Don’t get me wrong, I love me a deal. And finding the Violet Voss Sugar Crystals palette in the Sephora sale section for $25 (regular price, $42.00) was definitely a deal! I like Violet Voss – I don’t know that we’re in love yet, but we’re definitely in like! – and I am crazy for brights and rainbow palettes, so this was a definite find! But how did this little number escape my cosmetic obsession until it was already marked for the clearance bin? I knew I had to do a little digging.
I searched for Violet Voss Sugar Crystals on Youtube and found a few videos. Annette’s makeup corner did a first impressions and a 3-looks-1-palette video, and Amy Loves Makeup did a dedicated review. I’ve watched some videos from both these creators (more from Annette’s Makeup Corner – her looks are more colorful and more my style) but I’m not subscribed, and they aren’t in my usual rotation. There were also a fewer videos by smaller creators with less than 1000 views, so they probably couldn’t fight their way through the algorithm to make it to my recommends. It was also included in a couple of videos on rainbow palettes and in one of Angelica’s “Going on the Wishlist or nah” videos, but somehow I never managed to find my way to this bit of rainbow loveliness.
I used Annette’s first impression video as a guide: she says that the palette has been out for a couple of days, and her video was uploaded at the end of February. That’s when I was in the throws of my ill-fated no buy, so I wasn’t really trolling the internet for more things to buy – I did a good enough job of over-spending on the rules of my low buy without having to search for new things! So that combination is probably what lead to me not realixing that this little treasure had hit the market. That’s sad, because as I discovered when I was playing with this, this is actually a pretty great rainbow brights and pastels palette!
The design of this palette is simple and to the point: 18 shades, one trio for each of the 6 colors of the rainbow (I mean, there are 7 colors in the rainbow, but indigo always gets shafted!). The top row is all matte with bright, vivid versions of the rainbow colors: instead of a red there is a bright fuchsia pink, a peachy orange, a bright yellow, a minty green, a cyan blue, and a mid-toned purple, sort of red-leaning but fairly balanced.
Rather than doing the swatches in rows, I thought it might be more interesting to do the trios so you could see the three versions of each color together, in case you were interested in using this palette for monochromatic looks. For the swatches, I put them over the Crayon Case Glue Stick eye primer. I had to reverse the photos in my layout app because of how I photographed the columns of shadows, so the left shadow is the brush swatch and the right side shadow is the finger swatch (this is the opposite of how I usually do it). The top photo is in my studio lighting with no flash; the bottom photo is the same lighting with my camera flash.
L to R: Cotton Candy, Strawberry, Bubble Gum
This had a really nice range of colors. Cotton Candy is a pretty, icy pink highlight shade. Strawberry is a light pink with a slightly golden shift to it. Bubble Gum is a bright matte fuchsia, and it had pretty good coverage and opacity. You could make a really pretty, coherent look with these three shades.
L to R: Sherbet, Orange Crème, Pearberry
Sherbet is a pretty icy peach shade. It looks beautiful in this trio, but it looks very similar to Cotton Candy when the two are next to each other. If you are doing a shimmery rainbow look, I would suggest using the middle row as there is more differentiation between the shades. Orange Crème is a beautiful peachy orange shimmer with a gold shift. Pearberry is a lovely peach matte that is leaning toward a coral. Definitely more red than yellow! This is another one that would make a really pretty monochromatic look.
L to R: Butter Cream, Lemon Drop, Banana
Butter Cream is a white based shadow with a strong yellow gold shift. Lemon Drop has a similar shift, but the base color is a pale, creamy yellow. Personally, I don’t think there is enough distinction between these two shades – they have the least contrast of any of the pairs of shimmer shades. I would have liked for Lemon Drop to be a few shades deeper. Banana is a matte yellow, and I would have preferred this one a few shades lighter! This one might brighten up on a white eyeshadow base, but it looks darker and more mustardy when it’s just put on over the regular base, and it fits in the least with the other mattes in this collection.
L to R: Limeaid, Pistachio, Mint Choco
Limeaid is a pretty pale green shimmer, with a golden shift. It’s definitely the least cool-toned of the trio as the green pase is very pale and the golden shift really warms it up. Pistachio also has a gold shift to it, but the green base is more pronounced and gives it more of a bluish tone. Minto Choco is a pretty blue-toned mint green, somewhat sheer compared to the other mattes, but it builds up nicely. This is a lovely trio with some fun variation in the tones.
L to R: Sugar Crystals, Sweet n’ Sour, Blue Razz
Sugar Crystals is a white base with a strong blue duochrome shift. Sweet n’ Sour is almost like another green shade – it has a blue base, but a very strong gold shift that almost makes it look like a green shade rather than a blue. It’s beautiful, but it kinda throws this trio out of whack. Blue Razz is a bright cyan blue matte, a little patchy, and it grabbed the primer more than the other mattes, but it’s a pretty enough shade, and it blends in nicely with the other shades of the palette. This trio is the least cohesive if you were wanting to do monochromatic looks, but they are still great shades when considered on their own.
L to R: Lollipop, Grape, Jelly Bean
Lollipop is a pale, icy lilac shade, almost leaning a little pink. Grape has a pale lavender base with a blue/purple shift to it. Jelly Bean is also somewhat sheer, and this matte leans much more red. The problem with indigo getting left out of most representation of the rainbows is that the purple slot has to account for both more blue-toned purples (which could be represented in an indigo color story) and the more red-toned violets. I think this is a nice blending of the two. The matte leans more red, the middle shimmer leans more blue, and the palest shimmer is pretty well balanced between the two. It’s a fun purple combo.
If you like Violet Voss shadows, I think you will find this to be very similar to other palettes from the brand – I found the shimmers to be amazing, almost as good as my “ride or die” Juvia’s Place shimmers, and the mattes, while not perfect, are pretty solid and work well with the shimmers. I like this look and I’m excited to play more with it. If you are looking for a good brights or rainbow palette, I think this is a good option: not only can you create rainbow looks, you’ve got the trios for creating simple, uncomplicated looks for each of the 6 color groups, and the tones are pretty well balanced so that you can mix almost any of the shades in the palette together and have it make sense.
Getting this at a bargain price sweetened the deal, but I wish this little confection had made its way into my life a lot sooner – my rainbow Pride looks could have used the extra punch in this palette!
(Note: when I first starting writing this post, I thought the palette had been marked half off, but when I went to get the link I found that it was less than 50% off. The original price was $42 and the sale price was $25, for a discount of about 40% off. I’m not sure if that discount is permanent or if it’s just a sale for the holidays. If you are thinking about it and you see it still on sale, I would recommend getting it because I can’t confirm that this markdown is permanent. As of this writing it is still available at the discounted price on the Sephora website, linked above.)