If you are a Lunasol fan, you might remember that spring 2007 was a big season for the brand. Its fall 2006 Scent Purification collection, featuring the beautiful Scent Form Eyes palettes, was very well-received, but it is the spring 2007 collection that elevated the brand to the very top of Japanese cosmetics.
The title of the collection is Zesseinohada, which roughly means “the ultimate skin”. The items in the collection were not designed to add colors to the face. Instead, they were formulated to enhance and sculpt facial features and the overall complexion with subtly nuanced hues. This popular collection featured the Skin Modeling Eyes series, which included four variations (01 Beige Beige, 02 Beige Orange, 03 Beige Pink, and 04 Beige Aqua).
Very quickly, 01 Beige Beige emerged as the most popular variation. According to Lunasol, the brand made more than 100 neutral-toned prototype shades in order to put together the best possible combination. However, what I don’t think even the brand expected at the time is the palette’s immense and enduring popularity. For example, it has been Biteki readers’ number one eyeshadow palette every year since 2007 (according to the magazine’ annual polls). In Japan, this seemingly plain and ordinary palette is the it eyeshadow palette.
(The palette is also featured in Lunasol’s 10th Anniversary Makeup Palette and several makeup kits in recent years (Skin Modeling Eyes Starter Kit (2010), Skin Modeling Eyes Kit (2011), Lunasol Starter Kit 2012, and Skin Modeling Eyes Kit 2013).)
As a fan of Lunasol, I had been thinking about having first-hand experiences with this legendary item, and I finally decided to try it towards the end of 2011. (Many thanks to a friend of mine who purchased it for me in Japan!)
The four shades in this palette are (clockwise from top-left):
– pale champagne gold, softly pigmented, highly pearly with shimmer and sparkles
– light peachy beige, softly pigmented, gently pearly
– dark warm brown, pigmented, subtly pearly with fine shimmer
– light beige, softly pigmented, softly velvety
The powder generally has a smooth and velvety texture and is very blendable. The colors have a good lasting power.
The light peachy beige (on the top-right) and the light beige (on the bottom-left) look fairly similar in the pan. The light beige is slightly darker, while the light peachy beige is lighter, warmer, and more light-reflective.
The photo below shows the differences in color tone and color depth a little better.
The pale champagne gold is the only shade with obvious shimmer. It can be used as a base or a top coat. I tend to be light-handed with it as it can look slightly too sparkly for daytime wear.
My favorite shade of the palette is the light peachy beige. I wear it both on the upper eyelids and along the lower lashlines, and I like how it unifies the skin tone and subtly illuminates the eyes.
Whereas the light peachy beige doesn’t create a shadow, the light beige works as a subtle shadowing shade. If you would like a slightly more pronounced shadow from the light beige, don’t layer the pale champagne gold or the light peachy beige underneath it.
The dark brown is an effective eyelining shade. The well-pigmented shade goes on smoothly and defines the eyes well.
If you expect Beige Beige to have pigmented colors that create impactful gradations, then you will be very disappointed. If you want a neutral palette with luscious bronzes or sensual taupes, then this palette is not for you either. After using this palette for some time and in different ways, I have realized that it is essentially an eye perfecter that has to be appreciated in its own way. Its brilliance lies in its discreet, understated, and elegant subtlety. It sculpts the eyes with subtly varied colors and finishes that mimic the highlighting and shading properties of the natural light.
This is a very easy-to-use palette and it is hard to go wrong with it. On the other hand, if you do want more drama from this palette, you can make more use of the sparkly pale champagne gold and the deep brown.
Overall, I like the sheer simplicity of this palette, which not only reflects one of the many facets of the Japanese aesthetics but also is the result of expertly-engineered design. Even though, to be honest, this is not my number one eyeshadow palette, it creates a beautifully seamless no-makeup look that brings out the best of my eyes. Maybe this is the ultimate reason for its popularity……