What do you do when you find a cool toned palette by a UK based, vegan indie brand that looks very promising? You try it of course! That is how I felt when I spotted the VE Cosmetics Grimoire eyeshadow palette last winter. This was released last February and it features all the deliciously smokey shades of your dreams. Because not only does this palette have a witch theme to it (par the brand’s aesthetic), it also features lots of greys, blacks and silvers to create lots of stunning cool toned looks.
Review: VE Cosmetics Grimoire eyeshadow palette
Let’s start off with a very positive point: this is quite an affordable palette. As far as eyeshadow palettes go this is definitely very reasonably priced at £24.00. Of course you still have to pay for shipping, which made my total £36.00. That means I paid £12.00 for shipping. That is a bit steep perhaps, but as most indie brands do not have deals with postal services you pay for the kind of shipping you would also pay for as a regular consumer. So from that perspective this is not too much at all.
What does this palette have to offer?
When I spotted this online, I saw some swatches and I immediately fell in love with the color story. There are silvers, blacks, greys and then some grungy greens to round off the palette. This looked so perfect for what I like in a cool toned palette: it seems to have quite a good range of mattes and shimmers and some stunning metallic looking shades. In short, this all looks like a palette after my heart. However, that was no more than surface level for me. When I got this home, I was shocked to find that two of the stunning shimmers were in fact pressed glitters which was not advertised anywhere. So that cancels 2 shades in this palette for me to use on the daily. I also found that in real life there was less dimension to this palette than I had hoped.
What is the color story like?
For my fair skin, this is sadly a little bit too deep. The left side of the palette is a variation on black and deep greys with different textures. The variation is a little to subtle for it to show up on me. It all just looks like a standard black shade on my skin. So that is a bit of a shame. I also found that what I am missing is a good mid tone shade that I can use in the crease. The only true crease shade is the dark green in the bottom. Shades that looks like mattes online, turned out to be satins so in then end there is 2/3 of this palette that isn’t perfect for me. What I do like about this palette? The shimmer black in the top left corner and the block of six shades with the silvers, taupe, cream and whites. The rest of the palette? Nothing to write home about.
What does this palette swatch like?
As you can see this palette has no problem swatching with a finger. However, it was when trying to blend and build these that I had most issues. The greens and darker mattes are difficult to blend out seamlessly and ended up patchy. The glitters aren’t very opaque and quite sparse. They are difficult to apply evenly and cause lots of fall out. They were also very difficult to remove after a full day of wear and they got all over my face. So definitely not my favorite. I do have to say that this palette has one of the best matte blacks I have ever seen, but I am not someone who reaches for matte blacks all that often.
3 Looks, 1 Palette
So I did 3 looks with this palette using all 18 shades. As you will see, apart from a difference in depth and some added sparkle, each one of these shades looks quite identical. The crease shades in every single one of these looks is a bit ‘meh’ as I had difficulty blending these shades up and other shades were too light to really work on me as a transition.
The first look is the softest of all of them. I used the softer silver on the lid, the taupe on the lower lash line and I used the dark grey matte as a bit of liner. This is quite possibly my favorite look I did with this palette. But you can see here how I tried to use that greyish purple in the bottom left handside of the palette as a bit of a crease shade and I just had a hard time to get it to show up well. On my skin the purple undertone is completely lost and it just looks like a matte grey.
This second look I did is a bit more glamorous, yet still good for day to day wear. I used a darker grey shimmer all over the lid and then I tried to do a bit of a glitter liner. I used the shimmering black in the top left corner as a base layer and then layered the black matte glitter on top. I was hoping for a textured liner look, but in the end it just ends up looking like black liner. In the end I feel that lots of the stunning textures that you see in the pan, do not translate well to the eye. I also used the green in this look. What greens you ask? Exactly my point: there is a green in the crease and on the lower lash line. Again, I am super fair so on me deeper shades usually muddy together to all look the same. If you have a deeper skin tone these different shades may show up better on you!
For the last look I was left with one more glitter, the metallic silver and lots of dark shades. So smokey eye it was. This palette is perfect for that. If smokey eyes are your go to look then I think this is a good one to try. However, you can see in the close up pictures how the glitter is everywhere and stuck in my lashes. I had a hard time blend the black into the crease. I felt it stayed too much in one place and I wished there was a mid tone grey or taupe that I could use to transition this into the peachy/ cream shade that I have now been using to blend things out. The contrast between the shadow and my skin is just too great for this too look good.
My final thoughts
I can only review the VE Cosmetics Grimoire eyeshadow palette from my own experience and for me and my makeup tastes this isn’t the perfect cool toned palette I was hoping it would be. It has some interesting and unique shades for sure, but unfortunately there are too many flaws with this palette that make it not work for me. I would want a mid tone crease shade that works on my skin tone to help with blending. I would also keep out the pressed glitters and apart from textures I would play more with depth of shades to create variety. Right now, everything just looks like a grey/ silver/ black smokey eye.
Would I recommend the VE Cosmetics Grimoire eyeshadow palette?
While I see merit in the existence of this palette and I can see this perhaps working much better on people with darker skin tones, I would not recommend this palette. The shades look stunning in a swatch, but I feel I do not get the same level of pigmentation and blendability out of these shades as I am used to with many of my eyeshadow palettes. Some of the shimmers were a bit lackluster and there are only a handful of shades in this palette that I can see myself using again.