So here I am, buying more palettes. I know! Shame on me…. But sometimes… It’s really love at first sight. And it seems to fit right into my own theme: tropical, southern vibes!
I’ve swatched most of Natasha Denona’s other palettes, the really expensive ones, and I have to say that they are really, really nice. But the colours didn’t get me. Well most of them have wayyy too much glittery shimmers. And as some reviewers have said, at that price, it’s got to be something that knocks you over! Over the last 3 years of doing makeup, I’ve come to the conclusion that my own makeup vision is more about “pure” colours. Colours that don’t fall into the shadowy or grey side. I’ve often used blushes or cream colours to get what I want around the eye.
So, on that faithful day, that I walked into my local Sephora, looking around at what’s new… It caught my eye, the Tropic Palette. I tried to convince myself that I didn’t need it… But those colours were just too good for my personal colour taste!
When I got back home, I started to fiddle with it right away. And I brought out my Subculture palette by Anastasia Beverly Hills. I really liked the shades Dawn, Roxy, New Wave and Edge. I like their sherbet/pastel vibe, but I didn’t have other shades to blend into them, that would preserve their luminosity. Also, I didn’t want to blend that sunset look. You could blend the shades out, but it won’t look as professional as if you blended them into another shade. But with my Tropic Palette, now I can! All of the matte shades in the Natasha Denona Tropic Palette have a texture that is very comparable to those colours in Subculture. It was a match made in heaven to transition a peach shade into a pale pink, into a skin tone, without losing that creamy finish.
All the peachy and neutral matte shades are beautiful, and blend like a dream. I love Sahara, it looks like a camel shade in the pan, but it’s a pastel apricot-tan shade that blends yellow-y around the edges. Cocoa is a beautiful brown with red and orange overtones. Sangria is a rose blush tone with redish undertones. They all have interesting depth depending if you apply them sheer, or build them up. For example, Vintage Taupe sheered-out is more like a pastel pink-mauve, as you build it up, it becomes more taupe and true to pan. The shades are well edited to go together, and even with the bright bottom row. They have a beautiful luminosity to them around the eye. If you want them to be true to pan, you will have to put a lid primer like Painterly by M.A.C. But they can look just as good over your natural skin tone.
The two bright jewel tones apply lighter than what you see in pan. They have a beautiful saturation to them so they sort of “pop”. Sometimes shimmers can look ghostly, but these two have a solid matte base mixed with shimmer and they photograph more like a matte shadow. With the green (Exotic) you can get full colour in two swipes without wetting your brush. It’s a beautiful green with blue in it, so it looks electric. And what looks like a deep cobalt (Tiger Lily), actually comes out a shimmering mid sapphire blue with green undertones; it has a luminous quality that is on par with this tropical theme. But you can still use it to make a smoky with some black liner. This one needed a few more passes to build with a dry brush. But it will give you a lot of control in the application, and you can blend it out, soften the edges, and there is minimal fallout–if you use the right brush! These colours were made to give you as much control to fade or to build them up, which I appreciate as a makeup artist.
Limoncello and Gusti are washes of colour with micro-glitter, they are not very intense, but you could use them on their own, all over the lid for an everyday look. If you layer them over the two jewel tones in the palette, the result will be pale blue shimmer, which is a bit sad. Even the pale-gold tone of Limoncello won’t brighten the green shade Exotic, it will only be a pat of blue glimmer. But they layer great over the other colours. Finally, Mint Frost is a beautiful sparkling glitter worthy of her original palettes, but also pulls more blue than green. I only wish Limoncello had a stronger pale yellow base; you can see the pale gold tone in real life, but in pictures it looks like white shimmer! It’s such an interesting colour idea, and I know I can build it by putting a matte yellow shadow under it, but still, it could have been stunning.
The last shades are the matte lavender (Zena), and the matte cyan blue (Laguna). Can I say stunning again? They are! Laguna gives almost an instant pop, although it’s a pastel cyan, it has an electric quality, not dusty, yet it’s easy to blend out. While Zena needs to be built up more if you want it as a “featured shade”, it’s also meant as a transition shade to be faded into brighter shades like the jewel tones in the palette, or the peachy mattes! Just try it!
I can finally understand all the hype over Natasha Denona’s matte eyeshadows. They are really in a category of their own, and how you can blend them is truly amazing. For the people who are towing the line that the shimmers are not so good, well maybe they don’t like the palette that much, and need to justify not purchasing it. Personally, as an artist, who is looking for new colours, I don’t mind that two of the shades are not extra-ordinary. The combinations that I can now make with these colours, and the beauty of these shades, made this palette worth the price of purchase. Especially, if I compare it to a Pat McGrath palette, that I can only use for glam looks, this one can be used all the time. And I plan to!
It’s really up to you, if you want to invest into the quality that this palette offers, and if you actually plan to use it in the long run. And if you were just in love with those peachy matte shades, then check out Two Faced Just Peachy Velvet Matte palette. Although it’s not a perfect dupe, it might just quench your need for newness at a lower price point.