Anastasia Beverly Hills has released their latest palette, Soft Glam.
And I won't be buying.
So, like most people (I think, at least), my initial reaction to seeing this palette was: Oh, that's so pretty; I'm totally going to buy it.
But then I looked at it again, sighed, and thought: What am I doing? I obviously have all of these colors several times over.
I wouldn't call this palette "boring," because I know plenty of people who would love this color scheme. And when I think about the perfect "work-appropriate" (I still hate that term and that idea) palette for me, it would probably be this. But what I would call this palette is "common."
Let's look at it:
And what that means is that if you're someone who really loves ABH palettes or singles, you could potentially already have half of this palette. And that's not even including the colors that you likely have elsewhere in your collection from other brands.
Let's look at the shadows as pigments:
As I said earlier, when I look at this color scheme, I think it's really pretty. I think ABH did a really fantastic job of creating a neutral color scheme that is slightly more interesting than 14 shades of brown. However, when I look at these pigments, there is not a single color that I don't already own. This is a palette that I think would be really great for someone new to makeup or someone who is looking to only own one palette.
Back when my obsession with makeup first began, this is the kind of palette and color scheme that I think would have been perfect for me (though, of course, I didn't know my preferences at the time and wouldn't have known this would have been perfect for me). But considering the makeup collection that I have now (that I absolutely love), this palette would be such an unnecessary addition.
Let's look at swatches:
What's interesting to me is that when I look at these swatches, Soft Glam seems to look similar to my duped/edited version of Modern Renaissance:
And with that said, I think that if Soft Glam swapped one of the light shimmery shades and one of the browns for the red tones in Modern Renaissance, this would have been the palette I wanted Modern Renaissance to be.
Now, in terms of formula, following the (over)dramatic reaction to Subculture, Norvina has confirmed that ABH returned to the Modern Renaissance formula for Soft Glam:
This will always be something that I personally have to keep in mind whenever ABH releases a new palette. I very much did not like the Modern Renaissance formula. The complaints that so many people had with Subculture was how I felt about Modern Renaissance, though to a lesser degree. I found that the shimmers did not pack a punch and were quite subtle/sheer, and the mattes did not build and blend. Every look was very muddy on me, and I found myself never liking my makeup when I wore it.
With that said, as you can see from my "duped" Modern Renaissance palette above, I included four ABH single shadows—Macaroon, Buon Fresco, Love Letter, and Dusty Rose. I really enjoy ABH single shadows and don't have the same problems whatsoever with them as I did with the shadows in Modern Renaissance. I own several more ABH shimmery singles, and they all pack an incredible punch and aren't sheer whatsoever.
And while all of this boils down to personal preference, of course, I also feel like people have hyped the Modern Renaissance formula to something unreal. The hype is bigger than the product at this point, and I feel it necessary to say that when hype for an eyeshadow formula is this strong, the formula can almost never live up to it. I think Modern Renaissance was a very strong case of major influencers liking a product and then everyone else running with the hype. There's such a huge amount of influence among influencers (duh), and it's amazing how quickly a fan base can turn something innocuous into something larger than life. And that, in my opinion, is what happened with the Modern Renaissance formula.
Interestingly, I haven't heard many people talk about Soft Glam, and I don't think that it's going to be nearly as hyped as Modern Renaissance or the Master Palette by Mario (which, for all the hype it had, is just a palette of browns). I wonder how much of that has to do with the Subculture release and reception or the color scheme of Soft Glam.
(As an aside, I recently made a huge move, and as a gift before I left, I received, of all things, Subculture. I have used it a few times and agree with the consensus that it is one of the most pigmented but challenging palettes I have ever worked with. Yet, oddly enough, I've found it easier to use than Modern Renaissance.)
Overall, I think Soft Glam is a more interesting and usable palette than Modern Renaissance (except, of course, that it's missing those standout red shades), but I think, in general, the hype has died down for the "Modern Renaissance formula." I don't think Soft Glam will receive any of the same hype despite having the same formula.
Let's look at Soft Glam again:
Going back to what I said at the top of this post, I think Soft Glam is quite "common." I know I certainly have all of these colors in my duped/edited Modern Renaissance palette above, but it also looks like so many palettes that most people probably already have.
It looks like the new Viseart Tryst palette:
Too Faced Natural Love:
Lorac Mega Pro 3:
Colourpop You Had Me at Hello:
Too Faced Chocolate Bon Bons:
Urban Decay Naked 3:
theBalm Meet Matt(e) Trimony:
And Tarte Tartelette in Bloom:
At this point, there are just too many options available that most people have already purchased to make Soft Glam tempting for me. And I have to say that I'm actually pretty surprised by the release altogether. While I haven't always liked or wanted to buy a new ABH palette, there was usually an interesting element to their palettes that elevated the makeup landscape. Reds and berries quickly became the focus of so many palettes following the success of Modern Renaissance (and Lime Crime Venus before that), and I wouldn't be surprised if brands starting coming out with palettes that have similar color schemes to Subculture and Prism, incorporating more rustic tones like yellows and greens.
But Soft Glam just doesn't bring anything new to the table. Half of it is literally repeat shades from other palettes or the ABH singles line, and the other half is made up of shades so neutral that almost every neutral palette has them. And what's even stranger to me is that in a palette called "Soft Glam" that pulls seven shades from the ABH line, Pink Champagne is not included. I know Pink Champagne is in a lot of existing ABH palettes, but if you're going to pull half the palette from existing shades, you might as well put in your bestseller that essentially embodies the entire theme of the palette.
The main reason I can think that most people will use to justify purchasing this palette is that it has all the neutrals that they really like (and already own) in the "Modern Renaissance formula." And for $42 (plus tax and shipping), that doesn't seem like a good enough reason to buy an entire palette that you know you don't need.
While it's nice that Norvina wanted to make a palette for her mother, this doesn't feel like a palette for the typical ABH audience. And, in the end of it, I'm not ragging on ABH for creating this palette. I think that most brands should have a staple neutral palette that the casual makeup consumer can buy or a palette that would be perfect for someone first getting into makeup. At this point (and this may be an unpopular opinion), I don't think brands need to cater toward the makeup-addicted anymore. There are people who have literally dozens of palettes, even more than 100, who complain that brands aren't coming out with things they haven't seen before. I think it would be quite challenging at this point for any brand to do that.
And I hope they don't.
And that's because I don't like the level of (over)saturation that we're at, and I really don't like that brands are charging upwards of $50+ for a product that is essentially "disposable." Consumers, I think, need to chill out a bit and curb their makeup and new product addiction. And in return, it would be great if brands stopped pumping out new products every few weeks or months.
In my opinion, brands should have fantastic, high-quality core products and only focus on inclusivity for new campaigns. Instead of releasing a new eyeshadow palette every few months, wouldn't it be fantastic if brands evaluated their current lines and determined how much of it was inclusive? And then, when they found areas where inclusivity is lacking, they spent the time formulating products to fill this gap?
If ABH wants to have a staple "neutral palette," fine. That doesn't mean that I need to buy it. I already have all of these colors in my collection, and instead of lusting after or buying a new palette simply because it is new, I should just use those colors that I already have. And if I'm tired of them, buying them in new packaging isn't going to make me all of a sudden love them. I definitely don't need to add Soft Glam to my collection, so I won't be buying.