This is a perfect day to dream about Portofino. The Italian Riviera is one of my favorite places in the world. It's among the very few destination that given the chance I'd drop everything and just go there. Laura Mercier took my fantasy and shaped it into this limited edition eye shadow quad for summer 2011. As I mentioned yesterday, the rest of the Portofino collection is underwhelming at best. Honestly, it looks like the creative team at Laura Mercier ran out of ideas and pigments but still insisted on releasing a "collection" instead of going with one stellar item, this Riviera eye shadow quad.
The texture of all four shadows is silky smooth, really top quality. The shades have a satiny texture- neither matte nor shimmery, including the darkest blue (a deep sea shade) that looks a lot more shiny in the compact than it is on the lid (or arm). The other shades are an almost snowy white, a sunny golden beige and a silvery not quite sky blue. The beige is not light enough to serve as a highlighter on its own, so I use it as more of a base color or mix it with the lighter blue for the lid.
Speaking of this grayish blue, it's an excellent shade for olive skin and deep-set eyes. The color looks very flattering and brings out dark eyes while adding just enough brightness to my lids. I add a wash of the white where needed and love the result. It looks a lot more understated than you'd expect from a blue-centered eye shadow palette. The dark blue is of course an excellent liner/smoky eye color. I've been skipping an actual liquid/pencil liner when wearing it, which if you know me, it's almost inconceivable. I use the smallest pencil/smudge brushes or a smoky eye brush to apply this color with just a hint (it's very pigmented, so I use what left on the brush) under the lower lashes. A minimalistic mascara completes the look. I also add a little of Edward Bess cream highlighter where needed, because it brings all the colors together.
One gripe: the stripes for each color are quite narrow, so I need to use brushes with smaller heads even when a wide one would be a better choice (for an all over wash). Even then it's hard not to get a little of the wrong color on the brush.
All four shades in Laura Mercier's Riviera quad are very pigmented and stay put beautifully. I always use a primer, but even after the swatches on my arm rubbed against my shirt and various cats, they still remained very visible. As for the finger swatches, those required some serious hand scrubbing before they were gone.
Bottom Line: Excellent.
Laura Mercier Riviera Eye Shadow Quad Summer 2011 Portofino Collection ($40) is at Nordstrom, Neiman and other department stores as well as on lauramercier.com
All photos are mine. And, yes, that's my front door in the swatches a few seconds after I managed to lock myself out in the rain this morning.