Or: In Which I Tackle A Legend
I was never sure how much of the Erika F hype was because this specific Lancome formula is not available in the US (due to an ingredient that wasn't approved for use here), and how much was the product itself. A few months ago my beautiful sister got me the real thing overseas and I've been playing with it since.
My sister, by the way, was quite indifferent when she saw it. In her opinion this line doesn't compare to Chanel Ombres Contraste Duo, and I guess she's right. Quality-wise there are many better eye shadows out there. From texture to tenacity (and pigment integrity), Lancome Ombre Absolue is nice but far from perfect. Still, there is something about Erika F that makes it, indeed, very special.
Many a blogger has written about Erika F and found the color hard to describe. It tends to look a bit different in almost every picture and the swatches vary greatly between skin tones and the lights used. I also find a difference between the way it appears on my lids and the swatch. The skin in my area is darker, making Erika F appear somewhat sheer, depending on the brush I use. My perception is that the color is a khaki-based silver with just a little taupe that prevents it from being too cool/silvery. I'm very careful with silver eye shadows, but I find this one very wearable. As long as we're talking evening and night out makeup, that is.
I apologize to everyone who wears Erika F to the office/PTA meetings/vet appointments, but I don't know how you do it. It's so shimmery with visible glitter particles and attracts so much attention, I just can't see myself wearing it before sunset and without being dressed to kill. It's gorgeous, it catches the light and makes brown eyes really stand out, it can be applied on the lid and in the crease or even just along the lash line above a jet black eyeliner. It just isn't an everyday item.
Then there's also the issue of shimmer fallout and it drives me crazy. Using the best primer money can buy (Kanebo Sensai) helps a little, but I still end up the night with glittery cheeks. Then again, if one expects a flawless application it's better to stick out with Le Metier de Beaute and Edward Bess.
To read more and see pictures, swatches and comparisons to other sort-of-similar colors, please check these posts from The Beauty Look Book, Pink Sith, Cafe Makeup and Blogdorf Goodman.
Lancome Erika F (#133) Ombre Absolue Eye Shadow G40 is available in Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Prices vary by location and this is such a bestseller counters tend to sell out more quickly then they can restock, some patience and legwork might be needed if you or your loved ones are on a quest to find it.
All photos are mine.