Look what you made me do Natasha!
People have been talking about Natasha Denona for a couple of years now; I still remember watching Tati's review on her giant 239 USD palettes, thinking to myself "wow, those metallic shades are insanely good!". Despite the fact that I love my make-up, spending over 250 USD on eyeshadows only (including shipping and tax) would be absolutely unreasonable. Thankfully Natasha has smaller x5 pan palettes as well and honestly - I think they are a great value for money. I have been collecting these for about a year now and currently own four of them. Many of you wanted a review, so here we go!
I got my very first Natasha Denona palette almost a year ago. Back then her packaging was slightly different and honestly speaking - I wasn't the biggest fan of it: it felt plasticky and cheapish. Plus there was this little "pocket" for [I suppose] a make-up brush, but since there was no brush included - I felt like it was a waste of material (plastic in this case). Although I liked the fact that it had a clear lid, even now I can tell it feels a bit "loose" (like it is about to fall off) and I don't even use it on a daily basis.
But guess what? Quality of her eyeshadows was so phenomenal - I looked past it. During my recent visit to NYC - I had a chance to see her entire make-up line in the flesh and thankfully Natasha revamped her packaging (can you hear make-up angels singing?). The new design is ten times better than the old one: it is sleek, compact, magnetic and way more sophisticated. Size-wise it reminds me a lot of Marc Jacobs palettes. Now, you only get five eyeshadows in each palette, yet these are large pans that will last you ages (0.08 oz/2.26g each). Each palette retails for 48 USD.
Colours & Finishes
As I have mentioned earlier, I was mainly attracted to her metallic shadows, because they seemed to be uber pigmented and almost foiled in a way. In two words - every magpie's heart's desire. Sure enough, Natasha also has matte, satin, duochrome and sparkling shadows in her line. Each palette has its own unique mix of colours and finishes to take your look from office to disco. Now, Natasha claims that you can easily create a ton of modern/hip looks with each palette alone; but let's face it - it's not always the case, especially when you work with five ultra shimmery shades only. Unless you're Pat McGrath in disguise of course.
Natasha currently offers thirteen x5 pan palettes; these are exact same shades you would get in her big (239 USD) palettes. You can also buy them individually (29 USD per piece). Frankly - these smaller palettes are a better deal in my opinion + they are well colour-coordinated and shades complement each other well.
Wear & Application
These shadows practically blend themselves, so I don't think you will face any issues at all. You might experience minor fall-out with her pressed glittery shades (which are still very smooth and not gritty in the slightest), so my advice would be: add a touch of glitter glue, wait for it to air-dry a bit and then when it gets tacky - pat eyeshadow with your finger right on top of it. Once this glitter is on - it will last all day long and I never experience any problems with mine (no specks of glitter smudged all over the face here, ladies and gentlemen). You can actually use Urban Decay's Heavy Metal Glitter Liner instead of a glitter glue.
These eyeshadows last incredibly well on me (up to 7-8 hours); I do use something like a MAC's Paint Pot as my base to avoid creasing. I guess any good primer will do.
Winners & Losers
From what I can tell, Natasha is really good at metallic/satin/duo-chrome/sparkling shadows. These are out of this world amazing and I can't really think of any other brand that is just as good. MUG do good foiled shadows (which I also enjoy), but there's just something about these buttery smooth, ultra pigmented and overall heavenly high-shine shadows. They're hard to dupe y'all.
Her mattes on the other hand - can be a hit or miss. I have only a few, but they are nothing to write home about. Judging from what I possess: shade Aubergine lacks pigment and needs a few layers to look good; Shell, Electric Violet and Nina's Orchid have a great pigment but they are a touch powdery, so you have to be extra careful with them. I guess my conclusion is: many brands like Tarte and KVD have mattes that are just as good (if not better).
Now, the brand offers a lot of gorgeous and unique shades that (depending on the colour scheme you like) might really blow you away. Like, there is a mini palette full of bronze and gold shades for those of you, who love warm tones; you get a lot of green, blue, neutral, purple and even silvery-greenish options, which is something I truly appreciate, because you can tell Natasha thinks out of the box here.
My number one favourite is Color: 9 Palette. That's the one you see on the image above; it is easily the most unusual eyeshadow palette that I own, because it has got at least four hard-to-find, blinding shades in it. There are days when I don't have time for a complicated eye make-up, so I would apply a shade like Industrial all over the lid, add some mascara, favorite lipstick and call it a day. Most of Natasha's metallics have a mesmerizing glittery touch to them - sophisticated enough to be worn during the day and very sultry for a night out. I often use Indian Gold as a face highlighter and it beams so beautifully. Pair a palette like this with any other neutral/matte palette (one you already own) and you will get so many stunning looks out of it.
So, these are the four palettes that I own: 2, 9, 10 and 12.
Color: 2 Palette is my new favourite; these are some of the colours that I tend to use on a daily basis. Since there is a neutral matte included - I don't even need to reach out for any other palette or additional transition/crease shade to achieve a perfectly blended eyeshadow look.
As per usual - I did not edit my swatches, so that they look as "real" as possible. Please click on each image to zoom in and read more about shades swatched. On a side note: I don't prime my hand; these shadows are really THIS pigmented (well, except Aubergine).
Do I think these are worth the hype? Yes. Worth your money? Yes. Will I buy more? Totally. There is a shade/colour-scheme for everyone here and if you don't want to spend over two hundred dollars straight away, I think getting one of these would be a better idea. For starters you get a taste of Natasha Denona formulas; secondly you are more likely to make a good use out of every single colour (as opposed to only using 10 out of 28). I have tried a ton of brands and I have yet to see pressed glittery shadows this good or metallics this buttery smooth. Texture is quite forgiving and it looks incredibly flattering; if you are a beauty of a particular age - don't shy away. If you are a freelance make-up artist - I can guarantee your blushing brides will adore some of Natasha's neutrals, especially since they photograph so beautifully. I wish her mattes were a touch more "binded" and less powdery, but it is nothing that I can't work with.
If you want a bit more inspiration, check out Natasha's YouTube channel (her tutorials are awesome) and her website www.natashadenona.com. She normally creates a lot of fun and modern looks, showing you more ways on how to use her palettes.