The only thing Kat Von D and I have in common is our astrological sign (Pisces). Otherwise, she is everything I am not: namely artistic, covered in tattoos, and apparently, very, very good at selling makeup. “It’s one of Sephora’s best-selling lines,” Annie informs me. Customers give most of her products an average rating above four out of five stars. “If they ever discontinue her Lightning Liner,” a friend tells me, “I will be very, very bummed,”
Having not tried the stuff, I didn't understand the hype. The Chrysalis Eyeshadow Palette looks like a butterfly coloring book, with shadows named Entombed (a pearlescent blue) and Melancholia (silver) promising “transformation' and “a rebirth of color,” Upon first glance, it's not something I'd explore further while snaking through the aisles at Sephora.
So branding wise, I may not be Kat Von D’s target audience—but that said, years of ballet taught me to recognize quality show (dramatic, pigmented) makeup when I encounter it. The eye shadow is highly pigmented yet buildable, allowing light washes or heavy layers of application. While I'm more drawn to the Monarch Eyeshadow Palette’s neutral shades, I go for the Chrysalis’ blues, grays, and purples because we're trying new things here.
The fact that I was out of my comfort zone with the colors aside, the quality is there—the shadows seem to set into the skin instead of sitting on top of it. (The result of triple-milled powder, I think?) I use Glasswing (matte caramel) as a base, a mix of Hybrid Moments (deep purple) and Mezzanine (sparkly violet) for my sockets, Tornay (matte navy) as a liner, and Lucid (sparkly rose) on my brow bone. The final result inevitably yields heavily made-up lids like Kat Von D’s. A few hours later, the shadow migrated only a tiny bit below my bottom lash line—impressive compared to other dark shadows I regularly use. The color remains in place, not in my crease. Which is what you would hope from a woman who permanently inks people for a living, right?
Photos by Tom Newton.