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
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).
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).
Full Blown Volume Lash Building mascara in Black
Caviar Stick in Cocoa
Swatches of all shades
- Noir – matte black
Fairly pigmented. A touch dry but blends well. Can also be used as a powder liner.
- Deep Night – matte blackened navy
Good color payoff. Also a little dry but still blends beautifully.
- Coffee Ground – matte dark brown
Soft, smooth, and nicely pigmented.
- Café Au Lait – matte medium brown with yellow undertones
Silky smooth with medium pigmentation. Perfect crease color for my complexion.
- Ginger – matte peach
A dream matte! Moderately pigmented, soft, smooth, and easy to blend.
- Buttercream – matte vanilla
Good color payoff. Soft and blends well. A nice neutral base for all over the lid.
- Diamond Pink – pale pink (luster); limited edition
Soft and applies nicely but with noticeable fallout. The finish is almost metallic.
- Guava – peachy pink (satin)
Moderately pigmented. Silky smooth and blendable. Beautiful color.
- Sable – purple/grey taupe (satin)
Sheer but buildable. Soft but a little dry. Goes on smoothy.
- 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.
- Violet Steel – taupe-y purple (satin); limited edition
Soft and silky with good color payoff. Blends well.
- Rich Cocoa – medium brown (satin)
Decent pigmentation. Soft but a little dry. Easy to sheer out.
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. :)
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?