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We may still have a ways to go before it’s officially springtime here in New England, but that will in no way stop me from fully enjoying every moment of using this palette. Over Black Friday weekend I took advantage of NABLA’s online sales to FINALLY purchase Soul Blooming; a floral lover’s dream eyeshadow palette with a range of pink, purple, and warm neutral hues. It may not have been the most seasonally appropriate purchase at the time, but again, I really couldn’t care less. These colors are SO beautiful and SO me that I’d be happy to rock them all year round.
A Little Bit About NABLA
NABLA is an independently-owned Italian cosmetics brand that is both Cruelty-Free and almost exclusively vegan (they do occasionally use beeswax). Known for their aesthetically-pleasing, high-quality makeup, NABLA has rightfully earned a positive reputation among European beauty enthusiasts. Here in the states the brand is much less well known, as there are no US retailers that carry their products. NABLA does offer international shipping on their website, however the fees are a bit steep (€ 9,9 for orders up to € 99, and then shipping is free). You can also order the brand from UK retailer Beauty Bay, however the entire range is not available on their site.
The NABLA Soul Blooming Palette contains a floral-inspired collection of 12 eyeshadows in three different finishes. It retails for € 35,90, which is roughly equivalent to $45 US at the time I’m writing this review. The palette’s total net weight is 11.6 grams, which works out to a cost of $3.88 per gram of shadow. This puts the value right in between the Huda Beauty New Nude ($3.30 per gram) and the Anastasia Beverly Hills Soft Glam ($4.05 per gram). Quality-wise I think NABLA’s eyeshadow formula is on-par with both of these brands, so I think the price point is fair for what you’re getting.
Packaging & Design
As a person that most certainly shops with my eyes first, NABLA definitely earns points in my book for their aesthetic. The Soul Blooming’s exterior packaging is adorned with a beautiful floral motif, and the blue-gray interior packaging compliments the overall color story quite well. The palette is made of laminated cardboard with a secure magnetic closure, that, while maybe not the most luxurious thing I’ve seen, is fitting for the price point. The palette’s overall dimensions are a little bulky, but not to the point of being obnoxious, and I appreciate that you get a substantially sized mirror.
Color Story & Finishes
Soul Blooming is an undeniably spring-inspired palette. With a mix of warm neutrals, soft pinks, and cool purple-y blues, I think NABLA definitely achieved their vision of a “floral fantasy”. Overall I think the color palette is well-balanced, both in terms of the ratio of light to deep tones, as well as colors to neutrals. I think you can easily create a wide variety of looks that range from soft and work appropriate, to bold and colorful.
The balance of finishes is also very well done. You get six “ultra matte” shadows, five “fluid metal” shadows, and one “crystal” top coat (Honey Drip).
Quality & Performance
From the moment I first swatched this palette, I was immediately blown away by NABLA’s ultra matte formula. It’s SO buttery smooth, pigmented, and even. On the eyes I find they blend effortlessly, and can be sheered out or built up with minimal frustration. The ABH matte formula in their Soft Glam and Modern Renaissance palettes is probably the most comparable shadow I’ve tried, however I honestly think the NABLA formula is a little bit silkier and more pigmented.
The metallic or “fluid metal” shades, on the other hand, are slightly less impressive. Compared to other brands, the NABLA metallic formula is a bit thinner and less pigmented, and therefore needs to be layered up to achieve full opacity. I’ve found the most success patting these shadows over a glitter primer to maintain their sparkle, or foiling them with a mixing medium or setting spray to give a more truly metallic, impactful finish. If applying these shadows dry, you almost definitely need to use your fingers to help minimize fallout.
The new “crystal” finish shade Honey Drip was unfortunately disappointing, as it looks incredibly gorgeous in the pan. It had a very flaky, chunky texture that I could never figure out how to apply smoothly on the eyes. It’s certainly not an unusable shade, but I’m glad that they did not include other colors in this formula.
Looks I’ve Created
If you happen to be a subscriber of my YouTube channel, or follow me on Instagram, you probably have some level of appreciation for how much I’ve enjoyed playing with this palette over these past few months. Pinks, purples, and warm neutrals are my favorite shades to wear, so I’ve been especially inspired by the colors and textures Soul Blooming has to offer!
Shades Used for This Look
Gea (crease/lower lash line), Chamomile (brow bone), Flowery (crease), Anemone (lid/lower lash line), Garden Gate (lid), Philosophy (inner corner)
Shades Used for This Look
Flowery (crease), Gea (crease), Chamomile (brow bone), Bolero (outer corner/lower lash line), Climbing Rose (lid), Garden Gate (lid), Philosophy (inner corner)
Shades Used for This Look
Bolero (crease/lower lash line), Gea (crease), Chamomile (brow bone), Climbing Rose (lid), Philosophy (lid), Honey Drip (inner corner)
For my first foray into the world of NABLA cosmetics, I’m very pleased with this palette! If you’re a fan of the color story, I think you won’t be disappointed in the overall performance of the shadows. A glitter primer like the Too Faced Glitter Glue or NYX Glitter Primer would be a solid investment if you want to get the most impact out of the metallic shades, but the mattes will honestly knock your socks off as-is.
If you’ve tried this product or others from NABLA I’d love to hear your thoughts. Is there another product from the brand I absolutely need to pick up? Is another one of their palettes worth the splurge? Share your suggestions and feedback with me in the comments down below!