The latest release from cult brow brand Anastasia Beverly Hills is the gorgeous Modern Renaissance eyeshadow palette. It retails for $42 in the US, and currently is not sold in the UK. Why are we always the last to get things? Oh yeah, because for some idiotic reason we don't have a Sephora. This palette is the first ever permanent ABH eyeshadow palette, she has released some gorgeous palettes in the past which sadly are no longer in stock, a damn shame because the Tamanna palette, created by @DressYourFace, had my name written all over it. I was so in love with that palette. I'll insert a photo so you can see how stunning the shadows in the Tamanna palette were.
Back to the Modern Renaissance Palette ($42) everyone is obsessed with how this palette looks already and I think the USP is that there is no other palette available that is similar in tone or texture.
The Modern Renaissance palette has 14 shadows in total, and comes with a dual ended eyeshadow brush. What is truly remarkable about this palette is that 11 of these shadows are matte shadows. This makes me so happy, often palettes of this size tend to boast a 2:1 ratio of shimmer to mattes so it is extremely cool to see something, not only, different, but what most makeup lovers actually want. In addition to the 11 matte colours, there are 3 metallic shadows as well. So no true shimmers, and again I think this is a good thing as eyeshadows with a metallic finish tend to be a lot creamier and intensely pigmented. Furthermore, I find they have less fall out.
The final unique characteristic about this palette is the colour selection. There are the standard neutral shadows that work on every skin tone on the left of the palette and then we have a nice variety of pink and berry tones before ending with a warm deep brown and a perfect matte orange. This palette should definitely be replicated and turned into a lip palette; it would be a sell out. The colours are laid out in a way that makes sense, but as someone who doesn't wear much pink on the eyes I wouldn't be desperate to go out and buy this palette. The most interesting shades are the bright berry and magenta shadows, the rest are easily found in other palettes. However, the shadows obviously complement each other making it possible to create a myriad of fantastic and diverse looks with one palette.
Now to discuss the individual shadows and have a look at swatches on different skin tones. Again, there are 11 mattes and 3 metallic shadows. All of the matte shadows in this palette are described as being "ultra-matte", possibly due to how pigmented and matte the formulations are for these colours. Good matte eyeshadows are essential in any palette. The formula claims to be highly pigmented and easy to blend. You get a soft bristle brush in the palette as well that looks very fluffy, from left-right:
Tempera is a velvety beige matte shadow, it looks almost white on deep skin but beige on fair skin
Golden Ochre is a matte warm beige, on fair skin it looks brown and on deep it looks quite ashy
Vermeer is the first metallic shadow, a warm iridescent shell, appears extra shimmery on deep skin
Buon Fresco is described as an antique lavender, on fair skin it translates as a matte plum but on deeper skin it looks like a true lavender shade. Both swatches are gorgeous, and by using a white base you would be able to achieve the plum colour, if desired, on darker skin colours.
Antique Bronze is the second metallic, a sable with a satin finish which looks purple on deeper skin.
Love Letter is a stunning raspberry, almost burgundy, matte, not much difference between skintones
Cyprus Umber is a rich matte umber that again looks similar on both skintones
Realgar is an orangey-red, brick-coloured matte shadow, appears similar on both skin tones
Warm Taupe shockingly a matte warm taupe, appears more brown on fair skin and more grey on dark
Venetian Red is a rich deep crimson matte, this shade really stands out on both skin tones
Red Ochre is a matte sienna, brown-toned red, looks quite muted on deeper skin
Primavera the last metallic, a stunning shimmery gold, gorgeous and similar on both skin tones.
Burnt Orange oddly doesn't look orange on either skin tone, looks like cement
Raw Sienna neutral matte dark taupe, barely visible on deep skin
Even though there is a difference in how certain shadows appear on each skin tone, I think each shadow still complements each skin tone well. The only shadow I am disappointed by is Burnt Orange it doesn't look orange in the slightest, which is puzzling. Venetian Red, Love Letter and Primavera are my favourites from this whole palette. Overall, the formulas are very impressive, particularly the mattes: they all appear richly pigmented and look stunning in contrast to more than just fair skin, which is not something all brands consider. I appreciate the inclusion.
Do I think you should get this palette? If you prefer matte shadows over any other formula and like the colours you see then yes, absolutely. I would, however, recommend using a white base for the shadows if you have medium to dark skin, so you get a true translation of the colour, but it's not essential. I think that countless cool and colourful looks could be created from this single palette, and not just vibrant berry and sunset inspired eyes, but your average every day go-to eye looks as well. I do wonder if there are too many mattes and perhaps that is what is preventing me from going nuts over this palette. I would have liked to see a rich metallic crimson shade and even a sparkly pale pink, I think that would really complete the palette, but then I love shimmery shadow. I hope you enjoyed this post and I would love to know your thoughts on this palette in the comments below. Take care.
What is your favourite eyeshadow palette?