Viseart has announced a new, limited edition palette that is certain to cause a fair bit of hype and hysteria, the Grande Pro Matte palette.
And I won't be buying.
I'll be honest. When I first saw images of this palette, my immediate, gut reaction was "Oh, I have to buy that." I have owned several Viseart palettes, and Dark Matte remains of one my all-time favorite unique staple products. And the Grande Pro palette is incredibly pretty.
But then I read this was a limited edition product with the added bonus of having limited quantities—a whopping 3,000 palettes. And that was just what I needed to snap back into reality. I can see exactly how this is going to go down. The palettes are up for pre-sale (which for a makeup item I find a little ridiculous since there will be zero reviews of it) October 9. Despite the fact that this palette costs an astronomical $175 for non-pro buyers, I can still see people flooding the website, terrified that if they don't pre-order, they will not be one of the "lucky" 3,000 who gets a giant palette that they don't need. And I don't want any part of that.
And that's okay because I absolutely, unequivocally don't need this palette. And neither do you.
Let's look at it:
So, yes, this palette is really pretty. But it is also a lot of shadow. And it is also not a lot of really distinct shadow. This palette has 30 shadows, and there seems to be only subtle differences between many of them.
In my opinion, this palette looks like it is made up of a few of their existing palettes, like Cool Matte:
And Dark Matte:
I'm going to share my experience with Viseart. I have owned six Viseart palettes (which is kind of insane considering how expensive they are), and I have decluttered three of them. I only have three remaining: Dark Matte, Neutral Matte, and Bijoux Royale. And while I do enjoy using these shadows, there are so many alternatives now that I can't really say if I think the cost is justified. Yes, I enjoy using them, but I also love using matte shadows from Colourpop, Makeup Geek, Melt, Zoeva, and Costal Scents, which are all considerably cheaper (other than Melt).
More than anything, unless you are a working makeup artist and are planning on this being your one and only matte palette, you absolutely do not need a matte palette this big with so many shades with minor differences. And, chances are you already have the majority of these shadows somewhere else in your collection.
For example, do you have any of these palettes?
- Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance
- Tarte Tartelette in Bloom
- Kat Von D Shade and Light Eye
- Too Faced Natural Matte
- Any (or all) of the three above Viseart palettes
Smaller palettes that have similar color schemes include:
Smashbox Cover Shot Matte:
theBalm Meet Matt(e) Trimony:
Zoeva Matte Spectrum:
Too Faced Just Peachy Mattes:
Chances are, if you are tempted by the Grande Pro palette, you are drawn to some of the berry tones or more "unique" shades and your brain is telling you this is a great palette because in addition to the few shades you're attracted to, it also has all those great basic naturals. So it seems like a perfect palette. Thing is, you already have all those neutral shadows. The only way you wouldn't have at least some of those brown shades is if you don't really have any eyeshadow. And if that's the case, I would strongly advise against investing in a $175 all matte palette as a first venture into eyeshadow.
And because you have all those staple naturals that you already know work for your skin tone (and therefore you don't need the subtle variations with warm, neutral, and cool undertones) you can supplement your collection by purchasing a few select berry singles or whatever colors you're drawn to.
I would also like to dispel the notion right now that it pays to have all the shadows you already own together in one place. That is something I hear often and is also something I would tell myself when I wanted to buy something I knew I didn't really need. Again, unless you are a working makeup artist, it is really not that big of an inconvenience to grab for more than one palette or single shadow at a time. And if it is, try depotting your shadows and putting them all in one place.
Because, if you have, for example, the Viseart Cool Matte and ABH Modern Renaissance palettes, you pretty much have this entire palette covered. Likewise, if you have the Kat Von D Shade and Light Eye and the Too Faced Just Peachy Mattes, you also have this palette basically covered. If you have theBalm Meet Matt(e) Trimony, you basically have a paired-down version of this palette.
Personally, I have the Viseart Neutral Matte and Dark Matte as well as a duped Just Peachy Matte palette:
So I absolutely have this palette covered.
As unique as this palette may look with all 30 shades assembled together, the colors inside it are actually not all that unique whatsoever. And most collections will have the majority of these shades already. And $175 is a hell of a lot of money to spend on something you already own.
To end this post, I would like to talk about the cost. While brands like Makeup Geek and Colourpop have been able to produce quality eyeshadows at an affordable cost and forced brands like MAC to lover their prices in order to compete, I feel like simultaneously brands are starting to change increasingly too much for their products. And the reason for this, which it doesn't seem people are really talking about, is because people will pay it.
This is something that is at the very crux of consumerism and business in general, which is how much can we charge for something and still get people to buy it. Look at the Morphe Jaclyn Hill palette. That palette costs $15 more than any other Morphe palette of the same size, and yet people bought it without a second thought and then defended the price to anyone who called out the obvious increase. And $15 is a significant price increase.
When Natasha Denona came out of no where with $239 palettes and KathleenLights saying these were "the best eyeshadows" she had ever used, people went out and bought the palettes. And that's crazy, especially for a brand that was not established whatsoever at the time. Natasha Denona then came out with $129 smaller palettes, and her Sunset palette sold out and was incredibly sought after, despite that fact that Colourpop came out with a very similar palette of fantastic quality (Yes, Please!) for $16.
As I mentioned at the top of the post, I have purchased six Viseart palettes. I believe I purchased two of them on sale, but I still spent $80 on four of them. And thinking about that now really does make me feel sick. Because I am just one person. And I am not a professional makeup artist. And at this point, even though I like my remaining Viseart palettes, I can't say I will buy any more of them. I think too many other brands have come out and produced quality products at a fraction of the cost. Of all of the Viseart palettes, if you were to purchase one, I would recommend Dark Matte. But even then, Zoeva has come out with the Matte Spectrum palette, which is very similar and is considerably less expensive.
And there's a lot of talk about the amount of product when discussing why something is very expensive. And yes, that it is legitimate thing to discuss, and it is something I look at, especially when a product is very expensive and doesn't have much product. But with eyeshadows, the fact that there is a lot of product is not a compelling reason for me personally to justify a huge price tag. Because, and this is something I plan on discussing in an upcoming post, I have hit the pan on a whopping three eyeshadows in my life. THREE. I don't need a shadow to be packed with more grams of product than other eyeshadows because I don't ever hit the pan or use up smaller eyeshadows. And I suspect that most makeup enthusiasts except for those who are in the panning community and are actively trying to use up their products are similar to me.
Looking at the Grande Pro palette, I encourage you to look at each individual shadow and ask yourself if you would buy that shadow as a single. Ask yourself if the shadow is that special and unique and if you think you would use it enough to justify buying it on its own. If you do that, it is my guess that you would probably not want to buy all 30 of the shadows. Personally, when I look at the shadows and ask myself which ones I would buy as singles, it turns out that I already own them, and they are in my duped Just Peachy Matte palette.
To summarize, $175 is an insane amount of money to pay for eyeshadows in general, let alone when there are suitable replacements at much cheaper prices. And if we keep paying crazy prices for makeup, then the prices are only going to rise. The Grande Pro palette, while very pretty, is just expensive smoke and mirrors to me. I absolutely do not need this palette, and certainly not at such a high cost, so I won't be buying.