The Desert at Dusk

It seems that eyeshadow palettes are my vice... I have more than enough warm eyeshadows to last a lifetime but apparently I needed one more (oh and I've since purchased two more (warm!) eyeshadow palettes...damn you Colourpop!). Although I was adamant that I wasn't going to buy the Huda Beauty Desert Dusk Palette...it somehow made its way into my basket. It's eye-wateringly expensive at $95 (luckily I got it for 20% off) but there's something about this combination of colours that inspired me and was definitely unique to me and my collection. By no means does that justify the purchase, but I have to say I'm really happy I bit the bullet!

Huda Beauty is not a brand I've been terribly interested in - this is my first product from her line. Her previous products (no matter how good the reviews) never caught my eye and seemed pretty generic. The Desert Dusk Palette on the other hand seemed really unique and I was so drawn to the shades! The packaging is an improvement from her first palette - it's sturdy, thick cardboard with a matte finish, magnetic closure and mirror. The shade names are also printed beneath the shadows which is always handy. 

I'm in love with the shade range of this palette - I think it's very diverse and I believe you can create a plethora of different looks. You can go very purple, very warm and orange/red, create distinct looks with the duochrome toppers and glitter, and even create "natural" wearable looks - both warm and cool. I've used this palette a handful of times now, and each look was completely different and distinct from the other. In my opinion, it's one of the most versatile palettes I own! I also love how saturated a lot of the shades are - you can create some very colourful (yet wearable) looks. Wear time is on par with other high-end shadows - over primer there is some creasing at the end of the day, but largely the shadow is still there and hasn't faded much.

The palette comes with 18 shades - 8 mattes, 6 pearls, 3 duochrome toppers and 1 glitter. Formula-wise, these shadows are definitely great quality, but not the be-all-end-all. The mattes have a slightly drier texture (as opposed to the super soft/creamy/buttery feel of Anastasia Modern Renaissance for example, which are so soft they can sometimes crumble and kick off a lot of powder) but perform well. They all have very good pigmentation, bar Amethyst which is a tad chalky and needs building up. Despite their harder/drier texture, they still pick up on the brush easily but don't kick up a huge amount of powder. They also blend really easily! Of the "pearls", I would say there are two finishes. To me, Blood Moon and Turkish Delight are more of an intense metallic, foiled shadow and have incredible pigmentation and a very creamy feel. The other shimmery shades are more traditional shimmers with a slightly drier feel (but still soft) and aren't as metallic but still have good pigmentation. 

The duochrome toppers were the main draw for me in this palette. Shade-wise - they are incredible and look so pretty on the eyes. They're shiny, glimmery, metallic and slightly glittery. They tend to have a sheerer base colour and intense shifty shimmer and glitter particles. As they are described as "toppers", I can forgive their slightly sheerer nature. They look amazing layered over other shadows, or used alone for a more 'subtle' look. I typically apply them with a finger for best pigmentation. I have heard people expressing criticism over Cosmo - the glitter shade. There seems to be constant condensation/fogginess on the mirror from this shade, and people have even reported some rust in the pan so it's definitely something to look for. I haven't seen the rust yet, and it seems to have stayed well in the pan thus far. The texture is odd - it's definitely a "pressed" glitter but can still be moved around within the pan. It applies easily enough patted on with a finger and over a glitter primer I experienced little fallout. It looks so pretty on the eye! I think it's a cool addition and adds something different to the palette, but I wonder if it was perhaps better if it had just come loose and separate from the palette altogether.

L-R: Desert Sand, Musk, Eden, Amber, Blood Moon and Oud

Desert Sand is your typical matte cream shade. A great colour to set all over the lid. I do also use it on the browbone but it isn't extremely highlighting on my skintone.

Musk is one of the cooler shades in the palette - a medium, neutral-cool matte brown. Great for if you wanted to do a cooler look or just didn't want a very warm transition shade.

Eden is a matte peachy-orange colour. I love this colour as a transition/crease shade for warm looks. It is that though - very warm - and I kind of wish there was something in between Musk and Eden. That being said, you can very easily mix them together!

Amber is a deeper matte red-toned, warm brick brown. 

Blood Moon is a rich metallic dark copper shade. It's turning up a little red in my swatches! 

Oud is the deepest brown of the palette and has warm, slightly burgundy tones. I'd say it could be a bit more pigmented, but it's very easy to work with and build for being such a dark colour.

L-R: Celestial, Nefertiti, Twilight, Amethyst, Royal and Retrograde

Celestial is a complex shade! It has a sheer beige-peach base, and shifts to a strong green-gold, as well as having pink glitter and a pink shift to it. So beautiful!

Nefertiti is a warm, shimmery golden peach shade.

Twilight is another stunner - it has a sheer warm pinky-orangish base with a super strong lilac shift and blue glitter. So difficult to describe but it is so pretty and unique!

Amethyst is a medium matte magenta purple. The worst performing shade in the palette but that being said it still works well - it just requires a bit of layering. I love it in the crease though with Twilight all over the lid!

Royal is a deep, shimmery burgundy-purple shade.

Retrograde is the last duochrome topper. It's sheer base is made up of a warm reddish-brown colour and it shifts to a purple shade and again has blue glitter to it. Much like a blue-brown shade but warmer at its base.

L-R: Cashmere, Angelic, Cosmo, Turkish Delight, Saffron and Blazing

Cashmere is the other more cool shade in the palette. It's a taupey-mushroom shimmery shade.

Angelic is a shimmery pink with heavy gold shimmer/shift. My swatch is showing the pink base a bit strong - in reality it comes off as predominantly gold, shifting pink in some lights.

Cosmo is actually very pretty! It's mainly made up of red glitter, with a lot of copper, orange and gold as well as a few sparse purple glitters thrown in. 

Turkish Delight is a metallic pink-toned red. It's very similar to Blood Moon in both formula/finish and shade. This is more red while Blood Moon is more copper/orange. 

Saffron is a matte red shade with a slight raspberry tone.

Blazing is a fiery matte orange shade.

While it's a hefty price tag to pay - I think I can justify it! When you break down the fact that you get 18 different shades, with which you can create a wide array of different, distinct looks - to me it's worth it! The formula is very good and easy to work with, but like I said, not the best I've ever tried! I honestly don't have any major criticisms about it, and the shades have really inspired me to go out of my comfort zone and experiment with different shades and textures!

What are your thoughts on the Huda Beauty Desert Dusk Palette? Would you shell out for it - or have you?!

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