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A couple of months ago, I tried out Espoir (stylized as eSpoir) for the first time but, of course, I couldn’t stop there. If you follow me on Instagram, or have read many of my reviews here at all, you’ll know that I’m absolutely weak for eyeshadow palettes. I have a huge collection and, whilst I really don’t need anymore, I just find so much joy in them… so I had to try these.
These are the Real Eye Palettes from Espoir. I have two colour variants here but there are five in total. The colour stories are fairly self explanatory too: Mauve Me, Apricot Me, Nude Mood, Peachy Like and Rosy Feed. These are ‘every day eyeshadow palettes’ that are intended to be easy to use and wearable for every day.
The two that I will be reviewing today is the Apricot Me and Mauve Me, both newly released in 2021 and currently available on StyleKorean for USD$31.60 (On sale from $35.20). Head on over there to check these out but, before you go, lets get into this review and some swatches.
The Real Eye Palette is a seven pan multi-use palette and actually won a few ‘Editor’s Pick’ awards in 2020. The colour stories have an almost monochromatic approach where all of the shades have similar tones, like a ‘filter’. Each palette contains:
- Three mattes (a base and a main shadow, as well as a deeper contour shade for dimension or as eyeliner)
- Two ‘cushion glitters’ for all over the lid (see NOTE)
- Two larger pan mattes which can be used for both eyes or cheek/contour.
It has a very easy to use layout (see the marked quads below), and cohesive colour stories that are wearable enough for every day make up. Almost fool proof and versatile towards all skill levels.
NOTE: The ‘cushion glitter’ formula is new to Espoir. It has a more emollient, ‘moisturised’ texture that makes the glitter softer and easier to adhere on the lids.
The packaging for the Real Eye Palettes is honestly just so beautiful! The unit carton is made from a smooth, satin finish cardboard with foil detailing. It also has a thick corrugated cardboard inside to both protect the palette and help the box retain shape during shipping. I especially love the use of bright colours in the design – from the red and peach, to (my personal favourite) the blue and purple combination. The graphic use of typography also works together to give it a very modern, trendy vibe which really suits the Espoir brand.
Opening it up, you’ll find that the palette is somewhat similar to the Real Up Cheek. It uses a high quality clear plastic, but this time also has added coloured details across the front and around the edges. The logo is stylised to suit each colour variant, further pushing the ‘monochromatic’ vibe of these palettes. There is also a subtle hint of colour on the internal too (see below).
All of the palettes also have the same pan design, with the Espoir logo imprinted on the two larger pans. Overall, the logo is quite prominent in the packaging but I think that they have utilised it in a way that feels very fashionable. The quality and functionality also back this up – the palette has an easy click in closure where the ‘clip’ is inside the palette, allowing for more security when travelling. I’m very happy with this!
Apricot Me – Shades
Apricot Me is a warm, apricot-orange themed palettes with five mattes (one containing micro-glitters) and two cushion glitter formulas. The shades, and my personal description of them, are as follows:
- Shook: Champagne, dense micro-glitters with white, gold and orange-pink reflect
- Apricot Hottie: Matte, light pink-toned peach
- Kiddo: Matte, medium apricot with gold micro glitters
- Follow: Matte, light beige
- Young & Rich: Dense micro-glitter and medium circular glitter with an apricot base, and gold and iridescent reflect
- Peanut: Matte, medium warm-toned brown
- Reaction: Matte, dark neutral-toned brown
Shook and Young & Rich are both cushion glitter formulas, whilst Apricot Hottie doubles as a blush, and Peanut as a shader.
The colour story is somewhat predictable in that I’ve seen something similar with many other brands, but it’s very wearable for every day. Formula wise, the cushion glitters are beautiful and adhere well even without a glitter glue – they also have a very multi-dimensional shine that works well for the ‘idol make up’ style.
The mattes are honestly not the best – they’re very smooth and blend out well. However, the level of pigmentation varies and the lighter shades are barely able to show up on my skin. They definitely benefit from a good eyeshadow primer. That being said, I think the only the Kiddo shade is an exception – the pigmentation is appropriately buildable and it blends out seamlessly.
Overall, this is a wearable palette for every day. It would probably only work for pale to light skin tones though, as the shades had limited depth and an overly sheer pigmentation.
Mauve Me – Shades
Comparatively, the Mauve Me variant centres around cool-toned mauve and pinks. It also contains five mattes (no micro-glitters this time) and two cushion glitter formulas. The shades, and my personal description of them, are as follows:
- Unicorn Emoji: Dense micro-glitter and medium circular glitter with an mauve pink base, pink-purple and blue-green glitters
- Mauve Vibe: Matte, light cool-toned pink
- Duet: Matte, medium cool-toned mauve
- DM Me: Matte, light ashy-pink
- Mirrorball: Purple-pink, dense micro-glitter with purple and white-gold glitters
- Girl Boss: Matte, medium cool-toned brown
- Cola: Matte, deep cool-toned brown
Unicorn Emoji and Mirrorball are both cushion glitter formulas, whilst Mauve Vibe doubles as a blush, and Girl Boss as a shader.
Out of the two palettes, this is definitely more my colour story (though that’s a personal preference too). The shades are cool toned and, again, the cushion glitter formula is absolutely beautiful. Unicorn Emoji has a gorgeously multi-dimensional reflect but I especially love how dense Mirrorball is – the purple-pink tone really comes through on the lid.
Aside from that, I think that the mattes are a little better, but still hit or miss. The deepest shade (Cola) packs a punch and Mauve Vibe gives a soft hint of colour. However, I have trouble working with the other mattes because they are too light – I have to built them up a lot.
Out of the two palettes, I think that I would get a lot more use out of this one simply because the colour story is better suited to me. Again, it leans very pale, so I would only recommend this for pale to light skin tones. I would also recommend using a good eye primer to enhance the mattes too.
It’s unfortunate that these palettes didn’t blow me away, though I do really like the ‘monochromatic’ concept of these as well as their cushion glitter formula. Out of the two, I prefer Mauve Me, though they are both quite even-levelled in terms of formula (and packaging, of course).
Here’s my verdict!
SO WHAT IS IT?
A seven-pan multi-use palette with both matte and glitter shades and a (somewhat) monochromatic colour story
- Absolutely gorgeous packaging – well designed and great quality
- Blendable matte formula
- Multi-dimensional glitters that adhere well to the eye
- Cohesive and easy to use colour stories
- Matte shades are inconsistent with some variation in pigmentation. Many require a lot more building
- Overall colour stories lean light or pale (not suitable for many skin tones)
- PACKAGING | 5/5
- PRICE POINT | 2/5
- PIGMENTATION | 2/5
- BLENDABILITY | 3/5
- SHADE RANGE | 2/5
OVERALL RATING? 5.6/10
WOULD I RECOMMEND?
Honestly, I think that there are better k-beauty eyeshadow options for a cheaper or similar price point – which is a shame because I love the Espoir Real Up Cheek and wanted to love these too. I can still use these for my every day make up but wouldn’t be rushing to buy more. I would only recommend this for people with pale to light skin tone, who also like a more subtle, natural make up style.
WHERE TO GET IT FROM
If you’re still keen to check this out, it’s currently available on StyleKorean for USD$31.60 (On sale from $35.20).
However, here are some other great k-beauty eyeshadow palettes that I would recommend:
- Romand Better Than Palette: I reviewed these and rated them a solid 9/10 – I’m also obsessively collecting them
- Romand Better Than Eyes: The same amazing formula as above but in a cute, travel-friendly quad
- 3CE Mood Recipe Multi Eye Color Palette: All of the colour variants are equally gorgeous – this brand is well known for their colour cosmetics in Korea
- 3CE Mini Multi Eye Colour Palette: Again, same as above but as a quad
- Heimish Dailism Eye Palette: Possibly the first k-beauty eyeshadow palette to really impress me, you can’t go wrong with these
Overall, I hope that this review was able to help you decide on whether or not to invest in this palette. Please note that my opinion and thoughts on this is really based on personal experiences and preferences, which will differ from person to person. Let me know here or on IG if you end up picking up this palette and love it, or maybe there are other k-beauty palettes that you want me to review next!