For makeup devotees, the name Danessa Myricks holds power. The makeup artist and founder of her eponymous makeup line has easily reached icon status for those in the know, and after her Yummy Skin Blurring Balm Powder went viral last summer, it seems like her star is only rising further. With multi-use makeup products becoming essentials in our makeup routines, Myricks took note and launched the Groundwork Defining Neutrals Palette in September, creating a one-stop tool to a stellar makeup look.
The Groundwork Defining Neutrals Palette is a versatile makeup palette intending to replicate the kits and techniques used by professional makeup artists, but for every day and every type of person. It can be used pretty much anywhere you want to shape, sculpt, lift, or set — eyes, face, lips, even eyebrows. The palette is composed of 10 earthy, warm and cool, neutral matte shades, ranging from a light seashell beige, all the way to a dusty black. The shades also come in two unique textures: a lightweight Velvet Pomade to blend and sculpt, and a coordinating talc-free Shape N’ Shift Powder that is infused with Upsalite to both absorb oil and smooth texture to fill, define, and set. It’s easy to use, but performs at a professional level.
Three members of Refinery29’s beauty team tested out the Groundwork Defining Neutrals Palette to see if it’s really as good as it seems — read on for our review.
Amanda Mitchell, Senior Beauty Writer + Stories Creator
I love Danessa Myricks so much. I don’t think there has been a day in nearly three years I haven’t used some form of a DMB product. Whether it’s the Yummy Skin Glow Serum, the limited-edition Lightwork IV Transcendence Palette (which now goes for £140 on eBay!), or one of the ColorFix liquid pigments — Miss Danessa never misses. (I love her so much, I call her Miss Danessa, and the minute a Black person calls you by your formal name, you’re in.) I will say this: I was very confused by this palette the first time I saw it. Especially for Danessa, I expected something a little more…wild, I suppose? But then I saw her explain that this was intended to basically serve as an all-over palette for eyes, brows, face, and lips, and it kind of clicked for me. I love the texture of the pomades, especially for the brows. As a person who almost never uses a pigment to fill in my brows anymore, it was the perfect consistency for someone who was out of practice. I used the dark brown shade, Bark, and a little bit of the black shade, Tourmaline, to fill in my brows, while I popped Harvest, the mahogany powder, in my eye crease. I even got a little wild and used just a tad of Sculpted, a cool grey, on my contour, giving me a snatched jaw line. This palette is even more relevant now that we’re in our cream and powder era. While this palette may not have gotten my motor running at first glance, it’s likely to be one I reach for again and again.
Megan Decker, Beauty Editor
‘Innovative’ isn’t a word I like to throw around, but this palette is really one of a kind. It solves the biggest problem most of us have with makeup palettes: We don’t use 80% of the dusty powders inside. Open this palette, and you’ll find the textures are creamier, almost like a cream contour in a pan, and the shades are mostly soft, matte browns that can work as a concealer, contour, or eyeshadow, depending on your skin tone. The palette does take some trial and error; follow Danessa and watch her tutorials — they’re very helpful! I’m currently trying to figure out which shade makes the best lip liner — I’m thinking it’s Desert!
Sara Tan, Beauty Director
Makeup palettes are great in theory, but when have you actually hit pan on every single one of the shades? More often than not, we find ourselves using one or two of them while the rest stay untouched. Danessa Myricks has a solution for that: Make a palette of shadows and creams in neutral colours for day-to-day that can be used on your entire face, from your contour to your lip liner, not just one or the other. And while that seems like a big promise, the Groundwork Palette actually delivers! I’ve been playing around with every single one of the shades and love them all. I have used them as eyeliner, to fill in my brows, to contour my nose, and to create a nice, smoky eye. This will be a staple in my makeup bag from here on out. My one wish for Danessa is to make a mini palette of just the creams — when you try the texture of this product, you'll understand why.
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