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Monday, 14 October 2013

Shiseido Eye Colour Bar

Shiseido Eye Color Bar Swatches
Shiseido's Eye Colour Bar is a nine-pan limited edition palette released for Holiday. And ridiculous as it feels to me to be reviewing holiday collections already, I am as usual many steps behind those on my blogroll who've already posted about this baby:

  • Swatcharama! swatched the Eyebar way back in August (part 1, part 2)
  • Wondegondigo has a wonderful series of posts (here, here, here and here)
  • The Non-Blonde has beautifully lit product shots and layered swatches here
  • Selphia shared some of her always exquisite photos here

Which all makes things very easy indeed for me :) So I'll be progressing straight onto my issues and gripes and general moaning. Because even with all those excellent posts as context and preparation, I was still surprised to find upon playing that:

  1. this really isn't a clear, jewelled palette at all. True to their liqueur names, even the brightest shades retain a powdery-white, artificial brightness: the glow of absinthe rather than emeralds, marachino red rather than ruby...
  2. the shimmer (or hidden shimmer) in these shades tends to be simple and monotonal, also adding to this artificial-brightness aspect, perhaps because one is meant to layer and mix the two 'magic' shades, Champagne and Soda to create complexity -- on my dry skintype and clear, pale skintone, most shades apply as quite 'flat', without tweaking. Parfait Amour is the only shade with the kind of complex multitonal shimmer I love.
  3. the textures are, to me, below Shiseido's usual excellent standard, and fall into several camps -- the best three, delicately shimmery and silkily blendable, Parfait Amour, Menthe and Noisette; two very soft and loosely-packed frosts Soda and Champagne; an almost foiled metallic, Curaçao; and three shades with very minimal shimmer and a drier texture: Cassis, Licorice and the almost-matte Café.
In a slightly out-of-focus shot, I think these textural nuances are visible even in the pans' surfaces -- note especially how Noisette, Menthe and Parfait Amour are the only ones 'twinkling' with complex lights?
Shiseido Eye Color Bar


Swatches to show how much less jewelled these colours turn once they hit skin -- even pale, clear, neutral skin like mine which rarely skews or mutes down colours. All swipes made by making two passes with a sponge applicator onto bare arm.
Shiseido Eye Color Bar Swatches
Despite the brightness, there's that certain flatness in most of these too, owing to a mixture of texture, finish and tone e.g. Curaçao, the kind of obnoxious colour and magpie-shiny finish you should rightly expect me to love, looks so 'solid' a bright (rather than a clear, complex one) that it makes the skin texture on my lids look at once robotic and crepey, so I can only wear it neat as liner.

Close-ups should illustrate what I mean by 'monotonal' shimmer in most of these, and also how the liqueurish 'flat' brightness extends even unto ye realms of macro. The edges of several shades also look quite dry and texture-enhancing on my dry skin -- the worst offenders being CaféLicorice and Cassis. 
Shiseido Eye Color Bar Swatches
Shiseido Eye Color Bar Swatches
Shiseido Eye Color Bar Swatches
Shiseido Eye Color Bar Swatches
Shiseido Eye Color Bar Swatches
Shiseido Eye Color Bar Swatches
Shiseido Eye Color Bar Swatches
Shiseido Eye Color Bar Swatches

None of the usual fuzzy shots, because only Parfait Amour has a variety of multitonal shimmer particles to show. See?
Shiseido Eye Color Bar Swatches
^That shot is also a good illustration of why I prefer the 'delicately' sparkling trio Parfait Amour, Menthe and Noisette of all the shades in this palette -- they sit so much more prettily on my skin than the solidity (degrees of shimmer aside) of shades like Licorice, let alone the tricksy frosts like Champagne/Soda.


Two looks now, because I still haven't made my mind up about this palette and I think about makeup by wearing it, rather than, as others might do, by looking or swatching different colours together or pondering. Both aren't terribly precise because what this palette (and its creator Dick Page) excels at is encouraging playfulness rather than perfectionism. Also drinking games. Is it happy hour yet?

First look is built around my three favourites, and the only shades I like on myself worn neat: Parfait Amour all over the lid into socket, with Champagne blended over it from the inner corner over the mobile lid/fold; Noisette with a Menthe accent to line lower lashline.
Shiseido Eye Color Bar Look FOTD
I apologise for the atrocious lighting!
cheeks: Shiseido PK305 Peony eyeshadow  |  lips: Shiseido Lacquer Rouge RS404 Disco
The glorious obnoxiousness of Disco kind of underscores wearable/surprisingly muted these eye bar 'brights' are in comparison, no? 


For look 2 I headed in the opposite direction, using the textures I found trickiest. And counterintuitively loved them layered them over Caviar -- I've drivelled before about my love for this black cream base-with-a-kick from Shiseido, and it came to my rescue here, a sheer layer paradoxically cutting through the solidity and bringing out a textural variety and lightness in Cassis and Curaçao without overwhelming them with BLACKNESS.
Shiseido Shimmering Cream Eye Colour BK912 Caviar as base on lid and lower lashline. Cassis packed over lid, with a tiny dab of Soda in middle of lid and Licorice smudged at outer third of lashline. Café pushed into lower lashes, with Curaçao to line lower lashline.

cheeks: Shiseido PK305 Peony eyeshadow  |  lips: Givenchy Rose Taffetas + clear balm

Basics in both looks: Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Moisture foundation 001, Bobbi Brown Tinted Eye Brightener Porcelain Bisque, Suqqu brow pen 01 Moss Green, L'Oreal False Lash Telescopic WP mascara, Shiseido High Beam White as setting powder.


And hey, isn't it Magazine Monday? I hear you cry. Quite right, my dears and your patience and scrolling shall be rewarded thus, with two looks using the Eye Colour Bar from Dick Page himself, from of SoEn Magazine's November issue:


You can find more of Dick Page's face charts on the Shiseido site with accompanying videos for Notorious and Sweet Dreams.

And finally, some pretty/wearable looks from the Umeda Hankyu department store booklet, courtesy of spookydeuce on makeupalley:


How about you? Have the palette or want it? Love it or loathe it or as dithery as I am? I'd love to hear about your combinations, experiments and experiences :)

30 comments:

  1. Great review Kate! This palette seems to be loved but I can't help but be a bit scared of the colours, lol.
    I do get what you mean with the finishes of these, some are different than I hoped for but I honestly think they still look good? And can I just say that I'm loving your looks with these, you are so creative with colours (big envy here). Love that pop of green in the first look and the combo of blue and brown in the second, yum! ^^

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    1. Thank you so much, Teri <3 I feel like I'm in a bit of a rut with placements lately, so an injection of random colour splotches helps ;)

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  2. This palette doesn't appeal to me. I think its because I had a shiseido eyeshadow palette that I got years ago and I never used it. It was purple and peach and looked bruisey. I found the shimmer just looked like a dirty matte on the lid rather than matte or shimmery. (not sure that makes sense).

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    1. That definitely makes sense -- older Shiseido products tend to be drab on my skin too. I think it's a quirk of their specific formula because the beloved Inoui ID eyeshadows pull the same trick.
      I don't have issues with Shi's current core line, though :)

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  3. I a still on the fence about this palette as well, although I do need to play more. Your second look is absolutely stunning!

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    1. <3 Hopefully we'll both sort our feelings out :)

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  4. This post confirms my thoughts and shall altogether pass it and save money for more Suqqus and THREE, you are correct, upon seeing your swatches, while it is a beautiful palette color coordination wise, nothing remarkable going on here compared to, say, Addiction eye shadows...
    Thank you Kate for in depth review. The only item worthwhile getting is the Caviar cream shadow:)

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    1. Glad my flailings could help :D
      I think my expectations were a bit too high considering that I've ditched every Shiseido trio I've ever had for being too monotextural (even if those textures are nicer than the Eyebar as a whole) in favour of taking inspiration from its colour combos and making my own versions.

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  5. Btw you absolutely look stunning in those pics, love the last look that you did with the blue on the lower lash! Ugh.

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  6. I really appreciate your mention of "monotonal' shimmer". A few years ago, very new to cosmetics in general, I picked up a few intriguing colours from an indie line with an excellent reputation, and found myself terribly disappointed by exactly that feature: there was no 'there', there. While the texture might not be comparable (I have no idea; I love Shiseido's blushes and haven't tried their shadows at all), I think I'll take Fyrinnae's multi-faceted brights over this.

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    1. Well put! Would you mind naming the brand, Ariane? I keep trying to branch out from Fyrinnae and ending up disappointed in other indie brands -- would love to be able to scratch another one off my list of 'to try'.
      The core trios/singles from Shiseido share that silky texture with their blushes.

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    2. For sure, with a host of disclaimers: I only bought six shadows, they mightn't have been representative of the whole line, and this was perhaps two years ago. But they were from Aromaleigh, and while I loved the base colours and adored the texture, these were very disparate colours and they each featured the problem you described and a literally identical glitter. I'll happily confess that Fyrinnae's complexity ruined me for eyeshadows: suddenly I found I'd become so demanding. *g*

      Thank you, re. the Shiseido shadows. I'm really looking forward to trying them, once I've filled out my Burberry collection a little.

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  7. This palette looked boring to me since the first time I saw it on MUA, but I never put my finger on why I didn't like it. You just pointed out the reason why! Not that it looks monotone right away, but this palette has a way of making itself look boring, even with all the colors. Parfait Amour looks like a great shade though, have you paired it yet with Silent Scream from Addiction? I want SS so bad, but I wonder if I need yet another green that I'll wear once and then throw into my drawer of non-neutrals.

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    1. Yes, it's that acidity! I wonder if this aspect would make these colours really sing in certain lighting conditions -- artificial I'm guessing?
      Love the PA + SS idea, thank you! I must try it when I'm home and reunited with SS again :D

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  8. I'm apparently hermetic to the hype on this one (which is something, when you see how MUA hypes this at the moment). I love the texture of all my Shi trios, but the colors in this aren't something I would wear a lot, and if I were to want to wear those colors, I have them in UD palettes and they're good enough for sporadic use. It doesn't change my love for Shi, and the fact that they make me lem a lot of their stuff, though :)

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    1. Excellent points. I mean to mostly wear these shades with other textures/finishes as accents, too :) And being UD-less except for my ancient Pallor single, I hope these will prove useful :D

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  9. Yeah, this one was a disappointment for me, too. I was wondering if it was too subtle for me, but your comments about the flatness of the colors confirms my suspicions. Wha...wha...:(

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    1. <3 Oh J, I didn't realise you had this. We are usually in sync on products :(

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  10. I am going to take advantage of your current Eye Bar explorations by copying verbatim (in a makeup sense) your look #2. Wow, that looks amazing! :D

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    1. <3 I'd be honoured, my dearest

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    2. by the way, you spelled COLOR RONG!

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    3. Actually it is the correct way of spelling colour in the UK and Canada. In the US, it is spelled color. But both spellings are correct depending on where you are;)

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  11. So pretty :)

    I like the Umeda Hankyu department store booklet face charts. So pretty as well.
    These don't apply very well on my skin (arm and eyes). Without primer and pencil as a base they disappear completely. Never happened to Ghost which is the only other Shiseido shadow I have tried.

    *runs off to buy Caviar to see if it helps.

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    1. Thank you, Linda :D
      It's reassuring to know that I'm not the only one who finds these different from the core line shades like Ghost! I am also wondering now what Shi's white cream shadow (Mist) would do to these....

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  12. This palette looks fun but I hardly wear these shades. Thanks for the honest review though. The swatches all look gorgeous side by side - I like the look of Cassis :-)

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  13. Fortunately I never really wanted the Eye Color Bar ... but now I'm reminded that I DO want Caviar, Ghost and Peony!

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    1. them's the breaks, missy! PS the singles are being discontinued so catch 'em as you can....

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  14. I'm indifferent to mine. I wished I purchased Snow Shadows and Beach Grass instead, since I really just use the neutrals in this palette. XP

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