Warning: You’re going to want to make yourself a coffee before you start reading this, it’s going to be a long one.
Morphe are a brand that seemed to come out of nowhere. Rising from obscurity to be absolutely everywhere on the internet. This was a successful PR venture on their part, they teamed up with every blogger, vlogger, YouTube beauty guru and influencer online. Everybody was showcasing their products and offering discount codes. With this attack of advertising came those who doubted Morphe. Questions regarding whether they were just private labelling and paying those on social media to advertise started popping up everywhere. Reviews came in thick and fast but were the good ones paid for? Were the bad ones justified? It was so difficult to tell what to believe or not so when I saw the cult favourite 35O palette was back in stock, I ordered it so I could make up my mind for myself.
For reference, the 35O palette is also known as the 35 Color Natural Glow palette.
Firstly, the packaging is basic. A black box with a simple black palette inside. This palette is bigger than any of the rest of the palettes I own so it isn’t ideal for travelling with, however it is very thin so it is definitely possible to slip it into a suitcase or backpack. You won’t be sliding this into your clutch for a night out but if you’re going on holiday for a few weeks, I wouldn’t rule out taking this with you.
The plastic isn’t the sturdiest I’ve ever felt. The lid definitely gives when you push into it and it isn’t one I would throw around the floor. I would imagine this could break rather easily so I’ll warn you to be careful if you’re clumsy. So far, I’ve been lucky.
There is no mirror in this palette, nor any little applicator brushes. I’m happy with that fact. The mirror would only make me more afraid to travel with this and I never use brushes that come with palettes. I have several holy grail brushes I use instead. What you do get in this palette – as the name suggests – is thirty five eyeshadows. The 35O features an array of oranges and browns. Oranges are some of my all time favourites and hence why I couldn’t resist trying this palette for myself.
There are no names for the shades which is always a bug bear for me. I find it hard to get attached to a certain shade when I’m simply calling it “that one” over “Burnt Sienna” or whatever. So for the purposes of this review, I’ve numbered the shades from 1 to 35, starting from top left across to the right and then the second row left to right etc. Obviously this still isn’t as good as if they had names but it will make them a little easier to identify then say Row 1 Shade 4 – why is this making me want a game of Battleships?
So, like I would with any other palette that I review, I’m going to break down each shade and give you a detailed description and performance review. Hence why this is going to be a long one, so if you haven’t made that coffee yet, I’ll give you one last chance now…
All swatch photos feature a single swipe of shadow to show pigmentation and the shadow built up to showcase the true colour.
This is a matte off white colour and a shade I think is integral in any palette.
This is never a shade that is going to impress in a photo. It is a decent shadow for washing all over the eye area as a base. In my experience, while the colour is a gorgeous light shade that suits my skin tone, it isn’t pigmented enough for my liking. I like a strong light shadow to brighten my eye area and this doesn’t make enough of an impression for me. However, that is just me being fussy and because the payoff isn’t so strong, it will suit a wide range of skin tones as a base.
This is a pale beige satin.
This shadow pulls a little peachy on my fair skin tone but looks like a pure beige in the pan. The satin finish means it has a slight sheen to it making this beautiful all over the lid or as a subtle inner corner highlight.
This is a pearlescent pinky-beige shade.
While the single swatch isn’t too impressive, it builds up easily and is highly reflective. This looks either peach or pink depending on how the light hits it and is another pretty shade for highlighting.
This is a pearlescent orange-copper shade.
This shade is beautiful to look at and the pigmentation is amazing. This looks a lot more toned down in the pan than it does on the skin where it really makes a statement.
This is a matte orange-toned taupe.
This is a really unusual shade. I didn’t think an orange-toned taupe existed until I saw this but its is lovely. It is gorgeous as a warm transition shade or to buff out edges and is perfect to team with the other oranges in the palette.
This is a mustard-toned dark taupe.
This is another unique shade that I cannot think of a dupe for. Again, because this is matte, it will work brilliantly as a transition shade or to buff out the edges of other eyeshadows.
This is a vibrant matte true orange.
As I mentioned already, I adore oranges so I was always going to fall for this one. It is bold, true, beautiful and one of my favourite shades in the palette.
This is a matte light buttermilk colour.
This is another I would use as a transition or blender shade because of my fair skin. However if you skin is medium to dark, you could probably use this as a base colour instead of Shade 1.
This is a pearlescent light peach.
This is one that I ignored in the palette for quite a long time because I presumed it was just another pale shimmer but it is actually a really unusual duochrome that switches between pink and peach. I definitely cannot think of another shadow like this and it is stunning!
This is a pearlescent light gold.
This is similar to Shade 9 in that it appears to have a duochrome element to it too. This one is far more subtle, switching between gold and peach, but is still has that gorgeous high shine finish.
This is a matte light peachy-taupe.
This differs from your usual taupe in that it leans really peach and is another that is a perfect addition to this palette. It is similar to Shade 5 but slightly lighter.
This is a matte light tangerine-orange shade.
This is probably a shadow I wouldn’t ever gravitate towards if I were to see it in a pan by itself but it is a fabulous addition to the palette as it works amazingly with the deeper oranges and I find myself using it often.
This is a light matte cocoa.
This looks like quite an average light brown in the pan but on the skin it proves to lean very warm. I adore warm browns and this works brilliantly with all of the warm oranges in this palette.
This is a muted matte orange.
While the two other oranges in the palette are incredibly vibrant, this is rather toned down making it perfect for adding warmth to an eyeshadow look or wearing for a more subtle day look.
This is a warm-toned light taupe.
This is another integral blending shade or one for blending edges. Again this is lovely and warm so very flattering on all skin tones, regardless of whether or not you’re pairing it with the oranges.
This is a cool-toned grey-beige.
This is the first cool toned shadow in the palette and I love that we are given the variety of both warm and cool tones. While I usually gravitate towards the warm shades to pair with the oranges when I use this, I know that I have been obsessed with similar shades to this in other palettes I own.
This is a cool-toned medium brown.
As you can see this is the first shade in the palette that really disappointed in terms of pigmentation. Not bad, considering we’re halfway through 35 shadows. It is still usable. It just takes a little more building work. This is an ideal match for the previous shadow, Shade Sixteen and when you see them side by side, you can tell that they would make a great eyeshadow look together.
This is a really warm-toned red brown.
If there is something I love more than an orange eyeshadow, it is a red and this is a gorgeous red-brown. Usually red-toned browns are much darker and border on burgundy or maroon so this medium shade is unique as well as stunning.
This is a pearlescent red-brown shade.
This is similar to Shade Eighteen, except this one has a pearlescent finish and is a few shades darker. I just waxed lyrical about these types of shades so I don’t think I need to repeat myself. It’s safe to say I love this one.
This is a metallic peachy-pink.
I have been labelling the rest of the shadows ‘pearlescent’ but called this one ‘metallic’ as it has a really intense shine and a noticeably different formula. It is far looser, almost like a loose pigment that has been pressed down but is still easy to use and not as messy as a pigment. This is a real stand out.
Shade Twenty One
This is a matte red-toned orange.
This is the final matte orange in the palette and another I reach for regularly. Almost every time I use this palette, I reach straight for the matte oranges and usually end up combining all of them together, meaning this is another of my most used shadows.
Shade Twenty Two
This is a pearlescent chocolate brown.
Ever since I saw a Jaclyn Hill video a few months ago where she did a dark chocolate eye, I have been obsessed with these brown shimmer shades. You probably have a dupe for this in your collection but is still works well with the rest of the shades in the palette, making it a worth while addition.
Shade Twenty Three
This is a metallic dark golden brown.
This is another that has that looser formula and a highly reflective finish. This is absolutely stunning and would pair perfectly with Shade Twenty Two.
Shade Twenty Four
This is a dark cool-toned matte brown.
I always say every palette needs a black or a very dark brown so this is one of the darkest offerings here. The pigmentation isn’t incredible but with a little building, this is usable and one I reach for often to darken the crease or lash line.
Shade Twenty Five
This is a warm dark brown matte.
This is a shade or two lighter than Shade Twenty Four but pulls much warmer. This is another that is great for definition in the crease or smoking out any look. I love that this palette offers both warm and cool shades so you can create so many different types of looks.
Shade Twenty Six
This is a pearlescent copper-brown.
This is similar to Shade 19 but more brown than red. The pay off is wonderful and the colour is beautiful. Yet another great eyeshadow.
Shade Twenty Seven
This is a pearlescent peachy-rust shade.
This photographed quite light but is far peachier in person. If you want to rock a warm look but find some of the other colours in the palette a little scary, this is the perfect alternative. It also looks gorgeous paired with Shade Twenty Six.
Shade Twenty Eight
This is a light matte red-cocoa.
This is another gorgeous red-toned shade that is reminiscent of one of the shadows in the Kat Von D Shade & Light Eye Palette (one of my favourite shadows from it, in fact). A real beaut and another that fits in perfectly in the palette for a unique crease shade.
Shade Twenty Nine
This is a dark brown satin.
When you look at this colour in the pan, it looks like it is packed with gold glitter but on the skin it can’t be seen. While it is sort of visible in the swatches, once you apply it to the eye and blend, it is completely obscured. I usually only opt for mattes in the crease but the satin finish is subtle and with the glitter invisible, this is perfect.
This is a medium pink-brown matte.
This is yet another great transition shade that pulls very warm, almost pink! However, despite the onslaught of these types of colours in the palette, there are no two the same so I honestly feel like there is a place for all of them.
Shade Thirty One
This is a very dark brown satin.
Again this dark brown doesn’t impress with its pigmentation but can be built up. This looks quite similar to Shade Twenty Four in that it’s a dark brown matte but this is much warmer and doesn’t get quite as dark.
Shade Thirty Two
This is a warm medium brown matte.
This is similar to Shade Thirty but is slightly darker and less pink. You may question why you would need quite so many similar colours in the one palette and it may seem wasteful or pointless but I adore layering similar colours and it is the key to a seamless blend!
Shade Thirty Three
This is a cool toned very dark brown.
This is another of the darkest shades in the palette and one I use to define the crease or smoke out the lower lash line. While it isn’t one I can wax lyrical about because it looks like a bit of a non-entity, it is a staple and one I use often.
Shade Thirty Four
This is a pearlescent red-toned orange.
When you first open this palette, the bright matte oranges hit you in the face and this one doesn’t stand out as much but it is absolutely gorgeous on the skin and the only orange with a high shine finish.
Shade Thirty Five
This is a metallic red-orange.
This is very similar in colour to Shade Thirty Four but this one has that looser metallic finish and is more reflective. If I had to choose one shade from this palette as my ultimate favourite, it would have to be this one. It is an absolute stunner and I find myself wanting to use it every time I’m creating a look with this palette.
Speaking of looks, here are three looks I created.
I started this look by popping Shade One all over as a base. I then used Shade Twelve in the crease and under the eye. After that I added Shade Fourteen in the crease and under the eye but not as far out. I then added Shades Seven and Twenty Oe deeper in the crease and under the eye. I then pressed Shade Thirty Five all over the lid and Shade Three on the inner corner as a highlight. I added some definition to the crease and lash line with Shade Thirty One.
This is one of my favourite types of looks to create with this palette as I adore using the metallic orange. This would be incredible on blue eyes as it would really make them pop.
For my second look, I tried to steer away from the oranges, even though they’re so tempting. I applied Shade One as a base, then Shades Two and Five in the crease and under the eye. I defined the crease and lower lash line a little more using Shade Thirteen, then popped Shade Eighteen on the outer and inner corner to create a spotlight eye. For the spotlight, I pressed Shade Twenty on to the centre of the lid to highlight.
It is definitely more neutral than the looks I usually create with this palette but it is still undeniably warm.
And I dove straight back into the oranges for my third look. I started this one with Shade Nineteen pressed all over and a little above the lid. I then used Shades Seven and Fourteen to buff out the edges and applied Shade Twenty Nine in the outer corner for definition. I copied all of that underneath the lower lashes and then used the duochromatic Shade Nine as the inner corner highlight.
I bought this palette with low to no expectations. I have bought and received so many mediocre eyeshadows and palettes that I can get decent payoff from but never reach for. I thought that this might go in that direction. It might be usable with a few alright shades and okay pigmentation but it wouldn’t blow my mind. I was completely wrong. I love this palette far more than I ever assumed. While the swatches aren’t incredible, the shadows are actually easy to use and blend once you’re applying them to the eye. There are very few duds in the palette and with thirty five shadows to choose from, even if one isn’t great, you have plenty of others to try instead.
I always say a palette needs a matte base shade, a matte transition shade and a matte dark brown or black to be what I call all-inclusive. Basically I mean a palette I can use by itself without reaching for another palette to finish the job. A palette I would be happy to travel with alone without supplementing other shadows. This has a matte base, many transitions and some dark browns. While the base isn’t quite as brightening as I would like and there isn’t a black, I would still be happy to travel with this as I think it is pretty all-inclusive. I adore the mix of shades in this palette – all of the warm browns and oranges work amazingly together and I adore the fact that there are cool-toned options too. I already mentioned that some shades are similar but I think that is a positive, making them easier to create a gradient and good blend with. I can promise you that no two shades are identical. I also love that there is a wide variety of finishes in this palette – mattes, satins, pearls and even those unique metallics.
While I thought that this palette would be okay but not astounding, I was wrong. This competes with my Urban Decay Ultimate Naked Basics, Kat Von D Shade + Light Eye and Huda Beauty Rose Gold palette every morning and it often wins!
Now for the best part; the price. This palette retails for only $22.99 from the Morphe Brushes website (although the shipping to Ireland costs $22.50 minimum so it isn’t the method of ordering that I would recommend!) You can order it from Cult Beauty for £23.50 (€26.90) plus £4.95 (€5.67) shipping or €26 from Beauty Bay with $2.20 shipping. I ordered mine from Cult Beauty as it was (and still is) out of stock on Beauty Bay.
I know that there is a lot of gossip about these being private labelled and that they are the same as Coastal Scents, BH Cosmetics or Crown Brush but I have yet to find an exact duplicate of these same shades in a palette from a different brand. I tried to Google it but failed. I don’t think that 35 shadows for €26 (75c a shadow!) is that much of a mark up anyway so I am happy to pay it whether these are private labelled or not.
Have you tried any of the Morphe palettes yet?
Is this something you would considering picking up in future?
Disclaimer: No PR samples were featured. No affiliate links were used.