Girl. You been living under a rock or something? You live in one of the three countries websites never seem to ship to for no reason? You got no connection to social media, North Korea style? No? Then why don’t you know about this palette launch?
Anyway: full-time beauty industry dominator ABH released a new palette, and it’s the first to ever be made permanent (wooo! if I love it and need to re-buy it, eurgh! if this means in a month’s time it’s half price). It’s a byoooootiful selection of warm neutral and berry tones, wrapped up in a lil dusky pink velvet palette, original Urban Decay Naked style. I had to have it immediately (though I did wait until Cult Beauty stocked it, because ordering through the ABH website including customs and stuff made it £90 and quite honestly: fuck that).
Price wise, it was still pricier than ABH’s other palettes. Cult Beauty are selling it for £41, regardless of its $42 price tag in the States. The Self Made palette I have was only £26 from Cult Beauty (and it’s still being sold on there at that price) so it’s all a bit *little yellow wondering man* emoji. Anyway I needed it so I got it, and it arrived the very next day (yeah, the launch was yesterday. I’m an eager beaver).
SO. Let’s break my first impressions down into a few manageable chunks. First up the packaging, then the colours, and then finally the swatches and pigmentation.
I DIE. I FUCKING DIE. This packaging is so ‘me’. If I were an eyeshadow palette I think this is what I’d look like. And everyone lowkey knows if you spend a lot of $$$dolla$$$ on a product and the packaging is plain/boring/bad, it makes the spend even less justifiable. This is truly a collector’s piece. 5*, would rub the velvet all day long again.
Y’all already know I love a good warm toned brown and red smokey eye look. It’s my go-to. So to me, the selection is bomb (sidenote: this is how I justified the price to myself, that I’d travel with it and get a lot of use out of it, blah blah blah). I love how there are a lot of buttery transition shades and not a lot of samey-samey brown shades (no shade, Naked palettes, no shade). This strikes me as a higher end, smaller version of the much coveted and oft-out-of-stock Morphe 350 (like, at this point, does the Morphe 350 even exist? Does anyone own it? Is it just an urban legend?). What really stands out to me about this palette are the shades ‘Love Letter’, ‘Realgar’ and ‘Venetian Red’, bright red, pink and orange colours you wouldn’t normally find in a ‘normal’ neutral palette.
Essentially, this palette is the physical embodiment of Valentine’s Day to me, and I’m actually surprised it wasn’t launched around February.
The one thing I’m not crazy about are the amount of mattes in this palette. I do love a good matte shade, but when they’re in such bold colours (such as ‘Venetian Red’) you really need some shimmers to offset it. There are two shimmers included (‘Vermeer’ and ‘Primavera’) but they’re highlighter consistency. What I’m saying is, I wish there was an equivalent in Modern Renaissance to ‘Pink Champagne’ and ‘Treasure’ in the Self Made palette. Those colours are thick, ‘heavy’ glitters that work amazingly as inner corner highlights and allow you to have a glittery lid to offset a matte crease and outer corner. The two shimmers in Modern Renaissance don’t feel ‘thick’ enough to do this. They’d make very pretty brow bone highlight shades, but if I was travelling with this palette, I’d still have to bring a thicker glitter colour with me. But then again, that’s just me! If you hate glitter with your life (or, you’re an older lady), then maybe this mainly matte palette is exactly what you’re looking for! Don’t be put off by me sulking because I’ve nearly used all of my ‘Pink Champagne’ up (if you know where I can get a single of that shadow in the UK, hit me up).
As soon as I felt the amazing buttery consistency of these shadows, I had to go and feel my Self Made palette for comparison. The shadows in Self Made, to me, were always crazy soft and blendable, but when I touched them right after feeling Modern Renaissance, they felt rough like sandpaper. THAT IS HOW SOFT THE MODERN RENAISSANCE SHADOWS ARE.
So, I can imagine they will apply beautifully to my eyes and be super easy to blend.
However, I was a little disappointed with the swatches I produced. As you can see, some of the shadows ‘stood out’ and swatched better than others. It seems the darker the shade, the better the pigmentation. Some of the lighter shades swatched a little worse (for example, look how little product is showing up for ‘Tempera’ on the top row and the tiny struggle-swatch for ‘Burnt Orange’ on the bottom). As we all know, products usually swatch super different on the hand to how they apply on the eye, so it may not be an issue at all. Also, it might be a good thing that the light browns didn’t swatch very heavily, as they’re what I usually use as a soft transition shade.
OH ALSO. I have an ABH #protip that works for all of her palettes. This is especially prevalent with the Self Made, but still applies to the Modern Renaissance. If you find yourself looking at an ABH palette and thinking ‘what the hell is that colour in there for?’, think of the square pans of shadow as blocks of four. For example, start from L-R, and imagine them as separate quads of shadow. With this method, you should be able to find six ‘quads’, that are especially put together to create a certain look. Of course you can mix and match colours from the whole of the palette, but if you’re ever stuck on a look and need inspiration, imagine them as quads!
Did anyone in the UK manage to get ahold of one of these palettes? Did yours swatch like mine?