I'm going to go out on a limb and say I didn't really love the latest seasonal collection from Lise Watier. Yes, the formulas and textures are top notch as always and the blue glitter swirl palettes (meant to evoke the shimmering light of the aurora borealis) are limited editions. But it's the holiday season, which means all the makeup and skincare brands are bringing out their A game in the form of blockbuster gift sets and luxe palettes that inspire unspeakable lust at first sight. There are hits in the Aurora collection (I'm going to talk about two of them right after the jump!), but there are near-misses too.
First, my fave: the Aurora Celestial Light Powder ($36) is a marvelous swirly blend of rose, gold, and brown that adds a lovely pink luminosity to one's complexion. I personally love illuminating powders and highlighters as a way of subtly adding life to overly matte, winter-pale skin. Because the powder is convex rather than concave and recessed, any excess product that the brush doesn't catch tends to spill over the edges and onto surfaces like your bathroom counter (or in my case, my beauty blogging desk). I suggest applying this one over a sink.
Isn't that texture lovely?
The wavy-bristled fan brush is just the right size to sweep over the domed product and cover both sides of the face and the forehead in 3 light strokes. I can't see it listed for sale separately, but it is part of the Exclusive Brushes and Pouch Gift Set ($69). It's a great brush to have for any makeup applications that require a light touch and soft edges, really.
My second (third?) favourite of the Aurora collection: the Iridescent Eyeshadow ($25) in 'Violet', if only because it looks so different once it's on. Iridescent purple in the case, duo-chrome smoky black and shimmery purple once applied.
Also in Aurora, Lise Watier is introducing 5 new shades of Rouge Fondant Supreme Lipstick ($24), shown here in 'Anna' (a berry-tinged red) and 'Stella' (a plum-tinged fuchsia). These are great EBLs: the pigments are tops, the shine is so pretty for evening, and the formula feels as creamy and moisturizing as lip balm. (Must be the antioxidant Labrador tea extract!) For a precise application straight from the tube, I like to angle the bullet and use the sharp edge to line, then the broad flat part to fill in with colour. My only quibble with these new shades is that they're an addition to the regular line. No special holiday limited-edition packaging, sadly.
The Palette Aurora Eyeshadows ($43) is fine in and of itself: pretty colours, good pigments and textures, just lovely. But the colours are reminiscent of the Quatour Imagine Eyeshadow Quartet from Lise Watier's spring 2014 collection—so much so, in fact, I'd say the Aurora palette is the spring palette's more dramatic, evening-appropriate cousin. For this reason, I'd give the palette a pass.
Overall, I think the biggest drawback to Aurora as a gift-able holiday collection might be the packaging, which is fine under normal circumstances but doesn't cut it next to the A game the other brands are bringing. The glittery blue cases in Aurora are sturdy, but they also feel light and plastic. What's more, the glitter looks cheap compared to the luxurious gilt and heft of comparable gift-able limited editions. I know Lise Watier is capable of more luxurious packaging than this. (See the leopard rose gold palette from fall 2014 and the palm-leaf-emblazoned ones from summer 2014 for evidence.) If only the latter two were still available, but alas, that's the way the cookie crumbles with limited editions.