Friday, February 10, 2012

Kate Dual Carat

I had these Kate Dual Carats on hand for the longest time but have only been using them recently. There were quite a few color combinations for these duos available back then, but I bought only 8, skipping the ones I thought I wouldn't like. Looking back now I wish I hadn't skipped them, especially that PU-1 purple combo. Oh well...

Texture wise these are smooth and blend well, though with some inconsistency in pigmentation. The finish is sparkly of course ^.^, though there are variations here too. Some colors have more shimmers than others, some are sparkly top washes even and aren't meant to be used all over the lids. I have experienced some shimmer fall outs from the sparklier colors, especially the top washes, but otherwise no fall outs from the others. They last for several hours on me before creasing, however for some reason they crease within 30 minutes when I use Estee Lauder Re-Nutriv Ultimate Youth Eye Creme underneath my sunscreen. Something in the Estee Lauder eye cream just breaks down both these eye shadows as well as my sunscreen like nobody's business.

Kate Dual Carats in BK-1 and BR-1. All pictures taken indoor with flash, unless otherwise noted.

BR-2 and BR-3

GD-1 and GD-2

SV-2 and WT-1

My honest opinion is that these eye shadow duos are kind of awkward to use. Most of them consist of a medium crease color and a light base/highlighter color, which means you'll need an a separate liner. However, there are some duos that have only light colors, which aren't very useful, because then you'll need both a separate crease color as well as a liner. And then there are some duos that have a light color and a more pigmented color that's along the line of a liner, which then leaves you looking for a separate medium crease shade.

- BK-1: both the colors in this combo are darker than they appear in the pan. That means the lighter color is a shade too dark to be used as a highlighter. Heck, it's already pushing the edge as a base! Mean while, the darker color is too dark to be used as a medium crease shade and really should be a liner color instead.   

- Left: shimmer, medium intensity. Despite its silvery smokey gray appearance, it's more of a smokey charcoal. See the swatch for yourself! It's really quite dark for a crease shade and makes a better liner color instead. The first time I dabbed this onto my lids the only thing I could think of was, "Crap, damage control time!" Then I proceeded to try and lift as much of the color off as possible by wiping off my brush after blending. Yeah, it's now used exclusively as a liner color.
- Right: metallic, low intensity. Again this one is also deceiving as a metallic silver in the pan when it actually has more gray, so it is a tad too metallic and dark to highlight the brow bones or the inner corners of the eyes. It's okay as a base, though I do prefer my base color to be sheerer as well.

- BR-1: a warm brown combo that's also on the pigmented side. I was afraid the colors might turn reddish on me since they look very warm in the pan, but luckily they don't. 

- Left: shimmer, medium intensity. Appears a caramel brown in the pan but turns more of a coffee brown on me. Although this color is pigmented, it is a medium crease color and is not dark enough to use as a liner.
- Right: metallic, medium intensity. A nice brownish nude beige that is actually quite pigmented for a base/highlighter. In fact, it's too dense and therefore might be frosty for highlighting the brow bones, but it does make a good base color.

- BR-2: this is a pretty pink brown combo that's popular among the Japanese ladies here.

- Left: shimmer, medium intensity. A taupe brown with pink undertone. 
- Right: metallic, very sheer. A pale petal pink that's too translucent for a base color. However, this translucency makes it a decent highlighter brow bones and inner corners of the eye, even though it's metallic. I wanted to use it as a sparkly top wash too, but shimmers in it are too fine for that purpose. There are some shimmer fall out with this shade. 

From top to bottom: BK-1, BR-1, and BR-2. Picture taken in natural light without flash. 

- BR-3: a very pretty taupe and off-white combo that's probably my most favorite duo out of the bunch. That said, the taupe color is unfortunately not as pigmented as the previous thee duos, but still I like it.

- Left: shimmer, low intensity. A gorgeous silvery taupe with purple undertone. It's not as pigmented as a medium crease shade should be, but it still works for me so I'm not complaining :P
- Right: shimmer, very sheer. An off-white that's even more translucent than the pink in BR-2 above, making it terrible as a base but a good highlighter. Again I tried using this as a sparkly top wash but the shimmers are too fine and didn't pop. There are also some shimmer fall out with this shade.

- GD-1: a warm burnish gold combo with metallic and metallic pearl finish, which sets it apart from the other duos that have only 1 metallic shade at most.

- Left: metallic, medium intensity. Burnish gold in the pan but goes on me with some copper too.
- Right: metallic pearl, low intensity. A pale but pearly yellow gold that goes on exactly as it looks in the pan. Makes a very nice base as well as highlighter.

- GD-2: I bought this combo solely for that bright yellow gold. I was hoping it would be something like the yellow gold in the Maquillage x Christopher Kane Jeweling Palettes 10 Noble Glamorous!

- Left: metallic, low intensity. A bright yellow gold that's not as pigmented as I had hoped, and so it goes on more like a golden yellow with the metallic finish isn't very visible, which is really too bad.
- Right: shimmer, very sheer. An ashen white that is actually a sheer sparkly top wash and not meant to be used all over the lids. The very first time I applied this shade all over my lids I was very sorry. Not only it was completely sheer, it left my entire eye area looking like I'd had an accident with the sparklies. There was shimmer fall out everywhere! So yes, for this particular shade, a light dusting is all you need!

From top to bottom: BR-3, GD-1, and GD-2. Picture taken in natural light without flash.

- SV-2: another very similar combo to the BK-1 above, with the silvery slate turning out to be much darker than intended. 

- Right: shimmer, medium intensity. Appears a silvery slate in the pan but goes on darker charcoal, just like the charcoal shade in BK-1. It really is too dark for use as a medium crease shade in my opinion and so I use it solely for lining my eyes.
- Left: shimmer, low intensity. A pretty pale lilac that makes a good base and highlighter.

- WT-1: I honestly don't know why I bought this combo back then because it's just 2 light colors that is different in the pan but goes on pretty much indistinguishable, save for their translucency and pigmentation. 

- Left: shimmer, low intensity. A translucent cloud pink that goes on pretty much white. Its translucency means a bust for use as a base, but for highlighting it's good.
- Right: semi metallic, medium intensity. A more pigmented semi metallic white that's a tad more opaque, making it a nice base but is perhaps too dense, if not frosty, for highlighting. 

Top to bottom: SV-2 and WT-1. Picture taken in natural light without flash.

It's been a while since these Dual Carats were discontinued, so they're much harder to locate and I could only find a few here and there online. Worry not, however, as the current incarnation for these, the Dual Blend Eyes, are supposedly much better in terms of texture and pigmentation and less shimmery for those who are averse to the sparklies in Japanese eye shadows. And the color combos are very similar too, so you're not missing out on anything with these Dual Carats being done away with ^.^ 

Kate Dual Blend Eyes
***Picture from Kate Japan.


team shops a lot said...

Oh my goodness they look so beautiful! Kate is actually my favourite drugstore brand.
I'm gonna have to ask my friend to pick up some for me when she goes back to Japan in March :) Thank you for posting the swatches!


D. said...

Hi Aya,

I'd be curious to know if you'll like the Dual Blend Eyes too! Thanks for reading ^.^


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