Review: Anastasia Master Palette by Mario

Everyone who hasn't been living under a rock for the past two years know about the brand Anastasia Beverly Hills. They are most famous for their beloved brow products, but ABH has now expanded to a complete make up brand with foundations, lip products, highlighters and eyeshadow palettes.

Mario Dedivanovic is Kim Kardashians number one make up artist. He is a young guy from Bronx, New York, who started his career in make up at a summer job at Sephora as a fragrance consultant. Women used to mistake him for a make up artist at work, and he always offered his opinion and helped them with their make up.

Four years later, Kim Kardashian hired him for a 4AM job that he almost skipped, and that job pretty much made his career. He has been her number one make up artist ever since and by now he is well known all over the world. In January, he had a Master Class in Dubai with Kim. It was sold out and people had paid about a thousand dollars for the tickets, and travelled from all over the world to participate. The crowd included a lot of make up artists who saw the master class as an investment in their own careers. 

Link to original image and some make up tips by Mario, HERE.

This fall, Anastasia Beverly Hills and Mario came together to launch an eyeshadow palette, which was basically one of the best things that could ever happen in the world of make up. I have been following Mario on Instagram for a really long time now, and you can really see how engaged and dedicated he is in this palette. All the shades are named after places and people that means a lot to him and that has played a significant part in his career.

Image from

I have had  my eyes on the palette ever since I heard about it, which was approximately a year before it launched. I knew that I was going to be in Canada when it launched, which made it significantly easier to get a hold of the palette. I ordered the palette on its release date on the Canadian Sephora website and it arrived outside my door only ONE day later. Canada post is fast! I have been getting to know it ever since and I finally feel that I know enough about it to share my thoughts.

The palette comes in a sleek black cardboard packaging with the name luxuriously printed on top if it. The palette includes 12 shadows (some with shimmer and some matte), a mirror and a decent two-sided eyeshadow brush. On one side it is smaller and appropriate for packing eyeshadow onto the lid, and the other side has a larger blending brush that is perfect for smoking out all of the shadows. You get twelve warm-toned shades that are suitable for brown, green and smokey looks. Something that I do miss in the palette is a really bright highlighting shade, and a shade that you can use as a base on the eyelid. Some of these shades might look light and suitable for that, but they are all intense and darker that you may think. Initially I struggled a lot with the palette since I felt that my skin tone was too light for it. After a while, I learned more about how to work with it and to be sparse when applying the product. The shades are very pigmented, almost too pigmented. It kind of makes them hard to work with.

Swatches from the palette in daylight and sunlight, starting with the shade Hollywood from the left and ending with Paris on the right. 

I never wear this palette during daytime because of how intense even the lighter shades are, but I really like it for special occasions. The shades apply evenly and are the most pigmented I have ever seen. It makes them a bit harder to work with than you would expect. You get a ton of shadow that sticks onto your eyelid, they don't blend that well so you need to be careful when applying the product and do it little by little.

I have used this along with my Too Faced Shadow insurance primer, and I tend to compare this palette to my Too Faced palettes as well. This one is far more pigmented than the Too Faced palettes, and the shades are harder to blend out. I have also noticed that the shadows in the Mario palette don't stay on my lid as long as the Too Faced ones do. If I apply shades from the Mario palette in the morning, it is still there 12 hours later but it doesn't look as intense and you can tell that it is disappearing.

Another thing that is questionable about this palette is that it says that it expires 6 months after you open it. DO THEY EXPECT YOU TO FINISH IT WITHIN 6 MONTHS? WHO RUNS THROUGH A PALETTE THAT FAST? (I mean, unless you are a make up artist). Most dry products (like powders and eyeshadows) expire after about 24 or 36 months. There has to be some reason as to why they only gave this palette six months, and whatever it is, I think they should have fixed that and not released a palette that lasts for such a short amount of time.  Six months for an eyeshadow palette is unreasonable for a regular consumer. I rarely throw make up away by the expire date, only if it seems bad in some way. I am not throwing out this palette next month (which marks the 6 month anniversary for me and the palette) unless it magically goes bad.

The back of the palette. Here you can clearly see that it it supposed to expire six months from when it is opened.

At the end of the day I like this palette now that I have learned how to work with it. It was a bit of a pain in the beginning and I felt that nothing suited with my skin tone, but now I know how to use it in a way that suits me. It is a good palette, but not for people aren't willing to put in the time and figure out how it works to their advantage. It is not suitable as your first eyeshadow palette, especially not if you don't apply eyeshadow on a regular basis.

When this palette was new, everyone on Youtube was raving on about how incredible this palette is and no one ever said anything bad about it. I don't know if they are sponsored or just too in love with Mario and all the hype about it, but I haven't heard one person on Youtube say anything negative about it and as you might guess, I think that there are plenty of negative things about it. This might just be one of those make up products that work differently for different people, but I can't help to think that it is strange how everyone seems to love it so much when I have been struggling to make it work.

The palette sold out at Sephora only one day after I got it. It never reached stores in Europe as far as I know. It retailed for 45 USD which isn't that bad for a palette from ABH that also included a mirror and a brush. There is no given dupe-palette for this one, but people have put together their own duple palettes based on Single Eyeshadows from Make up Geek.

If you like the shades in the Mario Palette, you might want to give this option a go. If there is one thing I do like about the palette, it is the shades. They are all really beautiful (but it would have been nice with a really light one, because the lighter ones are darker than you think).  The Make up Geek dupes might not have the same pigmentation (which might be a good thing in this case) as the Mario ones, but they are cheaper. They retail for 6 to 10 USD each so it will be cheaper if you get the ones you like, but  more expensive than the Mario Palette if you get all of them. As of right now, the Mario Palette isn't coming back, but you never know. There are a lot of brands that have re-released their products due to high demand and this one is likely to come back. If it doesn't there will be plenty of chances to get products by Mario in the future, as he plans to launch his own affordable make up brand.

 A look that I made using the shades Lula, Claudia and 5th Avenue.

Final thoughts: Good packaging, generous that it includes a brush. Too much pigmentation and it might not be a good palette for someone who isn't interested in make up. The shades appear beautifully on the lid, but they don't last for more than 12 hours, even with an eyeshadow primer. I have to admit that I am mostly into this product because it is from Mario. I have had som struggles with it, but the fact that it is from Mario makes me still like it, which is really weird. I admire Mario, his talent and success, and I have to admit that I wouldnt have  bought this palette if it hadn't been his. 
Pros: Lovely shades. 
Cons:Too pigmented. Difficult  to work with if you have fair skin. Also, doesnt look good for as long as you would expect. 
Repurchase: No, by the time I am done with this one, there will be new, fun and gorgeous palettes out there that I would rather have, maybe even by Mario. 


Popular Posts