At first, I didn’t understand the hype surrounding Huda Beauty. While everyone else was singing endless praises of the Rose Gold palette on Instagram and urging me to try it, I simply lifted one shoulder in the weary shrug of someone who has swatched approximately 53,857,612 eyeshadows. Objectively, I could see the appeal of Huda Kattan’s viral line; the glimmering textures and the vibrant shades certainly looked beautiful in the link a coworker sent me. Subjectively? I was more interested in what the cafeteria was serving for lunch that day.
That all changed late last year when fate made Huda’s Desert Dusk palette land on my desk, so I could finally experience love at first sight. I lifted the lid, and the 18 pans of color bewitched me on the spot. I wore them daily after that, reveling in their perfect textures and mesmerizing hues. Everywhere I went, someone would unfailingly comment on my eye makeup—makeup artists, editors, friends, and once, even an A-list celebrity. And since I usually smeared them on with my fingers, I knew it was the palette (not my less-than-stellar application skills) that deserved the credit.
So when Glamour‘s senior beauty editor, Lindsay Schallon, texted me about Huda’s latest release, I experienced prickles of intrigue. “I never wear eyeshadow and this changed me,” she insisted. “You’ll be obsessed.” In all the time that I have known her, I have heard her wax rhapsodic about many things—including dainty necklaces and her cat—but never eyeshadow. [Editor’s note: It’s true] I knew I had to investigate further.
The New Nude Eyeshadow Palette launched earlier this month, and it’s already racked up plenty of rave reviews on social media. Kattan specifically designed it to house a balance of cool and warm tones, cycling through countless color variations and textures until she landed on the final result. The goal was to “reinvent” traditional nude palettes since “today everyone has their own interpretation of nude,” she said. I’ll admit that my all-consuming love for Desert Dusk gave me tunnel vision, so I initially scrolled right past the more mellow selection of pinks, berries, and neutrals. But, when I gave it a second look in person, I instantly understood why so many people were falling hard for another one of her creations.
Like the other palettes Huda Beauty sells, the New Nude also contains 18 pans. But, because Kattan is a makeup queen that never stops innovating, there are additional surprises inside. Ten of the shades are satin mattes—smooth (thanks to aloe vera and coconut oil), flat colors with a soft-focus finish. I love these for blending and building dimension. Then, there are four multi-reflective pearls, a formula that combines the best qualities of duo-chrome and metallic shadows. Two pressed glitters, a creamy pressed pearl, and a beige cream base complete the set.
To truly understand the genius of the New Nude, you really need to see it in person. I found myself so inspired by the dazzling selection that I even used her eyeshadow brushes instead of my fingers to complete my masterpieces—a rare occurrence. I first tried layering a selection of plum and berry shades: Raw, Kinky, Fantasy, Excite, and Teddy. After filling up my camera roll with the appropriate number of selfies (500, give or take a few), I tried a pairing that emphasized the iridescent quality of her multi-reflective pearl formula. Layering Charmed and Play resulted in a dreamy lid wash that alternately flashed violet and peach in the cool winter light. Finally, I mixed Crave, Play, and Infatuated. The combination was subtle, but it coated my eyes in a gleaming halo of shimmer. Picture the inside of a seashell bathed in gentle mood lighting. That was me at the end of this process—cue another 500 selfies.
I won’t be giving up Desert Dusk anytime soon (or ever, really), but if you only buy one palette this year, this is it. Plus, take it from me: Once you get your hands on it, you won’t be able to let go.
Huda Beauty The New Nude Eyeshadow Palette, $65, sephora.com
–Huda Kattan’s 3D Highlighter Palette Is What Instagram Dreams Are Made Of
–9 Things You Should Never Say to a Woman Who Loves Makeup, According to Huda Kattan
–Watch Huda Kattan Make Only Drugstore Makeup Look Like a Million Dollars