“I was always fascinated by how much the eyes say. The eyes have a life. Makeup only accentuates what you want to reveal”
Christian Louboutin, the man behind those covet-worthy red soles, has just upped the stakes in the world of colour cosmetics with his foray into eye makeup. Ancient Egypt served as the source of inspiration for this collection, in particular Queen Nefertiti and her famously sculpted eyes, while the luxurious packaging is an amalgamation of Egyptian lotus motifs and Art Deco symmetry — with studs thrown in for that iconic Louboutin vibe, bien sûr.
The collection is tightly curated, yet manages to pack quite the impact just the same and includes:
- 2 Les Yeux Noirs Lash Amplifying Mascara shades
- 3 Oeil Vinyle Luminous Ink Liner shades
- 5 Oeil Velours Velvet EyeDefiner shades
- 4 Brow Definer shades
From his many travels, Monsieur Louboutin also drew on the lushness and colour-rich landscape of India for this collection, creating products that are incredibly pigment-saturated with inspiration taken from the extravagant makeup worn by Kathakali dancers (a form of classical Indian dance). I confess that my heart definitely skipped a few beats when this lovely package from the Louboutin team arrived; nestled inside this elegant black box were two veritable works of art and a lovely personalized note on Louboutin stationary (what else?). I literally grabbed my camera and began shooting them on the spot. Can you blame me?
All props shown are my own. You might say that I’m a Louboutin fan (even if my feet protest, and they always do … but still)
Queen Nefertiti, whose bone structure and exquisite beauty transcends time
Oeil Vinyle Luminous Ink Liner in Khol (CAN $75.00) | Referencing the crisp geometric lines of the brand’s nail polish bottles but also adorned with a ring of brass studs, this liquid eyeliner also pays homage to the art of calligraphy via its flocked applicator. The dagger-like handle hints at the precision one can [hopefully] achieve, although my lining skills are still not quite there yet, while the formula was inspired by patent leather and comes to a glossy finish upon application. Also available in Rouge Louboutin (vibrant red) and Lady Twist (Indian kohl blue).
As stated above, I still haven’t mastered that perfect cat-eye but having a felt-like eyeliner brush does make it a lot easier to practice with. But here’s where it gets interesting; the formula dries relatively quickly so you need to work fast and one eye at a time, but that’s not all. This is a deep black hue and the finish is exactly as claimed: glossy, although it feels a little tight once it begins to set, which is probably a result of the formula ever so lightly pulling the skin a touch as it dries. It’s not an uncomfortable feeling, but rather unexpected and it took some getting used to initially — after that, it wasn’t noticeable at all. Staying power is impressive, lasting until removed without any smudging, flaking, creasing or fading.
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Les Yeux Noirs Lash Amplifying Lacquer Mascara in Khol (CAN $90.00) | Display-worthy, wouldn’t you agree? Housed in a hefty fluted gold-toned brass casing with a stylized lotus-leaf cap embellished with a ring of spikes, this can literally be a gilded column taken straight out of ancient Egypt. The brush is comprised of both vertical and horizontal densely packed bristles said to provide lashes with ‘definition, length, lift and curl’, while the formula is loaded with highly concentrated pigments for a luminous and long-wearing finish. Also available in Sevillana (rich burgundy).
Mascara is my weakness and my biggest beauty passion — and while I have claimed several favourites over the years, I am nevertheless always on the hunt for that perfect ‘one’; this one is definitely a strong contender for the title. The brush on Les Yeux Noirs Amplifying Mascara gave me pause at first because it appears somewhat large-sized but it turns out to be surprisingly easy to work with, with the bristles seeming to literally grab at lashes, lifting them and depositing colour from root to tip. A truly deep black hue, the finish was another surprise, looking exactly as claimed: luminous (so not flat), and lasted the entire day without ever creasing, flaking or leaving those dreaded half-moon smudges behind. Bonus: easily removed with a dual-phase makeup remover, and thereby eliminating the need for any harsh tugging on delicate lashes.
To be honest, I expected nothing less than luxury + perfection from Christian Louboutin and on that score, these pieces definitely do NOT disappoint. What I hadn’t counted on was the ancient Egyptian connection that enthralled my inner archeologist — coupled with the fact that the inspiration behind the collection, Queen Nefertiti, has always been one of my beauty icons as well. Hard to follow those acts, but once again the impossible was achieved by virtue of outstanding formulas. Expensive? You bet … but we all knew that was coming, am I right? Thankfully, both products deliver in spades (much to my credit card’s ultimate regret).
Available March 23rd at Holt Renfrew and select retailers
Media samples kindly provided, all opinions are my own