Sunday, July 18th, 2010

AVEDA Aqua Pearl Eyeshadow
Aveda Aqua Pearl Eyeshadow

Pretty in the Pan; Not So Much on Skin

After being really happy with Aveda’s Golden Jasper Eye Color Trio, I knew I had to try some of the other eyeshadow trios. I decided to go with Aqua Pearl ($22.00 for 0.08 oz.), which looked like a pretty trio of yellow, muted green, and a green-teal. Unfortunately, the eyeshadows themselves are a far cry from what they look like in the pan. I didn’t experience the same soft, melts-on-skin feeling as I did with Golden Jasper. Aqua Pearl was incredibly sheer and all three shades looked muted when swatched. I did like that they weren’t powdery, and they did apply smoothly for the most part–just very, very different than they look in the pan.

I do still like that the eyeshadow trio is packaged in 100% post-consumer recycled plastic and paper, and the eyeshadow itself doesn’t contain talc, mineral oil, or parabens.

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  • Product: 20/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: I would definitely pass on this shade unless you want something very sheer that doesn’t ever get to be intense.


See more photos & swatches!

AVEDA Aqua Pearl Eyeshadow
Aveda Aqua Pearl Eyeshadow

AVEDA Aqua Pearl Eyeshadow
Aveda Aqua Pearl Eyeshadow (NC20 skin)

AVEDA Aqua Pearl Eyeshadow
Aveda Aqua Pearl Eyeshadow (NC/NW15 skin)

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37 thoughts on “Aveda Aqua Pearl Eye Color Trio Review, Photos, Swatches

  1. shakz

    these look great in the pan!!! but dont seem to translate that on skin, what a shame since the first green looks reminicient of sweet and puchy (well kind of)

  2. yvette

    i’ve never found aveda eyeshadows any good. no pigment.

  3. ledonatella

    Christine- Glad you gave this a try. Thats so funny because I have never seen this not look like it does in the pan, maybe it’s the base I use I don’t know. But I can get it very vibrant. Definitly without one I do see your point though.

  4. Amelia

    Haha, I went to an Aveda school to become an esthetician, and during our make-up unit, all the girls in my class agreed the same thing. A lot of their shadows have that same problem, and we all basically decided that if you don’t want something very subtle, don’t use Aveda. (With the exception of ‘Willow’ — a silvery coal shade that I really like for smokey eyes.) I will say though, their tinted moisturizers are one of my favorite products.

  5. seattle

    ugh! i HATE aveda makeup! the salon i work at used to sell them and i just couldn’t get myself to like them (more so try to sell them). thank goodness we’ve discontinued selling them. yay! GO MAC!!!

    … their hair and skin products are ok though, i guess. LOL!

  6. …And now you’ve met what I like to call, “The Aveda Eyeshadow Conondrum!” LOL! I do SO LOVE their lipsticks but their shadows have always been less than pigmented (with a few exceptions). I think that’s why they launched these new eyeshadows with their mixing medium (they call it an eyeshadow transformer). It DOES work, you get the intensity that’s in the pan pretty much… Otherwise they’re just very muted (as you said).

    Many of their older eyeshadows were better than the ones they’ve been putting out in the last 8 years or so. There was one called, “Tiger’s Eye” that I absolutely LOVED when I was in high school! 😛

    • LOL!

      I will definitely try’em out with the mixing medium… but how annoying!

      • It is… I agree. I think I’ve mentioned this before on here about their eyeshadows though. If you want subtle, Aveda’s your place to go…

        I think their makeup line is more of an after-thought in a way. All of their big bucks to to making haircare first, skincare second, then other stuff like makeup. I think for their target demographic these probably work. But yea… I still agree with you. Aveda was rushing so fast to replace all their other eyeshadows with ones that were paraben-free – I think more time could have been spent on product development.

        • Plus, Aveda is owned by EL — you’d think they’d have pretty readily available technology/basic formulations for something pretty decent — this is pretty subpar for a high-end brand (this particular trio!).

          • Agreed. Once they became part of Estee Lauder their products actually started to get a lot better – And you saw many more interesting products coming out. EL has more resources (obviously!) so yes, they could do a better job – ESPECIALLY for the price point (they aren’t cheap for an eyeshadow, let alone for something that you need to buy a seperate compact for).

            • It’s a shame they reformulated and put them out all over again but didn’t really beef up the quality. I don’t think there’s much of an excuse if you’re in the EL family. I just can’t comprehend it! Of all the brands in the EL family (other than some of the lower end brands that I can’t even think of), some of the least pigmented shadows I’ve tried.

            • There really isn’t much of an excuse… The only thing I know (from calling Aveda when they announced the new trios last winter) is that they were stopping production on all of their products that were not paraben free – Without a plan of action, they just haulted production and scrambled to find paraben-free solutions.

              I admired the balls it took to just pull everything without having a plan in place – I thought it showed genuine concern for the safety of their clientelle. I also understand that they were under the gun to create something else RIGHT AWAY! And yes, though they are a part of EL now, they still operate very independant from EL (moreso than any other of EL’s companies from what I understand). STILL, they have the resources of a huge company like Estee Lauder behind them… I think they could have created a better product. Even if it would have taken a year or two to develop. (Perhaps they are now though? Who knows?)

            • Was there anything that tipped them to ‘MUST REMOVE PARABENS NOW!’? It’s an interesting move, but I’d definitely preferred to wait longer and see a better product!

            • Not that I know of (and honestly I don’t know if that’s the WHOLE story behind it, that’s just what I was told from their corporate office). It’s a very “Aveda” move to make… Though it did surprise me because it wasn’t just their cosmetics that was affected; Almost their entire Men’s bodycare line and their Sensative skincare line as well. Many of my favorite products are just gone. (Most of their BEST lipsticks too! Ergh!)

              I own all of their old shadows and most of the new trios. Some are better than others but most of them give you the pigmentation you’re seeing with this one, therefor I rarely use them.

              FYI it’s a similar situation with their blushes, though I personally really like their new pressed powder bronzers.

            • I dub thee, Sir Dusty, the Aveda know-it-all 😉

              Favorite of the new trios?

            • lol! i think that Plum Mist is my favorite one of the new trios – though i’m still waiting to see Earth Rose in person.

              don’t know if i ever mentioned this but one of my oldest friends owns an aveda salon and spa in town – i’ve done her graphic design work for years (i actually just finished her wedding invitations this weekend too). she’s was the first person to introduce me to aveda stuff… jeez… 10 years ago now??? wow! lol! she’s always giving me new stuff to try out and having me report back what i think of it, etc. so over the years i’ve gotten a good feel for the company i guess 😛

            • You haveeeee! :) And it’s awesome of her!!

  7. Dia

    Even thought it’s sheer, I still think it’s beautiful. :-) These are totally my kind of shades. If only the price was a little cheaper!

  8. amy

    The three colours look very pretty together, too bad they did work for you.

  9. The colors are so pretty..! Try applying them wet??

    • I don’t know if you can use these wet without damaging them…

      • Aveda has done a really bad job at announcing this but all of their new eyeshadow trios are actually meant to be applied wet. Their old ones didn’t take to it as well, but ALL of these are supposed to go on wet for intensity, dry for more muted color. It’s why they launched them along-side their new mixing medium (why do I have all this crap in my brain? LOL!)

        • Good to know! I feel like you never really know with pressed/powder shadows… until somehow you hear about it through the grapevine. ‘Cause I hate those wet spots, and I don’t want to test it unless I know they’re not going to appear!

  10. Beth

    No thank you. I like colors that are true to their pan color. I do like what they result in but I want them to also look that way before I use them, as well.

    Those colors would have been pretty excellent if they had the right pay-off.

  11. Sophie

    very disappointing after seeing the other trio that you reviewed before.
    And they are actually a bit expensive.

  12. baby in a corner

    i like the yellow better when swatched. but this still doesn’t excite me!

  13. LNU

    Well the colors are pretty even though the pigmentation isn’t so hot!

  14. Hilana

    I actually like the way it looks on the skin very much. Right up my ally. I love a sheer look and these colours are very pretty.

  15. i like these lol there prefect for when u want to have some subtle colour without wanting to look like a walking rainbow, esp for ppl who are new makeup and aren’t ready for intense makeup. plus the eco-friendly is a bonus. i can totally see myself rocking this for like a day time look.

  16. Christy

    I also loved that single eyeshadow color from aveda called Tiger Eye I remember going back to get a refill and they discontinued it, I was so bummed. Do you know of any dupes?