Housed inside a chocolate and gold embossed palette are ten eyeshadows in varying finishes, from satin, to sheer, to shimmer to matte.
The first thing I want to mention is the transparent overlay on top of the shadows. Its a handy placement chart, showing you where you can apply each numbered shadow for best effect and to create a variety of looks. It’s also worth mentioning the mirror in the lid, which is handy.
Also included in the palette is a brush.
Now onto the shadows themselves.
It is basically a neutrals palette, with the addition of the purple on the far right, which to my eyes is grey toned. The palette, like all good neutrals palettes, allows you create anything from a soft, subtle day time look, to a dramatic smoky eye for the evening, or even some high shine with the shimmer shades.
Here are the swatches.
As with all the Clarins mineral eyeshadows, they can all be used both wet and dry. Personally, I don’t ever use my eyeshadows wet, I don’t apply my make up in the bathroom and I don’t find this practical, however it goes without saying you’ll get a much more pigmented result from these (or indeed any shadows) if you do. If you’d like to see how they look swatched wet, then head over to British Beauty Bloggers post.
The first swatch you see on the left, the warm toned shimmer, isn’t actually the first swatch. The first swatch is invisible on my skin, totally invisible. The baby pink is clearly too close to my skin tone and I wasn’t able to build it up at all. So what you can see are nine shades of the palette, but the tenth is there!
The grey toned purple is a great shade, and the black is amazing. It seems that good black shadows aren’t easy to make judging by the amount of patchy, chalky blacks I’ve tried but this black is amazing. The gold shimmer is also worth of special mention, its dazzling, even swatched dry and it looks amazing wet. I also really love the third shade from the right which is a charcoal colour, as well as the fourth from the left which is a beautiful bronze shade. It’s a really nice palette, and yes there are a lot of neutral palettes around at the moment, but this stands out for two main reasons to me, the first is the option to use it wet, the second is the incredible black. There’s nothing wrong with any of the other shades I’ve not mentioned, they are all decent shadows, bar the first, which I think would be fine on darker skin than mine. They are standard neutral palette offerings and they have their place, and they work really well with the other shades mentioned. I have a particular fondness for coffee and chocolate shades mixed with greys and blacks, its a different and unique look and one to try if you haven’t already… and gold and grey is my absolute favourite combination!
If you are in the market for a new palette I’d definitely recommend this, especially if, unlike me, you do like to or would be prepared to use them wet because they really wow then!
Oh and here’s a clever thing, the tray of eyeshadow pans lifts out of the box completely, meaning that when you’ve finished with your palette you can keep the box and use it for something else, a pencil or jewellery case perhaps?!
The Essentials Eye Make-Up Palette is available now from Clarins counters and online, and it retails at £35.
*Palette received free of charge for review purposes.