"Calmness of mind is one of the beautiful jewels of wisdom." - James Allen.
So many wonderful holiday launches are happening and in today's post we are going to focus on this year's limited-edition palette called Hidden Gems Eye Shadow Palette by Laura Mercier. I have recently posted my review on the brand's favourite cream eyeshadow sticks (read here) but it is actually the first time that I get to play with their powder eyeshadows. I am curious. Are you curious? Then please keep on scrolling!
At this point it is safe to say that I have tried them all: low-, high-end and everything in-between. Eyeshadow palettes are my weakness (right after highlighters and lipsticks) and dare I say - I am one picky girl when it comes to what I consider "good", "great" or "awful".
Hidden Gems Eye Shadow Palette (55 USD; Made in USA) is a 12-pan palette that offers three finishes: matte, metallic and pressed glitter. The colour theme here is inspired by precious jewels and is [for the most part] on a neutral/warm-toned side.
Packaging: I am a big fan of Laura Mercier packaging; there is just something so minimalistic, yet effortlessly French-chic about it. This palette is no exception - it has a nice size, shape and weight. Magnetic closure and large, high-quality mirror are two things that I love the most about it.
Formula: as it often happens, the actual formula will differ from colour to colour (or finish to finish). That being said, Hidden Gems Eye Shadow Palette has its hits and misses. While mattes lean towards a sheer side and were a pleasure to work with, I found that metallics were more on a drier side. Generally I do prefer foiled, almost melting textures. Two pressed glitters here had a bit of fallout and were slightly chunky for my gusto.
Application: as an experienced makeup user, I can - you can - make this palette work. There are two ways: either use a dampened brush or matching/darker, cream base that will make these metallics shine like true jewels that they were meant to be. Personally, latter technique is my favourite, especially since I always use the brand's very own Caviar Stick Eye Colour for that (with all sorts of other palettes, pigments and brands). As you will see in a minute, to make say Turquoise Blaze truly pop and stand out, I have applied it on top of creamy/long-lasting shadow in the shade Smoke. I would recommend using something like a glitter glue with glittery shades here to maximize the sparkle.
Wear: with a primer these last all day long on my eyes, where most shades would begin to fade around 5-6th hour mark. Whenever I use Caviar Stick Eye Colour underneath mine, they last for at least 7+ hours without fading or creasing.
As always, my swatches are unedited and raw. I do not "prime" either, so that you can actually see what everything looks like in real life
Colours: while I like the shade selection, I do wish there were more than two mattes in this palette. I am missing a nice, neutral-toned transition shade. Both mattes look a lot better on the eye, rather than swatched. I really like Black Frost (matte black with silver sparkle), however, Turquoise Blaze is an absolute winner; out of everything here, it is the most beautiful duochrome that delivers both: pigment and opacity. I wish every other colour here had the same smooth formula. I feel like I want my Hidden Gems Eye Shadow Palette to have more oomph, more butteriness to the point where I can just dip my finger in it and get that perfectly foiled, editorial finish.
Brushes: both types of brushes (synthetic, natural) will do a great job. I want to give a special shout-out to the brand's very own eye brushes, since they did impress me quite a bit and every single tool you see below - I approve of and would highly recommend to you guys (especially if you love high-quality, uber soft synthetic bristles). Please click on images to zoom in.
For this look I've used a selection of my Laura Mercier favourites.
On my face: I have applied Flawless Skin Infusion de Rose Nourishing Oil overnight (to make sure my skin is nicely hydrated) and followed with Hydrating Foundation Primer right before Flawless Fusion Ultra-Longwear Foundation in the shade Cashew. I have then colour-corrected my undereye pandas with Flawless Fusion Ultra Longwear Concealer in the shade 2N. I set everything with the brand's iconic Translucent Loose Setting Powder.
On my eyes: I have first created a basic shape for my winged liner look using Caviar Stick Eye Colour in the shade Smoke; to avoid transfer (my lids are a touch hooded) I set my entire crease using Finishing Pony Tail Brush and mix of Bone and Matte Bronzing Powder. To define and sharpen my liner, I have applied Matte Black to outer/inner corners using Flat Eye Liner Brush. I then smudged inTurquoise Blaze on top/bottom with Smudge Brush.
On my cheeks: Matte Bronzing Powder in Soleil 1, Blush Colour Infusion in Peach with Face Illuminator Powder in Inspiration on top. I highlighted my face with Translucent Loose Setting Powder Glow in Radiant Finish.
On my lips: Lip Glace in Sparkling.
Hidden Gems Eye Shadow Palette, in my book, is a palette for an experienced user. If you are like me and enjoy experimenting with various cream bases and shadows (or perhaps you prefer to apply yours wet using water/setting spray) then you might really enjoy it. Also a nice option for those of you, who do not want a screaming metallic pigment, but would rather gently distribute a sheer wash of a pearlescent glow all over the mobile lid, pop some mascara and call it a day. If you don't mind spending extra time, you can easily make it work. But for a busy girlboss on the go, I would hope for a slightly more creamy, foiled formula that does not require any added steps. If I had to rate it, I'd give it B. The brand's eye brushes are a true (wonderful) discovery and I'd give them A+.
PR Samples; full disclaimer here