Essential Eyeshadow Palette
Last Updated:04.06.2015
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:No
Review Overview

Now this is how to assemble an eyeshadow collection! Arranged in a large compact are four complementary shades of ultra-smooth powder eyeshadow. Each shade is cleverly marked to indicate where it should be placed (e.g., brow bone, lid) and although you don’t have to follow those guidelines, novices will appreciate the help. Each shade is a pleasure to blend and applies softly, yet is buildable for those who desire more intensity. There are no 100% matte shades; instead, you’ll find each has some amount of shine, with the majority defaulting to low-glow shimmer. All of the sets are highly recommended; the darkest shade in each works great used with a damp eyeliner brush.

All Palettes Contain: Talc, Octyldodecyl Stearoyl Stearate, Zinc Stearate, Caprylyl Glycol, Methylparaben, Ethylparaben, Butylparaben, Propylparaben, Isobutylparaben. May Also Contain: Nylon-12, Lauroyl Lysine, Boron Nitride, Bismuth Oxychloride (CI 77163), Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499), Manganese Violet (CI 77742), Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Ultramarines (CI 77007), Mica (CI 77019), Carmine (CI 75470).

NOTE: Ingredients may vary by shade from the above listing.

Brand Overview

Cargo At-a-Glance

Strengths: Some good foundations; excellent lip glosses; several bronzing options; great eyeshadow sets (though not every color combination is recommended); some high-performance mascaras; the liquid eyeliner; a handful of innovative products that nicely distinguish Cargo from other makeup lines.

Weaknesses: A few otherwise good products are marred by an abundance of fragrance; no foundations with sunscreen; limited selection of brushes; the Blu-Ray concealer isn't worth the money; standard to below-standard pencils and lipstick; several items are overpriced for what you get.

Canada-based Cargo is a makeup line founded a little more than 10 years ago by a woman whose mission was to create a professional color line that would appeal equally to makeup artists and everyday women. Apparently, the dozens of product lines that existed just weren't good enough—obviously, she hadn't seen Stila, MAC, Laura Mercier, Trish McEvoy, Quo, Bobby Brown, or Nars, and on and on. Cargo hit the beauty scene with a blend of celebrity fanfare and panache that has become the standard for any new cosmetic brand that wants to grab attention and have the press write about them.

Celebrity gossip and fashion magazine write-ups aside (believe me, their recommendations aren't objective in the least, they love everything; have you ever read or heard a celebrity or a fashion magazine say that a makeup or skin-care product or brand is really awful?), there are plenty of reasons to consider Cargo an option when looking for a new makeup look or just to replenish your current supply. What Cargo doesn't do, however, is distinguish itself in any significant way to indicate you should abandon your favorite Stila, Laura Mercier, M.A.C., Revlon, L'Oreal, Rimmel, or [insert-your-favorite-makeup-line-here] products, although in some cases, you may indeed be tempted.

Several independent beauty stores retail the Cargo brand and you may be wondering what does Cargo do really well? This is definitely a line to shop if you're a fan of bronzers and lip gloss. They also have some reliable foundation choices, improved eyeshadow palettes, and a handful of innovative products worth your attention, assuming you're OK with Cargo's higher price point. (In that regard, this is a line to shop with caution because many of the items aren't worth the splurge.) It's admirable that Cargo donates a portion of lipstick sales to St. Jude's Children's Hospital, but, unfortunately, the lipsticks have one of the greasiest formulas you're likely to find.

What Cargo lacks are foundations with sunscreen, and their one liquid foundation is overloaded with potentially irritating fragrance chemicals. This is also not the line to look to if you're shopping for matte blush or eyeshadows. All manner of shine dominates, though this is typical of many makeup lines; so, if anything, Cargo is just following the herd. Another disappointment is that Cargo initially offered an impressive range of brushes, but that range has now been whittled down to only a few.

Advertising is where Cargo really falls off the wagon and joins most of the other cosmetic companies, bragging about what several of their products do not contain, such as paraben preservatives. The insanity is that although they in some cases push the claim that the product does not contain parabens, at least one-third of the line's formulas still do contain parabens. We don't get the rationale behind emphasizing that something is allegedly bad (and due to media hype lots of consumers are wary of products with these allegedly evil ingredients), and then at the same time continuing to include it in many of your products. Parabens are not the terrible ingredients they're made out to be; and it's clear that Cargo doesn't really think so either or they wouldn't keep selling products preserved with parabens! we mean, really!

For more information about Cargo, call (800) 295-8877 or visit www.cargocosmetics.com.

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The new Beautypedia Team proudly and unequivocally maintains the commitment to help you find the best products possible for your skin. We do this by relentlessly pursuing and relying on published scientific research so you will have unbiased information on what works and what doesn't-and the sneaky ways you could be making your skin worse, not better!

The Beautypedia Team reviews all products using the same research, criteria, and objectivity, whether the product being reviewed is from Paula's Choice or another brand.

Member Comments
Summary of Member Comments
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Too sparkly

I purchased this based on Paula's review, but am disappointed. The shadows go on nicely, but are much too sparkly for me. I primarily purchased them to wear to work (I am a lawyer in a fairly conservative office), and particularly the lightest colour in the pallet (cool neutral) has obvious sparkles. Not only were my eyes too sparkly, the sparkles went under my eyes and on my cheeks. Also, the compact is cheap quality. One of the shadows fell out before I even used the compact at all.

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585632-IIS4 v1.0.0.431 10/6/2015 7:25:00 PM