It looks like almost everyone is launching shiny and new eye shadow formulas. And I mean literally shiny- some makeup counters look like little disco bombs lately (hello, Armani). Laura Mercier, until not long ago Queen of Understated Makeup has her own interpretation of the subject with the new Baked Eye Colour Wet/Dry (wasn't she the one who said in an interview that she's trying to get American women to tone down the color? Ha!).
Don't believe the photos and swatches you see on Laura Mercier's site. Seriously. These colors are hard to photograph and I spent quite a bit of time and effort on the sub-par pictures you see here, so I'm not surprised the official swatches are crap, but still. I bought mine at the counter where I played with several other colors. I was originally interested in Lagoon and Violet Sky but upon seeing them in person I realized they were far too much for me. I can wear bold colors and know how to blend them into a not-crazy look, but these were little glitter monsters. Pretty monsters, but not something I need. Except for Black Karat, that I knew I could easily make it work.
Black Karat is a metallic golden brown with black marbling that mixes with the main color and takes it towards the taupe side of things. It's not just wearable but also beautiful- both wet and dry, and as long as you don't do a full wash of color, the glitter shouldn't get out of hand. It would make a great evening look, but I also used it on the lash line, top and bottom, for a subtle smoky eye during the day on the weekend. I used Edward Bess Nude as a base, Dusk on the lid and Black Karat as a liner (using Laura Mercier Smoky Liner brush). I also applied a Bobbi Brown something or other (a matte taupish one, I just don't remember which one) to bring everything together and tone down the effect. This might not have been something I would wear in an office environment (or were I still teaching fifth grade), but I really really like this eye shadow in small amounts.
The swatches show how Black Karat looks both dry and applied with a damp brush. You can see how it changes with the amount of light and the direction it comes from. I'd suggest not to order it sight unseen- one should really like the color and shine to be willing to commit, as it's not the easiest formula to wear. Still, the quality is very good. As long as you clean up the initial fallout (see shiny particles all over my hand in the pictures), the eye shadow actually stays put nicely. It hasn't creased, crumpled or changed on my lids (over a primer) for at least 14 hours.
Bottom Line: Like.
Laura Mercier Baked Eye Colour Wet/Dry ($22) is available at the counters and from lauramercier.com.
All photos are mine.