Violet Voss's newest release, Matte About You, is a 20-pan matte eyeshadow palette.
And I won't be buying.
Violet Voss is a brand that continues to frustrate me. And I know that might sound repetitive as many brands have been frustrating me as of late. But the reason I feel frustrated is because of releases like this palette. This is a 20-pan palette from a brand that already has pretty high price tags, especially considering that they are an "Instagram brand" and are consistently reviewed by non-biased reviewers as mediocre. What's frustrating—other than the mediocre quality—is that the brand explains that the high price tag is because there are so many shadows.
I imagine this will be similarly priced to the Holy Grail palette, which is $45 plus shipping. But here's the thing. You're not getting 20 eyeshadows. You are getting about 7. Maybe. From what I can tell, there is a white, cream, peach, black, warm brown, cool brown, and darker brown. That's it, folks. And that means that nearly two-thirds of shadows in this palette are repeats. And that's incredibly disappointing.
Let's look at swatches provided by Violet Voss:
Now, I've mentioned this before, but nearly all brand-provided swatches are manipulative. This happens across the board because no brand is going to ever actually advertise that their products are not that great. However, it's important to keep in mind because it's easy to see swatches and think something is good. In the above photo, I would say that it looks like the shadows have been applied in several thick layers. This is especially obvious in the shadows toward the person's wrist as they look quite chunky from all the laters of product. And here's the thing. You don't wear mattes like that. Yes, people can wear mattes all over the lid, but on the whole, most mattes are used as blending colors. And when you blend shadows, you don't pile them on. So these kind of swatches aren't really helpful whatsoever. They are just trying to get people to look at it and say, "PIGMENTATION!" Even if that means achieving that look by applying layers of product.
Looking at the above photo, you can also tell that several of the shadows are repeats. For example, the second and fourth shadows from the left look the same; the fifth and sixth shadows look the same and look quite similar to the first shadow, and the last two up by the wrist look the same. On the eye, I very much assume that the third shadow looks like the second and fourth as well and that the seventh looks like eight and nine.
I'm gonna make this easy on you. I'm going to show you how to build your own Matte About You palette.
Let's look at the palette again, but in different lighting:
You can make this entire palette with:
Wet N Wild Brulee:
Makeup Geek Creme Brule:
Makeup Geek Frappe:
Makeup Geek Corrupt:
Makeup Geek Cocoa Bear:
And Anastasia Beverly Hills Fudge:
And that's it. That's the entire Matte About You palette.
What I really can't understand is why Violet Voss thinks it's totally okay to sell an expensive palette with so few distinct shadows in it.
In a similar price range, the Kat Von D Shade and Light Eye totally beats this palette in every way:
This is the palette Matte About You wants to be. This palette covers the entire neutral spectrum without having repeat shades. Every color in here feels distinct and like it was chosen carefully.
Similarly, there's Viseart Neutral Matte:
I have both, and of the two, I would advocate for purchasing Shade and Light Eye if you are currently considering Matte About You. While I think the Viseart quality may be a touch nicer than Kat Von D, the difference to me is nominal. Both are fantastic palettes and are a much, much better buy than the Violet Voss.
Thing is, matte palettes had their moment a few years ago. So many brands came out with a matte palette, and on the whole I'd say the Kat Von D and Viseart are considered the best. So I find it super weird that Violet Voss would come out with a matte palette that not only offers nothing new to the conversation; is as expensive as palettes from brands sold at Sephora, Ulta, and department stores; and isn't available at any of those places to be able to try, but the palette is also the same colors repeated over and over and over. I just honestly cannot see a good reason to make this purchase.
It reminds me of Becca Ombre Nudes:
In the sense that there's not a ton of variety between shadows.
It's also similar to Lorac Pro Matte:
Except the Lorac palette has a pink and burgundy shade.
For cheaper alternatives, there's the Too Faced Natural Matte:
And Kat Von D Shade and Light Eye quad in Rust:
I honestly feel any of the above palettes would be a better option than Matte About You because the quality on all of them is likely to be better and you will have the opportunity to swatch the product in store and see if it is something you will like. Finally, for the exception of Ombre Nudes, all of the palettes have a distinct color scheme that isn't just repeating the same few colors over and over.
And if you already have any of the above palettes, which I suspect you do, you absolutely do not need Matte About You. The thing with matte palettes is that, especially when the color scheme is neutral, once you have one, you really have all that you need. I learned that the hard way with Shade and Light Eye and Viseart Neutral Matte. And if you have a collection of matte singles from MAC, Makeup Geek, Anastasia Beverly Hills, Costal Scents, etc. you really don't need an additional repetitive matte palette.
I've heard people say before that you can never have too many mattes, but the truth is that, yes, you can. Especially when you have too many of the same matte shades. In my own collection, through palettes and singles, I have more mid-tone browns and peaches than one person could ever go through. And it took me forever to see that I was buying the same colors over and over.
If you have a few matte shadows but are drawn to the warm browns in Matte About You, pick up Makeup Geek Cocoa Bear for $6. If you are really drawn to the dark browns, look at ABH Fudge or comparable colors from MAC or Makeup Geek for even less. My point is, it is highly unlikely that you are missing all seven colors that are in this palette. And it would be a much smarter decision to instead buy the one or two shadows that you're drawn to or are missing from your collection than buying this overpriced palette.
And I will dispel another rumor while I'm at it, and that is the excuse that everyone gives themselves that a palette like this will be "perfect for travel." First, let me ask you how often you travel. Because the majority of people on YouTube who talk about needing travel-specific makeup items actually travel quite a bit due to being an "influencer." Many of them travel frequently for various business purposes, and because of that, their perception on travel is skewed. Most makeup consumers are not within this demographic and do not travel all that often. The second question I'll ask is how many times you have been traveling that you have honestly felt disadvantaged due to not having a matte eyeshadow palette with you. My guess is that you have experienced that very little, if at all. If you have a custom palette, you can pop your matte singles in there. If you have pretty much any popular neutral palette, you have suitable mattes in there that will get you through the few days of your trip. You don't need to spend close to $50 to fulfill that excuse.
Honestly, there's not really anything that I find redeeming about this palette. There's nothing new that it brings to the table that you can't get for better or cheaper in a different product that is easier to access. I don't even think that this product would be great for makeup artists (who would run out of mattes quicker than non-makeup artists and could use several of the same shades) because I don't think the quality of these shadows matches the price tag. Much like the Too Faced Natural Love palette, the only thing this palette really brings to the conversation is that it has 20 eyeshadows. That's it. And, frankly, that's not worth anything to me. There are better matte palettes out there, end of story. There are palettes of better quality at the same price as well as palettes for much less money. It's just too late in the game for a brand to come out with a palette like this and expect people to be tricked into thinking it's great. It's not innovative, it's not interesting, and it is overpriced for the quality. And I won't be buying.