One thing I’ve learned about makeup lately is to give a product a few tries before you completely give up on it. Case in point: the Kat Von D Ladybird palette ($36). It’s a Sephora-exclusive palette that’s composed of completely matte shades and is highly acclaimed within the beauty community.
I purchased Ladybird towards the end of July, swatched it immediately and then prepared to sell it on my blog sale. That’s how unimpressed I was by it. I’ve seen the same palette reviewed dozens of times on other blogs and the colors seem to swatch wonderfully for most other people but not for me. It’s not often that I come across a non-drugstore palette that swatches as badly as this one. Considering that the shadows are all matte, I had prepared myself to expect the texture to be less buttery than the satin/shimmer formulas that I’m used to but, even so, I didn’t expect the sheer, dry patchiness upon swatching. The textures of the shadows actually aren’t bad at all; they’re finely milled and smooth to the touch but they’re stiff in the pan and swatch like crap. Fur Elise, the purple shade, was the worst offender. In the swatches below I layered each color three times (without a primer) in order to achieve the intensity you see in the photos and in my opinion they still don’t appear especially bold.
In my experience, swatching is usually a good indicator of how a shadow will perform on the eyes. For instance, if a shadow is smooth and intensely pigmented in swatches it’ll generally look smooth and pigmented on the lids as well. Not so with the Ladybird palette, though. Horrible, dry, patchy swatches on my arm but somehow on the lids the colors are pigmented, smooth, easily buildable, blendable and last well on the eyes. I don’t know how or why that is but I’m so glad that I actually tried the palette a few times before writing it off. If you’re ever in a Sephora store, have one of the sales associates try the Ladybird shadows out on your eyes. Don’t just rely on swatches. It makes a world of difference.
The palette also comes with a matte dark brown eyeliner called Immortal Love. The formula is soft and creamy, comparable in texture to Milani and Urban Decay eyeliner pencils.
The shadows and pencil liner are housed in a thin metal case. The shape is reminiscent of an old-fashioned cigarette case; the material and weight are similar to a pencil tin. I personally prefer metal to the cardboard packaging that seems to be common for palettes these days.
Overall, this is an excellent matte neutral palette that incorporates a few colorful shades for added interest. Swatches don’t do it any justice. You really need to apply it to your eyes to fully appreciate its beauty.