Contour is king in the world of facial makeup, and Kat Von D's picked up on the trend by offering this powder eyeshadow palette that the brand says is specially-designed for eye contouring. Truth be told, most eyeshadow application is done with the goal of adding depth, dimension, and shape to the eyes, so the concept is nothing new. That means despite the claims the company makes, this is not a first-of-its-kind palette. This nude shadow palette has some great aspects, but doesn't earn our highest rating because of issues with application and performance.
As with all Kat Von D palettes, this is generously sized, offering a lot of product. This palette includes 12 eyeshadows arranged in three quads; each of the three larger base shades is accompanied by three smaller complimentary shades arranged beneath their coordinating, larger base color.
Each quad is arranged in neutral, cool, and warm combinations, though most of the colors are wearable for a variety of skin tones (eyeshadows are a bit more forgiving in this regard, as opposed to powders used all over the face, especially to contour).
Let's break down the quads and give you a closer look at what you're getting.
The first quad includes the base shade "Laetus," a warm, matte beige; "Samael," a light matte brown; "Solas," a matte espresso shade; and "Lucius," a light beige with a slight satin finish. All of the shades included are buttery-soft and easy to pick up on a brush. Laetus, Samael, and Lucius blend easily, though Solas has a patchy application that takes extra work to get to blend evenly, and there's fallout with this shade as the day goes on.
The second quad is made up of the base shade "Lazarus," a soft matte taupe; "Saleos," a cool matte smoky brown; "Shax," a matte jet black; and "Liberatus," an ivory shade with pink undertones and a slight satin finish. Lazarus and Liberatus are versatile and very blendable colors and have a smooth texture. Saleos is a bit more difficult to blend, as it applies patchy initially. It can be smoothed out with a soft shadow brush, but it requires extra time to do so. Shax, however, is surprisingly sheer for its color, making it appear splotchy instead of smooth, and it as well is difficult to blend evenly.
The third quad includes the base shade "Ludwin," which is a matte dusty peach; "Succubus," a matte reddish rust-brown; "Sytry," a rich matte cocoa brown; and "Lucius," a creamy golden beige with soft shimmer. Ludwin and Lucius are both easy to blend and wear well, though Succubus, despite being a surprisingly workable color, goes on patchy at first, seemingly "sitting" where you apply it initially and taking extra effort to blend, and Sytry experiences fallout throughout the day. We should mention that the shade names are odd and not the least bit helpful, hence we felt compelled to provide color descriptions to give you some sense of what's there!
The shadows, once blended, wear well throughout the day with minimal fading and creasing (save of course, for the shades that experience fallout). Interestingly, this palette's most problem-prone shades share the same two formulas while the shades that perform better are slightly different formulas.
All told, this is an ambitious palette featuring some gorgeous colors that work beautifully, but because there are shades in each quad that consistently have a splotchy application or fallout, this only earns an average, two-star rating. For palettes with better performance (including others from Kat Von D), see our list of Best Eyeshadows.
Kat Von D At-A-Glance
Celebrity makeup lines are nothing new—we’ve seen dozens of them over the years—but this one is a first in that it shocked us a bit. Kat Von D’s main claim to fame was her successful tattooing enterprise, and her role as a former reality TV show star. Now, she's a makeup entrepreneur—and a very good one.
The line launched in 2007 with only two eyeshadow palettes, cream lipstick, and eyeliner, but since has expanded by adding several new products, including remarkable lip products, blushes and more. Just like most makeup lines, this is one to shop carefully; for every great product, there are a few that could use improvement.
All Kat Von D makeup products come packaged with the line’s signature images of roses and thorns (perhaps to reinforce Von D’s love of tattoo design), which definitely makes these products stand out among a sea of blandly packaged makeup containers.
Strengths: Excellent eyeshadow palettes and trios; long-wearing cream and liquid lipstick; truly lasting powder blushes and bronzers.
Weaknesses: A few products on the pricey side (this is a minor quibble).
For more information on this brand, visit www.katvondbeauty.com.
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