Hey everyone! After a two week break I am happy to be bringing you my review of the Alamar Cosmetics Reina Del Caribe Vol II palette! I literally ordered this palette as soon as it went live. I was lucky enough to buy the first edition of this palette for only $10 new and unused off of someone who didn’t want it from their BoxyCharm, and I loved it so much that I knew I needed to give this one a try!
What I loved the most about the first palette from this brand was their metallics! There is just something so stunning about the formula. It is smooth and delivers intense pigmentation, so I was hoping that this second edition would live up to the first. After the price, shipping and exchange rate, this palette did turn out to be pretty pricey for me, around $50 CAD. So I definitely went out on a limb getting it. But was it worth it?
Packaging and First Impressions
The packaging of this palette is similar to the first, a cardboard palette that opens book-style, but this time in a beautiful navy blue colour-scheme. Inside, you have a similar floral/tropical pattern, but this time you get a mirror. Like the first, this palette comes with four metallics/shimmers and four mattes. Beside the name of each shade is either a water drop symbol, or a moon symbol, to signify whether the shade should be used either wet or dry, respectively. Vol II is supposed to be the night-time version of Vol I, so the packaging colours and symbols make sense!
“This palette features 8 highly opaque shades, inspired by the immersive tropical night life of the Caribbean. Dive into the pigments and pearls found in the intense metallics, or ground your look with the warm richness of the creamy mattes. For a more intense application, refer to the shade names that feature a water droplet, these shades can be used with a wet brush—the moon symbol represents the shades that should be used with a dry brush.
Made with love in the USA. Cruelty Free. Gluten Free. Paraben Free. Mineral Oil Free.”
Azucar: (Extreme high shine metallic) Intense blue based silver
Tumbao: (High shine metallic) True bronze with multicolor reflects
Rumbera: (High shine metallic) Red based true purple.
Mojito: (Extreme high shine metallic) Vivid green with blue and gold reflects
Mambo: (Velvet matte) Bright cool toned yellow
Flamingo: (Velvet Matte) Bright coral
Damas: (Velvet Matte) Deep plum
Caballeros: (Velvet Matte) True deep black
Price and Quantity
This palette is priced at $28 USD and comes with 0.34 oz of product. Something to note is that this differs from their original Reina Del Caribe palette, which has 0.4 oz of product for the same price. Regardless, depending on where you live, I think that this is a really well-priced palette. If you are in the US, it’s a total bargain and I imagine shipping isn’t too much. However in Canada, it definitely leans on the more expensive side. With shipping and the exchange rate included, this palette cost me about $50 CAD. A price like that would usually scare me off, especially when you don’t have the option to return, but I loved the first edition of this palette so much that I decided to go for it.
While I usually compare prices of similar products to see what the value is like, I admit I am finding myself a bit stumped with this one. The colour scheme is just so unique, that it doesn’t really seem worthwhile to compare it to other palettes on the market, because there just aren’t any that dupe it. But to give you an idea, it’s value when you divide the price by the amount of product you get is $82 USD/oz. This is pretty good when compared to higher end palettes like those from Anastasia Beverly Hills ($150 USD/oz), and Urban Decay (Naked palettes are $90 USD/oz). But it’s not nearly as good in value when compared to Juvia’s Place (9 pan palettes are $18 USD/oz) or the smaller Huda Beauty palettes ($60 USD/oz). But ultimately, if you want this colour scheme and this formula, the value is decent!
Pigmentation and Performance
Overall, on the whole I am pretty happy with this palette. The metallics are definitely very similar to those found in the first palette. In Vol I, there were actually two shimmers and two metallics, whereas in this palette all of the shades are supposedly metallics (some are “extreme high shine”, whereas others are just “high shine”). I don’t totally agree with the categorization.
Getting into specific shades, I would argue that Rumbera is more of a shimmer. It has much less reflect than the other shades, and has the same amount of shine that Celia has in Vol I (listed as a high shine shimmer). Additionally, both Azucar and Mojito in Vol II are listed as “extreme high shine”. While, Azucar is definitely VERY high shine (if you loved El Malecon in Vol I, you will LOVE this shade too!), Tumbao and Mojito are definitely a step below in the amount of shine.
Regardless of all this jargon, the metallics/shimmers are definitely pretty and apply well wet or on top of a tacky base. I usually just use my finger to press on the shades dry after I have cut the crease with concealer.
As for the mattes, they all have great pigmentation and are definitely buildable. I really enjoyed Flamingo especially. It is such a pretty pink, and it works well with Mambo and Damas if you are trying to blend it into different colours. As you will see in my first look, I was able to make the crease quite red with the combination of shades, but it’s easy to keep it pink as well! Similarly, if the colourful mattes scare you, you can easily combine Mambo and Damas to create a neutral crease.
The only thing with the mattes is that I did have some issues with Damas and Cabelleros. Damas is definitely a drier shade with really high pigment, making it a little harder to blend. It was usually do-able, as you will see in the looks below, but it did take more work. Similar can be said for Caballeros, but I find that unsurprising since it is a black. I feel like you can see how dry they look in my outer corner of both looks #3 and #4 (a little bit stripey). However, this might be eliminated by working on an unset base. But you don’t necessarily want to use a black or deep brown on a tacky base because it will get real dark real quick! Regardless, those looks looked great in person, you can just really see the dryness when you are looking up close.
So let’s get into the eye looks and I will let you know all the shades used and my thoughts on each shade as we go through.
Flamingo: Crease and lower lash line. This is a vibrant buildable pink that is very pretty. Although it’s looking a little red in these photos!
Mambo: Transition and lower lash line. I used this yellow matte to blend out the pink shade. I have found yellow mattes in the past to be disappointing, but this one had good pigmentation and blended well with the pink.
Damas: Outer corner. This is a brown/burgundy matte. I was a little concerned about this shade because it felt a lot drier and dustier than the rest of the mattes in this palette when I swatched it. I didn’t have any problems with it in this look, but I did encounter some problems with another look. It just doesn’t always seem to blend as well as it could.
Tumbao: Lid. This is a nice typical bronze metallic that I applied wet and with my finger on top of concealer.
Mambo: Crease and lower lash line.
Damas: Crease, outer corner and outer lower lash line. Even though this palette looks fairly non-neutral friendly, I found it was relatively easy to create a neutral crease with mambo and damas together. I do feel like it took a bit of work blending the shades, but it worked out in the end.
Mojito: Lid. This is a pretty grass green metallic that has a decent amount of shine to it. Like always I applied it to my lid on top of concealer to maximize impact.
I also have the Urban Decay Heavy Metal Glitter Eyeliner in the shade “Midnight Cowboy” lining the crease!
Mambo: Crease and lower lash line.
Damas: Crease, outer corner and outer lower lash line.
Azucar: Inner lid. This is by far the stand out shade in the palette for me. The amount of shine that it has is stunning! Such a pretty pale blue metallic.
Tumbao: Outer lid. When I got this palette I knew that I wanted to do a look with both the bronze and blue! They work together so well!
Flamingo: Crease and lower lash line.
Caballeros: Outer corner. This black matte definitely had good pigmentation, but as is often the case with blacks, it took a bit of work to blend.
Rumbera: Lid. This is a beautiful purple metallic shade, however, it’s a bit darker than I usually like to go on the lid. If it had a bit more reflect I would maybe feel better about it, but in any case this look turned out pretty!
Overall, the pigmentation of this palette is definitely A+ and the performance is probably a B. It’s enjoyable to use for the most part, and the colour scheme is definitely unique! Another plus is that I never noticed any fading with the shades, so they wore really well. I’m not entirely sure it is worth the $50 CAD that I ended up spending on it, but I don’t regret the purchase, and I wouldn’t return it even if I had the option to. I think that this is a great palette to help anyone get out of their comfort zone.
Have you tried either Alamar Cosmetics palette? Which one is your favourite? I think I prefer the colour scheme of Vol I, but Vol II is much more unique!