Steady my heart, when I saw Le Métier de Beauté's limited-edition Splendid Frost Kaleidoscope ($95), my first purchase from the Le Métier de Beauté Holiday 2010 collection, I swooned. This palette is drop-dead gorgeous! Forget the fact that I've already joined the legions of Le Métier de Beauté addicts. I don't know how anyone could live without the new Kaleidoscope!
I purchase mine on Wednesday at Neiman Marcus at Mazza Gallerie and promptly went home and applied every shade. It's unmitigated love!
The shades, shown in Le Métier de Beauté's photo at top and my photo at left, are amazing. From top to bottom, Crystal Ball, Empire, Rockette, and Sugar Plum are housed in a new frosted white case for holiday. When layered from top to bottom, or worn alone, these shades create the quintessential holiday elegance of New York City, with their swanky New York names.
I took some swatch photos in my office this morning, but most of them were unusable. I had planned to get better photos when I went to Neiman Marcus Tysons Galleria this afternoon after work. When I got there, I made a beeline for the Kaleidoscope, only to find that someone had removed Crystal Ball from the tester. Is there nothing people won't steal? Granted, Crystal Ball is theft-worthy, but how hard did someone work to take it - and did she care how much the rest of us would miss it?
I'm going to rely on my description of that shade (and the dismal photo below right) to show you its incredible taupe color. Gaia at The Non-Blonde has better swatch photos, so make sure to visit with her. Crystal Ball is the ultimate taupe. Although it was described as platinum champagne, to my eye it's taupe in its purest, most beautiful incarnation. When I saw the Kaleidoscope, I flipped over Crystal Ball. When I applied the shade the first time, I knew I would end up hoarding it. There's no excuse - none at all, period - for theft, but this shade would bring out the taupe zealot in anyone.
I applied Crystal Ball to my arm with a brush (note to self: take sponge-tipped applicators to work), and this photo was taken in direct morning light inside my office window. I wish I had a better photo. I will try to get one to add as an update to this feature. Winter, which hasn't officially started yet, is conspiring against my swatching.
I was able to get swatch photos of the other three shades at Neiman Marcus. The photo below left shows them applied to my arm with a sponge-tipped applicator. I took the photo in store lighting.
Empire is fittingly grey (given its name). It's matte to my eye, but there's a gleam to it nonetheless. It may be the "perfect grey" to accent my eyes. It's pure, with no leanings toward another shade (such as blue or green). Rockette is a pretty peach, and I plan to use it as a blusher. It's a bit too peach for my eyelids, unless I layer it with another shade. On my cheeks? It's as good as it gets! Don't let my preferences sway you - try it on your own eyelids. It is sheer, like all Le Métier de Beauté shadows, so you can control the intensity.
Sugar Plum, shown in my swatch at the bottom, is a shimmery dark blue. Not too shimmery, and not too blue, it's an amazing shade. Just look at the swatch and tell me you aren't dreaming of the many ways you would use it! I wore it as a liner today, but it's amazing applied as an accent color with a shadow brush. The blue is tempered with a sheerness that's wearable during the day. I applied it fairly heavily for the photo.
I have to make a comparison to one of my favorite palettes ever (something I don't often do): Chantecaille's Tiger in the Wild. Since I got it, I have reached for Tiger more often than any other palette in my house. Splendid Frost will compete for my attention. With taupe (or grey, depending on your skin tone and eye), peach, and navy shades, they have a similar color story. It's one I find irresistible.
You can purchase Le Métier de Beauté's Splendid Frost Kaleidoscope for Holiday at Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman, and you should. There, I said it - an enthusiastic "buy!" You need this one.
Photo at top courtesy of Le Métier de Beauté