Christian Louboutin launched new eye shadows in two finishes called the Tape a l’Oeil Metallic Eye Colour and Matte Nude Eye Colour ($50 each for 7 ml/0.23 fl oz). These are eye colors with intense pigment color payoff. I received four colors to test and also purchased two additional shades to review.
Above from left to right: Lola, Zefira, Carnelian, Andalusite, Morganite and Pyrite
The Matte Nude Eye Colour shades come with an oil-based gel formula which goes on like a fluid, dries and sets quickly to a matte finish. I have Lola which is a pale pink peach nude and Zefira which is a deeper brown. These are intended to be skin-matching or contrasted for a brightening or contour effect. I will be frank to say I had low expectations for the matte shades as most fluid or cream mattes tend to look very flat on my skin, but Lola is the best all over base I’ve ever tried. It sets quickly but I only need to dab a little and blend all over the lid for a perfect canvas. Since it is matte I do need to make sure that whatever I layer on top isn’t too dry, slightly creamy powders or shimmers layer nicely on top. These are very opaque and since they dry quickly I recommend blending with a small brush quickly after you dab it on the eyes. Zefira is a deeper brown which I can use as a liner or a soft smokey eye. Since it’s really intense I can blend it out but I have to do so in sheer layers and move quickly. I would like to see if there is a shade one shade darker than Lola, it’s hard to tell online but I have these on my list to check out the next time I’m at a counter.
The Metallic Eye Colours are also excellent. These are intense pigments that have a mix of water and metallic color for a reflective finish. I tried four of the colors which vary slightly in finish. Three of them are more smoother metallics while one has more intense sparkle. Andalusite is a smokey metallic olive green, Carnelian is a beautiful metallic red, Pyrite is the most perfect medium tan gold. The sparkly one is Morganite which I love, it’s a warm pink sparkle. Like the mattes, the metallics also dry quickly so blending fast is key. I can dab and brush with the applicator for Pyrite and Morganite and since they’re lighter in color I can also blend with fingers. The deeper ones require a little more precision so I use the brush applicator and a separate detail brush to blend.
The deeper colors I tested are so beautiful but just not my vibe. I find anything olive or green challenging for me to wear, so Andalusite requires a smokey black or deep brown liner to make it work. Carnelian is one of those stunning reds I cannot pull off, but the color and pigment is really nice though.
A closer look and swatches:
Aside from the steep price the only other downside I see is that the packaging is not super convenient for putting in your everyday makeup bag or for travel. The long spikes are typical of the Louboutin design – ornate like a lavish piece of art or ornament. The long handle is nice to have with application and it felt comfortable in the hand in the width and length. The brush applicator is decent. I like it a lot more than I would have if it were a sponge applicator, but I have individual brushes that I prefer using instead. Still it is slim so it won’t take up too much room if you want to take it with you on a trip.
Out of the colors my favorites are the two I purchased, Morganite and Pyrite. Up first a look at Morganite worn below. Also wearing the Laura Mercier Flawless Foundation in Buff, Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Powder, Lip Color is Tom Ford Lip Color Matte in First Time.
Pyrite with some added mascara and liner in the bottom photo:
Left side is blended, right side has more layered. You can layer more for more pigment and even combine the different colors together for a different (or more complete) look. I try to swatch colors alone so you can get a sense of what they look like by themselves.
Overall I think Louboutin has created some excellent formulas for eye color. They exceeded my expectations formula-wise. Based on the fact that I did not like their mascara that much I though I might have luke-warm feelings towards the eyeshadows as well, but I really like them. I do think that Pyrite has a vibe to other golden tan shades like Charlotte Tilbury Eyes to Mesmerize in Bette or Marie Antoinette and Morganite looks like Bobbi Brown’s Long Wear Cream Shadow in Golden Pink on me, but the Louboutin formula is different. Since it’s more of a fluid with metallic pigments it stays put on the skin significantly longer on me. Once it sets and dries I feel like it’s budge-proof on me. The shimmer is also a little more intense without being too glitzy. For the holiday season I think long-wear makeup you don’t have to worry about moving through long parties or events is a must which make both of them worth the splurge for me.
Performance and quality wise I give these a solid A+ but I do think you can get a similar effect with other cream shadows out there. Granted they might not be the same formula-wise as I do think the fluid texture is unique. I do think some of the colors can be duped – maybe not the red one, it does seem rather unique to me for a cream/fluid product.
You can find the Christian Louboutin Tape a l’Oeil Metallic + Matte Nude Eye Colour available now. There are six metallics and six mattes to choose from. Available at Christian Louboutin, Nordstrom, Sephora, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue.
Lola, Zefira, Carnelian and Andalusite gifted. Morganite and Pyrite purchased by me.