And nothing says "HELLO THERE SPRING" quite like the verdant, pastel confection that is the Clarins Garden Escape Palette. (Well, maybe not in shouty caps, since that wouldn't be the classy Clarins way.)
How freaking gorgeous is that??
I'm not a jaded makeup consumer. I still gasp with delight over the new, pretty, and shiny - but it takes a lot to truly stop me in my tracks. This palette. THIS PALETTE. I was mesmerized upon opening it, and very nearly petted it lovingly before realizing I needed to take un-besmirched pictures.
(Side note - this is also the palette that inspired me to change up my picture backgrounds from the plain white. Let me know if you like that.)
The outside is simple and classic, but the inside is pure magic. The colors themselves are stunning, and so perfectly spring-like that all the other collections can basically pack up and go home. The imprinted sun and botanical design just notches everything up to 11. I really don't know if I could have asked for a more perfect springtime palette.
|In this light, the shimmer is more obvious.|
|In more direct light, the result is more flat and satin, which closer to how they appear on the eye.|
To the touch, it feels absolutely amazing. Ultra-smooth, creamy, soft. I was excited, because it reminded me of the texture of the older, discontinued Clarins mono eyeshadows, which I love, and which are nothing like the new wet-dry formulation.
And indeed, it swatches beautifully. Applied to the eye, however, that intensity is lost. The softness of the powder translates into a hazy, watercolour application. The colors are more muted, as if viewed through a soft-focused filter - delicate and pretty, but not what I was expecting from the look of the palette, hence my disappointment. Used dry, it's also very difficult to build up any intensity simply by packing on more powder.
Applied wet, however, the effect is much stronger, closer to to the depth of the swatches here, and with more visible shimmer. I achieved an even better result applying them over a concealer rather than bare lids or a regular eye primer.
Overall, the shade with the best payoff (wet and dry) and the smoothest application is the taupe. Dry, it's the perfect crease color. Wet, it's a stunner on the lid, picking up the light in the way only taupe shadows can. The two pinks are nearly interchangeable once applied, even if they look more distinct in the swatch. The greens are probably the most different when applied wet or dry - hazy shadows and dappled green light when applied dry, more lush and verdant when used wet.
I know several bloggers have loved this palette, and generally I'm not one to pick on an eyeshadow for going on softer (I deeply dislike the OMG PIGMENTATION IS EVERYTHING standard, as not everyone is looking for eyelids that precede them into a room). This is particularly true of a formula like this, that is specifically designed and marketed to be used dry for a lighter look, and wet for more drama. I appreciate that the claims are pretty clear about that, and that as a consumer you have the options.
I think it comes down to which you'd rather do - sheer down and blend out a more intense formula, or work up a softer one. I don't think there's an objectively better way, as it depends on what you tend to wear on a daily basis. Personally, I think the former method is usually easier/simpler, which is partly why I was left a little bereft.
The Garden Escape Palette is priced at 44$ CAD, and is currently available at Clarins counters.
(Product was provided by the brand to be considered for review. This post is not sponsored or otherwise compensated.)