I may be a Lipstick Diva, but I love me some pretty eye shadows, too. I love a smokey eye, and one of my favorite beauty pastimes is to see how I can incorporate color into the tried-and-true black and gray smokey look. Adding a pop of color lends depth and dimension to the eye while keeping it from being overly dark and potentially goth. So when recently during a Lancome Gift With Purchase event my eye was caught by one of the 5-Color Palettes, Midnight Rush, I couldn't resist. Besides, in honor of Independence Day, I thought you could do with some nice patriotic blue!
Lancome Eye Brightening All-In-One 5 Shadow and Liner Palette #401, Midnight Rush
In the last few years, Lancome has really upped the ante with their eye shadow palettes. The Color Design line has something for everyone, and the quality is excellent. The colors are easily blendable and the palettes are thoughtfully designed to complement one another. There are subdued palettes and dramatic ones, but from what I've seen, virtually every one of them is stunning in its own way.
The Midnight Rush palette is, simply put, gorgeous. I typically don't go for blues as I've always thought they look tacky rimming my brown eyes. However, I was struck by the beauty of the blue in this particular collection. It's a deep navy, nearly black, with vivid blue shimmer throughout. The effect is mesmerizing, and I couldn't resist. The palette incorporates all you need for a deep blue smokey eye: there's an off-white, slightly pearlescent base, a brilliant metallic silver highlighter, a soft black for the crease, and a deep black with brilliant blue, very fine glitter as an eyeliner.
Here's a swatch shot of the colors:
As you can see above, the base color is more or less matte, but isn't at all chalky. The metallic silver highlight color shoots sparks under the light. The crease color, which is much sheerer than the other 3 shadows in the palette, is a soft matte black, the blue shows on the skin as a vivid, shimmery navy, and the black liner is opaque and lines eyes smoothly and evenly. The colors work perfectly together and are easy to use in any number of combinations, from a subdued wash of color for day (applied sheerly, the navy gives just a hint of blue) to a dramatic, metallic smokey eye for night.
Here are some shots of one of the combinations I've used:
In the above look, I used the navy across the lid, with the soft black in the crease and the off-white at the brow and in the inner corner of the eye, and the black liner rimming the entire eye. I chose not to use the silver for this look because I was heading out to go about my business for the day and didn't need the metallic effect in the bright sun and 95-degree heat.
You may have noticed that the soft black crease color looks lighter than the blue. That's because for some reason, the crease color is a sheer color. It takes a bit of building to get a good payoff from it, and I wouldn't recommend it on its own. However, I've found that the sheerness makes it very easy to use in the crease without ending up as if you have a black eye. Simply blend and build until you get the depth you desire, and all is well in the world.
As you can see, the overall effect is relatively understated, given the depth and vividness of the blue in the palette. The flash on my camera did wash the color out a bit, but you can see that it's a very wearable color, especially when framed by the two blacks. I love this!
Bottom line: This is a fantastic palette, suitable for a number of beautiful looks. I've worn just a light wash of the blue, blended up to the crease and highlighted with the off-white base, complemented with the black liner along the upper lash line for a gorgeous daytime look. For nighttime, I've even used the navy wet for a more vivid and highly reflective effect. I've gone heavy with all the colors, concentrated on just one at a time for a more monochromatic look, and have managed to fit all 5 colors on my lid at once, all with lovely results. As a matter of fact, every combination I've come up with for this collection has turned out exactly as I hoped. The colors last well (I always use primer) and don't crease for 8+ hours, longer when I'm not running around in the heat and humidity. Blending is a breeze, and with the colors being so complementary, I've found it nearly impossible to screw up any look I try. If you're at all enamored of blues, this is most certainly a palette to try!