During my summer holiday in New York City my sister and I spent a ridiculous amount of money at Sephora. Then again, one can quickly reach $100 by buying only a couple of products. The Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance eyeshadow palette is the perfect example... and still a must-have! Find out why!
This officially is my first Anastasia Beverly Hills purchase. I had seen some reviews on the internet that were mostly about the eyebrows, so I was not really interested (I do not do my eyebrows - say what?!). Anywho, when I was casually (yeah, right) browsing through Sephora for the second time that day I came across this palette and I looked at it. I wondered. I pondered. I admired. Yet I did not buy it. For a whopping $42 I figured I really do not need another eyeshadow palette, no matter how pretty it looks. Then during one of the last days of my holiday, at my cousin's house, I used this palette in one of my makeup looks for the wedding and... Fudge. I was convinced. I do have room for another eyeshadow palette in my life. So here we are.
The Modern Renaissance palette is gorgeous to look at. I mean the old-pink color of the palette stands out and the suede(like?) fabric makes you want to touch it. Inside you will find 14 different eyeshadows in neutral to earthy and berry shades. The reason I was not convinced by just looking at it is because I have other eyeshadow palettes that carry similar enough colors, e.g. plenty of neutral shades for my skin tone in Naked 1, pink hues in Naked 3 or earthy tones in my Tarte Cosmetics palette. Now you can certainly argue that these shades are not that similar to those palettes, but they fall in the same color category so they were similar enough for me at the time. What did convince me though was how freaking pigmented these shades are. And because "Venetian Red", "Love Letter", "Red Ochre", "Realgar" and "Antique Bronze" are such must-have shades. After all the low-key brainwashing from Annebeth telling me how wonderful brighter pink and red-toned eyeshadows are... I finally agreed. These shades can work!
I usually tend to not be super excited about very light and pale shades, because my skin tone is too dark for them so I end up using them as highlighting shades restricted to my inner-V and underneath my eyebrow. That is why the beige-white and matte "Tempera" is but a so-so shade for me. "Golden Ochre" is a matte, soft and earthy yellow. Then "Vermeer" is the first shimmery eyeshadow with a pinkish-white metallic finish. I actually would use this shade for both highlighting and as a base on the lid, despite it being so light. It still is a beautiful shade. I am not often very taken aback by brown shades, because I have so many and they can all end up looking the same on me. However, "Raw Sienna" and "Burnt Orange" are both pretty, understated, earthy browns that are appealing. The latter has more orange in it. "Primavera" looks less impressive than it is. It was this color that compelled me to try all the other shades. Its pigmentation is through the roof, and it is such a gorgeous golden shade. Very shimmery but with a matte finish! Out of these six I have used "Primavera" the most so far!
On to the more colorful shades "Buen Fresco" is a soft lavender with a matte finish that is pretty unique to me. I do not have anything like it in my collection so far. "Antique Bronze" comes closer to other eyeshadows I own, but I still love it a lot. I see myself wearing this all over my lid and going for a soft and romantic look that catches your eye (because of all the shimmer). I think I had only worn brighter (raspberry) pink on my eyes once or twice, but "Love Letter" surely helped me wear it way more often. "Cyprus Umber" is something I would classify as a typical dark brown on me, nothing too exciting but a great color nonetheless. I do not own red eyeshadows, so "Red Ochre" is my first one, and what an interesting color it is. It looks kind of intimidating as a swatch, because who wants to look like they have a bruised eye! Anywho, when applied properly, this earthy red-brown shade looks very beautiful. Another favorite shade from this palette is "Venetian Red", because the reddish-pink shade and its silver shimmers are extremely gorgeous. I have probably worn this shade the most so far.. who would have thought that?! Then there is "Warm Taupe", which is another earthy shade with a bit of grey. The last eyeshadow in the Modern Renaissance palette is "Realgar": a soft but deep earthy orange shade. All the colors have a very matte finish, even the ones that are shimmery! As you can see in the pictures, the palette also comes with a double-ended brush! Like that, 14 different eyeshadows and a double-ended brush do not seem like a bad buy for $42! What do you think?
Ok, I am quickly sharing a couple of looks that I made with this palette. For the first one I immediately wanted to try the pink, and so I combined "Primavera" with "Venetian Red" and "Antique Bronze" over my lid, and "Vermeer" in my inner-V. I also applied a bit of "Red Ochre" as the base shade in the crease/outer-V to intensify "Venetian Red". I am pretty much in love with this look. And that is Nars "Orgasm" I am wearing on my cheeks (review coming soon!!). So freaking in love.
In my second look I went back to "Venetian Red" and "Primavera, but now I also added more "Vermeer". I skipped the "Red Ochre" and so the look is slightly softer, but still pretty similar. On my lower lash line I used a shade from a different palette.
After playing around with those shades, I wanted something completely different, so I decided to play with the orangey and earthy shades! I applied "Burnt Orange" and "Realgar" in my crease going from lighter in my inner-V to darker towards my outer-V. All over my lid I softly applied "Golden Ochre", then "Vermeer" in the inner-V and "Primavera" in the lower lash line.
On one of the hottest day of the summer I opted for a dramatic 90s goth look with "Venetian Red", "Red Ochre" in my crease, and "Cyprus Ember" over my lid. Then I topped that off with some glitters from my brand new Urban Decay Moondust eyeshadow palette. On my lower lash line I am wearing "Venetian Red" again and a bit of "Primavera". Old habits die hard, and so I wore "Vermeer" in my inner-V.
Here is a quick overview of the four looks with a fifth one added in the bunch. Euhm, yes, as you can see, I am really into wearing my 90s choker again. Wore it everyday as a child. Wearing it everyday as an adult thanks to a previous Two Dashes of Glam challenge. Totes. Any who, the 14 shades are beautiful and I find them all to be surprisingly wearable. The fun thing is you can go as soft and sweet or as dark and edgy as you want with this palette, so it definitely is something almost anyone should be able to enjoy. The pigmentation and opaqueness of each shade is amazing even when some shades are softer than others. The shades blend together really well, and they last well throughout the day from early morning to the evening when worn with a good primer underneath. If not, then the color softens slightly towards the evening, but it does not crease and it does not disappear either. What can I say? This palette is a must-have! And for only $42/€50 you get 14 shades and a well-functioning double-ended brush! I am really glad I bought it and will miss it whenever my sister is borrowing it. Watch out Urban Decay. You got competition! What do you think of the Modern Renaissance eyeshadow palette? And have you tried any (non eyebrow-related) Anastasia Beverly Hills products?