Having picked up the Anastasia Beverly Hills Norvina palette all the way back in September last year, I finally decided that now would be a great time to review it. Perhaps it’s the release of their latest brightly coloured palette that spurred me on: I’ve been looking at the new Riviera palette pretty excitedly, but I was also reminded of my experience the last time I felt that way about one of their products.
Let’s get the usual conclusion of these reviews out of the way first (which I already touched on in my post ranking Anastasia’s palettes): the Norvina palette has so far been my most disappointing purchase from Anastasia Beverly Hills. Having experimented with it several times after purchasing it, I then left it to gather dust among the rest of my collection for several months.
With it’s pastel purple velvet packaging, the palette was a popular release: everyone seemed to be using it to recreate Ariana Grande’s look from her God is a Woman video. Inside are the usual 14 shades, half of them mattes, and the other shimmers, created in collaboration with Norvina, Anastasia’s daughter. In a world that was still dominated at the time by warm toned palettes, we were finally being given something new.
So where do my problems start with this palette? Well it’s certainly not with the matte shades. If you’ve read my posts before, you will probably already know that Anastasia’s matte formula is one of my favourites; this palette lives up to her previous ones. They are pigmented, and blend into each other so well that it’s like they’re melting in together.
Love, the pastel pink, and Soul, the lilac, are not true mattes: they have some light shimmer added to them, that translates on the eyes as more of a satin finish. They are also the most powdery shades in the Palette, which is not uncommon for Anastasia Beverly Hills, but this isn’t something that bothers me.
The shimmer shades are where my issues begin, as this is where Anastasia’s formula becomes very inconsistent. You may be getting a sense of déjà vu, as this was also my complaint with the Subculture Palette. It’s not as much of an issue with that one though, as they only make up 3 of the shades. Here, it’s half of the palette that has the potential to be a fail.
Some of them, such as Summer and Rose Gold, are incredibly soft and buttery. Dreamer is a little more powdery, but makes a great highlighter for your brow bone, inner corner, and wherever else you wish to us it. Drama, on the other hand, is much dryer and difficult to work with. While it looks like a dark purple in the palette, it applies more like a purple shimmer with a black base, which blends out with difficulty, and takes a lot more building up than the others.
But by far, the most disappointing shade is Celestial. In the palette, it is the most stunning shimmery purple, and the shade I was most excited for; but I just can’t get it to work. I have tried it over the Plouise Base and the NYX Glitter Glue, and I have applied it with my finger and with a brush, and I just can’t get it to perform. No matter how much I build it up, I just can’t get any pigmentation out of it.
Once you have managed to apply the shimmers and get as much pigmentation as you could out of them, the next issue is the staying power. Which is none. Again, I’ve tried this over primer and glitter glue, and I just find that that the shimmers fade very quickly.
So there’s a few dud shadows in the palette, so what? That happens all the time, right? Well, there’s also the argument that it’s not actually a purple palette: take out Celestial, Wild Child, Soul and Love, and you may suddenly find yourself looking at yet another warm toned palette, which is suddenly far less exciting. Considering the overall tone of the palette (as well as the actual colour of the packaging), I would have expected more shades in the purple family, such as a deeper purple for example.
To me, there is a severe lack of variety in this palette. Tell me Norvina, did we really need Summer, Dazzling and Rose Gold all at once? Use them next to each other, and you can barely tell the difference between all three of them. As for Incense and Volatile, which do look different in the palette, I have found them to look completely identical when I put them on. This could just be because of my skintone, but I just end up finding that every look I do with this palette looks the same as the last.
Just to clarify, this isn’t the worst palette in the world: it does contain some good options, better than others I have tried before. In fact I would say this is a good companion palette for Anastasia’s other releases, which may help you achieve a little more variety in your looks. The problem is that all of this comes in at £43, and for that price, I want a product that offers lots of variety and is easy to use. Something more like Modern Renaissance, for example, which has a great selection of shades and limits itself to just two, perfectly formulated shimmers. Purchasing this palette has put me off buying another one of hers (at least while they are full price anyway), and when it comes to the Riviera palette, I may just wait for the Revolution dupe instead.