Clarins Forest Eye Quartet Mineral Palette review, swatches, photos | Clarins Graphic Expression, Fall 2013

Friday, December 13, 2013

Clarins Forest Eye Quartet Mineral Palette review

The products: Clarins Ombre Minérale 4 Couleurs (Eye Quartet Mineral Palette Long-Lasting) in 11 Forest

Like the Clarins Graphic Expression Face & Blush Palette reviewed earlier this week, the Forest eyeshadow quad launched in Clarins’ Graphic Expression Fall 2013 colour collection. A new addition to the permanent range, it’s a little less gift-able than the powder, but no less lovely.

Clarins Forest Eye Quartet swatches review

Clarins Forest Eye Quartet

The formula, texture, and pigmentation: Introduced this August into Clarins’ permanent range, Forest is a beautifully earthy quad. As a sheer eyeshadow/mixed textures lover, I’ve always been a big fan of the Clarins Eye Quartet Mineral Palettes, though they’re not for everyone.

Like the other products in the Eye Quartet range, Forest features three hard-but-smooth eyeshadows that lend very well to seamless blending and medium-intensity looks, while layering well over primer or foiling works well to add colour density. I find the shades to be a little butterier and more pigmented than some of the other Clarins quads (the darkest shade in particular), and love that they all have a different finish.

Clarins Forest Eye Quartet review

Clarins Forest, Graphic Expression swatches review

Swatched L-R: Clarins Eye Quartet Mineral Palette in Forest (4), Clarins Face & Blush Powder in Graphic Expression (wide)

The shades: In the top row Forest features a really interesting, almost dirty khaki with a bit of very fine microshimmer and a very sheer, white-and-gold shimmer (tiny yellow-gold microshimmer and slightly larger white reflects suspended in a transparent base). On the bottom, it features a green-based charcoal with noticeable gold shimmer (it looks black in the pan, but swatches on dry skin as a medium-sheer matte with a greenish cast and gold shimmer interspersed throughout) and a very pretty neutral-brown taupe (frost).

The finishes of this quad, like all Clarins quads, are what really sell me on it: a satin, a glitter, a matte-with-microshimmer, and a frost. Worn together, the textures of the Eye Quartet Mineral Palettes give any natural, demure eye look a really intriguing edge.

Clarins Forest swatches Eye Quartet Mineral Palette review

Swatched L-R: Clarins Eye Quartet in Forest, Clarins Face & Blush Powder in Graphic Expression

Overall, this quad has a warm green vibe to it — something you don’t see a lot of. I think it would be especially lovely on warm olive tones, but it would work really well on beige and neutral skintones, too. It looks a little bit “off” on me (which eyeshadows very rarely do), so I’d say that the only colouring this quad wouldn’t shine on would be cool olive ones (cool pink overtones and light olive undertones).

Clarins Forest eye quartet swatches

Swatched L-R: Clarins Eye Quartet in Forest, Clarins Face & Blush Powder in Graphic Expression

Clarins Eye Quartet Mineral Palette review swatches Forest

The Face & Blush Palette and Eye Quartet Mineral Palette (Ombre Minérale 4 Couleurs) packaging

The verdict?

The Forest quad doesn’t get quite as much of a gold star from me as the Graphic Expression blush/powder, but it’s a very pretty product, too: the same beautiful-but-lightweight gold Clarins packaging, with four wonderful mix-and-match eyeshadow finishes inside.

Forest is a little more pigmented than other Clarins quads, and is a must-have for anyone who wears khakis really well. Unfortunately, that’s one of the few colours that doesn’t work very well at all on my skintone (I photographed a look with it but had to scrap it), but I think it would look like a dream on my sister’s warmer, more olive-toned skin — to each her own, really.

Availability: $42 USD/$42 CAD, and is a new addition to the permanent range.

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Clarins Eye Quartet Mineral Palette in Iris Blossom review, swatches, photos | Clarins Rouge Eclat (Spring 2013) collection

Monday, March 4, 2013

Clarins Iris Blossom Eye Quartet

The product: Clarins Ombre Minérale 4 Couleurs in 10 Iris Blossom

There are a lot of gorgeous (seriously; gorgeous) products in this Spring’s Clarins Rouge Eclat collection, but I have to say — Iris Blossom? Total. Stunner.

I know I promised this review ages ago, so without further adieu, I hope you enjoy the post!

Clarins Spring 2013 Iris Blossom quad

The formula

Like the other Clarins Eye QuartetsIris Blossom contains four eyeshadows with fairly hard-textured formulas. One is a sheer liner/crease shade that builds up easily and foils well; one is a translucent shimmer; and two (of course) are smooth, gorgeous mid-tones. 

Again, as with the other quads, I found Iris Blossom very easy to create both day and night looks from — things like foiling (or focusing more on the bottom two shades) are great for adding drama, and the mix of tones and textures add a fantastic amount of depth to any look created.

See this quad used in a look here! Right here!

Clarins Rouge Eclat eyeshadow palette swatches

Clarins Iris Blossom quad, swatched in indirect sunlight (dry on primed skin)

The shades

To start with the top two shades, this gorgeous wheat-y taupe (which is to say, more yellow and brown than violet and grey) is perfect for creating a neutral lid — it’s very smooth, and delivers the most pigment out of these four shades.

As its shimmery shade (great for highlighting the inner corner or adding interest to the middle of the lid!), Iris Blossom contains an extremely sheer white, packed with shimmer. It’s still complex enough to add some interesting texture, but doesn’t have any shards of glitter — I like it, but I think it could be better.

Clarins mineral quad Iris Blossom swatches

Clarins Iris Blossom quad, swatched in indirect sunlight with flash

Then, for the depth and drama, we have a stunning violet with blue reflects… but warmer undertones. Without flash or foiling, it’s much more subdued (see the top swatch), but the temperature and shimmer difference really makes the shade pop! with movement. It has good pigmentation and texture, but isn’t quite as buttery as the taupe.

Finally, as with the other Clarins quads, we have a dark shade (perfect for use as liner or in creating a smokey eye). In this case, it’s a sheer, matte charcoal, and as always, I love it — Clarins’ darkest shades are always quite hard, making them easy to work with but still leaving room for foiling or layering.

Clarins Iris Blossom Eyeshadow Palette (t)

The verdict?

At $42 USD/$42 CAD (look at that gorgeous lack of a price difference!), I would absolutely recommend Iris Blossom if you’re looking to get into colour, but you’re wary of going too far with it on your first try.

I was asked last week about what would make a great first Clarins quad, and I think it varies by person and need. To answer the question in context, though: while this one doesn’t show off just how awesome those sheer shimmers can be, I still do think it would make a great “first Clarins!” if you have a soft spot for violets and taupes.

(I know I do).

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Violet Haze: Spring Smokey Eyes with the Clarins Rouge Eclat Collection

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Spring 2013 makeup look Clarins Rouge Eclat

Wow, okay, this look is really late. (I think I promised it for… Monday?)

All the same, though, here’s an easy violet smokey eye–seriously, this is super easy–eye done with the Clarins Iris Blossom Eye Quartet from the Rouge Eclat collection.

Don’t miss this post at She Said Beauty for the full tutorial!

Clarins Iris Blossom Eyeshadow Palette (t)

Done first as a Valentine’s Day makeup look, this Iris Blossom-based eye creates a soft, luminous “haze” of violet around the eyes — honestly, you could do this with your fingertips. (But please don’t. Brushes are great.)

A bit of sculpting to the cheek, a neutral lip (yes, that’s Clinique Curviest Caramel!)…

Clarins Rouge Eclat makeup look

Just by pulling the violet shade of the palette through the entire lid, then adding the shimmery white in the inner corner (for a little bit of texture & glow) and buffing in a tiny, tiny bit of the charcoal shade for definition, you can create an incredibly seasonal makeup look without adding any harsh lines or contours to the face.

It’s just so easy, you know? Add a flick of lengthening (not volumizing) mascara, and ta-da! you’re already done.

Clarins Iris Blossom spring makeup

I’m a huge fan of really light, translucent eye looks, so (of course) I loved this one. No, it’s not the most exciting makeup you’ll ever wear, but it’s pretty hard to go wrong with something like this.

Especially when it makes you feel as ready for Spring as this look does — the Clarins Palette Eclat Face Blush & Powder smells amazing!

Clarins Iris Blossom makeup look

Shop the Look

Clarins Rouge Eclat:

  • Clarins Ombre Minérale 4 Couleurs Eye Quartet Mineral Palette Long Lasting in 10 Iris Blossom ($42 USD/$42 CAD)
  • Clarins Palette Eclat Face & Blush Powder ($35 USD/$40 CAD)
  • Clarins Poudre Multi-Eclat Mineral Loose Powder in 01 Light ($35 USD/$47 CAD)

The dressings:

  • Clinique Chubby Stick Intense Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm in 01 Curviest Caramel ($16 USD/$19 CAD)
  • Senna Voluptulash Mascara ($22 USD)
  • Anastasia Beverly Hills Bold & Beautiful Kit, Vol. 1 Bold Brows ($36 USD)

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A Holiday tale in earthy golds | Clarins Eye Quartet Mineral Palette in Odyssey: review, photos, swatches

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The product: Clarins Eye Quartet Mineral Palette in Odyssey

Dress your eyes in gold… brown, beige and taupe-bronze eye colours can be blended or layered as desired, instantly creating warm glowing eyes. The pearl highlighter adds a touch of luminosity and a gold leaf effect to any eye look.”

Seen first here.

The shades: The four shades in the Odyssey palette area little odd, to be honest. For a palette that “feels” this warm, visually, it’s surprisingly wearable on cool-toned skin — the warmest shade also happens to be the most sheer. The lean isn’t unbearable, either; rather than being too orange, it’s unexpectedly yellow, with silver microshimmer to balance.

The three non-glitter shades are medium-sheer with finely-milled microshimmer, settling into a range of satin-frosts. The beige actually reflects a bit pink (as Clarins highlighters tend to do) — imperceptible unless you’re actively looking for it, but it gives a very brightening, polished sheen that’s stunning in person.

All of the satin shades contain a small amount of silver microshimmer, giving them the illusion of a neutral colour temperature and allowing the stunning bronze-gold glitter to really pop. Like all Clarins glitters, it sticks well to the skin, mixing chunkier bronze shards with loosely concentrated silver and gold shimmer for a mesmerizing, wet-finish effect. 

Foiled or applied overtop a sticky primer, the gold shade applies much more densely, mimicking a warm (slightly coppery) gold foil… minus the finicky application and wear of actual cosmetic foil.

The textures: I love the texture of Clarins’ eyeshadows, but I know not everyone does. If you’re really into crumbly, super-pigmented shades, their Eye Quartets won’t be for you — but if you prefer a mix of smooth satin finishes and gorgeous, dimensional glitters, then they’ll be perfect.

I love mixing textures to create depth & add versatility to a palette, and Clarins do a particularly great job of creating quads with this in mind. All of the quartets under a certain aesthetic, so if you have one or two that you’re happy with already, I think you’ll really enjoy this one, too.

The verdict?

My love affair with Clarins’ quads is no secret, and the Odyssey palette is no exception. (To be honest, though, I think I’m hitting my upper limit on these! Perhaps one in colour, and that’ll be it. Perhaps.)

For an earthy palette that feels warm and rich without pulling too orange on cool-toned skin, this is a great option. Clarins do a great job of mixing textures in their palettes, and the finely-milled satin finishes and rich gold foil featured here definitely don’t disappoint. At $42 CAD (and in stunning gold packaging), I would certainly recommend this!

PS: If you loved the gold glitter from the shu uemura Prestigious Bordeaux palette, this is a great dupe at less than half the price.

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COMING UP | Clarins Odyssey Eye Quartet Mineral Palette (+ collection details)

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

How beautiful is the Clarins Odyssey quad? The lone Eye Quartet Mineral Palette ($42 CAD) of the Odyssey collection, this gorgeous gold case contains everything you’ll need to create a stunning earth-toned eye: think chocolatey, taupey neutrals combined with a high-impact copper-gold.

Also in the Odyssey collection

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Clarins goes soft & blue for Colour Breeze | Clarins Wet & Dry Eye Quartet in Blue Sky review, photos, swatches

Thursday, April 12, 2012

The product: Clarins Ombre Minérale 4 Couleurs (Wet & Dry Eye Quartet Mineral Palette Long-Lasting) in Blue Sky

The aesthetic: It feels like the sort of day to start off with the good stuff and work our way down, so I think that’s what I’ll do. The four shades in Blue Sky work brilliantly together, creating a number of gorgeous, soft eye looks with (depending on which shades you use & where) a lovely aqua, charcoal, or teal undercurrent.

Honestly, I don’t know how they could have done a better job with the colour scheme of this palette. It’s very light, ethereal, and Spring; it feels like a new season without being either bright! bright! bright! or boring pastels. It very much lives up to Clarins’ promise of an ode to lightness, creating a very forgiving, wearable blue eye.

The shades: Clarins describes the colours in Blue Sky as “subtle-shine shades,” with a silvery turquoise, a greenish grey, a grey eyeliner, and a white illuminator.

I didn’t love the super-sheer, shimmery white, but I’ll give it a pass, as it’s described as an illuminator. (I think it would make a great inclusion in a palette of mattes or satins, but with three other shimmery shades, I’d have preferred a more opaque off-white illuminating shade). I liked the bright aqua (“silvery turquoise”) more – it has a really lovely, subtle duochrome, the light blue flashing silver when tilted.

Clarins Blue Sky Eye Quartet swatches – dry on primed skin

The darker two shades are my favourites of the palette. The greenish grey (I like to think of it as a desaturated teal) is a gorgeously unique shade; enough grey to make it sophisticated rather than sloppy, but still green enough to add some colour to the eye area. The shimmery charcoal, on the other hand, is intense and sooty (just like a charcoal should be), but with enough finely-milled silver shimmer to keep it interesting rather than just another boring dark grey.

The illuminator, teal, and charcoal are all shimmery, with particles that (as clichéd as it is) rather twinkle against the skin. The aqua, on the other hand, has that metal-smooth finish that doesn’t sparkle so much as it shifts.

Clarins Blue Sky quad swatches – foiled on primed skin

The opacity: Alright, so here’s the catch. With the exception of the charcoal, the shades in Blue Sky range from extremely sheer to fairly sheerwhen applied dry. They’re a good deal more opaque when applied wet (and/or over primer), of course, but I just think they’re too sheer to warrant the price tag.

The illuminator is excusably translucent, and the dark charcoal is perfectly intense, but the blues (the most important shades in the quad) are a bit lacking. I just can’t get the vividness that I want out of them without foiling, which is extremely frustrating, because I’m crazy about the shades in the pan. Blue Sky is still a good quad (particularly against darker skintones), but it doesn’t quite reach the Clarins standard of excellence. 

The verdict?

As much as I love this quad, I can’t help but feel it’s a tiny bit of a letdown. Of my three Clarins quads (and that’s a whole other can of worms – how do I only have three? How on earth do I manage to talk about them so much if I only have three?), this is my least favourite. The shadows just don’t seem quite as smooth, and (with the exception of the lovely, shimmery charcoal), they’re less pigmented, too.

While I think the colour scheme is spot-on, $42 is a lot to pay when two of the four shades could be better (read: when both the teals should have, in my opinion, been more pigmented).

Try it if you’re looking for wearable, age-appropriate (all-ages-appropriate) blues. Because, honestly? Aqua is a hard colour for any age to pull off, but Clarins manages to make it totally chic.

Skip it if you like your shadows to be more than medium-sheer; you only want to pick up one Colour Breeze item (I think this is the weakest product in the collection); or you just want to try out a Clarins quad (again, I think there are better ones).

With everything said and done, I’d give this quad a very tentative yes. For a quad of blues, just in general, it’s good. For Clarins, however, (a brand that I’m quickly learning to love), I had expected more!

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