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Confession. I’m a total eyeshadow palette junkie. If you’ve been following my blog for any length of time, you’re probably already well aware of my obsession with sparkly metallics, matte neutrals, and everything in between. Even if most days I keep things fairly simple, I love having the option to go colorful or full-on glam at a moments notice. And like any true beauty enthusiast, even though I’ve already got a pretty bangin’ collection of palettes at home, that doesn’t stop me from wanting to try and discover new ones to recommend to you guys.
Enter, my latest find: the NYX Cosmetics Avant Pop Shadow Palette in Surreal My Heart. Inspired by the bold, colorful feel of Pop Art paintings, the Avant Pop Palettes are designed to help you unleash that inner Makeup Artist! Each palette contains a selection of vibrant, unique shades while also providing you a few softer, more subtle options if you’d prefer to tone things down. Ever since these palettes launched last summer I’ve heard nothing but good things, and I’ve been dying to give one of them a try. My general pragmatism has held me back so far (“Lauren…do you REALLY need more eyeshadow?”) but a 5X points offer for NYX from Ulta gave me that final push to say “No…BUT I’M GONNA DO IT ANYWAY!”
There are currently three different Avant Pop palettes available: Art Throb, Nouveau Chic, and Surreal My Heart. While Nouveau Chic is probably the most easily wearable of the three palettes, it’s also the most similar to things I already have at home. Art Throb is definitely the most bold, and while the colors are interesting, I knew that they probably aren’t ones I’d ever feel inclined to reach for. But in true Goldilocks fashion, Surreal My Heart was juuuuust right. It’s got the perfect combination of shades to highlight, blend, transition and line, while also giving you a couple of fun pops of color to play with. The look and feel of this palette just screams summertime to me, and I couldn’t wait to put it to use.
So, before we get into my thoughts, let’s go over some of the nitty gritty. Each Avant Pop retails for $17 and contains 10 shadows. While the shapes are different, each of these pans contains the same amount of product as the Urban Decay Naked Palettes (1.5 g or 0.05 oz) in case you’d like a frame of reference. The packaging is nothing to write home about – sturdy black plastic with a clear cover that allows you to see the shadows inside. It does not contain a mirror or a brush.
Your first thought may be that $17 is a lot to shell out for a drugstore product. However, I actually think NYX has set this palette at a pretty reasonable price point, especially considering the quality of the shadow (yes, we’ll get there). Ultimately you’re paying $1.70 per color, which is way more cost effective than buying individually packaged shades. Also, the palette has a total weight of 0.5 oz. For comparison, the Maybelline Grafitti Nudes Palette has a total weight of 0.35 oz and retails for $10, and the new Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance Palette has a total weight of 0.28 oz and costs $42. Of course, getting more eyeshadow for less money is only really a great deal if the quality isn’t suffering as a result. So let’s take a look at some swatches.
One of the things I immediately noticed about this palette was that all of the shadows are extremely blendable and buildable. Some of them took a little more layering to build up to full opacity, but once you did the end result was not streaky or patchy. Compared to some super high end eyeshadows I do think the mattes in this palette were a little bit chalky (especially the white and the yellow), but they did blend out very easily. The metallic shades offered more intense pigmentation and were very smooth and creamy. While these swatches were done on an entirely naked arm, I would recommend applying these shadows over a primer to really make the colors pop. On their own these have an average lasting power (not terrible, but not out of this world), so the primer will also help with longevity.
For me, what really makes this palette so awesome is the shade range. A lot of palettes either tend to swing bright or neutral, and if they do offer a mix of the two, the often are lacking necessary transitional shades to create a complete look. If I’m home I may not mind having to reach for another palette or singles from my collection, but if I’m traveling I find it to be a giant pain. Fortunately, this palette has the PERFECT selection of neutral shades to create a foundation for any look. The three shades swatched above between the blue and turquoise could easily create a simple everyday look. The matte white and matte peach shades are perfect for setting down primer and acting as a base for other colors to blend on top of. The matte black is an essential for setting down gel liner or for creating a smokey look, and the matte grey offers you an alternative crease color to brown if you’d like to keep your overall look more cool toned.
And then you have three bright pops of summery color to work with. A yellow shadow might seem intimidating, but it can actually be more wearable than you think. Try layering it over a brow shade to add a bit of warmth, or to blend out a darker hue. It would also make for a gorgeous lid color (especially if you’re going for a sunset eye vibe). Then you have a denim blue, and a shimmering turquoise, both of which are stunning. You could easily incorporate either into a more dramatic glam eye look, but if your goal is to keep things a little more work appropriate, you could stick to blending a tiny bit of either shade to your lower lash line.
For this post, however, I decided to throw caution to the wind and go as full out as possible. Here’s the look I created using basically every single shade in this palette (maybe minus the gray).
I’m not going to lie, I LOVE how this look turned out. It’s totally not something I would wear on an everyday basis, but it was so much fun to create.
Long story short, I think this palette is boss. It combines the best elements of a neutral palette, with the best elements of a vibrant palette in one very affordable package. If you’re still feeling uneasy about the $17 price tag, do remember that NYX products frequently go on sale. Keep an eye out at ULTA or your local drugstore, and I’m positive that you’ll be able to snatch this up at a discount. Also, if you’re looking for something that’s a little more appropriate for fall and/or has some less in-your-face shades, I’d recommend checking out the Nouveau Chic version of this palette. The shade selection is absolutely gorgeous, and from the swatches I’ve seen the pigmentation looks on point!