Byredo's first eyeshadow palettes could easily double as a work of art.
While it's not often a brand creates a palette so gorgeous that it would look right at home in a museum, it's even rarer that the shades inside said palette are equally as stunning.
After launching its first collection of makeup products back in October, the cult-favorite Swedish fragrance brand has added a trio of eyeshadow palettes to its lineup, created once again in collaboration with avant-garde makeup artist Issamaya Ffrench.
The shades in each palette are curated based on narratives conjured up by Ffrench and Byredo founder & creative director Ben Gorham.
"Makeup used to have a kind of repetitive palette, but now there is so much freedom in color and its use, I wanted to design collections that actually connect to a story,” Ffrench said in a statement.
As for the actual packaging, the rippling oysters are sculpturesque, but were actually created with ergonomics in mind.
"The color story and high quality of materials are essential elements, but so are the objects containing the cosmetics,” explains Gorham. "These objects are tangible, personal and sensual. The clasp, the noise, the magnet... I wanted the idea of quality and performance through the structure and weight of all.”
The ripples make it easy to grasp the palette in the palm of your hand without it slipping, while the five finger-width, brush-down shades encourage you to experiment with your hands. But you can totally use brushes to apply the shadows, if that's your thing.
As for the formulas, they're densely packed powders that over long-wear coverage and buildable color, based on whatever look you're going for.
Being sequestered at home for the past nine months has mostly left me uninspired to wear any makeup beyond some concealer, mascara, and tinted lip balm, so these palettes couldn't have launched at a better time. The mix of shimmer, matte, and metallic finishes coupled with the range of pastel and vibrant jewel and earth tone shades actually made me feel inspired to play with makeup again.
VIDEO: Everything You Need To Know About Applying Makeup For Your Eye Shape
Everything You Need To Know About Applying Makeup For Your Eye Shape
It's half the battle when it comes to nailing your look.
Ahead, full details on each of three palettes, plus the looks I created with them.
Let's get into it.
To Shop: $70; saksfifthavenue.com.
Inspired by the 9-to-5 world, this neutral palette is ideal for subtle or natural makeup looks. The matte rust shade, shimmery beige, and rich espresso offer an iconic twist on "ubiquitous neutrals" and "modern minimalism."
I was immediately drawn to the shimmery beige, which shows up champagne with a hint of rose undertone on my skin tone. Using a fluffy eyeshadow brush to swipe it across my eyelids, I only needed one coat for intense color payoff. I paired it with the shimmery chocolate brown shade, which I swept on the outer corners, starting in the middle of my lid, and along the crease, for an easy smoky eye. To finish things off, I added a touch of the chocolate brown to the outer corners of my lower lash line, too.
To Shop: saksfifthavenue.com.
According to Byredo, this is the brand's "perspective on pretty." The shimmery moss green, iridescent baby pink, and metallic cobalt blue are all hypnotic, just as the brand describes.
While all of the shades in Syren caught my eye, I decided to play with the fuchsia and baby pink shades for a easy colorblock look. Using an angled eyeliner brush, I created a thin cat-eye shape along my upper lash line. Not all eyeshadows work as a liner because some powders are too dry, but the creamy texture made it possible to do the liner in one go. To further enhance the fuchsia liner, I traced over it with the baby pink, and added a touch to the inner corner of my eyes to brighten them up.
To buy: $70; saksfifthavenue.com.
Sciomancer is the boldest palette out of the three, and is inspired by glam rock/psychedelic musician Yves Tumor. The metallic violet, electric blue, and biodegradable glitter top coat all pay homage to Tumor's onstage persona.
The glitter is designed to be top coat, but I decided to wear it on its own for maximum sparkle. Thinking about fireworks, I tapped it onto the inner corners of my eyes to create a dense cluster of sparkles, then buffed it out towards the outer corners with a fluffy brush. I also tapped a bit onto my lower lash line. It has a gel texture that's almost solid, making it easy to apply with precision and not overdo it or get glitter everywhere. (We all know that shit is hard to remove!) Speaking of removal, I was surprised the glitter slid right off with an oil-based makeup remover. Finally, I love that the Byredo made the effort to create a glitter eyeshadow formula that's biodegradable and thus, more environmentally-friendly.
Full disclosure: I'm a Byredo stan. The brand's fragrances are among my favorite, with Eleventh Hour being my signature scent.
While I admire the whimsical (and often obscure) narratives the brand creates surrounding its fragrances, and the fact that the scents actually evoke these stories, I was skeptical about whether Byredo's foray into makeup would live up to the hype. The initial products that launched in October lived up to my expectations, and so do these palettes. All of the shades are gorgeous and the color payoff rivals that of leading eyeshadow palettes from other brands.
Most importantly, as I held the palettes in the palm of my hand and swatched all of the shades and began to play with them, I found myself having fun with makeup for the first time in awhile. Given that Gorham and Ffrench set out to create products that promote self expression through makeup, I'm going to say, mission accomplished.
The Byredo 5 Colour Compacts are available for $70 each at byredo.com, saksfifthavenue.com, and Byredo store locations in London, New York, Los Angeles, Paris, Stockholm, Singapore, Dubai, Seoul, and Taiwan.