Sparkled Beauty

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Quo Back to Basics Matte

Posted by Halifax @ Sparkled Beauty

The hunt for Quo Back to Basics Matte is over! If your Shoppers hasn't got them in, check back, as there seems to be a delay in shipping both Back to Basics palettes to stores.

I found a Back to Basics Matte ($25, on the right) but not the original on the display, so I pulled out the Back to Basics Original from previous year (on the left) to show you.

I like the pattern on this year's palette better, still gold, still beautiful but not too busy and more elegant.

After taking this shot, I realized it'd be more fun for the Matte to have the Original to compare to. Instead of me just swatching the Matte for you, let's see if it's worth having if you already have the Original.

Here they are on the inside, Quo Back to Basics Original on top and Matte at the bottom.

The Original has a better flow of colours from light to dark, with 2 matte shades and the rest are with nice sheen (do not show up entirely shimmery on the eyes).

The Matte is overwhelmed with light colours (5) and transition shades (4), all mattes but two shades (fourth and eighth, with light shimmers).

The first half of the Matte is great, but the next 2-3 shades seem to be repeats. I do love good matte highlight/ inner corner shades in a palette, but 5 is a little too much. I long for colours - more bronze/ brown or other brights (blue/ green, etc.) - after swatching and wearing them for a few days.

The last 3 shades are the best the Matte has to offer. See swatches below for proof!

Take a look at the brushes that come with the Original (top) and the Matte (bottom).

The Original brush is more flat and stiff, which I thought is more appropriate for cream products. All black - ferule and handle, which gives it a classy look.

The brush in the Matte palette is more fluffy, thicker and soft, works well for packing on eyeshadows. Black handle, with gold ferule.

A small detail but I think Quo should put its brand logo on the handles of these brushes, making them look more professional. I do plan to keep them.

Let's take a look at the first 6 shades from both palettes - the light side, with swatches follow below.

Again, I like the good flow of colours in the Original, from off white/ beige to light brown.

The Matte spends its time in this light group of colours.

The first 3 shades swatch pretty much the same. The next two are quite close to my skin tone and need a bit of building up for pigmentation. And the last shade is a good subtle transition colour, similar to the fifth shade from the Original palette.

Then the last 6 shades - the darker side.

Beautiful pigmented dark bronze and plum in the Original palette. The black has visible silver shimmers in the pan but not visible when swatched. The grey takes some extra swipe to match up the pigmentation of the rest.

With the Matte, more light shades, only 2 true dark colours which swatch amazingly pigmented.

The dark plum (which looks a bit more red here) is the total winner in the palette, follow by the black. Still not the darkest black in the market, but packs quite good pigmentation. The dark brown (with light grey duochrome) sitting between them is a good contribution to an awesome night look.

All in all, the Matte does have some good shades to offer but lack the diversity in colour combination, not a must have. I don't regret the purchase though, as I love the last 3 shades and do need more highlight shades to pair with other palettes.

Here is a FOTD I did with the dark shades - they were great!


  1. that plum is gorgeous but i agree, too many light shades, especially on darker skin tones i don't think you'd be able to tell much difference

  2. A matte palette is a pretty bold move for a drugstore brand (and highly appreciated) but yeah... too much similarity between the colours. :(

    1. I definitely appreciated the effort but wish it were better in terms of colours

  3. I have been hunting this down to no luck so far so I will need to go back and check again. The colors are quite similar in both palettes but I think I would still get it just the same since there is a few that is different.

  4. When I called the SDM on Lacewood, they told me there were two palettes...the matte and the neutral one. I was so confused when she asked which one I was looking for, since I thought there was only one! I am now hoping the neutral one is like last years, because I really wanted to get them for gifts!

    1. They didn't have any on Saturday when I was there, I guess the shipment came in :) They sure are great as gifts

  5. Great review! I've been eyeing a neutral matte palette for a while. How do you think this compares to Sonia Kashuk's Eye on Neutral palette?

    1. Thanks. I haven't tried SK palette, so I can't compare them personally. By the look of it though, Eye on Neutral seems to have more transitional shades, which works better for most looks, I would say. And Quo matte does have 2 shimmery shades, not 100% matte :)