Friday, October 6, 2017

What I'm Not Buying: Viseart Grande Pro Matte Palette

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:

Neutral 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:

Zoeva Matte:

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. 


  1. Welcome back!

    I could never spend over $100 on a single makeup item. What was funny to me was the hype over the Natasha Denona Sunset palette. People were splashing out $129 on a palette when many of them already owned ABH Modern Renaissance, Kylie Burgundy, Huda Rose Gold, Smashbox Ablaze or Colourpop Yes Please! (Or I'm some cases, all of the above). I feel that makeup brands don't need to be innovative anymore because people will just buy the same thing over and over again, no matter what the price.

    Another thing that amused me this week was the new Violet Voss palette. Even in a palette with only ten pans they managed to put repeat shades in there. What is with this brand and their repeat shades???

    1. Thank you! And I completely agree—and I have certainly been guilty of this as well. I think there is a line between still loving makeup and wanting to purchase and use a product that intrigues and inspires you versus just buying everything that comes out because of the hype.

      Ha, I haven't seen the new Violet Voss palette but I'll certainly check it out. I feel like a lot of brands put repeat shades in, but you're right, that brand is especially guilty of that!

  2. Good read. I appreciate a good cold word-shower.

    I ordered one anyways, because I've been wanting to get both Cool Mattes and Neutral Mattes for ages, and the shades in this palette really spoke to me. The bottom two rows are fairly unique compared to a lot of other shadows. Because I do drag, giant all-matte palettes are pretty much what gets the job done.

    I wish the palette wasn't limited edition (or at least not such a small batch). Constantly checking the website was more annoying than fun.

    1. I think if you're going to get a lot of use out of it, then it could totally be worth it! I hope you enjoy! And I agree, I wish products like this weren't limited edition with small quantities. I know it's a hype/marketing tactic, but it is so frustrating as a consumer.

  3. I think this is a solid palette for those who will really get use out of it, particularly pro makeup artists, which appears to be who it is geared toward. Their interview with Stephanie Nicole was actually very informative and gave a lot of insight into their thought process and palette formation. They have been creating the Golden Hour and Petit Pro more for enthusiasts, but still cater mostly to their pro base which is where they got their start. Probably why they stuck to a release over a Sephora one. It's a hefty price, but I don't think the majority of people need it! Can't beat that Viseart formula at the end of the day...

    1. I agree—if I was a full-time professional makeup artist, I could absolutely see a place for this in my kit. As a makeup enthusiast who already has a large collection, not so much.

  4. Can I just say, "Thank you, thank you, thank you!" I've seen this all over social media and was IMMEDIATELY and irrationally drawn to it, even before they posted color pics of it. When color photos of it were released, the reasonable side of me knew that as a mere enthusiast, I didn't need multiples of what are very similar shades in the same palette and honestly, I have an abundance of nudes already. However, the bright shades kept calling me back. While I sat there, talking myself off the pre-order ledge, I suddenly remembered your blog and went there right away thinking you might have already posted about this. Sure enough, there it was...the dose of reality and validation that I needed. Sometimes we need something to cut through the hype and dispel the magic web woven by companies, social media and influencers.

    From the very bottom of my saturated heart, thank you for being a breath of fresh air.

    1. Thank you so much for this comment! I can't tell you how much it makes me happy to know my posts can help people. I really appreciate you letting me know!

  5. Thank you for talking me out of buying this palette. It's in my cart. I worked out with shipping it was going to cost me a bit over $300 Australian. And you're right, I don't need it. I only wanted it because I'm a fan of viseart and it looks so damm pretty.

    1. Wow, $300?! That's so high. It's crazy how much duties, custom fees, and international shipping costs. At that point, you could almost get two of these palettes. Glad I could help! Thanks for reading!

  6. In the end it's just makeup, and makeup should make you happy. I have a decent collection of eyeshadows, started with MAC then moved to Department brands like Dior and Chanel, then Suqqu and Tom Ford became my obsessions. I happened across Viseart and after the first palette fell in love with their mattes. Now after a couple of years and too many eyeshadow palettes, I've become more selective in what I buy and what I keep. I've given away all my Dior, all Chanel but one, all Burberry but one which was a gift from a sweet friend and also kept the 6 singles as they are that good. I kept my Tom Fords, Suqqu and Viseart, added a few Natasha Denona and the 3 Pat McGrath palettes and I did order the Grande Pro. I only have 2 ABH, Modern Renaissance and the Mario palette. My point is there are so many brands out there and so many choices. I've decided that what makes me happy is not having a huge collection, it's having a collection that makes my heart sing and that I look forward to using. Performance is an issue for me, there is no brand where all the shades are perfect, but the majority of them have to be if I'm spending the money I do. And while I'm drawn to many new releases, I'm not compelled to buy them as I used to be. Knowing your style, your budget and your weaknesses will help curate a collection that will make you happy.