New to Ulta, the Nabla Poison Garden eyeshadow palette was simply too beautiful to ignore. Allow me to introduce you to the Italian indie brand that’s starting to make waves in the states.
It’s been what feels like since forever that I’ve wanted to try Nabla Cosmetics. Like most new-to-me beauty brands, I discovered their shiny pretty things on Instagram. The Italian based, cruelty-free makeup line has a full assortment of products, ranging from foundation to lipsticks and even to brows. We of course all know that eyeshadow palettes in particular are my weakness – and so it comes as no surprise that what most caught my eye was Nabla’s eye-catching selection of eyeshadow palettes.
But being in the states, I had to ask myself did I really need another eyeshadow palette so badly that it warranted international travel? REALLY?
No I didn’t.
One from Ulta, however? That’s an entirely different story. Or, at least that’s what I told myself when Ulta started stocking the brand this summer. I quickly added the Nabla Poison Garden palette to my cart online and *placed* my order before I any second thoughts could creep in.
Facing the Negative Reviews
No question, the palette is a stunner. Other than that, I really knew nothing about the Nabla Poison Garden eyeshadow palette when it arrived. Here in America, Nabla Cosmetics is still relatively unheard of and you have to do a little digging to find reviews of their products online.
What I did find while looking, though, kinda shocked me.
After the palette arrived, I set out to give it a try while flipping through YouTube videos of beauty gurus giving their two cents on how well it worked. For the most part, they weren’t happy. They complained that the palette was patchy and one went so far to say some very crass and rude things about it that I definitely won’t repeat here.
Honestly, I was shocked. The Poison Garden palette at first sight looked beautiful to me and I’d never seen people get so heated over makeup before. To quote Taylor Swift, I found myself thinking “You need to calm down.”
A Love that Grows with Each Use
The reason I wanted to point out these negative reviews straight off the bat, is because the ones I watched were “first impression” reviews. And, upon my first impression I had to agree. The palette wasn’t as instantly great out the gate as other palettes and required a little practice to really appreciate how it performs.
With each use, my opinion of the Poison Garden palette changed DRAMATICALLY. So much so, in fact, that I’ve worn absolutely nothing else on my eyes for the past four weeks. I love it so much, in fact, that I packed it with me on my current vacation to the Jersey Shore — which you know says a lot about how committed I’ve become to it.
So with that in mind, ahead you’ll get the full scoop on my experience with the palette and how you can get the very most from it in your everyday makeup routine.
Inside the Poison Garden Palette
Tucked inside the Nabla Poison Garden palette you’ll find 15 striking shades in a variety of textures and finishes. Included are:
- Zodiac: Matte black
- Fabric: Metallic sandy champagne
- Adoration: Wet effect crystal shade with cobalt, indigo and magenta reflections
- Berry Bite: Matte magenta
- Adiago: Matte deep brown
- Zen: Matte medium brown with rosy undertones
- Craving: Duo-chrome amethyst purple with w/ fuchsia and peach reflections
- Honey: Matte honey orange
- Subliminal: Duo-chrome copper with red and gold reflections
- Archetype: Metallic bronze with gold threading
- Rosita: Metallic, dusty rose
- Majorelle: Matte, majorelle blue
- Narrative: Matte, warm beige
- Opera: Matte burgundy wine
- Canvas: Matte light custard
When you look at the shadows up close and personal, you realize how much depth Nabla managed to pack into a single shade.
Adoration in particular is one of the most unique and stunning eyeshadow shades I have ever come across. In the pan, it looks crystal white. Applied to your lid, however, you’ll find that it is has iridescent qualities and casts off pinks and blues.
Immediately I was impressed with the quality of pigment the shadows deliver. They are vibrant in the pan and they apply vibrantly on the lid. What more could you ask for, really?
Here’s where criticism of the Nabla Poison Garden eyeshadow palette started to pick up. The shadows do have a dry texture, particularly the matte shades. The dryness wasn’t an initial turnoff for me, though. The shadows swatched nicely. The dryness does come into play quite when it comes to actually applying the shadows. What I found was that if you don’t use a light hand, you’re going to have problems.
Important: Use a Light Touch
Spilling over from the point above, I have to stress the importance of using a light hand when applying these shadows. If you go in too strong, you’ll run into issues with patchiness as the shadow will cling to the initial spot where you place the pigment. Same concept applies to blending. If you use a heavy hand blending, you’ll wind up creating a bit of a mess. In fact, on my first go around using the Nabla Poison Garden palette I ended up using makeup remover to clean off my eyes and start over altogether.
Now, to give you a better idea of how the shadows look in action…check out these swatches!
All-Day Wear Time
Using either the Lorac or Wet n Wild eyeshadow primers, I’m able to get a full day of wear time out of the Nabla Poison Garden eyeshadow palette. In a pinch, you can also apply concealer to your eyelids to double as a primer.
Some of the negative reviews I saw mentioned creasing, but I honestly never came across that issue. If you are concerned about creasing, though, I’d recommend applying the shade Canvas all over your lid space to neutralize the surface.
Blend with a Light Hand
I know I mentioned using a light hand already, but it’s so important I wanted to stress it again in terms of blending. Use a blending brush (Mac, Sigma, Wet n Wild, Elf…any will do) and move over the shadow ever so lightly. The palette also includes three really nice blending shades to help you get the job done. Narrative, Honey and Zen all work beautifully at blending out the shades and pulling your whole look together.
It’s a Marathon, Not a Sprint
Another thing I noticed when using the Nabla Poison Garden eyeshadow palette, pulling multiple shades together to create a “look” takes time. If you’re in a big rush, you can absolutely pile one shade all over your lid and pop another in the crease for a quick eyeshadow look. Anything more than that will require extra time on your part. As someone who wasn’t born with a lot of patience, this was probably the biggest learn curve obstacle I had to cross when figuring this particular palette out. Once I got the hang of it, I got it and could even move a little faster…but if you try to rush through using the palette, I think you’ll walk away disappointed. Taking your time and going lightly will definitely pay off for you.
Overall Thoughts? Not a Beginner Palette
While I’ve come to absolutely adore the Poison Garden palette, I have to admit it is not a palette I think “beginners” will enjoy. The shadows do require a bit more tender, loving caring than your average eyeshadow palette. To me, the end result makes the palette absolutely worth it…but if you’re just starting out on your eyeshadow journey, I’d recommend going with something more basic. (The ELF New Classics palette is really wonderful and super affordable.)
All that said, I’m pumped up by this palette!! Nabla created some really unique shades that reflect and catch the light in such a special way. The palette is also incredibly versatile. You can easily create everyday neutral looks…same as you can create more dramatic looks by incorporate vivid shades like the gorgeous Majorelle blue and Berry Bit magenta (which works surprisingly well in the crease, btw).
Nabla Poison Garden Palette Rundown
- Includes 15 shades with varying textures (Matte, metallic, shimmers)
- Available at Nabla Cosmetics and Ulta
- $39 price tag
- Certified cruelty-free
- Cardboard packaging with full-sized mirror included
- Strong pigmentation
- Long-lasting shadows
- Unique, multi-dimensional shades
- Includes three really nice blending shades
- Wide color selection, ranging from neutral to bold
- Decent price for the amount of product
- Great packaging
- Not an easy palette for beginners
- Limited availability
- Can be difficult to blend if using a heavy hand
Overall Grade: A-
I’m sold. And I’m really glad I didn’t let the negative first impression reviews deter me from falling in love with the palette. If you are an eyeshadow palette FIEND like me, I think you will really love this and do recommend picking it up.
Shop the Post
Nabla ‘Poison Garden’ Eyeshadow Palette ($39)
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