I’ve always thought the Kat Von D eyeshadow palettes looked and felt gorgeous when I played with them in the store. When I went looking for a great neutral palette and saw the new Saint palette, I decided it was time to give it a try.
I love the case – it has the look and feel of a vintage cigarette tin with carved roses. The only thing I dislike about it is that the hinges don’t really work. You can either close it, or lay the back down completely flat – there is no opening it to 90 degrees.
That seems kind of cheap to me, since I own NYX, Elf and all kinds of drugstore palettes with real hinge action. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever encountered this before, but it’s not just my palette – I checked others at Sephora to make sure. The casing also contains a nice, big mirror. And you can see I used it today and forgot to clean it off before taking pictures – little brush marks in the shadows, and some specks of shadow around some of the pans.
But that’s where the cheapness ends. You get eight quality shadows and a small version of Kat’s autograph pencil in “Puro Amor”, plus a little sample of her high-voltage eyeshadow primer in “Skin.” And it’s good stuff. Makeup snobs and Kat haters: keep it to yourself! I know hardly anything about this woman, but this palette is just awesome. The shadows are infused with rose extract, and maybe that’s what makes them so much silkier than most other shadows.
How they wear
The shadows are creamy, highly pigmented, and extremely blendable. Even without primer, I get excellent wear for 16 hours, with no fading and no creasing (but then I rarely get creasing with any brand). The liner pencil is smooth and opaque in an intense matte black – it reminds me of Urban Decay’s 24/7 liners, or Milani’s Liquifeyes. You have maybe 30 seconds to smudge it (at most) when you put it on, and then it’s locked in place for 16 hours, too.
Up close with the colors
The first four colors are called (from left to right) Heavens, Enjoy the Silence, <3 and Downtown:
- Heavens: a shimmery off-white beige with yellow undertones
- Enjoy the Silence: shimmery very pale gold
- <3: matte soft pink with sparkles
- Downtown: shimmering pink-gold champagne heading toward coral
Like any eyeshadow with distinct bits of glitter, <3 can give you some glitter fallout, though this shade performs better than many similar ones I’ve tried (including Urban Decay). It’s a fascinating color which is close to my fair, neutral skin tone – it’s pastel with just enough yellow base to make it work with more skin tones than your typical candy pink. It’s highly pigmented, so I believe it will show up well on darker skin tones, too. You’ll get very little fallout if you either use a sticky primer (cream shadows are great for this) to glue it in place, or simply pat it gently onto your eyelid instead of sweeping it (I did not try tapping the excess off my brush, because that technique often drops the sparkle). When I bought the palette, I figured this color might be useless, but it surprised me – I find myself reaching for it frequently.
Downtown is also incredibly wearable and pretty. Be aware it’s got just enough red in it that it could potentially make you look tired. I have to avoid using it as a crease color in a smoky eye, and as a lid color I always put a little highlight around my inner corner to brighten it up. Your mileage may vary. I don’t want to make it sound like a difficult shade, because it’s not at all. I have to be strategic with any shade containing even a tiny amount of red.
I get the least use out of Heavens and Enjoy the Silence. This is partly because I gravitate toward darker colors. I find these paler ones too pigmented and shimmery for brow or inner color highlights, so they work better as lid colors. But my lids are huge, so putting a very light color on them tends to make them look like big white orbs in my face. But these shades are great for lightening other colors, or just blending them. And if you have eyes that are flattered by pale colors, you’ll love these.
The second half brings us Sunny, Pray for Me, Bookworm and Caravaggio:
- Sunny: bright, shimmery gold (like Downtown without the pink component)
- Pray for Me: shimmery taupe
- Bookworm: shimmery deep warm brown
- Caravaggio: dark matte brown
Sunny is my go-to color. I use it as a lid color, and in the crease when I do a sort of daytime smoky eye with Bookworm at the lashline, gradating into Pray for Me just below the crease, gradating into Sunny in the crease. Pray for Me is slightly sheer, and a great color for a sheer wash, but you can pack it on more densely when you want. Bookworm is a dark shimmery chocolate with gold pearls which works great as part of a smoky eye or as an outer corner or crease color. Caravaggio is intensely pigmented, beautiful as an outer corner or crease color, or a liner.
I love this palette. I love how the colors are arranged from lightest to darkest. I love that it has one matte, one sheer shimmer and one matte with sparkle alongside five beautiful shimmery colors (I love shimmer). I keep finding new ways to wear it.
These are some of the more blendable colors I’ve ever used. Mac colors aren’t this blendable. You can really sheer these out, or you can make the lightest and darkest color blend perfect into each other. You can do anything with these colors, and you don’t need the best application skills to do it. That makes it a great palette for someone who’s just learning to apply eyeshadow, or maybe isn’t interested in learning more than basic skills ever, but it’s also great for someone who spends an inordinate amount of time playing with eyeshadows.
If you really wanted to love Urban Decay’s Naked palette, but somehow it just didn’t grab you, this could be the one for you.