The Sample: LORAC PRO Palette (Review, Swatches & Photos)

10 Feb

««Press Sample»»

For some reason, I tend to stray away from palettes just a bit. I really don’t own many; my paltry collection is a disgrace to beauty bloggers everywhere, I’m sure. But when I find a good one, boy do I fall hard. It takes a lot to sweep me off me feet when it comes to palettes–I always feel like there are the few shades that I love and the rest of are just meh, so I end up kinda wishing that I had just bought a few singles instead. But every once in awhile, a palette comes out that truly knocks my socks off. For me, that palette was LORAC’s PRO Palette.

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LORAC’s PRO Palette contains 16 shades and a mini tube of LORAC’s Behind The Scenes Eye Primer. Those 16 shades are split into 2 main categories: mattes (top row) and shimmers (bottom row). The matte shades are: White (matte white), Cream (pale cream), Taupe (mid-tone brown with gray undertones), Lt. Pink (light baby pink), Mauve (mid-tone mauvy-purple), Sable (rich coffee-brown with slight red undertones), Expresso (blackened-brown), and Black (matte black).

The shimmery shades include: Nude (pale frosty beige), Champagne (very similar to Nude in the pan but swatched, it has less of a frosted finish and more of a sheen with pink and white micro-shimmer strewn throughout and a slight blush tone), Gold (an intense mid-tone coppery-bronze), Lt. Bronze (pale, slightly frosty peachy-gold), Pewter (burnished chocolaty-bronze), Garnet (rich fiery red-bronze), Deep Purple (shimmering blackened-eggplant), and Slate (gunmetal grey).

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The shadows are packaged in a sleek black cardboard compact with a rubberized exterior à la Nars. It’s slim and seriously sturdy. I accidentally sat on the palette (whoops!), which was sitting on my carpeted floor so it did bend and crack the mirror inside (bad luck?? Nooooo!!!). Thankfully, the shadows inside were okay and the actual palette did not show any other signs of damage whatsoever despite me putting my full weight on it. If it could withstand that, I think it could easily withstand being thrown in a purse or kit and being lugged around.

Meanwhile, the primer comes in a small plastic squeeze-tube with a rounded nozzle tip. The product itself comes out of the tube white with a slight pinkish-beige cast but dries to a translucent finish. It’s very easy to blend into the skin and once it’s set, it’s easy to blend shadows on top of, as well. It has a slightly thick, creamy consistency–much thicker than Nars’ Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base and less slippery.

I tested the 2 primers against each other for 2 days. On the first day, I applied a single wash of Mauve all over the lid using it over LORAC’s primer on the left and Nars’ primer on the right. On the second day, I did the same thing except used a wash of Pewter all over instead.

Right off the bat, I noticed that Nars’ primer intensified the shades much more than LORAC’s primer–it seemed to grab onto the pigment much better. The shadows applied over LORAC’s primer were a bit easier to blend out but they also didn’t stay put as well and were more faded by the end of the day. It wasn’t by a lot though–the difference was only really noticeable when compared side-by-side. If I had never tried the Nars primer, I would have felt happy with the wear LORAC’s primer gave. But alas, I do know how well the Nars primer performs so I will be sticking with it.

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Now back to the shadows: the texture of these shadows is incredibly silky, smooth, and super soft–though the level of softness varies from shade to shade. Of course, the shimmery shades are a good deal softer than the matte shades, as per usual. Every one of the shimmery shades were so soft and smooth that they had a very creamy feel to them. I almost wish they were just a touch less soft though–if I wasn’t careful of the pressure I used to pick up the product (whether using a brush or sponge), they would smoosh/dent in and sometimes even crumble a bit.

As you can imagine, there was also a tiny bit of fall-out due to the soft texture. It wasn’t very much at all, though–I think when you have this soft of a shadow, it’s really to be expected. I also will admit, some of the matte shades were just a touch powdery–particularly White, Cream, and Lt. Pink. All the other mattes displayed the same smooth, silky texture.

Of the matte shades, I think Expresso was the softest and most pigmented. One swipe yielded rich, opaque color. Sable was almost as pigmented but a touch less creamy. Mauve was decently pigmented and a touch drier, as was Taupe. Black was very soft but went on quite patchy–it took quite a few swipes to build up the color in the swatch photos below. All of the shimmery shades were very pigmented and had pretty much the same very soft, very creamy texture. Nude was a hair softer than the rest and Deep Purple, Slate, and Champagne just a touch less soft.

I had only one other bone to pick with this palette and it has to do with the amount of product you get. The net weight of the palette is 0.32 oz., which means each pan contains only 0.02 oz. of product (LORAC’s single shadows contain 0.06 oz.). Urban Decay’s Naked Palette is $8 more than the PRO Palette and has a net weight of .6 oz., which means that each individual pan contains 0.05 oz. of product (equivalent to UD’s full-sized single eyeshadows). It does contain only 12 shades as opposed to LORAC’s 16 but still, if you divided those 0.6 oz. into 16, each pan would still contain more product than LORAC’s (not to mention UD’s palette comes with a nice brush and primer while LORAC’s only comes with primer). Because of this, I do wish the PRO Palette was either a bit cheaper or contained more product.

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*my swatches always seem to get wider the further up my arm I go :P

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Swatched on the left, blended to an invisible finish on right


Still, while I own both the PRO Palette and the Naked Palette, I reach for the PRO Palette much more than I ever did the Naked (which has only been used a handful of times). I think it’s much more versatile and has a nice blend of both warm and cool shades, both light and dark, matte and shimmery. I know Urban Decay released the Naked 2 and now Naked Basics but honestly, why bother having to go out and buy all 3 when you can just buy the PRO Palette and enjoy a nice, balanced mix of shades?!

All of the shades lasted all day on my eyes over the Behind The Scenes Eye Primer, though White, Cream, Taupe, Lt. Pink, and Mauve were a bit more faded by the end of the day than some of the other shades. Still, I really, really enjoyed this palette and I know it will become a staple in my collection. I’ve been reaching for it daily since I started testing it and I don’t see my devotion to it dying anytime soon. Have you tried this palette? If not, what’s your favorite palette?

»»Pricing: $42/0.32 oz. (8.8 g.)

»»Availability: Ulta, Sephora, and (though as of the date of this posting, it’s sold out on both Sephora and LORAC’s sites for some reason. But it is a popular item–I’m sure they’ll be restocking soon)

»»Recommended for: anyone looking for a beautiful, truly versatile palette!

»»Overall Rating: A- for the shadows/B+ for the primer


Disclaimer: the product(s) featured in this post were provided to The Beauty Sample free of charge by the manufacturer/PR for review purposes only. Regardless of how the product was obtained, my priority is to you, my readers, and I will always give you my honest opinion.

49 Responses to “The Sample: LORAC PRO Palette (Review, Swatches & Photos)”

  1. svetlana February 10, 2013 at 11:04 pm #

    Hmm… what do u prefer better: this palette or urban decay’s nude palette 1 or 2? I am thinking of splurging on a palette but am not sure which to get? I like the shades of this palette a lot too. And u are right! NARS eye primer is awesoooooome. :D

    • becca February 10, 2013 at 11:28 pm #

      I only have the original Urban Decay Naked palette but I prefer LORAC’s. The Naked palette is nice but for whatever reason, it doesn’t get much use from me anymore. Still, it’s really nice for when I want a very warm look. But I appreciate that LORAC has more of a mix of warm and cool and also more matte shades, which makes it more versatile and ultimately wearable to me. The quality is great too. I would say the value is better for the Naked palette so there’s pros and cons to each. It really just depends on what you want/need personally. I love the LORAC palette though! :)

  2. Chris El February 10, 2013 at 11:47 pm #

    This palette looks gorgeous, but now you have me thinking about the NARS primer that I hear sooo many good things about.

    • becca February 11, 2013 at 12:04 am #

      Oooh, you haven’t tried it yet?? You MUST! It’s really the best primer I’ve ever tried. Which one are you using now? Or do you not use one?

  3. Jennifer February 11, 2013 at 12:04 am #

    your post had definitely ignited my lemming for this palette >:) i had heard people saying this is a great alternative to UD Naked palette! Do I need to own both? LOL

    • becca February 11, 2013 at 12:06 am #

      I think they are different enough that owning both isn’t ridiculous but I definitely think that if you could only get one, the PRO Palette would be a good bet. I just feel it’s a bit more versatile. But of course, it depends on your taste. If you are a lover of really warm, neutral shades and wear them every single day, the Naked palette might be a better choice. :)

  4. Sunny February 11, 2013 at 2:57 am #

    I don’t tend to reach for palettes either, but you’re right about this one! I like how there is a good mix of matte/shimmery as well as warm/cool. Too bad Lorac is so painfully unavailable outside of North America!

    • becca February 11, 2013 at 3:14 am #

      Ooh is it? That’s too bad, Sunny :/ the quality is really nice and I really like that the variety of shadows is so perfectly balanced in every way (light/dark, matte/shimmery, warm/cool).

      If you ever are curious about the brand and need help getting your hands on something, feel free to let me know!! :)

  5. Emi at Project Swatch February 11, 2013 at 6:57 am #

    Great post, as always! I really need to try that NARS primer someday, I’ve hear nothing but good things about it.

    The size of the pans doesn’t bother me though, because I so rarely hit pan or finish eyeshadows – so variety matters more to me than size in palettes.

    • becca February 11, 2013 at 2:04 pm #

      I rarely do too, but I do feel that if I’m spending that much on a palette, I do deserve a bit more :/ Also, you DEFINITELY need to try the Nars primer. It’s honestly the best! UD is a close second but there is just something about the Nars…

  6. Taylor February 11, 2013 at 8:59 am #

    I love love love this palette! I’m glad to hear you do too :-) they are so soft and velvety.. Definitely great for everyday as well as for creating dramatic look.

    • becca February 11, 2013 at 2:04 pm #

      Agreed! They are so soft and creamy–do you have trouble with them crumbling a bit though? I always have to be careful when I am dipping my brush into the shimmery shades because they are SO soft! :P

  7. xLoveHappyx February 11, 2013 at 9:52 am #

    I have been eyeing this palette for months now lol Thanks for the in-depth review! The medium brown shades look wonderful and I will check out the NARS primer

    • becca February 11, 2013 at 2:06 pm #

      Thank you for your sweet comment! I think you should definitely check out this palette AND Nars’ primer. Both are really, really amazing :)

  8. Larie February 11, 2013 at 11:46 am #

    You guys all make me really sad that I didn’t buy this one :( Ah, well. Hopefully they come out with a few more paraben-free winners! :)

    • becca February 11, 2013 at 2:07 pm #

      It’s not too late, Larie–DO IT!! :P haha

  9. Angie February 11, 2013 at 3:08 pm #

    I have been going back and forth on this product for what seems like forever, lol! ;) It definitely looks like I must have it one of these days though – the swatches are amaaaazing!! Plus like many others I have not tried Nars’ primer so I must try that too! :) Great review!!

    • becca February 11, 2013 at 3:10 pm #

      Aw thank you thank you, Angie! :)

      and YES–definitely check out this palette. At least swatch it in-store if you can–you will be blown away by the amazing textures! And the Nars primer is a must-have. What primer do you normally use, Angie?

  10. Lily February 12, 2013 at 6:43 am #

    The palette looks amazing! UGH! No Lorac here again. And I’ve been hearing so much about the NARS eye primer, that it’s better than Too Faced and Urban Decay. I only tried UD and on my lids, I’d say it’s average. I have to try NARS one day!

    • becca February 12, 2013 at 2:29 pm #

      Boo–that sucks :/ If you ever need help getting LORAC, let me know dearie! :) And YES–try the Nars primer. I like the UDPP okay but the Nars is *insanely* good!!

  11. Procrastinator February 12, 2013 at 8:46 am #

    I need this. Despite owning the first two Naked palettes and Nude Tude, I NEED THIS. I don’t understand the beauty industry’s issues with balancing the matte/shimmer population within a palette. Also, garnet/pewter are insanely beautiful. Even though they’re not matte =P

    • becca February 12, 2013 at 2:32 pm #

      Oh wow you own all 3? You must love palettes!! :P Still, even if you have them all, I agree that owning this one as well wouldn’t be redundant. It has much richer shades (as opposed to the Naked palettes fairly mid-tone neutrals) and is really, really beautiful. Oooh please let me know if you decide to get it or not–you will love it! :D

  12. Joyce (bronzerbunny) February 12, 2013 at 8:49 am #

    i thought about this one when it first came out! i’m glad you like it. and nars primer YAY i love that stuff hahaha

    • becca February 12, 2013 at 2:32 pm #

      Nars primer is effing awesome–’nuff said. :P

  13. Catherine (@bcrueltyfree) February 12, 2013 at 9:00 am #

    I was at an art co-op thing on Sunday, where these artists rent out a big space and all display their work there, it was mostly photography. I think we should do a beauty bloggers co-op where we just fill a room with beautiful photography of makeup like this haha. I, for one, would spend hours admiring! Anyway, I think I’ve only purchased one LORAC product and it was years ago, I haven’t paid much attention to the brand since, but I clearly should. Also, as much as I like really creative names, it’s kind of nice how they named the shadows after the actual colors, makes it easy to remember

    • becca February 12, 2013 at 2:33 pm #

      Haha that would be AWESOME–I’d go! :D I definitely wish there were more events for makeup enthusiasts and/or bloggers. That would be so fun to get everyone together!! :D

      I agree with you on the names too. I always like reading the creative names but the names in this one were SUPER easy to remember. I read them once and typed out all the names by memory :P

  14. JoanneP @ The Convenient Beauty February 12, 2013 at 10:31 am #

    Lovely palette!! I must agree that this one is more versatile than both Naked palettes. I love that it has more matte shades and more balance of cool and warm colors. I’m an eyeshadow junkie and I thought I have every shades. This post is dangerous. No more eyeshadows (for a few months) :(

    • becca February 12, 2013 at 2:34 pm #

      Haha are you on a no-buy, Joanne?? If so, good luck!! And maybe when you’re done, you can check this palette out. It’s amazing!! :D

  15. Liz February 12, 2013 at 12:12 pm #

    I have this and love it so much! I’ve never hit pan on shadow so the price/size doesn’t bother me. LORAC to me is a few steps above UD in the makeup hierarchy and so underrated given how stellar its quality is consistently.

    I didn’t try the NARS eye primer yet but good to know about its lasting power. And your swatches are so gorgeous. Even though I already have it, you make me want it ALL OVER AGAIN. LOL!


    • becca February 12, 2013 at 2:36 pm #

      Aw thank you dear wifey–you are too sweet! :D

      And what primer do you use (if you use one)?? The Nars primer is a must-have. I have tried the UDPP (mini size from the Naked palette) and while I like it okay, there is just something about the Nars primer that puts it above all the other ones I’ve tried…it’s soo light and silky! Try it if you can!! :D

  16. Beauty Box February 13, 2013 at 6:23 am #

    I have been eyeing this ever since I saw it on it’s judy time on YouTube. She raved about it but your post just delves into all the important details. OMG, I nearly crumbled when you said the shimmery AND matte shadows are so creamy…I love UD shimmery shades because they can come off as buttery but they can have quite a lot of fall out. Does Lorac shadows have alot of fallout?

    • becca February 13, 2013 at 2:31 pm #

      I wouldn’t say they have a LOT of fallout–there is just a tiny bit. Not very much at all though–certainly not enough that I would complain about it. BUT, some of the shimmery shades are so soft that there can be a little bit of crumbling if you press too hard with your brush/applicator. As long as you’re careful though, it shouldn’t be a problem and I would definitely say overall, the palette is amazing and definitely worth the money! :)

  17. Meryl @ Memoiselle February 13, 2013 at 5:26 pm #

    Oh my.. why do people keep on saying that they prefer Pro Palette than Naked? This makes me wants to get pro palette even more!! LOL LOL LOL :D
    This palette is beautiful and wearable anytime of the day at any season :)

    Happy valentine my dear :*

    • becca February 13, 2013 at 5:37 pm #

      Haha sorry but it’s true–the Naked palette is nice but the PRO Palette really impressed me! It’s got such a nice mix of everything, which makes it so much more wearable, in my opinion :) You have to try it if you can–I bet you will be blown away too!

      Thank you Meryl dear, and happy Valentine’s Day to you, too! :) Got any big plans with the hubby?? ;)

  18. Joanna February 13, 2013 at 10:20 pm #

    I really love the sephora primal palette. Their shadows have come a loonnng way and the texture is heaven. And super pigmented. It quashed my lemming for the naked palette….like dead.

    • becca February 13, 2013 at 11:50 pm #

      Lol–that’s good to hear! I’ve been hearing more and more good things about Sephora’s shadows and after reading some of Temptalia’s reviews of the singles this week, I think I am definitely ready to try a few out myself! Do they still sell the Primal Palette, Joanna? I will have to check that out! :D

      • Joanna February 14, 2013 at 9:16 am #

        yup still there and only $28, I even had both the lorac and naked on my wish list at sephora. After I bought the primal palette I had no wants for either! Very nice since that could have been a big chunk out of my pocket. Plus I do like that they are formulating them with out most of the bad stuff these days. Now the palette is all shimmer/metalic types shadows…except for the brown and black on the far right. Those are matte and great for eyeliner. So that might be a deal breaker for some…..

        • becca February 14, 2013 at 2:18 pm #

          Hm…I actually don’t think I would mind. I mean, I do like having a nice mix of matte and shimmer within a palette but honestly, I wear shimmers most of the time so I don’t mind a good shimmer palette :) I didn’t know Sephora was also improving on their formula–it really sounds like I NEED to check these out! Have you tried anything from their Pantone collab? I am also curious about those supposed long-wearing eyeliner sets. I am always really skeptical about long-wearing formulas though since my eyes smudge EVERYTHING…:/

          • Joanna February 14, 2013 at 6:39 pm #

            Oh, and for eyeliner I use MUFE aqua eyes and Palladio herbal precision.I learned about the Palladio from the Nouveau Cheap blog. Her review sold me on it.

          • becca February 15, 2013 at 1:58 am #

            I use MUFE’s Aqua Eyes too–and their Aqua Black Cream Shadow (as liner)–and I LOVE them!! I have never heard of the Palladio pencils but I am curious now and will definitely check them out. That’s the brand that’s sold at Sally’s, right? Thanks for the heads-up, Joanna! :D

  19. Joanna February 14, 2013 at 6:33 pm #

    Hmmm, not sure about panetone…I missed out on a few of those but I heard the past few palettes didnt have much color impact. They seem to have been using less of the bad stuff in their formulas since they added the “natural” section on their web site sometime around 2008. I bought one palette back then that was formulated with much less bad stuff and the colors/payoff were good, but I still am just amazed at the richness of the primal palette. Im a palette type buyer cause I like the variety. I mostly buy a full shadow if its a staple color I use all the time.

  20. Teri February 15, 2013 at 3:02 pm #

    Great review Becca! It’s interesting how the Lorac palette seems to contain more and looks like more of a bargain than the UD palettes so it’s great that you compared the sizes and the price to eachother. I love the shade selection a lot, like you said, it’s more fun than the neutral version of UD. You are really making me want to try something from Lorac!

    • becca February 15, 2013 at 10:18 pm #

      Aw thanks Teri!! :D Yeah I guess I assumed the same because LORAC’s palette contains more shadows and doesn’t have a brush or anything but it does end up being a little less of a bargain than the Naked palette. Still, I love this palette and I guess it’s worth it since I use it waaaay more than I ever did the Naked palette (I have been using Mauve every single day! It looks so great on the eyes, even just as a single wash of color!). Try something from them if you can–the quality of the shadows is amazing!

  21. Shivani February 19, 2013 at 3:38 pm #

    The eyeshadows are so beautifully pigmented. I’m on a single eyeshadow binge, too bad lol :)

    • becca February 19, 2013 at 4:39 pm #

      lol ah well, single eyeshadows are cool too! Before discovering this palette, I was ALL about the singles and duos but this palette is so amazing, I’ve been wearing it literally every single day since testing it! :D

  22. Olivia February 20, 2013 at 9:12 am #

    Oh man I have to get my hands on some of that Nars primer. i recently acquired the Too Faced Natural at Night palette and it is literally my favorite palette out of the like 10 I own, but my UD PP doesn’t work that great with it. I really think different eyeshadow formulas need different primers.

    I saw the LORAC palette at ULTA, but I am mixed race and those 5 light shades would be completely useless for me & I have dupes for most of the other colors in my the balm Nude Tude & Balm Jovi palettes as well as the Naked 1 & 2…. I’m addicted to neutrals!

    • becca February 20, 2013 at 3:01 pm #

      Really? huh…that might be the case. I don’t really know because I use my Nars primer with everything and it SEEMS to work well with all the different formulas I’ve tried…I think you will really like it! :) Oh, and I’m addicted to neutrals too! I don’t have many palettes but I have A LOT of neutral shadows! :D

  23. Gummy February 21, 2013 at 9:33 am #

    This looks like a really great palette, and like you said has a good mix of warm and cool, matte and satin/shimmer. Just something about the Naked palettes doesn’t appeal to me, but this one looks like it needs further investigating!!! Beautiful swatches!!! What are your favorite shades from this palette??

    • becca February 21, 2013 at 2:20 pm #

      So far, I’ve been wearing Mauve the most–like everyday! But then, I am very partial to wearing mauvy shades on my eyes :) It looks great just as an allover wash of color! I also am loving Pewter and the Cream shade as a subtle but brightening inner corner highlight! Those are the ones I use most–I still have yet to fully experiment with all the other shades :P

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