May 11, 2012

Clarins Enchanted Summer Palette

What's worse than a product that sucks? A gorgeous-looking product that's halfway decent. With the sucky product, you can hate on it, regret the money you wasted, and toss it. With something that looks so pretty yet performs only moderately well, you spend an inordinate amount of time trying to convince yourself you love it. Like dating a stunner who is clearly wrong for you (and possibly kind of dim). It's hard to give up the dream.

The Enchanted Summer palette from Clarins is a bit like that. It's not a bad palette - just not the one I was hoping for from outward appearances.

Which are, admittedly, quite fine.

Pretty packaging.
(Also one of the glosses from the Summer collection, review coming soon.)

Even prettier inside.

The design on this is one of the nicer ones I've seen, a more exotic version of the simple and elegant aesthetic Clarins does so well.

The colors look like they will go wonderfully together, well-balanced neutrals with a punch of vivid color. Unfortunately, the results are inconsistent.

The golden peach shade at the top left is nice - feels buttery soft and smooth, applies with ok pigmentation and wears well over a primer. The soft brown shade below it has a very similar texture, with the same shimmer finish. They are the best performing shades, though obviously the most dupable.

The violet shade at the top right is what I was most excited about. While not the sheerest of the bunch, it's still not what I expected from the promotional picture. (I know, I'm dumb that way.) It's actually a really pretty violet, with just a hint of blue, and looks stronger over a base or eyeliner. By itself though, it takes layering to achieve anywhere near the depth I wanted.

The ivory highlighter in the bottom right is sheer, next to invisible in some lighting, and it packs some serious sparkles. Applied on top of the other shadows it adds a dusting of fairy shine to the eye. Which is a nice effect, but unfortunately it does fall out. It does better when layered over something a little tacky, like a cream base - or the cream liner on the right.

Which brings me to my least favorite of the five shades in this palette. I really wanted to love this one. It's a fabulous cool, deep brown with a subtle golden shimmer. As a liner it would be amazing, and as an all-over cream shadow even more so. However - it smudges like CRAZY. By itself, this will not set at all. It creased and migrated on the lid, and even swatched on my arm it smeared all over. You can set it with one of the powder eyeshadows for improved wear, but then that neutralizes a lot of what is special about the shade. (Though the glittery ivory layered overtop does give a neat look.)

Overall this is not a terrible palette - two nice, though conventional shades, two with lovely colors/effects but application/pigmentation issues, and one that is beautiful but unwearable as is. Aside from the cream liner, all the shades held up for about a normal workday span of time, over a primer.

So...pretty, but could be better. I think what frustrated me the most about the palette is that Clarins has a knock-out formula when it comes to their single eyeshadows. Like, one of the best out there. I don't know why they would be hit-and-miss with their palettes.

Indirect natural light.

Direct sunlight.

Artificial light.
Availability: At various Pharmaprix/SDM and Murale locations, The Bay. It appears to be a Nordstrom exclusive in the US. Price is 42$ CAD.

Pros: Elegant and Summer-appropriate packaging. Great color scheme. Two very nice, neutral shades.

Cons: The violet is too sheer and the highlighter is sheer and has fallout. The cream liner absolutely has to be set with a powder to work in any way.

(I purchased this item at Pharmaprix/SDM.)


  1. Anonymous12.5.12

    Yeah, I didn't get it when I saw it. I thought the violet was going to be bluer. I did buy the lip jellies which I'll be reviewing soon. Spoiler: not crazy about them either. It's too bad, I was so looking forward to this collection.

    1. Ya, I should have swatched it more thoroughly in the store. Ah well! I will be reviewing their single eyeshadows soon, though, which ARE awesome.

      You mean the lipsticks? Those seemed so impractical. How do you get the color core to apply all over the lip without getting the surrounding jelly smeared on the skin around it?

  2. Anonymous12.5.12

    Oh Maggie, I totally hear you on this one; I was at The Bay last week (Carrefour got their stock a little early) and sat there at the counter swatching this palette & the khol for what seemed like HOURS (got the hairy eye-ball look from the SA's, let me tell you) and in the end, I walked away from them both. Some other reviews I read were basically raving about these items, but I just don't get it. I wound up with Guerlain's new Kajal pencil instead (needed to match the bronzer I picked up a couple of weeks ago - review coming up, I swear!) and couldn't be happier!

    For what it's worth, you certainly made this palette look better than I ever imagined! No matter what, your swatches are gorgeous as usual!

    1. I only wish I'd taken more time playing with them. I wouldn't have been sucked in by the shiny! I keep meaning to check out that Guerlain kajal as well - it looks lovely!

      I do wonder at some reviews. Do the folks actually try the products out, or just swatch them??

      Ha, thank you for the praise! I don't like the idea of posting a 'bad' picture, but I want to post honestly, so I swatch everything the same way (on bare skin, with a q-tip unless noted otherwise and in consistent lighting, as much as possible).

  3. Ahaha, your comparison made me laugh - those dim stunners!!!

    1. Lol! Well, we've all had those, be it makeup or otherwise. ;-)

  4. Anonymous12.5.12

    I didn't have much interest in this palette from the get go, because most of the shades are dupeable and I have similar ones in my stash, but it looked so pretty in person that I had to swatch it when I saw it in-store. However, I came away with the exact same feelings as you - it was OK, but the pigmentation was lacking when I really wanted it to be stellar. Too bad, as it IS quite beautiful to look at! I'm sorry you picked up a dud Maggie, but I'm sure you'll still be able to get use out of it!

    1. It is frustrating to wind up with a product that is just 'eh' at the end of the day. But you're right, I will get some use out of it, because while it's not great, it is workable.

      Ah well, that'll teach me to do a fly-by when it comes to higher-end makeup shopping. Need to take the time to swatch thoroughly!


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