Warm shades are so in right now. I'm pretty much stuck in a rut of warm toned makeup and I love being in this particular rut. The tones work so beautifully with blue/grey eyes, truly making them pop. When I first saw Violet Voss Holy Grail, I knew it has to be mine. The launch was accompanied by so much hype and I saw countless bloggers and vloggers recommending it over and over again. I was able to buy it thanks to my lovely friend Monica who kindly purchased it for me in US (check out my US haul here). It is now more widely available in UK thanks to Beauty Bay and Cocktail Cosmetics stocking it. So was it worth the hype? Was is worth waiting for?
Packaging is a simple black hardened cardboard with silver writing. Brand logo is clearly displayed on the front. It's bigger than your usual palette but also very sleek, so it's actually quite travel friendly as it weights next to nothing. It hosts medium size mirror inside as well as 20 eyeshadow pans. There's no brush included.
The shades vary in texture, formula and finish. From super buttery shimmers and glitters to less creamy, almost chalky mattes. Some shades truly blew my mind and some that are just meh in my opinion. I took some time to review it, as I wanted to try all the shades on the eye and see how they behave. Shimmers are definitely of better quality than mattes, that was clear from the first swatch. However on the eye, even the chalky shades seem to blend easily and don't lose on pigmentation when blended out. They behave similar to some of the Naked palettes, as they blend easily together and may become lost on the eye a little as they blend into one. It's not as bad as Naked palettes, but it's clear you have to be more careful when blending. The one shade the palette is missing is a matte black, but the darkest brown with hints of purple works quite well in the outer corner.
Formula of shadows varies. Shimmers are almost creamy to touch, very buttery. Highlight shades are super pigmented and that transfers well to the lid. Apply them with a flat synthetic brush or the finger and you won't see the loss of pigmentation. I think there are shades here so unique in formula, you'd be hard on finding them elsewhere. Sadly, there's not enough of superb quality shades to make it an excellent palette through and through. Chalkiness of some of the mattes cannot be forgotten. They do blend well though, which makes up for slight issue with the formula. I experienced some fall out with some shades. Nothing to bad, just a little dusty around the edges. The shadows will not last well without a good eyeshadow primer. The wear time is around 2 hours without. On Color Tattoo cream base - 5-7 hours. MAC Painterly will keep the shades looking pretty for up to 9 hours and Urban Decay Primer Potion for 12 hrs plus. I don't expect any eyeshadows to last on my slightly oily, hooded eye lid, so as long as they last on UD base, I'm super happy.
Crystal - gorgeous off white, pale champagne highlight shade, nicely pigmented
Awesome Sauce - orange bronze shimmer, ok pigmentation
Bat My Eyes - beautiful shimmery bronze - great pigmentation
Brownie Points - warm medium dark brown with hints of chocolate matte, good pigmentation
Ploof - beautiful light champagne with pink tones, highlight shade with great pigmentation
Bestie - warm medium brown with orange tones, matte, good pigmentation
Cool Beans - stunning medium brown with pure gold shimmer, almost highlight sheen, superb pigmentation.
Teddy Bear - dark brown with hint of purple, very chalky and dusty, good pigmentation and transfer well to the lid.
Thanks A Latte - true beige matte, good pigmentation
Toffee - stunning copper gold, almost highlight like shimmer, great pigmentation
R U Kitten Me - medium dark camel matte, ok pigmentation, little chalky
Glamping - beautiful dark copper shimmer to satin, good pigmentation
Transition - pale camel matte, ok pigmentation
Chill - orange-brown shimmer with ok pigmentation
So Jelly - rose gold pink shimmery satin, ok pigmentation
Cranberry Splash - stunning dark red shimmer, almost highlight, great pigmentation
Hashtag - orange matte, great pigmentation
How U Doin - medium golden brown, almost highlight, great pigmentation
On Fleek - stunning medium red with hints of pink and bronze shimmer, almost highlight, great pigmentation
Wine N Dine - wine red matte, good pigmentation, chalky
I adore the names of the shades. They're funny and modern. There are certainly a lot of stunners in this palette. Some shimmers look like best quality highlighters and you can get that intense effect on the eye. I haven't seen anything quite like that in a while. Despite some disappointment with chalkiness of mattes, they're still very good pigmented shades that blend easily.
|Swatched in natural light no flesh|
|Swatched in natural light with flesh|
There are a lot of warm toned palettes on the market right now and Holy Grail would find its spot in the top 5 for sure. However is it worth a nightmare of buying from US, getting custom charges etc? Probably not. It's cheaper (£35.00) than Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance (£41.00 - check out my review HERE), but you can't compare the quality of mattes between them. The only matte coming close is Hashtag. Shimmers wise - it is totally worth the splurge and if you are a palette enthusiast, it's definitely worth getting. There are definitely a lot more pros then there are cons to this palette and I don't regret buying it. Would I buy it, if I was able to swatch it first in store? Probably. Is it truly a Holy Grail, as the name suggests? I'll leave the answer to you.
Holy Grail - Beauty Bay £34.50 out of stock
Holy Grail - Violet Voss website $42.00 out of stock
My Violet Voss Holy Grail makeup tutorial - POST HERE
My Violet Voss Holy Grail makeup tutorial - POST HERE