I’m just going to say this right off the bat, I suspect that I hold a slightly unpopular opinion when it comes to the Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance Palette (henceforth known as MRP because I cannot for the life of me, spell “renaissance” correctly on my own).
I think that this is a good, bordering on mediocre, palette. If it was drugstore, it would be exceptional! But it’s not. It’s a $42.00 palette. And as such, I believe it should, at the very least, be a good, bordering on fantastic palette.
Don’t get me wrong, I liked a lot of the looks that came out of this palette! But I think the quality leaves something to be desired.
So now that you know how I feel about the palette as a whole, let’s take a closer look!
The palette itself has a faux velvet type of cover. The palette is a sturdy cardboard with a magnetic closure. I was worried about the outside getting extremely dirty but so far it’s actually not too much of a magnet for grossness, so that’s nice.
Cyprus Umber & Realgar
- Cyprus Raw Umber is a common paint in tempera, oil and watercolor painting.
As far as the actual color, this was surprisingly one of my favorites in the palette! In real life, it’s just an incredibly flattering neutral smokey eye. However, this shade applies so weird. When applied with no primer it’s patchy, it will not stick to the places in my eyelid where the lid actually creases, it wore off, creased, transferred, the whole nine yards. Basically, it’s a mess. I did try it over primer and it applies much better and didn’t crease straight away (although it still did ultimately crease by afternoon). I should mention that I do use quite emollient products on my eyes so your mileage may vary, BUT…it’s rare that I have an issue that’s quite to this extent.
Here are the photos of the exact same eye look but applied over Urban Decay Anti Aging Primer Potion (UDAAPP):
- Red orange natural pigment closely related to the yellow orpiment. The two minerals are often found in the same deposits. Although it occurs perhaps as widely in nature as orpiment, realgar appears not to have been used so widely. Realgar is a highly toxic arsenic sulfide and was the only pure orange pigment until modern chrome orange. Pigments Through The Ages
Realgar applies much better than Cyprus Umber. For the most part, there was no patchiness although I still had the same odd issue of it not “sticking” to my eyelid creases. It wore fine with very minimal creasing or fading.
Love Letter, Warm Taupe, Antique Bronze and Venetian Red
This is a lovely color, but most certainly the most difficult shade in the palette. Without primer it’s beyond patchy in application. With primer, it was easier to apply but it creased within 30 minutes.
Warm Taupe is a good crease shade for me. It applies just a hair darker than I expect it to based on the way it looks in the pan. I didn’t have any issues with this shade, it was a little tough to blend, but it eventually gets blended out quite nicely.
Antique Bronze is perfect. It is pigmented, it blends, there’s no weird patchiness. It’s delightful.
- Venetian red is a light and warm (somewhat unsaturated) pigment that is a darker shade of scarlet, derived from nearly pure ferric oxide (Fe2O3) of the hematite type. Modern versions are frequently made with synthetic red iron oxide.
Historically, Venetian red was a red earth color often used in Italian Renaissance paintings. It was also called sinopia, because the best-quality pigment came from the port of Sinop in northern Turkey. It was the major ingredient in the pigment called cinabrese, described by the 15th-century Italian painter and writer Cennino Cennini in his handbook on painting, Il Libro dell’Arte. Cennini recommended mixing Venetian red with lime white, in proportions of two to one, to paint the skin tones of faces, hands and nudes.
The first recorded use of Venetian red as a color name in English was in 1753.
Venetian Red applies much better than Love Letter and gives the same overall look. They probably didn’t need both shades in this palette but at least one of them is nice!
Buon Fresco, Red Ochre, Vermeer and Primavera
- Buon Fresco Affresco, Italian for true fresco, is a fresco painting technique in which alkaline-resistant pigments, ground in water, are applied to wet plaster. (Wikipedia)
Buon Fresco is another shade that applies a bit darker than I expect it to. It’s a gorgeous shade though! It’s a bit of an interesting shadow because when it’s packed on, it maintains a mauve tone but when it’s blended out it deepens further and turns to a more gray tone. It is difficult to blend.
- Red ochre is composed mailnly of iron oxide, hematite which word comes from Greek, hema meaning blood. Used from prehistory and throughout history, these permanent pigments can be safely mixed with other pigments. Ochres vary widely in transparency; some are quite opaque, while others are valued for their use as glazes. –Pigments Through The Ages
- Johannes, Jan or Johan Vermeer (1632 – December 1675) was a Dutch painter who specialized in domestic interior scenes of middle-class life. Vermeer was a moderately successful provincial genre painter in his lifetime. He evidently was not wealthy, leaving his wife and children in debt at his death, perhaps because he produced relatively few paintings.
Vermeer worked slowly and with great care, and frequently used very expensive pigments. He is particularly renowned for his masterly treatment and use of light in his work. – Wikipedia
Vermeer is a nice shimmery inner corner shade. It works as a lid shade but it’s kind of bland. It creases but applies well.
The first time I used Primavera I hated it. It was chunky and weird and just looked really really bad. BUT…the second time I used it it was gorgeous! See above. So I don’t know if there was a weird film over the top of it or if I just had something strange going on the first day, but it ultimately ended up being pretty ok. It does crease without primer.
Golden Ochre, Burnt Orange, Tempera and Raw Sienna
- So I couldn’t find anything about “Golden Ochre” but I found a lot about Yellow Ochre…“Earthtones from cream to brown. Yellow ochre is a natural mineral consisting of silica and clay owing its color to an iron oxyhydroxide mineral, goethite. It is found throughout the world, in many shades, in hues from yellow to brown. The best brown ochre comes from Cyprus. Used throughout history, this permanent pigment can be safely mixed with other pigments. Synthetic yellow ochre, Mars yellow, have been made since the early 1920s. Today, synthetic yellow ochree is used extensively by the paint, plastics and other industries.” – Pigments Through The Ages
This little guy is a work horse of a color! I think I used this as a transition or blending shade in most of the looks I did with this palette. It applies nicely and blends well. It’s a bit dusty but I find that this doesn’t really bother me.
Burnt Orange is one of the mostly good shades. It applied well and was only very slightly patchy. It didn’t have noticeable fading and only minimal creasing in the late afternoon.
- Tempera, also known as egg tempera, is a permanent, fast-drying painting medium consisting of colored pigments mixed with a water-soluble binder medium (usually a glutinous material such as egg yolk or some other size). Tempera also refers to the paintings done in this medium. Tempera paintings are very long lasting, and examples from the 1st centuries AD still exist. Egg tempera was a primary method of painting until after 1500 when it was superseded by the invention of oil painting. A paint consisting of pigment and glue size commonly used in the United States as poster paint is also often referred to as “tempera paint,” although the binders and sizes in this paint are different from traditional tempera paint. – Wikipedia
Tempera is the perfect tone to use as a base shade but it isn’t completely matte (maybe this doesn’t bother you, it just surprised me). It applies beautifully, is incredibly pigmented, looks lovely blended into other colors and for being the most boring shade in the palette…it’s one of the best quality wise!
So overall, I feel like you can absolutely achieve lovely looks with this palette! Some of the shades are finicky (bordering on downright evil) to work with and you may have to play around with your base and primer combos to get everything to last all day. I do feel like it’s a bit easy for all of these shades to blend into something really muddy looking. I also feel like the shade selection in the palette is a bit redundant.
In the end, this will come down to personal preference but I think this is a palette that could easily be skipped. If you do get it, I think you’ll like it well enough so I’m not warning you away, but I think that the shades could be found from other sources and at higher quality and lower cost.
Do you have this palette? Do you like it? Have you recently bought something that was so hyped up that it basically couldn’t live up to the expectations?
- It just took me a month to write this post. Seriously, I started working on it at the beginning of September and it’s October 1st. Oy with the poodles already!
- I’m to the part of C25K where you run without breaks which is both delightful since I hate walking in the middle of a run AND horrible because now apparently I’m used to walking in the middle of a run.
- I totally fell off of the diet train for a few months but now I’m back at it, logging calories and planning meals like a weirdo!
5 thoughts on “Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance Palette”
I nearly bought this palette but I realized that I own a lot of similar shades already.
Same! Only I stupidly bought the palette anyway! 🙂 We should start a series where we come up with alternative shades for popular palettes.
I thought you’d gone and drank the Kool-Aid but it looks like you haven’t! I’ve read endless reviews online about this palette… and while I think the colours are pretty, I wasn’t 100% sold. They swatch nicely but I wanted to know how they perform, and your account of them creasing / transferring, difficulty in blending confirmed my suspicions.
I like your history lessons on pigments / shade names! 😀 I can only imagine how long it took to try and review this palette! I am interested in trying some Anastasia eye shadows but I’ll likely go for the singles / refills rather than this palette.
My favourite shade is of course the most yawn-fest of all: antique bronze.
I feel a little silly for having purchased this palette to be honest. Like Jodi said, I have these colors elsewhere! AND they’re of better quality! I think I’m going to start doing a series where I talk about alternate color choices for popular palettes.
Thanks! I had fun looking up the little tidbits of history! I kept harkening back to my art class days when I was using this palette so it was great to get a bit of a “refresher course” and learn some new history tidbits as well 🙂
Antique Bronze IS probably the best shade in the palette! And despite my never ending love for palettes in general, I’m kind of over them. I think purchasing singles is the way to go. I only ever end up using half the shades in any give palette anyway!