One of the most exciting makeup launches this summer for me is the re-release of the Laura Mercier Artist's Palette for Eyes originally debuted during Holiday 2013. I remember it being sold out quickly upon its first release and I've been kicking myself ever since for not getting it! This time around I purchased it without second thoughts the moment I saw it pop up online! Now that I have had some time to play with it, I agree with just about every review out there that this palette is truly a must-have. There are a couple of changes in the new version that I wish could be improved upon but otherwise everything else is just absolutely perfect in so many ways. :)
The first change is the name. Now it's called Laura Mercier Eye Art Artist's Palette. The second change is the exterior packaging. The new version no longer has that classic extravagant pebbled leather material. Instead, it is now just a basic cardboard with a foam-cushioned glossy paper top and magnetic flap. The black on brown floral print is nice, the full-sized mirror is awesome, yet I can't help but feel a little cheated on considering that the third change is the price. It went up from US$48 to US$55. I'm starting to see a few dents on my palette already so if you have the original version, congratulations!, if you have the new version, use it with care! :)
Palette at a glance
Good thing the eyeshadows inside are the exact same color selection and quality! There are 12 colors; 6 are matte, 2 are lustre, and 4 are sateen. The palette leans purple-themed with co-coordinating pink, peach, beige, and brown. It is the perfect, well-chosen color selection for classic, elegant eye looks. I can see it being a great everyday palette as well as a soft smokey palette. Purple looks especially pretty on brown eyes but is also flattering on just about everyone — no wonder the palette has been so well-received by pretty much everyone in the beauty community!
The colors include a nice balance of cool and warm tones ranging from very pale highlighting shades (left) to medium and dark all-over lid, contouring, and defining shades (right). The mattes have amazing texture — smooth and pigmented without being patchy or powdery. The shimmers have buildable color payoff without creating terrible fallout although some are sheerer than the others and can only be used as highlighting shades on my skin.
The shadows have excellent blendability even the darker matte shades. They don't require much blending at all. The sheerer ones are an absolute dream to work with. I also like how well the colors compliment each other. They are all truly wearable and whatever combination you wish to create, a flattering result is guaranteed.
Staying power is quite impressive as I don't see much of the fading or creasing at all when they are worn on unprimed lids, and I have oily lids! At the end of a very long day they may look just slightly faded but never creased. Wear time is appoximately 7-8 hours and improved when applied over an eye primer.
Whole palette swatches
- Sparkling Dew – pale pink beige; sateen
Applies very sheer on my skin but buildable. Soft, blends nicely, but slightly powdery.
- Guava – pale peachy pink; sateen
Slightly more pigmented than Sparkling Dew but is still very pale on my skin. Very soft, non-powdery texture with buildable color payoff. Beautiful shade (I love guava!).
- African Violet – pink purple with a golden sheen; luster
The star of the palette and my favorite shade! The shimmer in this shade is so complex creating a multidimensional look whenever the light hits! Sometimes it's more golden, sometimes it's more pink, or purple. Really beautiful. Very soft and finely-milled texture. Creates a little fallout when packing on. Fairly good color payoff although I wish it could be a tiny bit more pigmented.
- Plum Smoke – smoky purple; matte
Such an unusual smoky dusty purple shade. Buttery soft and excellent color payoff. Also blends superbly!
- Kir Royal – burgundy purple; sateen
Slightly dry compared to the rest but is still easy to apply and blend. Nicely pigmented without fallout. Tends to look uneven, though, if not blended well.
- Violet Ink – inky eggplant purple; matte
Smooth like ink! Soft and easy application. Amazing color payoff and blendability. Layers well without creating terrible fallout.
- Vanilla Nuts – vanilla beige; matte
Buttery soft, nicely pigmented, and finely-milled without being powdery. Slightly chalky but still blends effortlessly.
- Primrose – pale pink beige; sateen
I love the name! :) Very creamy soft and such a pleasure to apply and blend. A little powdery and sheer on my skin but is buildable.
- Fresco – neutral brown; matte
What a great crease contouring shade! Excellent color payoff. I use it all the time with almost every look I create. Has such a nice, super creamy soft texture. Blends like a dream. Truly a great matte.
- Bamboo – olive-tinged golden brown; luster
Another beautiful shade, my second favorite as it's not your typical brown. Wonderful texture as well as pigmentation and blendability.
- Truffle – chocolate brown; matte
Soft, finely-milled but slightly dry and powdery. Amazing pigmentation and blends nicely.
- Espresso Bean – darkened brown; matte
Wish this would be a true black but darkened brown probably pairs better with the rest of the palette. Excellent color payoff perfect for a definer shade. Easy to smoke, goes on soft and can be layered for a more dramatic finish.
The eye look
I applied Vanilla Nuts as a base color, followed by African Violet all over the lid. I popped in a little bit of Kir Royal in the inner and outer third of the lid to create a dimensional effect. I used Violet Ink to smoke out the outer corner and Espresso Bean to darken. A mix of Sparkling Dew and Primrose was used to softly highlight the brow bone. A touch of Guava was added in the inner corner to open up my eye slightly. As a finishing step, I smudged Truffle along the lower lash line.
Additional makeup worn:
- Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Pencil in Demolition (review) along the upper lash line
- Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Pencil in Empire (review) and MAC Pearlglide Intense Eye Liner in Designer Purple (review) along the lower lash line
- Mille Superstar Glittering Gel Liner Waterproof (see picture) on the inner corner
- YSL Baby Doll Kiss and Blush in 04 Orange Fougueux topped with Dior Lip Maximizer in Pink Sunset (review) on my lips
Now I completely understand why this is such a cult-favorite and possibly one of the most sought-after eyeshadow palettes! The eyeshadow quality is top-notch and not to mention a wonderful selection of colors that is so flattering and truly wearable by anyone. The price point, though increased, is more than reasonable as singles are currently sold at US$24 a pop. Here you get a variety of 12 gorgeous shades for the price of a little more than two singles! You won't get the same amount but I've never hit pan on any eyeshadow myself regardless of the pan size. The palette is currently exclusive to Sephora and is still available online and in-store. It doesn't say limited edition so hopefully this will be a permanent addition that everyone can enjoy. I wouldn't hesitate to grab one as soon as possible, though, just in case it ever goes out of stock again! :)