Dolce & Gabbana Vulcano Smooth Eye Colour Quad

May 17, 2011

Dolce & Gabbana Smooth Eye Color Quad ($59) is new for summer 2011. It consists of a warm yellow-beige shimmer, a warm chocolate with reddish undertones, a berry shimmer, and a deep blackened purple shimmer. The consistency is soft and velvety like all Dolce & Gabbana quads with finely milled powder and sophisticated shimmer. I personally find the colors rich and smooth, but they do require a more careful application to maintain the pigment. If you apply these like MAC or Chanel, blending can make the colors disappear as they blend into one another. I recommend using separate brushes for the dark and light colors. Sponge applicators work too.

I couldn’t find any dupes, but I did a MAC attempt. The MAC colors are wonderful, but do not compare at all to the soft velvety texture of Dolce & Gabbana. If you see and touch a Dolce & Gabbana quad in person you will be able to notice immediately the powders are finely milled and very high quality.

Compared to MAC Ricepaper, Swiss Chocolate, Trax and Smut

For a cost per product comparison:

  • MAC 4 pro palette pans = 6.0 g for $44 (1.5 g at $11 each) + $6 for compact = $50
  • Dolce & Gabbana quad = 4.8 g for $59 (this includes the compact, mirror and sponge applicators)
I’ll let you decide on the value. For me, cost doesn’t just account for the amount of product, but also quality, packaging, where the product is made (Dolce & Gabbana quads are made in Italy). Do I prefer Dolce & Gabbana over MAC? Hard to say – I see them as apples and oranges. Both are great brands, but they represent different things for me. Their products are uniquely designed for different looks, effects and occasions – in my opinion.

Back to Vulcano – it was a tricky one for me to apply. Since the reddish shades (brown and plum berry) go on very red on me, I decided it was ok to wash them out with blending and layering. I tried applying this a couple ways and found that the method used in my recent Chanel Makeover at Nordstrom (here) was a good method to use for this quad:

  • Step 1: Apply a sheer base like LM’s Gold Metallic Creme
  • Step 2: Take a dense brush and pack on the berry shade (bottom left) in a messy smudge above the lash line
  • Step 3: Take the warm chocolate with a corner brush and blend from outer corners to about the middle of the eye, just above the lash line as well
  • Step 4: Use a fluffy brush to apply the lightest shade on top blending all over
  • Step 5: Apply the darkest plum shade with a sponge applicator to apply a defined line along upper lashes and bottom outer corners
  • Step 6: Take that berry shade and mix it with the brown, with any brush that has dark color on it already and retrace over the darkest shade blending just a bit upwards
For me, this isn’t an easy throw-it-on kind of quad to use. I think it would be better for deepset eyes or women who are used to wearing very warm colors (ie NARS Kuala Lumpur). Still it is beautiful and I don’t have any regrets buying it. It will just take more time and care to apply without overdoing the reds.

The promotional image with Scarlett Johansson is beautiful! For the accuracy of the promo photo, the nail color is more pink on me, but same purple undertone. The quad appears very accurate and the lip color appears to be the new Mandorla.

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  • Fantastic….

  • I'm really loving the colours in this quad! I was disappointed with the pigmentation in the other two D&G quads I've tried though so I'm a little torn. Thank you for your description of how you made the colours work for you and your application.

  • These colors are definitely warmer than I'm used to wearing, but like this quad a lot & especially love the deep purple shade! Thanks for the details on application — I look forward to trying this method out! The promo images are really pretty πŸ™‚

  • Anonymous

    Thank you for the fantastic review and for the application techniques! I find your suggestions for application particularly helpful (I followed your steps for the Chanel Kaska Beige quad that you actually linked to in this post and it looked amazing) and hope you will continue to share your application methods with all your eyeshadow reviews. Love your blog and a happy belated birthday!

  • These eyeshadows look gorgeous, even though they probably would look horrible on me haha! xx

  • Lovely rveiew Sabrina, I was undecided if I would be able to pull off this quad so I took your advice and called Nikki, she is sooo sweet! I have some D&G goodies coming my way! πŸ™‚ Thanks so much for sharing all your know-how with us, from the best in makeup to the best in customer service, I really appreciate it! πŸ™‚

  • Debra

    Your step-by-step application ideas are so very helpful to me. I was never really taught how to apply makeup. I just went with whatever turned out looking good, and stuck with that approach, but there are many ways to arrive at beauty! Your swatch comparisons are terrific.

    I find D&G quads uniquely beautiful but consistently too warm for my coloring (eyes, hair, and skin). The spring 2011 quad was cooler-toned but too pastel for me.

    That berry shade would be a fail for me from the start. But the color combinations of D&G palettes are exquisite. Maybe in the fall, D&G will offer something for me . . .

  • yvette

    I don't like the eyeshadows. I just don't think colors that orange/red look good on brown eyes…

  • Hi!
    This has nothing to do with this blog but I have some Chanel questions… Being from Iceland be dont have all the nice make up you have over there so I have to order everything online…

    But Im wondering about the Chanel V.Lum. Aqua because you say you are sensitive to fragranced products but I have read that almost all Chanel products are heavily scented? Does the Chanel Aqua bother your skin?

    And also, have you tried the Chanel Mat powder foundation? Heard it is supposed to be good… Also the Aveda Dual foundation?


  • Zazie

    I am thrilled! I recently discovered how well orange-y browns look good on my eyes: I usually steered away from unusual color combinations! I was the neutral queen, when it came to eyes.
    I think this color palette has amazing colors, and I am seriously tempted. Only the darkest color with plum undertones scares me: the Kaska quad from Chanel has a similar shade, which makes me look so tired… πŸ™

  • Thanks for the tips to learn about good application of the eye shadow.There can be effective use of the colors to make attractive and very sensuous eyes…lovely earth colors which are my favorite.

  • Anonymous

    I just had a HA HA moment reading your post!
    Well it was the dupe with MAC eyeshadows that really got me thinking. I live in Canada and there is no store carying the D&G makeup line, it is a shame but good for my wallet. They always seem to came with interesting color combination in their palette. So here is my version (with what I had on hand in my stash)
    Guerlain mono L'instant d'un baiser (instead of ricepaper) Lancome Chic in the Safari Escapade palette (instead of Swiss Chocolate) The darkest Rose eyeshadow in the Lancome 4romance palette (instead of Trax) and finaly Anna Sui 01 Eye color Duo (instead of Smut)
    By any mean the brand i use are not cheaper then D&G but it certainly prevent my to purchase another palette AND it give new life to eyeshadows that i'm not usually using.

  • Good set of make-up I love it so much

    Claire M.