Monday, February 14th, 2011

Lancome Taupe Craze Color Design Palette
Lancome Taupe Craze Color Design Palette

Lancome Color Design Shadow & Liner Palette: Taupe Craze

Lancome Taupe Craze Color Design Palette ($48.00 for 0.141 oz.) is one of ten new palettes from Lancome. It includes five shades, and each shade is labeled for a particular purpose. The way they are labeled is actually very much in the order that one would apply them. Of course, I think it is safe to say that one could easily use any combination of the five shades!

Taupe Craze is a cool-toned neutral palette; not all shades have strong, cool undertones, but overall, the palette leans cool. I liked how the palette was a mix of finishes–satin, shimmery, and almost matte. Initially, the two shimmery shades were concerning, because they looked almost glittery, but it seems like it’s more of the top layer than anything else–both shades are more shimmer than glitter.

The all-over color is a pale peach-beige with a satin-matte finish and excellent color pay off and a smooth texture. The lid shade is a neutral-cool medium brown with a soft taupe shimmer. The crease shade is a medium-dark taupe brown with a soft satin sheen. The highlighter shade is a smoky taupe with a bright metallic sheen and shimmer in its finish; when used wet, the metallic sheen is emphasized. I have no idea why Lancome would recommend this shade as a highlighter. Finally, the liner shade is a deep cool-toned taupe brown with silver flecks of shimmer; it is best used wet, if you want really smooth, richly colored line. The liner seemed the least pigmented–it’s a touch lighter swatched than what it is in the pan, but when used wet, it is a touch darker.

Both the shimmery shades (lid and highlighter) along with the liner shade worked whether wet/dry (with the liner shade being better wet). I did try the all-over base and crease shade wet, just to see if I could, and they worked better dry. There did seem to be a slight hardening and darkening over the crease shade from using it wet, though. I couldn’t find out whether these were to be used wet/dry on Lancome’s website, but from my experience, it did not negatively impact any of the shades, with the exception of the crease shade.

my thoughts on the formula: With the exception of the liner shade, the other four shades had very soft, smooth textures with nice color pay off. I really loved the all-over base shade–it had such a silky soft texture with beautiful pigmentation. It worked well as a lid shade and highlighter shade (which is good, because the “highlighter” shade is quite dark for a highlighter).

I’m disappointing in the quantity provided in the palette, though. Lancome’s Color Design Quads come in at 0.16 oz. and their Color Design Eyeshadow singles at 0.0458 oz., which works out to be $263/oz. and $371/oz. respectively. This palette is $340/oz., which makes it more expensive ($48 vs. $42) with less product (0.141 oz. vs. 0.16 oz) than the Color Design Quads.

I also know this palette invites a comparison to Urban Decay Naked Palette, but this one is cooler-toned, while Naked is warmer. If I had to pick the most similar shades, I would say Virgin (but Lancome’s all-over-base is much more pigmented and smooth, less shimmer), Toasted (Lancome’s lid shade is cooler), Buck (Lancome’s crease shade is cooler-toned, more taupe), while the highlighter and liner shades have no real similarities to shades from the Naked palette.

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

  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

final thoughts: This is a nice neutral palette for cooler skin tones, and there is a nice range of textures to create looks with depth. I wish they boosted up the quantity just a bit, perhaps to 0.18 to 0.20 oz.  It’s a shame how the below average value of this palette brings down the overall grade.

where to buy: Sephora

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Saturday, February 12th, 2011

Smoky Brown Eyes with Lancome Taupe Craze

I did this look yesterday, as I was testing several new products (as you can tell!), all to be reviewed soon. :)

You will need the following…

  • Eyes: NARS Smudgeproof Eyeshadow Base (neutral eyeshadow base), Lancome Taupe Craze Eyeshadow Palette (pale beige, muted copper brown, muted medium brown, shimmering taupe, blackened taupe brown), Urban Decay Perversion 24/7 Liner (black), Bare Escentuals Buxom Lash (black)
  • Face: Kiehl’s Tinted Moisturizer (Medium), Burberry Pressed Powder (03)
  • Cheeks: Hourglass Flush Aura Sheer Cheek Stain (pinky-red)
  • Lips: Hourglass Scarlet Aura Sheer Lip Stain (deep red)
  • Brushes: 249 (flat, firm brush), 239 (fluffy shadow brush), 222 (fluffy crease brush), 263 (angled eyeliner brush), 116 (dense blush brush)

For eyes, start by applying Smudgeproof as your eyeshadow base all over the eye area with the 249.  Using the 222, apply the muted medium brown eyeshadow into the crease and blend upwards.  Then, apply the blackened taupe brown eyeshadow with the 219 directly into the crease, and blend using the 222 to give it a gradient effect.  Apply the shimmering taupe eyeshadow on the outer half of the lid with the 239.  Using the 239, apply the pale beige eyeshadow to the inner half of the lid, and then highlight the brow bone with the same shade.  Bring everything together by applying Perversion liner on the lower lash line and blending the pale beige eyeshadow underneath. Finish by sweeping lashes with Buxom Lash mascara.

For cheeks, apply Flush cheek stain on the apples of the cheeks and pat towards the temple with fingers.

For lips, apply Scarlet lip stain for a complementing lip.

Check out more photos! Continue reading →