Holiday season is an exciting time for many reasons, but for beauty lovers it marks the season for holiday limited edition releases and gift sets that not only do we purchase for others (maybe), but as gifts for ourselves.
Anastasia Beverly Hills has recently released a limited edition holiday palette – the Prism Palette.
Anastasia has become synonymous with quality products over the past few years. Their Modern Renaissance Palette has become a must for many due to its incredibly pigmented colors and its buttery, blendable formulas; showcasing that Anastasia isn't just in it for the brow game.
Their follow up to Modern Renaissance, the Subculture palette, caused the biggest palette drama of 2017 with less-than-flattering super salty reviews due to issues with fallout of mythic proportions, as well as the difficulty in blending the shades together.
With Subculture the target of insane scrutiny, the spotlight on Prism couldn't have been more blinding. Anastasia worshipers have waited with bated breath to find out if Prism would be yet another palette disaster, or if Anastasia has regained their footing in the eyeshadow world.
I have a bit of a unique perspective with Prism as Prism is my first palette from Anastasia. I've seen and swatched both Modern Renaissance and Subculture in person, but never purchased either due to the simple fact that I already own a lot of very similar shades offered in both palettes. However, Prism was more intriguing to me and coupled with the fact that its limited edition status gave me a bit of FOMO...I felt justified in purchasing it.
So, I am coming at this review as a first time user of Anastasia shadows. I think this fact provides me with a more objective view point since I have no previous reference from which to base my thoughts or impressions. Whether this is helpful for you or not, I feel like this is an important factor to disclose as it does affect my overall perspective of using this palette.
Let's get into it!
What is it?
The Anastasia Prism Palette is a luxe holiday eye shadow palette with 14 new shades in mattes and prismatic metallics, and comes with a duo end shadow brush. Anastasia does not mention that these metallic shades do contain (and highly relies on) glitter for the shift effects of the shades, so I feel it's important to point that out.
The Prism Palette contains 7 matte shades and 7 metallic/glitter shades which I'm going to describe myself after swatching and careful inspection under numerous light sources.
Top row, left to right:
Lucid: Light iridescent white gold with micro pearlescent pink glitter
Eden: Matte light peach with warm rose undertone
Unity: Matte bone cream
Sphinx: Warm toasted metallic bronze with micro pearlescent pink glitter
Osiris: Navy plum shimmer with larger bubblegum pink glitter
Sphere: Matte electric yellow green
Obsidian: Matte inky black
Bottom row, left to right:
Dimension: Metallic silver lilac with micro blue/green glitter and larger bubblegum pink glitter
Parallel: Matte warm cocoa brown
Pyramid: Metallic goldenrod with micro lime-green and peach glitter
Throne: Coal black with highly condensed micro emerald glitter
Saturn: Matte terracotta rusted orange
Eternal: Metallic new penny copper with larger peach glitter
Lure: Matte ashy mauve with plum undertone
The Prism Palette comes in a matte black box with raised gold detailing with the same graphic that is embossed on the black velvet covered palette in gold foil. The design is simplistic, modern and mystical and I really dig the entire cosmic Egyptian theme the palette has going on. I love the name of the shades and they all stick to the overall theme.
The palette is the same design as Anastasia's previous palettes, complete with magnetic closure and inside mirror.
I love these types of palettes because they are so user friendly. Having the ability to fold back the lid behind the palette allows for better accessibility and makes it easier to use when you don't have a cumbersome lid in the way. When you're on the go or need to use a mirror, it's there for you.
The immediate impression of the shades when you first open the palette is kind of a sensory overload. The shades are all interesting choices to have put together in one palette, but oddly enough the colors all work together in this interesting symbiotic way that makes for a very unique palette.
You can't help but to instantaneously be drawn to Sphere (the electric yellow green) because out of the whole palette it's the one shade that just demands your attention. My eye was then drawn to Throne (the metallic emerald green) and then to Dimension and Lucid and back around.
The layout of the shades in the Prism palette is extremely unique. When you look at a palette you can typically pick out the groupings, but for me, Prism took a bit more consideration to see the methodology in the grouping of shades. Yet, it works and it works well. It's an expertly arranged palette.
Brands have a reason for where shades are located in a palette and typically they work in twos and fours. They do this for two reasons: to make it easier for the user to create looks, and to convey their vision of combinations and looks.
Of course, there's no right or wrong way to use a palette, but if you ever get stuck on what shade to use in a look...just look to the groupings. Judging by the groupings alone in Prism, I've counted 33 possible combinations of the 14 shades, and that's just based on twos and fours. If we get into thirds we'll be here all day.
Application and Use
When it comes to pigmentation, Prism slays. All DAAAY.
Every single shade is crazy pigmented. Not only that, they're buttery smooth, silky and easily blended...together and with other shadows. Seriously, you barely have to tap your brush into the pan to pick up pigment, especially with the mattes. This is not a palette where you really need to dig your brush into the pan.
The metallic/glitter shades do need a bit more help for pigmented “wow-factor” payoff. Wetting a flat brush with a few spritzes of setting spray before going into the pan (you want it damp not soaking) or using your finger to dab on the color works the best. Using a dry brush, especially for shades like Lucid and Throne, just doesn't cut it. For this reason you do need to utilize a wet brush technique and if you're a novice there is a learning curve with using a wet brush.
Every look I've created with the Prism palette has looked BEAUTIFUL. I cannot get enough of this palette! Although I have yet to attempt using Sphere in a look, it's constantly staring me down...daring me to use it. I'll get to it at some point, it's just not a color I'd use often.
Lure is the exact twin of a shade from a now defunct brand that I've been trying to replace for years, and is the perf cut crease or transition shade for daily looks.
I'm obsessed with Saturn and Eternal, and Lucid is the most amazing color to use in the inner corner of the eye or as a pop in the center of any look to create dimension to the lid and draw focus to the center.
I didn't think Dimension was going to be a color that I was going to click with since cool shades aren't typically gorge on me, but the specific tone of the lilac and the pink sparkle within it really warms it up so it's not too cool or ashy and results in a beautiful look.
Imma be totally honest...Parallel, Eden, Unity, Sphinx and Obsidian are not exactly ground breaking shades. We've seen them all before a zillion times, BUT the formulas are amaze and they work with this palette as a whole. So, even if you have similar shades and if you're on the fence with this palette because of this, I truly think you'll still be happy with having these colors with this pigmentation and this formula.
Okay, lets talk about fallout. There IS a slight amount of fallout with this palette...BUT it's minimal and not remotely in the same solar system as the fallout of the initial batches of Subculture. Fallout is a given when it comes to metallic/glitter shades, and the softer a matte is...the more fallout you're going to have.
Despite the fact that there is fallout in Prism, it's workable and so slight that it won't affect the overall use of the palette or control when applying. So, you all can take a breath in relief if fallout with Prism has been a concern or has made you hesitant to purchase this palette.
The included dual-sided brush is a nice addition but I'm going to be honest...I don't like it. This may make me sound like a brush snob, but the bristles on the included brush are a little stiff for my taste and it's not the most comfortable brush on the lids. It's a bit on the rough side, especially the domed blender side. The small dense shader side is the nicer side of the two, but it's not my first choice for applying these shades. So, this brush is going to be a backup “use if necessary” type of brush for me personally.
Worth the Hype?
From the packaging, to the shades, to the formulas and color payoff, Prism is a killer palette. The combination of looks are truly endless and if you're someone who likes playing with color and having the option of creating more neutral looks...this palette is a must-have and completely worth the $42 price tag.
The ONLY thing that is weird to me about this palette is its expiration. Are you ready for this? The Prism palette is marked as having a 6 month shelf life.
6 months! Say WHAAAT?
Okay seriously, a 6 month shelf life for a palette is absolutely laughable and feels like a joke. I've been through most of the ingredients and I don't see anything that stands out to me as being an ingredient that should expire in 6 months. I'm not exactly sure what to think about this and if anyone can point out an ingredient that has a short shelf-life, please comment below.
I don't know about you, but there has never been a time in my life that I've used a palette for only 6 months before tossing it. It's absolutely absurd on every level.
Despite this, and despite the less than stellar brush, Prism is my new obsession. If you're on the fence, don't be. It's totally worth adding Prism to your arsenal. You may even want to buy a backup.
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Brigid Anderson has been a makeup addict for over 15 years and has worked as a freelance makeup artist and stylist for fashion labels and music videos. When she isn't writing about and using beauty products, she enjoys spending time with her husband and their dog Ivan, hoarding vintage clothing and vinyl records, and binge watching 'Game of Thrones'...repeatedly.