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.
What's inside is equally breathtaking...
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.)
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.)
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.)