Clinique’s $36 The Nutcracker Suite Act II Palette Is Perfectly Purple

Published in: Clinique, Collections, Eyes, Makeup, Palettes, Product Reviews

Clinique Nutcracker Suite Act II

Wearing the $36 Nutcracker Suite Act II Palette on my eyes and cheeks, along with the Chubby Stick Baby Tint in Flowering Freesia and Blended Face Powder in Snowflake Dreams, all from Act II of Clinique’s The Nutcracker Suite holiday collection

Part deux of Clinique’s holiday collection, The Nutcracker Suite, puts the spotlight on soft, romantic colors… And purple!

The overall collection is split into two parts, with the first part, Act I, being pumped up about pink, and the second part, Act II, being passionate about purple.


In Act II, purple eyes and a sheer purple lip pair with pretty pink cheeks, and for the eyes, there’s The Nutcracker Suite Act II Eye and Cheek Palette ($36).

Clinique Nutcracker Suite Act II

Clinique’s The Nutcracker Suite Act II sub-collection, clockwise from the purple pencil on the left: Chubby Stick Baby Tint in Flowering Freesia, Blended Face Powder in Snowflake Dreams and The Nutcracker Suite Act II Palette

The Nutcracker Suite Act II Eye and Cheek Palette ($36)

Clinique The Nutcracker Suite Act II Palette

The Nutcracker Suite Act II Palette ($36)

I like wearing purple eyeshadow…but sometimes it stresses me out.

Not because of the blending (after all, that’s what transition colors are for), but because some of them — and I don’t know why — make my eyes tear up, particularly when they touch my water lines and outer corners.

Clinique The Nutcracker Suite Act II Palette

Weirdly, wonderfully, the purples in Clinique’s The Nutcracker Suite Act II palette don’t bother my eyes at all, which makes sense, I guess, for Clinique and their “Allergy Tested” tag line.

Clinique The Nutcracker Suite Act II Palette

The purples in the compact are preternaturally easy to blend, and my favorite one, the darkest shade, is a moderately pigmented matte plum you can sheer out or build up. I like to pat it in the outer corners and sweep it along the outer crease.

A small amount usually does drop down right under my eyes, which is a tad annoying, but it’s nothing that a quick swipe from a makeup wipe can’t fix.

A shimmery white shadow (good for a brow bone or inner corner highlight) and plummy pink blush join the purple eyeshadows in the palette, which I expect to want to wear beyond Valentine’s Day into spring.

The Act II palette eyeshadows (four on the left) and blush (swatch on the far right)

Um…and not to be your makeup pusher or anything (famous last words), but I bet the purples in this palette would look extra-stunning on brown, hazel and green eyes.

I’m just saying. πŸ™‚

PRICE: $36
AVAILABILITY: Available now exclusively online
MAKEUP AND BEAUTY BLOG RATING: A- (the fallout is a minor issue but not a deal-breaker)

Mah home away from home: HomeGoods

For real though. My friend Marisol and I spent a good chunk of time cruising the aisles there on our lady-date last night.

I walked out with a butter dish and some porcelain canisters for the kitchen, a couple of gourmet Spanish chocolate bars that were half off (because you never know when you’ll need to stress eat some emergency chocolate) and, for reasons completely unknown to me now, this silver deer head…


My problem is that I know absolutely nothing about home decorating, and I have no natural aptitude for it (oh, well), but someone told me once that if something moves you in some way, go for it.

So I did.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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  1. Agata says:

    Although I love my purples, I kinda like the Act I pinker palette better!

    It’s funny that you picked up that deer head, that’s kinda random but it’s pretty! Btw, did you get anything from Sephora yesterday?
    Agata recently posted … Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Spotlights

    • Karen says:

      No, because I forgot my coupon. πŸ™ I have to go back when the storm is over. I’m going to grab a Coconut Watercolor Eyeshadow by Josie Maran. Probably the bronze shade!

      • Agata says:

        Nice! I still haven’t gotten any of the Josie Maran shadows although I am stunned by them every time I swatch them. I used my coupon on UD Naked on The Run palette but I haven’t used it yet.
        Agata recently posted … Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Spotlights

        • Karen says:

          Oh, nice! It’s such a lovely palette, I hope you like it. Did you order it online? I remember you mentioning Sephora is kind of far from you.

          The Josie shadows are really easy to use and I like that they’re shimmery but not super frosty. I have a feeling that I will need to collection all of them, eek!

          • Agata says:

            I actually bought it in store. When we went to The Cheesecake Factory for my birthday (which was inside the mall), since we had a 3 hour wait my hubby told me I could get something from Sephora since it was my birthday. I wasn’t even planning on getting this palette but it looked so pretty in person that I couldn’t resist! Of course, Jeff couldn’t understand why out of all things I’d choose another palette…Guys!

            You already have some of the Watercolor shadows, right? That purple shade is gorgeous too!
            Agata recently posted … Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Spotlights

          • Karen says:

            Three hour wait is CRAZY! How was the celebration? Happy belated by the way. πŸ™‚ I hope you ordered some cheesecake, yum yum yum!

  2. Heather says:

    Home Goods is awesome! But bad for the budget πŸ™

    I live purples but don’t have issues with tearing up- they just usually look weird on me if I’m not careful. I look bruised if I don’t blend carefully bc I’m so warm toned πŸ™
    Heather recently posted … Drugstore Makeup Eye Look 12/10

    • Karen says:

      Hi Heather,

      I think I might have to institute a HomeGoods ban soon. I could literally go there EVERY DAY and spend hours in the store. HOURS. I’m not kidding, either.

      So, I totally understand that issue you have with purple. The same thing happens to me too with certain shades, especially the ones with a strong red undertone. I find that wearing a golden brown or a taupe brown transition shade in the crease helps! Do you have MAC Cork? It works like a charm.

  3. Indya says:

    Your hair looks great Karen! Oh and the palette is nice too πŸ™‚

    • Karen says:

      Thank you! I just got it cut and I have been doing something a little different with it lately — curling it with a flat iron. πŸ™‚

      I hope that you’re having a nice day. Is the weather OK out your way? It is CRAZYPANTS here in Northern California.

  4. Lisa Simon says:

    Pretty! Are these as glittery as the Act 1 palette?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Lisa,

      Super pretty, right? It’s perfect as an everyday palette if you love purple. So, there is a good amount of shimmer in the beige, purply taupe and the light violet shadows. But it’s really easy to wear and not so shiny that emphasizes fine lines. No glitter in the eyeshadows, though. There’s a little bit in the blush but it’s super tiny flecks.

      Let me know if you have any other questions about the palette! Always happy to help.

  5. Kwmechelle says:

    It’s so purrr-ty! Am I the only one who can just stare at makeup? The shadows, the palettes, the swatches….ahhhh, a makeup girl’s dream.

    Drool-worthy swatches

  6. Kwmechelle says:

    You betcha! Purple is one of my faves, though I prefer the deep, bright purples. I’m talking Barney-inspired purples. Lol!
    The only color I haven’t tried (I think) is red.

    I read your review on the red eyeshadow from the MAC Red, Red, Red collection & it scared the beejeezus outta me- the shadow, not the collection. I suppose I could try to make it work as an accent color. Or, a really diffused transition color; perhaps blended with Uninterrupted?
    I still “thank you” in my head every. day. I. use. Uninterrupted, which is everyday

    • Karen says:

      I knew it. πŸ™‚ Those bright, deep purples are so fun! I think I need more in my life, so if you have any that you think are must-haves, holla.

      So, about that red eyeshadow… You can do it if you are careful about the placement and blending. It would work with Uninterrupted. Totally. You could pop the red lightly into the outer corner and crease, then sweep Uninterrupted to transition. Maybe start with with the red lightly diffused and then go in with additional layers if you are moved to do so. Whatever you do, don’t forget the liner on the upper lash/waterline! Seriously, without it sh*t is CRAY!

      It’s funny that you mention Uninterrupted because I just grabbed a pan last night at the MAC store. πŸ™‚ I thought of our convo when I got it, too, LOL!

  7. Erin says:

    I love that little palette! So cute and colors right up my alley. Decent pigmentation for Clinique too!
    Erin recently posted … Review: Kono Wine of New Zealand 2013 Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc

  8. MD says:

    WOW — what foundation have you been wearing on your skin in your posts over the past months? I must say, I’ve taken a hiatus from reading and your skin looks even better than I remember (which I didn’t think was possible!). Looks perfectly airbrushed, bouncy, hydrated and dewy! I must know what you’ve been wearing on your kin. Thanks! Lots of love from Canada.

  9. Part II is way prettier than Part I, at least to me.
    I love purple eyeshadows! It took me some time until I dared applying it, but ever since it is a firm favorite.

    I know exactly what you mean with home decor, I am a lost cause. And the things that move me in store usually move to a box in the basement sooner or later.
    LindaLibraLoca recently posted … Laura Mercier Oil-Free Tinted Moisturizer

  10. Love the look you created! Yep, I think I could work with that eyeshadow palette.
    Kiss & Make-up recently posted … Review | MAC Sourpuss Technakohl Liner

  11. Kim says:

    The purples are pretty but I think I prefer the pinks in Act 1. They’d be more flattering on me, I mean.

    I’m with you about the home decorating aptitude. I’m great at looking at a picture of a completely decorated room and being like “this is exactly what I want” (the whole room) but I would have no clue about how it to put it together myself. I think it’s good advice to buy things that move you. I just try to be very selective because what moves me today can turn into “what on earth was I thinking” in a few months. For that reason, I’m not one to choose trendy items. πŸ™‚

  12. Emily says:

    That dear head… is amazing.

  13. Yelena says:

    I think your eye watering issues might be an allergy to carmine/carminic acid. It’s derived from a natural source (that’s all in going to say, lol) and frequently used in red based cosmetics.

  14. Nina says:

    It’s really annoying tht u can click on ur pictures to enlarge them!!!

  15. Mary B says:

    I’ve been on a color cosmetic buy ban for 4 months, because of Christmas shopping. So I’m a little behind on this beauty, but I really like how palette 2 looks on you, as we have similar coloring (in the summer when I’m tanner), I’m going for it! Thanks for the review, Mary

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