Monday, April 15, 2013

Coffret D'Or Total Designing Set (Picture heavy!)

Long review post ahead. Took me forever, sorry :(

I've been drooling over this Coffret D'Or Total Designing Set ever since I saw it on Rouge Deluxe last fall (who, by the way, is on hiatus *sniff*). Each set comes with a Beauty Face Shadow palette, 2 from the permanent line (EX-1 with 01 Peach Brown, EX-3 with 02 Cream Brown) and 2 limited editions (EX-2 with 05 Lavender Purple, EX-4 with 06 Lime Khaki) in a special rose compact, a mini Color Blush in either RS-17 or PK-22 housed in an adorable tin can with rose print, and a mini Bright Up Rouge (Creamy Liquid) in either BE-202 or PK-262.

The sets were released in later September 2012 while I was in Taipei, which sent me on an immediate hunt from Watsons to Watsons since not all branches carry Coffret D'Or items. When I finally found a Watsons branch that offers the set, they only had EX-1 and EX-2, while EX-3 and EX-4 were not available to them at all! Since I only wanted the 2 sets with the limited edition Beauty Face Shadows, I grabbed EX-2 from Watsons and stalked Adam Beauty like a psychopath and pounced on EX-4 as soon as it was listed - at a promotional discount, no less - scored! Good thing EX-2 and EX-4 each comes with a different set of blush and lip color, so it was perfect xD

Coffret D'Or Total Designing Set EX-2 and EX-4. All pictures taken in natural light without flash.

I wasn't at all interested in the Beauty Face Shadow palettes at first. Having seen the palettes in the permanent line when they first came out in Japan, their colors bored me to tears. Worse, my humble opinion is that the palette itself is ill-designed. In addition to the open cream eye base (top right) inside the compact, there are not one but two powder base/highlighters (left column)! This means you really only get three colors out of each palette, and that's already counting one powder base/highlighter at top left!

So first, the cream base, which I'm always iffy about. With very rare exceptions most other cream bases, and even some powder shadows (ahem - Visee Glam Nude Eyes!), will crease on my very oily lids. And being open in the same compact with powder shadows, it will inevitably get smeared with shadow dusts and eventually dry out due to, well, it getting aired with each application. As for the powder Dual Highlighters, they're totally redundant. Okay, fine, may be the one for the upper lids has some use, but why a separate for the under eye area? Haven't they heard of the concealer? Don't tell me it's only meant to be a "brightener," because, well, there's also a thing called a highlighting powder. I know some people may disagree with my point here, but I would much rather have a sparkly top wash instead of that superfluous "under eye highlighter." What a waste of a pan and compact space!

The compacts in these sets are understated and beautiful. They are rose vine embossed print encased in clear plastic, which leaves the surface smooth to the touch. But other than the pretty appearance this packaging is also problematic. You see, there's a flap of clear plastic attached at the outer edge of the case, on which the application guide is printed in white ink for people like who *forgets* to read the instructions on the outer packaging. During application you fold it outwards, and before closing the compact you fold it back in over the eye shadow pan. I guess it's also meant to be a half-assed cover, to prevent powder shadow dust from falling into the cream base, or something like that. 

Sounds fine and dandy, only the plastic flap doesn't do jack but gets in the way. Meanwhile, I still get powder shadow dust in my cream base :( Fine, so I'll just tear at the two thin strips attaching it to the edge of the case and be rid of it, right? Nope. Can't tear, because the plastic is thick and sturdy won't rip. Okay, I'll try popping the shadow pan out and peel it off. Nope. The shadow pan is actually glued on top of the plastic flap other half, the underneath of which is then glued to the case. So you read that right - the plastic flap has another half that's glued on both sides, the top to the shadow pan, and the bottom to the case! Arghh!!! The only option left is cut the flap off, but a scissor won't get as close to the pan edge as I'd like, so this is actually a job that requires an x-acto knife! Not exactly user-friendly.

Now let's move on to the good stuff ^.^ I actually end up liking the Beauty Face Shadows quite a bit, enough to buy the most recent limited edition palettes 07 Orange Beige and 08 Pink Bordeaux, which I will review next. No, I still hate the extra highlighter, and I still dislike the annoying plastic flap, but the limited edition 05 Lavender Purple and 06 Lime Khaki really won me over ^.^ Both are pigmented with superb texture and staying power! The medium and liner shades are so soft they're almost buttery to the touch. The highlighter shades aren't buttery but are still very smooth, especially the "under eye highlighter," which feels like satin. 

To my shock, the cream eye base does not crease on my lids! In fact, it doesn't budge at all and actually keeps the shadows for a good 8-9 hours until removal - a real accomplishment given how oily my lids are! It is shimmery, though the shimmers are fine and not gaudy or sparkly. As expected of a base, it evens out my lid and makes the color of the shadows pop. However, it also dulls the metallic shine of the medium shade, so it's not perfect. Still, I like it very much despite this flaw. I don't need much, just one light swirl per eye then dab to blend.  

I have to admit, it was these mini Color Blushes that got me paying attention to the Total Designing Sets. Can you believe each of the set retailed for 3,990yen? That's about 600yen more than a single Beauty Face Shadow palette in the permanent range! Seriously, 600yen extra for each of these cuties? Yes, please!

However, being super adorable and small these tins turn out to be thicker than I would like, and their lids don't close tightly. I'm impossible to please, yes, but I want to be able to take these blushes with me and I can't. I don't bother with the cute pink puffs either as I have my own blush brush. And this may be a deal-killer for some but both of the blushes are sheer. But other than the thick tin and the sheerness, these blushes were instant love for me. They are silky to the touch and somehow make my cheeks glowing and flawless! Wow! 

And the Bright Up Rouge (Creamy Liquid), seriously, leave it to Japan to make the most natural my-lips-but-better colors! For better or for worse, both these liquid lip colors cannot be anymore appropriate for the office ^.^ They have a satisfying texture without being sticky, and they're quite moisturizing. They also give such a lovely glossy shine they might as well be lip glosses, which was why I called them a liquid lip colors and not liquid lipstick. Unfortunately, these are also flawed - they don't last very long and the colors fade after a mere hour or so, leaving nothing but a veil of sheer glossiness. If you're looking for coverage, a statement pop of color, or long lasting color, these lip colors will sorely disappoint. Some may frown at their mini size too, but I very much appreciate their portability. I have so many lip products anyway and really don't need another giant full size tube of anything! 

EX-2, with limited edition Beauty Face Shadow 05 Lavender PurpleColor Blush in RS-17, and Bright Up Rouge (Creamy Liquid) in BE-202.

- Beauty Face Shadow 05 Lavender Purple: a neutral plummy purple palette that has too much pink to be called lavender. However, it manages to be romantic and sultry at the same time, which only makes me lament the missing sparkly top wash that much more. And you can barely see it, but in the below left picture there is a plastic flap hanging off of the outer edge of the pan. Urgh.

Top down, left to right:
- Highlight color (upper lids): shimmer, very sheer. Purplish white in the pan with very fine micro shimmers that gives a sheer veil of soft lustrous glow. I use this all over the upper lids as per the instructions as well as in the inner corners of my eyes.
- Highlight color (under eye area): satin, very sheer. Off white in the pan but is totally sheer. This color may look like it's matte, but under a direct source of light it will give off a luminous satiny glow. When I'm in the mood, I'll use the Stila #24A Blush Brush to pick up a bit of this and dab on my under eye area. Most of the time though, I skip it because it's tricky to use, and over application results in caky appearance. And when I want to use it as a powder highlighter, I can't because it's so small and my highlighter brush can't pick it up without getting the medium and liner colors too. So yes, I do think the palette is much much better off without this shade.
- Cream base: shimmer, very sheer. A very pale pinky white in the pan but since it's a base, it's totally sheer and goes on pretty much just a sheer veil of soft shimmers. One of the few rare cream bases that do not crease on me. Love it!
- Medium color: metallic, medium intensity. A dusty plum with a lilac sheen, making it too pink to be lavender. Interestingly enough, using this shade on top of the cream base will bring out its color but will dull its metallicity. While I like the color very much, I do wish it was a tad darker so I can use it on my crease. That said, it's lovely when used all over the lids as per the instructions too.
- Liner color: satin, high intensity. A pretty deep plum with fine shimmer that don't show and is a tad translucent for a liner shade. Thankfully, it layers well due to high intensity pigmentation and two layers makes a pretty plum liner ^.^

Swatches were done on bare skin with no base, which left the medium shade's metallic shine intact. Can you see the peachy sheen on the blush at far left?

- Color Blush RS-17: a warm and sheer fleshy pink with very fine peach micro shimmers. The shimmers themselves aren't visible, but depends on how the light hits, the blush will reflect a peachy sheen. Very pretty! Again it's rather sheer, so it may not show up at all on some people. I love it though. It gives me a very flattering flush, and as mentioned above, the formula of the blush is such that it makes my cheek glowing and flawless, and I can sure use some of that ^.^

- Bright Up Rouge (Creamy Liquid) BE-202: it swatched a pinky beige on the back of my hand but goes on my lips a very natural warm peach with a slightly pearly gold sheen. This color matches my natural lip color a little too well, so well after it fades, I get a sheer gloss and that's it -.-' Also, I felt it makes a poor pairing with the pink-purple theme of this set EX-2 and it really should belong in set EX-4, which has more of a taupe-olive theme.

EX-4 with limited edition Beauty Face Shadow 06 Lime KhakiColor Blush in PK-22, and Bright Up Rouge (Creamy Liquid) in PK-262

Beauty Face Shadow 06 Lime Khaki: this is a taupe olive palette and there's nothing limey about it ^.^ Unlike 05 Lavender Purple above, the medium shade in this palette is darker and just right as a crease color while the liner shade has no translucency and makes a kick ass liner! So between the two Total Designing Sets, I have EX-2 for days and EX-4 for nights. I know I voiced a few complaints above but I really am very happy with my purchase xD

- Highlight color (upper lids): shimmer, very sheer. A pale yellow-tinted green that worried me at first glance as many base/highlight colors like this tend to bring out too much of the yellow in my skin. But not this one ^.^ It applies a pale foamy green with white shimmers and no hint of any yellow - phew! This highlighter shade is slightly more shimmery than the purplish white above in 05 Lavender Purple. Still, the shimmers are more sophisticated and not sparkly or gaudy.
- Highlight color (under eye area): satin, very sheer. Off white in the pan, but again totally sheer and gives a luminous satiny glow under a direct source of light.
- Cream base: shimmer, very sheer. Off white in the pan but is totally sheer going on, leaving a sheer veil of soft shimmers. Again, does not crease on my oily lids, which is just amazing!
- Medium color: metallic, medium intensity. A gorgeous taupe that's has an even more pronounce metallic sheen than the dusty plum in 05 Lavender Purple. It's just perfect as a crease shade, but sometimes, for depth I wear it all over my lids anyway as per the instructions ^.^
- Liner color: shimmer, high intensity. The most perfect deep olive ever in a satiny base with greenish "floating" shimmers that add just the right amount of sparkle. It's more opaque than the deep plum in 05 Lavender Purple above and no layering is required. One of the most beautiful liner shades I've ever encountered!

Swatches done on bare skin without base.

- Color Blush PK-22: a warm pinky peach. No different color sheen with this one, but it's still very pretty and makes my cheeks look flawless. Again, it's a rather light color that will work better on lighter skin tones.

- Bright Up Rouge (Creamy Liquid) PK-262: my-lips-but-pinkier, a warm flush pink that's more demure, and flattering, on my lips than swatched. It has no slight pearly gold sheen like BE-202 above but is instead slightly milky. I was iffy about this milkiness, but thank goodness it blends and adapts to my lips, leaving yet another very natural color perfect for the office. Unfortunately, the color doesn't last long and after an hour or so, a sheer glossy sheen is all that's left.


Magic Chic said...

Oh my, the packaging is so cute and I love anything with floral design!

D. said...

Hi Magic Chic,

Thanks for reading and commenting!

Agreed. The cute packaging was what sold me ^.^


Tshering Yangzom said...

I spend a whole day at Coffret D'or's stores on my visit to Japan! The packaging and the presentation is to die for!
Great swatches!
do check out my international Mac giveaway! xx

D. said...

Hi Titi!

I would too ^.^ The packaging was the reason I bought these sets. The plastic flap thing was a surprise, but otherwise everything is adorable!

Thanks for reading and leaving a comment.


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