To celebrate their 10th anniversary, Kat Von D has come out with an anniversary collection, which includes a palette.
And I won't be buying.
I've received a lot of requests to write about this palette, but I have to say that I'm a little cautious to do so because I have ended up with three Kat Von D palettes for which I have written anti-haul posts.
Those include Pastel Goth, and my reason for purchasing can be found here:
Saint and Sinner, which I received as a gift:
And Metal Matte, which I also received as a gift:
Out of all of these palettes, Pastel Goth is my favorite, and I am happy that I own it. However, I also find Pastel Goth to be very light (same with some of the matte shades in Metal Matte), which can make it difficult to work with.
So even though I have no plan or desire to buy the anniversary palette, I also didn't have plans to own the above three palettes, and we can all see how that played out. However, I really can't see myself buying the new Kat Von D palette because it just looks so much like most Kat Von D palettes that have released in the past few years.
Let's take a look at it:
I think we can all agree that this is a beautiful palette, and I think (in promotional images) it looks like it was curated quite well. It has a mix of warm and cool tones as well as neutrals and colors. It feels evenly balanced. Unlike so many palettes releasing right now, it's not a neutral palette with one or two pops of color. It offers a really complementary color scheme. Even better, the colors are on trend, but aren't too trendy that they are essentially disposable. And, because it's Kat Von D, the artwork on the packaging is also gorgeous:
If I didn't own so many palettes, this would definitely be something that I would consider purchasing. But I do. And my guess is that if you're interested in this palette and have found your way to my blog, you probably do too.
Let's look at swatches:
Lately, when I've seen swatches provided by a brand, it has made me want the palette less than I did before. But with these swatches, I have to admit that I am tempted. However, we all know by now that brand swatches are incredibly misleading. And I have to say that Kat Von D has always been one of the worst offenders with this.
When I compare the above swatches to those provided by Instagram user @vspinkmelissa, there is quite a difference:
Image credit: @vspinkmelissa
I would assume that the bottom swatches were applied without primer, and I have said many times that I believe swatches to be generally unhelpful in terms of evaluating performance and quality, but I do think it's interesting to compare the way the actual colors looks.
The swatches will of course look more complex and exciting in promotional images, but these two pictures, I think, are a great example of "expectations versus reality." That's not to say that the colors in the bottom swatches are't great; they just look different from the ones being advertised.
When I look at the swatches in the bottom photo, I have to admit that there are not any that I don't already have or like enough to want to buy again.
It makes sense to me that an anniversary palette would be filled with "classic" Kat Von D shades. But, this palette claims to have 16 new shades. And herein lies the "issue" with buying Kat Von D palettes: very often, if you buy one, you have the basic color scheme of many moving forward.
At this point, I own several Kat Von D palettes:
- Mi Vida Loca Remix
- Metal Matte
- Pastel Goth
- Saint and Sinner
And have also owned but since decluttered:
- Shade and Light Eye
- Shade and Light Eye Quad in Plum
Between all of these palettes, I definitely feel like I have covered the entirety of the anniversary palette color scheme a few times over.
In addition to the palettes listed above, this also looks like Serpentina:
As well as Colourpop Dream St.:
Juvia's Place Nubian 2:
Jaclyn Hill X Morphe:
Kylie Cosmetics Blue Honey:
Juvia's Place Festival:
And Elf Jewel Pop:
To name a few.
The anniversary palette is a whopping $52 before tax, which feels steep. To put that into perspective, the anniversary palette has 16 shadows compared to Saint and Sinner, which had 24 shadows and cost $60. So for an additional $8, Saint and Sinner had eight more shadows. Saint and Sinner has one-third more shadows, and by that measurement, it seems like a more appropriate price for the anniversary palette would be $40.
But the thing that the anniversary palette has going for it that Saint and Sinner didn't is that the color scheme flows nicely and there seems to be some "sense" to it. When I first saw Saint and Sinner, I was not drawn to it whatsoever because the colors felt so random and unorganized. Even now, after being gifted Saint and Sinner, I find it difficult to look at it and feel inspired. I typically get too overwhelmed and don't even know where to start. So the fact that the anniversary palette is "curated" is certainly a positive, but that doesn't mean that the shades are not repetitive.
Out of all of the Kat Von D palettes that I own, the ones that I think are the most unique are Mi Vida Loca Remix and Pastel Goth. Unfortunately, both of these palettes were limited edition, and it doesn't appear at this time that they will make another appearance.
And this is another point I would like to make. The overwhelming majority of Kat Von D eyeshadow palettes are limited edition. At the time of the writing of this blog post, Kat Von D has seven eyeshadow palettes for sale at Sephora. They are:
- Shade and Light Eye—permanent
- Shade and Light Glimmer—permanent
- Shade and Light Eye Quads—on sale; discontinued
- Metal Matte Mini—limited edition
- I Am Divine—limited edition
- 10-Year Anniversary Palette—limited edition
Nearly half of the palettes available are limited edition, and one palette/group of palettes has been discontinued. That means the brand only has three permanent palettes. Two of them are incredibly neutral and matte/shimmer versions of each other, and the other is only a quad of duochrome shadows that all have a white base.
What's interesting about this is that when I personally think of Kat Von D as a brand, I think of bold colors, not the neutrals in the permanent line. That's because nearly every Kat Von D holiday release is a large palette filled with interesting color combinations. For years, while every other brand was trying to reinvent brown, Kat Von D was giving color. So it's curious, then, why the brand doesn't have a permanent colorful palette. And it's frustrating as a consumer that whenever the brand does release a "signature" colorful palette, it is limited edition.
But let's talk about that. When a brand releases a limited edition product, it is for two main reasons:
- They don't think it's a product that will be a bestseller if it was permanent and people had as long as they wanted to make a decision on whether to buy.
- They know people WILL buy it if there is a perceived scarcity to it.
With Kat Von D specifically, they continue to release the same palette, just packaged slightly differently. And I think this is why they don't have a permanent colorful palette. Because if they did, people would be less likely to buy their limited edition colorful palettes. Added to that, Mi Vida Loca Remix is on most people's list of "one that got away" palettes. And because of this, people are more likely to buy limited edition Kat Von D palettes so that they don't have to feel they have missed out yet again. But I can't help but to think that Kat Von D could just bring back Mi Vida Loca Remix and make it permanent. I know that Kat Von D has become a vegan brand since that palette was for sale, so some of the shadows would need to be reformulated, but knowing how high the demand is for that palette, it baffles me why the brand doesn't just give consumers what they want.
And my guess is that they don't rerelease that palette because then not as many people would buy the latest limited edition palette. Also, there's this strange phenomenon in taking pleasure in owning something that other people can't. I'll never forget watching a YouTube video where a woman was lamenting how the Too Faced Sweet Peach palette was ruined for her when Too Faced released it again. She said the main reason she liked it so much was because she felt special for owning an item other people wanted but couldn't have. (This same woman is thrilled that she owns Mi Vida Loca Remix and considers it one of her prized makeup products.) Now, there is a lot of honesty in what she said that I don't think many people would admit to. At the same time, it seems kind of petty to me to feel so elitist about a makeup item. The point of makeup is to give people confidence and inspire creativity. So to feel so great about owning a product specifically because other people can't seems a bit counterintuitive to me.
Also, makeup is a moneymaking industry. So tactics that brands employ are always going to be in their best interests. As consumers, the best thing that we can do is just be critical with our thinking and smart with our purchasing decisions. I don't need another limited edition Kat Von D palette. Sure, I won't have the "10-Year Anniversary Palette," but I have other versions of it. And more versions are undoubtedly coming in the future. This is a palette of the moment, and when the moment passes, no one will talk about it anymore. If you want proof of that, think of how many people currently talk about the original Metal Matte palette.