Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Review: Le Metier de Beaute Kaleidoscope Eye Kit Spendid Frost - Holiday 2010 Limited Edition

 Why on earth am I reviewing a holiday 2010 limited edition that was sold out moons ago? Well, I'm new to Le Metier de Beaute and have long desired to try out its Kaleidoscope kit. When Spendid Frost came about 3 years ago, I missed it and subsequently lost the interest to get other kits. I took a mental note to start the journey with LMdB if I could find a decent substitute for Splendid Frost. None came close to the impression with it and I thought it would be forever...

While I was chatting at LMdB counter the other day, the SA pulled Splendid Frost out from the drawer. It wasn't on display and I literally screamed. I had to have it. Although the second tier was slightly touched and the pan came off (which I didn't find out until I got home), I decided to keep it. I wanted to see if Splendid Frost was good enough for a thorough experiment with the brand and if I would regret not to return it.

Splendid Frost is the most expensive single piece of makeup I've ever splurged. The jaw-dropping $95 for 0.44 oz or $23 for 0.11 oz per shade is very comparable to other designer brands like Burberry, Dior, Chanel, Guerlain, etc.. even a little bit less painful. LMdB is priced the same as Tom Ford per ounce; both are about $214/oz. It's the initial investment we need to get through :D.

(Click to enlarge the image)
Now, let's see if Splendid Frost delivers the expensive quality. It offers four gorgeous colors arranged on 4-tier compact. You have a shimmery gold taupe, a matte light grey, a shimmery pink peach and a fabulous blue with purple shimmer. The shimmer looks striking in the pans but very subtle on the lids. Despite the diverse finishes and tones, all colors blend together so well without getting muddy. They also complement each other well. The 3rd tier shade could be a blush if you're fair but it didn't show up much on my light medium skin. It's also the sheerest of the bunch. The other three shades are highly pigmented and go on opaque in just one layer. 

I'm blown away by the texture, silkily smooth and ultra blendable. All for shades melt into the skin, making the blending and layering a piece of cake. Dark shades like tier 4 (Burberry Midnight Blue for example) tend to fall down onto my cheeks when I blend them away but I experienced zero fall-outs with any shade of Splendid Frost. Where you place the colors is where they sit and melt together. Impressive! 

 (Click to enlarge) Swatched under direct sunlight

(Click to enlarge) Contrasting finishes: Matte - Satin - Shimmer - High Shimmer

(Click to enlarge) On my lids: tier 2 and 3 were mixed for the crease. Tier 1 is the main lid color and Tier 4 is the focus of the look. 
The wearing is equally impressive. I used a standard primer and Splendid Frost stayed in place for 12 hours until being removed. I couldn't be happier with the quality of a powder eyeshadow palette, which brings me to the packaging.

Some people really enjoy the gimmicky slide-in-slide-out design of LMdB's kaleidoscope kits. I find the pans fling out too freely, which is OK on the counter rather than in the bag. I'd prefer four shades in the same plane like the regular eyeshadow palette. You wouldn't have to slide out 4 tiers to access the color. A mirror would be nice too. The particular kit I own isn't very sturdy. The pan comes off of tier 2, which has been reported a quite common problem with kaleidoscope kit. I hope LMdB will fix it for the sake of convenience and the hefty price tag.

Is Splendid Frost a must have? Quality-wise I would say Heck Yes!!!! But you'll get this type of quality from their single eyeshadows anyway. The colors of Splendid Frost isn't original. The golden taupe shade from Guerlain Place Vendome is only a slight touch lighter and more golden than tier 1. Burberry Midnight Blue has more grey and purple and deeper than tier 4, while the blue shade of Guerlain Place Vendome has more blue. However,  Splendid Forst delivers way better quality than Guerlain Place Vendome, much smoother and more pigmented.

Tier 3, a pink peach, is closet to Chanel Rose Initial blush. Tom Ford Wicked has more shimmer and pinker. Nars Orgasm and Benefit Coralista are peachier and more golden. Mixing Nars Orgasm and Chanel Rose Initial will be the dupe for Tier 3. However the texture of tier 3 is almost as smooth as Tom Ford Wicked.  
For all those possible alternatives, I don't think Splendid Frost is a must-have for me nor everyone.

Lastly, I'd like to share a few thoughts on Couches de Couleurs (or layering colors literally) that is heavily promoted by LMdB.

I highly recommend you check out Messy Wands' detailed description on this topic. Basically, you can layer LMdB eyeshadows in many ways, including mixing cool and warm colors and contrasting texture to define the eyes. The shades can be broken down into 4 categories, brighten, warmth, focus and depth. Depending on your skin tone (and preferences), no two people's categories resemble exactly.

Now, I think this technique is a neat way for an average makeup user like me to navigate through zillions of eyeshadows all depths and finishes. However, I find it neither innovating nor original. Put aside the fancy terminology, we've seen this technique (although under no label) used by celebrity makeup artists like Mary Greenwell, Lisa Eldridge, Charlotte Tilburry, Pat McGrath, and self-taught makeup artists slash youtubers like Michelle Phan, TiffanyD, Raeviewer to name a few. And even a makeup amateur like me has layered colors and mixed textures that same way.

 (Click to enlarge) The ingredients

More ingredients on the side of the box? Not sure if it's for all kaleidoscope kits

Bottom line. Nice to have! A truly beautiful beginning with Le Metier de Beaute. The quality and the color intrigue me to check out the entire line. However, I believe you can be equally happy with their single eyeshadows or find the dupes in your own collection.

What do you think of Spendid Frost and Le Metier de Beaute? 

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