you.)

Many women wear three different colors on these three different areas, although you can do four colors if you divide your inner- and outer-lashline into two parts. However, eyeshadow palettes are usually sold in threes. These three-color eyeshadow palettes, like the ones you can buy at any drugstore, include a lighter color for the browbone (say, beige), a medium color for the crease (say, sand), and a darker color for the lashline (say, chocolate). Ideally a woman should use three different brushes to apply and blend the shadow the right way in these three different areas. (Makeup brushes are a whole different story that I can explain in a different post.) 

So, if you’re following me here, this Sephora Moonshadow palette is simultaneously awesome and daunting. I feel very confident picking shades from a palette in three or four different colors to do up my eyes. In fact, I’ve been testing this palette for about one month now and I really enjoy all the various combinations that I can do. However, at the same time the multitude of choices are daunting — which three colors look the best together? which ones should I use as my browbone, versus crease, versus lashline? — and I imagine would be frustrating for someone who doesn’t love playing with  makeup or is inexperienced.

To that end, this particular Moonshadow palette isn’t the ideal purchase (or gift, since it is a new product for Sephora and I believe it is seasonal for the holidays) for all women. But if you do love playing with makeup, yes, I can assure you that you’ll have a lot of fun with this one. I can confirm, as per advertising on, the colors look “sultry.” (As I’m not a particularly “sultry” woman, I suspect Sephora’s “In The Nude” Moonshadow Baked Eye Palette might be more my style.) The deep purple is very pretty; I mostly base my eyes around that one on my lashline. Regardless of how you use them, for a total cost of $28, the 10 different shadows are an excellent deal. 

One last thing: Does the fact that it’s a “baked eyeshadow” mean anything in particular? I’m sure I could get some kind of spin from the Sephora PR people about what that means. Honestly, it seems like otherwise normal eyeshadow to me. As I said, the shadows are pretty sparkly, so I’ve tended to just swipe my brushes lightly over the color, picking up pigment. They’re subtle, yet sexy.

Except for that cobalt blue. I’m still working my way up to trying that one.

[$28, Sephora]

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