Hi, everyone! As much as my contrarian spirit hates to admit it, sometimes jumping on a beauty bandwagon pays off. Sometimes becoming a product lemming doesn't lead you off a cliff, but rather brings you something lovely. Case in point: the Violet Voss Holy Grail Pro Eye Shadow Palette. When I landed in NYC for IMATS last month, I knew of the brand and had heard rumblings about the Holy Grail on social media. But when my blogger buds and travel companions started raving about the palette as the must-have from the show, I still felt reserved- "oh, just another trendy palette with all those shades of red and caramel that all the kids are going crazy for", thought this old lady. Yet, I trust my friends' taste, so I tried to keep an open mind. Luckily I did, because when I saw the Holy Grail in person, I was sold. It really looked like, well... a holy grail of eye shadow palettes! Let's take a closer peek.
Violet Voss created the Holy Grail Pro Eye Shadow Palette as a limited-edition offering for summer. It features 20 full-sized(!) eye shadows (1.8g each; MAC shadows are 1.3g) in a variety of finishes- from matte, to satin, to full-on metallic. Bold pigmentation and smooth, blendable textures are promised and the shades really are summer-perfect. The range of coppers, bronzes, reds, berries, and softer neutrals really is stunning! The palette retails for $52 USD, though I got it at IMATS (and there has frequently been a discount code online) for $42.
The packaging of the palette is nothing to write home about. It's thin, lightweight cardboard with a finish that attracts every fingerprint and speck of dust. Think NARS, but without the rubber texture. It doesn't secure with any sort of snap, but rather with a weak-ish magnet, so you do have to handle and store with care so that it stays closed.
On the upside, it is super slim, which makes it great for storage and travel, and it does have a decently sized mirror. Also, I believe the simplistic packaging is one of the factors that keeps the cost of the palette down. Don't mind that at all!
Here's a closer shot of the Holy Grail shadows. A couple things to note: 1) this palette leans very warm, so if cool silvers and taupes are your thing, this palette might put you off and 2) the shade names are very... ummm... millennial? But if you can get over names like Hashtag, On Fleek, and Glamping, it is so worth checking out.
As for me, I'm a huge sucker for warm-toned eye shadows, and that is what drew me in. It really offers the full gamut of fiery hues! Given the beauty, uniqueness, and variety of the shades, I could totally look past the shade names. In fact, Awesomesauce and Cool Beans are totally in my own repertoire of cheesy phrases :)
Now for some swatches! All the shades below were swatched dry, with fingers, and without primer on my inner arm (MAC NC15 skin tone).
Here's a look at the shades in the top portion of the palette. As you can see, these first shades are all lighter to mid-tone (the palette gets darker and smokier close to the bottom) and truly offer a variety of finishes. I somehow forgot to swatch Toffee, which is actually one of my faves from the palette. Silly me! It's a beautiful metallic golden bronze shade.
And swatches from the bottom half of the palette! This is where the Holy Grail gets vibrant and smokey. And sooo pigmented!
There isn't a weak shade in the bunch, but which are my favourites? I'd have to go with:
Ploof- a beautiful pink ivory highlight
Bestie- a perfect neutral-warm mid-tone brown for the crease
Awesome Sauce- a rosy gold shimmer
Toffee- a warm golden bronze metallic
Cool Beans- a metallic blushed copper
So Jelly- a unique shimmery golden pink
Teddy Bear- a deep plummy matte brown
Glamping- a satin reddish orange bronze
Cranberry Splash- a metallic reddened berry
Here are a few looks I've created with the Holy Grail so far- I've seriously been using it about 5 times per week. These were all taken with my phone (not the most clear, not the best lighting in some cases), but hopefully you can get a sense of the pigmentation and versatility of the palette!
|A warm golden-bronze look, using Toffee on the lids|
|A reddish look using On Fleek and Glamping|
|Using So Jelly to add some pink glow to the lids|
|Using Cool Beans, Awesome Sauce, and Transition for a softer, shimmery look|
Aside from a few cringeworthy shade names, I cannot find a single fault with this palette! The variety of finishes makes the Holy Grail incredibly versatile, the pigmentation is top-notch, and the wear-time is impeccable! As a bonus, there is zero fallout with these shades and they are all smooth and wonderfully blendable. Plus, the brand is cruelty-free, which makes me so happy!
As I said above, I've been reaching for this palette nearly every day. It serves me well as a neutral palette for work days just as much as it is now my go-to for a bold, fiery look. So pleased to have jumped on this bandwagon! ;)
Have you been tempted by the Holy Grail Palette? Are these your kinds of shades? What do you think about the shade names?
Keep your eyes peeled for a full-breakdown Look of the Day featuring the Holy Grail palette coming up next!
Have a fabulous day :)