You had to know I couldn’t pass up trying out another cream shadow (and a liquid one too!), right? OF COURSE during my last e.l.f. minispree (does it even count as a “spree” when the total is like fifteen bucks?) to pick up their eye primer, I had to toss a couple of these guys in my basket : Aqua Beauty Molten Liquid Eyeshadow ($4) and Long-Lasting Lustrous Eyeshadow ($3).
BUT HOW ARE THEY?
The Molten Liquid (here in shade Cool Steel) is a teeny bit challenging to apply — using the doe-foot wand to smear some onto your lid and then blend it around and smudge it out with a finger works pretty well. However, this yields coverage I’d classify as “semi-opaque.” It was quite pigmented, but if you want completely solid coverage, I’d recommend A) a primer and B) patience. I applied over clean bare skin, and while the diffused finish was really nice, when I tried to layer it (with wand, finger, or brush), the new layer wanted to pull up the first coat and render it kind of patchy. With a lighter shade or something that’s closer to your skintone, the semi-opaque issue would probably be less of a potential “problem.” The texture of this is quite wet (similar to the Armani liquid shadows and others too, I’m sure), but it does dry down and set within a reasonable amount of time, assuming you didn’t apply it too thickly. Also, it was still possible to diffuse the edges and “blend” it a bit with a brush, even after it had dried. The end result is a pretty standard metallic shade, with a strongly shimmering but not glittery finish.
The Long-Lasting Lustrous shadow (here in shade Toast) has a texture and density fairly similar to their Smudge Pots, but more bouncy/squishy and less creamy, if you know what I mean? I actually prefer the jar on this one, as it’s both wider and shallower than the Smudge pots (which, if you want to use your fingers for those AND your nails are actually past the tips of your fingers? You’re shit out of luck, because they’ve got a very small opening and there’s a solid quarter inch or more of empty space before you hit product, so you pretty much have to use a brush, or else scoop some out with the back of your nail and then smear it on). Application here was pretty easy with finger or brush, and this was easier to build up to pan color than the liquid shadow; it was also easy to blend out smoothly. Also? This particular shade is GLITTERY AS HELL. Which, personally, I love it but if you’re looking for a more low-key champagney yellow gold…maybe not ideal for you.
WHAT ABOUT THE WEAR?
I applied both of these to clean bare lids, no primer, to give them a chance to stand on their own. Sometimes the inner corners of my eyes are more sensitive than the outer, but the outer corners are more likely to get creases, so I put them on opposite sides of each eye. Which was a legit terrible look, but a perfectly serviceable testing scenario. Also, I applied them both more sheerly on one eye (below left), and more heavily on the other eye (below right).
The Molten Liquid, alas, irritated my inner eyelid a little — nowhere near as badly as many other shadows I’ve used in the past, but enough to make my eye water a bit, which of course accelerated the shadow’s breakdown (you can see how it basically disappeared from the inner corner on the image below right). No irritation from the Long-Lasting Lustrous. After eight hours (and remember, no primer, no foundation, nothing), they had both faded significantly, but the Molten Liquid was more prone to fading and creasing.
In two different lights, for your doubled edification : at left, on their own, swatched heavily. On the right, over e.l.f. Shadow Lock primer, which you can see renders them both a bit easier to build up to opaque.
VERDICT : Actually pretty damn good on both counts! I probably wouldn’t buy additional shades of the Molten Liquid (currently available in five other shades, all warm neutral metallics from pale gold to pinky champagne to mocha) simply because of the slight irritation I got from it. The Long-Lasting Lustrous, however, was pretty fab and I’d definitely pick up additional colors — except that it currently only comes in two other shades (mauve and bronze) which I don’t need/wouldn’t wear.
Tried either of these? Love/hate? Are you freaked out by my weird eyelid photos (SORRY)? Discuss!