Laura Mercier Artist Eyeshadow Palette for Spring 2014 (Nordstrom Exclusive) Review & Swatches

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Having missed the first two releases, I was more than happy to learn about the launch of the new Laura Mercier Artist Eyeshadow Palette for Spring 2014 and I told myself I wasn't going to miss it again this time! The launch is a little too close to the previous Winter/Holiday 2013 edition in my opinion, but the real shocker is this: the Spring 2014 version is almost double in price! Ouch!

The palette and minis

Laura Mercier Artist Eyeshadow Palette

Laura Mercier Artist Eyeshadow Palette

Laura Mercier Artist Eyeshadow Palette

Laura Mercier Artist Eyeshadow Palette

Laura Mercier Artist Eyeshadow Palette - mascara and Caviar Stick

Laura Mercier Artist Eyeshadow Palette – mascara and Caviar Stick

I know there are some people who are put off by the “animal skin” pattern of the palette, but I personally love it! I think it's classy and it's actually cushioned, too, so it feels really nice in the hand. The lid opens and closes with a strong magnet and there is a large mirror inside. The applicators are not included but the set does come with 2 minis: a Caviar Stick in Cocoa (0.03 oz) and a Full Blown Volume Lash Building mascara in Black (0.2 oz).

Laura Mercier Artist Eyeshadow Palette

Laura Mercier Artist Eyeshadow Palette

Laura Mercier Artist Eyeshadow Palette

Laura Mercier Artist Eyeshadow Palette

Laura Mercier Artist Eyeshadow Palette

Laura Mercier Artist Eyeshadow Palette

There are 12 eyeshadow shades in the palette. Top row are all mattes, bottom row is a mix of Satins (or Sateen's) and Lusters. There are 2 repeats to the Holiday 2013 — Guava and African Violet. I also believe there are 6 repeats to the first version but I'm not 100% sure on this.

Comparing to the Holiday 2013 version, I think the Spring 2014 is a little more on the “dramatic/smoky” side. The colors are “darker” and less “daytime” but they are all still wearable for any occasions. The selection is hand-selected by Laura Mercier herself and I think she did a pretty good job here. There is a good balance of “daytime” and “nighttime” shades that would cover any basic and advanced makeup looks. I don't think it's a “wow” selection by any means but it's still a good selection nonetheless. If you already own quite a few neutral palettes, you may find it redundant, but for people who are just starting with the eye makeup, I think this is a great set.

I haven’t used any Laura Mercier eyeshadows before so I didn’t know what to expect but once I started playing with them, I have to say I really love the overall quality. The shimmery shades apply beautifully with little to no fallout. The mattes are fantastic — soft, smooth, creamy, and easy to blend.

The wear time is excellent, especially on primed lids. I don't have any problem with fading or creasing during wear. The Caviar Stick stays put as well without smudging/transferring. It is so soft and creamy. The formula is a dream to work with and now I understand why everyone is raving about it! :) As for the mascara, I find it to be of average. It definitely thickens/volumizes but it doesn't necessarily “curl” my lashes as advertised. It doesn't clump even after multiple layers (which I like) or smear, and the best part is it doesn't weigh down my lashes (most mascaras do).

Laura Mercier Artist Eyeshadow Palette

Laura Mercier Artist Eyeshadow Palette

Laura Mercier Artist Eyeshadow Palette

Laura Mercier Artist Eyeshadow Palette

Laura Mercier Artist Eyeshadow Palette

Laura Mercier Artist Eyeshadow Palette

Full Blown Volume Lash Building mascara in Black

Laura Mercier Artist Eyeshadow Palette - Full Blown Volume Lash Building mascara in Black

Laura Mercier Artist Eyeshadow Palette – Full Blown Volume Lash Building mascara in Black

Caviar Stick in Cocoa

Laura Mercier Artist Eyeshadow Palette - Caviar Stick in Cocoa

Laura Mercier Artist Eyeshadow Palette – Caviar Stick in Cocoa

Swatches of all shades

Laura Mercier Artist Eyeshadow Palette

Laura Mercier Artist Eyeshadow Palette (click to enlarge)

Laura Mercier Artist Eyeshadow Palette

Laura Mercier Artist Eyeshadow Palette (click to enlarge)
Top: L-R: Noir, Deep Night, Coffee Ground, Café Au Lait, Ginger, and Buttercream
Bottom: L-R: Diamond Pink, Guava, Sable, African Violet, Violet Steel, and Rich Cocoa
Right: Caviar Stick in Cocoa and Full Blown Volume Lash Building mascara in Black

Top row

Laura Mercier Artist Eyeshadow Palette - top row; L-R: Noir, Deep Night, Coffee Ground, Café Au Lait, Ginger, and Buttercream

Laura Mercier Artist Eyeshadow Palette – top row;
L-R: Noir, Deep Night, Coffee Ground, Café Au Lait, Ginger, and Buttercream

  1. Noir – matte black
    Fairly pigmented. A touch dry but blends well. Can also be used as a powder liner.
  2. Deep Night  – matte blackened navy
    Good color payoff. Also a little dry but still blends beautifully.
  3. Coffee Ground – matte dark brown
    Soft, smooth, and nicely pigmented.
  4. Café Au Lait – matte medium brown with yellow undertones
    Silky smooth with medium pigmentation. Perfect crease color for my complexion.
  5. Ginger – matte peach
    A dream matte! Moderately pigmented, soft, smooth, and easy to blend.
  6. Buttercream – matte vanilla
    Good color payoff. Soft and blends well. A nice neutral base for all over the lid.

Bottom row

Laura Mercier Artist Eyeshadow Palette - bottom row; L-R: Diamond Pink, Guava, Sable, African Violet, Violet Steel, and Rich Cocoa

Laura Mercier Artist Eyeshadow Palette – bottom row;
L-R: Diamond Pink, Guava, Sable, African Violet, Violet Steel, and Rich Cocoa

  1. Diamond Pink – pale pink (luster); limited edition
    Soft and applies nicely but with noticeable fallout. The finish is almost metallic.
  2. Guava  – peachy pink (satin)
    Moderately pigmented. Silky smooth and blendable. Beautiful color.
  3. Sable – purple/grey taupe (satin)
    Sheer but buildable. Soft but a little dry. Goes on smoothy.
  4. African Violet – pink purple with gold and pink shimmer (luster)
    The “star” of the palette. Such a beautiful, unique color. Soft and smooth but I wish it was a bit more pigmented.
  5. Violet Steel – taupe-y purple (satin); limited edition
    Soft and silky with good color payoff. Blends well.
  6. Rich Cocoa – medium brown (satin)
    Decent pigmentation. Soft but a little dry. Easy to sheer out.

Eye look

African Violet – all over the lid; Violet Steel – 1/3 outer lid; Ginger – 1/3 inner crease, Café Au Lait 2/3 outer crease; Noir – outer “V”; Diamond Pink – inner corner; Buttercream and Diamond Pink – brow bone highlight; Violet Steel – 1/3 lower lash line; Noir – 2/3 lower lash line.

I also apply the Full Blown Volume Lash Building mascara on my lashes and line the Caviar Stick along the upper lash line and waterline but it's hard to see in the pictures because I'm also wearing false lashes. :)

Wearing Laura Mercier Artist Eyeshadow Palette

Wearing Laura Mercier Artist Eyeshadow Palette

Wearing Laura Mercier Artist Eyeshadow Palette

Wearing Laura Mercier Artist Eyeshadow Palette

The drastic price increase makes me cringe, I'm not gonna lie and I wish I didn't have to pay this much for it. I think we would all be looking at this differently if the previous palettes weren't priced at less than $50. If this was the first Artist palette ever released, I doubt anyone would mind paying $80 for 12 “Laura Mercier” eyeshadows. :)

In all honesty, I do like the set. The quality of the shadows definitely exceeded my expectations but the best part for me is the fact that I can use every single shade in the palette. There is not a single dud in here. I am also very pleased with the color selection. It's actually quite versatile with a little bit of blue, brown, pink, taupe, and purple — the kind of colors I'm normally gravitated to. The Caviar Stick really blew my mind. How can anything be this soft, ultra pigmented, and yet still easy to smudge out. I'm definitely looking into buying more shades for sure.

What do you think of the Spring 2014 version? Do you find the price justifiable?

BUY ▶ US$80 | Nordstrom

26 Comments So Far & Counting!


 
  • Rachelle says:

    The look you created with this palette is SUPER sexy! Your lip colour goes super well with the look. Love the falsies too. Do you have a hard time with falsies? I have tried once and never did anymore because it’s too hard for me :(

    My favourite shades are GINGER, GUAVA & AFRICAN VIOLET! Wonderful colours, but I just can’t shell out US$80 for this palette.. I think I prefer the 2013 version! I tried it in stores and loved the pinkish shades (as usual!!). Costs $80 in SGD for the 2013 version, I don’t think the 2014 version has reached our shores as of yet.. We’re getting Marc Jacobs in April…. Oh how slow are we..

    Do you have the Bobbi Brown sticks too?? Are they similar to this Laura Mercier ones? My cousin has the Bobbi Brown one and she loves it, said it is super easy to use!

    • Jaa says:

      Thank you, Rachelle!! :D I used to struggle with falsies in the beginning but I’m much better now. I don’t wear them often, though, only for photoshoot/party/special occasion. :)

      I bet you can’t wait for Marc Jacobs to arrive! I’ve been wanting to buy a few of his brushes. They are SO soft and dense! I think I will splurge during the sale. :)

      No, I don’t have Bobbi Brown sticks, sorry!

      • Rachelle says:

        You mean the 15% VIB sale? ME TOO! I might splurge on a few items that I NEED + WANT (teehee).. Can’t wait! I think it’s on the 30th/31st..

        • Jaa says:

          I really hope it’s at the end of the month! I’m running low on so many skincare products and I need to replenish! :)

  • Carolyn says:

    You look stunning, Jaa! Such a beautiful, sultry eye look you created! :)

  • Wow I really like that look on you, so gorgeous!
    It would also look gorgeous without the lashes though (not a lash fan here lol) because you managed to place the shadows in a very nice blended but distinct way, love it.
    I am still waiting for my Artist’s Palette. Unfortunately it took longer than expected to buy it and to send it etc. I am therefore frustrated but I am ok with how it costs, especially like caviar sticks so that one will be used. Thanks so much for the review.

    • Jaa says:

      Thank you very much, Sara! Means a lot coming from you! :)

      I was debating whether to put on the false lashes. It looked good either way but at the end I think the lashes version looked “more” complete. I wish I had long lashes like yours! I wouldn’t have bothered with the fake lashes! :D

      Where did you buy the palette from?

  • Sunny says:

    OMG Jaa, you sultry seductress!!! What an amazing eye look! I kinda sorta really want one of these, but this is not available here so I won’t be tempted again till the end of this year (hopefully). The price hike is a bit icky though. A mini mascara and Caviar Stick aren’t worth the difference! I just got my fourth Caviar Stick (Amethyst)! It’s good stuff!

    • Jaa says:

      LOL, Sunny!!! Thank you sooo much!! It was a lot of fun playing with the colors. :D

      Please don’t get me started again on the price, lol! I have a feeling they will release a Summer version soon, though! And I hope the price won’t be so ridiculous this time!

      Oh… I’m sooo getting myself more Caviar Sticks!

  • i’ve been debating whether to get this or not, so I’m glad I read your review!!

  • Erin says:

    That looks really great on you! Perfect tones for your complexion. I think that this will be very handy for traveling or for work looks.

  • Aimee says:

    Man, what a tough spot to be in. Truly. This is a lot like Tarte giving you half the product and charging the same price (I know, I know, it’s still a good price, but just IDEA that companies feel like it’s okay to rocket prices whenever they feel like feels kind of dirty). On the bright side, at least it’s gorgeous. lol.

    • Jaa says:

      Oh I heard about that Tarte thing! I mean, what were they thinking?! That we wouldn’t notice?! I mean, if they are going to charge a premium price, then do so from the beginning so there would be nothing to compare to! LOL.

  • Hoku says:

    these are great pictures of you. great job!

  • You look absolutely stunning, Jaa! This $80 palette is a winner for you! I bought the 2013 version on sale and I returned it. I know! I know people are screaming. I just wasn’t bowled over. I found many of the lighter shades too similar, and the ones I was hoping would be pigmented were sheer washes of subtle color. I also could not get them blended without essentially sweeping away most of the shadows I’d applied. Which has never happened to me before! I just overall wasn’t wowed. The SA at the Sephora I returned it to bugged her eyes at me when I pulled it out and told her I wanted to return it! She said it’d been sold out so often. Apparently I’m the only person in Atlanta who returned theirs! I guess I just have a more critical eye for shadows since I do own quite a few as it is and I only want to spend $ on products that perform really well and make it into my daily rotation. I was shocked when I heard the 2014 palette would be $80! I mean, WHAT?! It’s a mini mascara and caviar stick, but they know all people really want is the palette. They should offer the palette alone for a lessor price and do a package deal with the caviar stick and mascara if people want them. Kind of like LORAC did with the Pro Palette. They sell it as palette only, or for a small additional fee, as the Rockin’ Red Hot Pro kit that includes a primer and a full-sized felt-tip marker eyeliner.

  • Jaa says:

    Thanks, Kristen! You just made me feel better about missing the 2013 version! LOL! I would have kept it if I were you, though, because it was such a total steal at that price (and because I’m a true addict of eyeshadow palettes haha). But I also understand that if you don’t like it, you just don’t like it, you know? I can see what you mean about the lighter shades being too similar. I had the same thought as well.

    That’s a smart move of Lorac — it totally makes sense, giving customers options instead of forcing them to pay for the extras that they might not even want. How do you like their eyeliner? I’ve been looking around for a good liquid liner. I’m really tempted to get the UD Perversion Ink For Eyes but I’ll probably wait till it hits Sephora as I don’t want to pay for shipping. :)

  • i really wanted this but i have the holiday one. I think the shades for the most part will probably look too similar on for me to really *need* this one lol. Sable and Violet Ink are really pretty :)

    • Jaa says:

      You’re lucky! I really really want the Holiday edition! :( I still can’t believe I missed it, lol! Sable and Violet Steel would make a good sultry eye look. :)

      • The problem is, I kind of want this one just for sable and violet steel! Lol. Can’t justify it though. Oh well, there will always be more, right? :)

        • Jaa says:

          Oh I’m pretty sure we’ll be seeing the Summer palette soon!!! :D I’m actually looking forward to seeing the price than the actual palette itself haha!

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