I Tried It: Recreating Six Deck of Scarlet Palette Looks
Editor turned makeup artist? Maybe...
By Janell M. Hickman

I have a confession to make: I am a beauty editor who does not wear makeup. Baffling I know, but I can tell you everything you need about it! While I'm not 100% clueless, I never was drawn in by painstakingly applying my makeup for daytime activities or big night's out. My current routine consists of washing my face, moisturizing, sunscreen, a little brow fill in, swipe of mascara and a lip if needed. 5 minutes max!
On the flipside, that doesn't outshine my interest in all things makeup especially in the land of social media. So, when the team at Deck of Scarlet asked me to try out of a few of their palettes I suddenly felt a bit anxious and insecure. I mean, do I even own any makeup brushes? Would I look insane? Can I pull this off? All of the emotions bubbled to the surface. Keep reading to discover my experience and see if I nailed or failed my final looks.
Deck of Scarlet Edition No. 8 by Kim Thai
Most YouTubers typically start off with their foundation, concealer and brows set, so I quickly got to work. For my base, I used Glossier Perfecting Skin Tint in Deep and the corresponding Stretch Concealer in the same shade. For brows, I used my trusty EVER Frame Precision Brow Pencil in Medium Brown to pull myself together.
Unfortunately, I did not come prepared with the proper brushes—Kim uses a ton of them in her tutorial—so that definitely hindered my ability to blend like a pro! Second, I didn't apply primer or foundation (rookie mistake!) to my lids beforehand, which I would definitely recommend doing to allow the color to stick or "pop" like hers did. My "daytime" look came out pretty natural, despite using some of the deeper shades like Crown and Maiden.
The whole time, Kim's energy kept me motivated and she promised that together, we would rock this nighttime look. Bonus: I didn't even have to remove my makeup, I could just tweak my existing face! We added a little black liner in the waterline (so 2000's!), a mix of Crown and Myth under my lower lash line and lids, then to finish a deep berry lip called Maiden.
My initial thoughts? I looked better but my look was way less intense than Kim's. I chalked it up to my application technique and complexion.The silver lining? My makeup lasted all day through an intense writing session, two-hour coffee meeting at Soho House followed by a 7pm dinner turned into late night drinks!
Deck of Scarlet Edition No. 11 by Kristinax Makeup
Ok, after my in-office experience I decided a little extra emotional support wouldn't hurt. I asked my friend Whitney @whitneyraybeauty (who also happens to be a makeup artist) to supervise me during my next two trials. First up, she taught me how to ace my base for real and brought an arsenal of makeup brushes that put me to shame. I had learned my lesson after the first time around.
To start, I used Fenty Beauty Pro Filt'R Soft Matte Longwear Foundation in 400 layered with Nudestixx Nudies Tinted Blur Stick in Medium 7. Whitney advised applying my foundation first then layering my concealer second which rocked my world. Apparently, I have also been patting versus buffing my foundation in for years (yikes!) resulting in less than flawless results. For brows, I used a combo of Rimmel Brow This Way in 003 Dark and the corresponding Brow Sculpting Kit in the same shade. Wow, I looked better already and I didn't even have any "real" makeup on!
Out of all the palettes, No. 11 scared me the most because the bright yellow shadow shade, Limoncello, did not jive with my previous no-makeup wearing ways. But, I bit my tongue and embraced all in the name of research. Kristina took it easy for the first look and the result was a subtle bronzy look that I would totally wear IRL. Think, "I just got back from vacation and you can't tell me anything" vibes. Naturally, I was in love with the eyeshadow shade Tanlines and Coy lip color.
Pro tip: Wetting your brush can help intensify shimmer or darker shadow shades.
For look two, she kicked it up a notch incorporating both gold glitter (yes, you read that right) and bright yellow shadow. GIRL! I glanced nervously over at Whitney as we followed along to Kristina's suggestion of coating my lids with glitter. I was pretty sure I looked nuts, but upon the big reveal it looked pretty chic. Would I wear this out on the town? Probably! But I had one more look to complete.
Deck of Scarlet Edition No. 09 by Belle Jordan
Now that I had two palettes under my belt, I felt much more confident with the third. I washed my face (DHC Deep Cleansing Oil and Dr. Barbara Sturm's Darker Skin Tones Foam Cleanser were clutch!) reapplied my base (same products as listed above) and listened carefully as Belle Jordan shared the inspiration behind the color scheme.
This by far was my favorite palette out of the three. Purple is one of my favorite colors and I was interested to see how these looks would translate on me. Out of all the vloggers, Belle was the most informative and easiest to follow along. She shared what brushes to use and I liked the fact she did a side by side demo (one unfinished, one complete) so you could anticipate what you'd eventually look like.
Another thing? Belle is not afraid to use her makeup, I was layering for my life! To her credit, the outcome was major. Basically, I felt like a a budding beauty blogger.
Unlike the other ladies, Belle suggested that we start with a fresh face for look two but I couldn't bare to wash off my makeup. I really liked it! So, I continued to layer a mix of Crush and Drama to darken my current look and layer even more mascara. The final touch was Passion, a vivid bold magenta shade (topped with more lip gloss) and voilà—I'm ready to hit the town.
Final Verdict?
So many steps, so little time! Creating all of these looks took me roughly an hour each to achieve (6 hours total!) which was shocking because during the process I was having a great time. Upon first glance, these palettes are pretty intimidating and you need a few supporting products i.e. good brushes, black eyeliner, clear lip gloss, foundation, concealer and mascara (Deck of Scarlet does offer liner, mascara and liquid lipstick, I learned!). However, for makeup newbies like me it's a nice curated collection paired with informative tutorials. A win-win.
One critique? I'd love to see Deck of Scarlet partner with more artists of color to ensure everyone can enjoy the full experience of the palettes. And who knows, next time you see me you might spot me in a full face courtesy of Deck of Scarlet!
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