YSL Spring 2014 Flower Crush Collection - Pivoine Crush Eyeshadow Palette

Some eyeshadow palettes are the black skinny jeans of makeup - comfortable, easy to wear, and can be dressed up or down. The omnipresent neutral palette (whichever brand), for example.

And then you have the YSL Pivoine Crush Palette from the Spring 2014 Flower Crush Collection. This one is the the silk chiffon dress - absolutely gorgeous and a statement piece, but not exactly all-around or low-maintenance.

YSL Spring 2014 Flower Crush Collection  - Pivoine Crush Eyeshadow Palette

Not gonna lie - this palette is a stunner. As I mentioned in my review of some of the lip products from this collection, I pretty much had heart palpitations when I saw the promo images. In person, it only looks more beautiful. The packaging is substantially weighted, and the design is both glamorous and feminine: a mix of gold and magenta, and the abstracted floral motif interposed with the YSL logo.

What's inside is equally breathtaking...

YSL Spring 2014 Flower Crush Collection  - Pivoine Crush Eyeshadow Palette

YSL Spring 2014 Flower Crush Collection  - Pivoine Crush Eyeshadow Palette

YSL Spring 2014 Flower Crush Collection  - Pivoine Crush Eyeshadow Palette

YSL Spring 2014 Flower Crush Collection  - Pivoine Crush Eyeshadow Palette

Five beautiful shades, full of shimmery goodness.

The colour range is decidedly bloom-like, evoking the bright pinks, sherbet oranges and soft peaches of flower petals, with a shadowed plum-brown accent and the pale, sunshine-y gold. Like the lip products in the collection, it's decidedly more vivid than the usual Spring offerings, but just as apt if you think about the actual colours in nature that provided the inspiration.

One thing you have to know going into this palette is that the eyeshadows are sheer. That analogy to chiffon wasn't random - these apply as a soft veil of colour, shot through with a fine diamond sparkle. Applied dry, they actually feel powdery, and you're better off patting them on over a primer to get them to last (though the sparkle doesn't fall out, which is unusual).

If you want these to show up with greater intensity, you can always apply them over a creamy white base, but I don't think that really does this palette any justice.

To get the real wow factor out of Pivoine Crush, you have to go in with a little Fix+, or a mixing medium. (Or, you know, plain water.) This doesn't magically make the eyeshadows opaque, but it does deepen them and adds a beautiful, opalescent quality. The sparkle and the soft pigments blend together, and the effect shifts from glitter-dusted chiffon to shimmering, fairy-spun silk.

It's really, incredibly lovely - but it's also a very specific look, with a particular technique. Eyeshadows that start out very pigmented can be sheered out, after all, whereas those with soft pigmentation - even when used wet - are inherently more limited in terms of how they can be used. I always think of it as the difference between painting with watercolours versus acrylics. (I was trained in both, and when I was younger I always preferred the flexibility and ease of working with acrylics. Now I feel like I can better appreciate the precise technique and subtlety of watercolours.)

At this price point though, you really have to like both the look and the process involved, or you're likely to feel disappointed. (Unless you're just enthralled by the aesthetics of the palette. In which case - NO JUDGEMENT. Trust.)

YSL Spring 2014 Flower Crush Collection  - Pivoine Crush Eyeshadow Palette
Swatched dry.

YSL Spring 2014 Flower Crush Collection  - Pivoine Crush Eyeshadow Palette
Swatched wet.
I experimented with a few different applications, and this is the one I liked the most. I layered the pink and peach shades over my entire eye, using a wet application. I then blended the plum-brown shade in my crease, using a dry application for a softer finish. I went in quite high at the mid-point and inner area, since the dry application gave more of a shadowed look than a strong layer of colour. I then applied a bit of that shade wet, very lightly through the outer part of the crease to depend the colour. I then used the pale gold to highlight the inner corner of my eye, also using a wet application. I also smudged some of the plum-brown over a purple liner on my lower lash line.

I think the total look is layered, translucent and shimmery - but paired with a strong liner, it also works as something dramatic and evening appropriate.

This palette was sent to me, and I'm so glad I had the opportunity to test it out because upon initial swatching at the counter, I probably would have passed. Now that I've had the chance to experiment with it, I would buy it. It's too beautiful and unique for me to pass up, despite - or maybe because of - its finickier nature. (Though in all fairness, would I be equally enthralled with an equivalent palette that came in less delightful packaging? Possibly not, but part of the appeal of high-end makeup is the packaging.)

YSL Spring 2014 Flower Crush Collection  - Pivoine Crush Eyeshadow PaletteYSL Spring 2014 Flower Crush Collection  - Pivoine Crush Eyeshadow Palette

Availability: At select Hudson's Bay and Holt Renfrew locations, as well as at www.yslbeauty.com if you're in the US. Price is 74$ CAD and 58$ USD. (And I do think the price difference is painful to swallow. I really wish luxury brands would align their US-Canada prices more closely.)

Pros: The packaging is just sublime, and the colours are beautiful. The wet application creates a fairly unique, mother-of-pearl blend of shimmer and translucency. Colours blend easily, and there is surprisingly minimal sparkle fall-out when used dry, and none when used wet. Applied wet and over a primer, they last over 10 hours without creasing or fading.

Cons: Applied dry, the eyeshadows are sheer and somewhat powdery, and will fade and blend out too easily without a primer. If you prefer pigmented, buttery formulations, this will not be up your alley.

What's your feeling on special-occassion dress equivalents when it comes to makeup?

(This item was provided by the brand/PR to be considered for review. This post is not sponsored or compensated, all opinions are my own.)

10 comments:

  1. First of all, I must compliment you on your photo-taking skills! The photos you took of the inside and outside of the palette were stunning and SO clear! They really succeed in giving your readers a true representation of the product (and I appreciate that, especially when something costs $70+ and I'm debating whether to purchase it or not). Yes, the packaging is gorgeous and the colours look glorious in the pan, but since you have to work somewhat hard to make the shadows work on the skin, I don't think I'll be investing in this palette. I think this piece appeals more to avid makeup collectors than to casual customers like me. I'M NOT WORTHY! xx

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    1. Lol! You are most definitely worthy - and props for the WW reference. ;) I agree with you regarding the type of customer that would probably enjoy this. I don't think it's a palette for the casual makeup user (unless they happen to fancy these kinds of shades and softer washes of sparkly colour) but I would be kicking myself for missing out on this.

      And oh my gosh, thank you! I had a really hard time with this one actually, because all that gold played havoc with the white balance (I use my iPhone, so no fancy settings).

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    2. I knew you'd get my Wayne's World reference ;)

      Seriously? You took those pictures with your iPhone? Wow! They came out so sharp and crisp! I have even MORE respect for you now if that's even possible! Well done Maggie xx

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    3. Aw, thank you! Yeah, I'm not very tech savvy, so I started using my phone for pictures and never really saw the need to get a fancier camera that, quite honestly, terrifies me. :P

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  2. This palette is gorgeous! I love the look you came up with!

    ahintofbeauty.blogspot.com/

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    1. Right?? It's just so stunning.

      And thank you!

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  3. I will say, the colours in the pan look gorgeous, and that packaging! ~sigh~ But I just canNOT get on the sheer shadow train, no matter how good anyone makes them look (and you've definitely worked 'em here, Maggie!). I think partially it's because of my skin tone - sheer shades aren't just sheer, they're practically non-existent, so it really is a waste of money unfortunately!

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    1. Lol! Thank you, I think?

      I think sheer shadows can be a bit of an acquired taste (especially difficult in this youtube world, where it's all about PIGMENTED and BUTTERY) and like you said, there's the question of whether they'll even work with someone's colouring or skin type.

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  4. I totally sighed over this palette but know it's never going to get enough play to justifies that price. *shakes fist at Canadian dollar and makeup pricing powers that be* On the other hand, I am drooling over some Rouge Voluptes so maybe I'll throw my money at YSL after all...

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    1. Oh god, the Voluptés are SPECTACULAR. The line in general, but this collection in particular. It's probably one of my favourite formulas (along with the Volupté Shine) and the colour range is really excellent. Have you tried any of them yet?

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