I’ve been using Kat Von D’s Spellbinding Eyeshadow Palette since I received it as a birthday gift from my husband in September. I’d meant to review it right away, and luckily I had the presence of mind to take pictures of it when it was brand new. That said, I’m glad I waited to review it, as I’ve had a lot of time to get to know it before telling you about it.
The first thing you’ll notice about it is that it’s huge.
I thought that this was a pretty interesting mix. On one hand, you have the name and general theme, which seems to be clearly (and probably intentionally) evocative of Urban Decay’s mega-popular Book of Shadows line. On the other, there are positives here that you don’t usually get with UD. For one, there’s no glitter fallout disaster (I love UD, but it’s true), and for two, a red shade. How fun!
So let’s break things down.
Dark Throne is a not-quite-black. It’s matte, and such a dark grey that you could easily use it in place of a black so long as you’re not looking for a true deep black. It has fantastic pigmentation and blends very easily.
Precious is a pale frosty pink with peachy undertones. Good pigmentation.
Sunset Blvd is a true gold shimmer that leans yellow. I had problems with its pigmentation. You can build it up, but it definitely starts out on the sheer side.
8 Bit is a teal blue with a shimmery finish. Another shade that’s a bit sheerer, but can be built up.
Holy Bible is Sunset Blvd’s silver counterpart, a frost that’s not quite metallic but close. It has nice pigmentation.
Oddfellow is a matte black that’s peppered with fine blue glittery sparkles. Absolutely wonderful pigmentation, great blendability. Makes really wonderful looks.
Instaglam is a cool pale frosty pink. Good pigmentation!
Stupid Autocorrect is a pretty medium burgundy that’s just a bit shimmery. Definitely leans warm. I use this one in my crease a lot. Good pigmentation, and looks great paired with Arcadia on the lid.
Smile Now is a surprise duochrome! It looks like kind of a boring tan peach, but it definitely shifts to a pretty pinky frost in the light. It does take some working, though. It’s a little dry and chalky. The duochrome comes out best when foiled.
Cry Later is a medium warm brown shimmer. Average pigmentation.
Queen is another duochrome, very similar to MAC Club. It’s probably the most pervasive kind of duochrome– it’s that reddish brown base with greenish blue shimmer/frost. Another winner as far as pigmentation goes.
Bukowski is a primary blue sheen. Decent pigmentation, but stains.
Babe is a blue-based purple with a bit of shimmer. So-so pigmentation. Blends well, but really needs to be packed on as a lid color.
Piaf is a cool-toned gunmetal/charcoal shimmer. Nice pigmentation.
Geek is a pinky-peach shimmer. Again, good pigmentation, but I don’t know that four similar shades were really all that necessary
Fallen is a metallic bronze gold. Possibly my favorite shade in the palette as far as wearablility and pigment go. A real winner.
Birdcage is a yellow-toned green shimmer. This makes such a pretty lid color, but it does stain.
Gunner is a forest green shimmer with dark green glitter. It’s the dud of the palette. It’s chalky, stiff, patchy, and hard to blend. Also stains. Womp womp.
Galore is a shimmery peach. Good pigmentation, but ho-hum.
Hexagram is a cool-toned taupe with subtle greenish duochrome shimmer. Good pigmentation, easy to blend.
Arcadia is a lavender shimmer. Good pigmentation, soooo pretty!
Wonderland is a warm-toned dark burgundy with burgundy-purple sparkles. I looks purple in the pan, but when swatched, there is definitely a brownish base to it. Blends out very nicely. Stains a bit.
Countess is a light buff matte. It’s basically the exact same color as my skin, which makes it the perfect blending shade for me.
WTF is a lovely warm red with subtle shimmer. It’s not as pigmented as I would like, but it is pigmented enough to be very wearable. Does stain a little.
The pros here:
— Lots of colors, and most have decent-to-great pigment.
— You’ve got your neutrals and your brights. There’s a blending shade, too. So it’s incredibly versatile.
— No glitter fall-out.
— You get some brights that are uncommon, which is nice.
— Wear time is good. I experience some fading, but my makeup never looks muddy after 8 hours.
— You have to wear primer. Otherwise you’ll end up with stained lids, and these shadows generally perform significantly better over primer.
— Gunner well and truly sucks.
— There are four shades that I’d consider to be highlighter shades here, and that’s a bit much.
— These are good formulas, but not quite as good as comparable brands, like Urban Decay.
— No mirror. This would be a great travel palette but for the lack of mirror. Also it doesn’t fit in my travel bag, but that’s easy to forgive. At least it’s not chunky or awkwardly thick.
As for me, I tend to veer warm-toned. Cool-toned makeup tends to make me look sickly, especially grey-based smoky eyes. That said, I used Holy Bible and Piaf to do a quite nice daytime-smoke that I liked a lot. I paired it with desaturated clothes and spikes, ’cause I’m just a matchy-matchy Virgo like that. The picture isn’t the best, because my bathroom lighting is terrible. But this is after a full day’s wear.
What do you think?