Tuesday, October 19th, 2010

Estee Lauder Surreal Violet Eyeshadow Palette
Estee Lauder Surreal Violet Eyeshadow Palette

Estee Lauder Blue Dahlia: Surreal Violet Eyeshadow Palette

Estee Lauder Surreal Violet Eyeshadow Palette ($42.00 for 0.27 oz.) is a purple-hued palette from the Blue Dahlia Collection, which debuted for fall. It includes five shades: pink-lilac with soft sheen; dusty gray with mauve in a matte finish; shimmery white; darkened eggplant with a matte finish; and a sparkly cool-toned purple.

The palette’s interior design is similar to Guerlain’s Eyeshadow Palettes, but the outer packaging is entirely different, and Guerlain’s palette does include a sixth shade along the right hand side of the palette. None of the five Guerlain palettes released for fall resemble either of the two palettes released by Estee Lauder, though–there might be one shade overlap at best, but they are all pretty different from each other. As far as texture is concerned, Guerlain’s is a little smoother, but the pigmentation is similar across both brands with some shades slightly sheer and others more opaque.  Again, even though at first sight, the two brands seem similar, the color schemes for their palettes deviate quite a bit, so it may not curb your desire for an $84 palette.

Both of the matte eyeshadows are a touch dusty but very workable when used with a brush–just make sure to tap excess off to avoid fall out–while the pinky lilac shade is absolutely gorgeous, because the sheen is just right. The frosted white shade may be garish on darker skin tones, and the high-shine finish works better on the lid than on the brow to highlight. The sparkly purple shade is pretty but a little sheer and a good portion of the sparkle seems to disappear by the time you apply it to the lid.

My favorite part about the palette is how well the colors work together.  This is not a palette that has too many dark shades, not enough available textures, or colors that just don’t work together.  It’s well-designed to create both lighter purple-based looks as well as smokier looks.  The inclusion of both matte, satin, and frost finishes allows for the creation of looks with depth.

P.S. — Is it just me or are white sponge-tip applicators incredibly cheap looking?  I don’t like sponge-tip applicators in general, but white just seems to scream cheap to me.

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: If you’re a purple fiend, I think you’ll get a lot of use out of this palette.  There’s a good mix of both warmer and cooler shades, as well as lighter and darker shades, to make this a rather versatile palette.


See more photos & swatches!

Estee Lauder Surreal Violet Eyeshadow Palette
Estee Lauder Surreal Violet Eyeshadow Palette

Estee Lauder Surreal Violet Eyeshadow Palette
Estee Lauder Surreal Violet Eyeshadow Palette

Estee Lauder Surreal Violet Eyeshadow Palette
Estee Lauder Surreal Violet Eyeshadow Palette

Estee Lauder Surreal Violet Eyeshadow Palette
Estee Lauder Surreal Violet Eyeshadow Palette

Estee Lauder Surreal Violet Eyeshadow Palette
Estee Lauder Surreal Violet Eyeshadow Palette

Product & Review FAQ

Where can I purchase Surreal Violet? How much is it?

Nordstrom, $42.

Is it limited edition?


Any dupes?

Pink-lilac shade: MAC Stars 'n Rockets (more fuchsia); gray shade: NARS Charade; white shade: MAC White Frost; eggplant shade: MAC Sketch, NARS Lulu; purple shade: MAC Parfait Amour, NARS Party Monster.

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23 thoughts on “Estee Lauder Surreal Violet Eyeshadow Palette Review, Photos, Swatches

  1. Hmm, this looks really nice. Much better than Guerlain’s palettes if you ask me. :)

  2. I just got Guerlain 68 Champs Elysees palette and wish they had included a few purple shades instead of all the greys. Now I might have to get this too. ;)

  3. Kelli

    I say leave it. I have so many colors like that, I just don’t need it!

  4. Caroline F.

    If I didn’t own ‘Night Butterfly’ by Christian Dior (Fall collection 2009) I would buy this palette. Unfortunately for Estée, the colors are practically the exact same as the Dior quint.
    I’ll pass, but it certainly is lovely……

  5. Black or White..SPONGE Applicators are just cheap in general. They are helpful sometime though..I hate the fact that these high end palettes that cost so much carry these crappy applicators. They better gve a mini e/liner from their brand..a la UD..

    • Miss Silver

      I always remove the sponge applicators and only use them to smudge eyeliner. They just get in the way, really.

  6. JessicaM

    Please make a look with this :)

  7. Kai

    I actually find the black sponge tip applicators look cheaper, they look more spongy!

  8. Ter aka bobbysgeel

    The colors really are beautiful & go together nicely :)

  9. Leenie

    I love those colors

  10. Right now I am into purple and green. I am loving these shades.

  11. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Etaoin baby in a corner

    i always find blues hard to get good colour payoff with! dunno why! this is pretty for sure!

  12. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Brenda Brenda

    It is a lovely looking palette, however I will leave it. I have tried cooler toned purples but no matter what I do it does not look right. It always looks like I’m bruised.

  13. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Michelle Michelle

    Ohh this is calling for me.. I really am a purple fiend [blame my green eyes] and it looks so luxurious! However, do you know of any decent purple palettes that are more affordable?

  14. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Liliana Liliana

    It is a beautiful palette, looks much better on the eyes than the swatches on the hand. As someone already mentioned, Lisa Elridge has a beautiful look with these purple shades. Sorry you can’t make a look with it too, Christine, surely would look great on you. :)

  15. Adele

    One purple fiend right here! And this looks gorgeous! (Funny, I’ve never liked anything by EL before.)

  16. joanne w

    I got the Blue Dahlia eyeshadow palette but the one time i wore i noticed the color faded relatively fast like within 3 hours. And assuming this purple one is similar to it, is this normal?

    • I didn’t have any wear problems when I played around with it… I wore this palette on just one eye (was wearing another palette on the other eye, LOL).