Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Le Metier de Beaute Modernist Merlot Kaleidoscope - Swatches, review and FOTD

Finally I managed to get my hands on this limited edition kaleidoscope from Le Metier de Beaute, released just in LA (I think) especially for Vogue's Fashion Night Out. I saw it on a couple of blogs on release and loved it but knew I couldn't get it, so I finally caved and paid a stupid price on eBay to get my own. Now it's here, I think it is money well spent.

Le Metier de Beaute Eye Kaleidoscope in Modernist Merlot
For those who aren't already familiar with the genius that is Le Metier kaleidoscopes, here is a brief description. They consist of four carefully selected eye shadow colours that are designed to work together with a simple layering technique. You can apply them top to bottom or bottom to top, depending on how intense you want the finished look to be, the first colour going up to the brow bone, the second up to the crease, the third over the lid and the last near the lash line. I freely admit that my makeup skills are severely lacking but even I can manage a half decent eye using these simple steps as the colour selection (hard work) has already been done. Although sometimes the four colours can look a little scary or an odd combination in the palette, once combined, they create a beautiful shade that focuses attention on your natural eye colour, not the makeup.

Top Colour

Second colour (doubles as a cheek colour)

Third Colour

Bottom Colour
Modernist Merlot is based around warm mauves and purples, my favourite colours as I know they bring out the green on my eyes. There are two matte shades and two shimmers, and I thought that one of the mattes would double as a blusher, hence my reason to spend more than I would have liked on this kit. The top shade is a shimmery warm mauve that reminds me a lot of heather. Then we have a matte dusky pink with light brown undertones, reminiscent of Nars Dolce Vita or Douceur. The third shade I think is where the name Merlot comes from. It is a burgundy shimmer with strong dark copper undertones. It could be described as a dark metallic rose. It is similar to the third shade in the Le Cirque kit, but that is more brown and this has more red in it. Finally, the bottom colour is matte dusky plum. This was a bit of a let down as it swatched badly and felt a bit chalky, but when I used it with a wet eyeliner brush, it worked fine.

Swatches left to right: Le Metier Fiji Lipstick, Le Metier Modernist Merlot Kaleidoscope from bottom to top (this picture was taken in artificial light so really doesn't show the colours in the best way)
I love the Le Metier Le Cirque Eye Kaleidoscope Kit that was released last Fall, and whereas that was on the cool side, this is almost a warm version of that same kit, based around a rich heather rather than the latter's taupe.

Le Metier's top makeup artist Mikey Castillo says women always ask hi8m for makeup to bring out the natural colour of their eyes and this is partly how the kaleidoscopes are created. The use of warm and cool, subtle and vibrant shades layered together attracts attention to the eye colour, not the eyeshadow, and according to Mikey, this is the most flattering and anti ageing makeup look. From the photos you should be able to see that what you are immediately drawn to is the green of my eyes, not so much the colour surrounding them. I love makeup that makes me look better, rather than overpowers my face, so this kaleidoscope (like most Le Metier products) gets the thumbs up from me!

Modernist Merlot applied to the eyes (top down)

Here are a few photos of Modernist Merlot applied to the eyes and cheeks. The other products used were:

  • Ellis Faas Skin Veil Foundation
  • Clinique Airbrush Concealer
  • Chanel Imitable Mascara in Purple
  • Le Metier de Beaute Eyebrow Pencil in Natural Blonde
  • Le Metier de Beaute Colour Core Lipstick in Fiji
Modernist Merlot applied to cheeks and eyes, Fiji on the lips

Modernist Merlot applied to the cheeks and eyes, Fiji on the lips
The second shade works really well as a cheek colour and has far less of a brown undertone when on the skin. After I'd applied the eye makeup, I thought I would go for my favourite lip colour, a pinky mauve, Nars Sex Machine Velvet Matte Lip Pencil but it didn't work. The look felt too much, a bit old fashioned, so I paired it with a new find, my only Le Metier lipstick which I'd originally given to my mother but recently stole back. I normally do my utmost to shy away from warm colours, especially on the lips, but this shade, Fiji, somehow just works. It is quite hard to describe as it isn't your average pink. It is mid tone and very warm, but instead of brown used to warm it up, it looks more like it has a yellower base. It even has a hint of coral to it. Not sure if that makes any sense but it is the best I can do! Overall, I really love it paired with the Modernist Merlot palette.

I'm not sure if Modernist Merlot is still available in the US, but if one comes up on eBay or Makeup Alley, I would highly recommend it, especially if you have green eyes like me. I know I will get enough use out of it to justify the cost. The lipstick I think is part of the permanent Le Metier range so that is definitely available in America. I find the formula very comfortable to wear and long lasting, leaving a good stain once the main colour has worn off. I can't wait to try some of the other colours, Uma Paro looks particularly unusual.

Le Metier de Beaute is available in the US from Nordstrom, Nieman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman. The Kaleidoscopes normally cost approximately £65. You lucky Americans!


  1. This is a beautiful palette and you're right, you are drawn to your eyes, which are incredible xx

  2. Awww thank you Charlie. Did you get your Chanel order yet? Having decided I could skip it I then read blog posts and convinced myself I needed 90% of it. Trying to hold off though until I see what you got. really like the look of the red lipstick and gloss though xx

  3. I'd like to say I'm not jealous, but I'd rather not lie to you... ;) The colours look so good and I love the look you have created, the colours just work so well together. Thanks for sharing this lovely gem with us x

  4. Wow, I was stalking this on ebay too but I couldnt pull the trigger! I am glad I didn't though, because I don't think I can pull that off :)

    Nice look & great review!


  5. Replica - I'm always jealous of stuff I can't have! Normally I don't post about things that aren't easy to get hold of as it can be very annoying but I felt this was the best representation on me of what I think the kaleidoscopes are about (bringing out eye colour) so thought I'd make an exception. Glad you like it x

    Cindy - Pleased I'm not the only one who spends too much time on eBay! Can't decide if it is a blessing or a curse as it does allow access to harder to find items, but then you end up paying way too much for them.

  6. This really is a gorgeous palette and it works beautifully on you. By the way, how do you like that Chanel mascara? I have a sample of the Inimitable Intense one and I really like it, might get a full size soon. x