Hi friends! So this palette had A LOT of negative things said about it when it first came out, and just… why? When I first saw this palette pre-release I immediately needed it… like right that second. But I was SOOOO nervous when I ordered this palette because of all of the negative reviews that I almost cancelled my order. But I’m so glad I didn’t! I think there were some batch issues when it was first released, and maybe I just got lucky and nabbed a great palette, but I flipping love this palette! It’s pretty much been my go-to since I got it and I’ve played around with a lot of different looks and have managed to create simple everyday and darker evening looks. This palette does have some cons, but it also has some pros. So let’s have a chat—we’ll start with the cons!
This palette retails for 55 CAD | 42 USD. You get fourteen shadows—three shimmers and eleven matte shades. Each shadow weighs in at 0.02 oz for a total of 0.28 oz. It has the same type of packaging as the Modern Renaissance palette, only this time in a dark green shade which will hide some of the dirt that the velvet collects. If you don’t store your makeup like an animal, it should be fairly easy to keep clean. And if it does get dirty, a damp cloth works wonders! The palette comes with a double ended brush with a dense shader side and a fluffy blending side.
Kickback | This palette does have some kickback and some shades are better than others. For me, the lighter shades have the most kickback. I haven’t experienced the degree of kickback that I’ve seen in some videos, but I mean, who swirls their brush into an eyeshadow? Just gently tap your brush into the pan and you’ll be fine. With the exception of Dawn, Roxy, Fudge, and All Star, I didn’t find the kickback from this palette any different than the Modern Renaissance palette. When it comes to tons of kickback, 4/14 ain’t bad guys.
Quick Fix | Don’t press too hard into the pan. Don’t go in with the old “pick up a ton of product and tap off the excess” trick—I personally hate this. I just don’t understand it. You’re wasting perfectly good product. Stop it. If you do happen to get a crazy amount of kickback you can always try using your finger to press the pigment back into the pan once you’re done your makeup. It’s been working for me when I get too excited and go in too rough!
Blending | I don’t find these shades hard to blend or patchy, with one glaring exception. But I do find that when you’re blending the darker colors you need to go back in and pack the pigment back on in order to get the viberance back.
Quick Fix | unless you’re an absolute savage, you’ll probably still have some pigment left in the pan to go back over the color and build it back up. Sometimes colors rub off and you have to touch up. It’s life.
Rowdy | This shade is so frustrating. I’ve tried, and can’t really work with this shade, it’s so powdery that the pigment gets lost quite easily. This is a shadow that you have to be super careful with while blending because it can really easily muddy up your eyeshadow. Also, you will NEED to wash your brushes after using this because the shade is SOSOSO dark and pigmented.
Quick Fix | 1. You don’t need much of this shade at all—so start off small and build as you go (I mean, that goes for all of these shades, but moreso for this one).
2. The only thing I’ve found that REALLY works with this shade is to blend it out and get the gradient you want AND THEN go back in with a damp brush and pack the pigment on where you want it to be darker before VERY VERY GENTLY blending out any harsh lines.
Oxidizing | The shade All Star does oxidize and turns into more of a brown than the plummy, wine red color that it looks like in the pan. But this is the only shade in the palette that I’ve experienced this with. Kind of disappointing, but if you already have the modern renaissance palette, you can mix and match red-tones. I’ve also seen people have an issue when applying shades on top of concealer while doing a cut crease.
Quick Fix | I used this palette to create a cut crease look for my Slytherin inspired makeup look, and I set the concealer with a white shadow first before going in with the ABH shades and didn’t experience any problems. I’ve done this several times since that post with different colors and still haven’t had any issues.
Time Consuming | Don’t expect to whip this palette out when you have five minutes to get out the door. Patience is key when using this palette.
Not so Quick Fix | Slow and steady— just be patient. This palette needs some TLC, but it’s totally worth it.
Versatile | Like I said, I’ve created daytime and evening looks with this palette. I love how versatile this palette is and how creative I can get with it.
Get Creative | This palette is great if you’re looking to step outside of your comfort zone and really test your creativity. I’ve been trying out looks and color combinations I would normally never go for and I’ve been finding that I actually love them!
Pigment | These shades are INCREDIBLY pigmented. Yes, you loose some product with the kickback, but you only need the TINIEST bit of product on your brush. I’ve heard people saying that you NEED Fix + or something similar to get the shimmers to show up… seriously guys, just use water to dampen your brush. It’s free and does the exact same thing. Or just use your finger to pack on the shimmer. Still free.
Hone Your Skills | I didn’t think I was particularly great at makeup until I got my hands on this. If you’re looking to practice and improve your skills with makeup, try this palette out. This is not for beginners and it really tests your skills which I personally love!
You Don’t Need to be Rough | Our eyes are so sensitive, and we poke and pull at them so much while doing our makeup. It’s a nice break for them to use this palette because you need such a gentle hand while using these shadows. Seriously, you barely need to touch the brush to your skin to transfer and blend the pigment. These shadows are so soft and they go on like a dream. Swatching these shadows for pictures was almost therapeutic.
Cruelty free | Need I say more?
**If a shade is listed twice it means that I went back in with the shade to deepen or enhance the color
1 | I set my primer [Bobbi Brown Long Wear Cream Shadow Stick Sand Dune] with a plain, white shadow and then went in with Dawn as my transition shade.
2 | For my crease I started out with Edge to give that transition shade more of a gradient and then darkened that up with New Wave. I then added the tiniest bit of Fudge to add a little bit more depth to my crease, and then added a little bit more of New Wave to bring back that warmth.
3 | I packed Axis onto my lid and blended up into my crease. I did have to pack some more shadow onto my lid as the color did shift a little while I was blending.
4| For my lower lashline, I used Axis and then used New Wave to smoke it out.
5 | I used Electric as my inner corner highlight.
So the few cons I mentioned, I can personally live with. I didn’t personally experience any fallout from this palette, but I also go in SUPER gentle with these shades and very slowly build them. The pros seal the deal with this palette for me. So if you do decide to buy this palette, keep some of these things in mind: don’t press too hard into the pan, use a gentle hand while applying, and patience is key when working with these shadows! You will not be out the door in five minutes, so if you’re strapped for time, grab another palette. But if you’re like me and you love experimenting then definitely pick up this palette and give it a shot! For me, this palette is a HIT!