Estée Lauder is one of the very few brands that don’t have bad products. Although not every single Estée Lauder product is the best in its category, they are all good enough to use. The lack of bad products and the fact that this brand can do both skincare and makeup makes it the brand I’d choose if I had to only wear one for the rest of my life.
However, nothing is without flaws and if there is something that Estée Lauder lacks is eyeshadows. They never really had eyeshadow palettes and the little limited versions that they release here and there, mostly part of bigger gift-type products (like their yearly Blockbuster edition) were always mediocre. Until now.
Estée Lauder has released two full size palettes this year, the OH NATURELLE! By Violette and the Pure Envy. Without further ado, let’s have a look at the OH NATURELLE! By Violette in more detail. Has Estée Lauder finally cracked the eyeshadow palettes?
The palette comes in cardboard packaging which is very simply designed and decorated, with just different shades of brown.
Similarly, the actual palette itself is also very simple looking but has a velvet cloth type feeling on the outside. It comes with a big mirror and closes magnetically.
Although simplicity in design can sometimes really elevate a product, I personally felt that this did not look like being part of Estée Lauder. This is a luxurious brand that often decorates products with blue and gold colours and the simplicity here took away from the luxuriousness of the brand. You don’t buy Estée Lauder for fun; you buy it to feel expensive and feminine, and so the simplicity in the design of this specific product really made it look cheaper and worse than it is.
I’m not saying it should have been completely redesigned but even simple Estée Lauder touches could have elevate this product. For example, at the very front of the palette where it says “Estée Lauder by Violette” (yea you can’t even see it!) they could have written it in gold to be within the brand’s identity. The way they just engraved it on a pale palette it’s almost like they don’t want anyone to see it. You could have easily missed it.
I realise that this is a collaboration product, by Violette, but it looks like it lost a lot of Estée Lauder character and that’s not great.
The Estée Lauder by Violette comes with 15 colours of which 9 are matte and the rest 6 are shimmers or pearls as the brand labels them. The colours don’t have names and weigh about 1.4g each.
With the exception of the two shimmer copper/reds, third row colours 2 and 3, the rest are all unique and come together nicely in this palette.
There is a white and a black, a few shades for the crease and lots of options for the main lid colour. This makes this palette a stand-alone one which is great.
Pigmentation and Texture
One of the reasons I love Estée Lauder for, is also what makes it boring to many. It’s a brand for the more mature woman (30s+), not only because of the prices but also because of the shades they often go with in their products. There are no crazy blues or greens, their shades are always around browns, pinks and reds.
So, when I saw this OH NATURELLE! palette I thought “perfect, a natural eyeshadow palette with shades that I can use at work too”. I was expecting that because of the natural shades it contains and also since most eyeshadow palettes are not as pigmented on the eyes as the colours look in the pans, meaning that I was expecting the colours to be light. But, dear aw dear, is this palette pigmented.
I started by trying to create a day look with the copper colours and ended up thinking it’s too much of a night look and definitely not work appropriate. After playing around a bit I was able to create some day and work friendly looks BUT here’s the deal. The colours in this palette look exactly the same, as pigmented, on your eyes as they do in the pan.
This is a bit of an interesting conundrum because obviously this is how a palette should be. As pigmented as it looks. But on the other hand, I really wouldn’t have labelled this palette as a “natural” one and it wouldn’t be the first one I’d grab for day or work looks. On the plus side though, because this is such a pigmented palette, I was able to create a black line on my eyes with the black colour instead of using eyeliner. Sure, it wasn’t as solid as a liquid liner would have been, but it looked like a nice pencil line and it stayed colour intense all day long. Now, I don’t know many palettes that are pigmented enough to create an eye line with AND have it last all day. It was impressive.
In terms of texture, all mattes feel more powdery and all shimmers feel buttery-muddy. This muddiness makes them a little harder to work with but nothing major. None of them are patchy and the shimmers can be enhanced further with a setting spray.
This palette has almost no kickback at all, which in some cases it’s likely due to the buttery-muddiness of some of the shades. This definitely contributes to the intensity of the colours as you will use almost as much product as you pick up on the brush! In a way, this will save money as there is almost no product loss from tapping a brush. In fact, I gave up with tapping, it didn’t do much. Embrace the colour!
Although the shadows will blend to your acceptance, they require a little more work than normal as they are a little muddy and very pigmented. Nothing major though that you cannot work with.
However, if you are a complete eyeshadow beginner, this might not be the palette for you just yet. I’d say this is a medium difficulty palette.
All eyeshadows lasted all day long without creasing (I always use an eyeshadow primer) and while loosing very minimal colour intensity, and only from the outer corner of the eye. The rest of the lid almost did not lose any colour intensity at all. Perhaps bearing this in mind, layer the outer corner shade one time more!
Transfer proof tests
These shadows do not transfer if you touch them but of course, if you rub them they will fade away. However, thanks to their intensity, it will take a bit of rubbing to get the colour completely off.
Another thing that really stood out for me while using this palette was the fact that the colours didn’t stain. I never had any eyeshadow stain my eyes, probably because I always use an eyeshadow primer first which acts as a protective layer but a lot of them stain my arm for a bit after swatching.
Not this one! Despite the fact that the colours are intense and there are 3 intense coppers, I was able to clean the swatches away in two rubbing motions with a makeup wipe. It was quick, easy, clean and impressive.
The Estée Lauder by Violette OH NATURELLE! eyeshadow palette retails for £43 which is within high-end brand pricing. That’s how much an Urban Decay palette would cost too (well £42 to be exact and for 15.6g of product) which is actually a good price considering Estée Lauder is a fancier brand than the more mainstream Urban Decay.
However, keep your eyes open as this palette can be on a discount, costing £38 at big department stores like Debenhams and John Lewis.
This palette has a very subtle powder scent which you won’t smell unless you literally put your nose in the shadows.
This palette doesn’t have a “lasts for xM” label which is strange. No product lasts for ever but eyeshadow palettes tend to last somewhere between 1-3 years.
This is apparently a limited-edition palette although we don’t really know what the time-frame on it is.
Here’s what the brand says about this product:
“15 nude shades, each more subtle, sultry, soft or sensual than the next. Pearl and matte finishes. Mix, match, go light, go deep. Create all the moods of nude to go with your style, your look, your skin tone. Voilà—a look for your eyes only, naturally sheer and sexy. Oh Naturelle! The New Collection by Violette. Influencer, Makeup Artist and Estée Lauder Global Beauty Director. Nudes for your skin tone, your style, your look. So many ways to go bare, you’ll blush.
HOW TO USE
Violette’s Tip: Don’t be shy. Wear 3 or more at a time—mix, match, create endless natural looks.
WHAT IT IS: A LIMITED-EDITION EYE PALETTE WITH 15 NUDE SHADES, EACH MORE SUBTLE, SULTRY, SOFT OR SENSUAL THAN THE NEXT.”
Eye shadow palettes don’t often contain any “nutritious for your skin” ingredients but rather just the ones required to create the formulation and pigmentation. As a result, there isn’t really that much to say in this section.
This palette contains 40 unique ingredients of which 11 can offer some benefit, 3 are negatives and there are 2 potential irritants.
Each colour contains different pigments, some of which, like carmine, can stain. However, if you usually wear an eye shadow primer you will likely not get any staining at all. I personally never observed skin staining when using this palette, neither on the eyes or when swatching on an arm.
Every time the subject of eye shadow palettes comes up a couple of people ask me about the safety of two ingredients in particular, talc and silica. As a chemist I can tell you that there is no scientific proof that talc or silica are harmful, unless you breath them in as powders in large amounts. For more details and information on the safety on talc check out: Is talc in cosmetics safe?
To keep this article short, I am only listing the skin nourishing or skin positive/negative ingredients and ignoring the ones that only play formulation or pigmentation purposes. For the full list of these products’ ingredients scroll down to the “full list of ingredients” section.
- Zinc Stearate – A lubricant with anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties.
- Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride – A skin conditioner and replenisher. Can enhance the delivery of vitamins, pigments and other ingredients. Can act as a cleanser too and provide a lightweight non-greasy barrier of lubrication.
- Dimethicone – Creates a barrier and can therefore protect the skin. Also acts as a skin conditioner. It leaves a silky feeling and can even fill in lines temporarily.
- Hydrogenated Palm Kernel Glycerides – Skin conditioner.
- Isododecane – Solvent and humectant (=locks moisture in).
- Caprylyl Glycol– Skin conditioner and anti-microbial agent.
- Hydrogenated Palm Glycerides – Skin conditioner.
- Ethylhexylglycerin – A weak preservative and skin conditioner that is often used in ointments for eczema.
- Isononyl Isononanoate – A skin conditioner that leaves a silky feeling on the skin.
- Lauroyl Lysine – A skin conditioner.
- C12-18 Acid Triglyceride – Skin conditioner.
- Copper Powder (CI 77400) – Depending on its structure and content, it could be bioaccumulative and toxic.
- Aluminium Powder (CI 77000) – The metal Aluminium is a neurotoxin. However, it is unclear as to whether this form (and if so, how much) of Aluminium can pass through the skin and accumulate in the body.
- Bronze Powder (CI 77400) – Depending on its structure and content, it could be bioaccumulative and toxic.
Ingredients that can cause irritation to some:
This is actually really case specific, as different people have different sensitivities and allergies. Just because a compound has been reported by some to cause sensitivity, it doesn’t mean you will have an issue. “Sensitizer” compounds being present is not a negative in my opinion, as this is the case with pretty much everything out there and funnily enough I’ve seen products that are targeted specifically for sensitive skin, containing some compounds that have been reported by some, or are known to be, sensitizers.
If you have sensitive skin or you are prone to skin sensitisation and unwanted reactions, try a little bit of this at the back of your hand first and consult a medical doctor if you are concerned.
The following compounds present in this palette have been either proven or claimed by some to be sensitizers, irritants, allergens etc: Bismuth Oxychloride (CI 77163), Aluminium Powder (CI 77000).
Full list of ingredients:
Pearl: Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Octyldodecyl Stearoyl Stearate, Zinc Stearate, Hydrogenated Polycyclopentadiene, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Dimethicone, Talc, Hydrogenated Palm Kernel Glycerides, Isododecane, Caprylyl Glycol, Hydrogenated Palm Glycerides, Ethylhexylglycerin, Tin Oxide, Calcium Sodium Borosilicate [May contain: Mica, Titanium Oxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77499), Carmine (CI 75470), Chromium Hydroxide Green (CI 77289), Chromium Oxide Greens (CI 77288), Yellow 5 Lake (CI 19140), Manganese Violet (CI 77742), Ferric Ammonium Ferrocyanide (CI 77510), Iron Oxides (CI 77492), Iron Oxides (CI 77491), Copper Powder (CI 77400), Bismuth Oxychloride (CI 77163), Aluminium Powder (CI 77000), Ferric Ferrocyanide (CI 77510), Bronze Powder (CI 77400), Ultramarines (CI 77007), Blue 1 Lake (CI 42090)]
Matte: Talc, Zinc Stearate, Isononyl Isononanoate, Lauroyl Lysine, Silica, Dimethicone, C12-18 Acid Triglyceride, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Ethylhexylglycerin, Synthetic Beeswax, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Caprylyl Glycol, Pentaerythrityl Tetra Di-t-butyl Hydrocinnamate, BHT [May contain: Mica, Titanium Oxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77491), Iron Oxides (CI 77492), Iron Oxides (CI 77499), Chromium Oxide Greens (CI 77288), Yellow 5 Lake (CI 19140), Manganese Violet (CI 77742), Ferric Ammonium Ferrocyanide (CI 77510), Chromium Hydroxide Green (CI 77289), Carmine (CI 75470), Bismuth Oxychloride (CI 77163), Aluminium Powder (CI 77000), Ferric Ferrocyanide (CI 77510), Ultramarines (CI 77007), Blue 1 Lake (CI 42090), Bronze Powder (CI 77400)]
It’s a tough one because this palette is an amazing example of how the quality of an eyeshadow palette should be. The colours should be as pigmented on the eyes as they look in the pans, that way you know what you are getting!
On the negative side, this was not the natural and work friendly eyeshadow palette that I had in mind.
Overall though, it’s a success for Estée Lauder showing us that they can create good eyeshadow palettes. However, at the same time I can’t say that it is a must have palette, unless you have them all or love these colours specifically.
I am not affiliated with any company or brand. These are my views and experiences.
Beauty is a very personal thing, we all have different skin, requirements and biological build which can influence things. What worked for me might not work for you and vice versa. Have you ever tried these products? Did they work for you? Let me know your experiences below!
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