Anastasia Beverly Hills Eyeshadow Review

I was over the moon when I found out Anastasia Beverly Hills expanded their product line to Sephora and immediately picked up a few eyeshadows. In store the first weeks they launched I saw a lot of testers but there were empty spots for product as stock was trickling in. I picked out a few shades in batches and the process of narrowing down picks was overwhelming because there are so many options! Shades went in and out of my online cart and I finally decided on 12. You can buy the Eyeshadow Singles for $12 each and the 4-Pan Empty Well Palette for $1. There are different textures ranging from matte, metallic, shimmer, satin and glitter. I picked out a mix of finishes to give them a test.

The colors I picked out vary in weight depending on finish. All the pans are the same size but some are more densely packed while the shimmers have lighter weight particles mixed in. I’ll list the weights per shade in case you’re interested. Pigment is very impressive across all the ones I bought. Perhaps I was lucky in selecting good shades – most I ordered sight unseen. Based on online swatches I was a bit concerned some of the colors such as Rose or Pink Champagne would be extremely glittery or frosted. You can apply some of them with a damp brush for an extremely pigmented almost foiled-looking finish for more intense coverage. With a dry brush over an eyeshadow base the finish is more natural looking. 

Finish is smooth and easy to blend. All the colors applied on the lids flawlessly – they have a soft texture that is very easy to layer. Some of the shimmer colors will have fall out when you apply them – but once on the lids they did stay put all day long without budging. I have hundreds of eyeshadows from other brands and do not need any more but being a beauty blogger am always curious about testing new formulas, brands and textures. I did not know what to expect from these – I thought there might be a good chance these were overhyped, but after putting these to the test I can say that these are definitely impressive. The pigment is very good, textures easy to blend and color selection seems to be diverse to suit a wide range of preferences.

Shades that I picked out:
  • Rose (1.7 g) is a neutral-warm mauve pink rose with silvery sparkles
  • Pink Champagne (1.6 g) is a cool-toned mauve pink shimmer, a cooler-version of rose
  • Gem (1.7 g) is a medium peach champagne shimmer
  • Chocolate Crumble (1.5 g) is a cool-toned brown shimmer
  • Nude (1.7 g) is a matte beige pink
  • Suede (1.7 g) is a soft pale yellow gold shimmer
  • Stone (1.7 g) is a light to medium neutral-cool brown
  • Smoke (1.7 g) is a matte neutral brown
  • Sateen (1.3 g) is a shimmery pale champagne frost
  • Chiffon (1.5 g) is an olive khaki kind of shimmer
  • Warm Taupe (1.7 g) is a medium warm taupe shade matte
  • Chocolate (1.6 g) is a shimmery medium chocolate brown
Close ups and swatches:

Some look extremely frosted when swatched on the arms or back of the hand. Once on the lids though the finish of the shimmer is more subtle and definitely very wearable for everyday.

While the price per shadow is reasonable – completing a palette does add up costing $49 for a complete palette. By comparison MAC has reduced the price of their Pro-Palette refills at MAC stores to $6 per pan with the price of the compact at $8 totaling $32. Of course the formulas are different and amount of product you get is different (weight varies depending on formula). Just a few things to consider if you are price/value conscious. MAC just launched new palette sizes and inserts that allow you to mix and match products. I really love the concept and I’ve been a long time fan of MAC products. A more detailed review to follow on the MAC pro palettes (so much to do and not enough time) but here’s a quick look at a few of the different options. As you can see below the pans of the Anastasia eyeshadows are the same size as the MAC eyeshadows. The only one shown below that is pre-filled and non-customizable is the MAC x9 palette. You can find all the MAC Pro Palette Options on their website here and at MAC Stores.
So you might want to know how do the Anastasia eyeshadows compare to MAC. If you’ve played with MAC before you know there are a lot of different formulas and finishes. Pigment, shimmer factor, color payoff and density depends on the formula. In general here are a few thoughts:
  • the MAC mattes have a softer more natural finish but harder texture compared to the Anastasia mattes, color payoff of Anastasia is more pigmented
  • the MAC Veluxe Pearl shadows have that almost buttery soft velvety finish that is similar to that of the Anastasia shimmer eyeshadows, color payoff is excellent for both
  • some of the Anastasia eyeshadows like Rose, Pink Champagne, Chocolate Crumble, Chiffon have a more metallic finish compared to MAC shimmers
  • overall texture of the Anastasia eyeshadows is softer and more velvety while the MAC eyeshadows tend to have a slightly stiffer or harder texture
  • is one better than the other? I would say sometimes yes, sometimes no. MAC Shroom is one of those classic all over wash kind of shades that has the perfect semi-sheer texture to blend out colors, Anastasia Sateen by comparison is similar in color but a lot more pigmented and a lot more frosted which gives more contrast on the lids if you are medium to tan to deep. In this case it really depends on what kind of look you want, how much shimmer and how much pigment. Sheerer finishes aren’t necessarily bad – I love sheer washes for a lot of reasons.

A quick look with the quad I put together with Sateen, Chiffon, Warm Taupe and Chocolate Crumble blended together on the lids:

Products worn:
The eyeshadows exceeded my expectations and I think every color I tested is top notch in terms of color, pigment, blendability and everything else I would want in an eyeshadow. I’ve forever been searching for an antique olive kind of shimmer eyeshadow that I can wear and Chiffon is IT! Most have a tiny bit too much green which clashes with my olive/yellow skin. The colors Rose and Pink Champagne are wearable pinks – huge for me since so many pinks can give me that unflattering pink-eye kind of look. Bottom line is I can’t wait to explore more of the colors. If you have any loves please let me know!
You can find the Anastasia Beverly Hills Eyeshadows at Sephora, Ulta Beauty, Macy’s and on the Anastasia Beverly Hills website. I have not yet tried any of the palettes as many of them have had bold colors I did not think I would wear, but they did look interesting. As always would love to hear about your loves or thoughts on these. If you’ve been looking into them I hope these swatches are helpful!

P.S. I’m very behind on responding to comments – but will try to catch up soon!

  • Wonderful post. Thank you for the comparisons, I wasn't sure which one to go for but definitely have my mind made up now.

    http://www.inessaradostin.com

    • Hi Inessa – so glad this helped you! I spent hours googling swatches until my eyes were crossed. My conclusion is that all the shades are good – everyone's swatches look so amazing.

  • You MUST try their new Modern Renaissance palette!! I've used it daily since I received it. Thanks for the review; I was very curious about several of the colors you wrote about.

    • Hi Beth – this might just push me over the edge to order it!

  • I was so excited to see these at Sephora too!! I am obsessed with pink champagne and now after seeing your swatches I think I need a couple more colors 🙂 I agree with you when you said they exceeded your expectations bc I felt the same when I purchase my first quad!

    JennyLovesBeauty♥

    • Hi Jenny – Pink Champagne is life! So happy there's another newbie like me to her line 🙂 or at least her eyeshadows!

  • I would love to try the ABH shadows hopefully they will come to the uk, great swatches too x

    Zoe Mountford x

    • Hi Zoe – I hope they arrive in the UK soon too!

  • Great post!! I've been hoping you would review some ABH items. I must say, you are by far my favourite beauty blogger. Your reviews are so detailed and comprehensive, the photography is nothing short of amazing and its always so helpful to see the products compared to similar ones from other brands. Keep up the good work and all the best 🙂

    • Hi Julianne – you're so kind to say that. I try my hardest to get accurate photos, so it's great to hear that the reviews are helpful. Thank you for following XOXO

  • Rose and Pink Champagne are nice!

  • Will have to check these out! They look beautiful!! Can I ask what colors you have in your Mac palette with the 6 shadows, and what the ones in the blush palette are?? Thanks!!

    • Hi Traci – I'm behind on responding to comments, so sorry for the delay!

      6 pan eyeshadow palette, top right clockwise:
      Honesty, Woodwinked, Club, Sable, Patina and Grain (I think Grain might be discontinued)

      Square palette with blush:
      Top: Angel, Bottom: Blush All Day
      Eyeshadows top right clockwise: Naked Lunch, Bronze, Beauty Marked, Smut, Soba and Shroom

      HTH!

  • Lucky me! Two of the shades I was considering (Sateen and Warm Taupe) are featured in your LOTD 🙂 I've found myself pleasantly surprised with the overall quality of ABH's lip glosses and now I have the eyeshadows to look forward to trying. After all, life is more than eyebrows!

    • LOL – love this Eileen, yes thank goodness life is more than eyebrows because if it were, I would be dead. My brows are always horrid.

  • I hate that you feature eye shadow colors that I really love. I want them all now! lol I'm definitely going to check these out, particularly the shimmers and satins which are my favorite finishes.

    • I kinda hate that I loved these because now I need to try more colors for variety.

  • I am not very fond of eye-shadows. That's because they don't go well with my skin complexion or may be I didn't find the most appropriate one for myself yet.From the above collection I like the rose and nude one. Thanks for sharing the whole range…:)

  • The shades look incredibly good!!!
    Thanks for sharing – unfortunately we don't have sephora in Germany 🙁
    xx Isabelle

    http://www.isabellesurmont.com

    • Oh no 🙁 I hope you'll be able to try them another way!

  • Thanks for the comparisons and for the swatches, too. It's really tricky to get hold of Anastasia single eyeshadows in the UK, but the palettes are easier to come by – I'll hold out for the Modern Renaissance palette when it finally arrives!

    Beekeyper – Latest – MAC blush must-haves

    • Hope it arrives in the UK soon!

  • Great, in-depth post! I love the look of the shades 'rose' and 'sateen' – they're so stunning! I have a MAC quad but would love to try ABH xx

    Phoebe & Abida | phoebida.blogspot.co.uk

    • Thanks Phoebe and Abida – they really are pretty colors.

  • Sephora finally ship the UK, so I will have to add these to my cart next time I'm ordering they are all just so beautiful x

    http://www.beautyhype.co.uk

  • Oh, these are just the shades I love!!

    http://a-woman-of-a-certain-age.com/

    • Yay! Happy we are shadow twins for color preferences 🙂

  • Thank you for the in depth comparison! I've only tried a hand full of mac shades. I've found way more affordable ones that i prefer. I've never tried the 'cult classic' ones though, maybe they'll change my mind. I'm intrigued by the ABH ones though. They look so pretty in the swatches! Especially Nude and Chocolate Crumble xx

    LPage Beauty

    • Chocolate Crumble is so so pretty!

  • Hi! Great post, as usual. I love the new Mac palettes that let you mix and match. Can you fit the Anastasia pans into the pan holders from Mac? (I would love to mix shades from both brands inside Mac's me palettes) Do you know if their larger pans also match the larger pans from Mac? Thanks!

    • Hi Suzanne, I'm not sure about the larger pans as I don't have any of the contour powders. The Glow Kit pans are a lot larger.

      Eyeshadow sizing they are the same, but the magnets are different so I don't know how well they will sit in the MAC palettes.

      MAC shadows have the magnets on the pan. Anastasia shadows have the magnet in the compact.

  • I love that you compared these to MAC eyeshadows. I love Pink Champagne, it is the prettiest metallic pink. I also prefer the texture of the Anastasia mattes, they seem a tad smoother.

    XO.

    Trecee

  • Rose, Chiffon and Suede look so beautiful! We can't really get these in the UK but I got some whilst I was in New York and omg I'm obsessed – I need more!

    Jasmine xx

    Jasmine Talks Beauty

  • Pink Champagne looks amazing!

  • Rose, Pink Champagne, Chocolate Crumble, and Sateen are calling out to me!

    Jen | affecionada

  • ame

    Are the pans close in size to the MUFE artist ones?

    • Not sure – I don't have the MUFE artist pans.

  • Such a lovely review!! I love how in depth you go with your photos!! <3

    Amelia | http://amelia-g.blogspot.com.au/

  • Dear Sabrina, do you know if ABH is making all the colors in their palettes into singles ? Because it looks like so, at lease all of their past palettes have singles now. I wonder if they will make the red ochre in the modern renaissance into singles eventually.