In today’s blog post I thought we could have a closer look at the Huda Beauty Mercury Retrograde eyeshadow palette. Before we get to the actual review, I thought I could tell you a little bit about why I bought this palette. Because I wasn’t going to! This palette was NOT on my wishlist when it first released for Holiday 2019. Then spring rolled around and suddenly I wanted this palette. Why? Because the color story screams spring to me. Now that I have tried all the shades, I can safely say that I was right about that, but I found out some more perks of owning this palette.
Review: Huda Beauty Mercury Retrograde eyeshadow palette
I buy my Huda Beauty products from Cult Beauty as they seem to have the best deals and the best availability of products. However, fairly recently Huda Beauty went on sale at ICI Paris XL in the Netherlands so the brand is becoming easier to find. However, please be aware that different places sell the brand at different prices and in euros you can expect a bit of a markup from what this palette retails for in dollars. I paid €66.95 for this palette which makes it about as expensive as a smaller Natascha Denona palette and more expensive than an Urban Decay Naked palette.
What does this palette have to offer?
Mercury Retrograde was a bit of a strange launch for a holiday palette I found. Yes it has pretty shades but they are very soft, leaning quite pastel and therefore not something I would reach for in the winter time. In total you get 18 shades that come in a range of textures. Huda loves a bit of texture in her larger palettes and it’s the main reason why I don’t own that many of her larger palettes. The mini palettes I love, but the larger ones with weird creams, eye glosses and pressed glitters just don’t appeal to me. Luckily, this palette features none of the weird textures: these are all just powder shadows that range from mattes to shimmers, to intense metallics.
What is the color story like?
Let’s zoom in on the colors and textures available. In total you get 9 mattes and 9 shimmers that have different textures. We get some duochromes, satin shimmers, more intense shimmers and some intense foiled shades. One shade looks a bit glittery in the pan (Nebula) but this doesn’t not have actual glitter in it. It is simply a chunkier shimmer.
Other than that, you get 3 groups of 6 shadows, the way I interpret this palette. You get a soft rosy look from the 6 shades on the left. The middle 6 shades give you a warm peachy base with a pop of lavender. Finally the 6 shades on the right create a neutral look with a pop of mint green. There is a good range of depth for what I need, but overall I found that these shades are best for a fair to light skin tone as all the mid tone shades are quite light.
How does this palette swatch?
As one can hope from a more high en eyeshadow palette, this palette swatches beautifully. I did the swatches starting from the top left and then continuing from left to right going down as I went along. If I had realized before using the palette that it essentially breaks up in three, I would have swatched the palette like that. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize that that was how the palette works best until I started creating looks with it. These shadow blend well, the shimmers are stunning (but may need a bit of foiling or finger action) and overall I thought the looks I created were very pretty and they wore all day.
3 looks, 1 palette
If you have read other eyeshadow palette reviews on this blog before, then you will know that I do not like leaving a single shade unused in my reviews. Therefore, the next three looks were created using all 18 shades while sticking to the 3 ‘sextets’ that I defined above. So one look with the 6 shades on the left, one look with the 6 shades in the middle and one look with the 6 shades on the right.
The palette breaks into a very pretty warm rosy look that is very soft and wearable. The shimmer used all over the lid is stunning. Galaxy was an unexpected love in this palette as it looked far more golden in the pan and not as peach as it pulls on me. Cosmic, while pretty, is the other shimmer in the look, but not one of my favorites. It was a bit thin and perhaps best used as a topper rather than an inner corner highlight. The mattes I had no issues with: they were easy to build up, didn’t blend away and were easy to apply. Overall I thought this look was very pretty and wearable.
The peaches and purples work quite well together but I have to say that like Cosmic, Nebula is a bit flaky and therefore best applied with a finger for full intensity. Nebula has little base pigment to it and therefore looks quite sparkly but without it being a glitter. Again, probably best used as a topper shade rather than an inner corner highlight, but I still thought it looked pretty. The peach duo chrome shimmer (Supernova) is not showing up as well in these pictures as it has a peach to pink flip that looked much better in real life than it does in a picture. Here it looks mainly peach but because it has that pinkiness to it, it paired really well with the lavender/ purple shades. Again, the mattes were stellar and easy to use, just like the first look.
For the final look I used the neutrals and the greens. Gold Glitch looks stunning topped over Frazzled in the center of the lid and I kind of wish I had used Cosmic and Nebula in similar ways in the other two looks. I used the greenish blues on the lower lash line and I found they stood out and didn’t disappear. Especially minty greens I have found can look ‘dirty’ on me quite quickly and this does not have that quality. All in all, a pretty warm toned look with a pop of something fun.
My final thoughts
The Huda Beauty Mercury Retrograde eyeshadow palette instantly made it into my favorite palettes of all time. This palette is stunning and against my fair skin all the shades stand out well and they complement my complexion. Apart from the three looks I am showing you here, I am super inspired to use this palette more come the spring time and for instance to a look only using the greens, blues and purples (because you could make this super colorful too!), but I can also see myself doing a full on peach look with this and I also think that sticking to the 6 shades that are given in a single row (from left to right) would also make for some stunning combinations. In short, I think this palette is not only great quality, it is also versatile and who doesn’t love a good versatile palette?
Would I recommend the Huda Beauty Mercury Retrograde eyeshadow palette?
Yes! For a fair skinned guy or gal this palette would be amazing. If you missed out on something like the Too Faced White Chocolate Bar and you are looking for a palette that can do something similar, I think this palette would be a safe bet. It may not have all the cool tones, but if you are looking for a soft, neutral palette with a pop of lavender and mint green, then this palette can do that too. If you have a deeper complexion this palette may be more difficult to make it work as it pulls quite light and you only have one or two matte shades to build up a look. Whether that makes this palette worth it for you, I cannot judge, but the quality of the palette is most certainly there.