GA-DE GD Idyllic Soft Satin Eyeshadow Palette in 34 Golden Savannah - review and swatches

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I received this little eye quad as a GWP from Beautybay last year - I didn't actually pick it as a GWP; it was included in my order because the GWP I did pick had apparently sold out - and I wasn't unhappy to see it because it retails for a lot more than the travel-sized cleanser I'd chosen.

Mind you, I knew as soon as I opened it that it would be one of those products that sat around gathering dust: reason being, it's not a complete palette because it doesn't contain any mattes (it has two shimmers and two satins, all being gold eyeshadows), and indeed I hadn't used it much at all until recently when I decided to bring it into Project Dent (see here).

Now that I've given it a good test run, I'm more than ready to review it and also remove it from circulation - I've had enough!


I do like the packaging: it's chrome and has a nice weight. The compact also has a good mirror and feels sturdy, plus it clicks securely shut so it should be ok for travel. It's packaging done well and I like the look of the product overall.

The only thing I don't love about the packaging is that there's a small amount of wasted space at the bottom that houses one of those foam applicators: most people these days never use these and I don't know why brands still include them. I have used mine a couple of times (just to avoid dirtying another brush), but I'll go ahead and throw it out now because I don't find these applicators useful.


GA-DE claims/product details:
  • A luxurious eyeshadow palette in a variety of finishes
  • Dress the eyes in a rich prism of multidimensional colour
  • Formulated with an exceptionally smooth and long-wearing formula
  • Contains a range of textured finishes, from soft matte to luxe pearlescent
  • The ultimate palette for adding depth and dimension to your eye makeup
  • Packaged in a sleek black compact, making it ideal for touch ups on-the-go
  • Infused with vitamins c and e, ensuring that vibrancy and radiance are imparted onto the skin while offering deeply nourishing benefits
  • Enhances the eyelids with seductive highlights, and keeps them soft and smooth
  • Soft, ultra-fine and lustrous powders offer effortless application, luxurious touch and a pure, gliding colour effect
  • RRP $27 USD for 7g, but do shop around


These come in a variety of shades and I received shade 34 Golden Savannah, which is described as 'a collection of rich golden colours'.

The palette does look impressive and I like the addition of one shadow that has a 'cushioned' surface: the quad looks fancy and distinctive for this reason, and I do love a good gold eyeshadow so I was hoping to enjoy this - even though I can't use it on its own because it's so limiting (more on that below).


The shades aren't named so I'll go clockwise from the top left:
  • Shade 1 is a dirty antique gold with a satin finish. It's one of those gold shades that looks green/olive on the eye and although it can look 'flat', you can wake it up by pairing it with eg a burnt orange or a rich plum. I quite like the colour but it's a bit hard/gritty to the touch and it also developed hard-pan within a few uses. Not good.
  • Shade 2 is a shimmery champagne gold that has a similar texture to Shade 1, so it's a bit hard/gritty to the touch and indeed it developed hard-pan too. This shade doesn't have a lot of base pigment so it's more of a shimmery top coat, and while a shade like this would be quite useful in a palette of mattes, it's all but redundant in a quad of satins/shimmers so I'm not sure why it's been included.
  • Shade 3 is a pale gold satin shade. It has the best texture of the four shadows and it's beautifully creamy and silky, but it's so soft in colour that it doesn't make for a good highlight shade on the eyes because it barely shows up, so it can't 'hold its own' against the two darker shades. Again, I'm not sure why it's been included in a small palette like this where every shade needs to work hard (as opposed to eg a larger palette where you have more options). It makes a good highlight for the face but doesn't do enough on the eyes in my opinion.
  • Shade 4 also has a better texture than the first two shades and it's soft and silky, though not quite so much as Shade 3. It's another dirty antique gold (this time with shimmer) and while it looks quite different from Shade 1 in swatches, in practice they look very similar on the eye and I can't get a good gradient from them. This might in part be due to my medium colouring (with yellow/olive undertones), so the palette might work better overall on someone with eg paler skin and pink undertones.


I've photographed the palette in direct sunlight above and indirect sunlight below. 

You should be able to see the hard-pan in Shade 1 in these shots (Shade 2's hard-pan developed later on).


There we are again below, natural light (this shot was taken before I used it for the first time, so no hard-pan yet):


Below I've done finger swatches (left) and brush swatches (right), going clockwise from the top left.

Direct sunlight:


Indirect sunlight:


Natural light (here you should be able to see the little dark flecks of hard-pan from Shade 1 that have deposited themselves on my skin - look at the brush swatch in particular):


Verdict

I really don't understand this palette: it doesn't make sense to me. I just think that you can't have a quad with two shades that look almost the same on the eye and two that don't have enough pigment to add much to an eye look. While these issues would be less problematic in a larger palette, in a quad every shade needs to work hard and have a purpose, and I don't think these do.

All shades apply well and blend out nicely on the eye, which you'd expect from a palette with no mattes because mattes tend to be harder to formulate and they normally present the biggest blending issues.

And that's another issue with the palette: without at least one matte, for many people a quad like this won't be a stand-alone palette and it's definitely not for me. So in practice I'll never use this unless I depot it and put it into a palette with other shades.

On that, I've discovered that these shadows pop out of the packaging with very little effort, so I'll move them into a Z-palette once I've made enough room through Pan that Palette 2017 - and I do plan to throw them straight into a panning challenge because they're usable but I don't want to keep them in my collection. 

It's concerning that two of the shades developed hard-pan within a few uses: this tells me the quality isn't there because I tend to only have hard-pan issues with cheaply formulated products.

As for how these look on the eye: I do like the colour of the two dirty gold shades, but as mentioned above, they can look flat unless you eg pair them with a rusty orange or a rich plum (I have mattes in those shades that I use in the crease when I apply one of the shadows from this palette on my lid). It would be better if a matte shade like that had been included in this palette.

The soft satin shade (Shade 3) is lovely in theory but it barely shows up on me so I can't use it as an inner corner or lid highlight. Instead I've been using it on my face or collarbones and it gives a natural glow that's the kind of highlight I like, but it does emphasise texture so it's not one I can reach for if I want to look my best.

The shimmery shade without much pigment (Shade 2) is a useless addition to a palette like this in my opinion and I've used it the least of all the four shades. I might find it easier to use if I include it in a palette that contains plenty of mattes: that way I can run a matte colour over the lid and then use this as a shimmery 'top coat'.

All four shades look fine on the eye and they wear reasonably well, although I'd definitely recommend using an eye primer to get the best from them (you can say that of course of most shadows).

So in sum, I don't like this palette and I can't recommend it. It's not a stand-alone palette; it's one of those palettes that one doesn't quite know how to use; and I don't think it's been well thought-through for the reasons mentioned above.

Avoid. I've given it a 'disappointing products' tag.


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