Wednesday, December 13, 2017

What I'm Not Buying: Kat Von D Metal Matte Mini

Kat Von D's newest release is a mini version of the brand's popular holiday 2016 palette, Metal Matte. 

And I won't be buying. 

Last year, I wrote an anti-haul post on the Metal Matte palette, and, true to my word, I did not purchase it. But I also wrote the post at a time when I was not very experimental with color. The only shades that would have appealed to me were the neutral shades, and I already had all of those in spades. Since I have discovered my love for colors, Metal Matte has stuck in my head as a "one that got away" kind of palette. I also speculated at the time that I didn't think the quality was up to other products in Kat Von D's line, and I still agree with that. In the end, I think it was a good choice for me to pass on that palette. But it is still one that I think about. 

And I'll be honest. When I first heard that Kat Von D was releasing a mini version of this palette, I had an immediate impulse of "I want to buy that." It's funny to me after all this time blogging about the items I'm not going to buy and changing my mindset to a "use what I have" instead of "buy new things" mentality, that I still find myself with gut reactions of wanting to buy. 

And then images of the actual product came out and I was mad. This? This is what you're putting out from that interesting palette so many people begged you to bring back?

This is a thought process I have talked about before on this blog, which is how we create our own vision of what a particular item will look like simply from hearing the name of a product or seeing a photo of its packaging. And there is a strategy behind this practice, because brands want us to drum up hype in our head, get attached to that hype, and then hopefully stick through with it to purchase, even if the reality of the product disappoints us. 

Strangely, I still wanted to want this product. And I can understand why people would want it. It's the same BS reasons that I see all the time and that I used to use as justification to buy something I didn't need.

Oh, it will be perfect to travel with. 

It'll be nice to have that core group of colors in one place.

And that's just what those reasons are—BS.

Most people don't travel enough to warrant buying "travel makeup." I have traveled more in the past three months than I have in the last five years. I still have more travel in the months ahead. And I still don't feel like I need "travel makeup." I feel like most of my palettes that aren't strictly neon colors can work just fine as a travel palette. I've traveled with Colourpop Yes, Please!, NYX Fire, my duped Just Peachy Mattes palette, and my duped Desert Dusk. On my most recent trip I was gifted the Jaclyn Hill Morphe palette, and I found that, while I had all of those colors sitting in my collection at home, it worked well for travel purposes.

On my most upcoming trip, I'll likely bring the Jaclyn Hill palette again, along with my duped Just Peachy Mattes palette, as I feel those two palettes pretty much cover a condensed version of my collection.

But I would feel comfortable traveling with my BH Cosmetics Zodiac palette, my Milani Earthly Elements palette, or any of my custom palettes. So, in the end, there aren't many palettes that I wouldn't consider for travel purposes. And using that as an excuse to buy a palette full of colors you already own isn't substantiated.

And as far as the second excuse, we all know that you don't need to buy an entire palette just to have a core group of colors in one place. It's really not that big of a deal to pull from more than one palette.

Let's look at Metal Matte Mini:

This palette costs $39 for 10 shadows. Now, this isn't totally crazy for Kat Von D. The Pastel Goth palette, which was released earlier this year, had eight shadows and cost $38. Saint and Sinner, on the other hand, which was released a few months ago, has 24 shadows and costs $62. I don't know why, but I was kind of shocked at the price of this palette. That's especially perplexing because I did buy Pastel Goth, which was essentially the same price for two less shadows. (Please see this post if you have questions about why I own Pastel Goth when I have written an anti-haul post on the product.) I think the reason the price of Metal Matte Mini feels so steep to me is because this palette is just so boring, so overdone. And for it to be a "mini" of an existing product, I just expected a lower price point. 

Let's look at Metal Matte:

Between these two palettes, there is a lot of overlap. Two of the metal crush shadows are repeats from the original, Flash and Synergy, and all of the matte shades are found in the original. 

Needless to say, if you own Metal Matte, there is really little reason to think about buying Metal Matte Mini. That's a complaint that I have heard a lot about this palette, and I can't help but to roll my eyes. People want to know why there are so many repeat shades. They want to know why Kat Von D is making it hard for people to give over their money. But here's the thing: you don't need everything! And here's an even bigger revelation: Not everything is made for you. 

I don't think Kat Von D put out the Metal Matte Mini for people who already own Metal Matte. I think the brand put it out for people who didn't buy Metal Matte, and they made the palette neutral so that it would appeal to a wider audience of people who have zero to two palettes. 

I only own one Kat Von D Metal Crush eyeshadow, and that's Thunderstruck, which is in the Mini palette. It's a beautiful shadow that I really love, and once upon a time, it was really unique. But now, not so much. It's similar to Too Faced Satin Sheets (in the Chocolate Bon Bons palette), Coloured Raine Crown (in the Queen of Hearts palette), and the Physician's Formula Butter Highlighter in Pearl. 

Raw Power is another shade in the Mini palette that's not in the original, and this was a shadow that I owned years ago and then returned. I remember swatching it in the store and completely falling in love, but when I applied it to my eyes, the color payoff wasn't what I wanted. At $21 each, Metal Crush eyeshadows are expensive, and I could not justify that price for the way the shadow looked on my eyes. 

Even if you don't already own Metal Matte, my guess is that you already have these colors in your collection. 

Let's look at swatches:

This is really the clincher for me, because when I look at these swatches, I just think, "Oh, this is Kat Von D's version of the warm neutral palette with pops of red, yellow, and orange that we have seen every brand come out with all year."

In my collection, most immediately I thought of Colourpop Yes, Please!:

And NYX Fire:

The matte shades remind me of the Melt Rust Stack:

And the general color scheme is similar to Smashbox Ablaze: 

Urban Decay Naked Heat:

Tarte Tartelette Toasted:

And Sephora Pro Warm:

Even though these palettes have more color options, all the colors in Metal Matte Mini are also found in Huda Beauty Desert Dusk:

And the Jaclyn Hill Morphe palette:

If you have any of the above palettes, I think you can safely say that you have all the colors in Metal Matte Mini. I own four of the above palettes, so I certainly have no use for this palette in my collection. 

Finally, I would like to talk about something that I personally find kind of silly, but I also know can be a big deal, and that's the packaging: 

Just like the original Metal Matte, the script on the packaging is a symbiotogram, which is a type of ambigram, meaning the design allows two different words to be read depending on the orientation of the palette. It reads "Metal" if right-side up, and "Matte" if upside down. 

In general, I am not a packaging snob. I have always been more invested in what is actually inside of a product than what it looks like on the outside, but then there is some packaging (like Natasha Denona) that I think so so terrible for the price that it becomes a non-selling point for me. But, if you can't tell, I love words. And I also really love ambigrams. So the Metal Matte packaging has always been something that intrigued me and something that I wanted. 

I also think that Kat Von D's packaging just stands out among the crowd. And I suppose that's not surprising because she is an incredibly talented artist. The Mi Vida Loca Remix packaging is absolutely stunning, and I've also really come to love the packaging for Pastel Goth. Saint and Sinner is one of the most original concepts I have seen with packaging, but I'm not personally a huge fan of religious iconography. Nonetheless, I think it certainly stands out among other holiday releases. 

And if I'm going to be the most honest I can possibly be, I would say the biggest reason why Metal Matte feels like the "one that got away" is because of the packaging. And that's why I won't let myself buy it for resellers. Fundamentally I am against that thinking when it comes to buying products, and I refuse to pay upwards of $65 because I like the design on some cardboard. 

(As a side note, I saw someone say the other day that the packaging of the Pat McGrath Labs Mothership palettes completely justified the $125 price of the palette. I've seen the palettes in person, swatched them, played with the colors, and held the full weight of the packaging in my hand. And I can say, yes, that packaging is luxurious and Natasha Denona should take note. But the eyeshadows were just okay. And for that kind of money, hell no the packaging does not make the $125 price worth it.)

I bring all of this up to say that the packaging, and having a smaller version of this symbiotogram, is really the only reason I have to buy this palette. I have all the colors already several times over. I own Thunderstruck outright and returned Raw Power because I didn't like it. Almost every palette I own has at least one of these colors in it, and, let's just be frank here: This palette was not made for me. So, no, I'm not going to spend upwards of $40 so I can have a symbiotogram. I don't need this palette for any reason, and it would be terribly redundant to my collection. So I won't be buying. 


  1. I've noticed so many people lusting after the Metal Matte and regretting not purchasing it. I too have had my moments. I think it's important for me to remember that I didn't want it at all when it first came out. I had no interest then so why should I want it now? Because other people want it? Or because I can't have it? I've also noticed that most people who I follow on Instagram who own the palette have it in their project pans

    I was very underwhelmed by this. I was expecting a mini palette that captures the essence of the original. This just doesn't. I imagine that most people who begged for its return are lusting after the bold, bright colours, not the neutrals. The price point seems a little high too.

    I kind of wish Kat Von D would boost their permanent line more instead of releasing so many limited edition items.

    1. Oh man, I completely agree with everything in this comment. It has been important for me to remember that I didn't want it when it first came out either, so there is no need for me to lust after it after the fact. (Although this logic didn't work with me with the Mi Vida Loca Remix palette and I am truly thrilled to finally own that.)

      And I too was expecting a palette that captured the essence of the original, and was so disappointed to see it being a warm neutral palette. A commenter below said that KVD is coming out with a Metal Matte 2 (I didn't know that), so I'll be interested in see where they go with the color scheme for that.

      And, yes, one of my biggest criticisms of the entire KVD brand is the lack of a permanent line. It seems crazy to me that the only permanent palette is the Shade and Light Eye (and maybe the quads?) and then they have the metal crush singles. It would be nice to get a permanent colorful palette from her.

      Thanks for reading!

  2. I was bummed as well (I own the original) and would have loved some more metal crush eyeshadows to try (the one in the palette doesn't seem as delicate as the single and that's important to me as an international customer). However she said that there will be a metal matte 2 so I'm okay with her releasing the mini for neutral lovers.

    1. I didn't know she said there would be a Metal Matte 2! I'm curious to see if it will be more colorful or capture more of the spirit of the original palette or if it will lean neutral again. It's disappointing that this palette had so many repeat shades and is so neutral because the Metal Crush line has some really cool, colorful shades. And at $21 each, that can get expensive really fast. So in that case, a palette really would provide a better value, but obviously not if it's filled with repeat shades.

      Thanks for reading!

  3. Hi! First time commenting here, love your blog :)

    I am going to be honest, I was one of the people who immediately thought "i want this palette!" I love exclusively warm and jewel tones (cool tones look terrible on me), but then I looked at it and realized... I have the Smashbox Ablaze (which I know you have anti-hauled but I can say, it is a lovely palette of excellent quality, but of course redundant to anybody who already owns similar colours) and a bunch of Colourpop singles in these colours...

    I do not think it is a bad release, per se. It is definitely worse than her recent highlighter palette, but it's just... meh. Too little, too late.

    1. Yeah, that's the thing with my blog. I assume that most of the products that I write about are pretty good, and if I didn't already have a large and curated collection, they would be great additions. But I write these posts for people to look at their collection and really ask how much a new product will add to it. If you don't already have those colors, a new palette could be great. But just because something is hyped, if you already own it, you don't need to buy it again.

      I'm glad you like the Ablaze palette!

      I don't think it's a bad release either, and for people who don't already have colors like these, I think this palette would be great. But like you said, too little, too late.

      Thanks for reading!