If there's one thing I'm sure about in regard to the new Hourglass Modernist palettes is that I made the right choice when only picking Graphite out of the seven available versions. There are swatches and reviews of the palettes all over the internet, and they range from unconvincing to meh, which is kind of shocking for an Hourglass color product. Especially considering that the company has been phasing out the glorious Visionaire duos and the memory of the lovely Vol.6 palette is long gone. The Modernist palettes have a serious wow factor when you look at them in the pan. The wavy surface, the seamless transition from one color to the next, and the elegant presentation of the beautiful colors are tempting. But it's performance where the older Hourglass eye shadows excelled and where Modernist seems to fall a bit short.
The five colors of Graphite come in four different formulas: matte, almost matte, shimmer and metallic. But I find that there's a slight difference in texture between the two shimmer ones, No.2 and No.5.
From left to right:
No.1, a matte beigey cream (the one you can barely see when swatched on my arm) feels extremely buttery to the touch but applies unevenly and requires a cementish primer. It's quite powdery, though not chalky. The pigment is good, but it's not the ideal eye shadow to create an even surface, which is what a color like this should be.
No. 2 is a shimmer warm intense gold. This is the worst texture in this palette, as it feels almost gritty and creates quite a bit of fallout. The best way to make it work is shake any excess from the brush (use a flat dense lay-down brush) and place the color carefully by patting it down. Don't over blend because it'll look muddy.
No.3 is a satin/almost matte rich dark brown. The texture is good but the pigment is far less crisp than you'd expect it to be. I suspect this color would benefit from use with a damp detail brush, especially since it's a contour/eyeliner color and not something that goes over a large part of the lid.
No. 4 is a metallic cobalt blue that at a certain light leans a bit teal. This is the winner of the palette, as it performs as beautifully as it looks. Smooth, soft, blendable--- this is what I expect from an Hourglass makeup palette.
No.5 Is the runner up here. A complex platinum shimmer that wears a bit warmer than it appears at first glance. The pretty color is enhanced by a good texture, much smoother than its sibling (No.2). The fine grain ensures that the eye shadow works well to highlight the inner corner.
Bottom line: form over function.
Hourglass Modernist Eye Shadow Palette ($58) in Graphite is a Sephora exclusive. The product for this review was sent by the company.