Pat McGrath Nocturnal Nirvana Blitz Astral Eyeshadow Quad Review & Swatches

Nocturnal Nirvana

Pat McGrath Nocturnal Nirvana Blitz Astral Eyeshadow Quad is a new, limited edition foursome that features all shimmer shades in the Blitz and Astral-based finishes in the brand’s range. These are often referred to as the “dome-shaped” shades as they tend to have more “effects” than the typical, pressed powder eyeshadows (that are flat). Under how-tos, these types of finishes are often recommended to be applied using fingertips or with wet brushes, though they aren’t always listed that way, and some shades can be used dry/as-is. If you like more pigmented, shimmery eyeshadows, they’re all quite nice–easy to work with, blendable, and long-wearing.

Here’s some official details on the “domed” finishes:

These hybrid formulations combine all of the best features of baked, powder, cream and fluid textures for high pick-up and opulent payoff. Created to ensure the perfect suspension of pigments for a range of finishes that radiate pure colour reflection and dramatic shine.

BLITZ / This revolutionary formulation perfectly captures pearlescent pigments while releasing a burst of high-definition chromatic colour. Its smooth, satin, sensorial sheen is easily blendable and buildable without being powdery, for a highly polished, metalized, pure chrome finish.

METALMORPHOSIS / This Metalmorphosis-inspired formulation features next generation pigments that release a cascade of molten metallic effects and unprecedented colour performance. Dramatic light effects radiate pure metallic colour and shape eyes with blinding luminosity.

ASTRAL / This intense, crystalline formula unleashes a wave of star-like pigments with infinite pearlescence. Infused with a bright, lustrous, glass-like powder, it adds extreme visual depth and dimensionality, gliding across the lids with exquisite blendability and the purest colour effects.

I think the brand could position/describe their shades a bit better on a per-shade basis because the information often has a general take of “one-stroke, fully pigmented, opaque color saturation” and things like “pure colour intensity” but then other shades are to be built up using fingertips or a wet brush, so there can be confusion on what to expect. Sometimes they have a list of each shade and give better (clearer) details on how to use, but it doesn’t always occur.

Based on experience, the more glittering a shade, the less base pigment it has, but a lot of the Blitz and Metalmorphosis shades are more pigmented than they are buildable to begin with. As is the case with most pigmented eyeshadows, you can use a lighter hand or a fluffier brush to achieve sheerer and more buildable coverage.

Incandescent Gold 003

Incandescent Gold 003 is a light-medium gold with moderate, warm undertones and a bright, metallic finish. It had opaque pigmentation applied dry, with fingertip, or with a dampened brush–it was by no means a sheerer or buildable product on its face.

The “how-to” recommended applying this shade with fingertips and building to desired intensity, but fingertips yielded opaque results with little effort/product. You’d have to use a very light hand and a fluffier brush to achieve more medium coverage. If you enjoy pigmented eyeshadows, you can mentally bump up the rating to an A+ (as I rate for how it’s supposed to perform–buildable pigmentation).

The texture was smooth, dense without being too firmly-pressed into the pan, and blendable without fallout. It had minimal fading after nine and a half hours of wear.

Blitz Aquamarine

Blitz Aquamarine is a bright, light-medium blue with subtle, cool undertones and warmer, green-gold shimmer paired with a metallic finish. It had semi-opaque, buildable pigmentation applied dry and opaque coverage when applied with a dry brush. The texture was fairly smooth with slight dustiness in the pan, but the product applied well to bare skin and adhered well for nine-hour wear.

The brand said to build up intensity using fingertip or to apply with a dampened brush; using a fingertip yielded semi-opaque to opaque coverage and dampened brushes definitely yielded opaque coverage. I’d say that it is a bit more pigmented than the brand seems to describe–a little buildable but pretty pigmented with a dry brush, let alone with a fingertip!

VR Emerald

VR Emerald is a medium green with warmer, olive undertones and a bright, sparkling finish. It was described as a duochrome, and it shifted subtly to a plummy-purple at very extreme angles, but it was hard for me to detect it in person, even on my arm.

The texture was soft to the touch, smooth, but slightly dustier where some of the shimmer was more easily blended/diffused away from the base, so I’d recommend using shorter, more precise strokes to blend out if you don’t want the shimmer to diffuse too far beyond where it was initially applied.

It had semi-opaque pigmentation applied dry with a tendency to sheer out slightly, while applying with fingertips yielded opaque coverage that was less prone to sheering out and applying with a dampened brush yielded opaque, slightly deeper coverage with no tendency to sheer out. This shade had a “how-to” that said to press it on with fingertip to get to “desired colour intensity,” which seemed fairly consistent with my experience. It wore well for eight and a half hours on me before fading slightly.

Blitz Purple

Blitz Purple is a deep purple with subtle, cool undertones and a pearly sheen. It had rich pigmentation applied dry or wet, and it applied surprisingly well (with intense coverage but good blendability) with a fluffier crease brush. The texture was smooth, dense, and more like a thicker cream eyeshadow in the pan; it seemed to get a bit creamier after the first use.

I worried whether that would translate well during application, but it worked beautifully. The color stayed on nicely for nine and a half hours on me. This was the only shade that the brand never listed to use with fingertips in their “how-to.”