August 8, 2012

Make Up For Ever Black Tango Palette Review & Swatches

This was provided to me by a brand for review but all opinions expressed are my own

The new Make Up For Ever Black Tango Palette ($45) was inspired by brand founder and creative director Dany San’z love of Tango dancing. My sophistication level when it comes to Tango dancing is limited to the Tango scene in True Lies, anything else could result in me tripping and falling on my butt.

Dany learned to Tango at age three and has been a long time fan. Recently Dany was in Argentina doing the make up for “Tango Argentina” a high profile showcase organized by the city of Buenos Aires that featured some of the country’s most famous dancers.

Upon arriving home the idea for the Black Tango Palette was born.

The palette features four shades of Make Up For Ever Aqua Cream Eyeshadows in rich shades of black accented with jewel tones such as red, green, and black.

Take a peek!

I honestly get more of a Moulin Rouge vibe from the palette. The blood red casing, the black lace accents, it gives off a bit of the Parisian cabaret to me. I absolutely adore the case. The black laces follows through to the inside as a border along the full size mirror. It’s quite pretty and almost Holiday-like, not so much Fall.

The palette contains four shades of Make Up For Ever Aqua Shadows and a dual sided brush for application. Each shadow is housed in a well with a snap lid closure to keep the shade fresh. You can’t remove these wells even though they look like they could be popped out. I’m a little skeptical of the snap lid as I’m unsure if they’ll keep the shades from hardening up but only time will tell.

These are shades never released in the Aqua Shadow line so that in itself makes the Black Tango Palette quite special. The formula appears way more emollient than some of the original Aqua Shadows I already own. The texture is thinner with a soft, creamy feel that blends easily. Pigmentation is absolutely insane. The shades are all blackened colors but they still reflect their jewel tones very nicely so you can catch glances of the red, blue, and green in the mix. Ivory is a shade included for highlighting and accenting your look.


The colors are a little difficult to pull off for me. If you do a smoky eye well you’ll adore this palette but I actually felt the shades were too in your face pigmented. They sheer out well enough if I want to go lighter but I end up looking like I have a bit of a bruised eye either way I wear them. I think many will find the palette appealing but will find the colors quite challenging to use all over the lid. You can line with them if you want but they do set slowly which results in a good deal of smudging.

Overall, this is a gorgeous palette but it isn’t for the beginner makeup user. You need a little know how to get these to work correctly since the blackened shades are intimidating and quite challenging to use in a look. I’ll happily admit I tried a few looks but I didn’t really love how any of them came out. I think I need a video tutorial or something to help me along with colors like this.

If you love a dramatic smoky eye and adore a cream formula you’ll love this palette. Aging eyes, those with dark circles, well, you might want to swatch in store first before indulging just to be sure you can pull these off.

The Make Up For Ever Black Tango Palette for Fall 2012 is available now at Sephora and

This was provided to me by a brand for review but all opinions expressed are my own

About the Muse

Isabella MuseIsabella is just an average everyday geeky girl who doesn’t blend her eyeshadow correctly, wears too much blush, and hopes she never finds her holy grail products because she likes the thrill of the chase so much. Her mission is to bring you super honest reviews on makeup, skincare, fragrance and all things beauty. She’s in no way an expert on the topic and she sure as hell isn’t a super model. But she’s passionate about makeup and is seeking like-minded individuals that like pina coladas, getting caught in the rain, and ones that enjoy spending hundreds of dollars at Sephora without feeling buyer’s remorse. If you’re that person feel free to reach out and leave a comment or follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Bloglovin‘.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  • Flavia Signori

    WOW! I like the pigmentation of these Aqua Shadows O_O But if I had this palette I would probably use them as eyeliner, except by the ivory one (so pretty!). For smooky eyes I would prefer UD Smooky or Too Faced Sexy (I regret not buying it when I was in NYC T_T such a great palette).

    It’s like you said, you need a know-how to work with Aqua Shadows and I don’t have it x_x



    Those are insanley pigmented as you said muse, but I have to agree, those would bevery tough to work with.

    I really don’t like the blackened colours! they are just too dark for me. I know urban decay had “The black pallete” and I just didn’t like how it looked!

    • the Muse

      agreed linda, they are just a super challenge for me. bobbi brown did blackened shade last holiday I believe and I just couldn’t pull them off!

    • the Muse

      price is right in the review ashley ๐Ÿ™‚ brush is quite good, can’t be used for lining, but backs color on nicely however, blending out with fingers works best imho.

  • Jenny

    Boo on palette-exclusive shades! I only want the ivory, it looks like a superb highlight!

    Anyway, thanks for the review! I never go shopping without checking here first.

  • Kaitlin

    There is no way I could pull of these shades, which I really too bad because I adore the packaging!

  • Stephanie

    I love love love this, but I think to make something wearable out of it you’d need to combine it with some other eyeshadows. I’m not sure how creative I could get with that, LOL.

  • Michelle

    Holy moly! Those are some serious pigmented colors. The formula reminds me of Ben Nye stage make-up. Love the packaging, not sure about the contents.

  • Barbara

    Before I actually read your post, I assumed this was a collection of eyeliners because these as eyeshadows would be really tricky to pull off.

    • the Muse

      naa they are def shadows barbara….! sadly they have a really slow set so they kinda smudge badly when used as a liner.

  • Anna

    Why does it remind me of NARS’ Kabuki-inspired products? It looks gorgeous!

  • Nat

    Ah man, I already have a soft spot for Aqua and those colours are soooooo pretty! Maybe I’ll put this on my birthday list. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Tiffany Martin

    The packaging rules, and I love tango (I danced tango!) and so I wanted to love it but I don’t think these colors would be practical even for stage.

  • Emily

    I wanted to like the Black Tango eyeshadows sooooo much but they dried instantly on me ( give me even 15 seconds set time with a cream shadow and I can make it work) so all I had was an obvious line which, even when I applied some above it and blended like crazy, was still obvious. I’m not an inexperienced makeup user by any means but I just *could not* work with this. That, and the ivory shade’s formula balled up on the brush and applied *insanely* unevenly. I actually returned it the same day I purchased it. I could have used it as liner but for $45 I want to be able to use them as shadows too. I’m so sad because the shadow colors are absolutely beautiful, the brush which comes with it is quite nice and the palette is so beautiful! Sadness….. ๐Ÿ™

  • Ryou

    I’d consider using them as a cream eyeliner of sorts. Do you think it would work, Musey?

    • the Muse

      mmm little smudge-y for that ryou, mentioned in the review why I didn’t use them as eyeliners ๐Ÿ™‚