If you’ve been on my blog before, you know that my reviews are thorough and when it comes to eyeshadow palettes, they tend to be pretty long as I review each shadow individually. Well, the more time I have spent playing, experimenting with and photographing this palette, the more thoughts I have on it and I have a feeling this is going to be an extra long one.
As with every Kat Von D release, I was excited when I heard about this palette. She and her brand are brilliant at running their social media pages and there are always teasers that get the beauty community talking. There was a huge buzz around the Metal Matte palette and I immediately started watching swatch videos, tutorials and reading everything about this. My verdict was while the palette looked like it was good quality and others were raving about it, it wasn’t for me. I have so many palettes and this just didn’t seem like one I would get a lot of use out of. However, once I got to New York and made it into Sephora, well, I left my common sense at the door and I sort of saw it as my one opportunity to pick this up and so I did.
The box the palette comes in (pictured in the first photo in this post) looks the same as the front of the palette itself. It bears an ambigram – a word that can be read in more than one direction – which says Metal when you hold it up one way and Matte when you turn it upside down. It is in a cool gothic script which is very true to the brand and Kat Von D herself creates the lettering and artwork for the line which I love. The colours are simple – just black and silver – and the overall feel is very on-brand.
The palette is thin and sleek but my God, it’s big! If you haven’t seen this in person, you probably won’t understand but this is MUCH bigger than your average palette. It is made of a sturdy cardboard and has a magnetic closure. Despite it being very long, I still think that it is okay to travel with. It won’t fit into your makeup bag but I would have no trouble tossing this into my suitcase or backpack without a second thought if I so desired.
The palette comes with a little cheat sheet with some ideas for makeup looks to recreate if you are stuck for inspiration. I tend to ignore these types of things but they are handy for beginners or for those who don’t know where to begin with a palette so vast. The illustrations on this are especially cute.
Inside the palette are twenty two shadows – thirteen matte and nine metallic – which is an odd ratio. There is no included brush which I’m actually happy about and the mirror is very wide. I think the mirror is a very usable size and perfect for doing eye makeup in, however because it is narrow, it isn’t great for doing your entire face. Something else I have noticed about this palette is when I hold it up to do my eye makeup in, my wrist and arm starts to ache. Because this palette is so big and weighty, it hurts to hold it up for any length of time! Perhaps I need to start lifting some weights…
Now I’ll break down all of the shadows one by one. Swatch photographs show a single swipe of colour on the left to showcase pigmentation and a built up swatch on the right to show the true colour. I’m going to start with the matte shades.
This is described as a matte white.
This is a pure matte white which is incredibly pigmented – very impressive for a colour of this nature. This is such a clown white that it is too bright to use as a base shadow, even on my pale skin so is best to use as part of an eye look instead.
This is described as a matte black.
This is an intense jet black with good pigmentation. It doesn’t look impressive in the single swipe swatch but it performs and builds well. I haven’t had any issues when using it within a look and think it is a great addition to the palette.
This is described as a matte royal blue.
This is a true medium blue with good pigmentation. I can’t say that I am a fan of blue eyeshadows but I pushed myself out of my comfort zone to create a look with this which you can see near the end of this post.
This is described as a matte cement grey.
This is a very deep matte grey. I honestly think there are many brands out there who would market this as the black in their palette but especially placed alongside Jet, you can see a big difference between a true black and this dark grey.
This is described as a matte forest green.
True to its name, this is a matte moss green. The pigmentation of this is okay but requires a little building. Again , greens are not my favourite colours to use at all so this is one I have to push myself to use.
This is described as a matte deep purple.
This is the poorest performing shadow in the palette. It is lacking in pigmentation and is uneven and patchy on the skin. When using this in a look, I end up layering and layering it and can eventually get it to work. It’s not a complete write off but it takes a little more effort than most.
This is described as a matte terracotta.
I have no idea where they got that description. A terracotta is a red clay colour. This shadow is a very warm light pink-purple. This swatched badly but performs much better than Ribbon. My only issue with it is it can get a little muddy on the skin.
This is described as a matte peach.
It is a very light pastel peach. I turned down the brightness of this photo so you can see the true colour of the swatch but this does actually show up well on the eye. I have been reaching for this quite a bit to use as an unusual transition shade.
This is described as a matte dandelion yellow.
This is a pale pastel yellow. This is quite an unusual shade and not one I can think of a dupe for. I can’t say that this is one I would reach for often. Some people claim pinks and purples are unflattering on the eye but I honestly think pale yellows are!
This is described as a matte chocolate brown.
This is one of the best performing mattes in the palette. It is a gorgeous true medium brown which I find myself reaching for often. I know this is a palette of colours but hey, I’m boring and always gravitate back towards this.
This is described as a matte fawn.
This is a light beige which works great as a transition colour and has a very similar tone to Oak, making them a perfect pair. The pigmentation of Suede is great too.
This is described as a matte cream.
This is an off-white colour that works great as a base shadow all over the lid. It is perfect for me as it is slightly lighter than my skin tone which I love but the pigmentation isn’t very intense, which is good as I think it will work on a variety of skin tones.
This is described as a matte deep plum.
This is a warm dark aubergine and one of my favourites in the palette. It didn’t swatch too well but it does perform great on the eye. I’m a sucker for warm plums and reds so this is right up my street and this is gorgeous.
The metallic shadows in this palette are supposedly the Metal Crush formula – which are shadows Kat Von D sells separately – described as having an innovative formula with maximum pigment and extreme long wear.
This is described as a metallic navy.
It is a pearlescent true royal blue with stunning pigmentation. The formula is super soft, and almost a little crumbly but the pay off is absolutely incredible. I claimed that I’m not a fan of blue eyeshadows but this is a shade I could get behind.
This is described as a metallic teal.
This is a pearlescent green-leaning teal which is another absolute beauty. Again, I don’t reach for greens very often but a single metallic shade like this can look stunning buffed under the eye or paired with an otherwise neutral look.
This is described as a metallic sea foam.
This is like a lighter version of Watt and is a unique, mermaid-esque shade. I have always had a things for turquoise hues so I was immediately attracted to this. It’s gorgeous.
This is described as a metallic pewter.
I originally assumed this was a simple silver but pewter is definitely the description for it. This has a different formula to the others as it is much chunkier and glitter particles stay on the skin and pretty much everywhere after use.
This is described as a metallic rose gold.
As fashionable as rose gold shades are, that is not a term I would use to describe this colour. It is a very light metallic pink. This is the closest thing to a highlight shade in the palette but I’m not a huge fan of this.
This is described as a metallic lilac.
Shimmering purples may have gone out in the nineties but I actually think this shadow is quite unique. It has just enough purple and a slight blue hue which make this really pretty. It is still one I would have trouble fitting into a look though.
This is described as a metallic violet.
This swatches well and is a pretty, pearlescent aubergine however I had issues getting this on to my eyes. I used this in one of the looks later in the post and found it really patchy and uneven, despite me pressing it on. I think it would be one to try with a wet brush in future.
This is described as a metallic bronze. It is the only shade in the palette that is not an exclusive and is available to purchase separately.
This is another of my favourite shades in the palette. The colour is rich, the pigmentation is great and I honestly think this is one most people will gravitate towards.
This is described as a metallic gold.
This is an incredibly yellow toned gold. I find golds hard to wear on my pale skin as they can look very brassy and this is so yellow that it wouldn’t work on me in a million years. I really dislike this shade, despite it having good pay off.
So now I’ll show you some of the shades in action before getting down to the nitty gritty of all my opinions.
First up I did what some will label a boring neutral look. I’ve gotten a lot safer with my makeup choices since starting in makeup seven years ago and honestly, these are the first shades I gravitated towards when I saw this palette of rainbow colours. I think the majority of people go for looks like this even if it seems wasteful with a palette so diverse.
I started with Bone all over as a base, patted Linen on to the lid to brighten and then began to carve out a warm crease with Fringe. Over that I buffed Suede and then added Oak to the outer corner. I finished with a little Jet in the very outer corner for definition and Glitz on the inner corner to highlight.
Next up I pushed myself into using the blues in the palette. I tried to use as many of the colours as possible.
I started with a light base of Linen all over before buffing Velour into the crease. As there is no lighter blue, I spent time adding layers and then blending the dark blue to get a good gradient effect. I packed Nebula on to the outer corner, Watt on the middle of the lid, and Ignite closer to the inner corner, blending them well with Linen on the very inner portion of the lid. I also packed Tinsel on to the inner corner to highlight.
With my final look, I wanted to use as many purples as I could and then realising I didn’t use the green, I popped that underneath. I found that this look got very muddy no matter how much I layered the colour.
I started with Bone all over as a base, then began to buff Fringe into the crease and almost up to the brow. I then went in with Silk in the crease but not blending it up as high. Then I did the same with Ribbon, then Velvet. I concentrated Velvet on the outer corner to warm it up and added a little bit of Jet for some definition. I pressed Volt all over the lid and popped Twinkle into the inner corner. Underneath the eye I used a pencil brush to layer Moss and then dabbed a little Ignite on the inner corner under the eye.
This palette performs well. Some of the mattes feel a little chalky and some colours are better than others – the purples being the worst which isn’t uncommon as purple pigments are hard to manufacture. The pigmentation of the metallics are incredible (bar Volt). I’ve already picked up one of the Kat Von D Metal Crush single shadows and this palette has definitely sold the formula to me. I want to try more in future.
However, overall I just don’t ‘get’ this palette. When it was first teased and I saw my first shot of it, for some reason I thought that the palette was full of colours that came in both a matte and a metallic formula – for example a royal blue matte and the same royal blue as a metallic etc. I’m not really sure where I got that idea from and while there are two royal blues – Velour & Nebula – this isn’t a palette where the same shades come in two formulas. Perhaps I should copyright that…
The colour choices in this palette are really bizarre. Do we need a white and a cream, a black and a dark grey? There are five purple shades yet only one true green. There is a primary true blue but a pastel yellow. Realistically not a lot of these shades work together. Some of the shades only work with one or two others in the palette meaning you’re probably always going to create the same looks with them. I feel like the palette is limiting because it seems so random. I don’t even like the way the colours are placed in the palette. I’d like them light to dark or in rainbow order or something but the order they’re in makes no sense to me.
I always say that to be all-encompassing a palette needs a matte base shade, a black or deep brown to add definition and a matte transition shade. This palette has all of those things but funnily enough, they’re the only shades I really want to use in it!
Perhaps I seem silly. The more artistic of you might argue that you can pair any shades together and make it work but that really only works if you’re going for very creative looks and that’s just not something I – or the majority of people – do on the regular. My main problem with this palette is it feels like it has no concept. Okay, Metal Matte – they put metallic and matte shades in the same palette. That seems to be all the thought that was put into it. This is a mix of pastels, neutrals, brights, metals, darks, mattes and primary colours.
What I hate more than that are the names. It took me a while to understand them as they seemed so incohesive. The metallics are named either after electricity; Flash, Volt, Watt or sparkly things; Tinsel, Glitz, Twinkle. The mattes are named after different fabrics; Velour, Silk, Suede and other textured surfaces; Stone, Oak, Moss. What I really hate is how un-Kat they are. I’ve been buying Kat Von D palettes since she first launched them YEARS ago and the names have always been focused on rock music, horror and tattoos. Even look at some of the names of her Everlasting Liquid Lipstick; Vampira, Exorcism, Backstage Bambi. The names in the Metal Matte palette are just so generic. It could be a Bobbi Brown palette. Another little bugbear is how Linen is the snow white shade and Bone is the cream – surely they should be swapped!
Overall I can’t get excited about this. I don’t enjoy using it. I had to push myself to create these looks when my hands itched to reach for my beloved Modern Renaissance or the Huda Beauty Rose Gold palette I will be reviewing soon. I can’t see myself reaching for this very often in future unless it is just to use one of the Metal Crush shadows as part of a look created using another palette.
This was a limited edition palette that only came out for Christmas last year. I wasn’t aware of that when writing this review but it makes sense now. Brands often drop the bar a little for a holiday release. I should have just stuck to my initial instinct and forgone this one.
As I said it was limited edition so it isn’t available to buy in stores any more but I’ve spotted it on Amazon and a few other websites like that. I bought mine in Sephora in November for $60 which is pricey enough for a palette too.
Do you agree that this palette is a little below par?
Or have you fallen head over heels for it?
Disclaimer: No PR samples were featured. No affiliate links were used.