Another day, another palette review, another very bougee option. After trying some Natascha Denona, I was itching to try another very hyped up, yet very expensive brand: Pat McGrath. This is like the cool girl of all things luxury makeup. The palettes get hyped up, but her 10 pan palettes retails for €125 and that was a bit much for me to just ‘try the brand’. So when she came out with these 4 pan quads featuring only her ‘special’ shades, I decided to check them out and see if any spoke to me. I picked up Nocturnal Nirvana and this is how I fared.
Review: Pat McGrath Labs Blitz Astral Quad Nocturnal Nirvana eyeshadow palette
While cheaper than a full size Pat McGrath palette, these quads are still pricy. For four shades of 1.5 grams each you have to pay €65. That is a lot of money for four shadows. Luckily though this quad only features 4 of Pat McGrath’s special shades: the whole reason why these shadows are so expensive. Her palettes always feature 4 of these special shades that go beyond a mere shimmer. These are supposed to be highly foiled and unique shades that are not produced by anyone else. I was curious to see if that was true.
What does the Nocturnal Nirvana quad have to offer?
Pat McGrath Nocturnal Nirvana is a limited, yet not so limited release for Holiday 2019. I say not so limited as you can still buy this from the official Pat McGrath website even though this may have sold out at other retailers. Inside are 4 shades and the packaging is similar to the PMG larger palettes: there is an outer cardboard box that has a string to close it. Inside the box is a black, heavy weighing plastic compact with a good sized mirror that features the four shades. While the packaging design is sleek and simple, the sheer luxury of it all is astounding. I think a lot of that price tag goes into the packaging.
What colors does the palette feature?
Since this is just a quad I don’t feel it really has a color story, but there are shades in here that play well together. I was actually surprised with how well they go together once everything is on the eye. This palette features 4 shades that are super foiled and features three different textures. The gold is an incandescent. The purple and the blue are a ‘Blitz’ shade, which seems to mean a super metallic shade. The green is a ‘VR’ shade. The VR shade is by far the most interesting shade as it is a duochrome.
What do these shades swatch like?
I was a little bit disappointed when I first swatched these. They didn’t really look like anything too different compared to other shimmers at first. However, it is when you start playing with these when you realize how different these textures are from other shimmers you may have tried before. These behave more like creams than they do powders and yet they are a powder formula. The gold is a very soft shade and more satin leaning (I think calling this an incandescent shade is very aptly named). The blue and purple have a little bit more noticeable sparkle to them and the green was just out of this world once applied to the lid. I found these applied best with fingers but then do blend out quite well. Wear time on me was terrible the first try, but when layered over a glitter glue these stayed put really well.
How do these shades apply?
I am not going to lie: I was a bit bummed that I had to work so hard to get these the stay on for how expensive they are. Yes they are very stunning shades (case in point this eye look!) and I feel you cannot appreciate the beauty of these shades until you see them on the eye. The purple looked more indigo on the eye, the blue was bright, but not too in your face and the green shade has a deeper undertone to it, making it pair well with both the purple, blue and gold. I would describe this as a stunning jewel toned palette, with a ‘peacock’ vibe as the final result.
My final thoughts
The Pat McGrath Blitz Astral Quad in Nocturnal Nirvana has its pros and its cons. Yes these shades are as unique as everyone says, but they do come with a price. Application can be tricky and I feel that fingers still work best if you want to get the kind of pay off to match the shade in the pan. Lasting power wasn’t great at first: I hadn’t experience any kind of creasing like this in years, but found that a glitter glue helped with longevity. However, for a €65 palette that is a lot of hard work.
Would I recommend the Pat McGrath Labs Blitz Astral Quad in Nocturnal Nirvana?
If you are looking to amp up your makeup collection to the next level, then I can see why you might be interested in this. That’s why I got it. These shades are out of this world pretty, the packaging luxurious and the overall experience using this is unbeatable. However, should I have to work that hard for this kind of result at this price point? Not necessarily. I don’t think this is therefore the must have that everyone makes it out to be. And yet, this intrigued me enough to try more Pat McGrath shadows.