I Heart Makeup | Golden Bar palette | Review

Friday 26 May 2017

The rise and rise of TAM Beauty – the emerging make-up giant behind affordable-but-coveted makeup brands Makeup Revolution. Freedom and Makeup Obsession – continues to be a disruptive and alluring force.

On the one hand, they make very desirable, high-performance products that have a lightning-fast lead time and crucially, are really purse-friendly.

On the other hand, almost their entire strategy revolves around 'duping' (or, to put it more unkindly, 'ripping off') premium brands.

I'm never sure how I feel about this. I was an early lover of Makeup Revolution as it really did offer fantastic value and products that performed just as well as higher-end ones.

But the more they go on, the more I keep hoping to see genuine innovation from them. It feels a bit disrespectful to wholesale copy the time and effort other brands put into developing formulations and packaging, but at the same time, it does make you question why those brands charge quite so much in the first place if it can obviously be done for less.

Is it all part of the smoke and mirrors of creating a luxury brand, or do they add value above and beyond what the cheaper counterparts can hope to offer?

After previous experiences with terrible customer service, I had been a bit put off ordering from TAM. I do believe the measure of a brand is in how it treats its customers, and TAM seem to be just as disrespectful here as they are to the major brands. This doesn’t seem like something that will do them any favours in the long run.

However, I was totally lured in by an email announcing the arrival of the Golden Bar palette from I Heart Makeup.

This series of palettes started as- what else?- a dupe for the Chocolate Bar eyeshadow palettes from one of my favourite brands, Too Faced.

I own and love the original Chocolate Bar – its actually one of my most used palettes, and I'd never felt the need to try the dupe. When IHM started expanding the line though, they came up with some variants that weren't a direct copy of the Too Faced offering that caught my eye, and the Naked Chocolate (I know, how many brands can you rip off at one time?) has been on my wish list for a while.

Golden Bar offered something new again, and after looking at the shades, I decided to put my reservations to one side and make an order.

Featuring 16 shades all based around undertones of gold – which is universally flattering no matter your eye colour – Golden Bar seemed an amazing offering, especially at just £8.99.

Like the rest of the palettes in the line, it's styled with a case that looks like a melted 3D bar of chocolate, in this case half dipped in gold. I must admit that this is really striking and definitely caught my eye. It does make the palette quite bulky and harder to store, but the novelty sort of makes up for it!

What I really like about IHM products is that the palettes generally contain a really big, clear mirror that you could easily do your whole face of makeup in. This makes it great to travel with and is such a handy feature.

Inside is a mix of warm colours – browns, taupes, greens, pinks and golds that are all eminently wearable. All the shades in the palette are shimmery, so it's definitely not one for matte lovers, but the shimmer varies between shades from a slight sheen to a full on foiled effect.

Every shade has golden tones in the shimmer, which I really love. There's nothing more flattering around the eyes, whether they're  blue, brown or green. Gold will open your eyes up and make them sparkle.

Like the original Too Faced Chocolate Bar, this also smells pleasantly of cocoa, so you can get a chocolate fix while doing your makeup.

The shades are as follows:

Collection: a beautiful white shimmer with a slight pinkish-golden tone

Ribbon: A soft light pink golden shimmer (reminds me of a personal favourite, 'Sugar Walls' from the Too Faced Boudoir Eyes palette which I'm obsessed with)

Edible: A subtle milk chocolate with golden shimmer

Tablet: a rich antique gold metallic

Wrapped: Stunning red-toned deep brown shimmer

Wrapper: Confusing similar name to 'Wrapped' but this is a very orangey-golden copper metallic

Foil: A bright yellow gold foiled shade

Golden: An insanely shimmery golden-bronze

Bar: A unique dark green/brown olive metallic

Box: A gentle and very wearable subtle khaki shimmer

Block: Deep dark brown metallic, rich and sumptuous

Gift: a mid-toned honeyed brown shimmer

Limited: Metallic dusky pink-mauve with brown undertones

Cocoa: A deep cranberry-brown shimmer

Beans: Rich, warm golden-brown shimmer

Chocolatier: Champagne peach nude that makes a gorgeous highlighter as well as an eyeshade

My personal favourites are Ribbon, which is a stunning rose gold and Cocoa which is a rich reddish-brown, as well as Box which is golden olive that works especially nicely on amber eyes. All the shades are gorgeous and cover all the bases from daytime eyes through to a deep, dark smoke. They are truly beautiful colours.

The quality of these shadows, low price or not, is beyond belief. They are truly stunning. Richly pigmented, super shimmery and the perfect texture – buttery enough to blend easily but with enough powder to give them lasting power. They go easily all day without the need for touch ups, which is something that even the premium brands sometimes can't seem to get right.

And that is precisely why I keep getting drawn back to TAM and their brands. They definitely have the secret to producing a killer eyeshadow and at just £1.78 per shade, that is jaw-dropping.

This palette is truly gorgeous and I would be impressed with the beautiful colours and quality finish at any price. But coming in at under a tenner, this is nothing short of phenomenal...

I also love that this is a little more original than the straightforward rip-offs of big brands (even if the series started off as a Too Faced rip) and brings something else to the table.

It just goes to prove that TAM shouldn't be afraid to let their brands stand on their own two feet a little more. They certainly have the quality to do it. Perhaps this will evolve as they attract more and more of their own following – the potential is certainly there.

An amazing palette that you definitely won't regret getting your hands on!


  1. AHHH stop making me want to buy all the makeup! The packaging is divine but the colours are right up my street.

    Do you know if this is cruelty free or not?

    Rebecca, libfemblog.com xo

    1. I think they are! I did a quick Google and they seem to be. Definitely do your own research if considering purchasing though.

  2. Those colours look amazing! I need to go through my make up collection haha I really like the look of he shimmer ones, like ribbon! I need to check out the brand, I'd not heard of them before!

    Charlotte | www.discoveringcharlotte.co.uk

  3. this does look amazing! All the shades look very wearable and can wear daily! x



  4. First of all can I just say you're a very talented writer.

    I know what you mean about brands ripping off others but for me, because I'm cruelty free I live for these dupes/rip offs. Smaller, cheaper brands, in my experience, are far more likely to be cruelty free and that can only be a positive thing. If more and more people can get the quality make up that they love from brands like this then maybe the larger ones will wake up.

    V <3

  5. This palette is gorgeous, and right up my street! I'm pretty sure 95% of my shadows are gold shimmery browns, greens and pinks. I also love the packaging! I agree with you - the novelty makes the pain of storing it worth it, haha! If I were in the UK I would definitely get my hands on this. I love it!


  6. Beautiful palette! I own the original Chocolate Bar, but I do wish they included more golden/bronze/copper shades! Have you tried the Sunset Blvd Palette from J Cat? That seems like a great option too if you like warm/golden bronze colors!

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