April 17, 2012

Part 2 of Surviving a Nightmare with review of L'oreal Open Eyes Pro Palette in Smokey Brown

"I need to drop by Watsons," I informed the boyfriend the moment we set foot outside the hotel. 

"Anything else?" he asked, grinning. 

"No! Watsons! Need! Now!" 

Realising that this was not the time to tease, he guided me straight into the nearest Watsons. It was near People's Square in Shanghai. It was sheer and utter madness. The sales promoters were shouting about their respective brands like fishmongers. Swooping down on the most taupey palette I could find at the L'Oreal counter (it seemed like the most reliable drugstore brand) I was stopped from whisking it off to the counter by a determined sales girl. 

"??????!" she ordered me in mandarin. 

Inwardly cursing my banana-ness I made her explain to me, with gestures and halting English that I had to pay for the palette FIRST and then return to collect it. 

Flustered by the complete paranoia displayed by Watsons Shanghai, I asked her to write up a bill of sale for me while I tried to procure a Maybelline Mascara. No dice. Even the humble mascara required the entire song and dance. 

Clutching the order forms, I fought my way through the milling crowds to the counter, paid, and fought my way back to the cosmetic counters, by then, in a bit of a snit. 

Clutching my purchases I burst gratefully into the clear, cold outdoor air. 


The palette seems pigmented enough when swiped with fingers but little of this pigment transfers to the eyelid I'm sorry to report. 

"Eyeshadow primers and good quality shadows have really spoilt me," I thought as I tried with brushes, fingers and even the useless little sponge applicators to shade and contour my eyes. 

The dark brown shade was good enough as a powder liner but the lovely taupey shade was terribly sheer, as was the mid-brown. As for the highlighter, it was reduced to a loose collection of sparkly bits. 

In winter, the eyeshadow lasted the day on my oily lids well enough, but I shudder to think how it'd do in summer. 

Eventually I got used to the sheerer lighter look but really, I admit I expected far more from L'Oreal than this poor performing shadow quad. 

When I got home, I tested my primer theory out by using the palette over trusty Paint Pot and the colours were just beautiful. Richly pigmented, shimmery and with depth they acted like totally different eye shadows. While I'm grateful that I can use this palette, I still think shadows shouldn't rely on a primer to perform! If so, then makeup brands should provide a little well of it in the palette.

Drugstore shopping in China is a downright traumatising experience where the shop assumes you're an evil thieving reprobate. I never want to repeat this experience again. Plus, L'Oreal was hideously overpriced at RMB150 (or thereabouts). 

The lesson I've learnt from all of this is to have doubles of everything I can't live without in my travel makeup bag. It was left out till the last minute because I needed to pop in my Paint Pot and concealer brush. I plan to simply double up on these old faithfuls now and pop the entire kit into my bag the night before!


Ria said...

Awww. That sucks :( I'd hate to not have my makeup and skincare. 3 years ago, I probably wouldn't have cared, but ever since I fell into the beauty world, I can't live without it! XD

In theory, I hate that primer theory (i.e. everything applies better: lipstick, foundation, eyeshadow, etc.) because I also think that items should perform well on their own. But I guess, in reality, I'm grateful for it, because primers can do wonderful things :)

That Watson's experience sounds bad :( Though, that "collect a bill, then go to another counter to pay for it, then go back to your original counter to collect the item" is fairly common in larger stores in China. But it does sound like that Watsons is really hardcore... Haha. Shopping in China isn't too bad if you ignore the sales assistants or make them leave you alone XD Though, I have been to a few Watson's in China and they've been all fine for me. Or maybe it's because I'm used to the slightly-annnoying payment method and slight-pushy-SAs? Haha XD

Kahani said...

Ria: Thank god I had my skincare with me or things would have been so much worse. I have the world's worst most persnickety skin.

And yes I agree that products should work well without primer, and better with. But yay for primers anyways. =D

Maaaaybe I overdramatised it. I don't do well with crowds, sales people or being makeup less. But I'm definitely not keen to shop in a packed Watsons in Shanghai ever again!

Syen said...

You're right about being spoilt by good eyeshadows. I'm glad I dont need primers anymore these days. All I need is either my MUFE aqua cream shadows or my Sephora jumbo liners, and I know my eyeshadows will hang in there the whole day.

Kahani said...

Dammit woman you're going to MAKE me give in and buy MUFE aqua cream aren't you?

HapaGirl said...

Hi Ladies! Longtime lurker here :) I enjoyed hearing about your culture shock experience in China because last year I lived in Malaysia for the summer (I'm from the U.S.) and MAN was that a different shopping experience for me! I walked into SaSa with my earphones on and was just browsing (silly me), but the SA's would leave me alone! And I thought that was bad. Sounds like China is a whole other ballgame. Love the reviews! :)

Kahani said...

Thanks Hapagirl! Oh yes Sasa is really annoying to all of us. We find Sasa Selective in 1Utama is less intrusive though if you're ever back. Better stuff there too. =)