If you remember my post near the end of January called Trial & Error, I mentioned I have been testing out the new Hourglass Modernist Eye Shadow Palette in Monochrome. Well, I think I’ve come to a conclusion about the palette, though I am still a bit torn. There seem to be a number of mixed reviews on these palettes and I can totally see why. For one thing, I think everyone wants to love these. They are gorgeous to look at and they’re from Hourglass. They make fantastic products, so why wouldn’t these palettes be as well? J Well, let’s look beyond the pretty shiny packaging and spectacular 3D rippled powders and talk about the reality of the palette!

As I just mentioned, these palettes are visually stunning. They have the standard Hourglass kind of brownish-bronze metallic outer case that feels luxurious and special and includes a generous mirror. The size of this palette is not quite as large as the Ambient Lighting or the Blush Palettes, but there still appears to be a decent amount of product for the eyes. The eye shadows inside are pressed into a stunning ripple pattern that runs across the 5 different shades in the palette (though there is no separation between colors which kind of bothers me) and it just looks so pretty! The palettes have the look suited to the hefty $58 price tag that’s attached.

I had a very difficult time picking out a color palette when I ordered this. Partly because I was just looking at product photos on Sephora’s website, but even having looked at them in person it would be difficult. The colors are mostly neutral, with a few subtle colors thrown into a few palettes. Each palette seems to have a mix of finishes as well, with the exception of one quintet of all matte shadows – I believe that is the Atmosphere palette. I chose the Monochromepalette, which consists of 3 mattes – a warm ivory, a rosy shade and a rosy medium brown – an satin fawn brown, and what I think is another satin in a deep brown tone, though it looks mate swatched. The colors are all quite pretty, subtle and definitely pretty much monochromatic. I actually kind of like the shades, which is part of the reason I’ve had trouble coming to a conclusion about this palette.
The first thing that stood out to me when using this palette was the incredible soft, powdery consistency of the matte shadows. I was actually quite shocked by just how much powder is kicked up by just gently touching a brush to the shadow. Conversely, the frosty-satin fawn shade is actually quite stiff and very difficult to get the shadow to transfer from a brush to the skin. Though the texture threw me a bit, I feel like the mattes actually apply pretty well and blend so effortlessly…though it may be too effortlessly for some. It can be easy to blend to shades away or just muddy everything you’ve applied. The stiffer pearlized shade takes a lot of building up for it to be very noticeable, and once applied I feel like it almost makes my eyelids look a bit crepy and older than they ordinarily appear. Somehow I still really liked the overall looks created by this palette though.
Can you see the powder kicked up in the shadows? No bueno!
The pigmentation is kind of average, though the palette is so light in tone and monochromatic that it was actually kind of difficult to tell how pigmented each shadow was. They swatch alright, but on the eyes they seem to give more of a subtle wash of color. Because of both these things and that the shades really aren’t all that dissimilar to my skin tone, the Monochrome palette creates a verynatural look. Nothing wrong with that, but I found it practically impossible to make looks that looked much different, or had much drama to them without adding other shadows as well. I’m not sure the ultimate looks created justify spending the hefty price tag. There is just not enough variation and the quality is at best sub-par to just average. However, something about these shades is still just really pretty on the eyes and I personally love how well the matte shades blend (I tend to be insanely light handed when applying everything). I also really, really love the matte rosy-brown shade and almost want to keep the palette just for that shadow. But alas, I probably won’t.
If you haven’t guessed by now, I really don’t think this palette is worth it. It’s beautiful to look at and the shadows are ok, but nothing really special. Five average shadows in rather unremarkable colors are just not worth $58. Don’t get me wrong, I likethe colors and they may not actually be dupable, but the looks you can create are minimal and look minimal on the eyes. Not a great effect for $58. If this were say a $30 palette, I might say that it’s worth a try, but the price you’re paying for what you get just doesn’t seem worth it to me. Maybe a different shade would be better, but after finally seeing them in person, I can’t say that I really like the other shades either, nor am I impressed by the color combinations. Not to mention, the testers looked like had been through battle due to the ultra-soft textures!  As much as I want to love the new Hourglass Modernist Eye Shadow Palettes, I think they’re best to admire for the pretty packaging and leave them on the shelves.

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