Happy Monday. Let’s kick this week off with a review of the Kat Von D Shade + Light Eye Contour Palette. About freaking time, this has only been out since 2015 and I have owned it since then. You can tell from the pic of mine that it is well loved.
With the launch of the Shade + Light Glimmer Palette, I thought it would be a good time to revisit the original.
I got pretty in-depth in this review, down to the meaning of the shade names. So if you want to read all about the name meanings, see swatches, looks and hear my thoughts, just keep reading below!
The Packaging + Layout
Starting with the packaging which is a must with any Kat Von D product because the attention to detail and the artistic expression shouldn’t be ignored.
True to Kat’s aesthetic, the palette design is dark and has the old school tattoo feel with the gothic font. The font is embossed and has a drop shadow on reflective gold.
Note: The packaging is now plastic but when I purchased it was the heavy cardboard case.
Inside you have a large functional mirror, always a perk.
The eyeshadows are laid out by quad, and undertone with 3 large base shades ( 0.08 oz/ 2.26 g) and 6 contour shades (0.04 oz/ 1.13 g).
Here is a look at the new packaging, as well as swatches from KVD.
The Breakdown + Swatches
Now let’s get to the good stuff, the eyeshadows. You have the 3 quads with a neutral, cool and warm undertone, all with a matte finish. The matte isn’t a chalky matte. It’s soft, and almost like when you buy a foundation that is described as a demi-matte. That’s what I would say about these. They are a skin like matte. You will see in my swatches they have a skin like sheen.
This is one of those great staple palettes that you can use with any look and can ramp it up with a pop of color from another palette or not. Some quads are more pigmented and opaque than others. You can stick within the quads and create a look or jump all over the palette and mix and match, despite the varying undertones they can all work harmoniously together.
This palette also offers versatility, You can get brows, eyeshadow, and contour with this guy, I have even used the light warm peach as a blush.
Another cool detail I enjoyed about this palette is the well thought out shade names, all S and L names. Some are Latin, some are biblical or mythological relating to Christianity and demonology. I’m a total nerd for stuff like that and really appreciate the thought behind the shade names.
Starting with the neutral quadrant which are shades that fall right in the middle of being warm and cool, honesty they feel a little warm in my opinion. These are the perfect shades for an everyday eye look because they aren’t overly pigmented or opaque. They are straight up eye contours for a natural soft eye.
My sad swatches, call me Kim K cause I can’t swatch for shit. LOL! This palette really doesn’t swatch well, considering how well it performs on the eye. You can’t trust a finger swatch unless you are doing it yourself because you know by feel if you will like a shade. It’s more textural aside from just seeing the shade on your skin tone.
The neutral base shade is called Laetus which is described as a creamy nude. It has a slight yellow undertone. It’s a great all over base shade, and subtle brow bone highlight. This shade will work on a large number of skin tones. Laetus has a smooth creamy texture and is a soft matte which goes for all the shades. It can be built to be fairly opaque. I use the shade consistently as my base shade in looks.
Samael is a dusty fawn. A medium brown shade with a warmer undertone. Slightly powdery. I tend to use the shade often as a crease shade, and into the transition. I have also used this a brow shade on myself.
Solas is a deepest of the neutral quad. Described as an espresso brown. It’s a deep brown with a warm undertone. Great for deepening the crease and outer V. It can be built up to be fairly deep. I reach for this shade a lot too.
Lucius is the lightest in the neutral quad. Described as a soft beige. I use this one a lot as a soft brow bone highlight. It has a smooth texture. Not the most build-able shade but serves its purpose of being a soft natural highlight shade.
The cool toned quad offers much more pigmentation than the neutral quadrant. This quad can give you a deep sooty smokey eye or a cool toned contoured look.
I feel like this quadrant swatches much better.
Lazarus is that perfect transition shade for fair skin and cool toned looks. I have used this shade as a face contour as well for pale skin. The texture is buttery smooth and the pigmentation is just right and is buildable. Described as a cool taupe and that is exactly what he is.
Saleos is a deep cool brown, described as a smoky brown. It’s very pigmented and great for a dark crease and softly deepening the outer V. Works great as a liner shade too. I have been using this shade in my brows lately.
Shax is a classic black, very pigmented shade with a soft smooth texture. Perfect for liner and vamping up any look. Described as a jet black. In the new swatches on the KVD sight, it appears to be a brown black, I don’t know if the shade was changed or not but in my palette and in all the descriptions online say it is a jet black.
Liberatus is described as a pinkish ivory. I would just call it Ivory really. It’s a soft white. Great brow bone highlight and a matte inner corner highlight. I have used it as a matte highlight on my cheekbones and under the eye.
The warm quad I think is everyone’s favorite. You can get a beautiful soft look from this quad or a smoky grungy look and anything in between. These shades are pigmented and smooth.
The swatch the best to me.
I had the hardness time finding any meaning behind this name beyond being a surname. If anyone can tell me how it might fit into the theme of the palette, please do. I’m just damn curious. I would love to sit down with Kat and have her explain her thought process in shade naming.
Ludwin is described as a peachy bronze. It’s that perfect transition for a warm look and one of my most used shades in the palette.
Another of my favorite shades. I used this shade on my wedding day as well as on my sister for her wedding day along with Ludwin. It’s just that perfect reddish brown shade, described as a rich rust. It’s very pigmented and opaque.
Probably my least favorite shade in the palette. I feel like it muddles looks. I like it on it’s own but not combined with Succubus. It’s pigmented and opaque enough. Described as a chocolate brown. I think this shade would have been better suited in the neutral quad swapped with Solas.
Latinus is another one I don’t use very often on myself but still a good shadow. Described as a golden bisque. It’s a light warm tan. Great texture and pigmentation. Just to deep for me to highlight with and too light for a contour or transition.
Now for a few looks, I have done using the Shade + Light Eye Contour. I have used this palette so damn much though.
In this look, I used the palette for everything, from blush and contour to brows and eyes. I was going for a purely contoured eye look.
This look is, of course, my Dirty Black Summer look where I used shades from all over the palette. You can see how I got this look here: Get the Look | Dirty Black Summer Makeup Tutorial feat. Kat Von D Beauty
Another version of the Dirty Black Summer look.
My Morticia Addams inspired look using the cool toned quadrant.
Lastly is a recreation I did of my wedding day makeup. You can see how I got this look here: Wedding Makeup Tutorial + Tips and Tricks
And I am sure there will be more looks to come with this palette.
The Kat Von D Shade + Light Eye Contour Palette I think is a must for everyone from pros to casual makeup wearers. It’s the perfect staple to have in your arsenal. This palette can work on a myriad of skin tones and no matter your personal aesthetic, I think you can get good use out of it. You can use it in a million ways and pair with any pop of color you have. It’s the that go palette that you can build off over for any look. I will probably repurchase this one when the time comes. 10 out of 10 do recommend. If I had to recommend any high-end eyeshadow palette it would be this one because of how useful it is because it’s excellent quality. Some of the best mattes on the market still.
The Kat Von D Shade + Light Eye Contour Palette retails for $48 and can be purchased at Sephora or KVD.com