“Don’t be a sheep Reena, be a shepherd” – that’s what I tell myself each and every time I’m faced with a purchasing decision. I consider myself an independent person who rarely follows the crowd, yet at the same time, I’m a completely self-indulgent fool. When it comes to shopping, I lose all sense of control. The mere mention of a ‘cult item’ from a complete stranger sends me into irrational, almost senseless thinking (almost the same sentiments when I order a pizza) and I will stop at nothing until it is mine.
When I first witnessed swatches of the new Anastasia Beverly Hills Renaissance palette I fell head over heels. I’ve not felt this strongly about an eyeshadow palette since the release of the Carli Bybel collaboration; which I unashamedly spent nine long hours trying to purchase. Perhaps it’s greed or my insatiable need for excess, but this palette practically screamed out to me and of course, I wasted no time in placing that order.
Let me paint a little picture for you. It’s 6:15am, I’ve just woken from my usual 8 hour slumber and I do what most red blooded individuals do when they’re in bed – check my email. After a few minutes of superficial email scanning, there it appeared at exactly 6:23am – Cult Beauty’s announcement that the Anastasia Beverly Hills Renaissance palette had arrived in the UK and were offering free shipping on all ABH products. Without any rational thought or consideration for my credit card bill that was due two days later, it was purchased, paid for, boxed, shipped and practically at my door at exactly 6:29am. Damn those subscription emails!
So what makes this palette so special? Well aside from the fact that every beauty blogger/vlogger has practically wet themselves with excitement over its hype, this palette promises an endless list of possible looks with the same quality and luxury as most ABH products. Created by ABH President Claudia Soare, aka Norvina, the hues are all based on shades used in Renaissance paintings. To top it all off, this is the first ABH palette to be made permanent; which makes me feel slightly stupid for acting like deranged, makeup hungry fiend at 6:30 in the morning, but it’s great for those who actual value their sleep and have yet to get their hands on the palette.
The palette is encased in a light pink velvet compact with embossed writing on the front and an external cardboard box to protect the product, much like the original Urban Decay Naked palette. If I’m honest, I’m not a huge fan of the packaging. The velvet texture collects a lot of dirt and is not very easy to clean (you should see the state of my Naked palette). The cardboard box is a pro point if you’re worried about storage, but I find the secondary cardboard boxes that most high end products come in a hindrance when getting ready in a rush, not to mention the additional room they take in your makeup storage. The palette also contains a mirror and a dual ended blending brush, like many other palettes on the market. The brush is not exactly life changing, but it does a mediocre job and does eire some resemblance to the ABH makeup brushes that they have available.
What gets me is the price. At £41.00, I was a little shocked considering the Self Made palette was pretty much half the price. The eyeshadows bare a weight of 9.8g in total; which isn’t a huge amount, but in comparison to MAC shadows (which are 1.5g for £13.00), they’re a lot more value for money and just as good, if not better.
When it comes to eyeshadow, consistency is key. There’s nothing worse than a patchy, powder-y mess. You certainly don’t get that with ABH shadows and this palette certainly lives up to that expectation. In fact, the matte shadows feel slightly creamier than usual, very similar to Lorac shadows. Due to the incredibly creamy texture, the shadows blend out very very well; which is perfect for creating that blown-out smokey eye. The formula is so buttery that fallout is expected as you swipe your brush into the pans. It doesn’t falter the blend ability, unless of course, you don’t tap the excess off your brush.
In terms of lasting power, these shadows hold their own. The pigmentation is so strong that the shadows last a very long time without the need of a primer (obviously that’s madness, but I thought I would throw that out there). The pigmentation isn’t as strong as Lorac shadows, however, and don’t stain your lids; which is great when it comes to makeup removal, but I would definitely go in with a light hand with your brush.
The colour range is obviously what sells the palette and with great reason. Being a warm-toned lover myself, this palette is a dream. There’s a total of 14 individual pans; which consist of matte and shimmer shades. All of the shades are very neutral and wearable with the exception of Venetian Red (a deep, berry toned red), Love Letter (bright pink with purple undertones) and Realgar (a burnt, almost toffee apple hued orange). In all honesty, these shades stand out more than the others and give you the option of creating some very fun, yet cranberry-esque looks. What I love most about the colour selection is that transition colours, highlighting shades and pops of colour all co-exist without the need for dipping into another palette; which is my biggest gripe. However, if I really wanted to push the boat out and add some dramatic black into my look, I would need to look elsewhere.
If someone were to ask if I think this palette is worth it I would say yes…provided that you can pay the price tag and you don’t have something similar (Violet Voss Holy Grail has very similar shades, but less indulgent). I am slightly confused, however, why ABH would choose to release a palette of this nature at this time of the year as I would consider this more of a fall time selection, but regardless the possibilities are endless. My personal favourite is a deep, and seductive cranberry look as demonstrated below.
You can purchase the Anastasia Beverly Hills Renaissance palette from Cult Beauty here.