Laura Mercier Artist’s Palette for Eyes: Review & Swatches

So, despite the fact that of all the sets I received last month for review, I was MOST excited for Laura Mercier’s Artist’s Palette for Eyes ($60CAD) – it’s taken me ages to post about because I really wanted to do it justice.  But DAMN guys, this palette is hard to photograph!

IMG_0363No…this wasn’t the hard shot to get.  LOL

The light shades looked far too bright and almost glowing.  The medium shades came out too light and washed out.  The glorious sparkling shade, African Violet (which, by the way, I’ve been drooling over forEVER) didn’t come out quite sparkly enough.  The dark shades…well, you get the picture.  I did 4 different photo sessions with this palette, and suffice to say, I just had to get on with it already.  But unfortunately for you, the ‘good’ shots came after I uh, already played around with the palette a bit.  You think I could hold off for that long!?! Pfffft.

IMG_0340One of the few ‘ok’ shots I took before marring the beautiful pans O_o

You’ll just have to deal with it.

Laura Mercier Artists Palette

In the shot above, the shades Guava and Primrose on the left are lighter and a bit less pink than in they appear.  Plum Smoke (SO hard to capture that shade) is a touch warmer and lighter…the rest are fairly accurate.  Let’s see a close-up!


Sparkling Dew and Vanilla Nuts (WTF?) are a bit lighter in the pan and are great for highlighting the eyes – the former having a satin finish and the latter being matte.  Guava and Primrose would be excellent neutral shades to brighten up the eye, Primrose being a bit more beige-y – both have a satin finish with itty bits of glitter in each (not a fan usually but they pretty much blow away the instant to put brush to pan).  African Violet (swoon) is a gorgeous light-medium violet with golden shimmer…I’ve had my eye on this baby for years so I’m pretty stoked to finally get to try it out!  Fresco is a perfect matte nude on my lid that is a touch warm to keep it from looking flat – sort of a mix of light brown and peachy-pink (if that makes sense).


IMG_0510 IMG_0508Left to right: Sparkling Dew, Vanilla Nuts, Guava, Primrose, African Violet, Fresco

See those bits of glitter in Sparkling Dew and Guava?  Weird, right?  They’re less noticeable in Primrose.  Still, odd inclusion – but they aren’t problematic when worn.

Next 6 shades:


Plum Smoke is my fave shade next to African Violet in terms of colorsuch a beautiful, sultry yet subtle soft matte plum; the name is perfect.   Bamboo is a shimmering taupe-y shade that personally falls kinda flat for me – it’s too washed out for my skintone – but I can see others LOVING it.  It also contains that strange hint of glitter here and there.  Kir Royal is a medium-deep plum with reddish tones – this requires appropriate use an execution to avoid that mega-tired or punched-out look.  It has a mostly matte finish but not flat.  Truffle is a great matte warm brown that works well as a crease shade to blend out smoky looks.  It’s going to be a workhorse for me I can tell.  Violet Ink is a deep indigo that would be awesome as a liner shade or smoked out in the crease/outer edge of the eye.  Same goes for Espresso Bean, a dark cool brown with a hint of grey. Both are matte.

And again, swatches:

IMG_0516 Laura Mercier Artists Palette swatchesLeft to right: Plum Smoke, Bamboo, Kir Royal, Truffle, Violet Ink, Espresso Bean

This half of the palette is my JAM.  Love the soft smokiness of all the shades, and I think even though Bamboo isn’t the most complimentary tone on my skin, I can make it work.

Ok, so you’ve seen the pretty – how about the formula?  Well, each and every shade is super soft and lovely, though this does mean they kick up powder a little bit.  They’re more on the sheer side though pigmentation can be built up if so desired.  All the shades meld seamlessly with one another and for this palette-phobic girl, they pretty much hit the mark dead-on.

Here’s the thing.  I read Karen’s review of the palette and couldn’t quite get what she meant about the shades blending into one another and being a bit aggravating that way.  I tend to be a one to two shadow girl, and I didn’t have any previous issues in using them.  But when I tried to pull a more intricate look together, I totally got what she meant – it’s like they just muddy together to make one shade; there’s no gradient or definition, and the more I tried to add to the look to build up certain colors, the worse it got.  It was almost like they were repelling one another…totally bizarre.  So it’s something to keep in mind if you do, in fact, want to be a bit of an artist with this palette.  You might have a little bit of trouble on your hands!


Quite honestly though, I wouldn’t let this oddity deter you from at least checking out the palette in store.  The shades are all quite nice and it’s extremely wearable.  And, hello with that fabulous faux croc case!!!  LOVE it.  And it fits right into the palm of my hand – perfect for travel or for just storing with your other products, as a few of you mentioned those bulky palettes can be the WORST.  Overall, Laura Mercier gets my vote, bizarre shadows be damned.  Maybe the ‘artist’ part is that you’ll gain MAD skill at application after using this palette a few times! 😛

OK, what say you?  Yay or nay to THIS palette!?

*Product was provided by the PR company/brand for my unbiased consideration.



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  1. #1 by BeautyReflections (@BeautyReflectTS) on November 6, 2013 - 12:22 am

    YAY to this palette! I love how all the shadows blend into each other actually-that’s what makes them so easy to look pro if ya know what I mean. 🙂

    • #2 by Latoya on November 13, 2013 - 4:57 pm

      Yea that’s probably true, Tracy – gotta change how I look at it I guess! I still love the color scheme and everything so regardless I’ll get a ton of wear out of it 🙂

      Sent from my iPhone


  2. #3 by satine89 on November 6, 2013 - 2:34 am

    Stunning colors, especially the lightest shades! Too bad they don’t blend super well! :/

    • #4 by Latoya on November 13, 2013 - 4:58 pm

      It’s that they blend too much Satine – it’s just a little more challenging. Still a gorg palette though!

      Sent from my iPhone


  3. #5 by Larie on November 6, 2013 - 1:48 pm

    I dunno, still not loving this one. They just all look the same to me, haha.

    • #6 by Latoya on November 13, 2013 - 4:59 pm

      Hahahaha that’s probably my photos Larie, it’s a tricksy palette! But there are a few shades very similar to one another, it’s true 🙂

      Sent from my iPhone


  4. #7 by Liz (@Reductionista) on November 7, 2013 - 12:42 am

    I swatched but haven’t actually worn this on the eyes yet. I feel like the minimal blending part is right up my alley though I am definitely far from an artiste. (Hopeful thoughts!) And totally agree, the pale shades are a bitch to try to capture but they’re super pretty in their own way even though I’m usually not a fan of anything paler or pinker than a light beige. HUGE props for the photo efforts – definitely paid off!

    • #8 by Latoya on November 13, 2013 - 5:00 pm

      Thanks Liz!! I hope you freaking love this palette – I have a suspicion you will. Honestly, I still am happy to own it – they’re great shades and it’s just so damn pretty to look at!

      Sent from my iPhone


  5. #9 by Sarah on November 7, 2013 - 10:36 am

    Beautiful colours! (and LOL @ Vanilla Nuts). Thank you for your intensive photo-taking efforts – you really made this baby sing!

    • #10 by Latoya on November 13, 2013 - 5:02 pm

      Aw, thank you Sarah, I really appreciate you saying that. It’s a really beautiful collection of shades, no matter if they are a bit challenging to use altogether!

      Sent from my iPhone


  6. #11 by Becca @ The Beauty Sample on November 8, 2013 - 2:22 am

    Haha Vanilla Nuts…sometimes the names that these beauty brands come up with truly astound me! (worst ones were those really bizarrely named Guerlain glosses. Brownie Clap?? Praline Blop? Yeah…)

    But my GAWD is this palette beautiful. I am obsessed with wearing cooler, purple tones like these on my eyes. And wow is African Violet gorgeous! I must have it…definitely gonna look into getting this palette 😉

    • #12 by Latoya on November 13, 2013 - 5:06 pm

      Oh yea Becca, this palette is SO up your alley!! I can see you totally loving it, I hope it comes home with you soon!

      And those Guerlain names are horrifying…my god :S

      Sent from my iPhone


  7. #13 by Makeup Morsels on November 9, 2013 - 6:14 pm

    Laughing WAY TOO HARD at Vanilla Nuts…like…what?!? What does that even mean??

    I’m mostly a 1-2 shade girl too, I think maybe because these shades are so softly smokey they get a little bit muddled when you start mixing them. Gorgeous finishes though!

    • #14 by Latoya on November 13, 2013 - 5:07 pm

      Yep, agreed. It’s really not an issue for me to use ’em, but I know a lot of people who play much more than I. And the Vanilla Nuts thing is just…weird. lol!

      Sent from my iPhone


  8. #15 by 80sChicwithglasses on November 10, 2013 - 9:48 pm

    I told myself that I didn’t need this palette, but when I saw it in person I HAD TO HAVE IT! I love purples on my brown eyes, esp. in the cooler months. I’m a 2 shadow kinda girl and I know I’ll make great use of this. I missed last years palette, so I’m glad I decided to grab this one. I also think it was fate since I got the last one in the display. I overheard another customer asking a Sephora sales associate to call other stores to find this palette and no such luck for her. Whew!!!

    • #16 by Latoya on November 14, 2013 - 9:06 pm

      Ohhhh you lucked out! Good for you, it definitely sounds like it was fate 🙂 I hope you enjoy the palette, rock it out!!!!

  9. #17 by Denise on November 13, 2013 - 4:22 am

    I was so tempted by this palette because I think it’s beautifully assembled and the colours work so well together, but when I took a closer look, I have EXACT dupes of almost all those shades so then it really wasn’t worth it for me. But such a great staple palette for someone that loves pinks and purples!

    • #18 by Latoya on November 13, 2013 - 5:09 pm

      Agreed, Denise! Happily, because I have a huge stash of shimmers with few mattes, these were all new shade additions for me. Who’d have think it?? Repeat shades are annoying though – you know how I feel about ’em!!

      Sent from my iPhone


  10. #19 by Eugenia on November 15, 2013 - 1:40 pm

    I was in Sephora a few days ago for the VIB sale and had this palette in my hands. Then after agonizing for what seemed like years, I put it down — even if it WAS the last one in stock (apparently in this galaxy). You know why? I swear that every single shade looked familiar to me & it’s mainly because of my recent MAC de-potting frenzy… I’m betting I have a dupe for every single one of these LM shades in at least 2-3 of my freshly made palettes. The other reason I left it behind, is because I had already earmarked the money for the CHANEL Charming palette and while those are basically neutrals, I don’t have any of those exact colours AND you know me and my CHANEL fixation, right? Still… after hearing about this LM palette for so long now, I really, really, really wanted to want it….sigh….

  11. #20 by Amy on November 17, 2013 - 12:41 am

    Oh man, you make this palette look suuuuuper appealing. Especially the dark shades! But I know what looks fab on your skin would be too dark on mine, so I am managing to restrain myself––barely. Some of those purples are to die for, though. And Bamboo! Is fantastic!

...And what do you have to say about all this?? Dish! :)

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