Sephora has really stepped up its game with the Sephora Collection. After being wowed by the Prisma Chrome Eyeshadows, I started paying more attention to the Sephora brand when I browsed. My renewed focus led me to notice the new, limited-edition Hot Hues Baked Eyeshadow Palette in Burnished Cocoa ($24). I ordered it, suspecting I would love it, but knowing that it was a small investment if I didn't.
The good news is that I'm impressed. Burnished Cocoa is a versatile palette with a creamy eye base, a stunning shimmering shade, and four complementary shades to create your perfect neutral eye.
We can all create a range of stunning looks - from natural to smoky - with this palette of neutral hues. Used wet or dry, these baked shadows can provide multiple finishes, from sheer to intense, and promise high coverage and long wear without a cakey finish. I can verify the long wear. The eye shadows have a nice texture and apply evenly (I use them dry). Not only that, the compact has an expensive feel in the hand and includes two mini brushes for precise application and smudging. I was impressed to see two brushes instead of the cheap sponge-tipped applicators that many luxury cosmetics companies provide.
I applied my swatches with a sponge-tipped applicator, which gave me a better color payoff than a brush does. I'm sure a damp brush would give the colors even more oomph - probably more than I need. I took my photos in full sun.
The Burnished Cocoa shades range from a shimmering, skin-toned gold (at the top of my arm) to a cocoa brown at the bottom. I swatched starting with the large duo in the upper right corner of the palette (left shade then right shade) and then clockwise. The second shade on my arm blends in perfectly and may be hard to see. It's the creamy base shade that has a different texture than all the other shades in the palette. Interestingly, it's one of the duo shades in the large circle (on the right side). The other shade in the large circle is the drop-dead gorgeous shimmer at the top of my arm. I love that shade! I would have paid $24 for it alone.
The "orange" hue is a good shade. I don't mean to slight the color by calling it orange, but that's the tone. I've come to terms with orange on the eyelid. If it's muted like this shade, it works for me, making my blue eyes pop. It should be a flattering shade for anyone.
The copper shade is extremely popular right now, included in many high-end palettes. The taupe is gorgeous. Dear Sephora, could I please have a duo made with the shimmer at the top and the shimmering taupe shade? I think it's a dynamite combination.
I applied the cocoa brown heavily for the photos. If you want to use it wet as a liner, you can. That may be its best use for me. Or you can build the color to use it in the crease as an accent shade, depending on your preferences. You always need an accent color in a palette.
Sephora says to use the base shade all over the lid, layer pops of color to define the eyes, then use the included smudge brush to intensify your hot hue. Great suggestion! The palette is so versatile, though, you can use it any way you choose. The result should be smashing, and you'll feel smugly thrifty as you wear your trendy neutrals alongside your brand-label friends.
The Hot Hues Baked Eyeshadow Palette in Burnished Cocoa is exclusive to Sephora. There is another color palette in Mulberry. Those shades are not my colors, but they might be yours. I ordered my palette online.
Photo at top courtesy of Sephora; other photos by Best Things in Beauty