Time for another palette review, but this time, it isn’t an eyeshadow palette, but a lip palette. I know I did promise it 2 weeks back on Insta, but there were mitigating circumstances. Anyway, time to review one of the most-talked about products – the Lip Palette Volume 1 from Anastasia Beverly Hills (ABH). ABH – a brand which was known more as a “brow” brand seemed to have suddenly shifted gears last year. Before last year, despite having a decent range of coloured cosmetics, ABH was still more of a “brow company.” Not just a company which focussed on brow products, but a brand which was a go-to for most people – including makeup artists for their brow needs, but last year, something changed for them. There was the Modern Renaissance Palette, followed by the Master Palette by Mario, the whole Highlighter palette trend initiated by them and the hit/miss liquid Lipsticks. Suddenly, everyone’s eyes were on ABH. And they kept delivering – not just product on product but excellent quality to boot. On the heels of this success, came the Lip Palette Volume 1 which we will discuss in detail today.
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What it is: A professional lip palette in 18 shades that range from primaries and neutrals to bold brights.
What it does: Give lips rich, intense pigment payoff and a long-wearing, matte finish with the Lip Palette. It features bold colors to mix, layer, and customize, and it includes a mixing plate and dual-ended lip brush with a spatula. Wear these shades alone or blend them together for an endless array of looks.
This palette contains:
– 18 x 0.03 oz/ 0.8 g Lip Shades in #1 (peach pink), #2 (red oak brown), #3 (burnt orange), #4 (rich oak brown), #5 (burnished berry), #6 (rich mahogany brown), #7 (vibrant coral), #8 (warm sandy brown), #9 (vibrant orchid purple), #10 (berry pink), #11 (soft oak brown), #12 (vibrant pink), #13 (blackened berry), Primary 1 (white), Primary 2 (black), Primary 3 (red), Primary 4 (yellow), Primary 5 (blue)
– Dual-ended lip brush with spatula
– Mixing plate
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It is formulated without parabens, sulfates, phthalates.
USD 48 / 18 X 0.8 gm.
The palette comes in a sturdy, good quality plastic box. There is no flimsiness to this one. It has a transparent cover – through which you can see the lipstick shades. It isn’t too heavy either – would be easy to slip not your bag or into an MUA’s travel kit. The palette isn’t on its own. It comes with a couple of accessories:
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1. Lip brush / Spatula – There is a double-ended piece with a lip brush on one side and a spatula on the other. The brush is a synthetic flat tapered brush – fairly decent to use. I actually prefer this shape because I feel it is easy to line your lips and fill them out with it. Personally, a pointy lip brush for lining and a flat one for filling in seems so much of an over kill. Also, the brush isn’t too thick – unlike the Colourbar lip brush. So, in effect, it does not gobble up too much of your product. It is great to see that the Company put in thought into the product and provided a spatula as well to ensure you can remove the desired product hygienically and then apply to your lips. Using a clean spatula, instead of dipping your fingers or brush into the wells, will ensure that the product stays fresh and bacteria free for longer.
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2. Mixing Plate – Again, the Company has proactively provided a metal mixing plate for you. This is a much-needed instrument for using this palette coz unlike other lip palettes which only need you to pick the shade and apply it, this palette allows you to mix together colours to create new shades. I will cover that aspect in detail later, but the point is, that you would need a mixing plate for this palette and I’m glad that the Company provided it rather than selling the palette and the brush and the mixing plates separately – asking you to buy them individually.
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The lipsticks have no shade names, just numbers. There is a thin plastic separator (which can be slid out) covering the palette, which has the shade numbers mentioned on it. Why? Will come to that in a bit. The entire stuff comes packaged in a compact cardboard box with shade numbers displayed on the back along with he ingredients for each shade.
My Experience with Anastasia Beverly Hills Lip Palette:
Enough procrastination, let us get on with it. So, what is special about the palette?
The palette consists of 13 ready mixed shades ranging from n*des to bright coral to bright violet to neutral shades. And this is what most lip palettes contain. The only difference could be that some may have range basis colour (a pink or n*de or plum theme) or basis texture (a matte or a satin or a gloss theme). But the end product is still the same – ready shades of lipstick for you to chose and apply.
adily available in the palette or even in the market.
Could you use the primary shades like the other 13 ready-to-use shades? Yes, you could. The texture across the palette is fairly consistent (i will mention the anomalies when I discuss the texture) – so in effect, you can use the red or the blue or the yellow as a lip shade but the idea of having them there is more from the mix-n-match perspective.
As I have mentioned earlier, there are no shade names mentioned on the palette. Even the plastic insert has only the numbers mentioned on it. Honestly, there isn’t really any space to put done numbers in the palette itself – it’s quite compact. I guess the brand used numbers because ultimately when you mix and match – its going to be “mix 2, 6 and Primary 5 to get this shade.” Easier to remember and easier to illustrate.
Let us discuss the individual shades and the quality of the these as a lip product.
The Ready-To_Use shades:
The shade range is quite nice, ranging from n*des to brights, from neutrals to bright pops of coral and violet. Lets quickly run through the individual shades. The serial number corresponds to the shade number:
1. A corally n*de, quite pastel looking. For someone with medium skin tone like me, I see this being used more as a mixing shade than on its own because it is likely to wash me out. You can use it to create ombre effect though.
2. This is a medium dark neutral shade with red undertones. Very pretty shades and one of the reasons I was drawn to the palette.
3. A gorgeous medium burnt orange shade. This is the shade which is currently doing rounds in both liquid lip colours and eyeshadow palettes. With various names like Burnt Orange, Sienna, Pumpkin, etc – this is pretty much the “IT” shade right now.
4. A muted medium brown shade. Works very well on our medium skin tone to balance heavy eye makeup.
A medium muted plum shade – almost like a neutral plum (if that even makes sense!!). Very pretty fall-type of shade.
5. This one is a deep rich brown with red undertones, quite striking. Reminds me of the whole 90s trend.
6. A bright medium coral screaming for attention. For someone who loves this shade – great. For someone who doesn’t use such bright shades but is contemplating buying the palette and wondering if the shade will be a waste – do not fret. The shade can be mixed and matched to create more wearable options.
7. A medium dark cool-toned brown with slight rosiness. The rosiness does not seem so evident in the pan – but is more clear once swatched. This is the kind of shade which would have made me extremely uncomfortable some time back but is relatively easy to work with and carry off now.
8. Violet!! Enough said! A medium dark, bright berry shade – extremely gorgeous! Something you would love to use on its own.
9. A light to medium, n*dish brown with a pink undertone. Looks quite light in the pan but works on our medium skin tone too.
10. A bright, medium dark, cool-toned pink.
11. A deep bruised plum shade.
Yellow (with a tinge of orange)
Having gone through the individual shades, let’s discuss the overall quality of the shades:
Texture: Most of the shades are creamy and easy to work with – whether to apply directly or to mix with each other. They are emollient enough to be able to spread or mix. However, once applied, they settle to a matte to semi-matte finish over an hour or so. The texture of most of them can be drying – not the “oh God!! I need balm” type of drying but the kind where you will develop dry lips thanks to using it; nothing which a good lip balm won’t care. Also, it will depend on the general condition of your lips. If I were to put it on a MAC scale – this would be somewhere around MAC mattes, definitely not the retro matte texture. While discussing the texture, I would like to mention the fact that the texture actually works well for the palette. It feels like the brand really put thought into it. So, while the texture is soft enough to allow any 2 (or more) shades to mix together, once applied, it allows the shade to stay as is, which is what you need, especially if you are creating a creative lip like an ombre effect. If the texture does not settle into a matte finish, you will find the shades meshing together too much and killing the effect. Also, there will be transference of product (and shade) from lower lip to upper lip, and vice-versa. So, the texture, though a tad drying, works for the product that has been designed. Yes, you would have seen glossy ombre lips on Insta or fashion magazines – but do remember that an editorial look and insta makeup isn’t real life makeup.
Pigmentation: The pigmentation for most of the shades is bang on. They are quite pigmented and a single swipe of the brush will cover any lip scar/pigmentation. The only exception to this is:
Shade 1 – which seemed to sink into my lip lines over time;
Shade 12 – which though a bright cool pink, wasn’t as pigmented as the rest of the shades;
Primary shade 4 – which is yellow – which seemed thinner in consistency and would not go on evenly. However, not many people are likely to use it on its own and it will more often than not, get used as a mixing shade – so, should be ok to work with.
Staying Power: The staying power of most of the individual shades and the ones created by mixing these together was good. I would get about 5.5-6.5 hours of wear – indulging meal time. The same can obviously be attributed to the excellent pigmentation and the matte texture of the lipstick – which put together, give it longevity. So, while it may seem iffy to use a palette which limits touch ups on the run, the lipstick will last you through an event – but not really through a whole day of work.
The review isn’t over yet because I do want to take my time and put this product a little bit in perspective for you before you go out and purchase it for $48 + tax + shipping, etc etc. And this is one of the reasons why my review kept getting delayed because I needed to put my thoughts together. So, I will try to help you decipher. When the product was first announced, I felt like – “Another MUA product thrown at the general market.” I will discuss this aspect very soon in another article with you, but for now, I will just leave it with the fact that when I say the pictures and the whole primary color concept, my first reaction was that the target audience for this product are professional makeup artists. So, I wasn’t even considering buying it. And then a thought occurred to me – makeup is supposed to be fun, right? So, when you are through with your numerous regular lipsticks, it could be so much fun to create any colour you want. “WOW! What fun! I am going to get this”!! And i did. But before you go ahead and do the same, please go through the following points once:
Yes, it sounds really cool to be able to create any shade you want and apply that. Well, the thought is over simplistic. Why? For one, you haven’t been given a guiding insert by the brand which says – add 2 + 5 + Primary 1 and get this shade, etc. While I understand why the brand hasn’t done that it’s because they do not want you to go ahead and be creative instead of following any formulas. However, once you do try using it, you will realise that more often than not, you will end up with either of these 2 scenarios – if you get adventurous, you will create a number of dark and sometimes-off shades and if you play safe, you will create shades which are quite similar to the ones which already exist in the palette, at least for the first half a dozen tries.
Why does this happen? Does the product not work? Well, it does work very well. But the issue is that we aren’t professional makeup artists and most of us do not understand the color theory, at least not more than the fact that 2 primaries, make a secondary, etc. So, our experimentation is more of a hit and trial. It’s not a focussed attempt to get “XYZ” shade, it is more of a “gee, let’s see what I make!”
While there is nothing wrong with the above approach, and it can be a lot of fun, it isn’t something I would be willing to do on a normal day. If I have to be in office, out for a meeting, heading for an event, etc – I may not have the time to experiment or the inclination to be surprised by the results.
The good thing is that you do have help at hand. Instagram or Pinterest can give you a lot of colour combination options for you to try. So, you can benefit form other people’s trials and errors.
Again a point to remember, even with a code – meaning mix 5 + 8 + Primary 1, you may/may not get the shade that you thought you would be getting because you have to know the proportions also! Yes, you do need very little product for each application. However, a bit too much of one of the primary shades can toss the whole thing – and you need to start again.
The great part is that you can still work with the beautiful array of “ready to use’ shades for your normal days and keep the experimentation only for the weekends – or basically, whenever you have the extra time. Even with the existing shades, you can easily create ombre lips or 2 tone lips etc. So, there is fun and excitement to the palette even without mixing stuff.
This is probably THE most important aspect about using the product and one which you really need to take into account. It is a “LIP Palette”!! Am I stating the obvious? Yes, but despite knowing that this is a lip palette, you have to realize that whether or not you will be comfortable using it. Applying lipstick with a brush is not the same as applying it from the bullet. It definitely takes more time and effort. I am not saying that it is a huge learning curve, no it isn’t! It isn’t rocket science either. Instead, what it is, is time consuming. So, when I am on the run, or getting late or have people standing on my head staring at their watches, I am not likely to reach for this. If your daily makeup routine is a 5 -15 minute dash through your makeup stash – this isn’t the product for you. If you mostly apply your lipstick on the go – this isn’t the product for you. So, while you may enjoy the novelty of it today and may experiment relentlessly for the next one week, chances are it will go onto the back burner pretty quickly – and then stay there.
Lastly, yes, let’s get this rant over – touch-ups! You can’t really carry the palette around with you for touch ups. so, what are you gonna do. Worse still, if you have created a customised shade, how do you touch up. You need to practise to be able to get the same shade back again. Alternatively, there is a way out – you can buy a retractable lip brush and load some colour on it to carry it with you for touch ups. Doable, but iffy!
Also, there are times when you create a customised shade and start applying it only to realise that you have lesser product on your palette than what you need. Start again!
Yeah, I know I said “lastly” at point 9. You have to remember to clean your brush and palette post every use. Lipsticks being a cream product – you need to ensure hygiene to be able to continue using the palette.
The lovely thing is you can use the product as cream blush as well – a trick used by professional MUAs since decades. This takes the guess work out of what blush to pair with your current lipstick!
So, what am I saying? Am I saying it is a bad product, don’t buy it? No! Definitely not! It is a fantastic product – good quality and currently, very unique. What I am trying to do is to lay out all the facts for you so that you can make an informed decision rather than say – “Hey! I love lipsticks, i should buy this!” or “WOW! If i buy this, i’ll never need to buy another lipstick again!!” Evaluate whether you will be getting use out of it or not, and then put in the $50!! The best way to check this is to apply your lipstick everyday, for a week, only with a lip brush. See, if this is your cup of tea. Don’t have a lip brush. Worry note, use a Q-tip instead!
Pros of Anastasia Beverly Hills Lip Palette:
- A lovely array of “ready to use” shades.
- The option to be able to create customised shades.
- A fun outlet for your creativity.
- Extremely pigmented.
- Creamy product which settles to a matte finish.
- Except for a couple of shades, rest performed well and did not sink into the fine lines of the lips.
- The colours blend easily and mesh very well together.
- Possible to do – daily office look or a more fun look.
- The texture allows you to create the trendy 2 tone or the ombre look.
- Decent price point for the amount of product and the number of shades available.
- Sturdy packaging.
- Good to have accessories like the lip brush, spatula and the mixing tray as part of the product.
- Should work very well for professional MUAs.
- The option of being able to create and use new funky shades which you may not want to buy full bullets of.
Cons of Anastasia Beverly Hills Lip Palette:
- One needs to ideally understand the colour theory to be able to use the palette effectively. It isn’t that you can’t use it if you don’t understand colour theory, but it would help.
- Re-application is a concern – for both customised and “ready to use” shades.
- Using a lip product which needs to be applied can be more time consuming than using a regular bullet.
- There will be a bit of learning curve to creating customised shades.
- You need to wash and dry the accessories post each use – to maintain hygiene.
I think ABH has done a good job by creating a quality product which is both fun and unique. Personally, I do like it and do not regret purchasing it.
Do I Recommend Anastasia Beverly Hills Lip Palette?
Is it a must buy? I would probably recommend it to the following people:
Professional Makeup artists – They could definitely get good use out of this product. The option to be able to tweak and existing colour to the one they want. And the texture works, providing longevity. It would be a greta pick for them. People who live on social media – Influencers/Bloggers/Vloggers, etc – people who constantly live on social media and may need something different and interesting as far as their lip look is concerned. People who invest time in doing their makeup. Let’s be real. If you are constantly on the run and have got your full makeup routine done to 10 minutes, I doubt that you would have the time or inclination to create a lip colour and then apply it using a brush. It would be a waste of your money.
People who just wanna have fun with makeup. People who are open to trying new, funky stuff and just want to experiment.
Will buying this palette mean that you will never need to buy another palette. Hell, no! It is never going to mean that! Especially when your palette itself says “Volume 1.” Makes you wonder what will be there in Volume 2, 3….
If you have any more questions pertaining to the palette, please feel free to ask through the comments section.
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