Jun 162010

Many makeup fans are familiar with the legendary Lancome Erika F., a very popular European eyeshadow that is a beautiful metallic mix of blackened green, silver and bronze that makes a beautiful eye.  It borders on a neutral, but with an interesting kick that seems to enhance one’s natural eye color.  Perhaps most frustrating for the U.S., the eyeshadow has never been available for sale here.  Part of Lancome’s Ombre Absolue Mono line, Erika F. is sold in a single mirrored compact, in a square shape with a rose imprint.

I’ve read that this series is not sold in the U.S. because there is an ingredient which is not approved for sale in the U.S.  It is my opinion that this ingredient is “magic.”

On my recent trip, I was struck by the Lancome’s display of other Ombre Absolue Mono eyeshadows.  I will say that Erika F. is the most stunning, and apparently most popular, of the Ombre Absolue Mono series–Erika F. was sold out  everywhere I went.  I had picked up the eyeshadow on a prior trip, but I did find two others to bring home with me this time around.  One of these is F30 Moonlight, a soft neutral gold that looked perfect for a highlighter or inner corner highlighter.  The other is F60 Cuban Brown, a greyed-down brown that borders on taupe (but lacks any purple or mauve tones).  The texture of all of these is superb–soft, shimmery, and easy to work with.

In browsing the web, I found Lancome has an overview of these eyeshadows in English on the Lancome UK site (the color swatches are not appearing in Safari, sadly).  I also found several of these for sale on Strawberrynet.com.

The colors that I chose have a very soft and neutral look.  However many of the Ombre Absolue Mono series are extremely vibrant.  For example, there was a beautiful teal and a highly metallic silver.

Here is another view to show their reflectivity and texture:

I wish I knew more about the line–when I purchased these, I was moving quickly and so did not have time to ask about them.  For example, what do the letter designations “A,” “B,” through “G” mean?  I suspect they are different finishes.

So what do you think?  Do any international readers have any insight into the letter designations?  Do you enjoy these as much as I do?

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Jan 252010

The Pink Sith asks whether Green Spark from Lancome’s Spring 2010 Pop’n Green Palette is the same as the elusive Erika F., the grey-green eyeshadow that has been tantalizing U.S. makeup lovers for years. Well, the Pink Sith (as always) asks a very fine question.

In the interest of science, I did a very quick swatch comparison.  Here are two (very slightly) different views.  To really add to the database of results, I added Lancome’s Designer as well.  Designer is rumored to be a “U.S. dupe” for Erika F., which luckily was included in a recent gift-with-purchase palette.

Click to enlarge:

As you can see, there is a slight shade and texture difference amongst them. Green Spark is slightly “greener,” whereas Erika F has a touch more grey.  Actually, Designer shows up as a very nice shadow compared to Erika F.  Designer is warmer, so not a dead-on dupe. But, very pretty in its own right.

So, if you are type of person who thinks that 3,485 taupes are “different enough” to own them all (as I am), you will likely see a difference between these three eyeshadows.  However, if you’re simply looking for a very pretty shimmery green-grey you’ll probably think they’re all lovely.

But, just for the record, WHY won’t Lancome release Erika F. in the United States??  Whyyyyyy?

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