Let's rewind a bit and talk about another purchase from my European travels.... I always do my beauty homework before jetting off somewhere so I knew I had to find some ARTDECO products whilst in Amsterdam. I had seen gorgeous swatches of ARTDECO eyeshadows on Delicate Hummingbird's blog and, of course, wanted some for myself. ARTDECO is readily available in the Netherlands at Douglas stores and I purchased a few pieces within my first month in Europe. Their most well known products are definitely the beauty box compacts and the eyeshadows, blushes, concealers and other products that go in them.
There are a variety of beauty boxes to choose from that hold a different number of eyeshadows and blushes. I purchased the limited edition Dita Von Teese compact simply because Douglas was doing a 20% off everything promotion and this was the only slightly larger palette in stock. I would have preferred one of the plain palettes and if it were available, I would have purchased the magnum palette. The palettes do not come cheap and the Dita Von Teese size retails for €14 ($18).
Each eyeshadow pan retails for about €5 and the blushes for €8.50 which definitely add up if you fill up your palette at once. Each eyeshadow pan only contains .02 oz which is less than half of a standard .05 oz eyeshadow (Mac or Urban Decay singles). Considering the amount you get for the price, the beauty boxes are rather expensive.
There are a vast array of shades to choose from and each shade is given a number instead of a proper name. This makes memorizing shades quite difficult. The pans are sold with plastic covers that slip on and off which can be handy if you only have one palette and more pans than can fit at once. There are little stickers on the sides of the pans that denote the shade number but they are quite flimsy and if you switch out your pans often, the stickers will probably fall off quickly. I wish the numbers were imprinted on the actual pans.
The pans have a magnet at the back and secure nicely into the palette, leaving no gaps. The pans are easily removed by applying a bit of pressure to the corners. The magnet is strong enough to ensure products do not rustle around or fall out of the compact but not so strong that makes it hard to remove.
If ARTDECO was more affordable, the beauty box system would definitely be a nice alternative to the Inglot freedom system. The ability to pick and choose shades from a very large variety appeals to me and if the brand were readily available, I know I'd definitely have an unhealthy amount of beauty boxes in my stash. For those who don't mind purchasing online for slightly inflated prices, Beauty Bay sells ARTDECO. If you come across this German brand, I would highly recommend checking out their eyeshadows and blushes.