Photo by Rolf Hicker
One of the things I would love to cross off of my bucket list is to see the Aurora Borealis or the Northern Lights. It’s a beautiful phenomenon that occurs naturally when charged particles collide in the atmosphere. I’m not so familiar or well-versed with the science behind it, but I think you can see how beautifully the Auroras light up the sky. In Norse mythology, it is believed that the lights are caused by the Valkyrior’s armor. These were also believed to be caused by glaciers storing so much energy, they turn fluorescent.
Le Métier de Beauté has culled inspiration from this natural wonder and made it into an eye kit. If you’re not familiar with Kaleidoscope Eye Kits, they are 4-tiered shadows with colors that are meant to be layered one on top of the other, from the top shadow to the bottom. This method is called the couche de couleur and it is meant to bring about the ultimate contrast to the wearer’s eye.
Northern Lights brings together Ionic (pale pink), Sky (pale, powder blue), Magnetic (rusty terracotta orange), and Equinox (muted deep purple) in the order of warm, cool, hot, cold. The idea is that while you can use them individually or however way you’d like, they look best when layered top to bottom.
Le Métier de Beauté Kaleidoscope Eye Kit (Northern Lights), swatches over Benefit Lemon Aid
Now, I’ll be honest and reveal that I was slightly disappointed when I swatched these for the first time. From the buzz that’s going around online, I expected a hyper-pigmented bunch of shadows and I got what I felt was a sheer wash from the first two shades. When I went online to look for reviews on this particular set, Xiao of Messy Wands said that her Northern Lights Kaleidoscope gave a bit more subtle effect than her other ones (and she has a lot). Emilie of Cogitation Project told me that it probably wasn’t the best first eye kit to own. My heart was crushed.
Le Métier de Beauté Kaleidoscope Eye Kit (Northern Lights), layered LIGHT swatches over Benefit Lemon Aid. Top to bottom: 1 & 2 (Ionic & Sky), 1-3 (Ionic, Sky, Magnetic), 1-4 (Ionic, Sky, Magnetic, Equinox)
But I wasn’t about to give up on what essentially is a $95 quad. (I know, I’m crazy. I know. Just shoot me.)
Here is what my persistence got me:
Talk about subtle! My already crushed heart cracked a little more. Until I thought about it and realized—well, what’s wrong with subtle? I layered the first three colors and used the fourth, Equinox, as a very soft, quite thick liner. Looking at it some more, I have to say that I love that freaking gradient.
Anyway. Honestly & quite truthfully, I learned to love my Kaleidoscope and I’ve used it about five to six times since receiving it. I know I say this a lot when I talk about expensive products, and it looks like it’s my go-to excuse for buying high-end makeup, but I really value versatility. It makes me feel like the variety of looks I can achieve with this product makes it worth the money I spent on it.
I think Northern Lights has a good variety of shades I can mix and match and layer. I can wear this how I normally wear my eye makeup (lightest shade on the crease, darker shades on the outer ‘v’ and the crease), or use each pan as a wash over the lid and call it a day. While Musing on Beauty was not a fan of this product, she did say that trying the couche de couleurs technique with some shadows she already owned was not very effective, so that’s something that’s different about the LMdB shadows themselves.
At the end of the day, each shade had a beautiful, smooth texture and yielded decent pigmentation with a bit of coaxing. I like that the shade selection seems to be a wild mix, though as you can see, they come together quite harmoniously. Even when you use all shades at once.
I find that the packaging, apart from the shadows, is great for traveling (when you flip the top up, there’s a mirror that’s a useful size). It’s a handy size, but each pan contains a lot of product.
VERDICT: Velvety smooth shadows, with a selection that offers a subtle contrasting effect. I liked this so much, I bought another kit.
Will I repurchase? I would pick a different color.
How much? $95 for 0.49 fl. oz. or 14g
Where to buy? Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, or Zuneta for international orders.