I was SO sure I would be back for more.
My first hint of trouble was the way in which the bottom portion of the twist-tube fell off as soon as I took it out of the box. Granted, this was not a functional piece, so I shrugged, figured I would crazy glue it back on, and popped open the cap. Only to see that the brush was wildy splayed, as if someone had already taken it out and mooshed it back in, willy-nilly. Except that I saw the Sephora SA take the box out fresh from the drawer, still rubber-banded together with its compatriots. This did not bode well, but I figured hey, I'll soak it in water and pinch it back into proper form. No worries.
As you can see from these pictures, everything looked just fine after I took care of these superficial quirks.
|The little cap on the end, to the left of the ribbed portion is what fell off.|
And then I tried to get some product out. I rotated the twist-bottom, about 15 clicks through. Waited patiently. Nothing. Rotated another 15. Nothing. ANOTHER 15. Zilch. Tried 20, another 20, and finally a few clicks after that I saw some promising shadowing coming through the brush base and then, finally, actual color appeared.
EIGHTY FREAKIN' CLICKS LATER.
But the product that came out was so pretty! So promising! I was still clutching to my hopes and dreams.
|The red-brown base shade visible here.|
|And the teal duochrome showing up under a different angle of the light.|
|Indirect natural light, angled away from light source.|
|Indirect natural light.|
I mean, how gorgeous is that colour??
And then I tried wearing it.
First of all, why make something that is ostensibly packaged for ease of application, and then make the built-in brush extraordinarily ill-suited to the task of applying and/or blending? It's just so oddly shaped and finished, leading to a choppy laydown (which is just what you want with a cream/liquid product) and impossible blending (it basically picks up what you laid down if you sweep it over the same place). You need to pat it on, and then spread and blend with your fingers or another brush.
This is assuming you work lightening fast. This sucker sets almost instantly, making any kind of blending very difficult. But hey, no worries, because it comes off easily with water. Yes, WATER. Not soap and water, not a micellar water. Just water. You can literally wet your finger and rub it away. Which is great if you have a weird edge you want to soften, but not so great for any situation where you might encounter moisture - like, say, rainy days, crying, or you know, your skin doing its thing.
As a test, I applied this all over my eyelid in a fairly thin layer, all the way up and into my crease (where I tried blending, to little effect). Over bare skin, this lasted maybe an hour before it started creasing and fading. After the end of my workday, all that was left was a faint line of product close to my lashline. The remainder had migrated to my crease lines, flaked off or otherwise disappeared into the ether.
To be fair, I also tested it over a primer (Too Faced). Two hours later, it started flaking off and going patchy, though it held off on obvious creasing for about 4 hours. The picture below is at the two-hour mark. I had applied it in a thin layer all over my eyelid, from inner corner to outer and up through the crease in an almond shape. No blending. There's flaking up in the crease and below my eye (more not visible under my lashes), as well as fading at the inner and outer corners and a bit over the center of my lid.
|Apologies for the crappy bathroom lighting.|
And lack of other makeup.
In desperation, I tried applying an even thinner layer. Like, a tiny pat that I spread delicately over my eyelid until it was barely tinted. This actually gave an interesting, ethereal sort of luminosity. It still faded and flaked, though the latter was not as noticeable.
But you guys. This is probably one of the most ill-performing products I have tried in a really long time, and certainly the most expensive one to bear that distinction. Those people who love it and get their money's worth out of it - I envy you, and suspect sorcery of some sort. :P
For me, it's just not worth the time and effort it takes to make 50$ worth of product sort of workable under very limited circumstances. It's entirely possible the other products in the range might work better for me, but at this point I have no intention of finding out.
Availability: Sephora, and the Ellis Faas website. Price is 50$ CAD.
Cons: Erm. *points to review up above*
Pros: It's a REALLY pretty color.
(I purchased this item from Sephora.)
EDIT: I was recently contacted by a rep from Ellis Faas, who was curious to know more about my experience with this item. Apparently the packaging/clicker issues are not news to them, but the flaking and creasing I experienced was. After going through the possibilities (eye cream, primer), they are still baffled as to why it performed so poorly for me, when the feedback regarding performance has generally been positive. I possibly have freakish eyelids, crazy skin chemistry or I had a defective model. Either way, take that for what it's worth.