With seven eyeshadow shades in “four fashion finishes: buttery matte velvet, shimmering satin, sparkling silk, and metallic lamé” the Eye-Conic Multi-Finish Eye Palettes from Marc Jacobs are all about fashion for the eyes. In slim, sleek packaging each color story is designed to provide both wearable neutrals and pops of vibrant color. We have four of these palettes between us and we’re serving up swatches, eye looks and opinions on them all.
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Tested July 2020
I have two Eye-Conic Multi-Finish Eye Palettes: 760 Smartorial and 790 Fantascene. They are totally different, and I consider Fantascene my “everyday” Marc Jacobs palette and Smartorial my “dramatic look” Marc Jacobs palette. Let’s do a rundown of each palette and then I’ll wrap up with more general thoughts about the formula and wear.
I remember ordering the Smartorial palette online and thinking it was a little out of my comfort zone. And that’s why I bought it.
Most of the colors here come off dark (or bright!) and lean in the blue-green direction. Although there is a light shade called Whenever, it’s very close to the color of my skin so it works primarily as an all-over base shade. I also use it over the other shades to either tone them down or create a creamier blend.
Five of the seven shades are highly pigmented go big or go home colors. I love (For Once) because it’s a metallic mermaid color, and the bright pop of blue called Power Platforms is immensely fun but somewhat hard to work into a look with the other shades. I use it on its own as an eyeliner with a little setting spray on the brush. With my eyes open it’s not super noticeable, but every time I blink or look down, it’s a fun surprise.
There isn’t really a way to use most of these shades without automatically having a smoky eye look on your hands. The gray-brown Runs The Show that I’m always tempted to use as a crease shade is actually quite deep on me; and a little goes A LONG way, so once I have this on, the look is already dramatic. I can use the navy-with-a-hint-of-forest-green called Make Sure on the outer edge, and usually tap my brush on the back of my hand before applying it to my eye. These shades are that pigmented and it is really easy to end up with a dark mess on the eye if I don’t spend a minute thinking about where I want to place these shades and what brushes should be used to create some precision.
So, although Smartorial has some beautiful and unique colors, it’s not for everyone and I would probably supplement this with other shadows from different palettes to do most of my eye looks. When I need well-made, long-lasting deeper shades that aren’t black, this is the palette to crack open.
A postscript to my Smartorial review: I’m having trouble finding it online, which makes me think it may have recently been discontinued? I still decided to include it here in case it’s something some of you already have or can find on sale somewhere. In fact, it appears several Eye-Conic Multi-Finish Eye Palettes are currently discounted on the Marc Jacobs website. These don’t usually go on sale, so this may be a rare opportunity to try one for less than $24 (more than half off the usual retail price). Get ’em before they’re gone!
Next up is the gorgeous Fantascene palette. I’m not entirely sure why this palette is white with rose gold accents while the others are black and silver, but I do love it.
A mixture of soft pinks, coral and some brown tones, this is the kind of palette I could use on a daily basis.
There are enough matte shades in here to balance the metallics and shimmers and I can keep my eye looks light and ethereal with this palette.
I can definitely go darker with For More, but I like the other shades so much I stick mostly to the pinks. Something about the cool-toned, not gray but not brown Covets shade really speaks to me. In the look below, I had fun using it to shape the outer portion of the eye and then pop She Said into the inner corner with a small, wet shadow brush.
If I had to pick a favorite between my Marc Jacobs palettes, it would be Fantascene for sure.
Now, in terms of formula, these palettes are mostly amazing. They last on the lid forever and don’t crease (I always use eye primer of some kind); they stay vibrant and blend so well. They are very messy in the pan, however, with a lot of kick back. If you actually use the mirror that comes with these, keep the plastic cover that goes over the pans in order to prevent loose shadow flecks from coloring your reflection.
I absolutely tap off almost all the excess product from my brush before applying these shadows, and still get strong color payoff with the mattes and satins. The more metallic, shimmery shades across the board look a lot prettier when applied with a fingertip because this preserves their finish and keeps them from sheering out and losing glitter. As long as I remember to do this, the fallout under the eyes is very minimal.
All in all, these palettes are filled with beautiful, high quality eyeshadows. The packaging is different from anything else on the market and makes me feel like I am using a palette created by a designer. They are on the pricier side at about $50 each, but if you are looking to invest and find a color story amongst the brand’s offerings that draws you in, I wouldn’t hesitate to pick one up.
Liz’s Verdict: Fantascene wins top prize among my Marc Jacobs palettes, but all of the shadows have strong pigment with overall quality to match.
Like many of the best makeup items in my collection, Liz gifted me the Marc Jacobs Eye-Conic Multi-Finish Eyeshadow Palette in 720 Glambition. I’ve since picked up 710 Provocouture for myself. That’s about $100 in eyeshadow, fortunately it’s spread across 14 shades (7 in each palette). I won’t say I’d have chosen all of these shades for myself but they are well curated and inspirational. The thing that struck me most about these palettes was the formula; I’ve never used such blendable, buttery shadows! The first time I used these I felt like I had learned some sort of trade secret and subsequently opened Pandora’s box. How could I ever go back to chalky drugstore shadow?!
I wish Marc Jacobs sold the shadows from these palettes as singles because you’ll see from the photos of my Glambition palette that I clearly have favorites. Truthfully, that’s the main reason I purchased a second palette. I had completely used up all of the black from Glambition and hoped Provocouture would offer that same awesome staple along with six new fun shades. Unfortunately, the black across palettes is not the same. The black in Glambition has silver flecks (I used the very last bit in a swatch for you, you’re welcome dear reader), whereas the black in Provocouture has purple shimmer. The good news is that when either shade is blended out you can’t really see glitter so the smoky effect is, for the most part, the same.
Speaking of smoky, I should warn you that the downside to these shadows being so soft and blendable is that they kick up a bunch of powder when you dip your brush in. You must tap off the excess or your look will be ruined by far too much shadow, all over, regardless of what your plan was. I suspect this is why I’ve gone through them faster than any other shadow. Even knowing this, I wouldn’t change the formula because I think that’s what makes them so easy to blend and build. What seems to work best for me is to set my eyeshadow primer with a little translucent powder first and then go in with these shadows using a tiny brush. Applying it in this way helps keep me from accidentally dusting too much shadow onto tacky primer, from which there is never any going back.
As far as similarities between the palettes go, both feature the same range of “four fashion finishes” which are are generally laid out from lightest to darkest with a pop of color somewhere in the story. Speaking of stories, the shade names (listed on the back) are supposed to form a poem when read left to right. To best honest I just call them things like “the dark brown one”.
This simplicity to my style is probably why I strongly favor the Glambition palette. Described as “bare and bronze,” I believe it to be the most wearable across the line. The dead center shade Seeking is so similar to my skin tone it is the perfect transition color and I use it near daily. For the longest time I thought the dark brown was burgundy, but these are definitely warm browns. The metallic lamé is such a pigmented formula, you can really tell from the swatch of this Known For shade that it only took one swipe for complete opacity. Fingertips work best to apply the metallic shades; they offer the most punch that way.
The Provocouture palette also has a stellar transition shade, Otherwise, that despite being dusty plum is completely wearable. This palette reminds me of a grape popsicle and I was pleasantly surprised by the range of looks I could create using it. Whereas Glambition has two speeds (smoky and natural), Provocouture can be used to create everything from a light, bright pink to a deep purple ombré. My favorite shade in this palette is hands down You Might; it has a bit of a duochrome situation going on. Blended out, You Might can look like a sheer wash of rosy champagne or applied with a damp finger, it can be built up to shift quite purple. Difficult to describe, but also difficult to forget. I’ve never seen anything like it (again another shade I’d like to see offered as a larger single).
I love traveling with these slim palettes. Whether it’s tossing one into my purse or into my suitcase, the shade range is top notch. Also, given all of this mask wearing and lack of lipstick, I’m getting much more into fun eye looks as a way to compensate.