Saturday, January 10, 2015

Serge Lutens Eye Shadow 3

Haha!  "Sand dunes, erosion, and dust."  LOLWUT?  This is the little evocative blurb on the Serge Lutens website about this eye shadow palette.  It wasn't what urged me on irrationally to buy this irrationally expensive palette.

 How does one describe the act of doing something stupid, when one is completely aware one is doing something stupid?  Must be some compulsive stupidity, right?  I was completely aware that there is no way in hell that a palette for $160 would have any way of measuring up to it.  Case is hefty and beautiful, gleaming black with subtle red tones.  There is the brand name, of course.  What do cosmetics ingredients cost anyway?  Whatever it is 0.14 oz of product can't possibly be worth the product cost equivalent of $160, can it?

(you know I never mention price on the blog)
 Certainly, it must look incredible when worn, right?  There must be cosmetic luxury magic in this subtle eye shadow quad, right?
 Seems like the the "sand dunes, erosion and dust" thing does give an impressionistic sense of this palette.
 The light shades have a subtle shimmery finish, with the white being a bit more shimmery.  The dark shade is a satin finish color.

  • warm creamy white, this one with a bit more sheen than the other shades
  • subtle, pale gold, that is light in pigmentation,  the aforementioned "sand?"
  • a pale warm pink, which of the three pale shades is most pigmented, but still light in pigmentation
  • beautiful warm smokey plum

 Maybe from the swatches you can tell what might go wrong with using this palette.  It has three lightly pigmented shades, though tonally different, has similar color depth.
 The smoky plum is very pretty swatched though.
Here is where it starts to go all wrong.  First, there is no eye shadow quad that is going to be worth $160.  Yes, you pay for utter luxury of the brand and there is a certain elegance to this quad (packaging, blah blah, etc).  Setting the (price) bar so high, I really was starting to feel like maybe, just maybe, it had a chance of being something extra special.

In actuality, it is utterly fine.  Just fine.  But there is nothing so exceptional that it blew my mind.  And to tell the truth, the fact that there are three barely discernible shades made placement and layering the shades an exercise in futility.
Even more maddening was that the shimmer and the texture of the colors didn't flatter my lids, and looking closely, made all the tiny normal bumps on my skin more prominent.  Just saying, other of my favorite palettes don't do that.  Feel free to click on the eye closeups.
And before you tell me "Oh Belly, what weird texture thing?  It looks fine."  And it does look okay, but I'm telling you I just spent $160 on this thing.
Some pros:

  • Soft and slightly powdery, but very easy to blend.
  • Over my normal Nars primer, lasted exceptionally well without any fading or creasing.
I know it doesn't come across that way at all in this post, but I really like the Serge Lutens brand.  I've been falling headlong into a wonderful fragrance journey with the brand and really still love the red lip palette as well as another recent purchase of a lipstick (I'll post soon).  But I think, even as a luxury beauty consumer, perhaps even I have a limit.
Products worn: Tom Ford Traceless Foundation Stick 02 Pale Dune, Surratt concealer, Rouge Bunny Rouge loose powder, SUQQU brow palette Moss Green, Lancome Hypnose Drama WP mascara, SUQQU gel liner Jet Bordeaux, Chanel Camelia Rose blush, Suqqu CG 06 Umegasumi lipstick
What I mean by the stupidity mentioned at the top of the post is that I have an actual awareness of my personal value thresh hold.  Knowing it, I knew full well that there is no way that any palette this price point would have blown me away.  I know each person is different and there are others that love the brand and love the eye shadow palettes.  It's just not me, and I really should have known better than to set up this palette to fail.

Please tell me you have also made some exceptionally poor makeup choices?  Or... is it just me? *shriek*

61 comments :

  1. I'm not sure what an eyeshadow palette would have to have for me to spend $160 on it. Rainbow dust? Unicorn farts? From your photos, it looks pretty, but nothing special. If you're not in love with it, would it be possible for you to return it?

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    1. I guess I can try to return it, but I try not to return things unless it a) caused skin issues b) was defective. I was happy to return an Estee Lauder lipstick because it tore up my lips. I might even attempt to return if I hadn't featured it in a post on the blog, but I actually feel funny using products for purposes of a blog post and then returning it. I also think it's worth sharing the experience (the good & the poopie) of buying extraordinarily expensive products because people may be curious (like bystanders watching a train wreck) or there are others actually keen on buying similar products.

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  2. That plum color is really pretty on you, but I see what you mean about the finish emphasizing texture. At a certain price some things better be pure magic and it always sucks to realize it's not :-(

    If it'll make you feel any better to hear about unwise purchasing decisions - I have at least 8 finishing powders, and I still don't know if I'm going to be able to resist getting the new Meteorites compact (even though I already have the ballz in 02). But if I get it in a different color it's totally justified, right? RIGHT?

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    1. Isn't that shade very pretty? Actually, what convinced me originally to try it was that I had another eyeshadow on when I tried the palette and the pale shades showed much more. In any case, I think I have other ways to make it work. <---hope springs eternal.

      Those new compacts look so lovely!! I love the idea of portable meteorites. :) a different color totally makes it right!

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  3. Let me know when this eyeshadow set takes the wrinkles out of my eye and I will consider getting it.
    Are you nuts?

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    1. Also, Belly you could had gotten two new Suqqu eyeshadows for that price. You are so brave to take that plunge.

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    2. Are you questioning my sanity? I'm probably already well beyond repair in terms of total $$$$ expenditures for makeup purchases. I enjoyed the experience of trying a new thing and had the product worked better, I'm sure I would have written a more positive review $160 or no. As an example, the SL lip palette 1 which I posted about a few months ago is also the same price and which I really like very much.

      I still plan on getting more SUQQUs! That is generally a given any way!!

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    3. I read once somewhere long time ago that there is a subliminal message hidden in these background music they play in department stores. It says "buy, buy, buy". Btw, what's up with the Suqqu section at a Selfridges there is absolutely no makeup on display.

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  4. As someone who has a shameful collection of $50 lipsticks, I thought I was as ridiculous as it gets! That's an insane price point for a palette and if I were to dish it out, some voodoo/magic shit that makes me permanently flawless better be going down!

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    1. I notice when I take my contacts out and stare in the mirror, i look particularly flawless no matter what I am wearing or not wearing. :D I think i've found the magic!

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  5. OMG BELLY! I think I would have walked away after seeing that price tag >_< I'm so sorry this didn't work for you, but like Monika asked, could you take it back for a return?

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    1. I answered Monika above about the return thing. I think I'll keep it around as an emblem of poor decision making. :) I might need to make it into a large pendant to wear around my neck every time I go out shopping for makeup to remind me what not to do.

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  6. With that sort of price tag I don't think I could ever be convinced to purchase, but I must admit that some sick twisted part of me *really* enjoys the ridiculous "sand, dunes, erosion and dust" tagline. The description for quad 1 seems pretty standard, and 2 is a little more arty I guess, but it seems that by number 3 whoever was writing copy just couldn't be bothered.
    It is still pretty and does indeed look "fine" but I see what you mean. And I doubt anyone could get away with saying they've never made an exceptionally poor makeup choice before. I have a pile of orange lipstick that can attest to my varying sense of sound judgment.

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    1. I was reading for the other two palettes and thought the same thing. Lol! There's a lot of other interesting product verbiage for the perfumes which are even more quirky, but I think that is just the SL "thing."

      :) Orange you glad you didn't buy this quad?

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  7. I think the palette will work better with different placement but I think you have better like that picture you showed. The 2nd swatch picture reminds me of that Three duo 06 winter love. I have loads of stupid makeup purchases :)

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    1. I think Winter Love is generally warm (the dark shade), but it does all that with TWO SHADES! LOL! BAHHHHHHH!!!

      What do you recommend in terms of placements? The pale shades really don't show up differently and only as sheer washes.

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    2. Maybe a darker smokey look with wings to play up that lovely dark shade and only use the light shades to highlight. I'm thinking that they only look different in person and hard to tell in pictures kind of e/s. Do they sell those shades as singles for refill or anything?

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    3. They sell the bottom shade as a refill, but not the other three shades. I suspect I will not use the bottom one up any time in the near future! :P

      I think I will try the dark over a cream base and see what happens.

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  8. If you were to return this palette, do you have a slight hesitation/do part of you still want to hang on to it? Then if so, maybe just enjoy it -- the palette is not spectacular, I know, but sometimes I buy products for the whole "aura" or imagined-prestige that comes with it (a little bit of Uncle Serge's magic dust on my lids will transform my life somehow for the better, or owning a piece of Uncle Serge means I've conquered the Kilimanjaro of makeup luxury, or --insert whatever comments you have about owning the product here --). If you can return it without hesitation, then heck, get your money back!

    I do make this kind of mistake all the time: buying products for the aura, not for the actual product itself, with drugstore/dept store brands alike. Sadly, we tend to equate the magnitude of our mistake with the monetary value of the product, it shouldn't be for the same mistake is made with either.

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    1. I quite like the dark shade, actually. I've made up my mind to keep it. I actually saw a great suggestion on IG that the pale shades might give different layering effects just over the dark one. I might try some variations on this, too.

      *nods vigorously* A mistake is a mistake.

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  9. Oh, my dear Belly, we all fall prey to some kind of madness from time to time. I have been tempted by mr Lutens from time to time. It's probably good to get it out of your system.

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    1. *shaking myself like a wet dog*
      I feel good now. :)

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  10. Uhh for 160, an eyeshadow palette will have to include ALL of my all-time favorite shades (probably from across different brands) to even be considered! I blow money on makeup, sure, but 160 for a quad is somewhere I haven't been (and not sure where I'd like to go)!

    I do like this on you, but I don't think it'll do much for my eyes at all. I'd need to swap two of those very light shades out for two medium ones because all those three will end up looking the same on me :(

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    1. I know Sunny! It needs a better mid tone shade to make this a truly workable palette!!!!!

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  11. I'll occasionally ponder getting one of these whenever I'm ordering something from Harvey Nichols, they are £96 here. Really glad to read your thoughts on this as of the three this is the colour combination I like the look of most. I think if it doesn't perform as well as you favourite brands then I can pass x

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    1. Ah! It's a good chunk less expensive in the UK than here! I'm quite pale these days, so I'm not sure that the pale shades would work even on the truly fair like yourself either! I think the 1 palette looks the most cohesive to me, but the powdery feel of the two dark shades made me pass on those.

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  12. What kind of dollars are we talking about here?! Saturn dollars? I'd never spend that amount of money on an eyeshadow palette. I'd feel terrible, lol :-) I like the darkest shade in this palette, but other than that it's nothing special.

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    1. If only these were pesos! or Korean wons ! D:

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  13. so sand. much erosiun. $$$$$

    That dark gray/plum actually is beautiful though! I've done something similar with palettes that are stupid expensive and I know I won't actually ever use because they're too pretty to touch. Someone slap my wrist.

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    1. We can trade a well coordinated slappity slap. :) Let's not be too hard on ourselves. *feed you a cookie instead*

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  14. Hi Belly,
    When I saw the email that said you had posted a new review, I read the title, and my mind started going - she didn't. She couldn't have. Did she? I've glanced at some Serge Lutens makeup online at Barneys before, never looking long since the prices are well beyond my budget. So, when I read the title, I knew exactly what you had purchased and how much it had cost. I would never expected you to purchase something so expensive. I'm guessing you can't return it - so for now you are stuck with it. I think the palette would have worked better with at least one midtone shade instead of three light shades. You can at least combine it with other palettes to "make it work". There is one bright side to all this. You probably learned that you won't ever spend that much ever again. Mistakes happen, we just have to make the best of it.
    <3
    Jenny

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    1. I wouldn't return it just as I mentioned to Monika above. It's not like the nice specialist forced me! :) It definitely needs a good mid tone shade to make this palette work.
      I think the reason why the lip palette was ok is that I can wear each of the 4 colors separately and it's like spending $40 per lipstick. This palette however is like getting two shades of eye shadow, with only one which actually looks nice.

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  15. Oh my .... what?! For that money I expect the goddamned thing to feed me ice cream, read me a bedtime story, and tuck me into bed with a sprinkling of fairy dust too. What a bummer it isn't even quite good. Unfortunately, I am all too familiar with this "compulsive stupidity" feeling so I totally understand the whole situation. Is it maybe still possible that they will take it back? Speaking of Serge, have been quite tempted by their blush for quite while. It seems you can buy the refill for a still-obcene price that is significantly less than the packaged version. But what on earth am I supposed to do with a $90 blush refill, stick in a z-palette? It just seems wrong, no? Maybe this will be one of those "perpetually in my wish list" kind of things that I will never actually buy.

    I am glad you are still enjoying the lipstick palette, all those colours are super flattering on you and it is nice to have something special like that :)

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    1. It didn't do any of those things! D: D: D:

      Funny thing is, when I first purchased my SUQQU brushes (I had bought the Face, Cheek and the F brush at the time), I recall sitting in my hotel room thinking "OH CRAP." And I KNEW, I KNEW, I had done something really truly stupid. Of course, many years since that night in the hotel, I adore all of those brushes and to the point, as you know, I own quite a bit more. I'm 99.9% sure I won't have the same change of heart for the SL palette as I do those beautiful brushes, but I'm going to chalk this up to a learning experience.

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  16. Also, dunno if it makes you feel better to know that the price per gram on this palette is not too far from Chanel Reve d'Orient. I almost fainted when I saw there's 2g in there. TWO MEASLY GRAMS. Sorry for yelling. I haven't tried it yet, but dang.

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    1. All those special edition Chanel things (like the LE Camelia Rose blush) are teeny eeny little things for which one pays an exorbitant premium. :) I'm pretty sure that's a part of their appeal.

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  17. Thank You for reviewing this. I bought the SL quad #2 and love it so much I could wear it everyday. I have been wondering about this one. Have you tried the SL #1? That one seems to get the most love.

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    1. Hi there! #1 to me has the most interesting color story and probably more versatile realistically for me. But the dark shades were a bit extra powdery when I played with them at the counter. That reddened shade is really beautiful though and definitely the standout in the palette.

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  18. Wow I didn't even know they made cosmetics as a brand! Omg LOL at the description of the shades... Belly, my condolences to you.

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    1. :P LOL! sand in eye, eroded wallet, tear-filled dune.

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  19. Oh Belly, at least you have a value threshold! LOL! I think i have none, although tbh that color story is just not me. I think palettes like that are designed to be smokey? I.e., darkest shade as a base and everything else on top. Apart, which SL fragrances have gotten you enraptured?? I find their use of aldehydes mildly disturbing... i'm just not a huge fan, but still... i love the little nonsensical blurbs they come up with!

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    1. I'm near the counter so I get to spray & sniff to my hearts content. It does very well with my skin chemistry for the most part. I'm a huge rose lover, so Sa Majeste la Rose is one of my favorites.

      I've tried the smoky since that is often my default placement for most palettes, and tbh, it didn't look amazing that way either! Also I'm trying to use my Surrat smoky eye shadow brush more and it does well working and blending a soft crease with a soft textured shadow like this one.

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  20. ...erosion of your bank account, perhaps?

    It's hard to determine what certain products are "worth," since so much of the pleasure we derive from makeup is intangible, and since the amount we pay for it influences our pleasure in the first place. I've never been in a financial position to spend $160 on makeup in one go, so my beauty mistakes have taken place on a much smaller scale, but they made me feel no less dumb. If a beauty product disappoints you, it's not worth what you paid for it, period. I actually admire your bravery in admitting how much you spent! And I assume the store will take it back.

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    1. LMAO. Yes, exactly that kind of erosion. I was thinking the exact same thing looking at my credit card statement.

      I've easily spend $20 on a nail polish (or more for CHANEL), near $80 on a Tom Ford Quad, $50 on a lipstick, $500 on a cream and multiples of many of these. I'm not 100% sure why I think $160 for ONE makes that much of a difference than the same price on two. I don't think I'm brave either, since I'm sure there is more than me keeping the Serge Luten beauty counter going at Barneys or Harrod's. :) There are others out there. Hopefully making smarter color choices, than me, though!

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    2. I've bought Chanel nail polishes too, and I've spent about $35 on a single lipstick, so I'm sure I'd be even more extravagant if my budget allowed! I loooove that Serge Lutens red lip palette, for instance.

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    3. Oh yes, that red palette is so dreamy. :)

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  21. I nearly had a heart attack here, Belly!! I've had my fair share of impulse buys but I think I would screech to a halt at $160 for a quad. The plum is my favorite shade, though. Did you return it?

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  22. No way on this! I would not spend that much on a palette that seems not worth it. Pass, pass,pass on this!

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    1. Well, true to my nature (and also my blog archives), I'm not much a budget makeup enthusiast, but this is rich even for me.

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  23. Lololol. I saw "Serge Lutens" in the title and just had to click to find out if his products were still a zillion dollars each.

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  24. Maybe I'm just picky, but as soon as I saw the picture of the open palette, I went, "$160 for that? But it's so...ORDINARY." I think you've worn prettier stuff, and at half the price.

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    1. I worn many more prettier things, I think too!
      Kind of a big bummer. Not bad, but it DIDN'T DO ANYTHING MAGICAL AT ALL!

      Delete
  25. Belly!

    Happy happy 2015 to you! Am I crazy to think that the colors in this palette are quite beautiful and translate well onto your lids? I am pleasantly surprised that, for such a demure and understated palette, the colors stand on their own instead of blending together *too* seamlessly. I need to find dupes of the light gold, peach, and plum to recreate your look!

    I make less rational purchases at physical stores; my collection of calf hair, untreated calf leather, and satin heels will attest to this observation. I am weak-willed against expectant looks of sales associates, poppy music, and overall atmosphere, all of which make my head gooey and wallet empty. At least you recognize your threshold immediately afterwards! My brain did not register monetary pain until the 3rd pair of BB satin pumps caught a snag AND drank a wine stain!

    -Josie

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    1. My Josie! Happy New Year! Hope this new one brings you happiness, health and prosperity. I do find that for such a soft product, it blends really beautifully. Maybe I just should have made a different color choice?

      That pang of pain sometimes doesn't register until I look through the contents of my vanity and realize I've overdone it again. :) Yum, I like this heels obsession you have. I think I've destroyed my calves and achilles heels from a while ago that beautiful shoes no longer play so nice with me.

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  26. I think this palette actually looks quite lovely on you, but I agree that it's more "this is a nice palette" and less "OMG THIS IS UNICORN FARTS OF LOVE!!".

    And as for poor makeup choices? Yep, I have plenty - though mine tend to be more along the lines of buying 15 sub-par $2 items rather than one too-expensive product.

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  27. This is why I love it when a brand sells refills separate from the case and other shizz. Sorry to hear this wasn't one eye palette to rule them all, but it certainly looks very good on you from what I'm seeing!

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  28. eeek! I understand what you mean about the price. Womp. But it is so pretty on you!!

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