Sunday, February 5, 2012

Sephora Collection Hot Hues Baked Eyeshadow Palette in Burnished Cocoa

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


Kim said...


Charlestongirl said...

Kim, I went to a Sephora store today (wish I hadn't bothered - I don't wait in long lines to buy things), and I didn't see this collection there. I asked, and the person who helped me was clueless. So, if you want it, best to order online.

Cherry Lane said...

I so wish we had sephora in the UK!! I really dont understand why we dont...all the best european countries have store but for some reason we're missing out! *waiting for the day*

Charlestongirl said...

Cherry Lane,

It's amazing that you don't! Can you order online?

You aren't missing anything by not having a store. The stores are disorderly and appear dirty. Stock is often depleted. You have to wait in long lines to buy. I love shopping online!

Evelyn said...

It's nice that their store line is getting better but kind of sad that the store isn't. When they first started opening in NYC they looked so great and clean but now not so much. I think however we can't lay the blame all on the staff, I've seen them scrubbing but many customers seriously lack manners and common sense (think applying lipstick and mascara from the tubes!!). I like to buy through ebates where I can get 3% back, not much but still nice to get a few dollars back.

Charlestongirl said...


I was so put off by the Sephora store today. There were at least two things I wanted to buy, but I wouldn't stand in a line with eight people in front of me and a screaming child (literally) at the end of the line I would have had to join. I don't stand in line to spend money. I walked out of Staples last week. I walked out of Sephora today. I popped over to Nordstrom. The register was busy, but the artist used a little hand-held gizmo to take care of me. It was amazingly fast and efficient. What a difference. Sephora could have had that sale, but they blew it.

As I walked the Sephora aisles, I picked up a few things I might have purchased. The actual product was not available, from Shiseido to Bobbi Brown to other brands. They were wiped out of desirable items - no stock.

On top of that, the store was a mess. I really don't know how they keep those stores in business.

Evelyn said...

I know Sephora has that gizmo. I was at the one in the Time Warner Center around Christmas and a sales person whisked me off the line to a quiet corner to pay in two shakes of a lamb's tail so to speak.

I think they are going to have to start closing stores, they seem overexposed. There isn't a Sephora on every other corner but it's getting there...well, at least in Manhattan. We can still enjoy Nordstrom, Neiman's and the rest at least! :)

Charlestongirl said...

Interesting, Evelyn. A floor person knew I was leaving because of the line, saw I was putting pricey stuff back on the shelves, but offered no gizmo. Maybe Virginia isn't as privileged as NY.