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Estee Lauder Violet Underground Eyeshadow Palette

Estee Lauder Violet Underground Eyeshadow Palette
Estee Lauder Violet Underground Eyeshadow Palette

Take Me to the Violet Underground

Estee Lauder Violet Underground Eyeshadow Palette ($48.00 for 0.15 oz.) consists of five shades ranging from pink to black to brown. The formula is long-wearing and is not supposed to crease while still blending easily.

The first shade is a vibrant fuchsia pink with a subtle metallic sheen. When applied dry, it’s slightly sheer and looks like it has a soft frost finish. When applied damp, it is incredibly opaque and vibrant with a soft metallic finish. MAC Moon Rose is just a little less fuchsia. MAC Tease With Ease is softer. NARS Caravaggio is darker. Urban Decay Woodstock is very similar. MAC Bright Fuchsia is also close.

Next to the fuchsia shade is a chocolate bronze with a metallic sheen. When applied dry, it still retains a subtle metallic finish and has excellent color payoff. When applied damp, it becomes more intense but doesn’t change too much. NARS Surabaya is similar but has a less metallic finish. Make Up For Ever #14 has less red in its base. theBalm Tres Moi is less red-toned and a smidgen lighter. Le metier de Beaute Bordeaux has a stronger red undertone. Chanel Ebloui is grayer.

Moving on, we arrive at a light beige-peach with soft, warm undertones and a frosted finish. It’s nearly the same whether it is used damp or dry, though it becomes just slightly more metallic when it is used wet. The pigmentation is full and opaque both ways. Bare Escentuals Stealth is more matte in finish and a little lighter. Dolce & Gabbana Jewels is a fraction lighter. MAC Say Yeah is frostier and has a subtle golden sheen. theBalm Luscious Lani is noticeably lighter and more metallic in finish.

In the middle is a dark black with subtle shimmer that’s just barely noticeable. It has good color payoff when used dry, though it is more intense when applied damp. When applied, it does intensify better with a brush than just in a swatch even when applied dry. It’s not quite as dark as MAC Dark Dare or Milani Pitch Black. It is darker than MAC Carbon.

The final shade is a rich violet with hints of blue and an underlying dark base. It had good pigmentation dry but had less depth, whereas when applied damp, it took on a much more intense, deeper look, though both dry and damp had similar metallic finishes. I felt that this was the least dupeable shade in the palette, because it is a darker purple with only a hint of blue. Giorgio Armani Ecailles Black Pearl is lighter, less blackened. MAC Starless Night is darker, not really blue–more black in its base (so you lose some of the purple). MAC Imaginary has no blue. Givenchy Lune Mordoree is bluer. Urban Decay Frigid is the closest but it lacks the blackened base.

I think this is one of the most stunning eyeshadow palettes that has launched in the past few years. It’s utterly breathtaking–whether or not these are the kind of hues you’d feel comfortable wearing or not, it’s a showstopper. What I love is that it does deliver on the color, and all five shades work well together; not just in one color combination but multiple ones. If you prefer subtle pops of color, there are two more neutral shades (beige and bronze) that can be accented by the richer shades (pink and violet) or darkened (black).

These wore impeccably, too!  I had no problem achieving nine hours of wear with no fading or creasing with or without a primer, and I used four of the five shades in the look (no black).  They were easy to blend, didn’t have any fall out, and applied with full color without having to pack it on.  It comes in a purple metallic case with a mirror on the inside and two dual-ended sponge-tipped applicators. The only criticism I could come up with was the pink shade could be better pigmented dry.

Estee Lauder Violet Underground Eyeshadow Palette


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Estee Lauder Surreal Violet Eyeshadow Palette

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.