|hourglass visionaire eye shadow duo "exhibition"|
one beauty that i always knew i was going to pick up was the "exhibition" eye shadow duo. after all, i loved the rich, smoky tones of "prism" and i am bananas for purple, so it is actually a statistical impossibility that this wouldn't find a happy home with me. and although i held off for a while, thinking that i already had many, many purples, i eventually realised that i was being foolish by trying to resist for the sake of resistance. i've never been a believer in the whole "martyr" theory that self-denial makes you a better person. i'm a perfectly good person the way i am and eye shadow is not going to change that.
this duo is a combination of a dusty, pinkish-mauve shade and an intense, dark eggplant purple. much like "prism", "exhibition" has awesome power. it's necessary to use a light hand or else you can end up overdoing things pretty easily. even if you want things fairly intense, i'd recommend building the colour in layers, rather than just caking it on. applying hourglass shadows too thickly is about the only way you can get them to crease. exercise a little caution and you can expect a full day of looking perfect. or more perfect than you usually do. [can i also recommend not jabbing yourself in the eye with the makeup brush while applying, the way that i did? because not jabbing yourself in the eye is wicked.]
as far as i can tell from using and from swatching colours on my hand, all hourglass shadows are incredibly smooth and blend together easily to create a seamless look.
although i do, as mentioned, have a vast stable of beautiful purples at my disposal, these shades were both pretty distinct. the darker shade is somewhat more dupe-able, only because it's harder to pick up the nuances of colour in use. but that said, it still looked different from any of the dark purples i already had. honestly, it looks almost black from some angles, but the red-purple shimmer catches the light at others, like seeing reflections of minerals inside a stone.
the lighter shade of the duo is a bit of a strange bird. although clearly a purple shade on its own, it's neutral enough that it looks brown next to cooler purple shades. mac's "shale" is a fairly close cousin, but is quite a bit darker and browner still. "illegal cargo"- the limited edition mac shade from a few years back, not the one that was released with last year's holiday collection- is a cooler, more lilac shade, although it has a similar neutral-grey undertone. chanel's "fauve", which i would have thought would be similar, is much darker, greyer and has a silver sparkle.
|l to r :: mac shale, hourglass exhibition light, mac illegal cargo [l.e.], chanel fauve|
the darker shade, as i said, has closer analogues. mac's "beauty marked" is most similar, although the finishes between the two are quite different. "beauty marked" is a black shadow with fine red-purple glitter sitting in it. "exhibition" is one smooth, shimmery shade. armani "lust red" is, appropriately enough, redder and the fact that it is a lot more reflective makes it look lighter as well. mac's "unflappable" is cooler and greyer.
|l to r :: mac beauty marked, hourglass exhibition dark, armani lust red, mac unflappable [l.e.]|
combined, these two are great for a stunning take on a smoky eye that's a bit different than the usual black/ grey combination [for that, "prism" is perfect]. for a lighter look, you can stick to having the lighter colour dominate, while the dark shade can be used as a liner or to deepen the outer corner. one of the reasons that these little duos work so well is that they move effortlessly from day to night time wear, even if you don't have the time to run home and refurbish yourself completely. they come with a small but fairly useful brush and a compact with a mirror that swivels. the closure is magnetic and strong enough that it can withstand being carried in a makeup bag or having a muscular tonkinese cat stand on it. [i have to admit, i get a kick out of stacking my hourglass duos one on top of the other and seeing how they stick together. i'm easily amused.]
here's a look at "exhibition" in action. i couldn't decide whether i liked it more used lightly or really smoked out, but i guess the nice thing is that i don't have to choose.
for both of these, i'm using my usual mac prolongwear foundation "nc15" and dr. hauschka concealer, shade "01". [i'll be reviewing that one soon.]
exhibition by day
hourglass visionaire e/s duo "exhibition" [soft mauve/ dark eggplant]
mac e/s "creamy bisque"* [pinkish ivory highlight]
chanel inimitable intense mascara
mac beauty powder "briar rose"* [wild rose pink]
mac mineralize skinfinish "lightscapade"* [pearly highlight]
mac l/s "radicchio"* [cool mauve-plum]
*suggested alternates :: creamy bisque = mac dazzlelight; briar rose = nars mata hari [brighter, redder]; lightscapade = guerlain meteorites teint rose; radicchio = mac plumful [sheerer, pinker], or you could try using "dish it up" which is limited but still available- see a comparison here.
exhibition by night
hourglass visionaire e/s duo "exhibition"
mac mega-metal e/s "prance"* [shimmery silver-mauve]
benefit they're real mascara
edward bess quad royale "south of france" [sandy mauve]
armani gloss d'armani "603" [sheer raisin]
*suggested alternates :: prance = mac crystal [cooler, less shimmery]; in retrospect, though, i found that "prance" made things look too heavy and shimmery. i'd probably go with a very neutral matte highlight [inglot has tons] or just not bother. the pigmentation of the hourglass duo is intense enough and doesn't need a lot else added to it.
and in case you're wondering, yes, that is a cat scratch on my nose. thanks, simon.
hourglass products are available from sephora and from zuneta.