REVIEW: Anastasia Beverly Hills Norvina Palette

by - September 27, 2018

I've not made it a secret here on the blog that the Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance palette is probably my favorite of all time. Between the colour selection, which at the time it was released was entirely unique on top of being really versatile, and a shadow formula that blows most other brands out of the water in my opinion, it's continued to be a go to for me. Since then, however, I've resisting picking up any more ABH palettes. It might be because they didn't sing to me the way the Modern Renaissance did or perhaps because of bad reviews (like Subculture, which had an incredible colour story and, by most accounts, an atrocious formula). However, I was drawn to the Anastasia Beverly Hills Norvina palette as soon as I saw it and I just couldn't resist picking it up. 

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Promising Norvina's favorite, must have shades, the Anastasia Beverly Hills Norvina Palette contains 14 shades. Unlike other ABH palettes, which tend to contain many more matte shades than shimmer, the Norvina palette is split down the middle with a row of metallics on top and mattes on the bottom. Though it does contain a variety of shades in those two finishes, which gives it inherent value in my opinion, it is worth noting that the ABH pan size in their palettes is quite small. Still, for me, that's not really a concern since I rarely hit pan on my palettes anyway. 

One of the things that drew me about this palette is that it's unlike other things that are going on right now, much like how Modern Renaissance was when it was released. That's something that I love about ABH - while other brands are jumping on bandwagons, they aren't afraid to go a different way and put out something completely unique to set their own trends. That being said, while this palette definitely does boast a handful of shades that are really unique, there's also a strong neutral, wearable aspect to this palette that makes it really universally easy to reach for. For me, that combination of standing out from other things on the market but still being really wearable is a huge draw. 

I want to talk a little bit more about the curation, but I warn you that a lot of this will be based more on my preference than anything else and I do have to acknowledge that this is a palette that was put together based on Norvina's preference. When it comes to the shimmer shades, I sort of feel two ways about this palette. First of all, I absolutely love that every single one of these shades is one that I would be happy to reach for, but I also feel like about half of them are really common shades that I have in other palettes. While formula can still make this one stand above, it does lead me to feel like maybe this palette could have been a little bit more unique with different curation.

When it comes to the matte shades, I'm absolutely thrilled because I feel like it hit exactly where it needed to and actually does sit in a different zone than a lot of other palettes. It has great transition and crease shades that play really well together to make a variety of different looks and has enough depth and versatility in Passion to add a lot of depth to looks without muddiness. Honestly, I really love the matte curation. 

The first time I swatched the shimmers in this palette, I was really struck by them. They aren't the thick, hard to pick up shimmers that a lot of brands have out there right now. These shimmers are incredibly smooth and soft and aren't pressed all that hard into the pan. Because of that, they are really easy to pick up with a brush or your finger, but can be a little bit crumbly with some fall out. For me, fall out isn't really something that I'm particularly bothered by and, quite frankly, I'd rather have an eyeshadow that picks up and transfers well but has fall out over one that doesn't fall out but takes work to get intensity on.

My favorite thing about these shimmers is how absolutely impactful they are. There's an incredible amount of shine that comes from these shades and, as you'll see in the eye looks below, that shine translates almost as well on the eyes as it does in really concentrated swatches. To get the smoothest look, I do like to apply these with a damp brush, but even applied with a dry brush, I get incredible results on the eyes. 

The thing that always has me coming back to Anastasia palettes is really their matte shades. I feel like ABH stands above basically every other brand when it comes to the ease of blending their mattes, because I really never feel like I have to do any work to get a really seamless look using their matte shadows. This palette is really no exception. Whichever shades I've worked with from this palette have built and blended really seamlessly without me having to really work too hard to get them exactly where I want them. 

Again, like the shimmer shades, these are quite a soft texture that picks up really well with a brush and I do get some kick up in the pan, but I do think that the mattes in this palette are definitely pressed a little bit more firmly than the shimmers. Still, when it comes to the formula and the performance, I really don't have a single issue with this palette as far as my personal taste is concerned. 

I put together three looks using this palette to sort of demonstrate the directions that you can take it in. I think initially I thought that this palette was going to be a little more bold than it ended up being, but I personally really like the softer, more wearable looks that I've gotten from it.

For the first look, I started with Base on the browbone and followed with Incense as my transition. I added a little bit of Eccentric and Passion to add a little bit of depth to the crease before really packing Soul onto the outer V to build up that perriwinkle colour. I finished with Summer all over the lid for that bold pop of gold.

For the second look, I wanted to keep it really simple. I started with Base at the browbone and Volatile in the crease as my transition. I added some depth through the crease and outer V using Passion. On the lid, I applied Rose Gold through the center and Dazzling towards the inner corner and then went back in with Passion to add a little bit more depth into the outer corner. 

Finally, for the third look, I wanted to really get in there with these pink and purple shades. I started with Base on the browbone and Love as my transition shade and then alternated between Love and Volatile to build up my crease. For the lid, I used Celestial in the center and added brightness in the inner corner using Wild Child (which you can't really see in the picture, but did show up well in real life.) I added depth to the crease and outer corner using Passion and just the tiniest bit of Drama

My overall feelings on this palette, for my personal taste, are incredible. I love it. I love the curation and the formula a lot and have really not only enjoyed the looks that have come out of this palette, but the real easy that has come when I've actually been using it. However, there is one thing I want to stress. I've seen a lot of pictures on social media of looks using this palette that just seem basically impossible to me. While there are those pops of colour that are just gorgeous, I don't think that they have the really bold, bright impact that I've seen some people present and I don't think you'll realistically be able to get those types of looks from this palette alone. I just really felt like I had to mention that, because, by no fault of ABH, I don't think this palette has been entirely realistically represented. It's gorgeous, but it's not a particularly bold palette. 

Still, the Anastasia Beverly Hills Norvina Palette gets two very enthusiastic thumbs up from me and I'm still absolutely in love with Anastasia Beverly Hills shadows! I highly recommend picking this up if this is a colour scheme that appeals to you and you have the same preferences in shadow formulas as I do!

Thanks for reading!

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