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Round-up: Hourglass Modernist Eyeshadow Palettes Overview & Thoughts

Hourglass Modernist Eyeshadow Palettes

Hourglass Modernist Eyeshadow Palettes ($58.00 for 0.175 oz. each) debuted this spring as a new formula from the brand. There are seven variations, and each palette has five different shades. I didn’t like any of them, and I would never use any of these again personally, because they’re just far too time-consuming to work with. I’m a fan of Hourglass, and I loved their previous eyeshadow duos (some of the best eyeshadows on the market), so I was incredibly surprised to have such a poor experience with their newest formula.

The main problem with the formula is that it is so soft and finely-milled that it turns powdery, sometimes chalky, and doesn’t hold together well. In turn, that powderiness translates to poorer color payoff, poorer adhesion, and shorter wear times. The eyeshadow tends to dust off the skin without a tackier base to hold it there. Many shades sheer away to some degree with a few sheering away to near nothingness. Some of them are drier, some may be powdery but blend poorly. Even if you prefer a softer or sheerer look, you can easily achieve the same look with hundreds of other products that are easier to use.

Report Card

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Hourglass Obscura Modernist Eyeshadow Palette

Hourglass Obscura Modernist Eyeshadow Palette
Hourglass Obscura Modernist Eyeshadow Palette

Hourglass Obscura Modernist Eyeshadow Palette ($58.00 for 0.17 oz.) is supposed to be a mix of “earth tones.” It’s consistent with the other palettes I’ve reviewed: disappointing. The texture of the eyeshadows is absolutely soft and finely-milled, but those positive characteristics are outweighed by how dusty and powdery the end result is. These are frustrating to use; they are not effortless, and half of the time, despite being so soft, they don’t go on smoothly, tend to look uneven, and require some elbow grease to blend. I also noticed that this particular palette seemed to have more overlap with the other palettes (but it could just be that it is last to be reviewed).

Obscura #1 is described as a “cream.” It’s a yellowed, light beige with warm undertones and a satin-matte finish–there’s a little sheen there. The texture was soft, finely-milled but quite powdery, which made it prone to sheering out. It lasted for seven and a half hours on me. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Obscura #2 is described as a “smokey brown.” It’s a dark brown with subtle, warm yellow undertones and a mostly matte finish. It was very powdery, so very little of the powder actually stuck to the skin, which made it appear sheer and uneven. The texture may feel silky to the touch, but it is much harder to use in practice. It lasted for seven and a half hours on me. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Obscura #3 is described as a “rose gold.” It’s a golden copper-bronze with warm undertones and a metallic finish. It’s not rose gold to me, as it is has far too much brown in it. It had good pigmentation both wet and dry, though it was easier to get smooth, even color and longer wear when I applied it with a dampened brush. Dry, it only lasted for seven hours, but dampened, it lasted closer to eight hours. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Obscura #4 is described as a “coffee.” It’s a dark brown with subtle warm undertones and a satin finish. It had semi-sheer color payoff that went on unevenly–it looked patchy and was difficult to diffuse and blend–while the color itself wore for seven hours before fading. The texture was powdery and didn’t want to bind/adhere to the skin. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Obscura #5 is described as a “cool bronze.” It’s a medium-dark, golden brown with a metallic sheen. The texture was somewhat dry, a little powdery, but it is workable on the lid when used with a dampened brush. The color payoff is good both wet and dry, but it just was so much easier to work with when it came to blending and getting even, smooth color when I tried using it with a dampened brush. Once on, it lasted for seven hours dry, eight hours damp. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Hourglass Modernist Eyeshadow Palette Obscura
Obscura
Obscura
7.5
Product
8
Pigmentation
7.5
Texture
8
Longevity
4.5
Application
79%
Total
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Dior House of Pinks Eyeshadow Palette

Dior House of Pinks Eyeshadow Palette
Dior House of Pinks Eyeshadow Palette

Dior House of Pinks Eyeshadow Palette ($63.00 for 0.24 oz.) is a pink-hued palette with five shades ranging from pink-tinted ivory to mauve. Despite having continual poor luck with the quality in Dior’s palettes, I remain a glutton for punishment and bought both of the new spring palettes. I wasn’t impressed with House of Pinks due to its drier, unforgiving texture–it made my entire lid space look dry. I thought Monochrome was frustrating to work with (I tested both simultaneously, one on each eye), but Monochrome didn’t emphasize texture nearly as much, despite being more powdery (I guess that’s the where the silkiness came into play). The consistency of the eyeshadows was generally firmer and drier, while the color payoff ranged from semi-sheer to semi-opaque. They were harder to apply to bare skin, as they didn’t want to stick, and only one shade performed decently. It’s yet another palette that reminds me of why Dior’s palettes are a “look but don’t touch” situation more often than not. Dior palettes are best at inspiring me to try a new color combination, but I should know better by now to create it with anything but Dior’s own palette.

House of Pinks #1 is a gold-shimmered, pink-white with a frosted finish. It had a dustiness to it that made it a pain to work with, and it seemed to really be one of the worst offenders when it came to exacerbating the texture of my natural lid (which looks fine with the majority of the eyeshadows I have ever used). It lasted for five and a half hours before fading. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

House of Pinks #2 is a pale, pink-tinted white with a matte finish. It was semi-sheer with a very powdery, dusty texture that was prone to fading and didn’t apply evenly. It lasted for five hours. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

House of Pinks #3 is a brightened pop of cool-toned, light-medium pink with a pearly sheen. It had semi-sheer color payoff but was rather dusty and almost chalky, and it barely showed up on the lid. It really needed to be pressed into the skin and packed on for any visible color, but none of it stuck. It just seemed to fade immediately. The washed-out version of it that remained after the initial five minutes stayed in its sad state for six hours. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

House of Pinks #4 is a mauve-y taupe brown with warm undertones and a metallic sheen. It had good pigmentation with a slightly firm, dry texture. It lasted for seven hours on me before fading. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

House of Pinks #5 is a dark, eggplant purple with subtle, warm brown undertones and a soft, frosted finish. It had semi-sheer color payoff with a drier, dustier texture that applied unevenly. It creased after six hours of wear. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Dior Kingdom of Colors 5 Couleurs Couture Colors & Effects Eyeshadow Palette House of Pinks
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Also In This Review

D

House of Pinks #1

Limited Edition
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D-

House of Pinks #2

Limited Edition
Read Review
F

House of Pinks #3

Limited Edition
Read Review
B

House of Pinks #4

Limited Edition
Read Review
D

House of Pinks #5

Limited Edition
Read Review
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Hourglass Monochrome Modernist Eyeshadow Palette

Hourglass Monochrome Modernist Eyeshadow Palette
Hourglass Monochrome Modernist Eyeshadow Palette

Hourglass Monochrome Modernist Eyeshadow Palette ($58.00 for 0.17 oz.) is called the “rose ” palette for its mix of pinks. It’s a sheerer set of shades that, while very soft and finely-milled, were powdery, prone to blending away into nothingness. Three of the shades are matte, while one is a low-level sheen satin and another is a frost. I think they should have skipped the frost here, as it didn’t play nicely with the others due to having a slightly thicker, dense texture so it looked more textured and thicker on the lid as a result.

Monochrome #1 is described as a “warm ivory.” It’s a light, yellowed beige with warm undertones and a matte finish. The texture was incredibly silky, but it was rather powdery to work with and quite sheer. It was noticeably faded after six and a half hours. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Monochrome #2 is described as a “rose nude.” It’s a light-medium, peachy-pink with warm undertones and a frosted finish. Applied dry, it was semi-sheer and didn’t adhere well to bare skin, and applied damp, it was more pigmented and applied more easily to the skin. It lasted for seven and a half hours. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Monochrome #3 is described as a “peony pink.” It’s a light-medium, warm-toned pink with a matte finish. It was sheer with a soft, powdery finish that didn’t want to stick to bare skin. On me, it was noticeably faded within six hours. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Monochrome #4 is described as a “light mauve.” It’s a dirty, medium-dark mauve with subtle warm undertones and a matte finish. It was very sheer, dusty, and didn’t want to stay on bare skin at all. This was also a shade that seemed to look patchy and uneven applied. It lasted for six hours on me. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Monochrome #5 is described as a “dark chocolate.” It’s a deepened brown with warm,r eddish undertones and a satin finish. The color payoff was actually quite good, but the dusty texture made it harder to work with. It just didn’t blend as easily as most eyeshadows, so it took more work to get it to look even and diffused on bare skin. It lasted for seven and a half hours on me. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Hourglass Modernist Eyeshadow Palette Monochrome
Monochrome
Monochrome
7
Product
7.5
Pigmentation
7
Texture
7
Longevity
4
Application
72%
Total
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Hourglass Exposure Modernist Eyeshadow Palette

Hourglass Exposure Modernist Eyeshadow Palette
Hourglass Exposure Modernist Eyeshadow Palette

Hourglass Exposure Modernist Eyeshadow Palette ($58.00 for 0.17 oz.) is a real mix in regards to quality with one spectacular miss that really brings down any chance the palette had at a decent score. If that one shade had performed even average, this palette would be closer to a B+ in rating. This set of shades was less powdery compared to the other palettes I’ve reviewed with this formula. It still tended to apply more easily and wear longer when applied damp, though.

Exposure #1 is described as a “champagne.” It’s a light champagne beige with warm undertones and a frosted finish. It had good color payoff both wet and dry, though it was easier to work with when applied with a damp brush, as it adhered better and went on more smoothly. The consistency was very soft and finely-milled, while being lightly powdery. It wore well for eight hours both wet and dry. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Exposure #2 is described as an “aubergine.” It’s a deepened eggplant purple with a matte finish. It’s extremely powdery to work with, so little color adheres to bare skin; it absolutely has to be applied over a base or primer. The color is actually more pigmented than you’d think, just none of it sticks due to just how powdery the texture is. I found it a little hard to blend and prone to fading within six hours. The way this applies and looks on the skin is so disappointing. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Exposure #3 is described as a “bronze.” It’s a medium-dark golden bronze with warm undertones and a metallic sheen. The eyeshadow was nicely pigmented both dry and wet, though it was easier to apply to the skin when used with a dampened brush as the eyeshadow adhered better and the dampness eliminated the powderiness of the formula. Applied dry, it wore well for seven and a half hours, and applied damp, it lasted for eight and a half hours. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Exposure #4 is described as a “black violet.” It’s a deepened, blackened purple with warm undertones and a pearly sheen. It applied nicely both wet and dry, and it wasn’t powdery even when used dry. It had excellent pigmentation, and the eyeshadow wore well for eight hours regardless of how I applied it. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Exposure #5 is described as a “lilac.” It’s a muted, dusty mauve with rosy tones and a pearly sheen. It was powdery and drier to the touch, which made it harder to apply dry as it was prone to sheering out with the barest touch of the brush. It was better applied with a dampened brush, which brought out the cool tones and shimmery finish. Applied dry, it lasted for six hours, and applied damp, it wore closer to eight hours. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Hourglass Modernist Eyeshadow Palette Exposure
Exposure
Exposure
7.5
Product
8.5
Pigmentation
7
Texture
8
Longevity
4.5
Application
79%
Total
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MAC Moodyblu Eyeshadow Palette

MAC Moodyblu Eyeshadow Palette
MAC Moodyblu Eyeshadow Palette

MAC Moodyblu Eyeshadow Palette ($44.00 for 0.10 oz.) is a blue-hued set of shades that ranges from light gray to navy blue. This was my least favorite of the three palettes, as it performed the worst out of the bunch. Three of the shades are part of the permanent range, while three are limited edition. Too many shades from this set had drier, thinner, and were more difficult to blend out on the skin to make it a must-have.

Midnight Snow is described as a “pale silver [with a Frost finish].” It’s a brightened, silvery white with a frosted sheen. It had so-so color payoff with a thinner texture that really had to be layered to work on the skin. Once on, it wore well for eight hours. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Idol Eyes is described as a “silver violet with gold [with a Lustre finish].” It’s a muted, bluish-purple with gold sparkle. This is part of the permanent range, and it continues to be one of my least favorite MAC shades, because it is very sheer, gritty, and the sparkle gets everywhere. The one included in the palette seemed especially annoying to use. The only way I’ve ever managed half-decent results out of it is when patted over a colored, tacky base. At best, it seems to wear for six hours but has fall out, and it’s hard to tell, as there is little visible color on my skin. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Knight Divine is described as a “black with silver pearl [with a Veluxe Pearl finish].” It’s a drak gray with a silver frosted sheen. The color payoff was good, while the consistency was soft and blendable. It wore well for eight hours before fading. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Indigogo is described as a “blackened navy with multi-dimensional pearl [with a Velvet finish].” It’s a muted, bluish-teal with a soft blue micro-sparkle over a satin finish. It had good color payoff, but the texture was drier, which made blending it more difficult as it tended to turn patchy. It lasted for eight hours before creasing. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Deep Truth is described as a “true dark blue [with a Frost finish].” It’s a medium-dark, brightened blue with a frosted finish. It had good color payoff with a fairly soft texture, but it was stiffer and thinner compared to the permanent version I have. It wore well for eight hours and was easier to use than I expected, based on the texture. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Exotic Purple is described as a “dark navy [with a Satin finish].” It’s a blackened navy blue that leans a little purple with a satin sheen. It was semi-sheer with a drier, thinner consistency that made it hard to work with. It was a shade that tended to look uneven when applied to the lid. It lasted for seven and a half hours on me. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

MAC MAC x Toledos Eyeshadow Palette Moodyblu
Moodyblu
Moodyblu
7
Product
7.5
Pigmentation
7.5
Texture
8
Longevity
4
Application
76%
Total
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Also In This Review

B-

Midnight Snow

Limited Edition
Read Review
F

Idol Eyes

Discontinued
Read Review
B

Indigogo

Limited Edition
Read Review
C-

Exotic Purple

Limited Edition
Read Review

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