Morphe x Jaclyn Hill: The Vault Collection Armed & Gorgeous Palette

I’ve been testing this palette for the past week and well, I’m slightly more impressed with the Armed & Gorgeous palette than I was with the Bling Boss palette (you can read about that little disaster here). While I only have the “V2” versions of The Vault palettes, I’ve heard that they perform only slightly better than the originals. That said, everyone has a different experience with every product, and hopefully some of you have had better luck with these palettes than I have! I’m curious to know what you think of these palettes, so let me know in the comments if you’ve used them and how they worked for you!

Dupes will be added on Tuesday, October 2nd! I’m rearranging my makeup room right now and can’t get to all of my eye shadow palettes tonight!

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As with the Bling Boss palette, there are inconsistencies in formulation between different colors in Armed & Gorgeous, but I’ll get into that in the individual rundowns for each shadow. I definitely think that Morphe’s shadows found in their 35, 15, and other eye shadow palettes are better quality, and much more consistent between different shades. I don’t own the original Jaclyn Hill palette, but judging by the few times I’ve played around with it, it’s also much higher quality than The Vault palettes are. I so wanted to love these palettes, and like I said, Armed & Gorgeous is easier to work with than Bling Boss was, but it’s still just not something I’d reach for all the time. There are other shadows and palettes out there that may cost a little more, but are a lot more fun to play around with and much easier to apply!

Most of the shadows in Armed & Gorgeous were well pigmented, so that was a nice surprise. However, some were still difficult to blend out or ended up looking patchy. The first look I did using three of the shadows was awesome and I got a lot of compliments on it! The second look… Ehhh not so great. The third was alright, but I had enough difficult blending out some of the shadows that I wasn’t happy with the finished look and didn’t end up photographing it. Overall, just like with Bling Boss, I don’t think that Armed & Gorgeous is worth the $15, or my time. I’m still going to give the other two Vault palettes a shot, but I need to take a little break from them so I can play with some of the other new products I’ve picked up lately that seem more promising. I hope you all are cool with that!

Speaking of upcoming reviews and new products, if you want to keep up with me and see what I’m testing or check out looks I post with all of my favorite and new products, you can follow me on Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat! You can find me @lesley_makeup on all social media platforms. I love hearing from all of my readers and followers, so don’t be afraid to say hi!

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The Armed & Gorgeous palette can be purchased from Morphe or Ulta, either online or in stores, just like the other palettes in The Vault collection. Individually, the palettes cost $15, or you can buy all four of them as a set for $49. I don’t know if Ulta sells them as the set in stores, but they’re available from Ulta individually. Each palette contains ten 1″ pan shadows weighing in at 1.6 g / 0.056 oz of product each. That’s a total of 16 g / 0.56 oz of shadow for the whole palette. If you divide up the price, it comes out to be $1.50 per shadow, which is a steal, but is also why I didn’t really expect miracles from these palettes.

If you compare The Vault palettes to something like palettes from Anastasia Beverly Hills, you’re getting four less shadows in The Vault palettes but the shadows in them are bigger, and it’s a better deal based on cost alone (ABH palettes will run you $42). In comparison to something like the Shayla x Colourpop Perception Palette, Perception contains six more shadows than Armed & Gorgeous does, weighs in with the exact same amount of product, and costs $23 ($8 more than Bling Boss, but only costs you $1.44 per shadow). Now for individual comparisons, Anastasia Beverly Hills shadows are 0.07 g larger the shadows in the The Vault palettes, but they cost $12 each. MAC Eye Shadows in refill pan form are 1.6 g smaller than the shadows in the The Vault palettes are and cost $7.  Colourpop’s individual, pan-only shadows are even cheaper at $4 each, and contain 1.5 g of product.

Armed & Gorgeous and the other Vault palettes aren’t a bad deal as a whole and are basically cheaper than anything else out there, but you’re not paying for quality as much as I feel like you’re paying for someone’s name and sparkly logo stamped onto them. If you have the spare money to blow on this palette or The Vault collection as a whole, I say go for it if you see a two or three shadows that catch your eye. A few shadows are unique and really pretty, and I see myself reaching for those, but only occasionally. However, if you want to play with color and want a better quality palette, just get one of Morphe’s 35 palettes! They’re awesome and you get more colors for your money that way.

On the plus side, Morphe is a cruelty-free company! Each palette may not be vegan, though. Carmine is on the ingredients list under “may contain”, so I can’t tell you which shadows are and are not vegan. Since Carmine is a red dye, it’s more than likely in a few of the shadows in this palette.

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The packaging for The Vault and for this palette is cute. It’s pretty clean, it’s classy, it’s very “Jaclyn”, and I like it! The box that The Vault set comes in has the Morphe x Jaclyn Hill logo on it and features the four colors for each palette mixed together with the metallic silver in the little burst logo. The box also has a little bit about how this collection came to be and a photo of Jaclyn on the back, and the ingredients listed on……….. As for the set itself, it’s held in another box which is open on one side so you can see the palette labels. It’s really neat and has a ribbon inside of it that you pull on to slide the palettes out, making it easy to grab them without messing up your nails or desperately trying to pry them out of there. The Bling Boss palette features the typical Jaclyn Hill silver burst logo with little purple confetti mixed in, representing the color theme of the shadows inside. Oh and one more thing… There’s a mirror in each of The Vault palettes! It’s a good quality mirror too and not one of those cheap, plastic types that distorts your pretty face, so that’s a positive thing about this palette!

Note: Some photos below have been edited to represent the shadow color as accurately as possible.

All reviews are based on how these shadows perform when applied and tested over a primer, just like how I always wear every other eye shadow. My primer of choice is MAC’s Soft Ochre Pro Longwear Paint Pot, set with whatever powder I use on my face (usually Laura Mercier Translucent or MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural).

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Photo taken outdoor on a cloudy day. Eye Shadows swatched on MAC NC15 skin.

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VIP:   This is described as an “icy white shimmer” and has a more frosted finish than a shimmery one. It’s a light, neutral toned white with a bit of sheen to it. It’s a little hard to pick up the finish in the swatch photo, but it’s definitely there in person. This shadow is great for an inner corner highlight or even on the lid of you apply it lightly, or if you just like a light, intense lid color.

The texture of this felt pretty dry for a shadow with this type of finish, and it seems to go on better when swiped across the lid with a finger or a flat, synthetic brush, rather than using something with natural fibers. Color payoff is pretty good, especially for these palettes, although it’s not as intense once applied as it is in the pan. Coverage is mostly opaque but not fully, unless you layer VIP a bit. I didn’t notice fallout with this shadow, but it does have some kickback in the pan. Wear time on the inner corner/inner part of the lid was about 5 hours before it began to fade.

Dupes:

  • MAC’s Crystal Avalanche Eye Shadow is similar but a bit less cool toned.
  • MAC’s White Frost Eye Shadow is even closer to VIP, but is also very slightly less cool toned, but it has better pigmentation.

Overall Rating:   3.7 / 5

Application:   4

Coverage:  4

Color Payoff:   3

Texture:   3

Wear Time:   3

Packaging:   5

Value:   4

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Access:   Morphe refers to this eye shadow as a “matte turmeric gold”. It’s a very matte, warm toned, light-medium to medium, orange-gold. I used this as a transition color in and above my crease, and it performed pretty well. I didn’t think I’d like this color all that much, but it’s really pretty when paired with other shadows from this palette.

Like most other mattes in The Vault collection, Access feels very dry, but still smooth. Color payoff is alright, but it looks a little more muted once applied than it does in the pan. Coverage is just alright too… It’s definitely not very opaque unless it’s layered, as you can see in the swatch. If you apply a light colored primer, like MAC’s Soft Ochre Pro Longwear Paint Pot, it will improve both the color payoff and coverage with this shadow. There was a little powdery fluff in the pan when I dipped my brush into this shadow, but there’s no real fallout. Wear time was about 6 hours before I had any fading or creasing occur.

Dupes:

  • I didn’t find a great dupe foe this, but you could use a lot of orange/gold matte shadows to take the place os Access! Let me know in the comments if you’ve found a great dupe!

Overall Rating:   3.1 / 5

Application:   3

Coverage:  2

Color Payoff:   3

Texture:   3

Wear Time:   3

Packaging:   5

Value:   3

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Gilt Trip:   Morphe describes Gilt Trip as a “gold leaf shimmer”. It’s a light-medium, true gold with an almost metallic finish. This shadow was actually really nice and worked well as a lid color. It would also be pretty as an inner corner highlight, especially with some of the deeper shadows in this palette or on dark or deep skin tones.

The texture of Gilt Trip is smooth and much more buttery than the mattes in this palette. Color payoff is nice, although it’s not as intense once it’s on as it is in the pan, unless you dampen your brush to apply this shadow. Coverage is ehhh, 80-90% opaque with a dry application, but fully opaque when applied with a damp brush or layered with a finger. I didn’t have any fallout with this shadow and it wore well on my lid for just over 6 hours.

Dupes:

  • ABH’s Tiger’s Eye Eye Shadow is similar, but more warm toned.
  • ABH’s Gold Rush Eye Shadow is nearly identical.

Overall Rating:   4 / 5

Application:   4

Coverage:  4

Color Payoff:   3

Texture:   4

Wear Time:   4

Packaging:   5

Value:   4

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Coin:   This shadow described as a “glitzy gold sheen” and is a much more rich type of gold than Gilt Trip is. Coin is a medium, cooler toned type of gold that has a frosted finish, but also has some glittery bits in it. It’s a lovely color for the lid and fits right in with the fall vibes this palette gives.

Coin’s texture feels pretty dry, but it’s not as dry as the matte shadows in The Vault palettes. However, it’s also not as smooth as the more frosted shadows like Gilt Trip. The “glitz” seems to add a bit of grittiness to the formula of this shadow. Color payoff is, as usual, not as bold or intense once applied as it is when you see it in the palette, and it’s better with a finger or a damp application than it is with a brush. Same goes for coverage… It’s not fully opaque when applied with a dry brush like a MAC 239, and only gives full coverage if you apply it with something like a dampened synthetic brush (think a small, flat concealer type of brush). I had a little fallout with Coin, but it stayed in place on my lid without creasing or fading for between 6 and 7 hours.

Dupes:

  • Melt Cosmetics’ Ganja Eye Shadow (from the Haze stack) has a little less of an almost greenish undertone than Coin does, but it’s very, very similar and feels incredibly creamy. It’s also a lot more pigmented.

Overall Rating:   3.7 / 5

Application:   3

Coverage:  4

Color Payoff:   3

Texture:   3

Wear Time:   4

Packaging:   5

Value:   4

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Agent:   Agent is a “matte saffron” that’s kind of a darker, more brown version of Access. This shadow is a medium to medium-dark, warm toned brownish-orange with a very matte finish. It’s a great color for the crease or lower lash line (if you can get it to show up), and would work well with pretty much any skin tone.

Unfortunately, Agent is another super dry, chalky feeling shadow out of The Vault, which sticks to certain areas, doesn’t show up in other areas, and is overall pretty patchy and hard to work with or blend out. This eye shadow has the potential to be great and has great pigmentation, but color payoff is lacking unless you really layer it or pack it on. Coverage is also pretty pathetic unless you layer this shadow or it decides to randomly stick to one spot, like it has a tendency to do. Agent is so chalky and blah that there’s not really any fallout, so that’s sort of a plus. Wear time is great if you can actually manage to apply this shadow, and it lasted for about 8 hours in my crease before it faded.

Dupes:

  • ABH’s New Wave Eye Shadow (Subculture Palette) is a little lighter than Agent, but much easier to apply and more pigmented.

Overall Rating:   2.6 / 5

Application:   1

Coverage:  2

Color Payoff:   2

Texture:   1

Wear Time:   4

Packaging:   5

Value:   3

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Photo taken outdoor on a cloudy day. Eye Shadows swatched on MAC NC15 skin.

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Top Secret:   This shadow is described as a “matte absinthe green”. It’s a medium-dark, cool toned olive drab sort of green with a matte finish. This color is gorgeous, or it would be if it actually showed up, but most of the time, it doesn’t. I tried this all over the lid for a smoky look and it was SO patchy and hard to layer or work with. It applied a little better in the crease, but it was still really patchy and hard to apply even then. It’s such a bummer too, because this would have been such a pretty shadow otherwise.

Top Secret feels chalky, very dry, and overall horrible. Like many of the mattes in these palettes, color payoff is not good at all. It’s very patchy, doesn’t really show up, and has no coverage or opacity either. Color payoff is actually okay if you layer this in the crease by going over it again and again with a fluffy brush, but even then is sticks to some spots, misses other, and is difficult to blend out. Layering this shadow doesn’t even work well to get heavier coverage because it becomes sooo patchy. I didn’t get any fallout with this shadow, although it’s pretty powdery and causes a lot of kickback in the palette. Wear time in the crease was a solid 8 hours, so that’s one positive thing about Top Secret!

Dupes:

  • Melt’s Leo Eye Shadow (Gemini Palette) is pretty much identical, but a lot more pigmented and feels almost creamy it’s so finely milled and smooth.
  • MAC’s Flourishing Eye Shadow is similar, maybe a little lighter, but it’s long been discontinued 😦

Overall Rating:   2.3 / 5

Application:   1

Coverage:  1

Color Payoff:   2

Texture:   1

Wear Time:   4

Packaging:   5

Value:   2

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Smooth Criminal:   Smooth Criminal is referred to as a “matte cognac”. It’s a medium-dark to dark, very warm toned brown with strong reddish or rusty undertones and a very matte finish. This shadow wasn’t very impressive, which sucks because I love this color in the pan. It worked best for me when applied in the crease or below the lower lash line using a MAC 217 brush or something similar.

This shadow’s texture feels just like the other mattes in this palette and the rest of The Vault… Upon swatching it, it’s smooth but very dry and almost chalky. Color payoff was a little better with Smooth Criminal than it was with Top Secret, but it still wasn’t intense. Coverage was pretty much translucent and incredibly patchy, even when lightly layered with a fluffy crease brush like a MAC 224 or TIME Los Angeles 203 brush, which usually gives an incredibly even, blown out type of application, even with the most problematic shadows. There was no fallout with Smooth Criminal, but I mean, there wasn’t much of anything else either. Wear time in the crease was good, and this shadow lasted over 8 hours without creasing.

Dupes:

  • Melt Cosmetics’ Rust Eye Shadow is nearly a perfect dupe but is MUCH more pigmented and buttery feeling.

Overall Rating:   2.4 / 5

Application:   1

Coverage:  2

Color Payoff:   2

Texture:   1

Wear Time:   4

Packaging:   5

Value:   2

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Secure:   This eye shadow is a “matte tangerine” and is one of the better mattes in this palette. It’s a medium, warm toned orange with a matte finish. This worked really well for me as a transition/crease color and looks nice with any other shadow in this palette.

The texture of Secure felt nicer than any of the other matte shadows in this palette and was smooth and a little dry, but not to the point of being chalky, so it applied evenly and buffed out easily with a fluffy crease brush. Color payoff wasn’t amazing, but it was good, and this layered well so it is possible to make this shadow quite intense. Coverage wasn’t full, but it wasn’t bad, especially if it’s layered or applied with a dense brush. I swiped this on heavily below my lower lash line with a pencil brush like a MAC 219 and it looked bold and nearly opaque using little product. There was no fallout with Secure and it lasted both in the crease and below my lower lash line for over 7 hours.

Dupes:

  • MAC’s Rule Eye Shadow is close, but is a little more cool toned and orange.
  • ABH’s New Wave Eye Shadow (Subculture Palette) is a perfect dupe and is also more pigmented and smooth in texture.

Overall Rating:   4 / 5

Application:   4

Coverage:  4

Color Payoff:   4

Texture:   3

Wear Time:   4

Packaging:   5

Value:   4

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Prowl:   Prowl is described as a “matte dark truffle” and is similar to Secure as far as formulation goes, so this is another good matte shadow out of The Vault collection. It’s a dark, warm toned brown with a matte finish that works really well to darken the crease and smudge below the lower lash line for a warm, smoky look.

Prowl’s texture is smooth and a little dry, but it feels nice to apply and goes on evenly. Color payoff is better than most mattes from The Vault, but still not as great as some other brands matte formulas. Coverage is still not quite full, but you can make this opaque with a little layering. That said, it’s still a bit patchy when applied and packed onto the lid. There wasn’t much kickback in the palette with Prowl, and it had no fallout. Wear time was great and this shadow lasted for about 9 hours in my crease before I noticed any fading or creasing.

Dupes:

  • ABH’s Fudge Eye Shadow is slightly warmer and a little lighter, but it’s very close and has better pigmentation.
  • ABH’s Hot Chocolate Eye Shadow is nearly identical, perhaps with less reddish undertones, but it’s a great dupe and is a lot more pigmented.

Overall Rating:   4.3 / 5

Application:   4

Coverage:  4

Color Payoff:   4

Texture:   4

Wear Time:   5

Packaging:   5

Value:   4

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Classified:   This shadow is a “shimmering burnt gold” and would be a great lid color… If it showed up a little better. It’s a medium to medium-dark, shimmery, slightly cool toned gold that somehow looks totally different and much warmer once it’s swatched or applied.

Classified’s texture was very dry, which made it hard to apply and work with. To get it to remotely show up, you have to use your finger or a damp brush and really do some layering and finessing. Color payoff was weird, not great, and like I said, it looked much warmed once I had applied it, which was disappointing. Coverage was bad and isn’t opaque unless you apply layer upon layer of this shadow. It had some fallout, too, but it was mostly shimmery particles that were easy to sweep away. When I finally got this to show up on my lid, it only lasted a little over 4 hours before I noticed it fading and beginning to crease.

Dupes:

  • I honestly didn’t find a dupe for Classified because it’s such a barely-there shadow to begin with. Pretty much any golden, patina type of eye shadow would be better than this *shrug*. If you know of a good dupe, leave me a comment and let me know!

Overall Rating:   1.9 / 5

Application:   1

Coverage:  2

Color Payoff:   1

Texture:   1

Wear Time:   2

Packaging:   5

Value:   2

 

This post expresses my own honest opinion. I purchased this product with my own money and did not receive any type of PR or compensation for this review.

1 reply

  1. Love your breakdown of this palette. Great job! Also, so much scandle around this lol ❤

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