So this is turning out to be a very timely post! Liz of Project Vanity just announced that INGLOT Cosmetics will be opening in Glorietta 5 very soon (YAY). That makes me feel a gazillion times better about sharing my Freedom System palette with you guys. I usually feel guilty when I talk about something that isn’t available locally because I presume that when people read reviews, they’re doing research for a possible future purchase. It’s frustrating to read a review of an awesome product that you just can’t get your hands on. I know the feeling all too well. Now, I can share my thoughts on INGLOT’s Freedom System and these particular eyeshadows with you guys with the hope that it will guide you in making decisions about future purchases. I love that!
I mentioned my INGLOT palette on the blog once before and I also posted a photo of it on my instagram when I first got it, but here she is now facing review. I suppose her being a part of my monthly faves for August kind of gives it away–based on personal preferences and given this particular palette that I put together, I do love this palette of mine. A review, however, is by nature a more critical examination (or even an appraisal of value) of a product, and so here I will attempt to discuss the different facets of the product that might apply to everyone’s experience of the brand and not just my personal preference.
Ready yourself. This is going to be a long one!
INGLOT is best known for their Freedom System. As the name would suggest, the system is allows customers the freedom to customize their makeup selection by using any and every product that INGLOT has to offer. The housing (cases, palettes, whatever you want to call them) that INGLOT provides is not just one huge empty palette where you can pop magnetic pieces in–they actually provide different sizes and shapes of housing for different quantities and types of product. For example, for eyeshadows, you could choose to have your eyeshadows housed nice and snug in palettes of two, three, four, five, ten, twenty, and forty! So wether you’re a makeup artist, an enthusiast, or just someone looking to get a nice custom duo, there will be a size for you. The system works for blushes, powders, and lipsticks too, but in slightly different housings and smaller quantities of course. The eyeshadows are what people tend to go crazy over the most though, and understandably so. The possibilities are endless! The photo above pretty much explains how everything goes down. You buy the housing and individual eyeshadows separately and put them together any way you want to.
Now you’re probably thinking– wow that must cost a ton — because we’ve been conditioned as consumers to expect that anything custom-made is priced exorbitantly. Well, not INGLOT products. My 5-Eyeshadow housing unit cost me about 8.00 GBP (approx. 12 USD / 550 Php) and the eyeshadows were roughly 6.00 GBP (9 USD / 415 Php). There was a bit of a price hike in the UK so it’s still best to get these in the US I think, but in the end I paid a lot less for 5 eyeshadows plus amazing packaging at INGLOT than I would have at MAC. What counts as pricey is definitely subjective, but that’s really not so bad for a near-couture experience!
Of course you could always opt for ready-made eye palettes, where the colours have already been picked out for you. Think UD NAKED, Lorac Pro, UD Vice, NARS duos, and the list goes on. That’s nearly always a way to score a good deal and the colours go together by default because they’ve been assembled by experts (presumably). The disadvantages of those are that not every colour in a pre-made palette will always suit your skin tone or your preference (There’s also usually a dud shadow).
You might even say those palettes aren’t even comparable to a system like INGLOT’s… and you’d be right. Custom palettes are a different beast altogether. You need to know what you’re doing to put them together, and for that reason they usually lean in favor of MUAs. But INGLOT has sort of bridged a gap and made customization easy and accessible for people who probably only need 4 eyeshadows in their lives–tops! You don’t need to get the 20-pan palette to be able to put together the two perfect browns with just the right undertones anymore (I know, MAC offers empty palettes for duos and quads, but they are still more expensive).
So wether you’re a MUA or a mom, INGLOT is a brand that stands to offer you something, depending on your preferences. Now on to my personal experience of the brand!
The very first time I saw an INGLOT store was in L.A. one summer as I was visiting my cousins. I went in and thought that the idea behind the brand was cool, but I couldn’t be bothered to pick out my own shadows and put them together. I thought that was just too much work and I had no clue how to go about it to begin with. Fast-forward to a few years later and I was dying to go to the Westfield mall in London just to visit the INGLOT store and make myself a palette. By that time I felt confident enough in my makeup skills and knowledge to be able to maneuver around the store and the wide range of eyeshadows. So you see, wether you’ll like the idea of the Freedom System or not depends on a lot of factors– your knowledge of makeup being a big one.
Even if I knew what I was doing, it still took me a good 30 minutes to pick these colours. Lol. There was a lot to choose from and I wanted to swatch everything, but I did gravitate towards the neutral browns on that particular day. My initial thought was to make two quads: one for bright colours and one for neutrals, but instead I ended up with a strip of 5 eyeshadows. How did that happen? Well, you see that purple on the far right? I kind of fell in love with it and I also thought that it pulled all of the browns and that one shimmery peach-pink together perfectly. It was a this-feels-right-at-this-moment type of decision and I don’t regret it at all.
Let’s talk about the housing/palette. The 5-Eyeshasow strip is gorgeous. I much prefer the look of this and the 10 Eyeshadow strip to the quads because they look so sleek. The black bottom section and the translucent top part are made of a sturdy plastic and they are held together by four very strong magnets which you can see clearly on each corner of the palette. The translucent top allows a peek at what colours are underneath so that if you have multiple palettes, you won’t have too much of a hard time telling which is which. I’ve never had a problem with the top sliding off without my wanting it to. Even when the palette is rattling around a bag, the magnets will keep together, but they will also slide apart easily when you want them to.
When you’re using the palette, you can stick the cover onto the bottom of the palette. This clears up counter space and ensures that you don’t ever lose the cover. I thought I would be annoyed at the lack of a mirror (like I was with my Stila In the Light palette) but it doesn’t bother me, maybe because there isn’t a mirror-less cover flapping around being all useless while I use the palette. Hehe.
I love how professional the palette looks on my dresser and feels in my hands. If I had more of these, they would also stack really easily. Gotta love that!
Inglot #397, #357, #327, #423, and #409
And finally, on to the eyeshadows. INGLOT provides a wide range to choose from, so you’ll really have limitless combination options before you. I really should have gotten a brighter palette aside from this one, but now that the brand is coming to Manila I can do that easily. Yay! INGLOT assigns each colour a number and not a name, which some might find annoying because the numbers aren’t even on the bottom of the pan! Take note of the number on the packaging before you throw it away so that if you ever need to repurchase, you won’t be lost and clueless!
These five colours are everything I need to make anything from the most basic of eye looks to a bronze or purple smokey eye. They’re all good eyeshadows that work well with or without a primer, but let’s discuss them briefly one by one. The shimmery peach-pink is what I use most often on the inner corners of my eyes. I do that pretty much every day in varying intensities and this shadow really works like a dream. It lasts all day and is not too frosty but not dull at all (I mean, look at it!). You could also use this on the center of the eyelid to add dimension but I rarely do that. The two matte brown shades are what I use to create a very polished look for school or for any situation where I just want to look put-together and non shimmery (lol). The lighter one goes all over the lid and the darker into my crease. Both are smooth and easy to blend. The bronze (#423) is a little bit too light for me. I kind of wish I went for a deeper bronze with more dimension, but color-preference aside, the quality of the shadow is ace. Very little fall out if any and it smooths on the lids like butter! And lastly, there’s the purple that I couldn’t leave behind. I use this most often as an eyeliner, surprisingly. I dampen a synthetic angled liner brush and line my eyes with it. The effect is a soft romantic look that works really nicely against the matte browns of this palette. When I use it as an all-over-the-eyelid shadow, I don’t have problems with fallout and it’s as smooth as the others.
Sorry about that block of a paragraph! Haha. Overall I’m very happy with the colour combination I came up with and the quality is definitely there. I do use a primer under the shimmery shades, but mostly for peace of mind.
My INGLOT palette is high up there on my list of favourites, second only to Guerlain’s Turandot. I do reach for it more than Turandot though because the colours are more wearable. My safe and boring self did pick them out, after all.
I can’t wait for INGLOT to open here because the whole experience of being able to make a custom palette with INGLOT in particular was great. I have my eyes on the “EBP” palette (I’m guessing that stands for eyes and base palette) which can house a foundation, blush and two eye shadows. On an aesthetic level, I much prefer the look of INGLOT palettes to MAC’s custom palettes. Yes, even the new ones with the clear tops. I own a quad and a duo and both feel bulky and flimsy in my hands. Quality-wise, MAC eyeshadows still generally take the cake, though you will save a bit by going for INGLOT.
I hope that look at my INGLOT palette was helpful to you guys and if I write way too much, I’m sorry! Haha I just have a lot to say when I feel like a product is worth my time. I may have lost some of you before this point in the post but I could not end it without sharing a photo of Wojciech Inglot, who put up INGLOT 25 years ago. He passed away in February of this year and though he’s someone I’ve never met (duh), I know I’d like to be remembered and appreciated for what I’ve done in my lifetime. We live on in the memories of others. This man will live on through memories and through his company. How awesome is that? :)