I used to loathe mixed palettes but I feel some brands in-particular Laura Mercier do them rather well, sure you don't get base products or mascara in most but let's face it those are not truly universal. If you are new to the make-up world, perhaps want to stream line your collection or a beautiful gift the Laura Mercier Luxe Colour Wardrobe could just be what you are looking for.
The Laura Mercier Luxe Colour Wardrobe is a two tier compact that is a little on the bulky side of things but is still dinky. The packaging is rather striking - a chocolate brown almost mock croc outer design with a round giraffe print magnetic closure and it also features a large mirror. To the naked eye it looks like a miniature clutch bag but is completely portable and will easily fit within a typical handbag without weighing you down.
Inside the Laura Mercier Luxe Colour Wardrobe there is two separate tiers each loaded with products on the top layer you will find 8 great sized eyeshadows in a mix of hues which tend to slot into either the neutral or purple categories. On the whole the shades lean cool and here is a quick run down of formulations and application notes.
Morning Dew - a light pink tinged cream which is matte in formula, soft but chalky.
Coffee Ground - a deep matte brown that is almost black and has intense pigmentation.
African Violet - a shimmer based purple tinged taupe that has lots of golden shimmer.
Ballerina Pink - a satin formulation in a light pink hue, slightly chalky but buffers out well.
Crystal Beige - a slightly more bronze version of African Violet but a little more pigmented.
Sable - a light silver grey shade with a metallic formula, moderate pigmentation with a soft formula.
Grey Onyx - a light shimmer based mauve that leans pink, good pigmentation.
Deep Night - a matte deep blue almost navy with wonderful colour pay off.
The top layer also contains two brushes which are well made (not always the case with make-up palettes); there is a wonderfully soft pony tail brush which hand on heart is one of the best tapered blending brushes I have ever used, so much so I am going to seek out a full sized version. There is also a dual ended brush which features a tapered crease brush that offers precise application and a small smudge brush head that is great for applying eyeshadow to the lash lines and of course smudging out. They are honestly brilliant little brushes.
(labelling boo boo - the top swatch image is with flash)
The bottom tier features three cheek products, first up we have a highlighting powder which is dubbed Golden Shimmer. It is a light almost peachy gold hue, it does lean a little warm but it is a finely milled powder that does not settle into skin faults and really perks up the complexion. I liken it a little to MAC's Soft and Gentle MSF.
Next there is two blushes Heather Pink and Barely Pink, truthfully they are better suited on the whole for those with a light to medium complexion and may be a little to stark or ashen on deeper skin tones.
Heather Pink - is a bright candy matte pink that has great pigmentation and one I recommend using with a light hand but it does blend out easily even should you over apply.
Barely Pink - a soft peachy pink with a satin finish, best suited to light/medium complexions, I struggle a little to get this shade to show on my skin tone.
There is also three Tightliner Cakes which are powder eyeliners that can be applied dry for a softer look or wet for more intense almost liquid finish.Yes you can use an eyeshadow for the same purpose but the tightliner cakes have more pigmentation than a typical matte powder and offer intense colour pay-off without the need for numerous layers. For ease of application the kit comes complete with a broad flat top liner brush which I have to say makes it really easy to apply the liners particularly when wet.
Black Ebony - a true flat matte black
Blue Marine - a deep matte navy blue
Mahogany Brown - an intense darker than dark brown (this can double up as a brow powder too) when used dry but a lighter chocolate brown shade when wet.
Last but not least there is a Laura Mercier Longwear Creme Eye Pencil in the shade Espresso which is a gel liner pencil by any other name. It glides on with such ease and the dark brown hue is a lot more flattering that a true black shade for day time wear or in general those who find black a little stark. Despite having a beautiful gel like consistancy this liner wears really well - around 6 hours on my water line and up to 8 hours on my lash lines. All in all a great little multi-purpose pencil.
If you ask Santa for one multi-product face palette let it be this (even if it is just to try the amazing brushes).
You can find the Laura Mercier Luxe Colour Wardrobe* for £65 via House of Fraser - link and Space.NK - link other retailers are slightly more pricey.
* PR sample sent for consideration of review.