I decided to show you a product I've had for awhile now (six months? maybe longer?) and have been using on and off pretty consistently since then; Kat Von D's True Romance Eyeshadow Palette in Adora. I bought it at its original retail price of $34, and it's now on sale for $24, which I think is a great value for eight .05 ounce shadows; for reference, individual Urban Decay shadows are $17 for .05 ounces, individual Clinique shadows are $14.50 for .07 ounces, and Tarina Tarantino (which I think is a very comparable brand to Kat Von D's line, since it is another Sephora manufactured and sold celebrity line) is $16 for .09 ounces. No matter how you cut it, $34 for .4 ounces of product is a good deal, and $24 for .4 ounces is a darn good deal! Now, you may find quality lacking, or not like all eight colors, in which case this might not be a deal for you despite the price, but I think the quality is very comparable to most Sephora-sold eyeshadows (Tarina Tarantino, Clinique, NARS, etc...) if not my favorite formulas (Urban Decay, Hourglass). I think Kat Von D's shadows are definitely more consistently good than MAC, which I often find apply patchy or are hard to get out of the pan. I find the shimmer formulas to be very comparable to Urban Decay, in that they are pigmented and soft, but the glitter formulas aren't perfect; they aren't as pigmented, and there is some fallout. The cream formulas are nice, but not out of this world, either; without a good base, they will crease, and the metallic creams can be difficult to blend. However, even the worst of these shadows aren't bad and hold their own against most other brands sold at Sephora.
Let's talk packaging. I love these little palettes! They're not so large or bulky that they're hard to fit into a makeup case or a purse, and the brushes they come with are actually useful, if small. The lid also stays shut, but isn't difficult to open, making these very efficient and practical. I also happen to think they are lovely; I like the tattoo inspired artwork that is screen-printed in red on the matte black background.
As for the colors, they look like they may be a bit much together, but end up working very nicely. Honestly, I have two of these palettes, and they've convinced me that Kat Von D knows what she's talking about when it comes to color. I may not be the biggest fan of her personality, but I can appreciate the creativity that went into creating and pairing these colors. The left side of the palette is full of silver and grey tones, and the right side is burgundy and black. The palettes are all designed so that you can use each half as its own matching quad, or mix across to create a more bold or colorful look. I have taken up the challenge of using every single shadow- and only the eight shadows this palette comes with- in creating an eye look. While you can certainly do this with the colors provided, I don't know that I'd recommend it for everyday wear! You may have better luck just wearing a few of these at a time, rather than piling them all on at once, unless you want a very dramatic look. Rest assured, you can do a simple day look with a lighter color and a medium-tone in the crease, and it will look just fine; if you mix these colors with a nude from your own collection, you'll get to an "office-safe" eye even faster.
Here's the compact; if you'd like to see the artwork better, clicking on this picture will get it quite a bit bigger.
|Kat Von D, "Adora"|
And here it is in my hand, to give you a sense of scale.
Here it is opened; the mirror is plenty big enough to be practical if you're traveling. I've thrown one of these in my purse just for the mirror, since they're not particularly heavy, and it's very convenient if you think you'll need to touch up more than just lipstick. From left to right, the colors are Albino (metallic shimmery white), Holy Bible (metallic shimmery silver), Slayer (cream; bright metallic silver), Glock (gunmetal grey), Crucifix (cream; deep pigmented black), Bloodletting (cream; cranberry), Ace of Spades (matte warm purple with fuchsia shimmer), and Oddfellow (matte black with teal shimmer).
|The palette opened|
|Full shadows from left to right; Glock, Crucifix, Bloodletting, Ace of Spades, and Oddfellow|
|Full shadows from left to right are Albino, Holy Bible, Slayer, Glock, and Crucifix|
And here are all of the colors swatched, in the order they are in the palette (except I started at the top of my arm, so when I lay it out like this, the order is reversed from left-to-right). These are all swatched dry with my finger. I encourage you to click on these to blow them up so you can get a better feel for how these apply; Slayer tends to be a bit patchy, and therefore best suited to using in small areas, and Oddfellow and Ace of spades tend to be a bit sheer, but they look lovely over the other colors to darken them; applying them wet will render an opaque color, but these are a pain to blend when they're wet.
|From left to right: Oddfellow, Ace of Spades, Bloodletting, Crucifix, Glock, Slayer, Holy Bible, and Albino.|
And here are some close ups:
|Top to bottom; Albino, Holy Bible, Slayer|
Glock got lost between the two halves, so here you go:
|Top to bottom; Glock, Crucifix, Bloodletting|
And the last set of colors:
|Left to right: Oddfellow, Ace of Spades, Bloodletting, Crucifix.|
And here is the eye look that I did using the colors in this palette; they are in no particular order, and are just meant to show how these blend and look when used together.
Here is the set of photos with flash:
And without flash:
To create this look, I used Holy Bible all over the lid with Bloodletting on the lid (avoiding the inner corner), Ace of Spades on the outer corner blended up into the crease, Glock just above that, on the outer part of the crease just under the brow bone, and Slayer patted on top of that. I then put Albino in the inner corner of my eye, sweeping up into the inner crease and blending up under the brown to highlight, and used Holy Bible to blend in the crease area between Albino and Glock. I put Oddfellow on the outer two thirds of my lower lash line, pushed Crucifix into my upper lash line winging out just slightly, and finished off by putting Slayer in the inner corner of my eye and on the inner third of my lower lash line. I also used Buxom mascara in black, Aveda lipstick in Maracuja, and NARS blush in Exhibit A, if you're curious about the rest of the color I used on my face.
Rating: 8 out of 10
I am such a fan of this palette. The colors are dramatic, but gorgeous together, and I think that this is an excellent value for the quality and amount of product you get. If you're interested in dramatic smoky eyes, but don't know how to pair your colors, this set could be a great investment. You can do an entire eye look with this palette; I only wish there were a nude color (like Urban Decay Sin!) to make this easier to use for everyday looks. However, the packaging is great- I'm a fan of the mirror and the brushes, as well as its light weight portability- and even though the eyeshadow formulas may not be the strongest ever, they definitely hold their own. If you're interested in these colors, grab this set while it's still available! It was seasonal, and the fact that it's on sale right now makes me believe that Sephora is phasing it out. If you're not interested in these particular colors, but the idea of this palette appeals to you, I would definitely recommend checking out some of the other collections; I have a second Kat Von D True Romance palette (in True Love), and the quality seems consistent across the two, so I think these are worth a try. Over a good primer, these will stay put pretty well all day; maybe only six or eight hours if you use the cream formulas heavily, but that seems to be on the better side of average for cream formulas for me.