Wah-hey! I gots meself a new toy!
I’ve been lemming for a UNII palette for the longest time and I finally got mine from Serendipity before the Hari Raya holidays. Before I continue, I hear you ask: What is the UNII palette and most importantly, is it worth getting?
The UNII palette is a customizable makeup palette that was created by UNIICosmetics founder, Minna Ha, as a solution to overcome makeup clutter. You can place your makeup pans in this palette – so basically any pressed eyeshadow, blush and powder will do. Depending on the width and length, you can also stuff your pencils and brushes inside. You can watch this Youtube and hear from the founder herself on how she designed the palette.
So here are two quick facts about the UNII palette:
- Available in several colors.
- Stores makeup magnetically – magnet strips are provided in the packaging so you’ll don’t have to worry.
Customizing your UNII palette involves depotting your makeup products. Depotting can be quite unnerving in the beginning, as accidents can happen. I’ll share with you my tips on depotting a little later down the post. Here are more pictures.
The packaging itself is quite nifty – Minna mentions that it’s in the shape of her logo and inside, there are steps on how to depot and how to use the palette.
My first impression of the palette was that it was a little smaller than I expected. It’s made out of strong plastic and is very sturdy. However, with a bit of ingenuity, you’ll find that you can fit quite a number of things inside. I found a Youtube that demonstrated how to depot and fit 3 Urban Decay palettes (including Naked) into one UNII! Pretty cool eh?
- Case: The case itself is made out of reinforced plastic. It’s really sturdy and solid. There’s a mirror inside which isn’t removable but heaps useful. The case is a little longer and wider than my palm, so that might give you a bit of an indication to the size.
- Metal backing: This is where the magnets stick on. You can remove it and clean it with a soft cloth. Overall, you’re advised not to use alcohol-based cleaners or abrasive cleaners. A damp cloth will do the trick, and you have to take out the metal backing when you clean and dry it so that it doesn’t rust.
- Rubber insert: This goes on top of the metal backing, and prevents spillage. Can be easily removed and cleaned.
- Thumb grip: This is also magnetic, and serves as, well, a thumb grip – something firm to hold onto for good balance. You can remove this if you want.
- Magnetic strips (not pictured): There are 3 magnetic strips provided, which you can cut to suit the shape of your pans.
But does it close securely? Yep, sure does. Check out the picture below:
The palette has what i call a ‘click-snap clasp’, so you unsnap the clasp, and snap it back in place. It’s got an assuring ‘click/clack’ sound that tells you it’s snapped securely in place.
And here’s my palette! I’ve got a Dollywink palette, a L’Oreal quad, a Clinique tester quad, 3 pencils (UD 24/7, 2 Sephora Nanos) and two sponge applicators:
So, a few tips and tricks to get you started:
- Don’t be stingy with the magnetic strips. If you want to reuse the strips, you don’t have to take off the adhesive that sticks to the palette. Instead, stick them on with some cellophane tape. The magnets are quite strong, so you don’t have to worry about it coming off.
- Drugstore quads are quite easy to depot. Just use a Swiss Army knife or a thin knife to wiggle it out at the sides.
- NEVER EVER USE A SNAP BLADE. A snap blade refers to those blades that you snap off when the current tip is blunt. You don’t want it getting caught when you’re depotting – you might end up snapping it off and have it fly straight to your eye.
- The trick is to look at your eyeshadow/blush/powder palette, look for a gap and stick your knife in there. Wiggle gently because you want to loosen the glue grip. Also, study your casing. Some brands like MAC and UD encase their shadows in another casing before putting it into the original packaging. Youtube “How to depot MAC eyeshadows” and you’ll see what I mean. The UNIICosmetics website also gives great tips on how to depot.
- If you’re trying to depot makeup that are strongly glued on, you can use heating methods. The most common one you’ll find on Youtube are tutorials on using a hair straightener. I find that this is the safest method.
- Depotting may result in your shadows breaking. In the US, the suggested method to fix broken shadows is to buy isopropyl alcohol at 70% concentration and you can press it back. I’ve yet to find pharmacies here that sell bottles of iso alco, so practice on shadows that you can afford to lose. Just remember to be as gentle as possible. (fun fact: isopropyl alcohol is sold in Malaysia but in the form of alcohol swabs. the problem with these is that the swabs are too small to wrap around a coin, which is the suggested method of pressing the shadows back into shape.)
- “But I’m not going to remember the name of the shadows!” That’s easily solved. When you remove the pan, use an iso alco swab to remove the glue and paste the magnetic strip at the back. You can write the name of the product on the magnetic strip using a marker pen.
Finally – do you need this?
I have crazy nuts heaps of shadows and powders which I’m forever rummaging around, and when I go on trips, I end up lugging around a few compacts. Recently, I know I posted about how UD’s Naked wasn’t working for me but after speaking to friends, it’s now working and I’ll be posting a follow-up post. The problem with palettes like Naked is that the palette itself isn’t very travel-friendly, so depotting these shadows is an excellent idea.
Also, although you’re stuffing everything into the UNII, there’s not as much spillover as I thought there would be. I’ve stuffed my UNII palette into my bag and toted it everywhere but my shadows haven’t broken or spilled into other shadows.
In my opinion, this palette is not a need unless you’re on the move and you want your things to be in one place. I’ve placed my pencils in my UNII and it makes for much easier finding, plus if you cut off your brushes at the end, you can even fit it into the palette. Also, I admit that I have a bit of a depotting habit, so this palette is great for me.
You can check out ParisB’s review where she shares how the palette was useful to her, but it’s not a necessary need.
Happy week ahead readers!