Brutally Honest Review: ABH Norvina Eyeshadow Palette

Brutally Honest Review: ABH Norvina Eyeshadow Palette

When the Anastasia Beverly Hills Norvina Eyeshadow Palette was initially announced on social media, it quickly became one of the highest anticipated products of the summer for 2018. The colors are a beautiful selection of purples and pinks, with enough browns and golds to give it more diversity and create dark neutral looks if desired. Plus, let’s be honest… ABH palettes are always highly anticipated and popular, as they’re typically known to be one of the best formulas on the market and are a very innovative company in general.

I purchased the palette the day it went on sale on the ABH website. I was very impressed with the company’s speed in order processing and shipping, especially considering the number of orders they receive. It launched on Wednesday, July 18th, and I received it via the free domestic shipping option on Friday, July 20th. It literally shipped from one side of the country to the other in that short period of time. Very impressive!

General Information – Who is Norvina?

The Norvina palette was created by and named after the daughter of Anastasia Soare (founder of Anastasia Beverly Hills), Norvina. Norvina was born in Romania in 1987, and her name is “official” name is Claudia.  She goes by the name, which is her grandfather’s name and the name that her mother wanted to legally give her. However, Romanian officials required that Anastasia give her daughter a Romanian name for official purposes, so she randomly selected the name Claudia after hearing someone else select that name right before her.

Norvina is currently 30 years old and works closely with her mother to run the ABH empire. She serves as President of the Anastasia Beverly Hills salon. Norvina is known on social media for her soft purple hair, so it’s safe to assume that purple is likely one of her favorite colors. It stands to reason that the Norvina palette would reflect that color scheme as well. She’s also well known for her social media presence, her frequent tutorials, and the beautiful looks she creates using her brand’s products.

The Norvina Palette Overview

Norvina Palette Outside

Packaging is a soft, purple velvet-like palette.

The Norvina Eyeshadow Palette retails for $42 and contains 14 shades. The palette is in the same soft, velvet-like packaging as previous ABH palettes such as Modern Renaissance, Subculture, Soft Glam, and Prism. While some people love the velvet-like packaging, others find it very difficult to
keep clean since it easily attracts makeup pigments and doesn’t wipe completely clean very easily.  Every ABH eyeshadow palette comes complete with a double-ended brush. Many people toss these to the side, but I personally think they’re a pretty good quality brush to try. My only issue with the brush is that since it’s double-ended, storing it can be difficult since most people store their brushes upright in some sort of canister, so one side of the brush will end up with bent or damaged bristles (unless you keep it inside the palette as it comes). As with every other ABH palette, this one also has a full sized mirror, which is great for traveling.  The palette itself (eyeshadows and packaging) is made in the USA, but the double-ended brush is made in the People’s Republic of China.

The palette contains an eyeshadow weight of:

  • 9.94 grams total for the entire palette
  • 0.71 grams for each shade
  • 0.28 oz total for the entire palette
  • 0.02 oz each 0.17 grams for each shade

While the price per shade is only $3, that is not an accurate way to compute the value of an eyeshadow product (or any other makeup item), compared to other eyeshadows. The best way to understand the value of what you’re receiving is to determine the price per ounce or gram. That will give you an objective cost for the palette and each shade in it. In general, ABH eyeshadows are typically at the higher end of the cost spectrum for eyeshadows when evaluating the cost per gram/ounce received.

Please refer to my chart showing the price comparison of various eyeshadow palettes and individual pans on my previously released article Understanding Makeup Prices.  The Norvina palette has been added to this chart for a full comparison against other brands and palettes.

Release Information

 

Norvina Palette Shade Information

Norvina Shimmer Swatches

Finger swatches of the top row – Shimmer Shades.

The Norvina palette contains a selection of shades that Norvina herself selected as her “go to” shades, which ranges from bold and bright mattes to soft pastel shimmers. Traditionally, and this palette is no different, the eyeshadows are very highly pigmented, so a little goes a very long way. It contains a variety of eyeshadow finishes such as mattes, duo chromes, and metallics (shimmers). The palette is supposed to consist of an equal amount of shimmers/duo chromes and mattes, i.e., 7 mattes and 7 shimmers/duo chromes. I’ll address this later in the review.

 

Norvina Matte Swatches

Swatches of the bottom row – Matte shades. Swatches were made using a Sonia G Builder 2 brush.

Following are the shades and their descriptions: 

  • Dreamer – Metallic pink champagne
  • Base – Matte eggshell
  • Summer – Foiled metallic golden topaz
  • Soul – Matte Wisteria
  • Wild Child – Duo-chrome frosty pink with magenta shift
  • Incense – Matte dusty terracotta
  • Rose Gold – Metallic rosewood
  • Love – Matte mid-tone cool pink
  • Celestial – Duo-chrome plum with a violet shift
  • Volatile – Matte warm charcoal
  • Dazzling – Cool-tone duo chrome bronze with a violet shift
  • Eccentric – Matte dark burnt orange
  • Drama – Duo chrome aubergine with a cool bronze shift
  • Passion – Matte deep garnet

 

Initial Thoughts, Application, and Wear Test

I decided to test out the palette on a day where I was trying various new makeup products and going to a family funeral (not to be a downer), so I really needed my eyeshadow look to be nice and last all day in the hot, summer, humid heat where I live. I primed my eyes first with the Bare Escentuals 5-in-1 BB Cream Eyeshadow/Primer. I then applied the following shades from the palette: Base, Incense, Volatile, Eccentric, Passion, Soul, Dazzling, Dreamer, and Rose Gold. You may be wondering why I used so many shades for one look. That’s because I really struggled to create a cohesive look that didn’t make my eyes look like a gigantic bruise.Norvina Palette

Since brushes are important, I used a combination of Sonia G brushes and my favorite brushes from the Wayne Goss eye collection. I started by applying the shade Base all over my eyelid. Even though I use a primer that already neutralizes my eye discoloration, I always begin every eye look by taking a light matte shade and applying it all over the eye, top to bottom.  Then I applied my crease color (a combination of Volatile and Incense), which went on very nicely and blended out perfectly. I applied it precisely where I wanted it with my new Sonia G brush and blended it out to perfection. I have VERY hooded eyes, so I have to fake my crease slightly above where it naturally is, or else everything just disappears when my eyes are open.

The problem came after I applied the darker shades into the outer v area of my eye. I tried to apply a little bit of Passion and Volatile to that area. Then I applied Soul over most of my mobile eyelid and blended everything out. It truly looked like I had been hit in the eye. Although I’m not a professional makeup artist, I’d like to believe that I know what I’m doing at the age of 43. The shades just looked horrible, and that’s putting it nicely. The more I blended, the muddier everything got until it appeared as one big blob of a dark purple/brown bruise. I tried to correct it by putting a little bit of Dazzling towards the mid-to-outer area. That just looked chunky, even when I tried reapplying with a brush dampened with Fix +. I added a little bit of Rose Gold on the center of the mobile lid, and again, it was very chunky and didn’t brighten anything up as I thought it would. Finally, I added Dreamer to the same area with a damp brush, and that fixed it enough where I felt comfortable walking out the door. In all honesty, at this point, I didn’t have a choice but to give up and leave, as I was running late by this point. I had spent over 40 minutes trying to do a pretty simple eye look. I topped off the brow-bone area with Base, to brighten that area back up again.

As always with all ABH palettes, less is more. These are extremely pigmented and pressed very softly. You cannot take your brush and twirl it into the pan, or else all of the pigment will turn to dust and fall out everywhere outside of the pan. When I dipped into the pans, I literally took my brush and barely touched the top of the pan while holding my brush horizontally. Don’t swipe or swirl… just touch your brush onto the top of the pan, and it will pick up plenty of pigment (especially if you have good brushes with natural hairs). I didn’t test it with a synthetic bristled brush, but I’m sure it would be similar. Yes, there will be fallout. We all expect that already with ABH shadows and palettes. This palette is really no different from the Modern Renaissance palette in that respect. I recommend doing your eyes first when using any ABH eyeshadow palette (whether it’s this one or any of their previous palettes). I did have to clean up under my eyes with a makeup wipe after I finished my eyes. Please don’t attempt to wipe it away with only a brush and then put on foundation because you’ll end up putting foundation/concealer over pigments that a brush can’t fully remove. It will look chunky, messy, and heavy if you do that.

Other Important Information to Know

The shades in this palette do have some nuances and issues, depending on your expectations. I’ll address them one by one.

  1. Some of the “matte” shades aren’t really matte. A few “matte” shades actually have shimmer/glitter pigments in them. I truly don’t understand how or why ABH calls them matte. While they’re not full-blown shimmers or metallic shades, they have enough shimmer in them to be very noticeable and to affect the look you create. Since I do my eyeshadow using a 10x magnetic makeup mirror, it’s even more noticeable. So which shades have the shimmer pigments in them? Base, Soul, and Love have very obvious shimmer/glitter pigments in them, even when viewing them with the naked eye in the pan.
  2. Chunky Shimmers – Some of the shimmers are really nice, but there is an issue with Dazzling and Rose Gold being more chunky than normal. I also experienced some chunkiness with Celestial, although it wasn’t as bad as the others. While you can blend it out and wipe away any chunks, it may cause an issue depending on placement and the circumstances in which you’re applying them. Just be aware of this and handle accordingly. It’s not the most horrible thing ever, so I don’t want to over-exaggerate this point.
  3. Lightly Pigmented or Patchy Shimmers – Shimmers are known to be highly pigmented, but that’s not the case with Wild Child. It’s a very subtle shade, and it is very difficult to show up if applied over another shade, even when applied wet. The shades Drama (a shimmer) and Passion have issues with patchiness. Drama is a deep shimmer purple. While purples can be more difficult to formulate, I didn’t expect this with a shimmer. Passion is a matte deep garnet shade, and it’s very dry and patchy. When applying this one, you should pat it on the eye and be careful about blending.
  4. Where are the purples? Shade Selections – For a purple palette that is a reflection of Norvina’s favorite shades, there are only 3 purple shades in the entire palette. None of them are truly matte shades since Soul has shimmer pigments in it. Honestly, there’s a lot of browns and darker shades in this palette if you really study it, so it’s not the light, airy, bright, summer palette that you would truly expect at an initial glance.

Here’s a quick video showing a closeup of the matte shades.

Summary and Recommendation

When I purchased this palette, there was no doubt in my mind that I would fall in love, based on my first look at the shades and knowing how much I love the ABH formula (we’ll forget about the whole Subculture debacle for now).  I purchased this palette directly from the ABH website as soon as it went live because I knew in my heart that I would love it and not have any desire to return it. I usually purchase products directly from Sephora or Ulta if I have any doubts at all. Note that ABH does offer a 30 day return period for items that aren’t “heavily used,” but I usually don’t return items ordered in the mail due to the inconvenience. Unfortunately, this palette did not meet my expectations. It’s not a horrible or bad palette. It’s just not the best, nor is it unique compared to what I already own.

I can 100% guarantee that I have a dupe for every shade in this palette in my existing eyeshadow collection. If you own many palettes yourself, you probably do also.  In my opinion, this doesn’t provide anything special that I can’t find elsewhere. The darker matte shades are very easy to find in other ABH palettes (or pretty close to them). Even if you don’t have other ABH palettes, there are similar colors from ColourPop, Viseart, Makeup Geek, and the list goes on.  The same goes for most of the shimmers. The only unique shade that most people were really excited about was Soul, and it turned out to be a huge disappointment for me personally. I wanted Soul to be a true matte, but it’s not. It also doesn’t translate to the eye without making my eye look bruised. Granted, I didn’t try applying it all by itself without any crease shades or outer eye shades. And that brings me to another point….

I think this palette would work best:

  1. When you select one or two shades from this palette and mix them with shades from somewhere else to create a true, cohesive look that doesn’t turn into a dark muddy mess.
  2. When shades in the palette are used as a single shade all over the lid…. the one shade apply-and-go technique.

Would I purchase this palette again? No, I would not.

Would I recommend it to you? That depends. If you already have a large eyeshadow collection, you most likely would not need this palette or reach for it often… or at all.  If you’re a makeup collector who enjoys collecting every palette that comes out, sure… go for it! Don’t let my opinion stop you.  If you are new to makeup and looking for a single palette that best represents the ABH brand or one that will give you a variety of looks, no. This palette is too tricky to work with, and it does not give you a lot of options to create a cohesive look unless you want to apply just one or two shades at most over the entire lid. Just remember that it turns muddy very quickly, and the shades aren’t actually flattering when combined on the eye, as they truly do create a very dark, muddy look that makes it look like you’ve been socked in the eye.

As a disclaimer, this is my personal opinion and experience. Everyone has different preferences, so you may love this or you may not. I tend to receive a lot of comments arguing with me about my own opinion because something worked great for someone else. If this works for you, awesome! I want everyone to get their money’s worth and not feel like they’ve wasted money on any product. To be clear, I have no reason to give bad, good, or indifferent reviews, as I am completely non-sponsored, pay for all my products on my own, and I have no reason to be biased whatsoever, unlike a large majority of other influencers who receive free PR and are paid large amounts of money for a single Instagram post, a review, or YouTube video. You’ll always get the 100% honest truth, based on my personal experience on this blog.

 

Where to Purchase and Price

Price:  $42

 

Do you plan to purchase the ABH Norvina palette or have you already been using it? Let me know in the comments, or head over to my Instagram page and let’s chat! I always love to hear your thoughts! 

Follow:

1 Comment

  1. Christina
    July 29, 2018 / 5:49 am

    I was looking forward to reading your thoughts on this palette and was not disappointed! You put so much effort into your reviews and you’re not afraid to say that something doesn’t perform, and I have so much respect for that! Cannot wait to see what you review next ☺️




    2

Leave a Comment and Share Your Thoughts Below!