Limited-edition palettes are my least favorite thing, especially when they “re-release” at various times (a la Sweet Peach). To me, it just seems gimmicky and it’s not a practice I want to support. I bought the last Alice palette because I’m a huge Disney fan, but I typically swear off LE items.
Then Serpentina happened. The colors look dark, slightly muted, and yet still rich and noticeable. I had to have it. And if you’re still on the fence (who is to say when it will truly be gone with how they “restock” LE items), allow me to bring you some swatches and a little review.
This is what the palette looks like when you open it up. It’s gorgeous, but it’s bulky. Now, KVD palettes can be a little bulky anyway (especially the True Romance palettes), but this is easily about twice the thickness of my “normal” palettes, such as my Lorac Pros. When you open the lid, you can see that there is a noticeable “lip” around it. Why? Well, because that loose pigment, Prophet, is bulky itself. This “lip” is actually a bit nice- any powder dust you kick up if you swirl your brush too hard will stay in the palette and not all over your vanity. It is your standard cardboard-type material (such as what you can find Lorac Pro palettes in).
I’m also showing you in this picture the brush I’m going to use for the swatches- it’s a Jessup smudge brush- and my cheap/knock-off “Color Cleaner” (which is the same thing as the Vera Mona “Color Switch”), which I’ll be using to clean my brush before each use.
To get a clear idea of the color and pigmentation, I swatched each color twice. The top in a pair is a finger swatch- just a brief swirl and then 3 passes to form the swatch. The bottom is the brush swatch, done similarly with a brief swirl in the color and then a few passes. They were all done dry, as well, with no primer.
From top to bottom, we have:
- Bloodmilk. I would describe this as a moderately dark, muted slightly-rusty matte red. Some pictures online portray it as burgundy. It is not. I see very noticeable orange tones to it, almost brick-like. This one seemed to have pretty good pigmentation.
- Medusa. To me, this is like a dirty gold-bronze. It isn’t vibrant enough to be GOLD (like Prophet), but it isn’t brown enough to be fully bronze either. Definitely shimmery. Decent pigmentation.
- Ankh. A very dark, near-black shade with gold flecks of shimmer/glitter in it. Very pretty, but my issue, as with all black shadows, is that it’s difficult to get true opacity. Somehow the brush swatch looked better than the finger swatch.
- Queen. If you’re looking for a burgundy, this one is close. Definitely a shimmer shade. However, it swatched more of a rust color on my arm- not quite the wine-tone it appeared in the pot.
- Heiroglyph. This one was the most disappointing. It’s a very shimmery/glittery orange, reminding me of Halloween pumpkins, but the brush swatch was pathetic.
- Nile. If you are looking for a dark, strong blue glittery/shimmery shade, this is the one for you. The shimmer looks stronger in pan than in actuality, but it’s still gorgeous.
- Scarab. Greens are some of my favorite colors, especially darker, cooler-toned greens. This one is more of an emerald tone with strong shimmer to it. The finger swatch was gorgeous, but that brush swatch did not do it favors.
- Venom. This is the second matte shade in this palette (along with Bloodmilk). It’s a slightly lighter purple, looking almost lavender in the pan. It swatches darker, however, and has a decent amount of pigment to it.
- Prophet. This is that loose pigment, the one that looks just amazing. It is a very shimmery gold color, although it has a darker shift than a pure, strong gold would. It was RIDICULOUSLY pigmented (as loose shadows should be)… Just to give you an idea, here’s my finger after swatching:
Overall, I think this palette is very beautiful, but I don’t think it’s a stand-alone palette. Despite Kat Von D’s typical ignorance of darker-complected beauties (have you SEEN her color range of that new concealer??), this looks like it would fit dark skin tones beautifully. However, those of us who are very pale may find the colors too dark for day to day wear by itself. I will definitely use it for the gorgeous colors, but the more neutral shades in this palette are not neutrals for me.