B1Good things come in small packages, right?
Just when you thought that Norvina and Anastasia Beverly Hills might just settle the fuck down and take a minute to breathe, they announced the release of two more palettes in the Norvia Pro Pigment line: the Mini Pro Pigment Palette volumes 1 and 2. These small 9-pan palettes are similar to the Huda Beauty Obsessions palettes and come at a similar price point ($29 each). Although they seem to be standalone palettes that you could use with any of the larger palettes, the volume 1 is definitely in line with the color story of volume 1 of the full size palettes, and the volume 2 mini is a nice companion to the volume 3 of the full size palettes. I’m not sure why volume 2 of the larger palettes didn’t get a friend to play with, but hey, it’s a harsh world.
The color stories are fun, and I think they complement the larger palettes well enough, but I’m just not sure they were necessary? The three larger palettes are a lot: 75 completely new shades with a wide range of mattes and shimmers. If they had staggered the releases a little more it might have felt less aggressive and these palettes might have felt more like thoughtful additions to the line. As it is, I don’t mind them, and I’m always a fan of smaller sized palettes that have a good amount of shades – but micro-influencers on YouTube are burning ABH in effigy every other day!
Let’s take a look at the swatches and then talk a little more about these palettes. Because I learned my lesson with the larger sized palettes, I did these over the ABH eye primer and I only did brush swatches. The formula is pretty consistent between these and the larger palettes, so that seemed to work well enough. The top photo is under my studio lights with no flash; the bottom photo is the same lighting with my camera flash.
L to R: A1, A2, A3
They did the same annoying numbering system which means that if you are using more than one palette and trying to describe what colors you’re using for your looks, it’s a nightmare! A1 is a really wonderful neon peach shade that I thought would be a disappointment but was actually bright and pigmented and lovely. A 2 is a cream/champagne shimmer with a lot of yellow gold reflect. A3 is a bright orchid violet matte, a little inconsistent, but builds nicely.
L to R: B1, B2, B3
B1 is a hot neon red – like a popsicle red, very similar to my holy grail lip shade, OCC’s Lip Tar in Harlot (I still haven’t found a suitable replacement for that!). B2 is a duochrome shimmer that has a pinkish taupe base with a pink shimmer effect. B3 is similar to A3, but like the neon, amped up version. It’s pretty and very bright.
L to R: C 1, C2, C3
C1 is a lavender…matte? Sometimes I think I see a light shimmer in it, but other times I think I’m crazy. Maybe it just has a slightly more satin finish and the rest is my mind playing tricks on me. C2 is a cornflower blue matte, very cool-toned and pretty. C3 is a maroon matte, cooled down a little bit (maybe like a deep wine? Why am I so bad at describing colors?!).
Overall, I like this palette. It adds more options and dimensions to the purples in Volume 1 of the larger palettes, or rounds out the spectrum in the other palettes. The A1 and B1 shades were enough to convince me to buy it, and I am excited to play around with this more.
L to R: A1, A2, A3
This row reminds me of one of my favorite simple pleasures: rainbow sherbet! It’s so bright and citrusy and beautiful. These shades are both electric and pastel, and they are actually really pigmented and apply very nicely. A1 is a bright lemon yellow. There was a little bit of chalkiness to it, but you can tame it with a little work. A2 is a lovely light lime green, matte pastel perfection. A3 is a bright cantaloupe matte, very bright and applies really consistently.
L to R: B1, B2, B3
B1 is a bright orange matte, like construction zone warnings. Not quite neon but with a lot of vibrancy. B2 is a taupe and gold sort of combo that is a little too sheer for me, but you can build it up to get a nice effect. Not my favorite, but it’s pretty enough and is a good option for a neutral shimmer. B3 is a bright ass teal matte, very pigmented and goes on consistent and very vibrant.
L to R: C1, C2, C3
C1 is a very bright berry purple. It’s a little redundant if you also have the volume 1 mini, though this one is more red-toned and a little deeper than either of the shades in that palette. C2 is a bright shimmery spring green, a little sheer but with a nice metallic quality. C3 is a matte chocolate shimmer, a little basic but not out of place and adds some neutral flexibility to the palette.
This palette had a couple of quality issues. First, the A1 yellow shade was very soft and ended up cracking. I’ve managed to press it back together (I didn’t use alcohol or contact solution as it wasn’t completely smashed, just starting to crack apart) but I’ve had yellow shrapnel all over this palette every time I’ve opened it since.
I also had a problem with the printing on the cover of this palette. The image on the top isn’t a sticker, exactly, but it seems to be printed in a think layer over the top of the plastic cover. There is probably some fancy production name for this process, but I don’t produce makeup and I don’t know what it is. Let me live. Anyway, the printing has started to flake away on the edges of the palette on both the right and left sides.
I know that this is an inexpensive palette compared to some of their other offerings, but I don’t think it’s unreasonable to think that your palette would be free of these kinds of defects. Especially the cover image – all of the other palettes are produced in a different way so that this isn’t an issue. This is my favorite palette aesthetically, but it comes with a problem and I don’t really love that. Minor quibbles, and some people will only care about the performance of the shades themselves, but it’s something I thought I should bring your attention to.
I know, I know, everyone is talking about ABH and how their release schedule seems to be on crack this year. Lauren May Beauty did a video about this and in fact, it’s not that crazy of a schedule if you compare it to other years; what’s different is that they have focused really heavily on eyeshadow palettes. I’m going to go against the grain and say that it’s not a problem. The fundamental rule of a capitalist system is supply versus demand. If people weren’t buying products at this rate, companies wouldn’t produce products at this rate. If you think that brands are releasing things “too fast” but you still buy every release that they put out, then YOU ARE THE PROBLEM! If nobody bought these palettes, they would go away. And I think YouTubers need to recognize that they are not the average makeup consumer: most people don’t feel any pressure to buy every single palette a brand puts out. They are going to be more discerning and only pick up the releases that speak to their individual style.
Another thing that I’m tired of hearing about is sustainability. Now don’t get me wrong: I like having an Earth that is inhabitable by humans, me being one and all (despite rumors to the contrary, I am not a lizard person). But when people complain about the sustainability of a brand putting out X number of palettes every year, but they don’t have enough information to realy make that kind of claim. After all, they don’t know how many units of each palette are being produced. Norvina, in explaining the rapid succession of palettes from ABH this year claimed it was about consumer demand, that people get bored and stores want to see new items faster than they have in previous years. People are becoming more discerning, and makeup enthusiasts like me are getting some makeup fatigue. So if you used to make 1 palette and produced 1 million units, but now you make 10 palettes and only produce 100,000 units each, that’s the same overall number of palettes. So yes, ColourPop is producing more makeup than they ever have before, releases being announced almost weekly! But if they are doing smaller runs and repurposing old shades and colors in new bundle options, they might actually be contributing less to the amount of plastic being put out into the world compared to Jeffree Star’s collab palette with Shane Dawson – the initial run of that palette was reportedly over a million units, with one pre-order having already been set up and more in the future.
At the end of the day, I love what the Norvina Pro Palettes are bringing to the ABH line: a fresh perspective, great performance, and above all COLOR! ABH isn’t exactly tarte, but it’s still not one of the exciting, colorful brands out there. They will sometimes have one or two bright pops; even when they do bright palettes like the Riviera or the Alyssa Edwards collab, a good portion of the shades will still be neutrals and champagnes and blending shades. The Norvina Pro Pigment palettes have all amped it up and there are only a small handful of neutrals floating around in the mix. I think it’s fresh and as long as the quality is good, I’m definitely interested in seeing more of what this line has to offer!