Monday, October 16, 2017

Duped: Huda Beauty Desert Dusk


Arguably, the Huda Beauty Desert Dusk palette is "the" palette of the holiday season. And I both totally get it and also don't get it at all. It's a very pretty color scheme, but as I mentioned in my anti-haul post, I feel like these colors are just so incredibly common. 

I never felt a true craving for this palette until I saw Lauren Mae Beauty's Let's Dupe It! video on it. I've mentioned Lauren's channel on my blog a lot recently, and it's because I really like her content and have become incredibly inspired by her Let's Dupe It! series. I thought the palette Lauren put together was so pretty and a little more interesting than the Huda Beauty palette, and I felt inspired to go through my own collection and see what kind of similar shades I had. 

And what I came up with is a palette that I actually really love and feel incredibly inspired by. 

A few things to note:
  • The Huda Beauty palette has 18 shades, and my duped palette has 26. That's obviously quite a bit more than in the original palette. The reason for this is that I had several shadadows that I thought would work well with this color scheme that I wanted to incorporate. I also wanted to make the palette slightly more functional for me by putting in a brow bone highlight and several inner corner options. 
  • I did not try to duplicate every single shadow. This goes with the note above, but if there was a shadow in the Huda palette that I didn't like very much, I found a shadow that still complemented this color scheme that I liked more. 
  • There are several depotted shadows in my palette from existing premade palettes. I know that is slightly "cheating" since those shadows can't be purchased individually, but this is what worked best for me and my collection. 
  • In my anti-haul post on this palette, I mentioned that the color scheme was very similar to the Coloured Raine Queen of Hearts palette, which I own. I have since depotted the shadows in that palette, and eight of them indeed ended up in this duped palette.
Here is Huda Beauty Desert Dusk:


And here is my duped palette:


Here are the colors in my palette:

Row 1: Coloured Raine Heir, Coloured Raine Princess, Inglot 361 matte, Colourpop Come and Get It, Fyrinnae Octopus (pressed), Coloured Raine Short Cake, and Coloured Raine Moments

Row 2: Colourpop High Strung, Fyrinnae Rapunzel Had Extensions (pressed), Makeup Geek Blacklight, Inglot 392 matte, Coloured Raine Ladyship, Colored Raine Queen Mother, and Colourpop Glass Bull

Row 3: Anastasia Beverly Hills Pink Champagne, Makeup Geek Mai Tai, Makeup Geek Phantom, Coloured Raine Your Majesty, Coloured Raine Noblewoman, Inglot 355 matte, and Coloured Raine Empress

Row 4: Coloured Raine Crown, Too Faced Satin Sheets, BH Cosmetics Carli Bybel Deluxe shadow 4, Kat Von D Liberatus, and BH Cosmetics Carli Bybel Deluxe shadow 8 


Obviously, my palette does not look as pretty or uniform as the Huda Beauty one mainly because of the Inglot shadows. I have to say, this is the best example I have seen of the progress I've made in "makeup rehab." Just a few months ago, I would shudder to see a palette full of shadows of diverse shapes and sizes. And when I first put this palette together, I had to give it time before I fully accepted the Inglot shadows. And, sure, I think the palette would look better without the Inglot shadows or if those shadows were in round pans, but, whatever. My Inglot shadows haven't been getting a lot of use from me lately, so it was time that I mixed them in with some of my other shadows. And I now see the palette as a functional item filled with colors, rather than pretty shadow pans in pretty packaging. 

I also feel it's worth noting that Colourpop 143 is a closer "dupe" for Huda Amethyst, but I currently have that shade in my duped Just Peachy Matte palette, and I love it too much in there to consider moving it. That's why I've chosen two colors for this spot—Inglot 392 matte and Coloured Raine Ladyship. 

The BH Cosmetics Carli Bybel Deluxe shadow 4 on the bottom row is also what I am using as the dupe for Huda Angelic, but I wanted to put Makeup Geek Mai Tai in this palette as well, and in order to do that, the Carli Bybel shadow could only fit on the bottom row. (I should also mention that in total there are four shadows that I put in this palette that were inspired by Angelic.) 

Other shadows that I added to this palette that weren't meant as dupe shadows are:
  • Colourpop Come and Get It, which is actually the closest dupe for Huda Angelic 
  • Fyrinnae Octopus (pressed), which is a rich, darkened cranberry
  • Coloured Raine Short Cake, which is like an intense version of Huda Angelic  
  • Makeup Geek Phantom, which is a white/violet duochrome
  • Coloured Raine Your Majesty, which is an intense foiled gold 
  • Inglot 355 matte, which is a warm matte brown 
  • Coloured Raine Crown, which is a pink/gold duochrome
  • Too Faced Satin Sheets, which is similar to Coloured Raine Crown, but less pink
  • Kat Von D Liberates, which is a matte pink-white
  • BH Cosmetics Carli Bybel Deluxe shadow 8, which is a matte mauve 

Desert Dusk shadows that I did not try to dupe are:
  • Amber, which is a matte terracotta 
  • Blood Moon, which is a shimmery copper 
  • Cosmo, which is red glitter 
  • Saffron, which is a matte redbrick 

The reason I left out all of these shadows is because I feel like those colors (except for the red glitter) are so common and didn't interest me as much as some of the other pink/purple shades. I also just have no desire to have an underperforming red glitter shadow when I have Stila Magnificent Metals Next to Notte:



It's not surprising to me that people are really drawn to the color scheme of Huda Beauty Desert Dusk, but it is surprising to me that many people have given the palette positive reviews when I personally feel the texture of many shadows is quite dry and patchy. I tend to agree with Temptalia's assessment of the palette (she gave it a B– rating).

This was just another reminder to me to "shop my stash," which is a phrase that I have heard for years and never quite understood or took to heart. I might not have an exact dupe for the Desert Dusk palette, and my palette might not be as symmetrical, but I have a palette filled with the exact colors that I want inspired by this color scheme as well as what I believe is a palette of superior quality. And this is a way that I can still participate in the current trends without having to spend money on items I already have just so that I can say I have the popular product of the moment.

And when I think about it that way, it feels really good. I didn't spend any additional money on this palette. These were all items already in my collection. I could have instead shelled out a whopping $65 and added yet another palette to my collection, and I probably wouldn't have liked that palette nearly as much as I like this one.

What I'm Not Buying: Tarte Tartelette Toasted


Tarte has released a new palette in their Tartelette line, this time with a warm, neutral focus—Tartelette Toasted. 

And I won't be buying. 

(Sigh.)

I have a lot of thoughts about Tarte, and I feel like the longer I am a part of the makeup community, the more unsavory things I come to know about brands. 

But we will get there in a little bit. Let's talk about this palette. 

I have owned both Tartelette and Tartelette In Bloom, and at some point in time, I was utterly infatuated with both of them. I wore In Bloom for several weeks, every day, which is a rarity for me. That was also the palette that was a "gateway" for me into mauve or berry crease shades, and I learned a lot about myself and my preferences from that palette. I have "decluttered" it from my collection, but I still own the palette. I've been starting to do some freelance makeup, and I feel In Bloom is more appropriate in that capacity than just for myself, mainly because there are a lot of cool-toned shadows, and that is not something I enjoy. 

Had Tartelette Toasted come out a year and a half ago, I would have snapped this up in a heartbeat. This is the perfect Tartelette palette for me. It's all warm colors and has all the neutral shimmers I love. 

But here's the thing: I have every single color in this palette several times over. And so do you. And because of that, it's a waste of money. 

I find myself perpetually annoyed by all the hype surrounding makeup, and this palette is no different. I can't tell you how many comments I've read of people acknowledging that there is literally nothing special about this palette, that they have these colors already, that this color scheme is tired at this point, but that they are still going to buy it. 

This mindset is frustrating, and it is what contributes to the crazy amount of hype and hysteria and the overwhelming culture of consumerism. It's additionally frustrating for me because I also understand it and still sometimes struggle with those feelings. 

When I look at Tartelette Toasted, I could easily talk myself into buying it:
  • I would use every single color
  • There are several "go-to" looks I could create using just this palette
  • It's easy, and looks would be fast
  • It would be great for travel

But I have been talking myself into buying things I don't need for years now, and I have also been anti-haul blogging for over a year, and I know what a load of crap all of those reasons are. Thing is, after a while, when the newness of something wears off and you are just left with the fact that it is the same as all of your other products, it is treated as the same as all of your other products. 

When talking about palettes like this that are serialized, I like to bring up a few points. There are some people who really love to collect makeup, and it is not my place or my intention to judge that hobby. But for the people who "collect" certain items purely because of the hype or fear of missing out, I would really encourage you to look at the items you already own and ask yourself how additive a product like this would really be. (To read more of my thoughts on serializing palettes, read my anti-haul post on the Lorac Mega Pro 4.)

Finally, one of the biggest excuses I hear from people buying things they know they don't need is "I really like the formula of that brand, so I want this product in that formula." And this is something I would like to talk about. If you have gone out of your way to buy all of these colors already, chances are you like the formula of your existing shadows. If you don't, then it might be worthwhile to declutter the items that you have and don't like and replace them with this product or something similar in a formula that you do like. But just wanting to have more of the same in a different formula is not, in my opinion, a good enough reason to justify spending that kind of money on something you already own. 

And it's true that not all eyeshadow formulas are created equal. I know some people who found one or two formulas that they really enjoy, and they decluttered everything that wasn't that. Moving forward, they are only purchasing those select formulas. And I certainly have my preferences. I don't like Urban Decay or Anastasia Beverly Hills palettes, and I tend to like the Colourpop pressed shadows, Makeup Geek, and Coloured Raine. But, at the end of the day, many shadow formulas perform similarly. And the difference is typically not so substantial to warrant needing to buy things you already own to have them in a specific formula. That is an excuse to buy into hype.

Let's look at the palette:


And swatches (provided by Tarte):


I've said many times that I am not a fan of relying on swatches (especially those provided by the brand) to really gauge how a product looks or performs. Take the above photo, for example. First, it is obvious that the colors have been applied in several layers to the models' arms. Next, several of the colors don't look that different across skin tones, and it is because they have been applied in such thick layers. While I appreciate brands showing diverse models, it defeats the point of the exercise if the swatches are unrealistic. 

Tartelette Toasted reminds me a lot of Tartelette In Bloom: 


If In Bloom had less variety. In Boom as an entire palette is not great for me because I have too warm of a skin tone for the whole thing. But for people with neutral or cool undertones, I think a lot about In Bloom works well. I think it's a great palette to have in a kit, because it has neutral shades that can suit several different skin tones. Tartelette Toasted is taking that same concept but just making the entire thing warm and repetitive. 

It also looks like so many other warm neural palettes. Like Urban Decay Naked Heat:


Too Faced Sweet Peach:



Morphe 35O:


Smashbox Ablaze:


Viseart Warm Matte:


Colourpop Yes, Please!:


NYX Fire:


Tartelette Toasted feels to me like Tarte is too late for the warm neutral trend, but, like Urban Decay, they are still going to throw their hat in the ring with a product. This is a product that is entirely dependent on hype and people buying something they already own. There might be an audience of people who are not makeup-obsessed who just want one palette filled with warm shadows that will flatter them. And for those people, this would probably be a good palette if the quality is good. Even still, they will have many options for a palette like that, and Tartelette Toasted is just one of them. There is nothing so special about it to elevate it above its competitors, in my opinion.

And yet, I don't think that is Tarte's targeted audience, even though that is the audience that makes the most sense. Tarte's target audience is the makeup-obsessed who have no self-control, have to buy the new serialized product, and have to have whatever their favorite online "influencers" are talking about. 

Finally, let's talk about Tarte. 

Tarte, in many ways, is an exceptionally uninteresting brand, in my opinion. They teeter between releasing the same product over and over again and then jumping the shark with whatever is trending (like mermaids or unicorns). Their holiday releases are typically terrible, and this year's Buried Treasure eyeshadow palette:



Has received horrendous reviews. I'm always put off by brands who value pumping out mediocre products over producing fewer, quality products, and Tarte definitely falls into that category. Since I've decluttered the In Bloom palette into my freelance kit, I no longer have any Tarte palettes or shadows in my collection, which I think is really telling. That is not to say that everything Tarte produces is poor, just that their releases are usually quite repetitive and nothing that really rises to the top or stands out. 

And then, of course, there is the recent controversy where Tarte reposted a racist meme on their social media and later posted an apology that was at best in poor taste before the CEO posted an appropriate apology days later. What was further troubling about this incident was that many people who are not a part of the racial group of people attacked in the meme told those who were offended that it was "not a big deal" and that they should "get over it."

This is a problem that goes far beyond talking about why I'm not going to buy the Tartelette Toasted, but Tarte handled themselves so poorly, and it is difficult for me to look past it. In the appropriate apology post, Tarte acknowledged that telling people to "get over it" is not acceptable and encouraged people to have a discourse. However, they disabled the comments so that no discourse could take place. 

It is not acceptable for people to tell others to not be offended by a racist remark targeted at them. And it is not acceptable that Tarte let that happen for as long as it did. One can argue that whoever was in charge of the social media is responsible, but the post was so inappropriate that it is shocking that it came from a professional account. 

I personally feel that having an apology come from the CEO was appropriate, but it is unfortunate that it took as long as it did for the brand to pursue an appropriate course of action, with several missteps in between. 

Trying to find brands that are worthy of support seems to be increasingly challenging. And I do feel that if you look into most brands, you will find controversy or something unsavory. However, I also feel that right now, especially, we need to stand up as much as possible and demand better. 

Going back to the actual product of the Tartelette Toasted, there is just nothing interesting about this product. I feel like we all have these colors already, and there is nothing so incredibly special about this palette to justify buying what I already own, except that it is branded as a "Tartelette" palette and part of the series. I've been working hard to pare down my collection to items that inspire and excite me, and this palette doesn't do that for me. I don't need it, so I won't be buying. 

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Weekly Looks: Jouer Skinny Dip, Sephora Pro Editorial, Colourpop, and Coloured Raine Queen of Hearts


This was a fun makeup week. I know that sounds slightly repetitive since makeup should always be fun, but this week was just a little more fun than usual. And that is because I am playing with color. I really think I am making up for all the time I spent buying every single brown color imaginable and lusting after neutral palettes. I am all about color now and have been really inspired by the single shadows in my collection. I feel like I'm moving into a good place with my eyeshadow collection, pairing down my shadows, and finding new sources of inspiration. 

Here are five looks I did this week. 

Look 1: Sephora Pro Editorial 





Jeffery on the first half of the lid, Helen P on the second half of the lid, and Costal Scents Oktoberfest blended into the crease. Shawn on the lower lash line. NYX Vivid Brights liquid liner in Sapphire. 

Look 2: Colourpop Rosé All Day, Fyrinnae Aztec Gold, and Makeup Geek Typhoon 





Colourpop Rosé All Day on the inner lid, Fyrinnae Aztec Gold on the center lid, Makeup Geek Typhoon on the outer lid, Costal Scents Peach Petal blended into the crease as a transition shade, and Costal Scents Fine Wine blended into the crease. Coloured Raine Super Star padded on the inner corner. 

Look 3: Jouer Skinny Dip and "Desert Dusk"






Jouer Magic Hour on the lid, peach Inglot shadow and purple Inglot shadow blended into the crease as transition shades, Coloured Raine Ladyship blended into the crease, and Coloured Raine Queen Mother padded onto the outer corner and on the lower lash line. Coloured Raine Crown on the brow bone and inner corner. 

Look 4: Jouer Skinny Dip and "Just Peachy Mattes"






Jouer Star Light on the lid, Colourpop The News blended into the crease as a transition shade, Colourpop Slim Fit blended into the crease, and Colourpop Stay Golden padded onto the outer corner and blended into the crease. 

Look 5: Costal Scents Lakeshore 





Costal Scents Lakeshore on the lid, Makeup Geek Beaches and Cream blended into the crease as a transition shade; Coloured Raine Royal Prerogative, Makeup Geek Desert Sands, and Makeup Geek Cocoa Bear blended into the crease; ABH Fudge and Coloured Raine Dethrone padded onto the outer corner, and Makeup Geek Flamethrower on the lower lash line. Marc Jacobs Whirl(pool) on the waterline. 


Look 1: Sephora Pro Editorial 

I had a lot of fun with this look. I must have been really feeling the greens this week because this look was originally going to be some kind of monochromatic green look. But then as soon as I was going to apply a green color to the crease, I diverted course and threw in a neutral orange-brown. I added a blue-green to the lower lash line and a bright blue eyeliner, and I really liked this look. I think it looked better in person than on camera, but considering these were light pastel colors, I think this turned out pretty alright. This is also a look that I would have never even thought to do a year ago, and while I think there are looks that are more "flattering," I had a lot of fun with this.

Look 2: Colourpop Rosé All Day, Fyrinnae Aztec Gold, and Makeup Geek Typhoon 

Remember that monochromatic green look I was just talking about? Well, I couldn't get it out of my system, so I did this look the next day. I don't know if I would have ever chosen to put all these green and gold shades together, but I have recently been doing a lot of shuffling of my single shadows in custom palettes, and at some point, all of these colors ended up near each other. And I really liked how they all looked. I love the gradient across the lid from gold to green, and I love each of the shadows I used. Like the look from the day before, I was planing on adding a dark green color to the crease, but once everything was in place, I diverted and went with berry. And I love how it looked! Green and berry isn't necessarily something I would easily think of to pair together, but I actually think the color combination is gorgeous. 

Look 3: Jouer Skinny Dip and "Desert Dusk"

So, this is one of my favorite eye looks that I have ever done. And I know that I say that often, but this look was really special to me. I used the silver-charcoal shade in the Jouer Skinny Dip palette as well as my duped "Desert Dusk" palette (I'll do a post on this soon). I guess it's a little bit cheating to call it the "Desert Dusk" look because several shades came from the Coloured Raine Queen of Hearts palette. I know it is sacrilege of me, but I actually depotted all the shades from Queen of Hearts. My reason for this is that every time I looked at the palette, I thought it was a gorgeous combination of shades, and each shadow was great quality. But, I hardly ever used it. And I think it's just because I've been so into my singles this year, and Queen of Hearts was being forgotten. Learning to get over ruining the perfection of shadows and palettes in depotting has really been such a helpful tool in my "makeup rehab" and in using my collection. I absolutely loved pairing the berry/purple shadows in Queen of Hearts with the charcoal shadow from Jouer. I think the overall look turned out quite smoky, but also intriguing. Again, this wasn't really a shadow combination I would have thought of when looking at Skinny Dip or Queen of Hearts as independent palettes, but when I saw the Queen of Hearts shadows depotted, I feel like it opened up a lot of creativity. 

Look 4: Jouer Skinny Dip and "Just Peachy Mattes"

Can you tell how my week went with shadow? Every time I used something that I thought was interesting, I had to try something out similar the next day. I typically don't like silver shadow, but I was so in love with the look I created with Jouer Magic Hour the day before that I wanted to step it up a notch and try Star Light, the most silver shade in the palette. I hadn't used my peachy matte palette in a few days, and as I've said, it seems I can't go too long anymore without using it, so I knew it was going to be a coral look. I wanted to see what it would look like to combine the neon nature of Colourpop Slim Fit with the coolness of Star Light, and I really liked the end result! I kept staring at my eyes all day because this silver was so intense and gorgeous. I find myself continually impressed with the Skinny Dip palette, and I've been enjoying using it with non-obvious colors.

Look 5: Costal Scents Lakeshore

Something that I am starting to learn is that it is perfectly okay to take inspiration from a palette without having to purchase that palette. At this point, I have basically every color of eyeshadow possible, so if there is a color scheme that is pretty to me, I know that I likely have colors in my collection that can replicate the look or give me a similar effect. For this look, I was actually inspired by the swatches of Natasha Denona Aeris:


I really liked the look of the blue and orange (left) shades together, and while a few years ago my impulse would have been to buy the palette, now I can take inspiration and just find colors in my own collection. I have shadows that would be better "dupes" for the Natasha Denona shadows, but I wanted to go for a slightly toned-down neutral look. Adding Makeup Geek Flamethrower on the lower lash line really made this look for me. Especially against Whirl(pool), I think the color combination just looked so cool.  

Saturday, October 14, 2017

What I'm Not Buying: Natasha Denona Holiday 2017 Palettes: Joya and Aeris


Natasha Denona has released two five-pan palettes for the holiday season that look incredibly similar to each other. 

And I won't be buying. 

Whenever Natasha Denona comes out with a new product, I always feel a little angry. And it's not necessarily just at the brand. A lot of it is anger with myself. This brand, as I've said before, represents a lot of what I hate about the beauty industry in terms of hype, "influencer" influence, and cost. 

Now, to just come out with it, I'll say that in terms of Natasha Denona eyeshadows, I feel like the five-pan palettes are the "safest" option with the "least" amount of damage done. That's at least what I told myself when I bought two of her older five-pan palettes a couple years ago. At the time, my only other options were the $239 palettes, so a $50 five-pan palette seemed like the better option. Not necessarily a "good deal," but at least I wasn't spending an extra $139 and I got to try out two palettes. 

But I am still bitter after all this time about how much hype was around these shadows. So much so that I contemplated spending that ridiculous $239 just to satisfy my hype cravings. And indeed spent $100 on two five-pan palettes to do so. Thing is, we all heard from people who received those products for free—who did not spend $239 of their own money—that these were the greatest eyeshadows that they had ever used. 

Now, there is certainly an aspect of the makeup world that I personally don't see talked about that much, and it is brand/prestige bias. Upfront I will say that I am absolutely guilty of this myself. I have always had a taste for luxury items, and makeup isn't different. So, as an example, I have and really love two Tom Ford eyeshadow quads. I have also owned two other Tom Ford quads (as well as one from Charlotte Tilbury) that I did not think were anything special or worth the price tag, and I decluttered all three of them. But with the two Tom Ford quads I have now, I've wondered if you took away the name and the packaging and told me they were from L'Oreal, would I feel differently about them?

And I guess this is what I feel about Natasha Denona as well. Her shadows are so expensive, and I honestly think that's where a lot of the hype comes from. People just want to "try" the shadows for themselves to see what kind of shadows cost this much. And I get that. I obviously felt the same way at one point, but I think the conclusion that people keep coming back to is that while the Natasha Denona shadows are pretty, and they really are, they aren't that much better than cheaper alternatives to really justify the price tag. 

Let's look at the holiday palettes. 

There's Joya:


And Aeris:


Now, the first thing I will say is that Natasha Denona has slightly upgraded their packaging, which I have criticized for a while as being incredibly cheap. Some people have commented when I've criticized the packaging that Viseart also has non-fancy packaging, and that's true. However, I feel like the quality of packaging is very different and Viseart is superior. Viseart also is aimed at professional makeup artists, which is why the packaging looks the way it does. But the packaging is sturdy (for the most part—I have had some Viseart packaging break) and is not nearly as cheap as packaging I've seen from Natasha Denona. 

I have not seen this new packaging in person, and while it definitely looks better than it used to, I have a feeling it is still very cheap and not appropriate for its price tag. 

Natasha Deonoa released an image of the two palettes together, possibly to sway people into thinking they "need" both palettes:


But this picture actually did the opposite for me, because it showed me how similar both of these palettes are. 

Let's look at swatches:



I always caution against taking swatches at face value (and also basing all opinions on swatches), but when I look at these saturated swatches, I still don't see what's all that special or interesting about these shadows. Yes, the swatches are pretty, but I can achieve those swatches with Colourpop and Makeup Geek shadows. 

The color schemes of these palettes remind me of two recently released by Lime Crime.

Pink Lemonade:


And Bubblegum:


The color schemes of both of these palettes run really warm, and they remind me of a smaller version of their Sunset palette:


Let's talk about price for a moment. Each of these five-pan palettes cost $48. With tax, if you bought both of these palettes, for 10 shadows, it would be over $100. The Sunset palette has 15 shadows for $129. Before tax, each five-pan row of shadows in the palette costs $43. So while that is not a huge price increase, these five-pan palettes cost about $5 more than what five shadows in her 15-pan palettes cost. 

For cheaper alternatives, there's NYX Fire:


Colourpop Yes, Please!:


Juvia's Place Masquerade: 



Juvia's Place Zulu:


And Juvia's Place Saharan II:


All of these alternate palettes are cheaper than one five-pan palette from Natasha Denona, and all of them are of great quality. 

The color schemes of Joya and Aeris are also incredibly ordinary, for lack of a better word. These are all colors that we have seen before and that most people already own. The only interesting color is the blue shade, but it is not enough to warrant buying the entire palette. A great alternative at a fraction of the cost is Costal Scents Lakeshore:


Finally, as a last point, I would like to talk about luxury makeup. Tom Ford, Chanel, Dior, Burberry, etc. all have very expensive eyeshadows. And most of them, especially from Chanel and Dior, are not that great. In fact, a lot of times they are terrible. And for those prices, having a terrible product is truly unacceptable. But here's the other thing: those are all established luxury brands. The packaging is heavy and luxurious, and feels like you are actually buying a Chanel product. Personally, that is not enough for me to pay a lot of money for a bad product. It's just not. But with Natasha Denona, there is nothing about it that feels luxurious except for the price.  

Now, price is also relative. I have spent upwards of $50 on five shadows before, and I have spent $10 on a single shadow. Looking at these palettes from that point of view, the price tag isn't that crazy. But, it is still expensive, the colors are not that unique, and the mystique of Natasha Denona's formula isn't worth all the hype and money. 

In case it is not clear, I don't think Natasha Denona shadows are bad. I think they are beautiful (the shimmers at least, not the mattes). But I don't think they are so much better than other things to justify the high cost. And I personally believe that all the hype the brand gets is from people who want to justify the money they spent. I have kept the Natasha Denona shadows that I purchased, and honestly, I don't use them very much at all, and I will likely declutter them from my collection soon. I reach for shadows from Colourpop, Makeup Geek, and indie brands far more often. And given the choice between a Natasha Denona shadow or one from Fyrinnae, I would choose Fyrinnae every time. When you have worked with incredible shadows with complex, unique colors at an affordable price, I think it really makes shadows like Natasha Denona transparently overpriced. I don't need these palettes, so I won't be buying.