Laura Mercier – Artist’s Palette for Eyes: Photos, Swatches and Reviews

Oh hey, check it out… A review that isn’t MAC! This palette was too good of a value for me to pass up, so I thought I’d do a review and share it with all of you. From what I understand, this is a Sephora exclusive and is limited edition, so I guess it will be around until they run out or something, so hopefully I’m not too late making this post! I checked online and they seem to be out of stock on the website. I’m not sure if they’ll be restocking but I got mine at my local Sephora store, which still had plenty and said they would get more in later on.

Oops… Guess I didn't notice I was right in front of the mirror haha.

Oops… Guess I didn’t notice I was right in front of the mirror haha.

Artist's Palette for Eyes Palette 2

This limited edition palette is available exclusively at Sephora and costs $48. It contains twelve eye shadows for a total of 0.36 oz of product so that makes this a value of $92 (normally Laura Mercier Eye Shadows are 0.09 oz and sell for $23). The packaging is nice and sturdy with a magnetic flap closure. The textured leather look exterior is stylish and not overdone… It also wipes off easily despite the bumpy texture. The mirror in this is a great size and isn’t the cheap, plastic type of mirror that will crack and scratch up, so that’s another plus. Overall, this palette is a great value, full of high-quality product and is perfect for daily use or traveling.

I haven’t used many Laura Mercier eye shadows before but so far I’m very impressed with these. They all feel silky and apply smoothly. A few of these are less pigmented than others but can be layered and built up. For the most part, these are all highly pigmented and true to pan color. I’ve been testing these and they all lasted at least 7-8 hours before fading. I’ll be more specific about wear time, color payoff, etc, in the individual eye shadow reviews.

Using a primer of some sort is always recommended… My personal favorites are MAC’s Pro Longwear Paint Pots of Urban Decay Primer Potion. For Paint Pots, I like to use neutral colors for every day use, such as Painterly, Soft Ochre, or Layin’ Low. As for Primer Potion, I prefer the original neutral color. Using a primer gives powder eye shadows something to stick to, making them more intense… It also prevents any creasing or smudging throughout the day, adding several hours to the wear time. All of my reviews are WITH a primer layered underneath the eye shadow. I have always reviewed every product I use like this… Without a primer, you can subtract 2-4 hours of wear.

Another note… Most of these eye shadows seem to be available in the permanent lineup from Laura Mercier, so if you have a lot from this brand already, you may want to check your collection or kit before you invest in this palette. As far as I know (based on the Laura Mercier website), the only limited edition colors are Espresso Bean, Sparkling Dew, and Violet Ink.

Palette Product 1

Photo taken outdoors in natural sunlight. Eye Shadows swatched on NC15 skin.

Photo taken outdoors in natural sunlight.
Eye Shadows swatched on NC15 skin.

Sparkling Dew

Sparkling Dew

Sparkling Dew:   This eye shadow is one of the limited shades in this palette and is a pale, slightly warm toned, peachy-pinkish cream with a soft kind of shimmer. It’s totally opaque with very little product applied and gives true-to-pan color payoff, even without a primer. Sparkling Dew is a little powdery, but feels silky on the skin and blends out easily. I got roughly 8 hours of wear before any fading occurred.

Sparkling Dew is a a great shadow for the lid or as a highlight below the brow or on the inner corner of the eye.

Dupes:   Vanilla eye shadow from MAC is the closest dupe I’ve found so far… It’s less pigmented but looks nearly the same if you build up the product a little. Naked Lunch from MAC is similar, but much more shimmery and a bit more pink and darker. Bootycall from the Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette is close, but more frosted. Virgin from Urban Decay’s original Naked Palette is less pink and more frosted.

Overall Rating:   4.8 / 5

Application:   5

Coverage:  5

Color Payoff:   5

Texture:   5

Wear Time:   4

Packaging:   5

Guava

Guava

Guava:   Guava is part of the permanent range of eye shadows from Laura Mercier and is a “peach-stucco” color with a Sateen finish… It’s a light, warm, peachy pink with a soft, satiny sheen. It’s very opaque with hardly any product applied… However, the more you apply, the more shimmery it appears. It looks slightly less pink on the skin than it does in the pan, but otherwise the color payoff is great. Guava feels less powdery than Sparkling Dew but it’s just as easy to blend out and feels equally silky. I got 8+ hours of wear before noticing any fading.

Guava is a wonderful lid and highlight color for most skin tones, though I would avoid using this as a below-the-brow highlight on anyone darker than medium to medium-dark.

Dupes:   MAC’s Jest eye shadow is close, but less peach and slightly cooler toned. Sweet Lust eye shadow from MAC is pinker and has a larger more glittery type of shimmer. Orb from MAC is also similar, but less frosted and more neutral.

Overall Rating:   4.8 / 5

Application:   5

Coverage:  5

Color Payoff:   5

Texture:   5

Wear Time:   4

Packaging:   5

African Violet

African Violet

African Violet:   African Violet is a permanent color. It’s a “violet copper shimmer” with a Luster finish… It’s a medium violet with cool undertones and a warmer, golden-copper shimmer. Color payoff is good and it looks nearly the same on the eyelid as it does in the palette. It has the same silky texture as the other eye shadows in this palette but I had a bit of an issue with how evenly it applied… It covers well, though the opacity is somewhat compromised due to the fact that this can appear a little patchy. It’s like the shimmery particles keep the violet base from going on evenly. With the right brush, like a MAC 239, you can pat this on without much difficulty. I got just over 6 hours of wear before African Violet started to fade or crease.

This color works on the lid with a darker color in the crease, as well as in the crease with a lighter color on the lid.

Dupes:   This is pretty much a slightly lighter, more true violet and more highly pigmented version of Trax eye shadow from MAC.

Overall Rating:   4.2 / 5

Application:   4

Coverage:  4

Color Payoff:   4

Texture:   4

Wear Time:   4

Packaging:   5

Plum Smoke

Plum Smoke

Plum Smoke:   This is part of the permanent line of eye shadows and is described as a ” smoky-amethyst” with a Matte finish… It’s a light-medium, almost but slightly cool toned, greyed, mauvy-plum. The finish is completely matte with no shimmer. It’s true-to-pan color, even without a primer underneath and has about 80% opacity. It’s more pigmented and opaque over a primer.  Since Plum Smoke it matte, it feels drier and more powdery than some of the eye shadows in this palette, but it’s still very smooth and blendable. I noticed a little bit of creasing after about 7 hours, but little fading. This is common with any matte eye shadow.

Plum Smoke is a great lid color is you put something that’s also matte and darker in the crease… It’s also lovely as a crease color with a lighter color like Sparkling Dew or Vanilla Nuts on the lid.

Dupes:   Quarry Eye Shadow from MAC is nearly the exact same, though slightly darker and more plum, less grey. Tease from Urban Decay’s Naked 2 Palette is close, but more taupe and less plum.

Overall Rating:   4.7 / 5

Application:   5

Coverage:  4

Color Payoff:   5

Texture:   5

Wear Time:   4

Packaging:   5

Kir Royal

Kir Royal

Kir Royal:   This eye shadow is permanent and is a “deep aubergine” with a Sateen finish… It looks a bit different on the eye than it does in the palette. It’s a dark, warm reddish plum with brown undertones with an almost golden satiny sheen but not much actual shimmer. The color payoff is good, but not as amazing as some of the other shadows in this palette. Coverage is good and mostly opaque but can appear a little patchy without a primer underneath. Kir Royal has a very smooth, though somewhat powdery texture and blends easily. I wore this in my crease and didn’t notice fading until about the 7 hour mark.

Kir Royal is great all over the lid for a soft smoky eye… It’s also nice as a crease color with something lighter on the lid.

Dupes:   MAC’s Twinks is similar, but more reddish brown. Sketch, also from MAC, is similar but a little darker and more shimmery and contains more reddish undertones… Both Twinks and Sketch are permanent eye shadows… MAC’s Sorcery eye shadow is nearly a perfect dupe, but it was limited and released with the Prep for Colour collection in 2010.

Overall Rating:   4.3 / 5

Application:   4

Coverage:  4

Color Payoff:   5

Texture:   4

Wear Time:   4

Packaging:   5

Violet Ink

Violet Ink

Violet Ink:   This eye shadow is one of the limited colors in this palette. It’s a dark, slightly warm, blackened purple with a Matte finish. Color payoff was intense and true-to-palette color and this shadow applied pretty opaquely onto the lid. Since it’s matte, it’s a little powdery but still very soft and smooth… It goes on more evenly and intensely over a primer. Without one it can look a bit patchy in areas if worn as a lid color. Violet Ink gave me roughly 7 hours of wear before creasing or fading.

I generally use colors like this in my crease, but it also works as a lid color for a smoky eye or as a liner.

Dupes:   I’ve only found two MAC eye shadows that are close… Those are Shadowy Lady, which is darker and less warm toned. Indian Ink (PRO) is also close, but slightly lighter and more purple.

Overall Rating:   4.3 / 5

Application:   4

Coverage:  4

Color Payoff:   5

Texture:   4

Wear Time:   4

Packaging:   5

Photo taken outdoors in natural sunlight. Eye shadows swatched on NC15 skin.

Photo taken outdoors in natural sunlight.
Eye Shadows swatched on NC15 skin.

Vanilla Nuts

Vanilla Nuts

Vanilla Nuts:   I laugh every time I type the name of this eye shadow. I’m so mature… Anyway, this is described as a “light neutral champagne” with a Matte finish… It’s a light, neutral, creamy vanilla color with a hint of pink and a completely matte finish. The color payoff is fantastic, as well as the coverage. It applies evenly and smoothly with only a slightly powdery texture (typical with mattes). I got over 9 hours of wear without noticing any fading or creasing at all.

This is really nice as a lid color and can be used with any of the colors in this palette. It also works as a highlight below the brow and on the inner corner of the eye.

Dupes:   Vanilla eye shadow from MAC is super close but not as pigmented. It also contains some soft shimmer… Blanc Type and Brule are also very similar, but a tiny bit darker. Ever Ivory Pro Longwear Eye Shadow from MAC is also extremely similar, but has less pink in it. Urban Decay’s W.O.S eye shadow from the Naked Basics palette is very, very similar. Foxy from Urban Decay’s Naked 2 palette is much more yellow toned.

Overall Rating:   4.8 / 5

Application:   5

Coverage:  5

Color Payoff:   5

Texture:   4

Wear Time:   5

Packaging:   5

Primrose

Primrose

Primrose:   Primrose is described as a “yellow pink with golden pearl” and has a Sateen finish… It’s a light-medium, warm, pinky color with some neutral beige undertones and a golden shimmer/sheen that’s actually quite frosted once it’s on the lid. The color payoff and opacity are wonderful. Primrose feels super silky, which I love. This eye shadow gave me a solid 8 hours of wear before creasing.

I like this as a lid color, but it can also be used as a soft crease color with a lighter eye shadow on the lid.

Dupes:   MAC’s Naked Lunch is less pink and a tad bit lighter. Pink Frontier Pro Longwear Eye Shadow from MAC is more pink and darker. Sin from Urban Decay’s original Naked palette is darker and more neutral, less pink.

Overall Rating:   5 / 5

Application:   5

Coverage:  5

Color Payoff:   5

Texture:   5

Wear Time:   5

Packaging:   5

Fresco

Fresco

Fresco:   This is a “neutral beige brown” and has a Matte finish… It’s a medium, slightly warm toned brown with no shimmer or sheen. It has great color payoff that’s very true-to-palette, as well as totally opaque coverage. It has a silky texture that isn’t quite so powdery as the other mattes in this palette. This eye shadow gave me over 9 hours of wear before creasing or fading.

Fresco can be used on the lid, but I like it best as a soft crease color or as a barely-above-the-crease color to blend and soften darker colors in the crease.

Dupes:   Soft Brown eye shadow from MAC is nearly exactly the same. Always Sunny Pro Longwear Eye Shadow from MAC is close as well, but a tiny bit lighter. Buck eye shadow from Urban Decay’s original Naked palette is darker and cooler.

Overall Rating:   5 / 5

Application:   5

Coverage:  5

Color Payoff:   5

Texture:   5

Wear Time:   5

Packaging:   5

SONY DSC

Bamboo:   Bamboo is a “golden brown shimmer” with a Luster finish… It’s a medium, neutral, golden brown with a lighter golden shimmer. On the lid, this can look quite frosty if you apply it heavily. I got completely opaque coverage and great color payoff with Bamboo. It felt smooth, though the shimmery part made is slightly powdery. Either way it blended out well and wore for over 7 hours without creasing or fading.

This is a wonderful lid color. Since it’s shimmery, I prefer it on the lid than in the crease, but you can wear it in the crease if you apply it lightly. It’s also a good color for the crease is you’re blending out a darker color on the lid.

Dupes:   On the skin, Patina eye shadow from MAC is similar, though slightly warmer and less shimmery. Tempting from MAC is also close, but darker. Suspect, from Urban Decay’s Naked 2 palette is darker and more frosty, while Sidecar from the original Urban Decay Naked palette is darker, warmer, and has ledger shimmer particles.

Overall Rating:   4.5 / 5

Application:   4

Coverage:  5

Color Payoff:   5

Texture:   4

Wear Time:   4

Packaging:   5

Truffle

Truffle

Truffle:   Truffle is a “deep chocolate taupe” with a Matte finish… It’s a medium-dark, rich, warm toned reddish chocolate brown with a hint of more neutral taupe undertones and a completely matte finish. It has excellent color payoff as well as 100% opaque coverage. Truffle was the least powdery of all the Mattes in this palette and it almost felt creamy. In the crease or on the lid, I get over 8 hours of wear before any fading or creasing occurs.

Truffle is a perfect crease color, though you can also wear it on the lid for a warm, chocolate smoky eye.

Dupes:   There are several MAC eye shadows that are very close dupes to Truffle… Brown Down is similar, but darker and more red. Corduroy is also deeper. Espresso is cooler toned, but pretty close. Swiss Chocolate is the closest dupe I could find, though it’s a tiny bit darker.

Overall Rating:   5 / 5

Application:   5

Coverage:  5

Color Payoff:   5

Texture:   5

Wear Time:   5

Packaging:   5

Espresso Bean

Espresso Bean

Espresso Bean:   This is one of the three limited edition colors in this palette… It’s a deep, cooler toned blackened brown with a Matte finish. both opacity/coverage and color payoff are awesome… You need very little product to get rich, dark color, so use sparingly! The texture is super silky and smooth, making it very easy to blend out, which is important with darker matte colors. I got over 8 hours of wear with Espresso Bean, which is nice and not too common with very dark mattes.

If you want a smoky eye that’s not the usual black, this is great to put on your lid. It’s also a fantastic crease color and will make any look darker and more smoky. Since it’s a dark matte, it also works well as a liner.

Dupes:   To be honest, I have yet to find the perfect dupe for this eye shadow… MAC’s Handwritten is close, but still lighter and warmer.

Overall Rating:   5 / 5

Application:   5

Coverage:  5

Color Payoff:   5

Texture:   5

Wear Time:   5

Packaging:   5

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