May 062011

Serge Lutens Eyeshadow Palette ($160) is part of a very select group of Beauty Essentials.  I previewed this palette, from my visit to the Serge Lutens boutique (here), but waited to a return to the U.S. to get better pictures and swatches.  As the only eyeshadows made by Serge Lutens, these are intended to work for any number of occasions and nearly all skin tones.  There is a deep black, deep brown (tinged with mauve), aubergine and light creme.   This last color is a near-matte that almost matches my NC15/Chanel Cameo skin tone.

The palette is packaged in a very sleek, discreet, slim black compact designed to fit anywhere.  It includes three sponge applicators, which I do not anticipate ever using.  The case is well-made and fuss-free.  It opens flat, which is a nice feature.  I love a compact that just does whatever I ask.

Serge Lutens got this combination right–I was hard-pressed to identify a skin tone on which this eyeshadow palette would not work.  Three of these colors are deep and strong.  The deep aubergine and cool red-brown keeps these neutrals on an edge.  Close up:

Swatches (the light creme on the far left nearly matches my skin tone, but it is there):


I must confess that I love this palette more than I thought that I would.  I bought it as a treat, to commemorate my tour of Les Palais Royale boutique, but find that I’m reaching for it more and more.  This is surprising to me, given that this is the Spring season when I should be focusing on the new collections.  Yet there it is.  I find that the black liner is a soft, sooty sexy black that lasts all day.  I find myself loving the softer, intense look that this very intensely-pigmented powder gives my eye over the Bobbi Brown gel eyeliner, which looks more “makeup-y” and a touch artificial by comparison.  I should note that I’ve used five Bobbi Brown gel eyeliners in Black Ink all the way to the bottom, and so I do love that product.

All colors last all day without a primer.  I use all shades dry because they do not need to be intensified.

Like the Serge Lutens perfumes, the colors are mesmerizing, gorgeous and extremely intense.  They are timeless and modern, clean but a touch bruised, and they set off the slight mauve undertone in my coloring beautifully.  True love.

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  18 Responses to “Serge Lutens Eyeshadow Palette: Review and Swatches”

  1. Ridiculously gorgeous palette! The good news: Barneys has this…the bad news is that it is $160 USD.


    I am glad you are updating us on some of the products from your Paris trip. 🙂

  2. Yes saw it too at Barney’s in Las Vegas almost buy it but I prefer to buy a perfume (Chergui, LOVE IT )
    Maybe next time 😉

  3. That is one of the most beautiful palettes I have ever seen, Amy. What a lovely treat to give yourself. Those gorgeous colors so perfectly exemplify the understated elegance of French make-up. The aubergine in particular is stunning. I would love to find a color like that to enhance my dark moss green eyes. Le sigh . . . Please, pretty please, do a look on Liz.

  4. Awesome, Serge Lutens! Thank you, Amy.

    • Sorry to post twice, but the colors are very 1920s silent film star, no? It seems to be an aesthetic he references again and again in his work.

      • That’s an interesting observation, Dain. When I think of the sirens of the silent era, the first things I envision are the intense, kohl-ringed eyes gazing out from porcelain complexions. Add bee stung lips and the image is complete. Startling contrasts made elegant by M. Lutens: Bravo!

  5. Thanks for sharing this gorgeous palette with your readers. I echo Eileen’s request to see a makeup look with this product, please and thanks! I, too, am very tempted to treat myself to this palette when a suitable occasion arises.

  6. Reminds me of Chanel Ombres Perles.

  7. Love this one, Amy! It is stunning, and I vote for a photo of Liz wearing it – when she has a chance, of course. Happy Mother’s Day!

  8. Beautiful! As I love Serge Lutens perfume, I have always been curious about the quality of his makeup line – it looks like it does not disappoint! If I had money to burn, I’d be all over this, however, I’ll just have to re-create the aesthetic with less expensive choices (you know, like Chanel, or Shu Uemura, LOL!) … because though this is just gorgeous, it’s his perfume that I simply can’t live without.

  9. They look beautiful but are they really worth $160? Are they truly so much better than Chanel, Chantecaille, LMdB or Edward Bess’ eyeshadows?

    • Hi Nina, that question can only be answered by an individual–yes, you get four colors so most of the other brands would total around $120 for the same variety. Is Serge Lutens perfume worth over $150? Are sunglasses worth over $500? A leather bag over $1,000? It’s a luxury product for sure. I realize that some of these posts will be controversial, but I thought I’d post my experiences nonetheless….

      • I wouldn’t call this post a controversial at all, I’m very thankful for sharing your experience. I just was genuinely interested in the quality of these beautiful but pricey eyeshadows. I’m often pleased to see how the highest-end brands are improving their makeup products year by year. Every time I find something great – eyeshadow, foundation, blush or lipstick – I think it’s impossible to make them any better, that it’s the highest level possible, the HG. Every time they prove me wrong. So, in this case I was wondering if the quality of SL’s eyeshadows was so much better than the eyeshadows by my favorite brands, the ones I’ve considered to be the best. And since we’re comparing the price of eyeshadow QUADS, the most expensive on the market I’ve seen so far are the $95 LMdB kaleidoscopes – I can’t remember any eyeshadow quad over $100. This $65 price difference made me question the exceptionality of SL’s eyeshadows. I’ve never tried his makeup products although I’ve read a few positive reviews on his lipsticks. The price of his perfumes is not scary, it’s quite comparable to others in that class, but the makeup… That was my only concern – if the price reflects the quality. Sorry if my question upset you. Thank you again for your post.

        • Hi Nina, I’m not upset in the least! 🙂 Keep in mind, there’s really no benefit to me if people buy (or don’t) what I like–as long as people want to check in (or not), it’s cool with me. Also, I appreciate your question. I will say that the SL is a boutique brand, so you are paying for the small-scale operation to some degree. There’s no economy of scale for large-scale production I’m sure. I will also say that the pigmentation of these SL shadows is remarkable. Even my Chanel and LMBD shadows aren’t laying down the color with so little powder use. SL’s deeper lipsticks are similar–there a tremendous amount of color in a single sweep. Really, some of the reds are incredible in their pigmentation–honestly never saw anything like those deep red shades. They are sort of on their own scale, if that makes sense. Not everyone will be comfortable with that much pigmentation–just as I prefer latte’s to espresso’s (SL’s are in the espresso category!), some will prefer a sheerer look that can be layered. And part of the reason for my purchase was the boutique visit of course! 🙂

  10. This palette is gorgeous. I am loving that Aubergine shade the most!

  11. Oooh! I love densely pigmented eyeshadows! love love love!

  12. great post; could the deep colour replace eyeliner/pencil? and the others used to define rather than cover the entire eye area (more suitable for certain eye shapes- and ages-) the lightest colour you have shown to be a wonderful base/brow bone shade. so many cream or ivory shades are TOO heavy.


    • Yes, Shar, I’ve used the deep shades to line. They are so rich in pigment that they make excellent liners.

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