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making faces :: heavy metal!

now here is something different for fall, something that doesn't read as cosy, or rustic, or smoky in the least. yves st. laurent's centrepiece for their fall collection, the "metal clash" palette, is like a throwback to the hair metal heyday: lots of glitz, shine, and sparkle. subtlety is for pussies.

ok, it's not quite that crazy, but i'm willing to bet there are a lot of women who will find this palette triggers memories of applying half a bottle of final net and drying their hair upside down.

i actually wasn't a metal chick in the eighties [i wasn't much of anything], but i do remember that power dressing and makeup drama were everywhere, so i do get that kind of vibe from the colours in this palette. although the shade that grabs your attention is likely to be the intense gold that occupies the upper left corner, in use this is a very cool-toned palette, more so than you might think. i find that in keeping with that eighties lean towards cold, hard, polished beauty. it looks a little intimidating and is a little intimidating, but for those who want to relive their feathered hair and fierce makeup youth [or pretend that they had one], this is worth checking out.

the packaging is a little different than the regular palettes, with a semi-translucent plastic cover on the case. it's an interesting, retro-futurist effect, but it does kind of stick to things, which means that it can get a little dirty. not the worst thing i've ever encountered, and still better than older ysl packaging, but a little strange.


all yves st. laurent couture eye shadow palettes are supposedly arranged the same way: an all-over colour in the upper left, highlight in the upper right, two accent/ lid/ crease shades on the bottom and a liner shade in the centre. i'd like to meet the lady who dares to wear this palette in that way, because i wouldn't dare. [note: i am way behind on my reviews and so, since i didn't have shades to compare with at least two of the palette colours, i decided to just do shots of the colours on their own. if you have any questions about dupes, please just leave me a comment.]

the "base" or "all over" shade is an intensely, sparkly metallic gold. it's not a warm, clean gold, but more like an antique shade, with a lot of grey mixed in. this is one of the reasons that i say the palette reads as cooler. while the gold isn't exactly a cool shade, it's certainly cooler than most golds, with a slightly "dirty" quality.

metal clash #1
this is likely going to be the shade that takes the palette from "very pretty" to "well, i'm off to sell a kidney so i can afford it". the metallic texture is remarkable, in that it's not so much frosty as just very densely packed shimmer that forms a colour from being smooshed [technical term] together. it swatches beautifully, with a smooth, even texture, the kind of thing that makes makeup lovers' jaws drop. however, it's not quite so friendly in use. it's actually a little difficult to get it to show as a colour, for one thing. because it's more shimmer than base colour, it tends to get overwhelmed when it's placed around anything that has a definite base, let alone blended. and unfortunately, there are fallout issues.

now, the sparkle is fine enough that the fallout looks more like a fine gold shimmer highlighter, not like great chunks of failed glamour all over your face. i think if you wore it out for the evening, no one would see anything untoward. however, this is absolutely not something that is going to work at the office. [then again, this isn't the sort of colour combination that anyone is likely to wear at the office, unless they do actually work in the eighties.]

for how beautiful it is, i found it tricky to work with this shadow, except as a liner under the eyes. at least applied [carefully] with a flat liner brush, i could see the gold colour.

the highlight colour is an eerie, almost electric icy pink lavender. seriously, this shade may look tame, but it absolutely is not. it's almost like seeing a pale shade under a blacklight, it's so luminous. a little goes a mighty long way with this, more than you would think. the colour payoff is intense and it tends to really catch the light. i was surprised at how cautious i had to be to avoid overdoing it. lucky for me [and you!] it blends very easily, so you can fix mistakes.

metal clash #2
the colour is strong enough that it gives an icy cast to anything it blends with, which is one of the reasons why i describe this as a very cool palette. take this shade out of the equation and it isn't as starkly cool, but it also loses a lot of what makes it unique. you think that the gold is going to be the standout colour at first glance, but it's this shade where the real magic is. even without the rest of the palette, i love this one used as a highlighter on the inner corners of the eye.

in the lower right corner is a lovely cranberry shade with excellent colour payoff. there are other shades i've seen that are like this, but none of them have had the creamy true-to-pan richness of this one. it's pinker rather than red/ plum, which again makes it cooler on the skin. lasting power is phenomenal, which is not always the case for pink/ red/ purple shadows.

metal clash #3
the lower left colour, the second accent or lid shade, is a cool dark walnut wood brown. because there's so much colour going on everywhere else, it's sort of nice to have a neutral to work with and the quality of the shadow is impressive. because it's more understated, it can get a bit lost in the mix, but it helps add shape and dimension and could easily be used with other shades, where it wouldn't feel so overwhelmed.

metal clash #4
finally, there's the centre, liner shade, which is a dark, cool violet purple. it has a greyed, ashy quality that make me think it wouldn't be great as a liner against such a strong palette of colours as this, but i do like it for the crease or outer corners of the eyes. although it looks a bit dusty [the colour, not the consistency], it's somewhat stronger than the dark brown, so it's good for adding more drama. this palette is really about the drama. both this shade and the walnut brown have a near-but-not-quite matte finish. there's a bit of sheen [less on this one than on the brown], but they're much less flashy than their roommates.

metal clash #5
i've played around with the palette in different ways since i got it and find that, while that drama means it's not quite as flexible as palettes where there are more soft and neutral shades, there are a number of different ways to wear it.

my first attempt involved using all five shades. i placed the "highlight" on the inner part of the lids, the antique gold on the outer third and used the two deeper shades to create a smoky effect on the outer corners and into the crease. then i blended the cranberry colour around the dark bits.





can you see the gold? no, of course you can't, but it is in there. it was more visible in person, but not much. and a fair amount of it ended up on my cheeks.

i used sort of the same application for this look, but i decided to do a type of cut-crease approach, rather than the softer, smokier one above. i used the gold on the outer half of the lower lash line, but otherwise stuck to the icy lavender, cranberry and dark violet.




the photos are kind of lame, because this looked much nicer in person and held its definition [often a problem with cut-crease looks] very well throughout the day. the icy shade on the lids was very effective.

and remember when i said i liked the highlight used with other colours on the inner corners? here it is on a more neutral look. this is just a tiny bit, but look at the effect. million-watt eyes, coming up.



i can still think of some other looks i'm eager to try with this palette, although i feel like i should reserve it for a night out, or at least for something that doesn't only involve vacuuming and running to the corner store. i feel like the palette wants more from me. and if you want a palette that challenges you to be outspoken in your glamour, this is certainly a great option. it's limited, so don't take too long to think about it! currently available at yves st. laurent counters everywhere and on sephora. [although, in canada at least, it's more expensive at sephora than it is anywhere else. i don't know why.]

and since i invoked the memory of eighties glam metal earlier in this review, i feel obliged to leave the last word on the subject to mr. patton oswalt...



... because that's the only thing that really needs to be said about eighties metal, ever, by anybody. 

Comments

Is it weird that I envy you for remembering the '80s? (Okay, my first memory is from 1989. But I wish I'd been around to experience the music and style firsthand.)

I think the last look is my favorite! I love the slightly lilac-tinged highlight. May I ask what lipstick you're wearing in that one?
Kate MacDonald said…
Well, remembering the 80s is a mixed blessing, I promise. But there were great moments.

The lipstick in the last look is Chantecaille Damask Lip Chic. You should definitely check it out- it's a deep berry shade made sheerer and lighter, so it works for everyday use.

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