Despite how thrilled I was to finally have this in my possession, I'm starting to wonder whether I should order from StrawberryNet again. This is the second consecutive purchase where one of the pans had detached completely (the first being the Stila Bronzing Powder). To make things worse, I think someone botched an attempt to affix the loose pan to the palette, because there was a blob of semi-dried glue at the base which did absolutely nothing. If anything, it made it harder to try and squeeze the pan snugly into the empty slot, because the glue created an uneven surface at the bottom. It meant the pan protruded out and would fall out again at the slightest movement.
Packaging issues aside, this palette pretty much represents everything I'm drawn to in makeup (at least for eyeshadow and blush). I wouldn't want lip products to be in there anyway, as mixing powders with creams in one palette often gets messy and unhygienic. There's more mattes than I'd normally like, but the matte shades here (especially the brown and the blue) are so well done, that I don't even mind. If there was a shimmery olive shade and a bronze (probably replacing the peach and the light pink), you'd have all my go-to eyeshadows in one place.
l-r: Buff Pearl, Tawny Apricot, Rich Cocoa, Pale Pink, African Violet, Black Plum
Buff Pearl (Luster) Shimmery, whitish beige with a touch of iridescent pink. Very similar to Urban Decay Bootycall (from the Naked2 palette), though Bootycall is a bit more peach.
Tawny Apricot (Sateen) Muted, light burnt orange, like a dusty peach colour. One of the less pigmented shades. Can't see myself wearing this much.
Rich Cocoa (Matte) Dark chocolate colour. Not much red in it, but not greyish. Kind of like a bark colour. One of the most pigmented mattes I've come across, blends beautifully with other shades as well.
Pale Pink (Matte) As the name suggests, slightly dusty, very light matte pink. This one was a bit powdery and chalky in texture compared to the other two mattes, but still quite pigmented. I don't think Pale Pink shows up on my skin very well, so maybe this could be more of a blending shade.
African Violet (Luster) The stunner of the palette and the main reason I wanted to get it, though I know you can buy this colour separately. Pinkish violet with gold shimmer. The shimmer is pronounced enough that it's almost like a duochrome, but rather than overtaking the colour, it just seems to imbue it with fine gold sparkle. It's a sophisticated and wearable shade that still remains soft despite the shimmer. I love that there's no fallout with it either. My new favourite eyeshadow combination is African Violet over the lid, with Rich Cocoa applied closer to the upper lashline and blended upwards slightly to give definition and a hint of smokiness. The two surprisingly work really well together.
Black Plum (Matte) Dark, blackish eggplant but without any red. Like navy, but purple. Great for lining the eyes as an alternative to black, and something softer than a gel or liquid liner.
l-r: Rose Desire, Fresh Peach
Rose Desire Bright rosy shade with a touch of coral.
Fresh Peach Looks bright in pan but applies quite softly to my cheeks. Doesn't look red at all, but isn't overwhelmingly orange. My favourite of the two blushes.
This is a limited edition palette, so if you're keen on it, it's still available on StrawberryNet for a bit over the retail price of $60 (though if you're a regular StrawberryNet shopper, you'll have extra loyalty discounts). It's a bit steeper than what I'd normally shell out for in a palette (it's actually my most expensive single makeup purchase to date, trumping the Urban Decay Naked palettes), but it's so versatile, soft and classic that I know I'll get plenty of wear from it. I don't have two really good quality, dark mattes like Rich Cocoa and Black Plum either, so I'm pleased with the inclusion of them, and African Violet is an eyeshadow must-have.