In a very short space of time I acquired three palettes from the brand BYS Cosmetics. I had never tried anything from this brand before and was eager to put these products to the test. This is a quick review of the three palettes and my thoughts on the brand so far.
BYS Cosmetics is 100% Australian, designed and developed in Melbourne. The brand is expanding globally, with stockists in some parts of Europe, South Africa, and South East Asia (plus more). BYS Cosmetics is cruelty free! And ridiculously affordable! If you live in Australia, you can find BYS at Kmart and some chemists (plus online).
A little back story on how I came to own these palettes…
I had seen this brand around before and was intrigued with their eye shadow palettes particularly. I was pretty sceptical though based on the prices – $12 from my local Kmart, or $16.95 from Cosmetics Plus. How could something that cheap be any good?
I entered an Instagram competition hosted by the lovely Jade of @CorporateLuxLife and I won! I received the Peach palette (which was one of the palettes that really interested me) and the Highlight palette. What a perfect opportunity to test these palettes out.
Spoiler alert: I really liked these palettes, so picked up the Berries palette the next time I was at Kmart.
This palette retails for $16.95 AUD from the BYS website, Cosmetics Plus stores, and Kmart. It consists of 12 shadows in matte and metallic finishes. The packaging is plastic and tinny and looks just like the Urban Decay Naked palette packaging, just much cheaper looking. It is a matte peach colour with gold lettering. There is a mirror inside but it is very warped and not the best quality (I personally cannot use it). There are also two plastic applicators included in the palette which I also never use and usually just throw in the bin.
My first impression was that the packaging looks very cheap. I know it’s not the most important thing, but it’s usually what I notice first. In this instance, the packaging matched the price tag. The shades looked really pretty and I loved the colour collection first and foremost. I thought it had a good mix of matte and metallic shades. Peach tones are very on trend at the moment thanks to Too Faced. It’s clear that this palette takes inspiration from the peach collection that Too Faced has. Whether they are dupes or not is another question – I don’t own the Too Faced palette so cannot do a fair comparison between the two.
These swatches are done with my finger and blended out. As you can see, these shades do not swatch very well. They look patchy, chunky, and chalky. Some of the metallic shades swatch great but the mattes consistently swatched patchy. From top to bottom I swatched Slay, Lavish, Peachy, Devoted, Brazen, Enticing, Cheeky, and Pamper.
Testing it out
Luckily, the patchiness from the finger swatches does not translate to the eyes when using a proper brush. This is why I sometimes don’t take much stock in finger swatches. I actually think the quality of these shadows are very nice for the price point. They blend really well on the eyes and they last well with a primer. Are they the best shadows I have used? Not at all. But they certainly are not the worst. The shade selection, price point, and overall quality of the shadows makes this particular palette a winner for me.
This palette contains a matte setting shade (Dainty), which I use to set my primer before starting any look. I then usually go in with the two matte shades Lavish and Enticing. I use more of Lavish to create a peachier/pinker look or more of Enticing to create a more neutral look. Then, I have my pick of metallic shades to pop on my lid – my favourites are Slay (a gorgeous pale pink with a slight peachy gold flip), Peachy (that vibrant orange shade in the middle of the palette that blends out really nicely and isn’t as bold as it looks), and Devoted (a really interesting taupe-like metallic). For the inner corner I usually use Dazzling (a light golden highlight).
This palette also contains 12 shades and retails for $16.95 from the BYS website or Cosmetics Plus. I got it from Kmart for $12 so I’m not sure if the pricing is just cheaper in Kmart, if there was some sort of sale, or whether a mistake was made. Either way, perhaps check out Kmart first if you can as the palettes may be even cheaper there.
Like the Peach palette, the Berries palette has the same cheap plastic packaging, again modelled off the Urban Decay packaging. The Berries packaging is a light mauve colour with gold lettering – very reminiscent of its clear inspiration: the Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance palette.
I already owned the Peach palette when I bought this palette so I knew the packaging was going to be cheap. I just really loved the shade selection for this palette – every shade worked well together and it reminded me a lot of Modern Renaissance – again, the two could be dupes but as I don’t own the ABH palette I cannot say for sure. This palette contains more mattes than the Peach palette, which is always a plus for me.
No surprise here: this palette, like the Peach, did not swatch the greatest. As there are more mattes in this palette that made the swatching even worse. Again, I used my fingers for these swatches and blended them out slightly. From top to bottom: Radiance, Toffee, Majestic, Royalty, Cherry Bomb, Juliet, Berry Haze, and Shaded.
Testing it out
Thankfully the formula of this palette was the same as the formula for the Peach palette. I wasn’t disappointed. The shades do blend very well when using a proper brush on your eyes. Blending these shadows takes slightly more finesse than my Stila palette or Colourpop palettes, but overall they are quick to apply and blend out without losing too much pigment. Again, this palette contains a matte setting shade (Peachy) which I use for every look to set my primer. I then like to go in with either Toffee and Sundown blended in the crease, adding Majestic and Royalty to deepen. Another look I like creating is by using Berry Haze, then Juliet, and Cherry Bomb. Radiance is beautiful as an inner corner highlight.
I love that these shades group together into two or three – it’s so easy to create a look by picking just one shade and using the two shades closest to it in the palette. This is how some palettes work but I am often surprised by how disjointed other palettes can be in their shade selection. I think my favourite thing about these two palettes is how cohesive they are – every shade compliments the next and creating looks and using lots of shades has never been easier. Perfect for beginners!
The Highlight palette contains five highlighting shades to suit fair-medium skin tones. It retails for $16.95 from the above stockists as well. The packaging is the exact same as the eye shadow palettes, but the outside is a cool purple, holographic style with silver lettering. It contains a mirror (same quality as the eye shadow palettes) and a small highlighting brush (again, I have never used this and probably will never use it).
I was immediately drawn to the first shade in the palette (Glam) as I knew it would suit my skin tone well. I was pretty impressed with the look of these powders and was very keen to see how they swatched and applied.
These shades swatched much better than the eye shadow shades. They were smooth and not chunky at all. These are pretty blinding highlighters! This isn’t the creamiest formula I have used, but they certainly weren’t dry and powdery, so I was happy with that. From top to bottom: Glam, Glisten, Gleam, Golden, and Glimmer.
Testing it out
I used the shade Glam first and was shocked by how blinding it is – I had to go in with another brush to blend it out so I didn’t look so tinny. I knew the second time around to build the product up slowly and not go in so heavy handed the first time around.
Three of the shades in the palette work really well with my fair cool toned skin (Glam, Glisten, and Gleam). The Golden shade works on me, but is quite warm. The final shade in the palette (Glimmer) is too dark for my skin tone but could easily be used as an eye shadow. As the majority of this palette suits my fair skin I would recommend it for fair skinned people – that last bronze shade would suit darker skin tones but it seems silly to buy a five pan palette only to use one shade. For this reason I wish there was just one more deeper shade for other skin tones to make use of.
I usually mix Glam and Gleam together but I also will sometimes mix in Glisten if I want a pop of pink. These shades wear well throughout the day and I have no issues when applying them. These work really well with the BYS fan brush that I own – it diffuses the glow and tones it down a bit so it isn’t so blinding (I’m more a fan of the natural highlight).
Overall, I am so pleased with these three palettes and I’m so happy I have them in my collection. They get regular use from me. For that price you really can’t go wrong – I recommend them to anyone! These would make excellent gifts for those just starting out with makeup though. If you like the look of higher end palettes these cheaper alternatives look really similar so they are good options for your bank account too! I am eager to try more from this brand. Have you tried BYS Cosmetics before? What products would you recommend I try out next?