Hello everyone! I’ve been wanting to get this post up for a long time now but am still suffering from a terrible cough so have been struggling in getting it done 🙁 but here it is – my first VDL review and it’s a long one!
VDL is one of the newer Korean “road shop” brands, having started in 2012, and has shortly become one of the highest quality, most popular road shop brands yet! They have done several collaborations with Pantone, but I’m here to talk about their latest collab with Pantone’s 2016 Colors of the Year – Rose Quartz & Serenity!
VDL really went out of their way with the packaging on this one!
Through the magic of extreme couponing, I managed to pick up the palette and two brushes for a very good price!
•○ Pouch ○•
I also got this pouch with everything as a bonus for spending over 50,000 KRW!
Everything looks so pretty together with the Pantone colours!
It doesn’t open very wide so not much can be fit, but it seems to be a good size for an ipad or something similar! Unfortunately I do not own one so haven’t found a use for it yet 🙁
The pouch is very good quality and I’m happy I got it! It’s so pretty I’m going to try to find a use for it…
•○ Brushes ○•
Next up are the brushes! I apologize for the poor quality of some of these photos…I’m still playing around with my new light and I’m having trouble figuring out the best settings for it :'(
I picked up the “base eye shadow brush” and the “smudge eye shadow brush.”
As you can see, the brushes retail for 12000 KRW each which leans somewhat on the pricey side for me…
However, as they are limited edition and GORGEOUS!!! I’d say they’re worth the price.
The handles are made of wood with the VDL logo carved into them at the bottom. They feel very sturdy and high quality!
Personally I think the gradient is soooo pretty! I find they do get dirty quite easily in my “brush cup” but can be cleaned easily with a wet cloth or tissue.
The brushes are made with synthetic fibers, which I find tend to risk being quite scratchy when they’re at a short length like this, but these brushes are insanely soft! I find they work very well with my Colourpop eyeshadows. As the white hair stains quite easily, I’ve vowed to only use these brushes with pink/red eyeshadows to match the handle 😀
The base brush is great for packing on glitter or shimmer shadows to your lid as the synthetic hairs hold the glitter quite well! I haven’t tried using this brush with matte shadows yet as I’ve only used it with the VDL palette itself, which contains very few matte shadows as you will see below…
I find that the smudge eyeshadow brush is a bit too small for blended-out crease work, but works great as a defining brush or for smoking out shadow on the lower lash line! Its bristles are nice and compact so they transfer colour very well.
•○ Palette ○•
And now for the main part of the post and what I was most excited to share with you guys – the palette!
Curiously, the English description is the main focus of this palette and the Korean is secondary! Usually with Korean products it’s the opposite, so this is another thing that proves VDL’s ambition to be recognized as an international brand!
The palette design matches the rest of the Rose Quartz & Serenity line with a pink/gradient and a sleek, high quality design.
The logo is indented into the palette where you open it! The palette is all-in-all very sturdy and feels very solid when you hold it.
I was so excited to open the palette that I didn’t notice the back of it until I took pictures for this review! I thought the colours were only named by their number, but it turns out that each one has its own name. I find the names of these shadows to be a little all over the place without a “central theme.” Not a deal breaker in the least, just an observation of mine! I think sticking with the crystal/feeling theme would have brought it together better. The back of the palette also shows where/how you should use the colours on your eyes. Very informative for a beginner!
The palette also comes with a small brush – what looks to be a synthetic fiber end and a more hair-like textured end! The back of the palette states that the left end is for blending and the right is for defining, although given their texture and shape I feel like I would use them for opposite uses…
And now the moment of truth – the palette in its full glory! It comes with 12 shades in an assortment of shimmers, glitters, and pearl tones.
There is also a mirror on the inside, and the palette bends at a “140 degree angle” (according to the VDL website), which is a comfortable angle to do your makeup with! The packaging is a sleek and shiny white, and just as good quality as the exterior. It comes with a plastic insert which I’ve left in to keep the mirror from getting dirty.
7612 is listed as a lid colour on the website, but I use it as a base contour colour for my crease since it is one of the only shadows that leans matte in this palette. 663 is a non-pigmented glitter that works best when patted on the lid with your finger. 712 looks boring in the pan, but as you will see in the swatch below, it is a really unique shade of orange with a slight duochrome shift! 205 and 7521 are your basic shimmer shadows, and 169 has pretty gold/orange glitter on a pink base. The palette has very, very fine glitter specks in most of the shadows, but 663 and 169 are the only two colours with chunky glitter!
13-1520 is a light pink with slight glitter, also known as the Rose Quartz shade! 2342 is a very unique colour! I would describe it as a purpley chocolate tone with light glitter. 7610 is a deep brown with gorgeous purple and gold sparkle.
I took a closeup of the middle 3 just to get the full detail of 7610 in, so you can ignore them on the left of this photo and focus on my description of the last 3 shadows on the right! 15-3919 is the only pure matte in the palette, and is a powdery, near-white blue that is also the representative Serenity shade. 2041 is a somewhat standard shimmery burgundy with subtle purple glitter, and 7523 is a brown shade with very complex glitter! Looking at it up close I can see hints of green, purple, and gold.
•○ Swatches ○•
As I mentioned above, both 663 and 13-1520 are very slight, almost pigment-less shadows. I found 15-3919, Serenity, to be particularly disappointing. It applies quite patchy and the above swatch took 3 or 4 thick layers to get it to that opacity!
The second row definitely fairs better for pigment. Each swatch is swiped twice! As I mentioned above, 712 is a really interesting firey shade that I wasn’t interested in until I swatched it on my arm above. It’s gorgeous! 169 is used best patted on the lid. 2342 and 2041 both go on smoothly, and blend nicely when used together.
One of my favourite shadows in the palette is 205, a gorgeous vibrant pink with gold shimmer! Seeing the bottom row together like this makes me want to do an eye look with all of them. As you can see, 7521 and 7523 are purely shimmer shadows, where 7610 is on an ashy brown base. This row swatched the smoothest!
One thing I wanted to talk about is the pigment of 15-3919, Serenity, and the pigment of Etude House shadows VS the ones in the VDL palette. The middle swatch is Etude House’s “PP508 – 휴강이다몽”, with a single swipe. Most of the VDL shimmer shadows with a similar texture /finish as the Etude Shadow required two or three layers to reach this level of opacity and pigment. On the left is the swatch of Serenity from above, which is 3 or 4 swipes of colour. On the right is one swipe. As you can see, there is some pigment initially where I placed my finger at the top, but as I swiped down all pigment was lost. Because of this I would have to say that despite being the focus of the palette, the fact that both Rose Quartz and Serenity were the most poorly pigmented is quite disappointing…
•○ My looks ○•
The first look I did is a simple brown halo eye! Very natural and great for when you don’t have much time in the morning but want something subtle. Definitely work friendly. I used the following for this look:
Sympatico (심파티코) was blended into my crease, with Cuppa Tea (커파 티) added to the outer and inner corners, avoiding the middle. Equilibrium (이퀄리브리엄) was used in the center to create the halo effect, and both Keep Going (킵 고잉) and Sister Earth (씨스터 어스) were used to deepen and smoke out my lash line.
For my second look I attempted to do more of a dramatic blue like the original Serenity colour, mixed with browns. However Serenity turned out to be more of a blue toned white than an actual blue, so this look turned out nothing like I wanted it to 🙁
I used Serenity (세레니티) all over my lid and Keep Going, Alive (얼라이브) and Sister Earth in my crease and on my lower lash line.
This photo was taken today, 2 weeks after the rest of the photos in this post. I’ve been working on improving my photos and through some experimentation feel like I’m a bit closer to how I want them to look! This is my favourite look of the 3 (of course – it’s pink!).
I used Sympatico and Keep Going in the crease, with Leotard (레오타드) on the outer corner and Alive on the first half of the bottom lid. I patted Full Of Mind (풀 오브 마인드) on the inner corner/middle of my eye and blended it into Leotard. I finished up the look with Tranquility (트랜퀼리티) packed onto my inner corner and inner half of my lower lid!
•○ Final thoughts ○•
As this palette runs for 48,000 KRW for 9.6g of shadow, I can honestly say I am a little underwhelmed. I have purchased several other things from VDL and loved them dearly, but quality-wise I feel this palette doesn’t hold up to the rest of their products. I love the colours together and I have gotten A LOT of use out of it since I bought it, so in that regard I think it was definitely worth the money for me! However since Rose Quartz and Serenity are the stars and whole point of this palette, I find it a little strange they were the most disappointing out of all the shadows. I recommend this palette for people who do not have colours like these, or who are a big fan of pinks and reddish toned shadows like I am! Since it is quite a steep price and the quality/quantity isn’t superb, I’d say if you have similar shadows you can probably pass on this one. The brushes on the other hand are top notch and I can recommend them 100%! All in all I’m happy with my purchase and will continue to get a lot of use out of these products.
Since I’ve been sick I’ve been editing photos in bed since I can’t do much else, so I’m hoping to get the next post up soon! Until next time~ (。^_・)ノ