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.|
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.)