KATE Makeup Haul: Eyeshadow Palettes and Lip Products (And a Related Ramble)

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Kanebo, the Japan-bases parent company of KATE (drugstore cosmetics brand that I've swatched before), Lunasol (upscale cosmetics brand), Freshel, Impress, and Blanchir, had a sale just a couple of weeks ago. And you know me - I just had to check it out! I do have a fondness for both KATE and Lunasol, so it would have been understandable if I had emptied my wallet into Kanebo's coffers. Fortunately, I was a good girl, so I did some planning - I set myself a budget, rationalized all my purchases, and revised each item before proceeding to the checkout counter. And, this was what I finally ended up with!

Who doesn't love a cute Asian cosmetics haul? And it's KATE, too!

I have this theory about KATE eyeshadows - they always have the following shades they recycle in every new eyeshadow palette range that is launched:
1. PK-1 - pale pastel pinks, because every Asian girl LURVES pastel pinks (yucks)
2. BU-1 - a "blue" palette, usually has a pastel blue, mid-tone blue, and deep grey-blue shade
3. GR-1 (or GN-1) and sometimes GR-2 (or GN-2) - GR-1 will be a green palette with a forest green shade, and GR-2, if they decide to bring it out, will also be greens, but featuring an olive green shade
4. GY-1, which would be the boring grey palette, for smokey eye looks
5. BR-1, BR-2, and if they feel like it, BR-3 - it's hard to tell which is which, but BR-1 will usually be a series of light, warm browns, a BR-2, which will be a series of cooler browns. If that's not enough browns, they'll have a BR-3.

That's not all, of course. Other shades they might decide to throw in, depending on how creative they are feeling, are: GD-1 (a "gold" palette) and PU-1 (purple, usually pastel-ish purple). And if they're feeling really, really creative, they'll have WN-1 (plummy, wine shades), OR-1 (brassy copper shades), WT-1 (white, really full of pastel crap), and a BK-1 (black and super smokey - because GY-1 was too pale and not smokey enough, or because there was no GY-1).

So there you go. If you don't believe me, go check out the shades online or your nearest Watsons or whichever drugstore sells KATE. Or google swatches online. Come back and tell me I'm not wrong! :P In fact, let me show you, with my awesome internet collage:

Beautysets - KATE Colour Selections
No more rules? Obviously there are rules for making profits...

So, why the ramble? Well, I always found it strange that a brand whose slogan is "No More Rules" and whose website address is nomorerules.net is so formulaic with its eyeshadow shades, but meh, whatever, most Asian brands are like this shade-wise. I mean, compared to the competition in their target market, which would be the other drugstore brands, they already have much more variety than most, so I'm not gonna complain. I'm all for variety, especially at a good price.

Anyway, we were speaking about my haul? Don't worry - to compensate for above rant, I took lots of pretty pictures of my haul.

I got three eyeshadow palettes, with their pretty brown shades. And mostly, I got them for the packaging. Hey, at least I'm honest with myself, haha! The first palette I got was KATE Jewelry Mode Eyes in BU-1.

KATE eyeshadow Jewelry Mode Eyes BU-1
KATE Jewelry Mode Eyes in BU-1: Not sure what "Jewlry Mode" is exactly, but this sure is pretty.

I think the concept behind this is that the sheer middle shade is supposed to be layered on top of the other two shades to give you a jewel-like dimensional eye (hence "Jewlry Mode Eyes"). It's really just a shimmer shadow and two slightly less shimmery ones, but the marketing concept really does hook you in. I'm not sure what I'll do with that sheer blue flash-y shade in the middle (you can't see it in the photos, but it's there!), but the other two are gorgeous taupes.

KATE eyeshadow Jewelry Mode Eyes BU-1 (2)
Layer the middle shade over either of the gorgeous taupes. Sounds pretty!

I also got the KATE Wide Edge Eyes in BR-3 - again, you have one sheer shimmery shadow, this time termed the "Wide Control Panel", paired with four other less-shimmery (but by no means matte) shades. Really, most KATE eyeshadow palettes are like this - take a shimmery shade, pair when less shimmery shades, and call it Jewel Eyes or Pearl Shiny Effect or Wet Gem Look or something....it's really the same concept dressed up, but man, these are so, so pretty. And who doesn't want Wide Edge Eyes or Jewelry Mode Eyes? Come on - you know you do! As the Star Trek quote goes, bling me up, Scotty! (Okay that's not really the quote.)

KATE eyeshadow Wide Edge Eyes in BR-3
KATE Wide Edge Eyes in BR-3, with Wide Control Pearl...really just another shadow.

So anyway, the the deal with this palette is that it has a Wide Control Pearl shade, which you can layer over the light base shade on your lid area for a shiny lid that pops, thus giving you "Wide Edge Eyes". This reminds me of Katy Perry's song that goes "I'm wide awake, I'm wide awake"...

KATE eyeshadow Wide Edge Eyes in BR-3 (2)
Such pretty colours! Use the Wide Control Pearl shade on your lid for extra shimmer.

Lastly, I got the KATE Gradical Eyes A (hello there, Engrish name!) in GY-1. This is not to be confused with a previous a Gradical Eyes line (without the A) line released back in 2005 or so. You can see a photo of the more ancient Gradical Eyes range here. (Note the colour names!) The new Gradical Eyes A palette, which is a 2009 release, doesn't look that much different from the old one, but perhaps that's the point - why fix what ain't broke?

KATE eyeshadow Gradical Eyes A
KATE Gradical Eyes A in GY-1: Not going to fuss about the Engrish as long as it works!

The Eye Base on the right is actually a cream shade (really need to scrutinize my sales purchases more before forking out the cash for them!), which I didn't quite realize until after I bought it. But it's okay. It's still so pretty.

KATE eyeshadow Gradical Eyes A (2)
Come to think of it, how is Gradical different from Gradient Eyes?

I also got lip products, although I have enough lip stuff for like, twenty pairs of lips or something. (By the way, that's not an exaggeration. I used to keep my lip stuff in a shoebox because the itty bitty cosmetic holders you get at Daiso just don't cut it...) So I don't need them, but they were cheap and pretty. And lip products are the one thing I consistently wear everyday, so I figured a girl can always use more lip products.

KATE lipstick Rouge EX in PK-17
KATE Rouge EX in PK-17: Loving the square tube, looks so sleek!

I got the KATE Rouge EX in PK-17. This is a pretty neutral brown-pink with some satin shimmer. It's a very universally flattering shade. I don't normally like shimmer in my lip products, but this wasn't too excessive, so into my cart it went.

KATE lipstick Rouge EX in PK-17 (2)
PK-17 is a universally flattering colour.

I also got the KATE Lip Gloss S in RD-1. Yes, that's the full name of the lipgloss. You'd think that after Gradical Eyes and Jewelry Mode Eyes that the lip products would have funky names too, but alas, they don't. RD-1 is a very sheer red. For those who don't like red lips, this is pretty wearable. Incidentally, I've previously put up the KATE Lip Gloss S swatched up on my blog. Now I know I have enough sheer red glosses already (c.f. my Canmake lipgloss, my Zuii Organics lipgloss, and my Benefit Bella Bamba lipgloss, just to name a few...), but come on, this was just S$3! Three bucks - you don't say no to a three-buck gloss.

KATE Lip Gloss S in RD-1

So there you have it - my haul! Much as I make fun of the crazy names product managers and marketers come up with for cosmetics, I have to say that I do like KATE as a whole because they do have a nice range of colours and pretty packaging - I mean, it's hard to find a good taupe in an Asian drugstore line. So KATE and Majolica Majorca are my favorites for that reason. So yes, I am happy with my pretty, wearable colours, Engrish names and all. When I get around to using these and swatching them, you'll about it on the blog!


  1. I like to watch East Asian dramas and I've seen the strategically placed shimmer on several celebrities where you see this gleam when the light hits their eyes just right. Looks almost like a glossy sheen but not quite--definitely a subtle but noticeable gleam rather than disco ball shimmer. If that's the wet gem look, it's wonderful and I've been trying to find products to help me with it. At first, I've always thought they used something like those Becca Eye Tints but perhaps it's something more simple like what you're showing here. In any case, looking forward to reviews and swatches!

  2. Thanks for demystifying the world of KATE eyeshadow palettes for me. :)
    The only KATE product I have tried is the retractable eyebrow pencil. It's awesome.

  3. The packaging is super cute! Those products look amazing! Great haul!
    Trying to get 150 followers... Follow me????? chiccupcake1.blogspot.com
    -Jenna <3


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