L’Oreal HIP Studio Secrets Professional Crystal Shadow Duos line is one of the most popular drugstore eyeshadows. I'm not entirely sure why, but I'll get into that later.
Cost: $8 @ Walmart (& other drugstores). Damn pricey for two drugstore shadows.
Packaging: It's interesting packaging, but also clunky. I don't know why they had to devote a whole separate section for one sponge tip. The plastic also feels a little flimsy and light. On the upside, it stays closed and I have no problems with it popping open and spilling shadow fallout everywhere (which it has plenty of).
Texture: Picking it up is a problem, it's very prone to fallout. Sponges or fingers work better than brushes in this case honestly. I usually just use sponge tips anyway ^^ However, once you get it onto your skin it's pretty easy to blend and leaves a silky sheen. However, there is so much fallout! Just look at my finger swatches and the powder around the edges of the palette in the first picture :\!
Staying Power: Too bad the lasting powder is...bad. Worse than the creamy Almay palette I think. I don't wear UDPP or shadow bases unless I'm doing something dramatic and these fade very quickly - under 2 hours I'd say. Drugstore shadows certainly don't have the lasting power of upper-end brands like Urban Decay and MAC (and they shouldn't be expected to), but Maybelline and Almay palettes last a respectable 4-5 hours without primers and a good 6-7 hours with a primer. A shadow that fades under 2 hours is ridiculous.
Colors/Pay-Off: Good, initially. Overall, the colors are very dupable though, look below and you can see it's pretty similar to the Almay intense iColor trio. The brown in L'Oreal is a tad darker with less shimmer. As for the L'Oreal beige, it's more sheer than Almay with less shimmer.
Blendability: Blends decently enough but you're dealing with so much fallout it's hard to appreciate this.
- Good color pay off, initially.
- Blends decently enough.
- Very pretty sheen.
- Very creamy and smooth.
- Lots of fallout :P So powdery.
- Not long-lasting.
- Clunky packaging.
All that said, I may have picked a bad duo. There's only one review for Darling and it was hated :\ but other color duos have more love. Personally, I will never re-purchase this duo (I'd return it if I didn't lose the receipt) and I probably won't ever try other duos in this line. $8 for just 2 colors isn't enough for me to bother :P
Other Hip Duo reviews: Musings of a Muse (really good review), Disflylatina