- BEAUTY  |  OCTOBER 25, 2020 -

NATASHA DENONA EYESHADOW: WORTH THE HYPE?

Situated in their classic black or white palettes, for years I admired Natasha Denona’s eyeshadows from afar when trawling through the counters sat within Selfridges’ Beauty Hall. While enamoured by their luxurious colours and velvety finishes, the price tag routinely made my head feel like it was on the verge of exploding. Averaging at £111, with the most expensive rounding up to a whopping £145, it was impossible to ignore how ridiculous I felt the price point was. Still to this day, despite now having a much more thorough knowledge bank about these palettes, I truly don’t believe I’ll ever be able to bring myself to purchase one of the big ‘uns. It is fortunate for me then, that Natasha had something up her sleeve. 

For anyone who has seen Natasha’s original, expensive eyeshadow palettes, such as Biba, Safari and Sunset, you will know that, despite most of the palettes containing only 15 shadows each, they’re big, and with their amount-of-product-per-pan, they’re probably the largest palettes on the market. To bring some context to the table, Natasha’s a makeup artist, and so I can imagine that she felt that the more product, the better - even though, as a consumer, it’s probably more than any of us need.

What’s also interesting is that, as an example, the majority of Anastasia Beverly Hills’ palettes are £46, providing 9.8g of product. The the Natasha Denona Biba Palette is £111, giving 37.5g of product. This makes Anastasia’s shadows nearly £2 more expensive per gram. While I think that Natasha Denona’s eyeshadows have a much better formula than those by Anastasia Beverly Hills, it can’t be ignored that the prices of the large palettes from Natasha Denona are extortionate, especially when you consider that many people like to have lots of palettes, and eyeshadows are, ultimately, products that will eventually expire. 

While learning that Natasha Denona had come out with new 15-pan palettes that retailed for nearly half the price at £60, I experienced my little makeup-lovers heart beam with excitement. Now I could finally get a taste of the brand’s most coveted product, one that I’d only been able to view until that moment, and it didn’t disappoint. While the palettes are smaller, they’re no smaller than the average eyeshadow palette (if you have the Huda Beauty Mercury Retrograde Palette, it’s a similar size), and the brand shook up the packaging’s design: Each with identical proportions and structure, the four ‘more-affordable’ £60 palettes have their own unique colour scheme to match the shade story woven throughout the shadows, all with a shiny black background to make the product pop when palette is opened. They really are a collector’s item. 

While I can put my hand on my heart and say that I believe you’d love your palette if you bought one, I’d only advise getting one if you really like the look of the colour scheme. While these shadows are exceptionally beautiful with creamy formulas and highly pigmented, buttery smooth, easy-to-blend mattes, I’m someone who’s constantly experimenting with makeup - I recognise the subtle differences in tone, and the way colours combine differently to pull looks in drastically contrasting directions - and I recognise that the majority of you want to know what’s good, and what’s not, and whether you’re going to get your money’s worth based on your individual set of preferences. 

The main criticism of these ‘smaller’ 15-pan palettes is that within each palette itself, there are colours that look a bit similar to one another for the everyday customer. Regarding the Bronze Palette, the argument that many of the shimmers looked the same was raised. Personally, I can see the difference clearly and I love the fact that I can create such a variety of bronze eyeshadow looks that can compliment lots of different lipsticks and suit the season that’s around at the time. Even though I can see a basis for this criticism, for me it’s not an issue - in fact, I love it even more for the reason stated above. 

Another one of the palettes that has some repeated tones is the Sunrise Palette (title picture), which has *brace yourselves* three matte yellows. One is a muted yellow that’ll work brilliantly as a soft transition shade to allow, for example, the oranges to sit centre stage; the other is more of a true bright yellow, that can be packed all over the eyelid with a shader brush with some of the purples or oranges in the crease, outer corner and bottom lash line; and finally, there’s the yellow with an orange undertone, which can be used in any of the aforementioned ways. Of course, there’s the argument of “how many matte yellows do you really need?”, and “wouldn’t it have been better if a neutral brown was implemented instead to make the palette more versatile and suitable for everyday wear?” But, again, for me, I can see how these tonal differences can allow users to curtail their looks in exactly the way they want to. The shimmers in the Sunrise Palette are particularly stunning, with many containing unique colour shifts within their sparkles alongside a creamy texture. Personally, this is the palette that gets me the most excited out of the four currently available.

The most unusual colour story amongst the four £60 palettes currently available is the Love Palette. With a stunning group of dusty pinks and sparkly golds, there is a noticeable outlier sat in the outermost column that grabs your attention straight away. The silver, which seems to have a blue undertone in the pan, actually has a beautiful smokey-taupe base colour and a bright reflect, and I actually think this shade makes the whole palette special. 

The colours within the Love Palette are undoubtedly unusual, and, personally, I think it’s missing one or two neutral browns. It’s also the kind of palette that, when you first see it, you fall in love with the colours, but when you come to use it, you think “ahh, I don’t actually know how to use these or whether they’re going to look good on my eyes”. I honestly can’t see myself ever using the Love Palette in isolation to create a complete eye look - I prefer to combine bright colours with more toned down, neutral shadows to allow the overall look to appear more wearable, and, since I have such a fair complexion and blue eyes, I worry that I’d look as though I have pink eye if I relied on this palette alone. On another note, many of the shimmers have some fall out if you pick up too much on your finger in one go - you can resolve this issue, though, by picking up less product and carefully pressing the shadow onto your eyes, rather than using the classic swiping technique. 

Based on reviews I’ve watched, 99% of YouTubers say they really enjoy the Love palette, but if you’re interested in buying it, I’d recommend searching for some tutorials for some inspiration and ideas about what kinds of looks can be achieved with these shadows. If you love to wear pink colours on your eyes, I do think you’d enjoy this palette, but I can’t say you wouldn’t want to grab a few more shades along the way. 

The only version of these smaller 15-pan palettes that I don’t own is the Glam Palette, and I’m actually quite shocked that I’ve waited (and I’m still waiting) so long to get my hands on it, since the colour scheme is right up my street - albeit one that I haven’t experimented with that much before. Often when brands release ‘cool-toned’ palettes, the shadows are often purple or pink, rather than taupes and greys with those purple and pinks coming through as subtle undertones instead. I was elated to see how Natasha Denona managed to maintain an element of warmth throughout this cool-tone dream, as I personally think this enables the shadows to look more flattering around the eyes. With muted, silvery pink, gold and taupe shimmers, alongside rich chocolatey tones and simple transition shades, the Glam Palette looked as though it would be a hit right from the moment it was announced - and from all accounts, it has been. 

Back when I first started wearing makeup, I was very tentative when it came to colour and solely stuck to taupes. As my love for makeup expanded, I realised that there were very few options when it came to brown-based cool-toned eyeshadows - in fact, they were nearly unseen in the industry - and so I ended up transitioning to warmer tones instead, which honestly took me a long time to adjust to, since the colours looked so much warmer against my fair skin in comparison to people with deeper complexions who viewed the same tones as ‘neutral’. So seeing the new Natasha Denona Glam Palette, and acknowledging how excited I am, actually makes me feel slightly nostalgic, and as though my younger self is having a ‘win moment’, even if it is a few years late. In fact, I think I’ve just managed to convince myself to pick it up next time I’m shopping on Cult Beauty. 

Based on what I’ve seen from this range of eyeshadow palettes, I can’t wait to see what’s next for Natasha Denona and what other colour stories she has ready to launch into an ever-waiting market place. I really hope that I’ve managed to provide you with some helpful information that may either give you that final push to delve into your purchasing wishes, or to stop you from making a buying blunder. 

 

As always, if you have any ideas of what blogposts you’d like to read, or products and brands you’d enjoy seeing featured, please let me know - either drop me a direct message or put it in the comments below. Love, T x

BLOG BY TORI VALE

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