My By Lauren Luke kits arrived today and I am seriously over the moon with them! I fully expected to be amazed, but they surpassed all of my expectations with the quality of the pigment and ease of application. I was so excited to share them with you that I started snapping photos right away -- starting with My Smokey Classics ($33).
First up, here are some swatches:
All of the colors swatched are in My Smokey Classics except Satin Taupe, which is by MAC. On initial impression, I was struck by how similar Antique Pewter looked to Satin Taupe, so I swatched them together to compare. They are similar, but not exact duplicates. Putting together a palette of "Smokey Classics," I think Luke made a good choice by including something similar to Satin Taupe, which is used by many makeup mavens to create sultry eyes.
Cashmere Cream is a matte, neutral cream eye shadow that doesn't show up so well on the swatch, but it makes a great highlight shade. Twilight Ash is probably one of the most intense eye shadows I've ever used. On my first go-round with it, I used waaaaaay too much and had to start over -- not because I overloaded my brush, but just because it is so incredibly pigmented and concentrated with beautiful silver flecks. It looks dazzling in the pan and doesn't disappoint in application. Raven Black is the kit's gel eye liner. Lastly, the two lip shades, Plumberry and Cranberry are beautiful pinks. With the intense eye shades in the kit, Luke was smart to balance it out with subtle lip colors. I was really impressed with the creaminess (not gooey or wet) of the lip colors. They also aren't high-shine, which I personally appreciate. The swatch photo doesn't include the two shades of eye primer (Nude Slip Dark and Nude Slip Light) and I just realized that I didn't swatch the blush, Peach Glow, but it's in there as well.
Although you can watch Luke's tutorial on application with this kit, I figured I'd show you my own F.O.T.D. Here is a close-up of the eye using Antique Pewter over the lid with Twilight Ash placed in a sideways "V" shape at the outer corner and then blended in. I then applied Raven Black to the upper and lower lash line and dusted some Antique Pewter along the lower lash line. There is just a touch of Cashmere Creme as a brow bone highlight and at the inner corner of the eye.
Here is the full Smokey Classics face including both Peach Glow blush (which is awesome) and Plumberry lip color (also awesome). I'm pretty pleased with this look and with how quickly it all came together. The nice thing about a palette is that you don't have to think too hard to get an incredible result.
Besides the gorgeous colors, I think the inclusion of the shadow primers and the gel liner is what really sets this kit apart from others like it. You can tell that Luke has had plenty of frustrations with incomplete kits and set out to design something that would provide everything needed for a complete look. Truly, the only thing missing is mascara. The only downsides I can point to are that the palette itself is on the larger side, making it somewhat awkward to carry around and the mirror that comes with it has some slight fun-house distortion. But, otherwise, I am a big fan of My Smokey Classics and I can't wait to start experimenting with it some more. Seriously, if you always wanted to try a smokey eye but are intimated, get this kit now. You won't be sorry.