I know nobody asked, but my biggest fear in life is coming off stupid — worse, actually being stupid. I never was the brightest kid/teen/ human being in any bunch… in large part because I never exerted enough effort. So what’s a lazy idiot like myself doing in graduate school (law school at that)? Sometimes I don’t even know. Other times I think I’m just trying to prove a point to myself. And when I’m actually thinking clearly I remind myself that I made the decision to become a lawyer with a bigger picture in mind; the cheesy picture of a future where I help others and make a difference in the world. It’s cliché, I know. Cheesy, indeed. But then it’s clear and I have something to hold on to. Something to make a big fear look small — silly, even. And hard work coupled with focus? That makes fear vanish all together. Hard work is half the battle, folks. Don’t you forget it.
So how does one segue from that into a makeup review? I’m not quite sure, so here I am calling attention to the fact before I proceed anyway…
There are some products that I can hardly wait to review for you guys because I already know it’s going to be love even before I’ve tested them out. The Ellana Mesmer-eyes Eyeshadow Quad (400.00 php)* is one of those products. Of course writing about it without testing it wouldn’t be very responsible of me, and it wouldn’t even technically be a “review,” so I wore this baby out nearly every day for one week and at least four times in the week after that. Now I can definitively tell you that I was a poo-poo head for waiting so long to buy this quad. The one good thing that came out of the delay is that I have the product in Ellana’s new packaging, which you are now feasting your eyes on.
To continue the feast and to learn more about the shades in this quad, click through!
First, let’s talk about the little packaging edit Ellana’s done. The illustrations are still by Soleil Ignacio, but the design wraps around the reinforced cardboard fully and there’s also silver foil stamping going on (see: brand name). It makes for a more polished look overall.
The design wraps all the way onto the inside of the palette as well, which is nice because that’s where most of the eyeshadow fallout rubs into the packaging. My older palette (on the right & bottom in the photos above) never really got too dirty, but this new one will probably look immaculate forever. Lol.
Now onto the Mesmer-eyes Quad itself. Sometimes I judge things too quickly — which is exactly what I did the very first time I saw this some time last year. I swatched it on my hand and dismissed all the colours as “too light” for my skin. Note that this is the same thing I did for the Blush Duo in Obsession/Fulfillment (review), which I ended up adoring. Lesson: you gotta actually try things on to truly understand how a shade interacts with your skin tone. Of course this isn’t always possible, but when it is — do.
I changed my mind about Mesmer-eyes when I attended that Ellana event I mentioned in a previous post. The MUA who worked on me used Charisma all over my eyelids. Based on that one shade, I was sold. Thankfully it’s not only Charisma that works well on my NC40 skin tone — Brilliance, Inspiration, and Sensational work too, albeit for different purposes and in different looks. Now what does that mean, you ask? Well it means that as lovely as each shade in this palette is, I don’t think it can stand on its own. And by that I mean that I usually have to reach for eyeshadows from other palettes to make a complete and polished look. That is the one and only bad thing I will say about this palette and it isn’t even technically so much of a bad thing. It really depends what your expectations of a palette are.
Now I’m not going to talk about the shades in the order that you see them swatched below, so familiarize yourself with the names of each shade before I get into it. Done? Ok let’s go:
Let me begin by pointing out that Brilliance and Charisma are shades that entirely separate quads could stand to be based on, if that makes sense. They’re both the “oomph” of the palette when a quad usually only has one of such shade. That’s either good or bad, depending how you see it. It’s awesome in the sense that you get two stars of the show…but it is inevitable that stars will compete, hehe.
Brilliance is described by Ellana as a “soft bronze” but I strongly disagree. It’s more of a rich golden peach. I can see just about anyone rocking this shade, as it is very neutral in temperature and it doesn’t lean towards being pastel-peach, which can look ashy on darker skin tones. Wear it all alone as a wash of colour or deepen the crease with a matte brown (pick a cool or warm toned brown based on your own skintone) to help emphasize the shade’s beauty even more.
Charisma, a “soft copper pink,” might actually have beat out Brilliance as a fave in the palette if not for the fact that I find that pinks clash with certain outfits. Not that your outfits and makeup should really match, but they definitely should not clash. I guess I’m just not in the mood for a pretty pink every single day. But man, this is a gorgeous (and unique) pink. It’s like rose gold jewelry… on your eyes. Yes. Think about that.
Inspiration is your standard “soft beige.” The colour is not unique but it performs like a dream. Ellana, how do you make these light shimmery shades that just don’t look ashy on darker skin? Whatever the answer is, thank you. My eyelids thank you.
Finally, Sensational. It looks white in the pan (and even in my heavy swatches above), but it’s actually an “iridescent gold.” It’s the one shade that I would say actually fits its name — when I use this, I think of a Vegas showgirl white costume with gold sequins on it. I use the shade mostly to top off other shades when I need a gold sheen right in the center of my eyelid. Surprisingly, this one also does not look chalky when spread onto the lid in a thin layer.
- Excellent-quality shadows for a super affordable price
- Two superstar shades (Charisma and Brilliance)
- Shades work even on darker skin tones
- Lightweight, pretty packaging
- Not a “stand-alone” palette
So yes, as you can tell by now, I do recommend that you get your hands on this palette, despite the little drawbacks. The quality and uniqueness of the shades makes up for every little flaw.
If you already have this palette, let me know how you like it and also how you like to wear Charisma! :) If you don’t have it, would you be inclined to get it? Do the shades look blah in the pan? Because I assure you, they really do come to life on skin. :)
Check Ellana out at:
Also available inside The Ramp branches at Shangri-La, Trinona, and Glorietta.
* Affiliate links were used in this post.