Palette Review: Violet Voss Essentials

The Palette exterior

I have been putting this review off for a while now because I really wanted to like this palette. It looks like it would be an excellent fall palette and has a shade range that can be worn in daily life with a few pops of color to jazz it up. It seems like something right up my alley.

But looks can be decieving.

So can finger swatches.

The Palette interior

At best this is a mixed review because each color had to be looked at on its own and to be honest, I think how you intend to use it will determine how much you like it. I’ll explain as I go.

First off, the shadows are very soft, but not overly powdery. And when applied, they stay in place all day. That is a big plus.It is an excellent formula that doesn’t crease or disappear. Which is why I kept wanting to like it far more than I did.

First the mattes.

The mattes are amazingly pigmented yet easily blendable. As I tried to work with this palette I found myself dipping into Dusty Rose as an all over shade for a one and done look. It is excellent for when you are in a hurry or doing a very low key look. Sand, while a little light on my skin tone is also one of those shades that can easily be used as a stand alone. Cinnamon is fantastically pigmented so a little goes a long way. Dip once, tap the brush and use a light hand. Terra cotta has the same impact, however it comes off as pumpkin-y orange on me. I was able to tone it down with the Cinnamon, but unless I was doing a Halloween look, it was way too orange to wear on its own The last of the mattes is the Black and it is exactly what its name implies. It is a straight up black. It too is highly pigmented and can be blended out beautifully whether you are using it to create a smokey eye or to tone down the terra cotta orange.

Then we get to the shimmers.

These are swatches from the Emerald shadow. The one on the left is a regular finger swatch. The second one is a swatch with a brush. The third is me really working with the brush to add pigment and the final swatch on the right is with a wet finger. Perfect for St. Patrick’s day, not so for the office.

And here is where finger swatches on the arm fail you.

With the exception of Plum Berry. Despite being a shimmer, I found it could be used as an all over the lid shade and was not prone to the issues of the other shades. I will actually be wearing that one and Dusty Rose more than anything else in this palette.

Because the other shimmers, oh the other shimmers.

So pretty in the pan, so stunning on an arm swatch, so absolutely nothing with a dry brush and then far too much with a wet one.

Green on the eye after working for a while. The color is muddy and not very pretty but when applied wet far too rainbow bright for an everyday look for me anyway.

Trying to work with them about drove me mad.

If you try to apply them with a dry brush, the shimmer pigments barely show up. You have to work with it and unless you cut your crease, something I rarely do when I am trying to get out of the door in the morning, the color pay off is very little.

If however you wet your brush and then apply, or wet your finger and then apply, the color is far too intense for an office look.

And I think that is the biggest problem with this palette. It is listed as a kind of updated neutrals palette. I look at a neutrals palette as something I could wear to the office. Something subtle where the shimmer shadows provide a little color, but nothing too ostentatious. When dry the color is not worth bothering to apply as it is far too light and when wet it is far too bold for most offices.

In my attempts to use this palette I actually looked up all sorts of tutorials. Most of those I found created bold rainbow looks that I can’t see anyone wearing in a professional office setting. They were stunning, but not neutral. I think this tries a little too hard to be an everyday palette and fails miserably. If using during the day, I would use Dusty Rose, Plum Berry and that delicious Black. Seriously, it is almost worth buying the palette just for that black. The other colors I would dip into when creating a look for a night out and I would use a damp brush or finger to apply the colors.

I will say that despite my color issues, I really like the actual formula of the shadows, I just don’t think this color story is for me. I will still use it, but I will be picky about when I reach for it and what I do once I pick it up. I will also be looking into different palettes from Violet Voss because I think that because of the excellent formula and its staying power, it is worth looking for a color story that is more suited to my tastes.

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