That’s right, today I’m bringing you Christmas in September. Prepare to ditch your pumpkin spice lattes and start craving eggnog! The Too Faced Grand Hotel Café holiday set was released just last week, and I knew I had to have it. It includes three scented palettes, a little dollhouse container, and a sample of the infamous Better Than Sex mascara. I’ve been swatching and playing around with these since they arrived and I can’t wait to share my thoughts about this adorable holiday set!
First of all, the packaging. The. Packaging. Too Faced always kills it and this gift set is no exception. The three palettes and the mascara are enclosed in a pastel dollhouse about the height of a book. To open, you take off the roof and fold open the doors, where the products are enclosed and displayed upright in a plastic holder.
Each palette had a different theme, scent, and packaging that looks so cute and make me feel so Christmassy every time I reach for one. By this point, I’m almost ready to skip Halloween and Thanksgiving and get right to the holidays!
The theme of each palette is Gingerbread Cookie, Peppermint Mocha, and Eggnog Latte, hence why the set is called the “Grand Hotel Café”. The palettes are cardboard and each include six eyeshadows and either a blush or a bronzer. In total, you are getting eighteen shadows, two blushes, a bronzer, and a mascara sample for $49.
Too Faced has one of my favorite eyeshadow formulas, but some of the shades were hit and miss for me. While each palette has a different color vibe, there seem to be some similar shades in each. It seems unnecessary to have a matte white/cream shade in each palette and I wish they included some better highlighting shades. I personally prefer a shimmery shade for highlighting.
The matte shadows that are included are really beautiful, just the right balance between creamy and powdery. They blend really easily and are super pigmented. Some of the shimmers are the same way. However, a lot of the shimmers included are really glittery and on the skin it shows up as just colored glitter. For some shades this works nicely, like the Gingersnap and Winter Dream shades in the Gingerbread Cookie palette, but for others I wish there was some more pigment along with the glitter. Even for the better glittery shades, it was hard to work with.
The shimmery shades that aren’t glittery are really soft and fine, some of my favorites in the palettes.
As for the blushes, I really like the two colors that they included. The peach shade in the Eggnog palette is nicely suited for fair skin while Santa Baby in the Peppermint Mocha palette would be gorgeous on medium or dark skin tones. The bronzer is definitely more suited for fair to medium skin tones and it’s very blendable and has a hint of shimmer to it. The powders all remind me of Benefit powders. They’re pigmented, but a little powdery. This makes them easier to blend in my opinion!
Now to break down each palette individually! I don’t have a favorite, to be honest. There are a few shades in each that I love and some that I can’t see myself reaching for. I prefer using a combination of the palettes to get a pretty eye look, but they could definitely be used alone, too. An * indicates my favorite shades.
Eggnog Latte is a pastel blue palette and it includes…
Frosty Nog: a matte white
Eggnog Latte: a shimmery pale gold
Iced Coffee: shimmery medium brown
*Skinny Latte: matte light brown
Cold Brew: Glittery silver
*Central Perk: shimmery forest green (F.R.I.E.N.D.S reference anyone?)
*Peach Cobbler: matte peach blush
Most of the shadows in here are good, and now that I think about it this might be my favorite palette. Central Perk is gorgeous. Not many palettes include a pigmented green shade! Eggnog Latte is the only disappointing shade for me, it’s too much shimmer and not enough pigment. The scent is also stronger in this palette than the others, although it’s still not as strong as the Too Faced chocolate bar palettes.
Gingerbread Cookie is a dark brown palette and it includes…
Ginger Cream: matte cream
*Maple Syrup: matte cool-toned medium/dark brown
*Gingersnap: Glittery gold
Winter Dream: Glittery lilac
Cup of Joe: shimmery dark brown, almost black
Black Coffee: matte black (shows up as more of a dark grey)
*Gingerbread: neutral-toned shimmery bronzer
Gingersnap and Winter Dream are hard to pick up on a brush, but if you can get them to work for you they are gorgeous shadows. I wish Black Coffee was more pigmented as well, I had to use two layers to swatch it. Gingerbread is a great bronzer for me so I’ve been reaching for this palette a lot even if I’m not using the shadows!
Peppermint Mocha is a pale pink palette and it includes…
Peppermint Cream: yet another matte white, really similar to Frosty Nog
Christmas Blend: glittery pale gold, really similar to Eggnog Latte
*Peppermint Mocha: shimmery brownish plum
Candy Cane: matte pale pink
Sprinkles: shimmery purple
*Coffee Chip: shimmery dark brown with a hint of plum
Santa Baby: matte bubblegum pink blush
The scent in this palette is the weakest, which is disappointing to me because I would love a peppermint mocha. I suppose it’s better than all the unscented palettes that I have. The first two shades in this palette are really similar to the Eggnog Latte palette, so I wish there would have been a shimmery white and a matte golden shade, instead. However, the pink and purple tones in here are really pretty so I can forgive the repeats. I can make the blush work for my fair skin but again, I think it would suit deeper skin tones better!
The Better Than Sex sample is smaller than I expected, but I love it. At first I thought the wand would make my lashes clump really badly but somehow it doesn’t! It gives loads of volume really quickly and I’m glad I get to test out this popular mascara before committing to the full size. I can see why everyone loves it!
Overall, I think this would be a great Christmas present, either for yourself or for a friend. You could even give away each palette separately! With all that’s included, it’s a good value and while there are a lot of neutrals, some of the shades are really unique and fun to use for those who own a lot of makeup. My biggest gripe is that this collection is getting me in the Christmas mood so early! I might have to put these away until the snow starts to fall…
What do you think of this holiday collection?