It looked like a good idea at the time.
I've been incredibly happy with so many Estee Lauder products lately that I was quite excited about the release of the New Dimension Collection. It appeared as kind of a hi-tech very smart concept of shaping and contouring the face using a mix of skincare (I'll have more to say about that in a few days) and subtle makeup. I especially loved the idea of a dedicated eye contouring kit that looked like the perfect Le No Makeup product, something both effective and extremely refined. How can you go wrong with that?
(Famous last words)
Estee Lauder Shape+Sculpt Eye Kit is a small and sleek palette that includes an eye primer (the one on the left), a highlighter, and a crease contour color. The issues start with the eye base, which is more waxy than creamy and needs to be worked a bit before it gets smooth enough. Applying it with a finger helps, or warming it up a bit on the back of your hand to make it thinner and more pliable. Brushes are a recipe for a patchy application. Then there's the "highlighter", a shimmery peach champagne eye shadow that's wearable but a bit too dark as a true highlighetr and is not the most refined formula Lauder has produced lately. I'm just as unimpressed with the matte brown contour color. Lack of pigmentation isn't the worst thing for contour products, especially if you're heavy-handed, as it's easier to add and build intensity than it is to take away if you've over applied. What bugs me here is how hard the color is to blend. Less prestigious brands than Estee Lauder have figured out their matte formulas ages ago, so there's no excuse for releasing a product that refuses to blend evenly.
I managed to make it work more or less, softening the base and using more of it than I'd normally do with a primer, using the fluffiest brush for a very light touch of the highlighter (and adding a lighter color from other palettes), and building up the contour with a stiff brush then blending until the cows come home. But the question is: why bother? We all have good eye primers, beautiful brighteners, and enough neutral brown matte eye shadows that we can use for this purpose with less effort. It would have been great if all that came in a sleek set the way Lauder tried to do here (a custom MAC palette can achieve better results, actually), but this one just doesn't impress.
Bottom Line: I try stuff so you don't have to.
Estee Lauder Shape+Sculpt Eye Kit ($40, made in Canada) is available at the counters and online.