I can't resist neutral eye shadow palettes! There I was, surfing Sephora, when I saw that Josie Maran's Argan Beautiful Eyes ($36) had just arrived. There are three color palettes: Beautiful Nudes, Beautiful Purples, and Beautiful Smoke. That choice was easy for this nude shadow lover.
Argan Beautiful Eyes features four eye shadows and one shadow liner expertly coordinated to offer the ultimate range of customized looks. These naturally formulated shadows are richly infused with argan oil and a blend of floral and fruit extracts, resulting in soft and nutrient-rich textures. The palettes offer iridescent, matte, and satin finishes.
I "tore into" my new Beautiful Nudes palette immediately after I snapped a palette photo, swatching on my arm and eyelids. I realized immediately that the colors are very light. That's good for me, but will not be good for those with darker skin.
I swatched in counterclockwise order, starting with the shimmering gold in the lower left and ending with the "dark brown" in the upper left corner. I did not swatch the chocolate brown liner in the center. The liner is a lovely shade. It's a pretty liner on me - very natural. On others? Like the shadows, it may be too light.
The shimmering gold is extremely pretty. It's a little hard to get it to adhere, though, even with a primer underneath. It's very "crumbly." You'll definitely need a primer if you want to get an even golden pop. I had difficulty applying it with a brush. The sponge-tipped applicator I used for my swatch photos may be the best applicator. The shade next to it in the palette appears to be a satin-finish gold, but you can see on my arm that it's more of a white-toned yellow on my skin. It's a good base shade. The shade in the top right of the compact is a very pretty, shimmering, light bronze (I applied it heavily for the photos). The shade at the bottom of my arm is a medium-toned, matte brown. Like the other shades, it applies much lighter on the skin than it looks in the palette.
I have mixed feelings about Beautiful Eyes. The shades are very pretty, and when I'm in the mood for a very natural look, they will come in handy - despite the fact that I have duplicates of all the shades. My reservation about the palette is the difficulty I've had achieving a nice, even application using one of my usual eye shadow brushes and a primer. My first impression is that it's not perfect for us dry-skin types. I'll keep playing and update you if I discover a magic technique. I'm going to try a different primer and different brushes.
I don't want to leave you with an incorrect impression, but I did want to warn you to try before you buy, unlike me. Make sure to have a look-see if you have fair skin! The shades are absolutely perfect for us. If your lids are not as dry as mine (my lids are very dry, and I use a creamy primer), you may not have any trouble at all with application. The palette has received very good initial reviews at Sephora, where Josie Maran Argan Beautiful Eyes is an exclusive.
Photo at top courtesy of Sephora; other photos by Best Things in Beauty