Too Faced always has the cutest sets every year. I love their adorable packaging and I always find the quality to be quite good, especially when you take the incredibly good price of the set into account. They had a very similar 3 palette set last year that I reviewed, the Too Faced Le Grand Chateau, and I still love each of those three palettes. So, how did the Too Faced Grande Hotel Café set rank in my books?
Pretty dang high! As with many eyeshadow-based holiday sets, the reviews for this one have been a bit all over the place. When it comes to my favorite brands, those mixed reviews never really deter me and I always feel the need to try the products out myself to see how they go. I actually had a reader comment on my Best Sephora Holiday Beauty Gift Sets for 2016 post telling me that this set was terrible. She said that it was chalky, had poor pigmentation and didn’t smell as advertised.
After trying this out myself, I only agree with 1/3 of those statements (unless by chalky she meant they had a bit of fall out, then I’d agree with that- but don’t find that to be a deal breaker in the slightest considering most palettes have at least some fall out)- these palettes don’t smell like eggnog lattes, peppermint mochas or gingerbread cookies. There’s actually barely any scent at all in any of these three palettes. I can sniff out the most faint of faint eggnog scent in the eggnog latte palette, but nothing in comparison to the strength of the scent in the Too Faced Peach palette, PB & J palette or any of the Chocolate Bar palettes. And know what? I’m totally okay with that. I have zero issues with my eyeshadows not smelling like anything, haha.
Too Faced is usually pretty neutral-based when it comes to their eyeshadow shade selection, so I generally love everything they come out with and all three of these palettes are no exception. For the most part, I found that they all performed relatively equally (a couple “meh” shadows in each palette and a few gorgeous ones). I swatched all of these over primer, and gave them no more than a couple of swipes of color each. Overall, most of these shadows are quite pigmented and easy to blend. There are a few that gave me some trouble, though, and there was a bit of fall out from some of the shadows in all three palettes. I’ll go into more detail below!
The Eggnog Latte palette is my favorite out of this set. I love every shade in it and the fact that the gorgeous green shade is named Central Perk really excites the Friends fan in me, haha. Too Faced does metallic shades REALLY well, and this palette really shows that off. The two matte shades in here are fine, though I did have a tiny bit of trouble with Skinny Latte coming up patchy on first swipe. The blush, Peach Cobbler, is stunning and very buttery, with lots of pigmentation.
Gingerbread Cookie is probably my least favorite palette in this set. It’s a bit dark for my liking and has a couple patchy shades. Gingersnap is clearly the star of the palette (again, Too Faced killing it with the metallics), and Cup of Joe is pretty gorgeous as well. Maple Syrup and Black Coffee were both a bit patchy and I found it difficult to evenly build up the color with these, though they do have a fair bit of pigmentation to them. Winter Dream is pretty, but more sheer than I would have hoped. Gingerbread, the bronzer, is perfect for my fair skin. It’s a little warm (but not orange warm), and has the perfect amount of pigmentation for me to get a healthy bronze glow. Overall, this palette is the dud of the three for me, though there are a few shades I do like (and a bronzer I love) and will use in it.
The Peppermint Mocha palette gives me Modern Renaissance vibes, and I love that palette so I obviously love this one, haha. This palette swatched beautifully for me, with the exception of Christmas Blend being one of those more sheer looking shadows like Winter Dream in the Gingerbread Cookie palette was. None of these came out patchy on me and I’m obsessed with Peppermint Mocha and Sprinkles. So, so pretty! Santa Baby is also a beautiful (and beautifully pigmented) blush. Love this palette!
All up, the Too Faced Grande Hotel Café is definitely a winner for me, especially when you factor in the whole part where it’s only $49 (right?!) and it also comes with a Too Faced Better Than Sex mini. Yes, there are a few shades that aren’t the best and come out patchy or sheer, but the majority are gorgeously pigmented and stunning, and both of the blushes and the bronzer are beautiful as well.
Have you tried this set yourself yet?