Kat Von D’s Shade and Light Palettes

Get ready for the holidays, makeup lovers. Practically every cosmetic company offers something new, whether it be packaging or colors, to tempt us. The added bonus of Sephora’s VIB sale and Ulta’s discount offerings makes it difficult to say no.
I’ve got to be honest, as much as I look forward to these sales, I’m not super excited about any of the items out there. The only thing I’m contemplating is the Kat Von D Mi Vida Loca Remix shadow palette. Not crazy about the packaging, too big and bulky for travel or storage, but it’s a color lover’s dream.
I’ve been having a bit of a love affair with Von D’s products. The last time Sephora sent me a discount card, I impulsively purchased the Shade+Light palettes. Those who know me, had me do your makeup, or attended any of my demonstrations know I love playing with contouring and highlighting. The ability to change a face by using light and shadow fascinates me.
You also know I don’t buy into contouring palettes, opting instead for using eyeshadows as a dual purpose product. Sure, I raved about the Smashbox contouring palette and it is a great product. With only three shades—contour, highlight, and bronzer—it’s perfect for those new to face shaping. The Kat Von D face palette is a step above, with six shades.
The shades are designed for the depth and undertone of the skin, but I use it a little differently. I use all six shades on my face at once, each for a different purpose, making this the ultimate weapon in my arsenal.
There are two grey or taupe based shades—once again, shadows are grey, not brown and certainly not a warm brown—one a tiny bit darker than the other, I use these for contouring. I use the darkest color under my cheekbones, because that’s where I want the most definition. The other shade I use along my jawline, temples and if I feel like it, along my nose. The third ‘brown’ shade is warmer, I use this as my bronzer. For those who don’t know, bronzer is used to give color to the skin, not foundation. Foundation should match your skin, not give color.
The palette also offers three varying highlight shades, yellow, pink, and peach. Yes, they can be used to complement skin tone, but I use them for more than highlighting. You’ve probably heard of color correction, using opposing colors on the wheel to cancel out an unwanted tint in the skin, that’s how I use these.
The pink shade works the best for bringing brightness to my skin tone. I use it for highlighting the tops of my cheekbones. I use yellow in that upside-down triangle between my cheekbones and nose to counteract redness and bring light to the center of my face. I alternate or mix—depending on my mood—the yellow and the pink to highlight the cupid-bow area above the lips and under the nose. Peach, I use to set my under eye, peachy or orangey shades work to counteract the blue or purple shadows under my eyes. Because these are very pigmented, I do this with a very fluffy eyeshadow brush. Remember, you can always add more, it’s damn near impossible to take it away without having to start over. Practice makes perfect.
Like the Smashbox palette, the Kat Von D is a versatile set. You can also use them as eyeshadow if you are into neutral colors, creating very soft natural looks or deep smoky eyes. Hell, I’ve even used it to fill in my brows and as a soft liner. If I was only allowed one palette I would choose this one, because of the versatility.
The Shade+Light eyeshadow palette is wonderful for those of us who like neutral shadows. It’s a mix of warm and cool tones, a great range of brown shades, a true black and white, and wonderful transition colors. If you want me to go into depth of what a transition color is and how to use them, let me know. This is my most used shadow palette, pushing the Urban Decay Naked Basics 1 and 2 palettes to the back of my drawer. The shadows are matte, but not flat, making them super flattering for those of us on the more mature side of life. This palette is also multi-use, again allowing me to use it for liner and to fill in my brows. I haven’t tried it yet, but you could also use some of the colors for contouring, highlighting, blush and even a lip tint, pared with gloss.
Pigmentation, for both palettes, is beyond par and the texture is soft, smooth and easy to blend. Because of the softness, your brush might kick up some dust. Tap or press your brush into the pan, don’t scrub it back and forth and knock the excess off your brush before application. The size of the packaging works for travel—yes, I took both with me to ICON—and storage. They both have a decent mirror, if that makes a difference to you.

So, do I recommend the Kat Von D Shade+Light palettes? Yes. Do I think they are a must have? No, but I don’t think any color product is a must have.

Please share your favorite products! Is there something you want my totally biased opinion on? Any questions or suggestions?