Do good things really come in small packages?
Lime Crime was banking on that idea with their holiday release of the Venus XS quad palettes in three color ways: Rose Gold, Silver, and Solid Gold. Each quad is a little smaller than the typical Venus palette (though it’s closer in size that you might expect – these have quite chunky packaging!) and has a mix of matte and shimmer/glitter shades, retails for $20 (as of this writing, all three are still available in the Lime Crime website), and is available at both the Lime Crime site and in Ulta.
I am generally a fan of the Venus palettes, but these were a little hit or miss for me. I’m going to start with my favorite, and work down from there. All swatches are done over Too Faced Shadow Insurance primer. The first swatch is a finger swatch followed by a brush swatch to the right. The top photo is under my studio lights with no flash; bottom photo is the same studio lights with flash.
Overall, this one was my favorite. The pinky tones are sort of neutral, but not neutral enough to be completely boring, and I think they would pair well with the Venus 1 or the first Venux XL to round out and soften the looks from those palettes. They all swatched pretty well, though I don’t think these are the same quality as the first two Venus palettes.
Angelic is a nice matte pink, a good transition on lighter skintones if you want to have a pink moment. Divinity is a lovely pink-tinged champagne gold, and has a nice shimmer to it. Divinity is a rosey gold metallic, nice shine. It s very warm pink sort of shade. Eternal is a matte deep pink/brown, and it was a little bit patchy over the primer, especially with the brush, but the application wasn’t terrible. I think you could do a couple of variations on a nice rose gold eye with this, and I think all 4 shadows perform well and they blend together nicely. The two shimmers are the standouts, as the mattes are pretty basic and probably dupeable if you have a lot of neutral palettes with pink tones.
This is a vaguely blue-influenced collection of silvers and grays that’s a nice cool moment compared to the other two XS palettes. It’s not particularly striking, and I would have liked Plated to be a bit more blue to really give a better range of looks, but this one is still ok.
Crescent is a pretty forgettable shade – like your basic cream shade, but cool-toned. Sort of a putty shade. It’s a little chalky, but not unusable. Just nothing remarkable. Sterling is a nice silver shade with just the lightest hint of pale blue. I like this one a lot, and I think it’s a nice shade to have in my collection. Definitely different than anything else in the whole Venus line. Luminous is a taupe metallic, and I love this shade – it’s my favorite of the four. It’s cool-toned and beautiful, and the metallic is really striking. Plated is a blue-tinged gray that is nice…but just nice. I would have liked a little more depth to the blue while maintaining the dusty blue toned. It’s just a little too muted to make this palette really special. I get that it’s called “silver,” but this palette is clearly supposed to be a slightly blue moment, and it needed to take it just a little bit further.
This could have been a holiday delight, gold and sparkly and gorgeous. But instead…this. These colors are basic, boring, and not well executed. This gives gold a bad name.
What a mess. Trinket is the most basic bitch camel brown matte. It applies somewhat patchy, and it’s so incredibly dupeable with literally almost any other neutrals palette on the planet. Aureate is the only saving grace in this palette, a lovely candlelight yellow gold shimmer that packs a punch and blends out beautifully. Gilded is a chunky, glittery mess. I had to go over the brush swatch 5 times to get even that much color to show. I’m sure you could get more by foiling it, but who wants to work that hard? Gold shimmers are a dime a dozen, so I’d just opt for a more user-friendly shade. And Treasure is anything but. It’s one of those mattes that have glitter just randomly pressed into it. STAAAAAAHHHPPPP! Is there anyone out there who likes these shades? The minute you apply this, the gold glitter is everywhere…everywhere, that is, except where you actually put the brown. There is nothing keeping the glitter in the brown color, so it’s just an explosion of sparkle. It might be forgivable if the brown underneath was at least a decent color, but this is basic and boring. I’m a completionist whore, so I’ll probably keep it with my other Venus palettes, but I would say pass on this one. It’s a waste of 20 bucks.
What are your thoughts on the Venus palettes, and the XS quads in particular? Did you add any of these to your collection? Is there one you want to grab before they go away for good? Are you a fan of the Lime Crime Venus series? What’s your favorite? Let us know in the comments!
I’m always glad to hear about a new entry in the Venus line, but I have to say that these quads, while cute, don’t live up to the reputation of the original two palettes. I’m planning an overall review of the whole Venus line coming up, once I get the XL 2 – can’t wait to share my thoughts on this iconic line with you!