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making faces :: the chronos quintet

à propos of nothing in particular, i thought i would let you know that a spilled liquid accident has left me temporarily without my usual keyboard and mouse. i'm hoping that they'll actually recover, but for the time being, i'm using my old plug in models, which feel strangely steampunk-like; antiques hooked up with modern technology. i'm currently realising how far we've come in making keyboards more responsive, since typing this is giving me a bit of a workout. gah.

and moving on...

last month, rouge bunny rouge released their first ever eyeshadow palette, chronos. [i'm a little confused with the naming, but i believe that the name 'raw garden' applies to their pre-made palettes in general, which would imply that there are more to come, and that this particular one is called "chronos".] i actually ordered it the very first day it was available [august 28th], but i wanted to play around with it a bit before reviewing it here. although "chronos" is limited, it is still available from rbr and their distributors. it's $59usd, which is a pretty sweet deal for five full-sized shadows [2g each, which is the same as regular rbr refills].

the concept behind "chronos" is that it offers possibilities for new takes on the smoky eye, replacing traditional greys and blacks with hints of colour and shimmer. of course, since i do smoky eyes in a variety of colours, i didn't think of it as being exclusively for that purpose, but if you want something that delivers a softer, more nuanced smoky look, you could certainly do a lot worse.

the textures of these shadows are noticeably different than those of regular rouge bunny rouge shadows. indeed, there is a new finish introduced that has a luxe sparkle effect, without a lot of glittery fallout. if you've used rouge bunny rouge loose pigments before, these aren't entirely dissimilar. the heavy sparkle gives these powder shadows an almost dewy effect; there's something molten about them.

true to rbr standards, the shades are muted, earthy and eminently wearable. the first two shades show more of the sparkle, while the other three are a little more satin, but still with some shimmer. this is not a palette for addicts of matte shadows, but it's worth mentioning that rbr frosts are not like older shadows- they go on smoothly and won't emphasize the texture of skin. despite the metallic lustre of these colours, they don't look heavy on the eyes, which is kind of remarkable.


here's a look at each of the five shades:

first up,  there's a medium-light cool taupe with a glistening finish. on ladies with darker complexions, it might work as a highlight, but i think it's much better used on the lids, or in the inner corners, or anywhere that you'd like the light to dance around your eyes. it's very opaque, although it can be applied lightly for a much more subtle effect and it can be kind of dazzling. the texture is very soft and creamy, not much like a powder shadow at all. it lasts exceptionally well and- this is important- doesn't lose its lustre with time. a lot of other such shades flake off with time or simply become invisible, but this one holds up like a champ.

chronos #1
because they do this sort of taupe so well, it's very tempting to compare this shade to others from rouge bunny rouge. doing so does illustrate the differences between their regular frosts and their new metallic finish, but it doesn't yield a duplicate shade; "bohemian waxwing" is deeper and redder. "rain dove" is much lighter and greyer.

l to r :: rbr bohemian waxwing, chronos #1, rbr rain dove
it was only after i'd taken that shot that i thought to compare the shade to chantecaille "sel". the two are closer, but "sel" is quite a bit pinker. if you're a fan of the chantecaille iridescent finish, however, i can pretty much guarantee you'll like these new ones from rouge bunny rouge.

l to r :: chronos #1, chantecaille sel
the second shade is another taupe, a darker, chocolatey one with a healthy dose of rose in its base. it's even more shimmery than the first shade- definitely the most metallic one in the palette and the only one with which i had a little fallout. it carries a lot of weight, so you might want to either apply this one sparingly [for day time] or build it up using layers. that said, if you want a real statement, this one is up to the job. it's definitely the sort of thing that you could wear all alone and still feel perfectly made up. once again, this one is so smooth it feels like a cream product rather than a powder.

chronos #2
a lot of people seemed to think that this would be similar to the spring rbr shade "rufous-tailed weaver", but they're very different. "rufous-tailed weaver" is lighter, yellower, much less shimmery...

l to r :: chronos #2, rbr rufous-tailed weaver
at the centre of the palette is the least shimmery shade, a slightly khaki bronze with a sort of patina to it. although it has a drier texture than the first two, it still applies very smoothly and evenly. it can blend out a little too easily, so you'll want to use a lighter hand when mixing it with the other shades. it's also somewhat easily overwhelmed by its decadent neighbours, although it's excellent for bringing warmth and depth. you might want to try it with other, more restrained shades, to let its full beauty stand out.

chronos #3
there have been comparisons made with the cult shade "abyssinian catbird", but that shade is much more frosty and shows warmer because of the amount of golden shimmer present. it's a little closer to chanel "khaki vert", but the shade from "chronos" is darker.

l to r :: chanel khaki vert, chronos #3, rbr abyssinian catbird
there are two darker shades in the palette, the first of which is very complicated to describe. it's a smoked charcoal grey base, with tones of purple and blue shot through it and some complicated silver, burgundy, purple and teal shimmer throughout. how it looks will depend a lot on what it's next to and on your own personal colouring. it's a wonderfully complex shade, but i have to admit that i found it a little difficult to get that complexity to translate in all its glory. still, it's a nice purple-tinged charcoal on me and it does blend well with the taupe shades in particular.

chronos #4
chronos #4: slightly different angle is more how it appears "live"

there are a lot of purple-tinged grey and black shades, but this one did stand out among them. armani eyes to kill #2 "lust red" is a lot redder and warmer. rouge bunny rouge "delicate hummingbird" is more of a true dusky purple and much lighter.

l to r :: armani lust red, chronos #4, rbr delicate hummingbird
finally, we have what is possibly the most difficult shade to describe in the entire palette. in the pan, it looks like a dark teal. swatched, it looks more like a stormy grey with blue tones, like the dark edge of a thundercloud. like the previous shade, it's dark without ever looking entirely black, but what colour you see the most  will again depend on what it's beside and your own skin tone. combined with slightly more golden shades [which i recommend], you'll see more of the teal, but with cooler or more neutral shades, it will read as a blue-leaning grey.

chronos #5
the texture on this one felt quite a bit drier than the others but the colour payoff is excellent. i also found that this one lasted incredibly well without simply fading to a washed out grey. it's undertones remained visible throughout wear time, whereas a lot of shades [including, eventually, the dark purple grey in this palette] tend to lose their overtones through the day, but this was a real superstar.

i had heard this one compared to the rouge bunny rouge shade "trumpeter koel", but they're very little alike. "trumpeter koel" is lighter, softer and not as pigmented. armani eyes to kill #23 "obsidian black seaweed" is closer, but darker [a black rather than a grey base] and with more distinction between the base and shimmer colours.

l to r :: rbr trumpeter koel, chronos #5, armani obsidian black seaweed [l.e.]
as i said, i've been playing with this a lot, so i thought i'd share some [yes, this is only some] of the looks i've come up with thus far.


the first look i did involved the first three shades of the palette. i used shade #1 over most of the mobile lid and shade #2 on the outer part of the lid and into the crease. i used shade #3 to deepen the outer v a little and along the lower lash line.

i also used tarina tarantino "sparkling ammunition" eye liner and a couple of other rouge bunny rouge stalwarts in this look- "florita" powder blush and "murmurings" lipstick. 

this is a sort of no-brainer look that i think anyone can wear. it can be more or less natural depending on your skin tone and how much colour you apply. on me, you're looking at a medium-light application of both the shadows and blush. although women my age are often counseled to keep colour and shimmer away from our lower water lines, i wanted to give it a try for the sake of experimentation. i did not find that the shadows emphasized any wrinkles around my eyes [oh yes, they're there] and although looks where the lower lid is darker than the upper can look heavy on me, i don't think it's too much.

this second look involves only the first two shades in the palette. the deeper, rosy taupe is applied on the inner part of the lids and into the crease and the lighter taupe towards the outer part. i've used urban decay "perversion" eye liner to give some definition. this is definitely the simplest and fastest look i did and it's also my favourite. these sorts of neutrals are very friendly to a lot of different complexions and occasions.

i've combined it here with a daytime friendly application of armani blush in "eccentrico" and armani rouge ecstasy lipstick in "dolci". you could wear this sort of thing day or night, although personally, i'd probably make the lip a little more dramatic at night.


third up, i opted to do a version of a smoky eye, since that's ostensibly the inspiration for the palette. i wanted to see how complex shade #4 looked when used mostly alone, although i did add a bit of "alabaster starling" to the inner corners and used shade #2 to blend with #4 at the edges a little.

as it turns out, the answer to my question was "less than i would have hoped". the look was nice enough, but the grey just looked a little less vibrant than i wanted. it read more as a straight satin than the complex shimmer-fets it appeared to me. i gave it a bit of a boost in that department by using stila sparkle liquid liner in "sequins" a charcoal rgey with multi-coloured sparkle.

i'm also wearing the blush shade from armani's "neo-black" palette and rouge bunny rouge succulence of dew lipstick in "fluttering sighs" [i'll be reviewing that separately].

part of the fault here is that i just don't think the look is suited to my colouring that well. i find that the eyes look a bit tired, while the rest of me looks washed out. someone with a warmer and slightly deeper complexion than i would most likely look better.


finally, i figured i'd try the odd combination of shade #1 over the lid with shade #5 in the crease and shade #3 tapped just above it, along the brow bone. i was really happy with how well you could see the different colours, without having them look too stark. the warmer elements in #1 and #3 brought out the teal tones in shade #5, which i couldn't really get to show up that well in photos, but believe me, it was there. it's a really nice autumn combination, i think.

i figured as long as i was making unusual combinations, i might as well go against my instincts and used fuchsia shades on both the cheeks [dior "pareo"] and the lips [bite beauty "flora mundi"]

as you can see, i've been having a lot of fun with this palette and rightly so. it's a delightful way to experiment while still staying in the range of wearable neutrals. it's an excellent choice for autumn as well, with all the shadows having a slightly weathered tone to them. people who are really turned off by shimmer won't find a lot to love here, but i think that others will really enjoy it. best of all, it's a great introduction to the world of rouge bunny rouge, but different enough that even hardcore fans [*cough*] will find something different.

i bought my palette through rouge bunny rouge's web site, but it is also available through others, as well as in those rare live counters. it's limited edition but, and i commend them for this, it hasn't sold out anywhere yet, despite the considerable hype. definitely one of the most reliable and captivating brands out there.


Great detailed review and I really like the variety of looks you have created. I'm very tempted to get this but would have preferred some more lighter shades I think, aren't I picky! :)
Kate MacDonald said…
It's definitely a palette with a Fall theme to it. There's nothing that comes close to a highlighting shade for me, although the lightest one does brighten my eyes well enough. I'm intrigued by the idea that there may be more of these- perhaps something lighter and more ethereal for the Spring?

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