You’ve seen it all over Instagram. It’s a hot topic among makeup mavens on Reddit. This item has been featured in major online publications. The Kat Von D Alchemist Holographic Palette is the talk of the Internet; it’s been hyped up for ages now. Kat Von D spent the last seven years working on this palette and perfecting it before launching it. So, is this holographic highlighter palette a true gem?
In this Kat Von D Alchemist Palette review, I’ll answer that question and many more. Below you’ll find information about the palette, first impressions, swatches, experimental looks, and so much more. If you’re interested in the Alchemist Palette, read this comprehensive review post to learn everything that you need to know!
What Is The Kat Von D Alchemist Palette?
The Kat Von D Alchemist Holographic Palette is described on Sephora’s website as “An eye, lip, and face transformer palette with four holographic shades.” These shades include Green (Emerald), Blue (Saphyre), Ultra-Violet (Amethyst), and Pink (Opal). This palette is vegan and 100% cruelty free.
The palette retails for $32 USD, and you can buy it via Sephora.com or KatVonDBeauty.com. It can also be purchased in-store at Sephora. The Alchemist Palette release date was in December 2016, and this uber-popular palette has been frequently sold out since then. But don’t worry – you can sign up for e-mail alerts to snag it!
First Impressions And Palette Photos
Here’s a quick bullet list of my initial thoughts about the palette:
- I love the unique palette design. It’s beautiful holographic outer layer and pristine style make it stand out from the average highlighter palette.
- At first glance, the four colors look nearly identical. They seem like very light – almost white – pastel hues. I soon discovered that they’re much more than that.
- The palette is surprisingly small.. I actually love the small size; that and the magnetic closure make it super portable.
- The highlighters feel super smooth and creamy despite being powder. This is a definite plus – the formula is far from chalky.
- There is noticeable kickback when using fluffier brushes with the palette. I happened to notice this when I used my blush brush. It didn’t seem to be an issue with brushes that have stiffer bristles.
Now that we’ve covered my initial reaction, let’s get to the photos and information you really want. It’s time to swatch the palette and see if it’s the real deal!
Kat Von D Alchemist Swatches – White Base, Black Base, and No Base
I started out with simple swatches of each color. The colors from top to bottom in each photo are: Green (Emerald), Blue (Saphyre), Ultra-Violet (Amethyst), and Pink (Opal).
This is each color over NYX Eyeshadow Base in White and Black with the camera flash on. You can immediately notice the major shift in color when each Alchemist highlighter is applied over the black base. It’s intense!
This is each color over NYX Eyeshadow Base in White and Black without the camera flash on. As you can see, it’s somewhat hard to pick up on the colors over a white base with the flash off.
Lastly, this is each color without any base underneath it. I was happily surprised to see how pigmented the colors are without any type of makeup beneath them!
Kat Von D Alchemist Over Other Makeup
This was the truly fun part! I experimented with several different makeup combinations. I used the Kat Von D Alchemist highlighters over lipstick, foundation, eyeshadow, and more. The products featured are in the captions beneath each picture, and each is shown with and without the camera flash. Check out the gallery of photos below to see how they turned out!
NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in ‘London’ (Flash)
NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in ‘London’ (No Flash)
Topped with Opal from the KVD palette (Flash)
Topped with Opal from the KVD palette (No flash)
Result: NYX in ‘London’ is my go-to nude color, and I absolutely love it. Adding Pink (Opal) from the Alchemist palette gave the lipstick a paler look that I really liked. It’s more subtle than I imagined it would be, so I could definitely see myself sporting this hue regularly.
NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in ‘Moscow’ (Flash)
NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in ‘Moscow’ (No Flash)
Topped with Saphyre from the KVD palette (Flash)
Topped with Saphyre from the KVD palette (No Flash)
Result: ‘Moscow’ is a pretty bold lip color, and the Kat Von D highlighter gives it a soft, fun touch. The only thing I disliked is that the highlighter really zeroes in on the patchiness of this NYX lip color. Next time I sport this look, I’ll likely use a lip brush and two layers of the lip color.
Urban Decay Vice Vintage Lipstick in ‘Pallor’ (Flash)
Urban Decay Vice Vintage Lipstick in ‘Pallor’ (No Flash)
Topped with Amethyst from the KVD palette (Flash)
Topped with Amethyst from the KVD palette (No Flash)
Result: Urban Decay’s Pallor is a match made in heaven with KVD Alchemist Ultra-Violet. It creates an ethereal frosty purple look with hints of silver. While I love Pallor on it’s own, the holographic highlighter really amps things up.
NYX Liquid Suede in ‘Alien’ (Flash)
NYX Liquid Suede in ‘Alien’ (No Flash)
Topped with Saphyre and Emerald (Flash)
Topped with Saphyre and Emerald (No Flash)
Result: You may notice that this look turned out a bit messy, which I frankly expected. Black liquid lipstick is a bit difficult to work with. I think the color shift looks amazing, but these highlighters would pair better with a solid black lipstick.
All Alchemist Palette Cheek Comparison (Flash)
All Alchemist Palette Cheek Comparison (No Flash)
Result: This look is over NYX BB Cream in ‘Nude’ and Rimmel Stay Matte Powder with the entire Alchemist Palette over top for comparison. I did these swatches to see how each color looked on my cheek/cheekbone area. I was happily impressed to see how bold the highlighters looked with only BB cream and powder beneath them. Unless I was going for a funky or costumey look, I probably wouldn’t use any of these colors except for Pink (Opal) on my cheeks.
Buxom mascara w/Saphire & Emerald on Lid (Flash)
Buxom mascara w/Saphire & Emerald on Lid (No Flash)
Buxom mascara w/Amethyst & Opal on Lid (Flash)
Buxom mascara w/Amethyst & Opal on Lid (No Flash)
Result: These highlighters work excellently as eyeshadows. The formula goes on evenly and it’s easy to blend. I didn’t use a primer underneath, but I’m sure the colors would look bolder if I did. If you use colorful eyeshadow in your makeup routine, you’d definitely have some fun with these!
Ulta Gel Eyeliner and Pencil Eyeliners in Purple, Blue, and Silver
Purple topped with Kat Von D Alchemist in Amethyst, Blue topped with Saphyre, and Silver topped with Opal and Amethyst
Result: This was a bit of a last-minute test to see how these Kat Von D highlighters pair with colored eyeliner. They create a frosty, ethereal look like they do when paired with Urban Decay Vintage Vice Pallor lipstick. I like the “oil slick” style that the pink and green highlighters created on top of the silver eyeliner. This is definitely another fun, funky one.
Application Tips And Tricks
- For application on my lips, I found that gently patting the highlighter on with my ring finger works best.
- When applying the highlighters to my cheeks in the striped photo, I used the Brow Brush from the Real Techniques Starter Set. For application of single colors, I used an inexpensive e.l.f. Studio Blush Brush.
- Less is more. Start with a small amount of product and build if it’s not enough.
- I used my ring finger and pinkie to apply product to the inner corner of my eye. The Real Techniques Shading Brush works well for applying this to the outer edgers of my eyes.
- I recommend the e.l.f. Studio Blending Brush for working the highlighter in to create a flawless look.
Final Thoughts On The Kat Von D Alchemist Holographic Palette
My final thoughts are that this product is very fun to use, richly pigmented, super versatile and overall high-quality. The Pink/Opal highlighter can certainly be incorporated into my daily routine, and I plan to use the Blue/Saphyre to amp up my smokey eye routine. Though it’s a bit pricey at $32 for four colors, the versatility makes it worthwhile. Your options are virtually endless.
However, I don’t think I’ll be using it for everyday looks. I think that this is more of a palette for unique looks. I simply prefer matte and neutral makeup on a regular basis. If you consistently wear shimmer or bright, bold looks, this may fit perfectly into your daily routine.
Do you own the Kat Von D Alchemist Palette? If so, we’d love to hear your personal experiences about it. What do you love, or what failed to impress you? Good and bad reviews alike are genuinely appreciated, so feel free to share with us. More Alchemist palette reviews will help other readers like you decide if it’s right for them!
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