Eye Elements Baked Eyeshadow & Highlighter Quad offers the convenience of having a multi-use highlighter and eyeshadow trio combined in one compact. Expect a shiny, dry, powder finish because this is a mineral product with mica and talc as its two main ingredients.
It applies sheer but builds well if you want more intensity. The finish is quite shiny, and, for the most part, the color combinations are workable for fair to deep skin tones—the highlighters come in soft gold and peachy shades, and they’re paired with eyeshadow trios in a range of eggplant purples or slate gray/blue combinations. The two sets to avoid are Sand & Sea and Meadow Skies, both of which offer unflattering, difficult-to-work-with color combinations for any skin tone.
Other than the interesting setup of this compact, there is nothing that sets it apart from other "baked" mineral eyeshadows (not to mention the whole concept of mineral makeup is silly because most of the ingredients in any powder qualify as "mineral"). Labeling the larger section of this compact as a "highlighter" to be used on cheeks—as well as eyes—is simply an application suggestion. The formula and shiny finish are the same for all four shades in the quad.
- Flattering, workable shades for fair to deep skin tones.
- Buildable color for more intensity.
- Some of the sets present unflattering colors for any skin tone.
- Shiny, no matte options; unflattering for wrinkly eyelids.
- Dry finish isn't as smooth as many other powders.
Laura Geller is the namesake line of a New York City makeup artist who appears regularly on QVC, where her line stirs intense curiosity—at least based on the number of requests we routinely receive to review it. Geller's line also has rolled out to several Sephora stores, a business development that has brought in droves of questions from women who don't watch QVC or shop its Web site. No matter: They all want to know if Geller's products deliver the goods and are a cut above the rest.
As we approached the attractively laid out displays at Sephora we were hoping to find exciting products that were indeed a notch above the rest. Regrettably, it took me only a few minutes to realize that, like so many other cosmetic lines, glitz and enthusiasm can go a long way toward making much ado about mostly average and overpriced products. (By the way, Geller sells most of the same products on QVC, though they're often in pre-selected "value" kits.)
We have no doubt that some of the curiosity about these products has to do with Geller's own enthusiasm for them. Watching her on QVC, you get the feeling she's the friendly next door neighbor who, upon trying your spaghetti sauce for the first time, comments, in her own inimitable but non-offensive way, that "it needs more oregano," and then proceeds to add it. Her goal is to make the process of becoming your own makeup artist seem easy and nearly effortless, and her products are designed to support this objective. "Be your own artist" and "make life simple" are catchphrases she uses throughout her product demonstrations, much to the delight of her models and the customers who call in to profess their love and adoration for Geller's products. There isn't a mascara or blush anywhere in the world that deserves this kind of praise, but we guess it helps sell lots of product.
Inspiration is great, especially if it empowers women to develop skills that lead to self-confidence and improves self-esteem. The downside is that Geller's products aren't "the best" way to become your own makeup artist—at least not if you're in the market for remarkable products—because there is nothing here that is not easily replaced by products from countless other brands.
Whether or not you'll like Geller's products over a competing brand's often comes down to personal preference and performance expectations. For example, if you want a water-based primer that differs from the many silicone-based formulas available, Geller's Spackle product is something to check out.
Most of what Geller showcases on QVC she refers to as "hero products," in the sense that they're time-saving, multi-tasking options for women on the go who want it all. The trouble is that the products she positions as "heroic" aren't nearly as multipurpose as she describes. She speaks of her Brighten powders (of which there are several) as being foundation, concealer, powder, highlighter, and insert-your-own-makeup-category-here all-in-one products, but they're absolutely not unless you want to walk out of the house looking unfinished, chalky, and shiny. There are makeup products available from other lines that can pull double- or even triple-duty, but we couldn't find one that does it all in Geller's assortment.
There are some worthwhile products in Geller's line, but even most of those suffer from being overpriced considering what you get. If there weren't similar products available elsewhere for less money, the splurge might be worth it, but in total, that's not the case.
We found it contradictory and downright ludicrous that Geller eschews parabens preservatives and has jumped on the "mineral oil is a no-no" bandwagon, even though dozens of her products contain parabens, and a few also contain mineral oil. If you're going to denigrate ingredients on television, the least you can do is make sure you're not using them in your own products!
For more information about Laura Geller, call (800) 625-3874 or visit www.laurageller.com.
Note: The Laura Geller products I reviewed are primarily the ones you will find at Sephora stores. These and other Laura Geller products are also sold on QVC, and several of the products have limited runs on the network. Most of the Geller products sold at Sephora are the mainstays of this line.