I want to chat a bit about the Carli Bybel palette from BH Cosmetics because it’s very beautiful, very affordable, perfect to travel with, and generally quite useful. I’ve reached for it on and off since purchasing it in March, and over the past holiday weekend it was the only eyeshadow I took with me while I traveled.
I was initially attracted to this palette when I saw Carli Bybel introduce it on her YouTube channel, but I didn’t order at the time and actually forgot about it for a few months. I think there may have been a bit of a frenzy when it first launched, but 6 (or so?) months later it’s still in stock, and still just as affordable as it was on launch day. It won’t be around forever, but for the moment I’m really glad it’s so accessible. Since it’s BH Cosmetics, it’s also easy to order and cruelty-free, and Carli Bybel is someone I’m happy to support, as well.
The eyeshadows were what I was most interested in, but I was really unsure of whether all of the highlighter shades would work on me since my skin is pale and they look quite deep. But I figured it wasn’t a huge gamble for the price, and they could always be used as additional eyeshadow shades if they didn’t work on my cheeks. Surprisingly, though, the highlighters were all lovely on my skin and I actually started reaching for them more frequently than the eyeshadows.
The second assumption I’d made was that I’d enjoy the golden and bronzy eye shades the most, since those are normally what I gravitate toward. Pink and plum shades work well on a lot of people but I don’t find them universally flattering, personally. However, I actually find the top row of shadows, where the plum tones live, to be the easiest to reach for day by day. Similarly, while I assumed I’d be crazy for the shimmery shadows, I am actually very happy with creating entirely matte eye looks with this palette. It’s pretty well balanced, both in color and finish.
Let’s talk more about the eyeshadows: the darkest brown is the weakest shade. That’s my only real gripe. It takes some building up and isn’t deep enough to work as a liner. I think my favorite shadows mostly live in the top row (and the darkest matte in the top row is definitely superior to the brown in the second row), plus I really enjoy the far left and middle shimmery shadows from the second row. In general I think they’re nice quality and very easy to use.
For the highlighters, the light peach shade second from the left is my favorite. And actually, the darkest shade on the far right is my second favorite. I use it similarly to how I’d use a deeper blush tone, rather than a bright highlight, but I think it’s lovely. I use the pearl highlight shade on my cheeks sometimes, but I also really appreciate having it for highlighting around the eye. The remaining shade, second from the right, is the least flattering for me when used on its own because it’s just more golden than my skin is, but it’s really beautiful when layered in conjunction with one or two of the other shades. And I do enjoy playing around with layering.
Above, I’m wearing shades from the palette, and the only other cosmetics I used for my eyes and cheeks were a little bit of matte bronzer, some blush, and mascara. I’ve used a whole bunch of shades from the palette all mixed and layered, but all applied really softly. I used the matte peach under the brow, the plummy mattes and dark brown to contour and line the eye, a bronzy shimmer over the outer half of the eye, a light peachy shimmer over the inner half of the eye, and the pearl highlight on the inner corners of the eye. On my cheeks I mostly used the peach highlight to illuminate my cheekbones, and the bronzy highlight toward the back of my cheeks.
If you’re curious, I’m also wearing a lot of other affordable products here: BH Cosmetics Concealer & Corrector palette, Revlon ColorStay Whipped foundation, Sephora Collection Bright Future concealer, CoverGirl Super Sizer Fibers mascara, Maybelline Define-A-Brow pencils (shades Dark Blonde and Light Brown) and BH Cosmetics Flawless Brow Gel (shade Neutral). I wore this look to a wedding in L.A. and love to travel with affordable products, since it feels like less of a risk.
I’m also wearing a few go-to products that aren’t exactly “budget” but that I also love to travel with: Laura Mercier translucent powder, Too Faced Chocolate Soleil bronzer, NARS blush in Deep Throat, and Too Faced La Creme lipstick in Teddy Berry.
So, the big thing that I’m really pleased about with this palette is that it’s all very useful and fun to play with. It’s also very practical because the packaging is secure but extremely lightweight, to the point where when I slip it into a side pocket of my makeup bag, I can forget that it’s there. The shades all coordinate really well, and I really do think Carli did a great job of picking colors that will flatter most people. I wouldn’t say it’s necessarily the most unique color selection out there, but it’s really balanced and the price point is amazing, and I really like having it in my collection.
The Carli Bybel 14 Color Eyeshadow and Highlighter palette costs $14.50 and is available from BH Cosmetics. Have you tried it? I’d love to hear what you think!