Guerlain Les Violines was a love at first sight. I bought it online sight unseen and without any hesitation (normally for a palette this expensive, I try to talk myself out of it, but not the case with this one). I just knew I was going to love it. And I did. The colors are so beautiful in person and I couldn't have asked for a better Fall palette. I know some of you have been waiting for my review so here it is. This is going to be another photo-heavy post so sit back, relax, and let's take our time to indulge in its luxuriousness together! :)
Les Violines (plums) is part of the three brand new Guerlain Écrin 4 Couleurs Eyeshadow Collection released for Fall 2014. The other two are Les Sables (browns) and Les Aciers (grays). Each palette is packaged in a reflective gold magnetic compact which comes protected in a black velvet pouch. The palette has a nice mirror and a typical dual-ended (for lining and shading) sponge applicator inside.
In contrast to most Guerlain Écrin 4 Couleurs Eyeshadows where different types of finishes are included in each palette (iridescent, matte, satin, and metallic), Les Violines is all matte, all four of them. If you love matte and plums, then this is a dream palette to have. I personally would have like one shade to be iridescent because I like to mix finishes in my eye looks but it is not a deal-breaker since I can always use supplements from another palette or a shimmery shadow stick.
The texture of these shadows are incredibly soft. I barely have to touch my brush into the pan to pick up a good amount of shadows. They are finely-milled, silky smooth and basically apply and blend like a dream. Despite being matte and soft, they are not powdery or chalky at all. It is very easy to get a smooth and flawless application with these shadows regardless of the brushes used or eye makeup skills.
Pigmentation-wise, they are not the most pigmented shadows I have seen. They go on quite sheer in fact, but they are very, very easy to build to greater intensity. If you are a fan of bold/dramatic eyes, the color payoff of these shadows may not meet your expectations. However, if you are looking for something nice and light, but can still be built with little effort, then this palette is for you.
- Left – dark gray purple
This is the most pigmented shade in the palette. I like how it has neutral gray undertones instead of warm red or brown. It balances the warmth of the other two medium shades perfectly. Even though it's the most pigmented one in the palette, I can't help but wish it had a little better color payoff. When I tried to create a “dramatic” outer corner (as you will see in the last photo below), I found myself packing on layers and layers of the color for it to show up as intense as I wanted. For a basic “everyday” outer corner, though, it performs just fine.
- Top – light purple pink
This is the color I wish would have been iridescent instead of matte. It is pretty light and barely shows up on my medium skin unless I really pack it on. On me, it is a great base color more than a highlight color.
- Bottom – medium mauve pink
My favorite shade of the palette. I couldn't have asked for a more beautiful mauve pink. It is everything I want and more. The pigmentation is just right and it doesn't take much to get a good color payoff. It applies beautifully as a crease color as well as an all-over color. I can also mix it with the other shades to customize and create more shades.
- Right – medium mauve plum
Another beautiful, beautiful color! This one is so versatile, too. It is great as a wash of color, a crease color, an outer corner color as well as a lower lash line color. It has the same great color payoff as the Bottom shade so building up is fairly easy to do.
As I mentioned above, all four colors are incredibly soft and smooth with excellent blendability. They are also long-lasting and fallout-free. The colors stay true and vibrant throughout normal work days and you can even get away without applying an eye primer underneath. For oily lids, however, priming is always recommended.
Close-ups of each shadow
The eye look
Eyes: I applied the “Right” shade all over the lid with concentration on the outer third. I used the “Left” shade to create a dramatic outer V and line my lower lash line. For crease color, I used the “Bottom” shade and I continued the application to the inner corner, too. Lastly, I used the “Top” shade just right under my brow bones.
Eyeliners: MAC Pearlglide Intense Eye Liner in Black Swan and Designer Purple (review)
Cheeks: YSL Blush Volupté Heart of Light Powder Blush in Light 03 (review soon) and Tom Ford Bronzing Powder in Terra (review)
I hope you like the look! I wasn't planning to do something dramatic but it just kind of happened. ^_^”
Overall, Les Violines is an excellent eyeshadow palette for those who love plums, pinks, and mauves. The color selection is great in my opinion because you have a color for every eye job (base, crease, outer corner, and all-over color). Most “small” palettes usually lack one or more shades and need to be used in conjunction with other palettes. Les Violines works on its own and is therefore a great travel companion that you can grab and go. I also like how each color compliments each other so well. Whatever combination you come up with, it is going to be in harmony and beautiful.
I hope my review was helpful. Please let me know if you have any questions or comments at all. Are you looking forward to trying Guerlain Fall 2014 collection? What are your must-have pieces? I know I am going to pick up Les Aciers, too, but I'll probably wait a little bit until we get into a full Fall season! :)