Cargo Cosmetics' Northern Lights palette isn't new - it's actually part of their 2014 holiday collection - but it's been slowly but surely worming its way into my heart. When I first received it, I liked the red on red snakeskin effect packaging - it's stylish and a bit unusual - but I was a bit meh about the eyeshadows inside it. Why? Because they're a bit muted - they're not neutrals, they're not brights, they're not sultry deep shades. They're neither here nor there. Having used the palette for a few months now, I'm clocking it up as a good example of judging a palette on the surface level - the shades, whilst muted, are totally wearable and surprisingly versatile.
There are twelve eyeshadows here, each a reasonably generous size, and they come with a decent quality double ended brush - one fluffy end for applying across the lid, and one compact end for applying along the lash lines.
There are a mix of textures and finishes, too - Polar is a slightly shimmery champagne, Lapland a slightly shimmery grey, Aurora a gorgeously bright metallic peachy pink which wakes the whole face up, Fjord a slightly shimmery pale blue/green, Glacier a dark grey matte with greenish glitter, Finland a surprisingly subtle yellow gold.
Iceland is a bright white matte - surprisingly well pigmented and perfect for highlighting the browbone, Caspian Sea is a slightly shimmery purplish taupe, Arctic a slightly shimmering burnished brown, Osetra a gorgeous almost metallic finish stormy grey taupe, Reindeer a matte warm red, and Greenland a matte forest green.
|Polar, Lapland, Aurora, Iceland|
|Caspian Sea, Arctic, Fjord, Glacier|
|Finland, Osetra, Reindeer, Greenland|
The photo above shows you the condition of the palette after a round of swatches - the shadows themselves are so soft, they're almost crumbly, and some shades like Osetra, Caspian Sea and Lapland need careful application to avoid fallout. The soft texture is incredibly easy to blend, though - I've been wearing Caspian Sea and Osetra a lot in the past few weeks, mostly as a wash across the full lid, and they apply smoothly and blend out beautifully.
Overall, then, this palette is a bit of a grower - it's got cute, sturdy packaging, and some lovely wearable shades which may not shout LOOK AT ME, but are beautifully flattering on the lid. Oh, and the included brush is a nice touch too - decent quality, and well suited to applying the very soft shadows. If you're interested, it's currently on sale at Debenhams for a mere £24.50, down from £35 - a small price to pay for twelve beautiful eyeshadows and a great double ended brush.
Disclosure: PR sample
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