Anyone else remember when the Lorac Unzipped Palette was one of the hottest eyeshadow palettes on YouTube? Back in 2013, I lusted after this rose gold palette. However, it wasn’t until 2019 when I finally purchased this classic Lorac palette.
Does this palette still hold its own in the 2020 beauty space? Keep reading for my honest Lorac Unzipped Palette review with swatches.
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A Little About Lorac
In 1995, celebrity makeup artist Carol Shaw launched Lorac Cosmetics. Inspired by her clients, she set out to create powerful pro makeup formulas that would look in front of a lens, but wouldn’t irritate sensitive skin. Although less flashy than the younger celebrity makeup brands, Lorac still celebrates its heritage as one of the original celebrity makeup brands.
From a consumer standpoint, the brand hit major mainstream success in the mid-2000s with the launch of the original Lorac Pro Palette. After the success of the original 14-pan Pro Palette, Lorac released 4 more pro palettes. Also, the success lead to several spin-offs. However, the brand’s popularity and revenue dwindled as exciting indie brands hit the market.
After a seemingly quiet 2 years since 2018’s Pro 4 Palette release, Lorac launched 4 new pro palettes to celebrate its 25 year anniversary. These palettes are Soleil, Noir, Meraki, and Vintage Glamour. However, all four palettes boast different formulas and cheaper price points. Interestingly, the Limited Edition Meraki Palette is merely a “best of” palette that features fan-favorite shades from in the brand’s previous Pro Palettes.
Finally, Lorac was initially a founder-run indie makeup brand. Then, Markwins Beauty Brands purchased Lorac Cosmetics in 2018. Other notable brands in the Markwins Beauty Brands portfolio include Physicians Formula and Wet ‘n Wild. However, Lorac remains the first prestige brand in the Markwins portfolio.
Fun fact: Lorac is founder, Carol Shaw’s first name spelled backwards.
Lorac Unzipped Palette Claims
What does Lorac have to say about this 10-pan palette?
Get Unzipped and unleash your natural beauty with LORAC’S universally flattering eye shadow palette. Create unlimited head-turning looks all with one super sexy natural palette. Be Unzipped, Uncensored and Unbelievable!
At first glance, I’m always hesitant to believe brands when they claim that products are universal or universally flattering. We know that product performance varies by skin tone and type.
Packaging & Price
Unlike some of the flashier palettes released today, the Unzipped Palette palette looks and feels much sleeker. First, it is lightweight and ultra slender. However, it doesn’t feel cheap. Second, the design is minimal. Simple yellow cardboard houses the 10 Unzipped Shadows.
In line with most prestige eyeshadow palettes, the Unzipped Palette comes with an inside mirror. Also, all the shades are clearly labeled inside the palette. Thankfully, the palette doesn’t come with a cheap, double-sided brush.
The Lorac Unzipped Palette retails for $35.00. With approximately 11 grams of eyeshadow in this palette, the price per gram breaks down to $3.18.
Over the years, Lorac’s Cruelty-Free status became quite murky. However, in 2019 Ethical Elephant emailed the brand to inquire about their Cruelty-Free status. In their response, Lorac confirmed that they are Cruelty-Free.
Unfortunately, Lorac is no 100% Vegan. More specifically, the Unzipped Palette is not Vegan due to the use of Carmine in some shades. Also, the Behind the Scenes Eyeshadow Primer is NOT Vegan.
As I state in most of my product review, ingredient literacy is extremely important. Although ingredient quality and formulation may vary from product to product, consumers need to feel empowered when reading an ingredient list. In an age where brands are demonizing cosmetically-safe ingredients, it is important to understand what certain ingredients do rather than blindly trusting a brand that says something is “bad.”
Unlike some of the other palettes that I’ve reviewed on this blog, Lorac doesn’t break out their ingredient list for each individual shadow (at least online).
Therefore, the below chart represents the top 10 ingredients used in the Lorac Unzipped Palette as listed by Lorac. With that said, the top six ingredients listed are used in all the Unzipped shadows. In contrast, the latter four ingredients may be used in some shadows.
According to INCI decoder, Isopentyldiol water-soluble, colorless, odorless humectant liquid that makes skin smooth without feeling tacky. Also, this ingredient has instant and longer-lasting moisturizing effects.
Iron oxides are inorganic compounds used to add color to cosmetics. However, the specific color varies depending on the oxides. In this instance: CI 77491 (red), CI 77492 (yellow), and CI 77499 (black).
A bright red pigment made from cochineal (crushed insect). This ingredient is naturally-derived, but obviously not Vegan.
Top 10 ingredients used in the Lorac Unzipped Palette
My Thoughts on the Ingredients
First, I was surprised not to see talc listed in the top 10 ingredients of the Unzipped Palette. Talc is fairly ubiquitous in eyeshadow formulas. With that said, it did not surprise me that Mica was the top ingredient.
Additionally, I wasn’t surprised to see common binders, stabilizers, and preservatives listed so high up in the formula. Again, these ingredients are common in most mainstream formulas. In fact, “clean” eyeshadow formulas tend to be the exception.
Finally, I colorants make up the rest of the top ingredients. Given the mauve-pinky tone of this palette, I am not surprised. However, it is important to note that this palette is obviously not Vegan due to the addition of Carmine.
Lorac Unzipped Palette Swatches
As always, swatches are not a perfect indicator of quality. However, swatches can provide clues about a product’s color payoff and ability to blend.
The below swatches were done using my fingers on a bare arm. No primer.
As you can tell from these swatches, this eyeshadows in the Unzipped Palette are ultra-curated. There are slight variations in tones, but the overall vibe of the palette is monochromatic.
However, the swatches surprised me. Although the shadows looked very mauve in the pan, the shadows pull much more neutral on the arm. Also, the shimmers are much softer than the metallics popularized today.
Application & Wear-Time
Unsurprisingly, the shadows in the Lorac Unzipped Palette* applied like a dream. The matte and metallic shadows in the Unzipped Palette are ultra soft. As a result, these shadows are easy to apply on the lids and forgiving when cleaning up mistakes. Moreover, the Lorac formula is so soft that the shadows basically blend themselves.
With the above said, it is important to note that the metallics are not true metallics. In other words, these metallics are much softer and less high-shine than more modern metallic formulas from brands like Juvia’s Place or ColourPop. Nevertheless, these metallics create soft but sultry, natural eye looks.
Finally, most Lorac Palettes come with a mini version of the brand’s Behind the Scenes Eye Primer. In terms of performance, the primer sets and primes the lids for lasting eyeshadow wear.
However, the primer, itself, frequently creased on my lids upon initial application. For this reason, I would not run out of my way to purchase this eye primer. However, I will continue to use this up.
Overall, the Lorac Unzipped Palette impressed me. First, I am drawn to the monochromatic mauve-rose gold color story. After years of being bombarded by huge palettes, I am drawn to these simple, monochromatic color stories.
Second, I love the soft-looking finish of the mattes and metallics. Pigmentation doesn’t determine quality – there is a time and place for soft, buildable colors. In fact, buildable formulas like this often look the most flattering on aging or older eyelids that have more fine lines and wrinkles.
Third, the color story is similar to Huda Beauty’s well-loved 18-pan New Nude Palette. However, Unzipped is a fraction of the price.
So is the Lorac Unzipped Palette worth the hype?
Yes! I recommend this gorgeous mauve-nude palette to anyone that loves a soft eyeshadow look and feels drawn to this color story.