Happy hearts day!
Picked up these Kate Wide Edge Eyes at Watsons while I was still in Taipei. I started out having no lemmings for them whatsoever, but after visiting the store so often and walking by their display every single time, I just threw my hands up one day and bought them. Yup, that's how they get you. At least that was how they got me ^.^' Of course it made it all the more tempting when there was always some sort of promotion going on, and that was in addition to the majority of Japanese makeup items going for about 15-20% cheaper than Japanese retail. I ended up coming home with quite a haul, and that was after exercising enormous restraint. Ha...
From left to right: Kate Wide Edge Eyes in BR-2, BR-3, and PU-1. All pictures taken in natural light without flash.
These Wide Edge Eyes are decently soft and smooth for their price with the matte base and highlighter shade E (bottom left) so finely milled it feels like satin. The rest are less so, with the accent shade B (center diagonal) a tad gritty even due to all the shimmers. But they're decently pigmented eye shadows, and I do like that there are 5 pressed powder shades to play with. It's obvious to me that Kate was going for practicality with these color combinations. The 3 palettes I bought are nothing unique but are very wearable and quite pretty. Most Japanese eye shadows tend to play on the safe side anyway.
That said, having used them almost every day throughout my 4 weeks visit with my folks, I'm sadly rather disappointed with them. The instructions says (I think...) to spread the matte base and highlighter shade E all around the eye area (I swear Japanese can be hilarious sometimes - アイホール - har?? LOL!!!), and it's great in evening out my skin tone and prepared it for color. Once, in a pinch I even used it as an under eye brightener and it worked well that way too. However, it's a crappy base, flattening everything else I layer over, particularly the only semi-metallic in the lot, the accent shade B! Surely when you want a professional office look, you don't mean for it to be dull, and certainly matte eye shadows aren't supposed to be bland and boring. I've seen plenty of people wear seamlessly blended and flawlessly shaded matte shadows! But this one just seems to collapse any dimension that goes on top of it! So after the first few unsuccessful tries, I reduced to using it for inner corner highlighting only. Even then, I stopped using it after a while since the semi pearly base and highlighter shade A (top left) did a much better job without dulling anything!
Overall, I think these palettes were clumsily put together. Layering over the matte base and highlighter shade E didn't work too well for me, but without it the other shades are shimmery, so I wouldn't say they're office-safe like the Kiss Kiss My Eyes Glamorize Shadows or Lavshuca Melting Eyes. And while they don't have that high wattage or the metallic glossiness of the Eye Appeal Shadows, they aren't the sophisticated soft glowy shimmery type like the Coffret D'Or 3D Glossy Eyes either! And no sheer sparkly top wash! I know its absence is a plus for many people, but I'm disappointed because for me, this wash pulls together and enlivens pretty much any eye look I sport. So to be brutally honest, other than the PU-1 palette, the rest are not my favorite purchase and I probably could have done without them.
- BR-2: A pretty golden khaki palette. The problem I have with this palette is that the accent shade B and the medium crease shade C (upper triangle) are too close to provide any gradation. After blending, they look pretty much the same. When layered over the matte base and highlighter shade E, the whole thing just turn disappointingly lackluster.
- Top left, base and highlighter shade A: semi pearly, low intensity. A nice ecru.
- Center diagonal, accent shade B: semi metallic, medium intensity. A gold khaki.
- Upper triangle, medium crease shade C: shimmers, medium intensity. A brownish khaki.
- Lower triangle, liner shade D: satin, high intensity. Chocolate.
- Bottom left, base and highlighter shade E: matte, very sheer. An off white.
- BR-3: looks like a winning taupe combo, right? Nope. They flipped the 2 base and highlighter shades here, making the semi pearly one off white and the matte one ecru. The result is a fantastic semi pearly base and highlighter and a terrible matte base and highlighter that not only dulls whatever went on top, it turns them muddy, "dirty," and garish too. I tried a couple of times, and each time I looked like I was covered in dirt. Not cool. Also, the accent shade B and the medium crease shade C are even more similar to each other than those in BR-2! See the swatches for yourself.
- Top left, base and highlighter shade A: semi pearly, low intensity. An off white.
- Center diagonal, accent shade B: semi metallic, medium intensity. Taupe.
- Upper triangle, medium crease shade C: shimmers, medium intensity. A brownish taupe.
- Lower triangle, liner shade D: satin, high intensity. Looks grayish in the pan but swatched with more brown a dark chocolate.
- Bottom left, base and highlighter shade E: matte, very sheer. An ecru that's just...very wrong, for me at least. The swatch was layered so it's not as opaque as it looks in the picture.
- PU-1: the only worth while palette among the three I bought. The base and highlighter shade A has a different, and much better, finish than the other 2 palettes. The accent shade B and the medium crease shade C switched finishes with the accent shade B shimmery and the medium crease shade C semi metallic. They are two different but complementary colors that perform exactly as intended - providing great accent and contrast! Well, isn't it nice when things work the way they should!
- Top left, base and highlighter shade A: shimmer, very sheer. Looks sandy beige in the pan but swatched with much more pink. It leaves a gorgeous translucent and glistening wet finish!
- Center diagonal, accent shade B: shimmer, low intensity. A pretty pale lilac.
- Upper triangle, medium crease shade C: semi metallic, medium intensity. A taupe with purple undertone and silver shimmers. Gorgeous!
- Lower triangle, liner shade D: satin, high intensity. A deep brownish purple. Makes a very pretty liner!
- Bottom left, base and highlighter shade E: matte, sheer. A very pale pink it pretty much goes on white.