Sephora + Pantone Color of the Year 2013: Emerald | Reviews, swatches, and far too many photos

Sephora + Pantone Universe Color of the Year 2013

This year’s Sephora + Pantone Universe Color of the Year collection has been out for a few months (since March), but I haven’t really been “feeling it” — until now, that is.

With the weather finally warming up & the sun coming out from behind the clouds, 2013’s vibrant collection of Emerald products is (finally!) in-season and on-trend. Perfect for creating a summer smokey eye, or adding just a touch of bright green, now is the perfect time to pick  up a couple bold green products to add to your summer makeup kit.

Blogger’s note: so, this post ended up at around a thousand words. Click here or scroll past all the pretty pictures for a two-sentence rundown of each product.

The product: SEPHORA + PANTONE UNIVERSE Color of the Year 2013, Emerald (assorted products)

Sephora + Pantone Color Watt Highlighting Mascara

Color Watt Highlighting Mascara

Sephora + Pantone Universe Color Watt Highlighting Mascara ($22 CAD)

Funnily enough, I thought this was the best and worst-performing product in this year’s Color of the Year collection. Dry, matte, and intensely pigmented, the Color Watt mascara really does show up green on the lashes — even short, dark, sparse lashes like my own.

There’s a lash photo of this at the end of the post, but in a nutshell: yes, it absolutely does show up, but the gorgeous green pigment is its downfall, too. It sits in tiny, dry clumps on the lashes, adding neither length nor noticeable volume, and stains for days if it touches the skin.

The stain can be avoided if you carefully remove your mascara with an oil-based or micellar remover on a cotton pad, rubbing down the lash against a halved cotton pad covering your undereye area, but it’s a hell of a hassle for a single effective-but-kitschy product.

Sephora + Pantone Universe Emerald Glitter

Lightspeed Glitter Dust

Sephora + Pantone Universe Lightspeed Glitter Dust ($17 CAD)

On the polar opposite end of the spectrum is the Lightspeed Glitter Dust, which is dry, loose, and milled just large enough to stay on this side of shimmery. The green base is very sheer, and the plentiful sky blue shimmer really predominates, giving it an almost turquoise tone overall.

Like any glitter dust, this really needs a base to stick to, so be sure to have one on hand! On completely dry skin, it comes right off, but on primed or even just freshly-moisturized skin, it adheres like a charm.

Sephora Pantone Color of the Year 2013 swatches reviews

L-R: Color Watt Highlighting Mascara, Lightspeed Glitter Dust, Color Cube Lid Liner Stain (x2), Color Code Prismatic Shadow, Graphic Sculpt Waterproof Jumbo Liner

Sephora + Pantone Lightspeed Glitter Dust

Lightspeed Glitter Dust

Sephora + Pantone Universe Color Cube Lid Liner Stain ($19 CAD)

May I please introduce you to the Sephora + Pantone Universe 2013 cream of the crop? The Lid Liner Stain (which, despite its name, absolutely does not stain) is gorgeous — a well-pigmented shimmery-or-metallic emerald, it makes me think of all the best parts of the Emerald City.

The smooth, light texture of this Color Cube “stain” blends out easily as a wash of green with finely-milled shimmer, but works as a seriously stunning metallic emerald liner, too. Basically, it’s everything the Color Code Prismatic Shadow (below) hopes to someday be.

Sephora + Pantone Lid Liner Stain

Color Cube Lid Liner Stain

Sephora + Pantone Prismatic Shadow

Color Code Prismatic Shadow

Sephora + Pantone Universe Color Code Prismatic Shadow ($26 CAD)

Okay. I’ll be honest, here: I have no idea what a product like this is doing in a Sephora collection.

Maybe it’s just my lids, but I cannot stand the super-slippery feel of this shadow. Sure, it blends like a charm–the swatch in this post is very heavy–but… what’s the point of a green shadow that blends out to nothing more than a whisper? A nice brown or beige, I can see, but green

Admittedly, this makes an okay base for something like the Lightspeed Glitter Dust, but it leaves me with significant creasing and lids that look like they’ve been bruised. Or zombie-fied, if that’s a thing.

Sephora + Pantone Waterproof Jumbo Liner

Graphic Sculpt Waterproof Jumbo Liner

Sephora + Pantone Universe Graphic Sculpt Waterproof Jumbo Liner ($20 CAD)

Lastly, we have the Graphic Sculpt Waterproof Jumbo Liner, which (despite its mouthful of a name) is basically just a jumbo eye pencil. It’s drier than most (this is not the same formula as the Sephora Collection jumbo liners) and blends easily (maybe too easily; I’d recommend using a fluffy brush instead of your fingers), with a resulting sheerness not usually found in cream eye products nowadays.

Of this bunch, the Graphic Sculpt liner is warmer (yellower) in tone, with finely-milled gold shimmer adding complexity and depth to the overall effect.

That was a lot of parentheses. I am sorry.

Sephora Pantone Emerald swatches sunlight

Swatched L-R: Mascara, Glitter Dust, Lid Liner Stain (x2), Prismatic Shadow, Jumbo Liner


Such fun (but bulky) packaging!

The verdict?

The one thing I don’t get about this collection is that, if Pantone is all about colour constancy, and the products are all 17-5641 Emerald, or so we’re told… why are they all so different? From the turquoise-leaning glitter to the true-green mascara, this bag of tricks contains way more than one shade of green. Which is great, for nuances in colour, but pretty ironic for a brand like Pantone.

That aside, here are my two-second synposes of the products in this post!

  • Color Watt Highlighting Mascara: Skip it — no mascara is worth all that heartbreak hassle. I do love the true-green tone of this one, though!
  • Lightspeed Glitter Dust: If you’re looking for a sheer green with tons of light, icy blue shimmer, it’s worth a look. I love the packaging of this, though I’m not crazy about the product itself.
  • Color Cube Lid Liner Stain: The best of the bunch! I’d call this one an absolute must-have, if you love green.
  • Color Code Prismatic Shadow: Pass. Give it a look if you love sheer, slippery bases… and then come back to this post and explain to me how, in the comments, you could possibly love sheer, slippery bases.
  • Graphic Sculpt Waterproof Jumbo Liner: Try it! If you like jumbo eye pencils, or you’re looking for a warmer green (more yellow, less blue, “earthier”), I think you’ll like this one.

The Color of the Year collection is available here, exclusively at Sephora for 2013, and can be seen in a makeup look here!

Sephora emerald green swatches review

Sephora + Pantone Universe Emerald products swatched L-R: Color Watt Highlighting Mascara, Lightspeed Glitter Dust, Color Cube Lid Liner Stain (x2), Color Code Prismatic Shadow, Graphic Sculpt Waterproof Jumbo Liner

 A few extra images

Sephora + Pantone Emerald Gel Eyeliner

Sephora + Pantone Universe Color Cube Lid Liner Stain

Sephora + Pantone Color Code Prismatic Shadow, Emerald

Sephora + Pantone Universe Color Code Prismatic Shadow

Sephora + Pantone Emerald Mascara review swatch green

Sephora + Pantone Universe Color Watt Highlighting Mascara, applied on otherwise bare lashes

Sephora + Pantone Universe Emerald 2013

The Sephora + Pantone Universe products featured here

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  • BellaChique

    Sephora really did such a greta job with this year's pantone colour! Especially the liner looks amazing, so intense! I bet it all looks super pretty on you Rae! ^^ Happy weekend!
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    • The liner is such a stunner — even though I'm not a huge fan of green, I can't help but love it!

      Hope you're having a great weekend, Teri :)

  • Those swatches, oh my oh my! I think my heart just skipped a beat. I love all these emerald-colored products, and I even like the green mascara (I am usually not at all crazy about colored mascara). Sephora did a fantastic job here.
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    • I was really surprised with how well these swatched, to be honest! I think they're a little better on my arm than my eyes, unfortunately, but I feel the same way about the mascara :) Definitely worth a look, even for us black-mascara girls!

  • vanityrouge

    Gorgeous! It's like a emerald buffet and I'm eating it all up! I am in love with this shade, and in love with the lid liner stain, and I'm glad you think it is the best too – that means I have great taste! ;) I haven't worn this since March – you have inspired me to pull it out again! Great post, and beautiful photography Rae!
    My recent post MAC Temperature Rising Colour Collection Bare My Soul Eye Shadow Quad Review, Photos, Swatches

    • Thank you so much, Angie! I remember reading your review of the Lid Liner Stain when it went up and thinking, "why do I even bother" — it suits you perfectly, and your review was so well-done.


  • I LOVED the mascara. I didn't have this problem at all with it! It wasn't clumpy at all and was smooth and great. I got loads of length from it too. I loved it. Too bad it didn't work well for you.
    My recent post I’m in Love With Mary Kay Lash Love Lengthening Mascara

    • Hmm. It's a little too clumpy (with dry bits, not lash-clumping, so it's not that bad) on me, but maybe my lengthening standards are just too high! What can I say; fiber mascaras have really spoiled me :p

  • Your photos! <3 So much makeup eye candy.

    That liner is gorgeous, although it might be too close to my WnW one to buy.
    (PS I love me some parentheses! I catch myself using them too often and have to cut back!)
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  • The lid liner looks so beautiful! I'm kind of obsessed with jewel toned gel liners, and this one is gorgeous.
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    • See if you can't grab it before it disappears for good, Marilyn! It's totally worth picking up :)

  • Janelle Lee

    wow! the swatches are sooo beautiful! Emerald is my favorite color, and I’m looking for a waterproof liner for the summer. Can’t wait to try the sculpt jumbo liner :)

    • Hmm, you sound like you might like 2013's collection kit, Janelle! Enough emerald to drown in ;)

  • Lily @ChloeAsh

    It's like I was sent to the Emerald City! The colour theme is gorgeous, but seriously, I don't know if I'd get much wear out of them. I'm not really adventurous with colours in my daily makeup :-P
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    • I know exactly how you feel, Lily. This collection is wonderful, but very much not something I'd wear out of the house! I guess we're just a pair of shy mice :p

  • This color on green eyes doesn't look so good. I know there are ways to make it work but I don't think I'll bother with. I do find it beautiful on others. The makeup you did, beautiful! :)
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    • Aww, sorry to hear that, lovely! :( A bit of black liner through your lashes should be enough separation that you'd be able to wear these, but that's still one extra extra step.

      I'm glad you liked the makeup look — thank you!!

  • dustynrumble

    Wow. That lid stain as a liner would be amazing!
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  • Wonderful post!! I bought the Tangerine Tango collection last year, but completely planned to skip everything in this one until seeing your swatches for the lid stain. That's so gorgeous and smooth looking!
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    • Thanks, Kate! I was so impressed with the lid stain — I'm not much of an emerald (or Tangerine Tango) fan, to be honest, but the quality & pigmentation were just stellar. :)

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  • Rose

    Shades of green is a difficult color for me. Don’t know how to play around with them. But the lid liner is so cool and elegant

    • I think greens are a little hard for all of us, Rose — try starting out by using the stain just for a flick of winged liner! :)

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  • Liz

    Eeeeeee, you make a good case for greens, Rae. These are peppier than the shades I have so maybe I need to give them another chance. :)
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    • If you're looking for a little more pep, Liz, you totally should! ;)