Saucebox Cosmetics: A look at Étude (refill + Double Decker)

Monday, September 10, 2018

Disclaimer: Products mentioned in this blog post were gifted to me. Affiliate links enclosed & marked with a *. Links not marked with a * are not affiliate links.


Several years ago I attended the International Makeup Artists Trade Show (IMATS) in Los Angeles. While walking the floor I came across a (then) new cosmetic company called Saucebox Cosmetics* who had displayed these bright, bold single pan shadows along with three gorgeous palettes.

What struck me about the shadows were the sizes of the pans. Each shadow pan was the size of a blush pan and filled with I believe 4 or 5 grams of product at the time. The cost... her cost for that amount of product was (and still is) ridiculously inexpensive compared to other brands. Currently, most of her pans weigh between 3 grams to 4.5 grams and retail for as little as $12 each pan while palettes start at $28.

Top row: Chocolate, Biscotti, Beaming, Snow Flake
Bottom row: Cream Dream, Almond, Toffee, Caramel
Étude ($40 retail)

Originally released in 2014, the Étude palette has been one of the best selling palettes on Saucebox's website and frequently sells out once it restocks. It quickly became the Creme de la Creme's companion, originally featuring eight large pans filled with 4.5 grams of matte eyeshadows the newer release come sold in the palette and as a refill without the palette. This neutral palette was and is a favorite palette among customers with five stars out of 103 reviews.

I was sent the Étude + Double Decker combo set ($58.98 retail) for free along with Nocturne ($45 retail). The Double Decker palette alone retails for $23.99 while the full-size Étude, in its own original palette, retails for $40. It's also currently sold in a bundle with the Nocturne for $85 as well as the new Trifecta trio for $100 which includes Nocturne and the newest palette Secret Garden which is $45.

Swatches in left panel over Urban Decay's primer potion.
Swatches in right panel over Bella Pierre Makeup Base.

Note: Bella Pierre's Makeup Base is very sticky as it was meant for their loose pigments. It does not play well with pressed eyeshadows as it causes the brush to stick and drag when applying. It does do a beautiful job in making the colors pop more so than the Urban Decay.

Beaming disappeared into my skin as it's close to my natural skin tone.

Toffee is a "softer black" compared to Black Widow. Black Widow is not a flat matte color like Toffee.

Swatches over Urban Decay Primer Potion.
Left swatches were done with an Urban Decay brush.
Right swatches were finger swatches.

Positives:

  • Very pigmented for mattes. (Use a light hand.)
  • Made in the USA.
  • Uses recycled materials for the packaging.
  • Cruelty-free.
  • 4.5 grams / 0.16 oz each (total 36 grams / 1.28 oz)

Cost:
8 shadows for $40

Let's break down the cost of the current pans. Each pan is 4.5 grams of product and there are eight eyeshadows. That's basically only $5 per pan!

Ingredients:

Mica, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Dimethicone, Zinc Stearate, Nylon-12, Silica, Calcium Aluminum Borosilicate, Calcium Sodium Borosilicate, Lauroyl Lysine, Tocopherol, Caprylyl Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Isopentyldiol. May contain: Titanium Dioxide (CI 75470), Manganese Violet (CI 77742), Ultramarines (CI 77007), Chromium Oxide Greens (CI 77288), Bismuth Oxychloride (CI 77163), Yellow 5 Lake (CI 19140:1), Blue 1 Lake (CI 42090:2), D&C Black 2 (CI 77266), Ferric Ferrocyanide (CI 77510)

Negatives:

  • These are all matte shadows so if you're wanting a little shimmer and/or sparkle then you'd need to pair these with her other shadows and palettes that she offers for sale or use these with other brands.
  • Shadows are soft, use a light hand otherwise expect fall out.
  • The refill in the Double Decker does not come with a piece of paper telling you the names of the shadows but the names are printed on the bottom of each pan.
  • The shadows are not sold individually but the refill set is still a good deal.
Double Decker ($23.99 retail)

The Double Decker is a small magnetic palette that you can fill with your choice of shadows. Sold by itself for $23.99 the best deals are when it's paired with other refills such as with the Étude + Double Decker combo set for $58.98 or the Double Decker and Equinox set that retails for $40.

While it's similar to other magnetic palettes on the market what sets this apart is that it's a double palette with the top layer detachable from the bottom. It's compact size allow it for easy transport in your makeup kit.

Measurements:
Exterior: 6¾" x 3¾" (17 cm x 10 cm)
Interior: 6" x 3" (15 cm x 7½ cm)

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