KAT VON D ALCHEMIST HOLOGRAPHIC PALETTE: REVIEW and SWATCHES ($32)

Where to begin with this one… there’s been a lot of hype around this palette for a number of reasons. Firstly Kat Von D has been hinting about it for well over a year, posting photos of the art work, packaging and swatches. She’s stated that she’s spent over 7 years working on the formula and design. Speaking of the formula… the following was taken directly from SEPHORA’S website:

Revamp your makeup looks with this innovative, Alchemist Palette, featuring four holographic shades. It’s perfect for achieving a spectrum of radiant, special effects by layering Alchemist over eye shadow and lipstick. Formulated with Double Dimension Technology, this first-of-its-kind formula is packed with 360° refractive pearls, dipped in a prismatic coating, to deliver twice the transforming power. Each of the four shades within the palette catches the light from every angle for a spectrum of luminizing special effects—perfect for customizing finishes and exploring your artistic expression. 

The hybrid formula also doubles as a super-shimmery highlighter. Simply sweep product over prepped skin for otherworldly iridescence. Because the formula is packed with high-quality, pearlescent particles, a little goes a long way—even a subtle application imparts bold impact. 

Inspired by the ancient science of Alchemy, the art of transforming natural materials into a precious elixir, this hybrid palette is part top coat and part transformer, so it’s perfect for layering and blending to experiment with different makeup effects.  


Sooooooo… what you’re saying is… it’s duochrome? I mean seriously… 360° refractive pearls, dipped in a prismatic coating?? Which a description like that this formula had better be life changing. Before we get into all that let’s get all the other details out of the way.

This palette will be available for SEPHORA VIB on December 18 and for everyone else on the 24th. It will be available in stores on January 5. The palette is not only cruelty free and vegan, it’s also recyclable and biodegradable.

The palette has holographic packaging and it’s pyramid shaped with KVD’S intricate artwork on the onside. It’s absolutely gorgeous. And that pretty much ends the positive portion of my review (cracks knuckles). The palette retails for $32 and you get four .05oz pans. So basically four standard sized eyeshadows. Usually KVD palettes have very generous amounts of product so I was surprised to learn how small these pans were. But you read the description, these aren’t just eyeshadows. They’re also highlighters, lip toppers, transformers, shoe shiners, car washers, dog walkers… you get the point. So I figured maybe the formula is so amazing that it’s worth the price tag?

As you can see from the swatches, all four colors are sheer iridescent duochromes. They’re beautiful but also strangely familiar. Probably because I’ve swatched 147 similar colors this year. The ABH MOONCHILD palette is extremely similar. MUG just put out some similarly colored highlighters. I just swatched some DEVINAH highlighters that look like this. LOOXI has had highlighters like this for years. INGLOT has similar pigments. Those Pat McGrath highlighters… I could seriously go on for at least 2 more paragraphs. When she first started working on this formula 7 years ago, it would’ve been new and innovative but now it’s been done a million times over.

The colors really are beautiful and the formula is nice but I really don’t find it to be all that different from all the others. 

EMERALD is a sheer lime green. It’s similar to LUCKY CLOVER from the MOONCHILD GLOW KIT, LOOXI LIMELIGHT and VODOO, INGLOT 45 PIGMENT etc 

SAPHYRE is an iridescent teal blue. It’s similar to MUG MOON PHASE and DEVINAH IRIDESSA.

AMETHYST is a bluish lavender similar to INGLOT 59 PIGMENT and MAKEUP ADDICTION COSMETICS PUREST.

OPAL is an opalescent pink similar MAC PINK OPAL and ABH PINK HEART.
Again the formula is nice. It’s soft but not too soft and it’s not chalky like some of these white shifting pigments. But I don’t find it to be remarkable or unique. I’d recommend to this palette for a collector or a packaging junkie or if you don’t already own these colors. But if you’ve got the MOONCHILD palette or any of the other products that I mentioned then I think you can safely pass on ALCHEMIST. I really wanted to love this palette but I own at least 4 dupes for every color. I’ll be posting a comparison to the MOONCHILD palette later tonight or tomorrow. 

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