April 10, 2012

Sephora + Pantone Universe Color of the Year Eyeshadow Quad Review & Swatches


Sephora + Pantone Universe Color of the Year Eyeshadow Quad, what I thought would be one of my favorite releases from the Sephora + Pantone Universe Collection.

I was every so eager to spice up my eyes with tangerine. Dare I say, I wear it well? I can definitely do peach on my eyes but it depends of course on the shade.

Let’s take a look at the Color of the Year Eyeshadow Quad and see if I can work it and how good the quality is.

I’m going throw it out there (being guilty of hyping it up myself), the Sephora and Pantone collaboration definitely suffers from some minor over hyped pandemonium.

Don’t hurt me for saying that.

I’ve tried the blush, tried the glosses, etc..and I freely admit they are good quality products with excellent packaging and a fairly friendly price tag. However…the formula on some items is a little iffy…too much sparkle, colors might or might not be too loud for most skin types, etc….

But overall, I’m not hating overly much as I think it’s one of Sephora’s masterpieces. Having consecutively released some really rubbish makeup in the past, it’s nice to shake Sephora’s hand, give ’em a pat on the back, and tell them what a fine job they are doing from time to time. Pantone Universe is one of those things you really need to herald. Sephora did a fine job with it but it isn’t without faults.

The Color of the Year Eyeshadow Quad is a gorgeous selection of colors in theory but it has minor irritating factors that deserve mentioning, it can’t always be perfect in the makeup world.

I think they created a fine selection of colors here. Nothing is out of place, you aren’t left with a quad full of shades that you aren’t sure what to do with it, it’s all matchy match perfect. I appreciate this aspect of the quad so very much. It doesn’t take a genius to realize they want you to highlight your browbone with the cool, creamy white, accent your outer v and possibly your upper lash lin with the brown, shade your lid with the orange-y peach, and line with the black. Fairly simple right? And it is.


The shades are pigmented and soft but the formula varies from shade to shade and I find they blend out all muddy, in layman’s terms, the shades just don’t want to be friends, they simply refuse to work together.

I find the best formulation here lays with the orange-y coral shade. This is a warm, succulent shade of corally tangerine with hints of orange. It has the best pigmentation of the three and the smoothest glide across lids. It’s a velvety smooth formula that’s thick and has a cakey feel on lids so you do want to get in there and blend it fully to get the nicest finish. The wear time is absolutely horrid so do take time out to apply your favorite primer for all day wear, without you’ll find it creases within a two hour period.

Both the chocolate and black shade are pretty patchy…these are a semi-matte formula that apply crummy and have a chalky feel. The black is fine as you’ll only line with it but the chocolate you’ll want to use on the outer v in some cases and I find it doesn’t like to work with the orange shade. Together, they blend out complete mud. To get the look I did below I had to practice a hell of a lot of patience and it still came out badly.

I’ve discussed the packaging in a prior post since this has the same design as the Pantone Blush but just a mention more about it. It’s quite divine visually. It’s a larger palette with a fully removable lid. I like the way the lid removes as you can hold the compact in your hand like a palette without a cumbersome lid to worry about. This design allows you to dip your brush and sponge in and out of the wells easily. The lid is held together by four magnetic disks so it isn’t entirely travel friendly and will likely open up and possibly break. I suggest application at home, try not to travel with it.

Sephora did take time out to name each shade. I can’t say how much I appreciate that. I dislike having a friend ask, “What’s that eyeshadow?” and proceeding to explain it’s a shade, located in the left hand side, upper corner of a so and so palette…no name, sucks.

Colors are as follows:

  • Sparrow (black)
  • Pavement (brown)
  • Scallop Shell (creamy off white)
  • Carnelian (peachy coral orange)

Overall, the Sephora Color of the Year Eyeshadow Quad is a treat. The colors are just brilliantly paired together. But if you want honesty, honesty you’ll get here. The formula is sub-par. It isn’t the best eyeshadow formula I’ve ever tried. It creases without a good base, fades easily, and just doesn’t want to blend out correctly when used with other shades. On a whole it might be worthy of a pick up if you’re really into the orange shade of shadow here…that one shade was worth a pick up for me. But if you’re seeking superior formula, well, honestly, this doesn’t have it. I like it well enough but I’m woman enough to express my disappointment and call out crappy eyeshadow formula.

(All four shades on eyes, blended)

(Lids: Carnelian)

Yay for packaging.

Yay for design!

Yay for an awesome selection of colors in a quad.

Boo for formula.

Available now at Sephora and Sephora.com

If you tried it, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

All ears here.

About the Muse

Isabella MuseIsabella is just an average everyday geeky girl who doesn’t blend her eyeshadow correctly, wears too much blush, and hopes she never finds her holy grail products because she likes the thrill of the chase so much. Her mission is to bring you super honest reviews on makeup, skincare, fragrance and all things beauty. She’s in no way an expert on the topic and she sure as hell isn’t a super model. But she’s passionate about makeup and is seeking like-minded individuals that like pina coladas, getting caught in the rain, and ones that enjoy spending hundreds of dollars at Sephora without feeling buyer’s remorse. If you’re that person feel free to reach out and leave a comment or follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Bloglovin‘.

Leave a Comment


  • Joyce

    Muse I was soooooo disappointed with this quad! I doubt I’ll ever use it. The white beige shade, LOL, forget about it. It has a nice feel but it applies as just complete dry, loose baby powder! Completely swipes away! To be fair I didn’t use a primer, so…meh. I don’t know. I should have to make a product work for me!

    But ah, the packaging. I’ll keep it around for the packaging πŸ˜›

    • the Muse

      totally understand your disappointment. visually it’s gorg but application stinks. the formula is inconsistent. the peach shade was prob the only color that was fairly ok but the others, white, black, chocolate had a really craptastic feel and blending was awful as you can see from the mess I created using all four of the shades. If they kept the formula as good as the peach I’d be more inclined to recommend it for purchase.

      def try primer, it helps a lot!

  • lilacrose

    I tried it on in the store and unfortunately I looked like I had a bruised eye. Im very pale with blond hair–not a good match for me. ;( I was so originally hyped up about getting it because it looked wonderful. Even the packaging was mimicking INGLOT (which I adore). I couldn’t pull it off. I do hope they improve the formula and perhaps put out more color combos in the future.

    • the Muse

      lila try out dior’s new cream shadow in the pale peach, it’s really nice for lighter/paler skin and hair.

  • eva

    sorry to hear the formula is disappointing… but it still looks gorgeous on you!!

  • gago

    Hi! I really love your site. so far i’m only a reader, but today i have a question. Why does this quad look like Inglot quads, is it only the palett or do the eyeshadows have any relation with Inglot formula? Another question, what would be good dupes in mac or inglot? πŸ™‚

    • the Muse

      aw thanks so much glad you enjoy it nothing to do with inglot gago, they say imitation is the perfect form of flattery so I guess Sephora copied a bit πŸ™‚ Not sure on dupes.

  • Nikki

    I agree! I think the best shade is the orange one and the other ones apply patchy and muddy :-/ the cream color is too sheer and doesnt do much for highlighting. So I’m pretty disappointed, I pretty much paid 30 bucks for one shade because that’s all I’ll use.

    • the Muse

      same here, I kinda sorta loved the shade so I’m trying to justify it as that shade is so awesome, the palette was worth it..lol but I know that I’ll never use the other three shades!

  • Essy

    I so wanted to love this quad because I love oranges. I hate the packaging – opening it for the first time, I took a huge knick out of one of the eyeshadows! I ended up returning the big set because of the eyeshadow quad and the prisma chroma blush, and purchased the lipgloss set, eyeliner set, and blush duo seperately.