I don’t know why I keep letting myself get talked into this kind of shit.
Recently, when I picked up the Circo Loco palette using a credit card reward, I noticed that I had enough points on my VIB account to get some money off. Unfortunately, you can’t combine those discounts with the rewards – I swear, trying to get a discount at Sephora is a goddamn journey. Meanwhile, Ulta is out here just giving it away (my kinda girl!). I had resisted the Natasha Denona Triochrome palette for a long time, but since I was picking up this other palette, I thought, “Why not? Let’s just have a ND field day!”
The packaging is beautiful, and I love the way they did the multichrome effect with the plastic. Spoiler alert: the packaging does multichrome better than the shadows inside! It was so good, in fact, that my camera didn’t know what to do and focused on the sequin curtain in the back. In Every. Single. Picture. And did I notice it before now, when I’m sitting down to write this post. Nope. That’s so me.
I was initially very excited when I heard that Natasha Denona was doing a multichrome palette. Yes, she calls it a “triochrome,” but let’s cut through the marketing bullshit: if it’s more than two shades mingled together, it’s a multichrome. If anything, I wouldn’t be surprised if she was trying to distance herself from the word multichrome to try and avoid comparisons to indie brands that are out here killing the game. At first I thought the whole thing was multichromes, and for that I would have happily paid full price. When I learned that only three shades were multichrome and the rest were all mattes, I hoped that the palette would be the smaller $65 version of her the ND palettes. But no, this is one of the full on $129 palettes. With 3 multichromes that barely multichrome, and a bunch of mattes.
I’m getting ahead of myself – I’m sure you already know how I feel about this palette! Let’s get to some swatches. These were done over the Kaleidos Tone Activator eye primer with all brush swatches (I was not in the mood to finger swatch a bunch of mattes that I have no intention of ever using that way – sorry ’bout it). I did do a finger swatch of the multichrome shades to see if that application changed the opacity, how the colors presented, etc. The top photo is under my studio lights with no flash, and the bottom photo is under the same lighting with a flash.
L to R: Scrap, Andradite, Scarab, Ion, Vert
Scrap is a green-infused cool brown. Andradite is a pale spring green, very yellow-leaning but a lovely opaque pastel. Scarab is a green and gold with hints of orange-y rust. Ion is a bright yellow that leans toward lime. Vert is a mustard yellow with brown undertones. All of the mattes in this row except Andradite darkened when they touched the primer, but other than that they were soft and easy to work with, and blended out fairly well.
L to R: Naga, Manganese, Kinetic, Redox, Tungsten
Naga is a pale lilac pastel, a little on the sheer side but soft and very blendable. Manganese is a grape jelly purple. Kinetic is a blue to purple/pink sift with greenish reflects. Redox is a grayed lavender. Tungsten is a deeper lavender mauve. The same issue with the medium and dark mattes darkening when it hit the primer in this row, but still soft and blendable. The tackier you like your primer, the more problems you are going to have. If you like a very dry primer, or if you set your primer, you will find these mattes an absolute joy!
L to R: Vertex, Plutonium, Color Flip, Garmon, Diatonic
Vertex is a basic ivory matte; good performance, but basic as fuck. Plutonium is a bright macaroni and cheese orange. Color Flip is purple to pink with some gold. Garmon is a very brown-infused pink. Diatonic is a pastel peachy coral.
The mattes are fine, they are soft and very easy to work with, although there is the issue with darkening if you like a tacky primer base. It’s the “triochromes” that make me mad.
I can see why she might be trying to distance herself from the word multichrome. Triochrome is barely even accurate, since each of these shades really only gives you two of the colors strongly, and then there is just a hint of the third (which you see much more in the pan than you do in application!). Even what you do see is nowhere near what you would find in a multichrome from basically any indie brand. It’s like she’s trying to pretend that multichromes don’t exist in the wild; for people who don’t know that you can get amazing multichromes from brands like Devinah, Clionadh, JD Glow, and the like, I hate to think that this palette could be what sets their expectations for what a multichrome is or could be.
I recorded a short video of me moving my arm around like a weirdo, hoping I could catch a bit more of the shiftiness. Obviously, the colors will look different in different environments with different kinds of light, and my studio lights are a bit aggressive, but these still just don’t have the same sort of pop I see from other brands.
I keep saying this, but I think I need to be done with Natasha Denona. I never buy it when it’s full price, but even the discount I’ve had just don’t justify the performance. They colors aren’t terrible, but they just aren’t special – and they just absolutely do not justify a Natasha Denona price tag, especially with only three of them in a palette of 15 shades! I’m glad that more mainstream brands are starting to recognize the appeal of multichromes, but if this is the best you can do? Sorry Natasha, but leave it to the professionals…