Glossier Monochromes
CNN  — 

Ever since spending more time at home, I’ve opted for a simpler beauty routine: skin care, concealer, brows, mascara and that’s about it since you don’t need much more to look totally acceptable in a virtual meeting. But in a previous, pre-pandemic life, I was an eye shadow devotee. So, to combine my newfound interest in simpler makeup with my storied love of eye shadow, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on Glossier’s first-ever eye shadow palette: Monochromes.

Glossier Monochromes

As the name suggests, Monochromes is a monochromatic eye shadow trio that comes in an adorable, sleek compact. One of the product’s big selling points is that the palette is refillable — simply pop out the trio when you’re done with it and swap in a new one (which will cost you $18 as opposed to the full palette’s $22). While you might not be saving a ton, it is a great way to reduce waste.

The Monochromes launch follows on the heels of some other exciting products from Glossier, from blendable bronzers to a gentle retinol cream I’m also obsessed with. So, does this small but mighty palette stand up to the hype? Ahead, we put it to the test and break down its claims.

The rundown

Each Monochromes palette features three different shadows: a matte, a satin and a metallic shade. You can use them one at a time or combine them for a look that’s effortlessly cool and simple while still giving your eyes that extra level of dimension. The shadows are formulated to blend together seamlessly and build on each other well, so you can stick with a simple look or opt for a more glam one. The product also claims to have minimal fallout and creasing after application.

Glossier Monochromes

The palette is available in 10 different, buildable shades (though we should clarify that each shade includes three different shadows), all of which were inspired by colors found in nature. So you won’t find many bright, loud colors here. Instead, all the options are fairly neutral, definitely wearable and difficult to go wrong with. Plus, they’re all made from a vegan formulation that doesn’t include talc, natural mica or fragrance. It’s even dermatologist- and ophthalmologist-tested, so it’s meant to work well for those with sensitive eyes or contact lens wearers.

The lowdown

Each Monochromes palette, which includes three different eye shadows, comes in its own palm-sized compact. When you open the palette, the three shadows are spaced comfortably apart opposite a nicely sized mirror that’s actually removable as well — perfect for an on-the-go touch-up. The recyclable tin case feels super durable, making the compact the perfect product to travel with, whether it’s on your way to the office or going on a vacation.

I was able to test two different shades, each of which I would say are definitely my types of colors. I’m admittedly a little bit basic when it comes to my shade choices — I tend to stick to a lot of browns and warm tones — so it’s no surprise that I was immediately drawn to Teak (a warm, chocolate brown) and Mesa (a warm orange). Though, to be honest, these palettes are probably perfect for people who, like me, enjoy sticking to a signature shade and wearing it all day, every day. All the shades are super wearable, and each palette is versatile enough to take you from a workday to a night out on the town. If you’re looking to streamline your everyday makeup routine, this is the perfect product to help you do that.

Noelle Ike/CNN Underscored

The pigmentation of the palettes is fantastic. When it comes to the matte shades, each is pigmented and creamy enough for some great payoff but still blendable and buildable without being too intense. The metallics are a dream — absurdly pigmented and totally stunning. And the satins are really great in-between shades. I enjoyed using them all over the lid, after blending out the matte shade and then applying a bit of the metallic for that extra pop on the center of the eyelid. Glossier recommends using your finger to apply these, or pairing with an eye shadow brush. Personally, I used a brush to buff out the matte color, then applied the satin and metallic shades with my finger, which is how I typically apply my everyday eye shadow look no matter what products I’m using — and it worked beautifully.

One thing to note: How matte- or metallic-leaning your satin shade is will probably depend on which palette you opt for. The satin shade in the Teak palette definitely leans a bit more matte — I applied it using a brush to my lower lash line and in the corner of my eye for some added shadow. Alternatively, the satin shade in the Mesa palette definitely leans more metallic, and I’d stick to using that more as a lid shade and apply it with my finger.

I wore these shadows throughout the day and didn’t experience any creasing, though that’s rarely something I struggle with. They worked perfectly without any eye shadow primer, though that’s also something I only wear on occasion. Overall, the shadows felt super comfortable and were extremely easy to apply, and I was really happy with how they looked.

Bottom line

It’s safe to say that Glossier has done it again. When it comes to those who prefer a natural look, these neutral and flattering shadows are the perfect way to pop on some eye shadow without much thought or worry. For those who prefer more drama or glam, this product is the perfect staple to build your looks on. And with 10 different shades, there’s bound to be something for everyone.

Admittedly, Glossier’s Monochromes is the product that I never knew I needed, but that I now can’t live without. I’ve never discovered a palette in which all the shades get equal use, but I think it’s bound to happen with this trio. The three shadows in each palette perfectly complement one another, and actually make it really easy to create a gorgeous, cohesive look. I also think this product is the perfect introduction to creating a great makeup look for beginners, especially with how creamy, blendable and easy to work with all the shades are.

With these trios, you’re really getting everything you need and nothing extra. Of course, it’ll be a monochromatic look — but that definitely doesn’t have to mean boring.