Friday, August 29, 2014

Almay Intense I-color Smoky-I Kit Eyeshadow

This week is Almay week here on the blog as I’m reviewing a few of the products that I picked up for free at last month’s Almay Picnic event. The previous two Almay products I reviewed, Smart Shade CCLuminous Primer and Smart Shade Skin Tone Matching Makeup, didn’t wow me though they could be the right fit for someone else. My mixed feelings continue with the Intense I-color Smoky-I Kit eyeshadow.

Almay offers three different eyeshadow lines and this one, as the name suggests, is all about giving you a smoky eye. Says Almay, “Our eye-shaped compact enables mistake-proof application in three easy steps.” Four versions of this kit are offered, each one aimed at a specific eye colour, “The do-it-yourself smoky-i kit that intensifies your eye color.”

As someone who can be lazy at times, I like the idea of packaging together three complementary colours that play up my eye colour. Unfortunately, the kit for blue-eyed people like myself doesn’t enhance my eye colour because the lid colour is a rather dated shade of blue that, to be frank, looks gross on.

Art class taught me that one of the best ways to bring out a colour is to pair it with a contrasting shade. In the case of blue, brown, copper or gold work nicely (brown is used in this kit but as the crease shade).  Someone at Almay is clearly familiar with this theory as Almay’s Nude line offers a blue eye palette that is made up of browns. It looks lovely and I wish that the smoky kit was a tweaked version of what’s offered in the Nude line.

Other eye colours get better palettes and while brown-eyed people do get a kit made up of browns, at least that’s a colour you can wear to the office without looking like you’re trying to bring back a trend that needs to stay dead.

Though the designated lid colour in my kit was disappointing, the crease and highlight coloursa subtle-yet-shimmery bronze-y brown and shinier pale, icy silver are both quite pretty and wearable. I’ve been wearing them together for a few weeks now and have been quite pleased with the results. They go on smoothly, blend nicely, and with the help of a primer, stay in place. These aren’t highly pigmented eyeshadows but I’m okay with that; sometimes I want an eye colour that’s on the mellow side.

What is with that blue?
Of course wearing just those two colours doesn’t give me a true smoky eye but then it’s not like wearing all three would necessarily do that either.  A smoky eye isn’t just a matter of applying the correct colours; it’s really all about the technique, the right blending, smudging and layering. Almay does try to address this by including a helpful video on this item’s product page but really, there’s only so much the company can do. A real smoky eye is one of those things that ultimately you need to teach yourself how to do (usually with the right brushes).

Personally I view this kit not as one that’s specific for a smoky eye but instead one that contains two great colours and one dud.

Would I buy this product: I won’t buy this exact kit but I am certainly open to buying other Almay eyeshadow products, especially if I can find the brown shade that’s included in this kit.

Should you buy this product: Skip the blue-eye kit, even if you have blue eyes, but do check out the other colour combos. Just understand that your $10 isn’t going to give you an instant smoky eye; sadly no eyeshadow can do that.

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