Wednesday, January 25, 2012

L'Oreal Infallible Eyeshadow in Bronzed Taupe and Iced Latte Review and Swatches

Warning: this is a really wordy post. I have been lusting after these shadows for many, many months, ever since they released abroad last year, and I am so frickin' excited that they're available in the States now. This excitement manifests itself as verbal (or textual?) diarrhea, so: you've been warned.
Bronzed Taupe (left) and Iced Latte (right)
Anyways. Why would I want these so badly, you ask? (You did ask, right? That wasn't my imagination? Guys? Right?) Well, you may recall that last year, Giorgio Armani released a new eyeshadow formula, Eyes to Kill, which had the blogosphere all lit up with excitement. These shadows are pressed loose pigment (I know, weird) with intense pigmentation, metallic shine, amazing wear, and the most gorgeous marbled look. They are also $32 apiece, and therefore not something I can purchase lightly. Shortly thereafter, L'Oreal (which is owned by the same company as Armani) released a budget version, available only overseas and in Canada. The consensus seems to be that the quality of these is about on par with the Armani Eyes to Kill, but the colors are less complex (which makes sense, as the L'Oreal versions don't have the beautiful marbling color mix that the Armani do).

Why did it take so long for them to release them in the US? Psychological torture is my guess, but really, who knows. They've finally seen the error of their ways, though, and Infallible eyeshadow started trickling into US stores late last year and are now becoming available at the major drugstores. I think they've been available at Fred Meyer (and Meijer, and Harmons/Bed Bath and Beyond) for awhile now, but I didn't make my way over to the nearest Fred Meyer until a couple weeks ago. Fortunately, they had most of the colors, and I was able to pick up the two I knew I had to have to start with: Bronzed Taupe and Iced Latte. They were $8 each, BOGO1/2 off, so they ended up being $6 apiece, which given the quality and quantity is quite a deal! These are also available at Walgreens, Rite Aid (for $8, and are currently on sale BOGO1/2 off), and Ulta (probably CVS as well, but we don't have CVS around here, so I'm not positive).

Okay, wow, I really need to learn to get to the point. Here's hoping you find my rambliness charming...
Basically, I want them all. The Infallible line in the US has 12 shades, which seem to be the same as those offered in Canada, albeit with different names (why?!?!?!). There are several neutrals, including the two I picked up, as well as some bolder/more unique shades.
Finger swatches of Bronzed Taupe (left) and Iced Latte (right)

Iced Latte is a shimmery warm ivory that makes for a beautiful highlight; it's quite similar to Urban Decay Verve and Too Faced Silk Teddy––if those had a baby, it would be this color. The swatch above is really heavily layered; when applied normally, Iced Latte just adds a hint of shimmer and brightness, very natural and beautiful.

Iced Latte on bare lid; please pardon the veins/pigmentation unevenness, I had not slept well the night before, but the level of shimmer is accurate

Bronzed Taupe is, as the name would suggest, a neutral (as in, not warm or cool) bronze taupe (blowing your mind, right?), more pigmented than NYX Iced Mocha. Worn with Iced Latte, it makes a beautiful neutral, shimmery eye (with absolutely no fall-out!).

Iced Latte all over lid, topped with Bronzed Taupe on the outer third of my eye, angling inward and downward, and blended; Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes! as mascara (review to come)

Bronzed Taupe is quite similar in color to Maybelline Bad to the Bronze, though in a different formula (and cooler), which means they layer beautifully for a neutral-warm taupey eye.
Maybelline Bad to the Bronze (left) and L'Oreal Bronzed Taupe (right)

Maybelline Bad to the Bronze applied on lid, with Bronzed Taupe layered over in the outer V, blended with Iced Latte above crease and on inner third of eye; no mascara

The texture of these is unlike anything else I've tried.

Bronzed Taupe

They're like a wet loose powder that's been packed down and pressed, though not actually wet (or loose, or pressed).
They come in a glass screw-top jar with a little plastic insert that you're instructed not to throw out, as it's useful for re-packing down the powder.

They're really pigmented, incredibly lightweight, and apply with the ease of a powder shadow but the sheen of a cream or foiled loose powder. On my oily eyelids, they don't last a full day without creasing (on their own or over primer), but they do go 5-6 hours before it's too bad (longer over primer, though not by as much as one would like). For comparison, the Urban Decay shadows I've tried last the longest on me without primer, roughly 10 hours, and the Too Faced shadows get to 7 or 8 hours; Wet N Wild's shadows, for drugstore (though extremely high-quality!) comparison, last around 6, though all of those perform much better over primer.

Neither of the two shades I picked up are entirely unique, so if you have oily lids and already have a large collection of neutral shadows, they're not must-haves. However, I do recommend them if you like neutral eye looks, since the texture alone is worth the price, and you get a lot (0.12 oz, compared to the normal 0.05 oz). They're pretty great, and for the price quite phenomenal, and there are some really stunning, unusual shades (Midnight Blue is screaming for me to get it, even though I don't do smoky eyes, much less blue shadow, but google for swatches of it and you'll see what I mean––so gorgeous; Golden Sage is awesome and would look oh so pretty with my eyes, and...yeah, I need them all) if you're feeling neutraled-out. As far as I know, these are not limited edition, so you don't have to freak out over finding them. Though, if you're anything like me, you will anyways, because knowing that they're out there and available and you don't have them will drive you crazy. I mean, I'm just guessing.

One last shot:
Over Maybelline Bad to the Bronze; the weird shadow on my nose is from the window. Also, I love how you can see that my eyes are different colors here! Whee!

~$8 for 0.12 oz, available at most drugstores (also Ulta)

Quality: 8.75
Effectiveness: 3.25 (I do not get the advertised 24 hour wear [though admittedly, they qualify that with "up to", which is just stupid])
Ease of Use: 5 (can be used with brushes, fingers, sponge-tipped applicators, and wet or dry)
Senses: 5
Pigmentation: 5
Duration: 3.5 (if they didn't advertise such amazing wear, this score would be better, but it really fell short for me)
Consistency: 5 (super awesome)
Price: 3.75 (more like 4.25 if you get it on sale)
Value: 5
Packaging: 0 (while the plastic insert thing is annoying, it's also useful, so it ends up a wash points-wise)
Grade: B+

Have you tried any of the new Infallible eyeshadows? What did you think? What colors catch your eye?
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