Which Should You Buy First? Pat McGrath vs Natasha Denona
This post is not sponsored and does not contain affiliate links.
I think it's fair to say most people can't mindlessly drop $69-129 on an eyeshadow palette, especially now. Which makes deciding between two heavyweights in the high end eyeshadow game a little difficult if you're ready and have planned for your first eyeshadow investment.
First, I should start by noting that everything I've learned about Pat McGrath and Natasha Denona, besides my own experience of the 4 palettes I have, I've learned from Alicia Archer's encyclopedic knowledge of the brands and palettes. If you want specific palette reviews I highly recommend her channel.
If you're newer to makeup or eyeshadow, my recommendation would be to invest in Natasha Denona. Her formulas are intended to be user friendly, as they were initially created for her makeup school students. They're crease proof and water resistant as well, so they've been fantastic for my hooded, somewhat deep set eyes.
Natasha's packaging is firm and sturdy, sleek and well designed, but not ornate, and she also includes more product per pan of eyeshadow than Pat, so the cost per gram is lower.
If you're into glitter, flaky textures, deep mattes, duochromes, and are a confident eyeshadow user, I'd wager you'll be very pleased with a Pat McGrath Mothership and you may find Natasha's palettes more predictable. Natasha's shimmers and metallics still sparkle, and some of her palettes have beautiful multichromes, but Pat leans more to the experimental in terms of shades, textures, and colors. And her packaging is a luxury, artistic experience, a heavy glossy back case with gold trim in an exquisitely designed uni-carton.
Both women are tremendous artists. Pat is from a high fashion editorial background, and her palettes reflect that. Whereas Natasha is primarily an educator. I like to think of Natasha's formula as a well written timeless tome intended for university and Pat's as a couture work of art.
Both brands or their retailers predictably run sales so you rarely have to pay full price for a large palette if you can help it. And both have long wear time, are pigmented, and sparkle beautifully in the light.
Personally, when I make my next high end eyeshadow purchase, it will be an investment into a Natasha Denona midi. While every single eyeshadow in a Pat McGrath palette is stunning, some of her glittery formulas simply don't work with my eye anatomy, so the better return on investment for me is Natasha's. For you that may be very different: do you want to go to the runway or the classroom?