Product review: ABH Modern Renaissance palette

If you are into makeup and enjoy playing with eyeshadow palettes, there’s a very good chance you’ve heard of Anastasia Beverly Hills. Their most famous palette, Modern Renaissance, is one of the most popular and well-reviewed eyeshadow palettes on the market. So what did I think of their Modern Renaissance palette?

Modern Renaissance is a warm-toned palette which features 11 matte shades and 3 metallic shades. It includes a bone colour matte (Tempera) to set down your concealer or primer base, a number of crease colour options, a hot pink, a bright orange and a gorgeous red pigment (Red Ochre). As with all ABH palettes, it also comes with a two-ended eyeshadow brush.


If, like me, you tend to use eyeshadow every day, this palette is perfect. One of the best things about the colour story is how wearable the shades are – I love having palettes with oranges and pinks for every day use. If I need an extra something, I can use Realgar for pop of colour or pack on Primavera to a cut crease lid to brighten the eyes. Another great thing about the colours in this palette is how many different looks you can achieve – at first I was worried the shade range was too limited and I’d have to do the same combination each time. Fortunately, it really is more diverse than you think and you only need check out a #modernrenaissance hashtag to see all the awesome looks people can achieve with this palette.


At time of writing, ABH Modern Renaissance is £42 (excl. P&P). Similar offerings from other brands include the Huda Beauty Nude palette which sits at £56, the Morphe  35O2 Second Nature eyeshadow palette at £23 and the BH Cosmetics Nouveau Neutrals palette at £17. You could get 6-8 Makeup Revolution palettes for the price of this one (such as Obsession x Belle Jorden for £10, the Angel/Dragons Heart palettes for £7, and the Cranberries & Chocolate Palette for £9).


This is hard for me to write because of the hype around this palette, but despite how amazing the colour story is and the rave reviews this palette gets online and how excited I was to finally get my hands on one, I hate mine! I bought it in Sephora while I was in New York in December and I was so excited to get it home and play with it. Until then, I’d been using a fake from eBay (please don’t judge) which I loved and which was really pigmented. Unfortunately, I got this home and none of the shades look like the shade they are in the pan. Realgar turns into a murky brown, Venetian Red and Love Letter look the same on the eye, and they’re dull too. Even Tempera, the bone colour I wanted to use as a base, for some reason is loaded with tiny specks of glitter. What I intended to be a daytime look ended up muddy and glittery. I am still so confused about why this palette is performing badly. I thought maybe I had a dud, but my Norvina palette is the same. I’ve tried every technique I know, followed loads of different tutorials, I’ve tried different bases and brushes (concealer, UD Primer Potion, bare skin) and it just becomes a dull mess everytime. I couldn’t even get one look right to take photos for this post! I am truly gutted – I was so excited for this palette, but for me it’s a huge flop (and my £6 fake is a million times better).

Verdict – ★★☆☆☆

A gorgeous-to-look-at palette with a colour story perfectly designed for everyday use, but extremely disappointing – for £42, you could get some really awesome alternatives. Personal favourite brands of mine are Makeup Revolution (such as the Sophdoesnails Extra Spice palette) and BH Cosmetics (check out the Nouveau Neutrals or Blushes Neutrals palettes). I hope you had a better experience of this palette – let me know what you thought of it.

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