Cargo Northern Lights Palette Review

13 March 2015



When I noticed online that Cargo had two eyeshadow palettes go into the Debenhams sale my interest was piqued. If you watched this haul video back in November 2014 you'll have seen me raving on about the Cargo Vintage Escape palette, which ranks as one of the all time best palette purchases I've ever made. I can't find that one online now anywhere, nor was it in store when I purchased this palette the other day, but if you do ever get the chance to get your hands on it then hug it to your chest and run for the till before anyone tries to take it off you, every shade is wearable, they're buttery soft, super pigmented, blend easily and generally just perform incredibly. 

Anyway, having had such a positive experience with that palette I'd been meaning to get back and try more Cargo for ages, but hadn't gotten round to it - till now. 

The Northern Lights palette currently has 30% off at Debenhams, the fact it's a percentage reduction makes it sound like it could go back up in price so I decided it was as much of an excuse as I needed to grab another shadow palette to add to my collection, and it's one I fully recommend you grabbing too.

I'm glad though, that I didn't buy it online and did wait till I saw it in store, as I loved it even more in store and a few of the shades clearly come up very differently swatched to how they look in pan, all for the better in my opinion. For example I thought Fjord - the bottom left shade - would be blue judging by the palette, but it comes up more of a slate colour with hints of bluey green shot through it. Finland (3rd from let bottom row), which has a distinctly yellow hue in the palette is actually a gorgeous gold. Aurora, above Finland in the top row, is a definite rose gold tone with a hit of bisc shot through just to deepen the colour slightly, whereas I thought it would be very pink and very not wearable on my skin tone. Lastly Greenland, which I thought would be a really dark, deep green is actually pretty black when used, with iridescent green sparkles that catch the light when you move. 

The shades are all beautiful - though Osetra, Finland and Lapland are my personal favourites - and they all blend beautifully and build beautifully. I swatched the top row quite lightly and you can see how pigmented they are, but also how they could be applied with a very light hand and buffed away with something like a MAC 217. The bottom row I did two layers of colour to each swatch and you can see from that how easily they build and how you could really pack on the colour with something like a MAC 239/242 (or one of the flat ended brushes from the Urban Decay Naked palettes).

Speaking of brushes, this one comes with a double ended fluffy brush, one side slightly bigger and the other side smaller - not quite tiny enough to be a pencil but small enough to get under the eyes. I don't have a whole lot to say on the brush, it's good enough to be kept around for emergencies and doesn't quite deserve to go straight in the bin but it's definitely not a great brush - but at the end of the day I didn't buy the palette for the brush. I do think bad brushes in palettes cheapen them slightly and to be honest I'd rather just not be given a brush at all, but I realise for some people they do like having the brush in the palette and, like I say, this one isn't the worst I've come across.

Overall this palette is another winner from Cargo for me, I just love the quality of the shadows,  they perform as well as the likes of Urban Decay and better in some places. I'm not overly keen on the faux snakeskin casing but, to be honest, what's inside is pure eyeshadow gold. 

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