This is the story about how I became the accidental co-owner of the Norvina palette. My blog friends and I do a birthday kitty for everyones birthday – we normally pick something beauty related we know the other has been eyeing up, and this time it was my turn to organise for Sophie’s birthday.
It was a pretty quick decision to decide the Norvina palette would be our choice for her, but the first one that arrived was damaged, If this had been me I would have been less bothered – but as it was a gift I enquired and they gave me a full refund and told me to keep the palette. Of course that seems unfair on the other co-buyers, so I’ll be passing this on to Molly or Lora (who ever calls dibs first!) so they can get their mits on it too! I’ve had this for a good month now but had to keep it on the down low as to why I had it so Sophie didn’t quiz me too much, but in that time I’ve managed to have a really good play with it.
This was my first experience with an ABH eyeshadow palette and out of all the ones they’ve released, this was the one I’ve been immediately more drawn to. I’ve been a sucker for colour lately and I’ve been loving purples, and thought this may have been a gorgeous option for my collection.
The palette arrives boxed in a gorgeous mid purple shade, the cardboard compared to smoother sleeves I’ve seen is a little unimpressive and I think it would have been nicer it it was also a little sturdier so it can wear a little better and protect the precious velvet packaging on the inside.
As you can see if you look closely on the image above, because my palette arrived a little damaged, pigment already stained the edge of this palette. But you’d have to be extremely careful to not get this dirty, but itself unboxed it’s not makeup bag friendly unless you’re prepared to let it get grubby quickly. It’s pleasing to touch, but honestly I’d prefer something more practical.
One of the nice things about the palette is that it comes with a brush and it’s decent quality – one end has a fluffy end which is perfect for the matte shades or blending out the edges of metallics placed with a finger. Whilst the other end is a short dense brush which is good for using under the bottom lashes – I wish this was a larger size personally as it would be better over the top lid for packing pigment on, but overall it’s nice enough and a nice addition to the palette.
The one issue? I’m not used to having a nice quality brush included in a palette and I forget that it’s there quite often!
One of the reasons I was tempted by this palette to begin with was in my head it was a neutral and purple palette, but actually – it really isn’t. It’s mostly neutral with a few pops of pink and purple laced through it. I think if I’d properly looked at this for myself I would have ended up ruling it out as it wouldn’t have been the purple palette I was after – but for some people who want a neutral palette with a wearable pop of colour it’s a good option.
The palette is divided up by a top row of metallic shades which for me go in a bit of a strange order. The bottom row of mattes seems to follow a little more of a palest to darkest structure.
I do have a few issues with this palette which I’ll talk through before I get to the swatches. And I’ll start by saying I don’t dislike any of these colours particularly – I just wish there was more variety.
So starting with the Mattes. Whilst some of these colours in the palette look darker than others on they pay off very similarly to one another. This is pretty much a whole bunch of transition shades on me and for those who have darker skin than I, will find that even worse I’m sure. I’m craving a dark chocolate in this palette (that one on the end isn’t dark enough), and there really could have done with being a lilac or dark purple matte to pull it all together.
Row One / The Metallics/Foils
These all swatch absolutely beautifully with a finger, but they all perform differently with a brush. Some end up picking up pigment with a brush better than others – but others less so and apply better with a finger.
These all apply nicely over a eye primer but they wear much better over a glitter primer. With a normal primer I find that they wear and fade heavily through the day, but with a glitter primer they stay looking pigmented and foily all day long.
Dreamer – This looks like a more subtle finish than the others in the pan but it’s a really beautiful soft gold/champagne metallic. It’s not quite as foily as the rest but is beautiful on the inner corner or more subtle over the lid. Works well with a brush.
Summer – Probably my favourite shade out of the palette, it’s a metallic honey tone which when pressed onto the lid with a finger creates an even more foily appearance which catches the light beautifully. Works well with a brush and creates a more shimmery finish, but a finger crushes the pigment a little and turns it into a foil.
Wild Child – This shade is stunning – photos do not do it justice. It’s a gorgeous rose shade that has the most interesting glow when swatched. See it in person to appreciate it. This was the first shade I had to try on the lid after I swatched it, I don’t own anything like it. This applies sheerly with a brush but needs a finger to pack it on properly.
Rose Gold – This is a really pretty rose bronze shade, I enjoy this but have been finding I’ve not been reaching for it as much as I’ve been so infatuated with Summer for a more neutral look. I think this is a gorgeous option for autumn and I need to dedicate myself to using it more often. Works well with a brush.
Celestial – This one I find super hard to work with and I can’t get it to pay off as I’d hoped. With a brush it’s absolutely useless and with a finger it doesn’t seem to pack onto the eye well either. This is a gorgeous bright violet shade which has subtle flecks of blue too which for me should have been the standout from the palette, but it fails to deliver.
Dazzling – This shade is very similar to Rose Gold for me and I’m not sure the two were truly needed. This one is a little darker and more of a pure bronze though. This has a similar finish to Summer and applies virtually identically too. Good with brush, more foily with a finger.
Drama – This is a pretty shade but I just don’t find myself using it all that much. I find that I just don’t reach for those dark metallic shades – if this was a matte in this tone it would be perfect! It’s a gorgeous shade with great pigmentation. It doesn’t apply fantastically with a brush and works a little better with a finger.
Row Two / The Mattes
Unlike the metallic shades these all perform and blend pretty much identically. They have high pigmentation and blend very well with a brush. some I find change colour a little with blend, but we’ll talk on that below.
Base – This is a gorgeous cream shade that has such high pigment. Sometimes I find that Incense (which is what I use more often in the crease!) can sometimes pay off too dark so I blend this around the edges.
Soul – This colour sticks out like a sore thumb in this palette. It isn’t a pure matte it has a very faint satin sheen to it. It has good pigmentation but I find when it’s blended it becomes quite greyish and muted tone to it. I can’t get it to pay off as I’d like
Incense – My most used matte! This is a lovely medium brown – it doesn’t sit too warm or too cool so it blends in well for me without sticking out too much.
Love – This is a gorgeous rosey matte – this is actually a pretty unique shade to my collection, I’ve looked through other palettes and other pink mattes are more of a berry tone than this perfect rose. It’s almost quite a blushy colour.
Volatile – This is quite a cool toned shade – these last three shades are all a bit odd to me and have too much tone to them which don’t pair particularly well with the purples. This is the best of the three but what I find myself doing is dipping between the three for an outer crease colour.
Eccentric – This is an odd colour, it’s a pretty… puke shade. It’s a very orangey brown shade and is another one that I feel against the other colours feels a bit like an odd one out.
Passion – Quite a red toned brown shade and when placed against the purples it looks even more red in tone. Eccentric and Passion together become a bit more of the chocolate colour that I desire.
How I’d Adjust the Norvina Palette
So I think you gather by now that the palette wasn’t exactly what I would have hoped for and here’s how I would have adjusted it to make it the purple, neutral palette of my dreams. I have tried not to reinvent the palette entirely, but swap out a few colours which would have improved it for me…
Dreamer – I’d make this shade a bit lighter and a bit more muted, it’s a bit too golden paired with the purple shades in this palette for inner corner highlights
Drama – I’m not a fan of dark shimmery metallics and rarely use them, I’d swap this out for a metallic lilac instead.
Soul – Change from a periwinkle to a matte lilac matte shade
Dark Mattes – On the mattes I’d have more range, as I’ve said the three end colours are all a bit too close in tone. I’d have loved a proper dark matte in brown, or even black as well as a dark purple. Volatile would be my choice to keep and Eccentric and Passion would be the ones I swapped out.
ABH Norvina Palette Looks
Look 1: Is That Pink or Purple?
Shades Used: Incense, Dreamer, Wild Child, Celestial, Volatile, Passion
Method: Incense placed through crease, Dreamer placed in the inner corner, a mix of Volatile and Passion on the outer corner, Wild Child over lid and Celestial placed on top.
Look 2: Thanos’ Soul
Shades Used: Soul, Base, Volatile, Celestial, Dreamer
Method: First off ignore the winged liner in this look, it went wrong and I had to go with an extreme emo flow. Soul Through the crease, blended out with base around the edges. Volatile in the outer corner, Celestial over the lid and then Dreamer on the inner corner blended over Celestial.
Look 3: Soft and Sweet
Shades Used: Incense and Dreamer
Method: Incense placed all the way through the crease, Dreamer blended all over the lid with a soft fluffy brush. Voila. Done.
Look 4: Golden Hour
Shade Used: Incense,Summer, Volatile, Passion
Method: Incense placed through crease, Summer placed across the lid and quite high into the crease, a mix of Volatile and Passion on the outer corner blended over and used the residue of the brush that used summer to just blend over the matte brow to even up.
Look 5: On Wednesdays…
Shades Used: Incense, Wild Child, Dreamer, Volatile, Passion, Eccentric
Method: Incense placed through crease (again!) Dreamer dotted right on the inner corner, A mix of Volatile, Eccentric and Passion placed on the outer corner through to the middle of the crease, Wild Child packed on with a finger.
This certainly isn’t a bad palette and I enjoy the quality, it just wouldn’t have been ideally filling what I wanted, which was a more purple toned palette. It’s not put me off purchasing an ABH palette in future (in fact I have already, more on that later in the month…), and I’m not displeased to be a co-owner of this. If it’s a palette you’ve been eyeing and think you’ll use the colours, I would recommend the quality is definitely there. If you’re a lover of mostly neutrals and want a few pops of colour to play with it’s not a bad option.
Cruelty Free Status: ABH is Cruelty Free Vegan Status: This particular product is not Vegan
Have you tried Norvina or any of the other ABH eyeshadow palettes?
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