I’m a Softie for LORAC’s Private Affair Palette

Published in: Makeup, Product Reviews

lorac private affair palette review

For Christmas last year my little brother got our mom a Snuggie (“as seen on TV!”).


What’s a Snuggie? Well, if you’ve seen the late-night commercials, it’s the world famous blanket with sleeves (kinda looks like a reverse wizard’s cape), and my mum thinks it’s cooler than a young Paul McCartney in butt-hugger pants.

I talked a lot of crap about ’em until the day I tried one on…

DANG, they’re unbelievably comfortable and soft.

Which reminds me of another “so soft!” moment I’ve had recently, this one with LORAC’s Private Affair Palette ($38).

It had been a while since I’d used one of the company’s powder shadows (not the baked ones) from their regular line, and Private Affair’s six shades refreshed my memory. There’s one thing I think LORAC’s always done well, and that’s make smooth eyeshadows.

I mean, if these were any smoother, I’d heat ’em in the microwave and pour ’em on pancakes.

Mmm… pancakes. πŸ™‚

Unfortunately, they’re also a little fragile. The other day I accidentally pushed a brush head too hard into the gray pan and took a big chunk out of it (oops!); they’re THAT soft (and consequently easy to blend).

Joining the six shimmery pigmented shadows in plum, beige, pink, bronze, gray, and blackish plum, Private Affair also comes with a tiny tube of Behind the Scenes Eye Primer and a dual-tipped brush tucked in a drawer, secret squirrel-style.

NOTE: The brush that comes with Private Affair is identical to the one that comes with LORAC’s Close Up Eye Tutorial Kit, and, um, remember how that one broke? I saved myself the time and heartache and ditched this one immediately.

Private Affair’s shadows lean toward the cool end of the color spectrum, and several have reddish purple undertones, which I tend to have trouble wearing (they can make me look like I’ve been crying). I think if you have a cooler skin tone than I do, you might like these a lot.

TIP: How do you tell if you’re cool toned or warm? It’s based on the undertone of your skin. If the veins on the underside of your arm appear bluish, you’re cool toned (and probably wear pink-based foundation); if they appear greenish, you’re warm (and probably wear yellow-based foundation).

lorac private affair palette review ingredients

lorac private affair palette review swatches nc35

lorac private affair palette review eye closeup

lorac private affair palette review k

lorac private affair palette review closed


What do you think of the faux croc case? Cute, right? Classy and elegant? I think so too, but I’d like to give it a few tweaks because…

  • The lid won’t stay open and shuts when I don’t want it to; I have to hold the palette open every time I want to dip my brush into a panÒ€¦ Yep, it’s annoying.
  • The satiny inner liner is difficult to clean and gets messy.
  • It’s a little bulky and takes up too much space in my travel makeup bag.

All things considered, I like the Private Affair palette, but I LOVE the Close Up Eye Tutorial kit. For about the same amount of money, Close Up just feels more versatile to me. It comes with four fundamental makeup products (a liquid eyeliner, neutral eyeshadow trio, eye primer and mascara), and I see myself using them a little more. Makeup and Beauty Blog Rating: B

You might like the LORAC Private Affair palette ifÒ€¦

  • Your eyes POP when you wear plum and wine shadows
  • You don’t mind big and bulky palettes
  • You love soft, blendable textures
  • You like shimmery shadows

It’s Friday Eve, WOOT!

I cannot believe it’s almost Friday. I feel like my bum was surgically attached to my computer chair this week, but tonight I’m having it relocated to the couch. πŸ™‚ Jersey Shore, anyone?

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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So far, 42 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Instant Karma (formerly L) says:

    I like the silver on you, but I can see the issues with the plum shadows. I can’t rock ’em, either.

    Paul McCartney in butt-hugger pants JUST MADE MY DAY. Your mother has excellent taste.

    OH, I never told you WHY he blew me a kiss. This was five years ago, and my parents (who are amazing) got me tickets to his concert for my 19th birthday. They were all marked up by the scalpers to the extent that the regularly $200 floor seats were over $1000, so I took my chance on some “possible limited view” ones that were in the 100-level pretty close to the stage. They were really far on the side — past the giant screens — but the view ended up being FANTASTIC because we were so close to the stage (row R). Anyway, we were right near his stage entrance/exit, and after he finished up his 2nd encore, I started blowing kisses FURIOUSLY because I was all wrapped up in his amazingness (I’m cool, I know). He had just gotten offstage when I guess he caught me out of the corner of his eye, because he pivoted on his back foot onto the stage again and blew one right back at me. My friend Martha and I started jumping up and down and shrieking with glee, and then there was that thing I told you about with the slightly creepy old drunk man putting his arm around me, lol.

    10 minutes later, I found my parents (who decided they wanted to go as well, but were seated in the 400-level), and my mom asked me “I wonder who was out in the audience.” “What do you mean?” “Well, he blew a kiss to someone near the stage.” “THAT WAS MEEEEEEEEE!” “WHAT?” I told her what happened, and she started freaking out (in a good way), which made Martha and me freak out again. My father was pretty amazed, too, but he was mostly just laughing at the fact that his wife, his daughter and her friend were flipping out like giddy schoolgirls. πŸ˜€

  2. Em says:

    Hi Karen,
    What lip gloss are you wearing in the picture? It’s lovely!

  3. Michelle says:

    I really love those colors!

    …But the packaging looks like a coffin.

  4. gio says:

    I agree with Michelle, the packaging looks like a coffin and it creeps me out a bit.

    But the shades are very pretty and that silver looks beautiful on you!
    gio recently posted … Product Review- Kiko Precision Eye Pencil in Purple

  5. Ashley says:

    I like this palette a loooot. I think this shall be my first LORAC purchase!

  6. Kim says:

    OK, first of all, you look fantastic, as always. Secondly, I am SO buying this. You do the most timely posts! I was just thinking this AM, how much better my neutral eye look is when I use pinks instead of beige (green eye thing). I decided that I really needed to explore that more and get some more wine type shades. And lo and behold, you’ve done all the work for me AGAIN! πŸ™‚

    PS We mock one of my friends hard because someone bought him a NY Giants Snuggy. I’m sure they’re super-cozy, but the commercials are over-the-top awful!

    PPS I forgot to mention that I was proud of you for ditching the Beatles-hate date. If you can’t appreciate the Beatles, I don’t know what to say. My husband likes to see me sputter by telling me that they (and Led Zeppelin) are over-rated. And I loved Instant Karma’s story – that is awesome. So much better than my Wayne Newton kiss story. πŸ™‚

    • Karen says:

      What? A kiss from Wayne Newton = awesomeness!

      If you like the reddish/plum/wine shades then there are a TON of great MAC shadows you should be able to pull off. Definitely check out Sketch, Star Violet, Trax and Embark.

      • Kim says:

        I’ll definitely check them out, thanks! πŸ™‚

        We saw Wayne in Vegas a few years back and he kissed me on the cheek during the show. He’s actually a great showman because he barely blinked when an older woman (think 60s, casino-loving Vegas native) a few tables away lip-locked him for like 10 seconds. And 10 seconds seems like FOREVER when your mouth is agape and you’re thinking “OMG, Wayne! Break away and gargle!”. He was supremely gracious and just smiled and kept on singing! I was very impressed, and no shot against WN, but Paul McCartney is a different kind of legend!

  7. happybadfish says:

    I have a question for anyone out there about the tone of skin.

    I def have pink under tones. But I am drawn to yellow based foundation because I want to even out the pinkness to neutral. If I wear a pink based foundation won’t it just make me more pink??

    • Amber says:

      If you go too far from your actual skintone, you risk looking like your head was pasted onto someone else’s body! I have some localized redness caused by retinol products, which I tone down with MUFE’s full cover concealer before putting on my foundation.
      Amber recently posted … My other favorite childhood book- part 2

    • Karen says:

      I’m on board with Amber. Maybe try a foundation that leans more neutral with just a touch of yellow in it, but not too much yellow. I’ve noticed that some lines have foundation colors that are VERY yellow, like Paul & Joe’s.

      I’m think I’m neutral with a touch of warm and have been happy with foundations from Laura Mercier and Chanel.

  8. Amber says:

    I really like the looks of this palette, but I am shimmered out for a little while. That taupey grey with the nude lip is so sublime and romantic on you. I need to figure out an equivalent look for myself!

    Undertones make me insane. I can’t tell you how much time I’ve spent looking at my veins and thinking, “Okay, they definitely look green. No, blue. Wait, do I just think they’re blue because I know they’re supposed to be?” I think I am *just* the warm side of neutral, but even warm shades don’t always seem quite right on me.
    Amber recently posted … My other favorite childhood book- part 2

    • Karen says:

      Girlfriend, you and I are in the same boat. I’m convinced my veins are greenish blue (or bluish green). I’ve tried a few yellow-based foundations that are REALLY yellow (like Paul & Joe’s) and they make me look sickly… stuff with a little bit of pink seem to work better for me.

      Happy Friday, btw!

  9. lia says:

    yea, i’m not so sure about undertones either… esp. in the summer – with a tan, my face is def more red/pink, but during the winter i’m a golden girl, so who knows.

    also, in MAC, when they match you to foundation that’s NC __, does that mean you’re cool-toned? because the foundation definitely looks more yellowish/warm toned to me.

  10. Nina says:

    Tempting!!! I love purples and grays … πŸ™‚

    I think ill love this. This will be a good birthday gift for my sister and best friend too! πŸ™‚

  11. lexi says:

    OMG your brother is so funny! I love it

    That case looks like a mini casket. And just when I thought I was warm toned I looked at my veins and wouldn’t you know it, I’m actually cool toned!! You learn something new everyday!

  12. Trisha says:

    I want a Snuggie. They look so darn comfortable. And since I’m always cold, it’d be a good thing to have. I don’t care if I look silly while using it.

    I like soft shadows as long as they don’t fade right away. I’m really liking the swatches for these shades.
    Trisha recently posted … Quit Touching Your Face!

  13. Advah says:

    Yeah I’ve never been able to figure out my skin undertones either. My veins are half blue half green, I’m fair with pink cheeks, burn in the sun but plum eyeshadows make me look like I’ve just cried for horus (oh you beautiful Vincent Longon trio I’ll never be able to wear…).

    That palette is stunning though, the eyeshadows do look super buttery, they’re gorgeous! But the packaging is way too BIG; I don’t even have space for new eyeshadows on my makeup shelf, how am I supposed to fit that in too…

  14. mary k says:

    hey girl i love your blog and have to agree with you about the snuggie blanket, i used to work at rite aid and whenever customers asked for that blanket i would think to myself why would you wanna wear a blanket that looks like a monk made it lol, but after trying it out i must say i love them now i own 2.

  15. Blackkat says:

    I’m sorry but I have to tell you- YOU ARE FREAKIN’ hilarious! The picture of the Snugglie with the “THUG LIFE” insert was outrageous! I could just make up a whole commercial in my head with the models holding up West Coast signs with their fingers and screaming out “WEST SIDE”/ “THUG LIFE”! You know, what ever strikes their fancy! But seriously, that was funny!

  16. Clara says:

    Hi Karen! I’ve had my eye on this palette for a while now, but am wondering…do these last a long time? Do you have a recommendation for an eye shadow that doesnt fade away too quickly? I always use primer and my eyeshadow is still gone after two hours (using UD primer and Nars eye shadow).

  17. vanessa says:

    Are the eyeshadow full size ( sorry if this is a stupid question don’t own anything by lorac)…do you think this is a good bargain for its price.

  18. Maria says:

    I ordered this from Sephora’s website 2 weeks ago and i’m so excited to get it. They’re being awfully slow this time around though. Yikes! :S

  19. Vanessa " L"- lots of Vanessa's here apparently ;) says:

    I just have to say Karen, that besides your blogs being filled with fun beauty bits, your pics with inserted dialogue are freaking HILARIOUS. I swear we have the exact same humor , besides the fact that were about the same age. You crack me up yo! LoL

  20. julie-kim says:

    I’m so embarassed to admit that i own a snuggie too…haha but you know when you live in a cold country it’s a necessity…i guess

  21. Lauren says:

    This is on my shopping list on sephora.com!!! Oh and I have a snuggie too… πŸ™‚ it’s great for reading in bed or on the couch πŸ™‚

  22. Alice says:

    Karen, you always look so damn chic in your pics! I always admire the way you match your make-up to your outfit! It’s never “too” matchy, but it just goes right with it! Purrrfect πŸ˜€

    What top are you wearing there? It looks fab!!!

  23. Hey Karen,

    M reading ur blogs from last week….and I like all ur blogs a lot….ur are very good writer i must say…
    I also write blogs on makeup…
    I liked this palette a lot.. but unfortunately Lorac is not available in India.. πŸ™

  24. Alexandra says:

    Gorgeous palette πŸ™‚ I love Lorac, but unfortunatly its not available here in the UK πŸ™

    I did a swap with a lovely girl im subscribed to on you tube,and she sent me a lovely Lorac set πŸ™‚

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