This was not quite an impulse purchase but almost. My general stand about Laura Geller makeup is that the face stuff is good-to-great, but the eye products I've tested over the years have all left something to be desired. But I was at Ulta and colors of the Sandy Lagoon Crème Glaze Baked Eyeshadow Intensifying Eye Palette called to be swatched. so I did, and liked what I saw, but I usually stick to my spreadsheets of planned purchases and review, so I passed. The following week I was at Ulta again, and somehow found myself at the Laura Geller display. You already know what happened.
Can you blame me? A beautiful medium blue, a rather unique wet sand color, and a taupe(ish) complex shade, all with a lovely sheen but no individual glitter particles. I could see many ways to wear these shadows and combine them with workhorse matte or satin colors from other palettes. Who could ask for anything more?
Well, I could.
Sadly, it's the gorgeous blue eye shadow that has been giving me the most trouble. If you look at the finger swatch, you can see that the blue is rather sheer and not as smooth as its siblings. In the swatches above, the sand and taupe feature one coat while I had to do two of the blue just to show its full impact. The texture is also slightly less creamy than the neutrals, which I think you can see. so the blue needs to be packed on the eyelid, which creates a massive amount of fallout. Obviously, once you get the desired results cleanup and doing your base are not an issue, but it annoys me to have my cheeks covered in sky blue color. I'm weird that way.
My first several wearings of Laura Geller's Sandy Lagoon palette were of the divide and conquer type. A damp touch of blue along the lashline, a twinkling sandy eyelid over a matte beige, taupe with everything... But the other night I decided to be brave and find a way to create an evening look with all three shadows, focusing on a bright yet smoky blue eye. My starting point was watching this tutorial by Siobhán McDonnell (formerly known as LetzMakeup). as I've said all those years ago, while Siobhán's style couldn't be more different than my own, her creativity and excellent technique are the reasons I keep watching. I had no intention leaving the house sporting that exact bright blue look, but I knew I could adjust it for the palette and my personal aesthetics.
Here's what I did (do watch the video I linked above first), and remember that I have deeply sunken eyes with a massive lid space, both mobile and under the brow bone.
1. Start with a blank face. The process gets kind of messy, so no use of doing your base until all the blue is gone from your chin.
2. Creating a smooth canvas for the eye: a good primer (I used Laura Mercier), then swipe the entire lid and brow bone with a matte nude eye shadow (I used Le Metier de Beaute, but anything from Bobbi Brown Bone to Free Spirit from the Tartelette palette will work).
2. Using a small flat eye shadow brush ( MAC 239 type, though I used the discontinued Sue Devitt Lash Line Definer) pat the blue eye shadow over the outer 2/3 parts of the mobile lid. Build the pigment to your heart's desire.
3. Using the taupe color and a crease brush fill in the crease and take the color as far and/or as high as your eye shape demands. I mostly used it to elongate the shape and blend the edges. I didn't add the touch of matte black that Siobhán had in the outer corner because it would have been too much, but I did put some extra blue for good measures.
4. Highlight the inner corner with the sand color. A tiny detail brush is best (I used my pinky finger and it ended up too much).
5. Finishing touches: a waterproof blue pencil on the waterline, blue gel eyeliner (Laura Mercier Cobalt) to tightline and along the lashes. Lots of black mascara.
7. Everything else (go with Siobhán's suggestion for a very nude blush and lipstick).
It was a fun look for a night out. Not something to do every day or even every week, but it was pretty and I enjoyed going slightly out of my comfort zone.
As for the palette itself, it's not a must have and not the best quality around, but if you're in love with at least two of the colors you could do worse.
Laura Geller Sandy Lagoon Crème Glaze Baked Eyeshadow Intensifying Eye Palette ($29) is available from Macy's and Ulta.