Every new Le Metier de Beaute Kaleidoscope Eye Kit gets LMdB devoted fans and other makeup-obsessed minds very excited. Each one brings new colors and layering combinations, which for those of us who enjoy playing with color is the best thing about makeup. Of course, it also sets the bar higher and higher with every new release. How on Earth can the last one be topped? Apparently, it's possible, because Penelope, the summer 2011 offering from the Mediterranean Holiday collection is nothing short of stunning.
Penelope and I have been spending a lot of quality time together over the last week. I've worked with each shadow individually, with all of them layered together and in many other combinations. Like all Le Metier de Beaute eye shadows, these four new ones are a pleasure to apply- the fine texture is silky on the brush and on your lid. You can pat them on, pack the color, do light washes, intense lines or outer V and admire the way the satin finish with subtle shimmer works on your skin. The colors in Penelope Kaleidoscope are a great addition to Le Metier de Beaute collection. I have many, both neutral shades and colorful ones, and these four new ones fit right in. Here's what we have, from top to bottom:
Blonde Amber- golden sand. A reader expressed concern that it's too warm a color (i.e. yellow or orange) but at least on my skin it's not and can be used all over the lid up to the brow. If a color is truly yellow I only use it in the inner corner (a trick I learned from Le Metier de Beaute artist and wizard Dustin Lujan) for subtle brightening. But in this case it's just light enough that I don't even need to add a touch of white under the brow unless I really want.
Pale Satin Amethyst-aka a color I would never purchase on its own- a delicate lavender that proves one should never say never. While this is not a color I can or should wear on its own, when applied over a warmer base, Pale Satin Amethyst brings light and youthfulness even to a very tired eye. See more below.
Bronze Topaz- a somewhat muted and browned bronze. It's a classic color, very elegant and plays well with just about everything. Adds a lot of depth to any color combination.
Black Emerald- exactly as the name implies. Deep, blackened shimmery emerald green. Before you ask, it's darker than the green in Chanel Lillium quad.
Now, Le Metier de Beaute fans know that Kaleidoscope colors are especially composed to be layered using the Couches de Couleur technique. Basically, you start with the top shade all over the lid and bone and add the other colors one on top of the other to create the desired eye shape. The result creates depth and contrast that enhances the eye and doesn't look very obvious- it's all blended together and you don't appear to be sporting a green or a purple eye shadow. This method requires minimal practice, especially since the texture is so user friendly. Most of the effort goes into figuring out how much of each shade would give you the perfect look.
In the case of Penelope, Black Emerald used intensely on the upper lash line and very lightly diffused under the bottom lashes is one gorgeous option. But the real surprise for me is how much I enjoy Pale Satin Amethyst as part of the look. Some of you might have watched the Lisa Eldrdige tutorial about a quick pick-me-up look where she used a pale lilac color to give her eyes a lift. I didn't love the color Lisa used, but couldn't deny it really did the job. Now, Pale Satin Amethyst works in a similar way and what I've discovered is that as long as I layer it over a neutral base that mutes it a little, this eye shadow adds luminosity to the eye in a very natural way. It works so well that I usually go back and add a little more in the middle of my lid to finish the look.
You can adjust how much you use of each shade and exactly where you apply them according to the desired effect. I've used Penelope on a weekend morning as well as to go out- each time the look was a little different, casual or elegant. I played with creating a very dramatic dark green smoky eye that was a lot more wearable than what I expected. I can see these color as both beachy and a night out on town thing, depending on the balance you choose, making Penelope a lot more versatile than you may think for a green and purple palette.
Bottom Line: Gorgeous.
Le Metier de Beaute Penelope Kaleidoscope Eye Kit Summer 2011 ($95) is available from Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus (call your counter to verify they've got it). A press sample was sent for my consideration by the company.
All photos are mine.