Huda Beauty Desert Dusk Palette – Review & Swatches

I’ve been excitedly waiting for Huda Beauty’s Desert Dusk palette to launch for what feels like forever. As soon as I saw it I knew I had to have this in my collection!

I didn’t have any real expectations as I didn’t purchase the first Rose Gold palette. I had equivalents to a lot of the shadows in that palette so just didn’t feel like I would reach for it. But I love the purple shades together with the warm orange and brown shades in this palette. Just perfect for this time of year.

The packaging is gorgeous. Instead of the plastic casing with the previous palette this is all cardboard. But it does have a mirror! Its a full size mirror making it perfect for travelling. Being really fussy one slight complaint would be that a couple of the pans weren’t sitting completely flat in my palette (you might be able to see above with Cosmo and Twilight). But given you do get a mirror for the same price as the previous palette it’s really not a drama. I’ve not seen anyone else mention this so think I’ve just been a tad unlucky.

The palette itself contains 18 shades with 4 different textures. There are 8 mattes, 6 pressed pearls, 3 Duo-Chrome Toppers and 1 Pure Glitter.

I’ve included some swatches of each shade below in natural light on the left and with flash on the right.

Desert Sand (matte)
Musk (matte)
Eden (matte) 
Amber (matte)
Blood Moon (pressed pearl) 
Oud (matte)

Celestial (duo-chrome topper)
Nefertiti (pressed pearl)
Twilight (duo-chrome topper)
Amethyst (matte)
Royal (pressed pearl)
Retrograde (duo-chrome topper)

Cashmere (pressed pearl)
Angelic (pressed pearl)
Cosmo (glitter)
Turkish Delight (pressed pearl)
Saffrom (matte)
Blazing (matte)

My favourite shades have to be Blood Moon, Oud, Royal, Cashmere and Saffron. But it was so hard to pick just those as I really do like almost every shade.

The shadows themselves are super soft and pigmented, particularly the pressed pearls. I watched a couple of tutorials with people saying there is loads of kickback and showing them hitting pan in the first use. For that to happen you would literally have to stab your brush into each shadow and keep swirling it around in the pan. It actually annoys me watching some people trying palettes on YouTube and bashing a formula after being so heavy handed! Its makeup cruelty in my opinion and it’s not ok. If you lightly tap into each shade you won’t have any problems with fallout or the palette getting ruined.

When I initially swatched the matte shades I was a bit disappointed as they weren’t as pigmented as I was expecting. However you can still a really good colour pay off and they do blend out beautifully. I find the best way to use them is to go in with just a little bit at a time and build up the colour before blending it out. Purple and red shades are typically the hardest to work with so I was nervous to try Amethyst and Saffron. I found layering them over one of the lighter shades like Eden really helped with blending. Eden is a lovely pinky peach shade and works really well with all the darker shades in the palette.

As with the Rose Gold palette the pressed pearls and duo-chrome toppers do work best if you apply with them with your finger. I did try them with a synthentic brush sprayed with Mac fix plus and it did give a pretty similar result. So if you don’t like applying shadows with your finger maybe try that instead.

Cosmic is the pressed glitter in the palette. It’s the most stunning copper shade and reflects light beautifully. When you pick this up it is an actual glitter so you do need to use a glitter glue with it. I think where some people have had trouble is because its pressed you assume if will just press onto your eye. It’s a little bit faffy needing to use another product the palette doesn’t come with, but the end result is more than worth it.

Obviously if you love purple shades like me you’ll love this palette. But there are also enough neutral orange and brown shades to create a simple every day eye look with just one or two shades. You can also create beautiful copper, gold, purple and cranberry looks. I honestly feel like if I could only take one palette with me over the next couple of months it would have to be this one. It’s just the perfect autumn winter palette.

At £56 it is on the more expensive side. But with 18 shades that’s just over £3 a pan so it works out cheaper than affordable brands like Makeup Geek. If you like the shades in the palette I would definitely recommend it because its just so versatile.

Have you tried the Desert Dusk palette yet – if so, what did you think?

If you’re in the UK you can purchase it from Cult Beauty, Selfridges and Harrods.



  1. 27th September 2017 / 3:22 pm

    Loved reading your review! I’m very interested in this palette! I think the colours are absolutely gorgeous!

    • emmajtaylorblog
      30th September 2017 / 3:24 pm

      Thank you so much lovely. If you like the colours in the palette I would 100% get it, it’s stunning xx

      • 30th September 2017 / 6:23 pm

        I want to get it! It’s so expensive! I don’t usually indulge in palettes but this one may change my mind!

        • emmajtaylorblog
          2nd October 2017 / 8:21 pm

          Totally get what you mean – I almost passed because of the price but I just felt like the shade range would mean it would be the only palette I’d need for autumn winter looks for the rest of the year x

    • emmajtaylorblog
      30th September 2017 / 3:22 pm

      Thank you so much lovely, I’m obsessed with it xx

  2. 30th September 2017 / 8:41 pm

    I passed on this because I heard so many mixed reviews on her last one. plus I have some Mua friends from the states that felt the quality just wasn’t worth the money. However, I can’t deny it does looks stunning! Xx

    • emmajtaylorblog
      2nd October 2017 / 8:18 pm

      I totally get what you mean – I was a little bit disappointed initially with the quality of some of the matte shades as they take a little bit of work, but as soon as I saw the purple shades I just had to have it! Xx

  3. 30th September 2017 / 9:07 pm

    I was so excited when I seen huda announce this palette but now im sorta on the fence after watching so many mixed reviews. It does look pretty though and I much like the look of this one over the rose gold palette. x

    • emmajtaylorblog
      2nd October 2017 / 8:16 pm

      I know exactly what you mean, I was so worried when I saw certain reviews because I loved the colours. I think it’s very similar to what happened with the ABH Subculture palette where you need to use the shades in a certain way to get them to work but I’ve loved using it so far xx

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