Hourglass Obscura Modernist Eyeshadow Palette Review, Photos, Swatches

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.

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See more photos & swatches!

Hourglass Obscura Modernist Eyeshadow Palette
Hourglass Obscura Modernist Eyeshadow Palette

Hourglass Obscura Modernist Eyeshadow Palette
Hourglass Obscura Modernist Eyeshadow Palette

Hourglass Obscura Modernist Eyeshadow Palette
Hourglass Obscura Modernist Eyeshadow Palette

Hourglass Obscura #1 Modernist Eyeshadow
Hourglass Obscura #1 Modernist Eyeshadow

Hourglass Obscura #1 Modernist Eyeshadow
Hourglass Obscura #1 Modernist Eyeshadow

Hourglass Obscura #2 Modernist Eyeshadow
Hourglass Obscura #2 Modernist Eyeshadow

Hourglass Obscura #2 Modernist Eyeshadow
Hourglass Obscura #2 Modernist Eyeshadow

Hourglass Obscura #3 Modernist Eyeshadow
Hourglass Obscura #3 Modernist Eyeshadow

Hourglass Obscura #3 Modernist Eyeshadow
Hourglass Obscura #3 Modernist Eyeshadow

Hourglass Obscura #4 Modernist Eyeshadow
Hourglass Obscura #4 Modernist Eyeshadow

Hourglass Obscura #4 Modernist Eyeshadow
Hourglass Obscura #4 Modernist Eyeshadow

Hourglass Obscura #5 Modernist Eyeshadow
Hourglass Obscura #5 Modernist Eyeshadow

Hourglass Obscura #5 Modernist Eyeshadow
Hourglass Obscura #5 Modernist Eyeshadow

Hourglass Obscura Modernist Eyeshadow Palette
Hourglass Obscura Modernist Eyeshadow Palette (Urban Decay Scorch Eyeliner)

Hourglass Obscura Modernist Eyeshadow Palette
Hourglass Obscura Modernist Eyeshadow Palette (Urban Decay Scorch Eyeliner)

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About the Reviewer

Reviewer

Christine has normal-to-dry skin with areas of dryness (cheeks, nose, and under the eyes). She has a light-medium skintone with subtle, warmer yellow undertones. Her best foundation matches include: Tarte Rainforest of the Sea in Light-Medium Neutral (best match), Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup in Desert Beige 2N1, Giorgio Armani Maestro Glow in 4.0, Hourglass Warm Ivory Vanish Seamless Finish, Laura Mercier Candleglow Soft Luminous in Dusk, MAC NC20/NC25, Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Liquid in Y305 (140). For more matches, please read our full Foundation FAQ. For more information on our review process, please read our Review FAQ.

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39 Comments

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What happen to #2 ??? I can’t believe they messed up a brown shadow- even drugstore brands get those right. And with so many great neutral palettes out there at much lower price points, this is unforgivable. These Modernist shadows must be one of the most disappointing products of the year!

I’m still shocked that these palettes turned out like this. I always see people raving about their products so I just knew they were going to knock these out of the park. Especially since they clearly put a lot of time and effort into the design

Ah, well, saves me money. Because if they’d been good, I’d would have splurged on the green and the plum palettes. These just look so beautiful in the pan, it kills me.

I can work with slightly powdery, but as fine-milled as these are, I know the fallout would drive me nuts.

I don´t know if I´m the only one seeing it that way but the palettes seem too similiar for my liking and not particularly in a good way. There is always a pale nude, a dark brown and some shimmery gold going on and at the end it all seems so muddy. I´m disappointed.

such a disappointment from this line. Curious if Hourglass reads these reviews and a pending overhaul of this product is in the future. I have to say I have learned my lesson —- I jumped the gun buying the plum palette. So so excited ….. what a let down. Wait for Temptalia’s review …. Always!!!

It would be great if they did, since a lot of people have had trouble with them, but there are also a good number of positive reviews (I feel like Sephora is littered with 1 and 5-star reviews, lol) so I’d be surprised if they did… but I am cynical when it comes to these things!

I haven’t read all the reviews, but I’ve read some (on Sephora), and there were several that mentioned they prefer softer looks or that they’re not pigmented but that’s not a problem – so sometimes the way it performs (sheer, soft) might be a win for someone else if that’s their style! (Kind of like a sheer lipstick that’s really pigmented.)

Got my hands on these in store the other day and I pretty much made a D: face. Just so disappointing, especially for the price, especially for colors this relatively common.

Hi Christine, have you ever tried the Zoeva eyeshadow palettes or pigments? They have a really good quality with good color payoff and are quite affordable. A palette with 10 eyeshadows costs 17,50€ (about 20$). I now own 2 palettes and I also have Naked 1 & 3 and i’m actually reaching mor often my zoeva palettes.

You should really try them 🙂 And also their brushes are sooooo good and not that expensive.

These Hourglass Palettes are a real eyecather but after your review, well let’s just say I’m not that disappointed that i can’t get ahold of them that easy.

I swatched a couple of these palettes in person today, and they are quite buttery, but the powdery factor just ruins it, makes the product ball up and go on unevenly. Like, if the formula wasn’t powdery, the palette wouldn’t get messy. So it’s like a good idea executed horribly.

Even though I was not too excited for these releases, I was most interested in Obscura. It’s a shame these palettes are not up to snuff!

Thanks for great, honest reviews and photos!

Depending on how the skin is behaving on top and around my lids, although the palette I’ve had is the Infinity, not this just reviewed one, ( beautiful eye, Eyeliner choose perfecto), I sometimes quite enjoy these powdery eyeshadows much more than others, especially the Infinity. they blend seemlessly while not bothering my sensitive eyes, and once it sets, it is set and stays extremely well. If you have sensitive eyes and skin, even just sometimes like me, these aren’t that bad. Otherwise, yeah they are. I think the infinity is just pigmented of colours that most naturally mimic skin tones’ natural shadows which is probably why I do have a fondness for that mentioned palette. I would recommend it. It also pairs really well with the sets of CT beach sticks used as recommended, for that natural nude summer healthy look!

It works, got it awhile ago. Not my favorite, but a good quickie! I’m Currently addicted to ones from a haul that I spent a fortune on. Retail therapy. 😀 Ashamed yet not… I can’t stop!

Thank you so much for your honest and through review on all these Hourglass palettes. You really helped me save money and time by passing on these ones. These palettes are so disappointing and I wasn’t expecting them to perform so poorly. I will wait for other palettes to be reviewed.
Thanks again for your reviews!

I’m glad the ‘gold’ one came up as the best, although I totally agree that ‘rose gold’ is, um, definitely not the right name for that shade!!

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