Office-wear friendly? Clionadh Cosmetics Dragon Fruit Collection

Clionadh Cosmetics has been on my Wishlist forever. Since I work in an office, I never needed multi-chrome shadows. To me, they’re used for creating body and face art. But when I saw that they were launching an eye shadow palette I was intrigued.

Now Clionadh has a special place in my heart. Not only are they a Canadian brand, they make their cosmetics in Toronto. For the first time, here’s a brand that I can actually take the Line 2 subway and a bus and see a tangible brand (not that I will, obviously); as opposed to brands that are based in LA, California and are just websites to purchase off of.

The palette packaging (with the protective film; I’m that biatch — it’ll be a cold day in hell when I remove the protective film)

I had heard only the best things about the brand and I realized why when I purchased from them. Of course, the products were expensive; but I’d rather spend more and get one palette a year from Clionadh than purchase 10 from ColourPop.

When I decided to purchase the eye shadow palette, the goal was to see if I could make it wearable and make it work wear friendly. Also, if it is Brown Girl Friendly.

Dragon Fruit Collection

If you’re reading this post then you know that this is a collection that Clionadh has created with a smaller YouTuber called Emily Violet Marie. I’ve never watched any of Emily’s videos except for the launch video and she seems like a sweet person.

Now the collection includes eye shadow brushes, duo-chrome highlighters, an eye shadow palette, a cute makeup bag and something unexpected: nail polishes. I so badly wanted to purchase the entire set — including the nail polishes; they look amazing. But with inflation pushing up expenses and with the highlighters sold out, I decided to purchase only the make up bag (I couldn’t resist!) and the eye shadow palette. I did want the brushes because of the cute combination of green and pink colors, but I decided against it. I have enough brushes from elf, wet ‘n wild and Japonesque to last me a long time.

The order process itself was simple. And I paid arounf CA$ 123 for my order of the Dragon Fruit eyeshadow palette (CA$ 74.99) and make up bag (CA$ 16.99). Despite my order crossing CA$ 100, I did not get free shipping. I paid 13.65 for shipping, 16.98 for taxes and $1.26 for shipping insurance.

Make up/Cosmetic bag

I don’t have much to say about it because I haven’t started using it yet. On first look, it’s made of a nice thick recycled material (looks and feels like Canvas) and the zipper seems high quality. It is made in China but as most influencers have pointed out, the Dragon Fruit pattern on the outside, and the design of the Dragon Fruit fruit on the inside, makes it unusual. Is it worth 16.99? I’m not sure, only time will tell.

Btw, having travelled many many times on Singapore Airlines, I chuckled when I saw the design on the inside of the bag. If you’ve travelled on Asian airlines, you almost always get a breakfast fruit cocktail that includes pieces of Dragon Fruit.


The first thing I noticed about this palette was that it was made of plastic. I’m surprised that they chose to do so because consumers are now more conscious about plastic packaging. Also, in Canada, the Federal government has made saving the environment a huge priority. Despite all this, the fact that they chose plastic is disappointing.

The design on the packaging isn’t the best. It looks dated; like they hired an intern to create the design. Brands like ColourPop and some K-brands are killing it with great packaging; but as I mentioned before, I’d rather chose Clionadh over ColourPop. Did I expect more from their packaging? Yes, I did. Their stain glass cardboard empty palettes are really nice, I expected the packaging for this palette to be of that quality. More than anything, it looked like a repurposed CD case which was a bummer. Also, the palette is not easy to open; it takes me a few minutes to find the groove to open it.

But, that being said, the palette itself (where the shadows reside) is beautiful. The purple-pink transparent plastic packaging is beautiful in the sunlight. Sure it’ll survive the next nuclear Armageddon for Wall-E to use as a body part, but in the present it is stunning.

Inside the palette

The great news is that the palette is magnetic. So you could pop the shadows out and replace the shadows with other Clionadh shadows.

The eye shadows

I love a pink palette. There’s a reason why Urban Decay’s Naked 3 was my favorite palette. So I was happy to see the various pinks in this collection. What I was most apprehensive about were the greens. They are not colors I can use while presenting a business review to the management team.

The palette contains 13 shadows and includes 2 duochromes, 1 multichromes and 1 glitter (and a sparkle). I hate glitter and unfortunately, one of the larger shadows is a glitter formula. Of course, the target demography isn’t me, which explains the glitter, but I discovered that glitter only after I had received it and didn’t have the heart to return the palette.

That being said, the quality of the 2 Duochromes, 3 Metallics and 4 Velvet Satins assuaged my guilt and anxiety of having bought this palette. Especially those velvet satins; why didn’t they just make a palette of velvet satins?! The formula is so easy to work with and no fall out!

Before I describe the shadows, I have to mention that I tried the shadows on bare eyes or on top of a layer of concealer or foundation. I did not use a primer and despite that, I’m impressed by the quality. As soon as I used it the first time, I had a Ratatouille moment and I went back in time to 7 – 8 years ago when I was gifted the first Naked palette. I remember applying it on my eyelids for the first time and catching my breath. Till then I had used crappy drugstore eye shadows that I struggled with (*cough* Maybelline “The Nudes” palette *cough*).

I wish they had provided more information about which brushes to use. I know the idea is to get people to buy the brushes but not everyone wants to purchase a brush set just to use a palette. I first used a Wet n Wild eye shadow brush and then a Japonesque eye shadow brush and I hated how difficult it was to lay down and control the pigment, because of the thickness of the brush. What finally worked for me was a Japonesque thin flat concealer brush (I don’t know the number because it doesn’t have one on the handle).

Swatches in day-to-evening light
L to R: Bubbles, Refresh, Strawberry Pear, Dragontini, Infusion, Hylocerus, Sweetened, Exotic, Prickly, Catacea, Dragonfly, Fruit Fizz, Effervescent.
With flash, you can see the shades in the duochromes. Excuse the hairy arms.

Here’s a look at the shadows:

  • Bubbles: This is one of the two large shadows. It’s a glitter shadow and it’s a chunky monkey. I struggled using this shadow.
  • Refresh: This was the first shadow I used and it was so easy to use. On my skin tone, I did need a foundation/concealer base for the color to truly show up as in the pan, but once it did, it was amazing. If I were reborn as an eyeshadow this would probably be it.
  • Strawberry pear: To me strawberry pear is more of a salmon pink, at least, it pulls peachy on my skin tone. This is a satin and I had no issues using it. For this shadow, I had balance how much shadow and pressure I had to use to get the right look. Too much, and I wouldn’t be able to pull it off for an office look.
  • Dragontini: This is such a beautiful duochrome. I used sweetened as the base and applied Dragontini on it and omg, it looked beautiful. Something that I observed though (and this could be due to my bad makeup skills), it’s not easy to layer shadows, because when you do, they mix. Not that what you get isn’t beautiful but it’s not layered shadows.
  • Infusion: is a beautiful light purple and reminds me of one of the purples from the Pacifica Moonflower palette. I can get away with using this for video calls.
  • Hylocereus: A beautiful pink duo chrome shadow that shifted orange on me. I don’t see myself using it to work but I can definitely wear it for video calls.
  • Sweetened: This is a beautiful red shadow and went on dark on the lids. I couldn’t control the amount of pigment or dull it down to make it wearable for office. I can wear it for a video call but definitely not to work.
  • Exotic: Is a beautiful dark purplish pink. It looks great on my lids; unfortunately, can’t wear it to work. I can get away with smoking it out for a video call but it can be a look.
  • Prickly: This shadow reminds me a bar of Cadbury’s chocolate: the European version, not the awful American version. There are two shades that I’ve been looking for and have eluded me — the Cadbury purple and Tiffany’s blue. I now have one of the two!
    This shadow shows up on the lid exactly how it looks in the palette. I’m so impressed! The only problem I had with this shadow was fading. I wore it 9 am and it had faded by 1:30 pm. This is an evening shadow and definitely not something I can use for work.
  • Catacae & Dragonfly: These two shadows are definitely not colors I can wear to work or use on video calls. They’re beautiful colors but they just stood out like a sore thumb on my face. Something in my olive undertones clashed with these shadows. I can definitely see myself using during summer when meeting friends but this is a no for office wear.
  • Fruit Fizz: Is a beautiful peachy orange shadow. I can definitely use this to work if I were to use it in the center of the lid.
  • Effervescent: This was a bit easier to work with than bubbles and it took me a while to figure out how to control and manage the fall out. I can definitely wear this to work. (Update: I love this eye shadow. I apply it in a thin layer and it highlights my eyes without any color.)

Should you buy it?

It depends on how much of make up you own and what you need makeup for. If you have enough make up and cannot afford to pay a high price, I’d suggest skipping it. On the other hand, if you can afford it or don’t have a large collection or love creating looks, this is so worth it.

Is it office or work friendly? Not completely and not all the shadows. There are 2 – 3 shadows I can get away with wearing to work and another 5 that I can wear on video calls.

Is it Brown Girl friendly? Heck yeah. I’m so impressed with how the shadows translated from the palette on to the eyes.

I’ll conclude my post with this observation: the quality of Clionadh make up is high. I’d put it up there with Natasha Denona shadows (I don’t own any Pat McGrath or Charlotte Tilbury, so I can’t compare with those brands). It’s not as easy to work with as Natasha Denona but the impact these shadows have are higher than Natasha Denona, because the products work very differently. Natasha’s products are more wearable every day shadows, whereas Clionadh is vibrant.

P.s: when you mix all the eye shadows you get a beautiful pinky-purple Frankenshadow (a term created by Safiya Nygaard).

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