Kat Von D’s Poetica palette ($35 at Sephora) is a rich collection of purples, browns and coppers. The formula is creamy, highly pigmented, long-wearing and blendable.
Like “Saint”, Poetica comes in a case that looks like a vintage cigarette case. The hinges don’t really work, so the mirrored back of the palette has to lay flat or closed – nothing in between. It comes with an Autograph eyeliner pencil in Puro Amor – matte black. You also get a small sample of High-Voltage eyeshadow primer in “Skin.”
The eyeliner is a glide type pencil that goes on very smoothly. It’s not the blackest black, especially with just one pass, but the black intensity builds up on multiple passes. I probably won’t repurchase because liners are one thing I don’t generally go high end on, but I have been using this almost daily, and I’m quite pleased with it.
The colors are stunning, both individually and collectively. I struggled at first to figure out how to wear them, beyond the obvious choices of using the three purple colors (Wonderland, Skiba and Babe) for a purple look and Tijuana, Chandler and Sand Timer for a copper-to-neutral look. But I’ve found a lot of great combinations: Babe or Skiba on the lid with Chandler in the crease and either Tijuana or Wonderland in the outer corner. Or Forgiveness on the lid, with Sant Timer in the crease and Chandler or Tijuana in the outer corner. Skiba’s also a great crease color with Sand Timer on the lid. Babe on the lid with Wonderland in the crease and Tijuana in the outer corner is extremely dramatic, but in a subtle way.
Forgiveness is a pearlized butter cream that makes a wonderful highlight color when you want some shimmer and drama. It’s also great on the lid. It’s very opaque, more pearly than shimmery and the overall effect is pale gold.
Sand Timer is a pearlescent light brown. It’s very close to my skin color, which makes the swatch a little hard to see. It gives off a nice glow without shimmering.
Chandler is a copper with a pearlized finish. It’s shockingly bright, and yet several of the other colors in the palette can make it blend in nicely. The overall effect is a deep, warm glow. If you apply it in an area where it looks too bright (I haven’t gotten it to look right as my lid color yet), just sweep Sand Timer over it to tone it down slightly, and you get a wonderful warm orangey shade that’s not so bright.
Tijuana is a deep blackened brown with gold flecks in it. The remarkable thing about this color is that while it looks a lot like a glitter shade, it’s not. You can sweep it in without primer, and still not get any fallout. It’s remarkable to work with. It makes a gorgeous liner, and a great outer corner or crease color.
Wonderland is a burgundy with flecks of gold and bright violet. Like Tijuana, it gives me no fallout even though it looks like it should. This is a great deep color that adds some warmth to the purples which come next.
Skiba is a medium purple with gold pearl. It’s on the cool side, but the gold warms it up a bit. This is a terrific color in any position, depending what other colors you choose to use it with.
Babe is my personal favorite. It’s an electric lavender that glints blue in the right light. Sweep on a little for a distinctive daytime look, and just sweep on more to go to a brighter evening look. Depending how you apply it, this color can go from soft and delicate to rocker drama.
You Alone is described as a matte vanilla, and it is matte, but it catches the light in a way that’s more satiny. This is another great highlight color, especially for daytime or more muted looks. It can also work as a lid color if you’re going for something very light.
I love this palette as much as I loved Saint. Some days, I love it even more. The colors are so easy to work with, and give me a lot of colorful ideas to play with.
This palette is a little more of a challenge than Saint, and might frustrate a beginner. You can obviously put colors this bright on in a way (or in an area) that just doesn’t work, whereas with Saint, it’s hard to mess up. But if you’re comfortable playing with color, this palette is remarkably flexible. You can be as dramatic or subtle as you want. You can even do a simple neutral look (Sand Timer on the lid, Tijuana softly applied in the corner and crease, maybe with Sand Timer mixed over it in the crease). This makes it a great palette for traveling, at least for my taste – and it’s definitely sturdy enough to carry with you.