One of the craziest frenzies I've been in awhile was the release of Kat Von D Beauty's eyeshadow/blush in Lolita. And it's ironically my first real color product review back.
Although I thought it would be popular, I didn't expect it to sell through 100% of online stock in mere hours. I ordered mine while commuting into work (yay for mass transit multitasking and apps!), and received it two days later.
According to Sephora's Beauty Talk, it appears that this won't be restocked online, but will have a limited in-store release on June 15. That's the only reason why I'm going to review it at all. (For those stumbling onto my blog, I don't like to review things that you can't also still get. Hence why I'm holding off on reviewing the Sunset palette, etc.)
For $19, you get 3.2g of product. I've seen photos that indicate it's about the same size as the single Metal Crush shadows (I only own the Metal/Matte palette so I can't double check that). It's a hefty little single but a small blush. That said, it packs one heckuva punch in terms of pigmentation.
It's a chestnut rose, which I agree with. Depending on the lighting and background, it looks Burgundy, maroon, mulberry, and brown.
Reviewing this eyeshadow is particularly tricky for a number of reasons.
First: the hype. Lolita is a cult classic, and there's huge hype around this. I tend to shy away from the uber-hyped products. I also trust that KVD Beauty is telling the truth: this is actually, for reals you guys, limited edition. So any of us makeup collectors are going to buy it anyhow.
Second: my skin tone. I was able to de-self tan for these swatches and I'm back to my usual NW13-15 self. I'm finding in swatches that this color is shockingly complex and depends on a person's complexion. It's more ruddy on me (dang those pink undertones) but it looks more brown on others. I really think this is best on the cheeks for medium or deep complexions, but a killer eyeshadow for blue-eyed ladies. If you've seen my photos, that's me.
Third: The formula. This is very densely packed and in that regard reminds me of the discontinued blush duos. It kicks up quite a bit of powder and requires some serious tap-tap-tapping of the brush! I think this is really small for a blush, though. (No worries on my end because it won't be used like that by me.)
Since these types of colors are so popular, I was sure that I'd seen it in my stash before. We'll get to that in a bit.
Here is is, watched with an eyeshadow brush in a couple of different lighting situations. Note the texture in swatch #2- that's a theme.
I didn't bother trying to do a blush-type swatch because of my skin tone. I did try it on my cheeks, but I'm not going to share those photos. If you'd like to see sort of what it looked like on me, but with better lighting and a live demo, watch this video from one of my favorite beauty YouTubers- livloveshermakeup. I also had clown cheeks. If you keep watching her video, you'll see the blending gymnastics she had to go through for her eye look. More on that from my perspective.
I loved the look that I tried with this. Lolita looks very red on my eyes in this form, and I find that very wearable. I tried something new for me- no liner, fluffy brows and lashes (mystery mascara I'm still testing). For full disclosure, I have the cream shade in Viseart Neutral Mattes all over, one of the light tan shades (Shade #2) in the crease, a bit of Sweetheart from the Tartelette in Bloom palette in the crease to deepen it, then Lolita all over the lid and buffed out a bit. No liner.
I show this photo for multiple reasons. First, those lashes!! But really, look at the blending issues and texture (See, I said that would come back to this). I fixed this later, but this is representative of the blending issues at the 5 minute mark. Most "average" professional women don't want to spend more than 5 minutes on our eyes before work. It's not that I don't know how to blend; I wanted to show you an issue that I encountered. It's a great shadow, but it takes some finesse. This is not a slap on and go formula.
It did last all day with a primer and all that jazz. We expect that type of performance with all of Kat Von D's products, since the line is focused around long wearing makeup (a heaven-sent concept for those of us with a 10-hour work day and 3+ hours of commuting per day).
One side note- the concealer under my eyes is the Revlon Youth FX. Look for a throwdown later in the week on new drugstore base products.
Here's the real question most of you have- is there an existing dupe? Warm eyes are on trend, so someone has to have put out a similar color already, right? I went deep into my collection to try to find something. These were the semi-finalists:
I'd also like to point out that these palettes (aside from the Lorac Pro 1 and my custom MAC palette) were all released within the past 12ish months. These colors, they're everywhere!!!
I'm happy to say that I found 2 suitable substitutes for KVD Lolita on my skin tone if you're not able to grab this/want to pass the insanity. The bad news is that one of them is in an $80 palette; you probably own the other if you're reading a beauty blog.
On a side note, I'm working on my lighting setup again and my photo editing setup. You don't want to know how ridiculous it is- which means this is an effort from the heart.
Since my lighting is so dodgy, I'm going to show you the same swatches under 3 lighting conditions.
Studio Lights/ Warm:
Warm, Yellow Light ("normal" incandescent lighting indoors):
Of all of these, there are 2 clear winners (bolded). However, let's talk about all of them quite quickly:
- Natasha Denona Sinai & Natasha Denona Panjin- Both are from the Sunset Palette; both are not even close.
- ELF Mad for Matte 2 #6- If you can only afford drugstore products, this is the closest dupe that I found. It's lighter and requires more layering and has less pigment overall. For the price ($10 for the full palette v $19 for one shadow), it's good. This is one of my favorite drugstore palettes overall.
- Fiona Stiles Electra #3- This looked closer in the pan than in person. This turned out to be a lot darker and closer to the brown side.
- PUR Pop Icon- This is from the Trolls palette; I know it's not a matte but I was looking undertones. As I suspected, it's a lot more red (but closer to how Lolita looks on my eye).
- Lolita is starred
- Anastasia Beverly Hills Red Ochre- This shade is still only exclusive to the Modern Renaissance palette, which is one of the best palettes on the market (in my humble opinion). This has a similar texture and is actually a lot easier to work with than Lolita. ABH mattes are a dream to blend as well.
- Viseart Warm Mattes #12- I eventually plan to review the entire Viseart line, but here's an early spoiler alert: this is my favorite shadow formula on the market. If you can afford the $80 price tag, I highly recommend all of the mattes. This is very close to Lolita.
- LORAC Refined Romance #3- I thought the darkest shade would pull similar to Lolita, but it's much cooler. That's fine, since this was LE.
- MAC Everyone's Darling & MAC I'm Into It- I'm honestly not sure of the origins of these two shadows but they're the two closest MAC shades that I found in my collection.
QBB's Final Thoughts: If you're into these type of colors, you more than likely own the Modern Renaissance palette. If you don't, where have you been? If so, you've got a decent dupe for Lolita that blends easier. This is a fun product to have for collectors, but don't stress if you're unable to get your hands on it.