Friday 29 September 2017


Huda Beauty Desert Dusk palette in depth review

What can I say, I have fallen into a hype and got Huda Beauty Desert Dusk palette the moment it launched at Cult Beauty. I was a little vary of various reviews flying around which painted the new palette in less than positive light. Yet, I could not be stopped. I haven’t been buying palettes at all lately. I was able to control myself and managed to skip many big launches like Urban Decay Naked Heat. Huda Beauty Desert Dusk mesmerized me from the moment I laid eyes on the first sneak peeks. I ordered mine within seconds of the launch on Cult Beauty. In fact, I pressed buy now so quickly I forgot to add any free samples I was entitled to! That’s a dedication ladies & gents! After a week of daily testing, I’m coming to you with a review of the newest launch by Hudda Kattan! Was it worth the very steep price point? Is it a love or hate from the first sight?


Huge shoutout to Huda here, you can tell this is a product/child of a beauty blogger with beauty fanatics at heart. Cardboard packaging is light and slim, yet sturdy enough to feel the weight of it. Little mirror is added which is definitely more travel-friendly. It’s quite small though, so if you wear subscription glasses, it’s not enough to be able to do your full makeup in. I said it before, I don’t mind the mirror is included or not within my palettes, yes it’s useful but not the priority for me. Design wise, I quite like it. Inside, instead of the regular film to protect the shadows, we have the beautiful photo like clear protection with the palette design. It looks stunning, really. I’m glad, we don’t see an excuse for a brush included. I find it’s a waste of time and even most expensive brands can’t quite get right. I rather use my own brushes, personally. The packaging hosts an astonishing collection of 18 warm toned shades varying in finishes (more on it later) and weighing which is an average size for eyeshadows in the palette. 

Formula and finishes

With so many formulas housed in one palette, there’s slight difference to all the shades. I’m pleased to report that the palette is super consistent and I don’t think there’s even one shade that disappoints in terms of finish, pigmentation or the ease of blending. All blend like a dream without disappearing which is a massive plus. Mattes are lovely. Not super buttery and I’ve seen softer formulas, but they are ultra pigmented true mattes that you only ever need a little, almost just a touch of a brush against the shade to pick up enough product. They blend with ease, don’t move and don’t disappear or blend together too much. Shimmers are lovely. I personally adore Too Faced formulas and these are similar here. Shimmers are more buttery and soft and best applied with a finger if you want that expressive colour. If applied with the brush, they more daytime friendly and can easily be blended out nicely. Again pigmentation is great, even more so than with mattes. Duo-chromes are what I want all shades to be like. There’s definitely something else about them. I love duo-chromes and adore others by Makeup Geek or Topshop and I feel these match in terms of quality. Yet the shadows here are technically cheaper, which is always a plus. The shades are stunning and a couple I haven’t got in my collection and stay put all day long without losing the intensity. Stunning! 

Shop the edit: Cult Beauty | Selfridges | Harrods


There’s rarely a palette which is consistent but Huda manages well in this category. Most shades are gorgeous with excellent pigmentation and ease of blending. However, I have a couple of small issues. The one that comes to mind is the pressed glitter shade. Cosmo is certainly stunning as seen on the swatch, however, it'll take a little skill to apply. It moves easily in the pan too, so being careful is the must. You can either use your finger but you'll probably waste the product this way, so I recommend a flat synthetic brush then helping finger to blend. I've heard from other reviews that it doesn't apply opaque but as you can see on my swatches, I haven't had an issue with that. Mattes are lovely although not as buttery as you may think. The way they transform to the lid is superb though. Pigmented and blendable, they don't disappear or blend just a little too well with other shades (ahem Naked palettes lol). My personal fave is Eden or the way peach shade should be done. Not even Too Faced could truly get it right in their Sweet Peach palette. I am in love with this shade. Amethyst is the another matte worth the mention, absolutely stunning matte purple works beautifully against green/grey eyes. Super pigmented again, intense and no fallout. Moving on to duo-chromes and shimmers, I adore them all. From Celestial, through Nefertiti, Twilight, Retrograde, Cashmere, and Angelic they offer such unique finishes depending on the method of application or base. Worth mentioning is the staying power of all finishes formulas. They do not move if applied over the base and have lasted a good 14 hours on me without loosing on the intensity or metallic shine.

Huda Beauty Desert Dusk Palette swatches

Shade selection

Desert Sun - light to medium matte beige with strong yellow tones
Musk - neutral medium to dark brown with little orange undertones
Eden - warm matte medium peach, can be build up to almost orange
Amber - warm matte medium to dark brown with intense orange tones
Blood Moon - dark shimmery copper
Oud - dark warm brown, almost chocolate but with red tones
Celestial - light champagne to rose gold duo-chrome
Nefertiti - yellow shimmery light gold
Twilight - rose gold base with lilac duo-chrome
Amethyst - matte medium to dark purple
Royal - shimmery medium to dark purple with gold shimmer running through
Retrograde - purply base with light green/ almost topaz like duo-chrome
Cashmere - warm taupe with metallic shimmer 
Angelic - light neutral to cool pink with light golden shimmer
Cosmo - medium to dark copper with red, copper, dark gold pressed glitter
Turkish Delight - cranberry red with copper shimmer
Saffron - muted matte dark red 
Blazing - almost dark matte orange 

What’s missing

It’s not a complete palette. The lack of matte white or light beige is felt for someone who’s pale. The lightest shade actually works as a light transition shade for me, so I miss having a lighter matte in the same palette and having to use multiple palettes. And of course the matte black. I don’t understand the lack of matte black in a palette if you ask me. No makeup look is complete without it. Also with such incredible pigmentation, I’d love to see the pure black here. I know both these shades are in the first palette but I feel like you could easily sacrifice a shade or two in this one and replace them with such important basics! The darkest brown isn’t dark enough to truly make a difference when doing a full makeup look, sadly. 

Pros and cons

Let's have a little list of pro's and con's to help you making the painfully expensive choice now ,shall we?

Great pigmentation across all shades
Formula variations from matte, through shimmer, duo chromes to pressed glitter 
Gorgeous, travel-friendly packaging with mirror

Incomplete - Lacks a beige matte and a matte black
Quite pricey but still affordable per shade overall 

Huda Beauty Desert Dusk Palette brutally honest review

Buy now RPR £56.00: Cult Beauty | Selfridges | Harrods

Overall, I am incredibly happy I have taken the plunge and treated myself to this palette. Whilst there are some cons to it, I feel it's definitely worth it as pigmentation and ease of blending make this palette a super choice. There are so many different finishes and duo-chromes are especially grabbing the attention and for good reason. What do you think my dear readers? 

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  1. I am really delighted that I bought this palette too! The glitter shadow bugs me but I'm probably not going to use it anyway, but I absolutely love the shimmers nd duo-chromes! Great post! xx


  2. This is a great review - thank you! I was a bit on the fence about this palette but it looks absolutely beautiful!

    Beekeyper - Latest: Rouge Dior Double Rouge in Miss Crush

  3. Gorgeous palette and glad to hear the formula is good too! A bit too pricey for my linking though, and having so many other palettes in my collection I just can't justify the buying this one, maybe Christmas present? :) x

    Mummy's Beauty Corner

  4. I'm so on the fence about buying this, because I mean look at it! It is stunning! However, I don't think I'd get much use out of it.

    Courtney | Lashes and Luxe

  5. I really want to buy this but the price is putting me off a little, there is so much I want to try from her range - so maybe I just go for it! x

  6. It's so beautiful, but I don't know if I would invest that amount in it at the moment, its pretty - but I just don't think it is different enough for the price tag!

    Erin || MakeErinOver

  7. I want this palette because it's so damn pretty but a part of me knows I will never use all the shades hence I didn't buy it.

    Shireen⎜Reflection of SanityBurberry Beauty Giveaway

  8. I love the shades in this palette!

  9. I'm so pleased it worked out for you as I'd heard that the formulas wasn't worth the money. From what I can see from the swatches, they look fine to me. Xx

    Toni | sheergloss

  10. Fab review and those swatches are gorgeous.


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