When L’Oreal came out with the La Couleur Infallible shadows, I had to suppress a laugh, as they were so obviously mimicking Giorgio Armani’s Eyes to Kill Intense shadows – similar shades, similar packaging, with the same little black insert inside to keep the powder flat. Their marketing scheme was the same too – exceptionally long wear and intense pigmentation. Having picked up one of the GA shadows last year, I was skeptical that they would measure up – the GA shadows are, in a word, unbelievable. Ridiculously pigmented, they do not smudge, budge or fade over the course of a day, and do not require primer whatsoever. And they contain multiple colors in each pot which mix together to create one gorgeous shadow with incredible depth. Could L’Oreal even stand a chance at being as good?
Last week, I had my chance to find out. While the Infallible shadows initially didn’t tempt me at all, when I was skulking around Shoppers for something (anything!) to buy (it happens), I saw that these were on sale, from something like $11.99CAD to $6.99CAD. I noticed they had a great burnished red shade, Golden Mahogany, that reminded me strongly of another L’Oreal shade I had bought eons ago – Five Alarm – which I loved. I decided to give in an pick one up – research for the blog, you see. It didn’t seem so bad since it was on sale.
Once home, I compared it to Five Alarm, and initially they seemed quite similar:Five Alarm is a loose shadow, while the Infallible shadows are sort of this loosely pressed shadow, which feels very smooth to the touch (just like GA’s). Above, they both are shimmering deep reds with a sort of slight bronze leaning. However, when swatched, the differences become more apparent:
Golden Mahogany is clearly more pigmented and dense, while Five Alarm pales in comparison. Also, Five Alarm is more sparkly, while Golden Mahogany imparts a deep metallic effect, which I find more wearable. From past experience, Five Alarm does not stay put very well – perhaps four hours at the most before it starts to fade. Golden Mahogany, on the other hand, wore quite well all day (without primer), even through a vigorous run at the gym. However, none of this is surprizing, as Five Alarm is over 10 years old (gasp!) and I would expect technology to have improved since then
Comparing the formulation of L’Oreal’s Infallible shadows, to Giorgio Armani’s Eyes to Kill Intense, is another story. While the Infallible shadows are certainly impressive regarding pigmentation and wear compared to many other drugstore shadows, Giorgio Armani’s (original) version kick L’Oreal’s butt. Golden Mahogany wore well considering I went for a mid-day run, but by the end of the day it had faded considerably. Still visible, but not nearly as intense – in the future, I would definitely use a primer. Giorgio Armani’s shadows last all day and then some, without the need for a primer at all. The pigmentation of Golden Mahogany, while very good, still doesn’t come close to the insane pigmentation of the Eyes to Kill shadows, which truly blow my mind – with just the barest touch of a finger, you get rich, full opacity in one stroke.
Ultimately, my conclusion is that if you’re looking for a (MUCH) cheaper alternative to Giorgio Armani’s Eyes to Kill Intense shadows, you might be appeased by these, but will have to put in a bit more work to get the same effect. That’s not to deter you though, as even at full price these are nearly a quarter less than the Giorgio Armani shadows, which is kind of a big deal. If you find them on sale, I definitely recommend grabbing one (or a few) as they do have great shades, and are an exceptional drugstore shadow overall. They’re just no Eyes to Kill…those babies are one of a kind!