It happens about once every two or three years: I see an Estee Lauder makeup item that I actually want to buy. I had a feeling it was going to happen this year, considering the collaboration with makeup artist Tom Pecheux and the major revamping of Lauder's seasonal makeup collections. So here we are with Summer 2011 Bronze Goddess Soleil and the Island Oasis Eye Shadow Palette.
The colors in the Island Oasis palette are as summery as they get. They sing of the Caribbeans, Greek Islands or Hawaii- just choose your own island oasis (can I have all of the above?). They lean warm with shades of gold and bronze, though number 1(the dusty cypress green with gray undertones) and 3 (a gorgeous Mediterranean blue) are cool, and you can use the highlighter, the stone colored number 6 to mix with the warmer colors and tone them down.
The colors are wonderfully true to the pan and are quite pigmented- even number 6- and can be sheered out or intensified, depending on technique and the brushes you use. The six colors lend themselves to creating multiple summer looks and blend together well, and the palette itself is nothing short of gorgeous. It really fits the Bronze Goddess theme. The finish is shimmery and metallic (especially in 2 and 4) and I've experienced some fallout, especially from 1 and 6. It's nothing that can't be swept away, but still annoying.
Now, I'm spoiled. Just prior to getting the Island Oasis palette I was working and swatching a bunch of top quality eye shadows from a couple of my favorite brands. The kind that are so silky they feel like fairy wings and have the color depth and complexity you couldn't even dream about ten years ago. This level of luxury sets one's expectations pretty high. Too high for Estee Lauder. The eye shadows in the Bronze Goddess collection are very good, just not that good. Still, it's so pretty and gives a decent value, so I'm trying not to be too picky. After all, I know I'm going to reach for this palette again and again in the coming months.
Bottom Line: Feels like a beach vacation.
I still owe you photos and swatches of the Sea Star bronzing blush. The weather has turned and the light stop cooperating earlier today, so it'll have to wait till tomorrow or Friday. In the meantime you can see Karen's photos and review on Makeup & Beauty Blog. Her skin is darker than mine, so my swatches are going to be different, but you can get the idea. For cat lovers, Karen had her feline assistant, Tabs (my Sophie's future husband), pose with the compact.
Estee Lauder Island Oasis Eye Shadow Palette ($42) from the Summer 2011 Bronze Goddess Soleil Collection is available from every department store under the sun and esteelauder.com.
All photos and veiny arms are mine.