This page contains affiliate links, which means I can earn a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking them. This post is not sponsored. The product being reviewed was purchased with my own money.
Anyone that frequents my YouTube channel is probably well aware of my love for all things Nabla Cosmetics. This Italian brand is a European favorite, but remains relatively unknown here in the United States. Naturally, when Ulta announced that they would be adding Nabla to their already impressive roster, your girl couldn’t have been happier. Nabla delivers luxury quality at an extremely reasonable price point, and I’m so excited that US consumers will be able to more easily get their hands on their products.
In particular, I’m a huge fan of Nabla eyeshadows. Earlier this year I shared my thoughts on their Soul Blooming Palette, which has a beautiful springtime inspired color story. But today I’m here to chat about their latest permanent release: the rich, jeweled-toned beauty that is the Secret Palette.
The Nabla Secret Palette is a 15-pan, cruelty-free and vegan eyeshadow palette with six different formulations ranging from ultra matte, to the new diamond and velvet finishes. Nabla eyeshadows contain both mica and talc, and are manufactured in Italy. On the Nabla website the palette is listed as retailing for 39,90 Euros, however it will only cost you $39 when purchased from Ulta here in the United States.
Packaging & Value
When it comes to aesthetics, Nabla always brings their A-game. The exterior packaging of the Secret Palette is absolutely stunning. The brilliance of the foil detailing is difficult to capture on camera, but I promise you, it looks gorgeous in person. The elaborate illustration on the front of the palette is also enhanced by having an embossed design.
The palette is constructed out of cardboard with a magnetic closure, but still feels relatively durable. Inside you get a large, clear mirror, and all of the shade names are clearly labeled below their respective pans.
Needless to say for a palette that costs less than $40, I think the packaging is impressive.
As far as value goes, Nabla shadows are not going to give you the best deal in the industry. The net weight of this palette is 13.1 grams, or 0.873 grams per pan. This works out to a cost of $2.98 per gram, which is on the higher side of average compared to palettes at a similar price point.
At the same time, I think paying $39 for a palette with this level of quality is beyond reasonable. If you are someone that frequently pans palettes you may go through this one more quickly, however, if you are after a high-end quality formula and don’t want to shell out $50+, I think this is a great way to do so.
Color Story & Finishes
As soon as I saw images of the inside of this palette, I knew I was going to buy it. With a nice balance of neutrals and pops of color, the Secret palette has a lot of versatility. Even though this palette was a late spring launch, I think its color story actually is perfect for the transition from summer into fall. Rich jewel tones are popping up in just about every new palette launch currently hitting the market, which makes me feel like Nabla was perhaps a bit ahead of the trend.
As I mentioned earlier, the Secret Palette contains six different eyeshadow finishes. Here is a breakdown of each of them, and which shades in the palette correspond to each of the formulations:
Super Mattes – An opaque, creamy matte.
- Contigo: mid tone rosy-beige
- Giulietta: mid tone pastel pink
- Addiction: deep sea green
- Mea Culpa: deep warm brown
- Ghibli: salted caramel
Satin – A fine, pearly sheen.
- Aesthetic: hazel-taupe
- Romeo: brown with pink undertone and copper-red shimmer
- I Promise: light pink champagne
Fluid Metal – An intense, foiled metallic.
- Big Experience: crimson red with duochrome fuchsia and orange electric shimmer
- Creation Crown: deep baroque gold
- Rosemary: forest green with duochrome emerald and teal shimmer
Crystal – A wet-effect, luminous topper
- Play Hard: aqua green duochrome with lime and jade reflects
Diamond – A microfine, shimmery topper designed to intensify duochrome and crystalline finishes.
- Hypersensual: triochrome with apricot, amber and orchid reflects
- Fantasize: denim with duochrome warm gold and scarlet red reflects
Velvet – An extra smooth, finely milled matte with a hint of shimmer.
- Nablack: deep black
Quality & Performance
After having such a positive experience with the Soul Blooming Palette, the bar was set pretty high with Secret. Fortunately, I didn’t end up being disappointed. Overall I would not call any of the shades within the palettes duds, although I definitely prefer some more than others.
I think Nabla’s standout formula is their Ultra Matte. Not only do they deliver rich pigmentation, but they also are incredibly silky and easy to work with. I pretty much never struggle with patchiness or difficulty blending out their matte shades, and I don’t have to spend a century trying to build them up to full opacity.
The shades Ghibli and Contigo are gorgeous in the crease, and Mea Culpa is the perfect warm brown to add depth and dimension. Or, if you feel like taking things in a more colorful direction, Giulietta and Addiction offer you some fun pops to spice things up.
Nabla’s Satin and Fluid Metal shadows are also incredible. They’re smooth, intense, and deliver a beautiful sheen to the eyes. As the names might suggest, the Fluid Metal formula has more of a metallic, foiled effect, while the Satin shades have more of a pearly sheen, but they’re all very easy to work with. You can apply both formulas with a brush, however I find that the Fluid Metals in particular go on most intensely with a finger, or when applied wet.
The Crystal and Diamond textures, however, require a little bit more of a learning curve. I think it is helpful to keep in mind that they are all considered toppers, and that when worn alone will look quite sheer unless layered up. The diamond texture is somewhat like a thinner version of the fluid metal shadows. It’s very smooth, and has a beautiful microfine shimmer that has a transformative effect when layered over other shadows.
The crystal texture, however, is very flaky, and will easily create a lot of fallout during application. I generally like to smooth these shades out with a finger or silicone applicator, as a wet brush sometimes causes them to chunk up. However finicky, the shade Play Hard is such a unique and beautiful duochrome that it’s worth the extra effort.
Finally, the Velvet shade Nablack, is really just an amped up Super Matte. On the eyes you don’t see much in the way of shimmer. It is, however, incredibly pigmented, and a gorgeous black shade to work with.
This palette has been nothing but fun to play with. The number of looks it can create are seemingly endless. Whether you want full glam, daytime wearable, neutral, colorful, or something in between, the Secret Palette has you covered.
To see how I created these looks shared above, you can check out this tutorial video that I created as well as in my initial Nabla haul and review.
If Nabla hadn’t already captured my heart with Soul Blooming, the Secret Palette definitely sealed the deal. Not only is it a delight to work with, but its variety of colors and textures have really encouraged me to get a bit more creative with my looks. I think this was a very smart addition to their permanent line-up of palettes and is something I will continue to reach for regularly in the months to come!
I’m so glad that Nabla is finally available at Ulta, and that this is one of the first products they made available. If you’ve also tried the Secret Palette, or anything else from Nabla, I’d love to hear your thoughts! Leave a comment and let us know what your experience with the brand has been.