I used the very scientific method to pick three colors out of the new Estee Lauder Pure color Envy Defining EyeShadow line: staring hard and then doing an eeny-meeny-miney-mo. Seriously, almost all of them looked tempting and I could have gone in many directions. As it happened, I got two high shimmer ones and a matte (there are two other finishes, a semi-matte and a more satiny shimmer), all in neutral colors but with high impact.
The formula of Estee Lauder Pure color Envy Defining EyeShadow Wet/Dry is different from NARS Dual-Intensity, but usage and results are not far off. At first glance the product appear more like a traditional powder eye shadow, but once you get into them you see that they are very modern, intense, and wonderful to handle and apply. The wet/dry thing is not as dramatic as with NARS (where I've found it can be an overkill). You can see in the swatches that the difference between application methods is rather minimal, but it doesn't matter: there's enough pigment and luster as it is.
The eye shadows are soft yet dense and do not create a mess when you attack them with a brush (or on your face). They maintain their finish and color for the entire day (I do use a primer), are easy to place and blend, and are just really really good.
Back to the colors I got. Impulsive Blonde looks more interesting in the pan than on my skin and lids. I hoped to see more complexity, but the eye shadow is straight on yellowish champagne with a metallic finish (it's categorized as "Brilliant"). I use it to highlight the inner corner of the eye or dab it over another color in the middle of the lid. If you bought Impulsive Blonde I'm curious to know how you wear it.
Ominous also has the "Brilliant" finish, and it's my favorite of the bunch. In this case the color on skin is more interesting and complex than in the pan and gains an almost purplish tone on top of its gunmetal base. This is a beautiful and unique lid color, and I find it very flattering. Somehow it gives me an extra boost when I'm wearing my glasses.
Amber Intrigue is probably the least intriguing color-wise, but it's a pretty little thing with a rich and almost creamy matte texture. It looks like Dutch-processed cocoa (the photo on Lauder's website is incredibly misleading), and works beautifully to sculpt and add warmth to the crease. I love the texture so much I hope they add more shades with this matte finish (I'd love one in cadet blue, for example). This eye shadow looks and feels like it belongs in a Viseart palette, and that's a huge compliment.
Bottom Line: Estee Lauder is becoming one of the more interesting department store brands.
Estee Lauder Pure color Envy Defining EyeShadow Wet/Dry ($25 each, made in Italy) are available at the counters and online.