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Battle of the Brands: "Freedom" Palettes

January 12, 2012
*Edit - January 14, 2012 - New information on the new Z-Palette, please see below *

If you were a reader of my old blog (thank you!), then you might remember I had a post about my depotting dilemma.  Well, after months of debate, I depotted.  I first purchased unii palette last year, and then the Z-Palette later in the year.  I also have had my MAC palette for years, and here's a comparison of them all.


OLD version of Unii Palette in Twilight
Brief description:
I first decided to purchase the UNII Palette because of the packaging.  This looks and feels really sturdy.  When you open it up, it has a big mirror inside, which is awesome for travelling (you do not need to pack an extra thing).  I also like that it included a grip inside, so it won't slip away and end up on the ground.  It also has a tight lock that keeps the product secure inside.  UNII Palette has since made an upgrade and converted them into magnetic plated palette, which means any metal pan would stick.

  • Huge mirror
  • Sturdy packaging
  • Tight and secure lock
  • OLD version: magnets are provided with purchase
  • NEW version: magnetic plate so that metal pan eyeshadow will stay put without magnets
  • Thumb grip to ensure a tight grip
  • Insulated with rubber to lower the damage from collision
  • A lot of colours that you can find one that suits you for sure

  • It's smaller than other freedom palettes (it only holds 14 MAC pan eyeshadow)
  • The rubber insole is a good idea but it catches eyeshadow fallout very easily.
  • It's quite difficult to clean.
  • OLD version: the metal plate is not magnetic, so you have to stick the magnet on the shadow pan yourself
  • NEW version: the plate is magnetic, which means it can potentially be quite heavy.


Brief description:
Z-Palette is a customizable palette with a clear screen on top.  The clear screen allows you to see exactly what you have in the palette.  It's cardboard packaged, but it is surprisingly sturdy.  The clear screen is also quite sturdy.  The plate in the palette is magnetic, so a lot of metal potted products will stick on.  Note that MAC depotted eyeshadows are not magnetic, only the pan eyeshadows, without the pot, are.  (Edited on January 14, 2012) BUT the good news is that the Z-Palettes now comes with metal sticker, so you can turn MAC depotted eyeshadows into a "metal pan" easily!  This means it'll definitely hold MAC eyeshadows without extra effort.  It has a tight magnetic closure so you don't have to worry about product inside falling off.

  • Clear screen so that you know what's inside.
  • Sturdy packaging that won't break down on you easily.
  • Tight and secure closure.
  • Magnetic plate so that any metal panned product will stick on.
  • It's available in two sizes (large holds 28 MAC eyeshadow, and small holds 9).
  • The Large size is the largest freedom palette I have seen.
  • It's available in a lot of colours/patterns (the added some new ones recently).
  • It's quite accessible because they do have retailers around the globe.
  • New version comes with metal stickers, so even if the pan won't stick on magnet originally, if you put the sticker on the back of the pan, it  shall stick!

  • No mirror
  • Cardboard is cardboard after all, you'll see dents with use.
  • Since it's magnetic, it's rather heavy.
  • No insulation, so product can break (though it has not happened to me yet)


Brief Summary:
This palette is specifically designed to hold 15 MAC pan eyeshadows.  It is also available in another format, which holds 6 MAC pan blushes.  However, the insoles can be taken out to hold more products (about 26 eyeshadows or 8 blushes).  It's a cult favourite because it's sleek and it's MAC.  It is rather flimsy (I broke one before) when compared to the other two palette I mentioned in this post.

  • MAC eyeshadows fit or other 26mm pan eyeshadow would fit perfectly.
  • It's light in weight
  • Sleek packaging
  • Insole can be remove to allow more "freedom"

  • With the insole, you're limited to what you can put in
  • It's light but it's more fragile.
  • Lock is not so secure.
  • If you drop it, it could break very easily, and product will fall out and, possibly, break.
  • It's not magnetic so you need to buy magnets for your depotted products.
  • Removing the insole is not pretty.


I have made up a little comparison chart for your convenience:

Unii (old/new) Z-Palette MAC
Sizes 1 sizes - Medium 2 sizes - Large/Small 2 sizes - Large/Small
Dimensions 155 x 93 x 15 mm L: 205 x 125 x 13 mm
S: Unknown
L: 190 x 110 x 11 mm
S: 76 x 76 mm
# MAC e/s 14 28 15 (w/ insole), 26 (w/o)
MagneticNo/Yes Yes No
Magnets Included (old ver) Not included Not included
Metal sticker Included (new ver) Not included Not included
Sturdy (1-10) 9 8 6
Lightweight 6.5 6 9
Secured 10 9 8
Will buy again? No/Probably Yes NO

WINNER: Z-PALETTE... imagine crowd cheering

Final words:
It's all personal preference, in my opinion.  I like Z-Palette because it's got a clear screen.  With that I see everything inside the palette, and I find myself reaching for that more often than when the eyeshadows were in a MAC palette.  I really like their colours and patterns too (zebra and leopard, enough said).  I also like that it got two sizes, where the large one can hold almost everything I need, and the small holds enough for travelling.

I chose it over Unii Palette because, even though I do like the huge mirror, it's very bulky.  The worst part is that it catches fallout ultra easily.  My Unii Palette is the old version so it doesn't come with a magnetic plate.  But the new version does, and the new colours are more attractive IMO.  It is still a very great option because it is very sturdy and very travel friendly (I'm talking about going to trips-travel friendly).

So there you have my opinions on three "Freedom" Palettes.  Do you depot your products?  If so, how do you store them? Unii, Z, or MAC?  Let me know in the comments!  Thanks for stopping by!

x Rica


  1. This is such a great review! I still havent used my Z-Palette yet that we got from imats! Hahaha! It's still in the wrappings! Lol! I really want to get my hands on the Unii palette thought because it's just so pretty! Did u order yours online?

  2. Thanks Em! You should open yours!  I got rid of a lot of pots!

    I did order my Unii palette online back in the summer.  They had this free shipping/few bucks of promo going on.  I think now they lower the price by $5.  They new colours are nicer IMO.  I really want the pink one LOL.

    x Rica

  3. Think I'll be purchasing the Z Palette after seeing this review - I was so uncertain about it and will still need to figure out how to depot without breaking any of my shadows but they're too handy not to at least give it a try (part of me just loves a good excuse to "declutter" and tidy up haha) and I do appreciate the information you've given above. I'm looking at getting heaps of Inglot shadows to fill one of these up one day... :) 

  4. I'm so glad it helps!  I like that it's big enough to hold everything.  I, too, want some Inglot shadows, but I don't know if I want to get their palette instead.  We'll see, I haven't even been to an actual store yet!  I'm definitely looking forward to go one day!

    x Rica

  5. Thanks for the comparison! I'm still deciding between the Z Palette and the Unii. I'm just in love with the colors of the Unii...

  6. The new colours of Unii are intriguing! I love the new pink one!  It's so girly!  I wish they make one slightly slimmer though, that would be great for everyday touch-ups!

  7. Great post!!  I love my Z palettes and wanted to try a Uni but the price is why I never tried it, I never realized how much smaller it is!!

  8. Thank you!  When I first got Unii palette, I was like "it's smaller than I thought" (it's so small when it's compared to Z-Palette)... But I have to say the colours are pretty and it's very sturdy for travel travel.  I'd say wait for a coupon code or sale, they're not going anywhere in the short term :).

    x Rica

  9. I am still researching these and having a hard time deciding. I love the leopard and zebra Z palette, how could you  not lol. But that said I love the colors of the Unii as well but keep hearing about the clasp breaking after about a year. Maybe its better to get the Z for home so I can slowly buy a few pan e/s from Mac to fill it with and then just use a Mac quad for traveling?!

  10. i like z palette more as you can easily see through the clear top

  11. Great comparison! I never purchased any of these palettes except for the MAC ones. I like the MAC (old and new) ones better because I feel like they are more sleek

  12. I had the same dilemma, I was debating with between the Z palette and the Uni palette. I ultimately went with the uni-palette because it looked the most sturdy. Turns out not so much. I have the old version, the corners are cracking and the pins are falling out. Is anyone else having this issue?

  13. I have seriously been considering getting something to hold my single eyeshadows in. I've been looking at the Z-Pallette, so I'm glad to see you so highly recommend it. But, I wonder...what are the price differences between them?