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Another day, another eyeshadow palette review! Today’s review is on another extremely hyped-up beauty product – probably one of the most hyped up this year – the Sunset Palette from Natasha Denona!! Whenever Natasha Denona releases a palette – the beauty world comes abuzz with discussions on pricing, quality, entitlement, etc. In my opinion (whoever has watched the Good Wife – please raise your hands!!), there are 3 primary concerns:
The price point of her products is generally in the “luxury” bracket – or so it is perceived. However, if you really get down to it – the pricing of her eyeshadow palettes isn’t actually in the luxury category at all. The palette is priced at $129 ++ , so let’s say $140 (give or take) with taxes. It has 15 shadows of 2.5 gm each – so they have not skimped on the amount of product as far as each shadow is concerned. At this price, it is about less than $10 dollars an eyeshadow, which is what mid-priced brands cost. Take a Tom Ford eyeshadow palette – you pay $80 plus tax for 4 eyeshadows!!
Most palettes in the market, from established brands, used to be in the $40-ish range. Yes, today, that price point seems to be going higher – in the $60-ish range. Especially, with some newer Indie brands launching at the $40 price point. Nevertheless, the price point for a established brand’s eyeshadow palette would be around the $40-60 mark. While, the Natasha Denona eyeshadow palettes have been in the $100+ range, some even more than $200!!! While these may be catering to pro MUAs, they leave the simple consumer jarred just considering shelling that kind of money for makeup!! and understandably so! One has more important things to pay for than a $200-eyeshadow palette. The third reason, and I feel the most important of them all, is the perceived feeling of entitlement – especially when tied up with point 1 and 2. What do I mean? In my opinion, what causes dissonance for the general consumer isn’t just the pricing of the product but who is pricing it that way. Meaning, if Tom Ford came up with a 8-10 eyeshadow quad, he wouldn’t price it below $150. Look at his Winter Soleil palettes from last year – $159 plus tax for a palette of 4 eyeshadows, 1 blush, 1 highlighter! However, when it comes to Tom Ford, no one will bat an eyelid at that price point because it’s Tom Ford – an established luxury brand and people know the brand. However, unfortunately for Natasha Denona, the normal consumer hasn’t heard of her and aren’t able to identify with her, which leaves the customer wondering – who is this person who thinks herself to be so entitled to charge X amount for her product?
So, let me give you a quick brief about Natasha Denona – before we get into the product itself. Natasha is actually a pro makeup artist herself. It is kind of funny how we know all about the “self-proclaimed” Makeup Gurus, the “self-proclaimed celebrity” makeup artists and have never heard of some of the actual real makeup artists because they aren’t really pushing their faces on Instagram and YouTube. Well, Natasha Denona has been a professional makeup artist apart from being a trained professional dancer and a model. She had an extremely successful career as a professional dancer and as a model. Post getting pregnant with her first child (at 25), she changed her focus from the previous careers to makeup artistry, which till then was a passion for her but not a career choice. She has worked on a number of campaigns and covers for leading brands and magazines. In 2002 and 2006, Natasha was elected Makeup Artist of the Year in the Oscars of the Israeli Fashion World. She has her own Makeup Academy in Israel (where she is based at). I guess, it comes as no surprise that being such an integral part of the beauty and fashion industry – she also started her makeup line. So, wile her name is new to most of the consumer base, she is very well known and respected in the beauty community. To know more about her life, feel free to go through her biography on her website. Okay, time to talk about the palette in question.
Paint your eyes with the rich, warm hues of a summer sunset with this limited edition palette. An eyeshadow palette with 15 shades in Natasha Denona’s signature matte, duo chrome, metallic, and chroma crystal finishes. Inspired by the colors of the sunset, this palette features 15 gorgeous eyeshadow shades in a combination of warm brown tones, burnt oranges, reds, golds, bronzes, and yellows. It includes all four of Natasha Denona’s classic formulas in her signature chroma crystal, matte, and metallic finishes.
This palette contains:
– 15 x 0.08 oz/ 2.5 g Eyeshadow in Atmosphere (metallic rose bronze), Morgana (duo chrome red with gold), Mandarine (duo chrome mandarin with gold), Ice Gold (chroma sheer cream with gold sparkle), Bronzage (chroma crystal light copper), Aubade (chroma crystal warm gold), Sundazed (chroma crystal gold), Bermuda (matte pastel peachy nude), Panjin (matte red), Igneous (matte deep brown), Sol (matte warm yellow), Terra (matte terracotta), Horizon (matte warm orange), Vulcano (matte dark brown with mauve), Sinai (matte burnt terracotta).
Igneous, Vulcano, Bermuda, Sol:
Mica, Zea Mays Starch [Zea Mays (Corn) Starch], Silica, Dimethicone, Caprylyl Glycol, Octyldodecanol, Stearyl Stearate, Cera Alba [Beeswax], Methicone, Microcristallina Cera [Microcristallina Wax], Behenic Acid. May Contain +/-: Ci 77891 [Titanium Dioxide], Ci 77499 [Iron Oxides], Ci 77492 [Iron Oxides], Ci 77491 [Iron Oxides], Ci 77742 [Manganese Violet], Ci 19140 [Yellow 5], Ci 77742 [Manganese Violet], Ci 77288 [Chromium Oxide Greens].
Horizon, Sinai, Ice Gold, Panjin, Terra:
Mica, Octyldodecyl Stearoyl Stearate, Cetearyl Ethylhexanoate, Caprylyl Glycol, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Tin Oxide. May Contain +/- Ci 77491 [Iron Oxides], Ci 77492 [Iron Oxides], Ci 77891 [Titanium Dioxide], Ci 75470 [Carmine], Ci 16035 [Red 40], Ci 77499 [Iron Oxides], Ci 19140 [Yellow 5].
Mica, Octyldodecyl Stearoyl Stearate, Cetearyl Ethylhexanoate, Caprylyl Glycol, Tin Oxide. May Contain +/-:Ci 77491 [Iron Oxides], Ci 77891 [Titanium Dioxide], Ci 77499 [Iron Oxides], Ci 75470 [Carmine].
Bronzage, Sundazed, Mandarine, Aubade, Morgana:
Mica, Octyldodecyl Stearoyl Stearate, Cetearyl Ethylhexanoate, Caprylyl Glycol, Silica, Calcium Aluminum Borosilicate, Acacia Decurrens/Jojoba/Sunflower Seed Cera/Polyglyceryl-3 Esters [Acacia Decurrens/Jojoba/Sunflower Seed Waxpolyglyceryl-3 Esters], Quartz, Tin Oxide. May Contain +/-: Ci 77891 [Titanium Dioxide], Ci 77491 [Iron Oxides], Ci 19140 [Yellow 5], Ci 16035 [Red 40], Ci 75470 [Carmine].
USD 129 plus taxes.
My Experience with Natasha Denona Sunset Eyeshadow Palette:
The palette comes packaged in a white cardboard exterior – just like her 5-pan palettes. The box has all the information pertaining to the names of the shadows and the ingredients. The box itself is lacklustre. Coming to the palette itself – it is a mix of plastic and rubberised foam with an orange golden faux leather exterior which has the brand name and palette name embossed on it. While the outer packaging seems sturdy enough, I would not recommend travelling with it because the shadows themselves are extremely soft. I should know because my first palette came broken in transit. The palette has a magnetic closure which is much appreciated. It has a decent-sized good quality mirror. The shadows and the mirror are separated by a plastic sheath which has all the shade names and codes mentioned don it. The sheath is attached to the palette but can easily be torn away if you are so inclined – coz the attached portion is perforated.
A bit of history about the palette – it was announced in the first quarter of the year as a limited edition product and released on Beautylish. As I have mentioned while reviewing Colourpop’s Yes Please palette, in an attempt to enhance service, Beautylish jumped the gun and released it a couple of hours prior to its scheduled time. This turned out to be counter productive because most customers thought of making themselves available on the net only at the scheduled time, by when the palette was long sold out!! Needless to say, people went berserk! Moi included. Basically, there were more buyers than the number of palettes with Beautylish. Why? Maybe Beautylish had ordered a lesser number of palettes this time since Natasha’s previous palettes have had mixed reviews or it could be that Beautylish did not foresee this high a demand considering the price point of over $100. Or maybe the beauty world was still just besotted with these warmer shades and could not have enough. The sell out at Beautylish was followed by sell out at Natasha’s own site. The palette launched in Sephora a few days later and was again sold out fairly quickly – though not as quickly as from Beautylish – which could be due to the 3 EMI type-payment option Beautylsih provides and let’s face it, $129 is big to swallow at one go. Sephora kept replenishing stock in smaller batches and it kept selling out. Bottomline, there was a huge furore and loads of backlash for Beautylish. Finally,two things happened. Beautylish managed to get hold of more palettes and engaged with all their irate customers and offered to hold a piece for them apart from making the product available on their site, which was excellent “customer retention” by them. The second thing which happened was that Natasha saw the opportunity and decided to make the palette permanent. However, the next batch is still under production and will be available on October 24th. And that is why this review needed to be up before October 24th.
As per the brand , the eyeshadows in the palette have the following finishes: Matte, Metallic, Duochrome, Chroma. The brand has specified the ideal application method for each texture – it is mentioned in the product details. Let us discuss the shades individually. I have swatched them row-wise, so will discuss them accordingly.
- ATMOSPHERE 120M – The first shade in the palette described as “metallic rose bronze.” It is a metallic medium peachy bronze with reddish brown warm undertones and a pearly sheen. The texture is so unbelievably smooth and it is so pigmented without being thick or crumbly.
- SINAI 121CM – Described as “matte burnt terracotta.” This is a creamy matte shade and it isn’t a joke when it is named “creamy” matte because that is exactly what the texture is – smooth, creamy and easily blendable. The shade itself is a medium sunburnt terracotta orange with warm brown undertones.
- ICE GOLD 22K – Described by the brand as a “chroma sheer cream with gold sparkle.” This is the chroma finish shadow – it is a creamy metallic white shade with the minutest specks of gold.
- MANDARINE 123DC – This has been described as “duo chrome mandarin with gold.” This is a medium orange shade with a gold shift. The shade is bright and vibrant. Definitely one of the “IT” shades from the palette. In terms of texture, it seemed more loosely pressed than the other shades, but the pigmentation is bang-on!! However, its one of those shades which will work better when gently pressed with a finger tip or a flat synthetic brush (even a wet brush).
- BRONZAGE 124K – Another Chroma shade. Described as “chroma crystal light copper.” It is a beautiful medium copper shade with warm undertone and a metallic sheen. Such a smooth, pigmented shade. Very easy to work with and blend out.
- VULCANO 125CM – Described by the brand as a “matte dark brown with mauve.” I don’t see the mauve in the shade. To me, it looks like a deep warm dark-chocolate brown with warm reddish undertone. The texture is unbelievable smooth and the pigmentation is off the charts.
- AUBADE 126K – Another chroma shade. Described as “chroma crystal warm gold.” This is a light to medium warm coppery gold – not a yellow gold. In the pan, it looks coppery with a pronounced reddish shift. In application, the reddish shift becomes more muted – so it looks like a light copper gold with slight red shift – rather than a full on copper shade. This is more glittery shade – with fine micro glitter particles. The beauty of the shade lies in the fact that the micro glitter is so fine and so well dispersed. The shade is creamy and dense enough that the micro glitter binds well and applies evenly without creating fall out. However, it isn’t so dense that there would difficulty in transference of product to the brush or the lid. Nor is it so dense that it would accentuate texture on the lids (which is generally a cause of concern for my ageing lids).
- HORIZON 127CM – This is another creamy matte shade. Described by the brand as a “matte warm orange” – it is exactly that – a medium warm matte orange shade. The texture of this matte shade seemed slightly less creamy and even the pigmentation wasn’t at par with Sinai or Vulcano. However, it was easily buildable. I am not sure if the pigmentation has been kept lower by design because the shade works well as a transition shade and since the pigmentation is build-able, that makes it easy to use it as a transition shade.
- SUNDAZED 128K – Described as “chroma crystal gold” – this is a medium sparkly yellow gold shade with distinct warm undertones. This again feels loosely pressed in the pan and has a chunkier feel. It is difficult to apply this shade even with a flat synthetic brush – unless you use it damp. The only way to get the intensity of this shade on your eyes is to apply it with your finger tips – preferably on a glitter glue. For me, it restricts the use of the shadow only to create a halo effect. Because with fingers, I am unable to get any amount of precision to the application.
- TERRA 129CM – Described as a matte terracotta, this shade is a medium to dark warm terracotta brown shade with a creamy finish. The texture of this one is constant with Sinai and Vulcano. It is an absolute dream to work with – smooth, creamy, pigmented – so easy to blend out.
- BERMUDA 130CM – This is my aberration colour in the see of warm oranges, coppers and browns. Described as “matte pastel peachy n*de” – it is a light to medium, pastel pinky peach with warm undertones. It is one of the shades which make the palette more versatile while not being jarring to the aesthetics of the rest of the palette. This too has the beautiful creamy matte texture that I’m coming to love in this Natasha Denona palette.
- MORGANA 131DC – Described as “duo chrome red with gold.” This is such a stunning shade. It is a medium shimmery metallic coral red with a pronounced peachy gold – almost copper – shift! This is THE colour for Indian brides!! This shade is one of the highlights of this palette – it is so utterly beautiful. Texture is creamy smooth bendable and super pigmented.
- PANJIN 132CM – Another creamy matte shade described as a matte red shade. This is a medium to dark red with slight warm undertone. It didn’t seem as creamy as most other mattes in the palette but that did not impact the application. Matte reds can be a difficult to produce. This shade itself was easy to work with – build up or blend out.
- IGNEOUS 133CM – The darkest shade in the palette. Described as “matte deep brown.” The shade is a deep matte brown with almost neutral undertones. The texture is fantastic – literally creamy matte – quite like the shade Vulcano and Bermuda, so easy to work with.
- SOL 134CM – Last shade in the palette, described as “matte warm yellow” is a medium bright yellow with warm undertones. This too is a creamy matte shade and the texture is in keeping with most of the shades in the palette but the pigmentation was more buildable.
So overall, a distinctly warm palette with a slew of textures which allows you to create a variety of complete looks. I like the fact that the palette is matte heavy. I find matte shades more to my liking – which can be amped up with a bit of shimmer/duo chrome/etc. This palette has:
8 Matte shades
1 Metallic shade
2 Duo Chrome
4 Chroma shades – out of which 1 is more smooth and creamy, while the rest being Chroma Crystal are more like pressed fine pigment.
Texture: I have discussed the texture briefly while talking about the individual shades. Apart from the Crystal Chroma shades, most other shades are extremely easy to work with. The Crystal Chroma shades are more in line with the current trend of pressed micro glitter in the eyeshadow palettes. The Chroma Crystal shades work better with fingers or damp brush or over a glitter glue. The metallic and duo chrome are all gorgeously smooth and easy to apply. In comparison to the texture of the metallic shades in her existing 5-pan palettes, I found the current shades to be a vast improvement. They were not as dense and did not accentuate the texture of my lids, which was a cause of concern for me with the previous formula. The mattes – most of them – in this palette are outstanding!!!! A vast improvement to the mattes in her previous 5-pan palettes – which i had found to be quite dusty. These mattes were amazingly smooth, creamy (without being dense) – so easy to apply and work with. Absolutely dreamy.
Pigmentation: Pigmentation is spot on for most of the shades except Horizon, Panjim and Sol which were a tad more buildable. However, please note that I am comparing these shades to the other phenomenal shades in the palette – and not against say a Too Faced shadow or Urban Decay shadow or that from theBalm. That would be no comparison whatsoever! The shades blend well and mesh well with the other eyeshadows without getting muddy.
Staying Power: Disclaimer – I apply my eyeshadows with a primer because my lids are way too oily. These shadows wear the whole day!! Maximum I have tried is about 10 hours and there was ever the slightest fading! You can pretty much apply these and forget them for the rest of the day. The Chroma Crystals would work well with a glitter glue base – else they will result in fall out – during the course of the day.
Now a quick look at the #EOTDs created with it:
- Look 1 – This is obviously the “sunset on my eyes” look. It shows the vividness, the depth and beauty of the shadows.
- Look 2: This was a conscious effort on my part now to use the oranges and coppers and golds in the palette and still share a wearable look with you.
- You can obviously create a whole matte look too from the palette. It allows you to create look from day to night – with ease.
Pros of Natasha Denona Sunset Eyeshadow Palette:
- A beautiful array of warm shades.
- A variety of textures to be able to create multiple complete looks.
- Super pigmented.
- Extremely smooth, creamy texture.
- Zero fallout – except chroma crystal shades.
- Long wearing.
- No creasing.
- Does not transfer.
- The colours blend easily and mesh very well together – without getting muddy.
- Did not irritate my eyes.
- Gorgeous packaging.
Cons of Natasha Denona Sunset Eyeshadow Palette:
- Not travel friendly. I would not advice you to travel with this palette. There is a high probability of the shadows to break since they are so soft, especially the chroma crystal shades.
Bottomline – Do I Recommend? Do you need this palette?
The palette is absolutely stunning – both in terms of the variety of shades and the quality of product. The smoothness of the mattes is astounding and the duochromes and metallics are electrifying. While the Chroma Crystals need a bit of effort – they do produce remarkable results. So, yes, I do recommend the palette wholeheartedly.
However, I will not say that you NEED it. No! No one NEEDS a $129 palette in their life. It is not an essential item, but if you like luxury product and have the funds to spare for it – you will not regret buying it.
Lastly, addressing the question about constant comparison with Yes Please Palette. Are they dupes? I have discussed this aspect in detail while reviewing the Colourpop Yes Please palette. My definition of dupes is something which is comparable not just in colour but also look, feel, texture and quality. So, no, Colourpop Yes Please palette is not a dupe in that aspect. While Colourpop palette is great quality at an amazing price point, it cannot dupe the texture and feel of the Natasha Denona shadows. I doubt if any shadow comes close. However, if the question of dupes refers to being able to create similar looks – yes, you can do that with the Colourpop palette. Also, even though a lot of shades look similar between the two palettes – the depth and quality of shimmer; or the pure creaminess of the mattes in the Natasha Denona palette are incomparable! To explain with an example – imagine a Tiramisu made at a fine dining Italian restaurant in India. It is amazing and delightful. Half the ingredients – including the cream – would be imported from Italy. The chef will make it a point to get the flavours just right. Would it be fab – undoubtedly so; however, it is by no means comparable to a Tiramisu made by a family at home in say, Florence or Rome! The taste, the texture, the feel is vastly different and far, far superior. Similar ingredients, they are both Tiramisu – and good ones at that! But, it is not duplicable and not comparable!! Know what I mean?
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