June 27, 2012

Maybelline Expert Wear Luminous Lights Eyeshadow Quad Review & Swatches

Maybelline Expert Wear Luminous Lights Eyeshadow Quads are a new range of shadow palettes from the brand available in four shades. At a glance these were an exciting launch as they looked like something you’d seeing coming out of Asia.

The palettes are portrayed as a shimmery shade selection in promo images that offer a luminous finish to eyes. I think Maybelline successfully captured “luminous” here but the formula might not be everyone’s bag.

Take a look!

These palettes are available in four shade variations at $3.99-$5.99 each depending where you purchase. Each contains a base, lid, crease, and liner color.

I appreciate the fact that Maybelline labeled each shade and included a mini diagram and instructions for application on the back of each compact however, I was disappointed that the “label” of each disappears when you stroke a brush across it. Thankfully the instructions on the back remain forever.

These are portrayed as a shimmery shadow in promo images but they come across as more of a frost. All four shade selections offered have an array of lighter more pastel shades of color so these aren’t bold, vibrant looks you’ll be creating with the colors included.

I think the idea and marketing behind the quads does exactly what it promises. The shades give a luminous, bright, ethereal glow to eyes. It can be a pretty look but it can also turn out quite frosty and a bit too sparkly in some cases.

The formula is a loosely packed powder with a chalkier texture that applies with a good deal of frost. There isn’t any real sparkle here so you aren’t looking at chunks of glitter or sparkle bits in the shadow formula however, they do apply frosty which gives them the appearance of a sparkly finish.

The looser texture of the shadows means you’ll have to contend with a good deal of fall our during application particularly when using a bushy brush for application so I do highly suggest packing shades on with the included sponge applicators. All the shades in the quad, right down to the liner color, are very sheer with minimal color pay off. I had a very difficult time getting any real contrast when using the lid and crease colors and felt like they blended together to create a single shade without any real definition. The liner shade, although deeper, also proved rather sheer and you couldn’t technically see I had any liner on at all after completing a look.

Rose Lights

Gold Lights

On the upside, they really do have a rather nice glow on my eyes but the frost factor isn’t something I favor and I feel like it makes my rounder face even more fuller. They do brighten and create a more natural, “I barely have makeup on look” however, the shades won’t prove friendly for many skin tones and some folks will feel the pastels wash them out.

Overall, I wasn’t really all that keen on these but I notice that many Expert Wear Quads seem to end up frosty somehow so this isn’t a terribly great surprise.

I imagine these will become part of the standard line but I’m not sure. Maybelline doesn’t mention if they are or aren’t limited edition on the display.

I personally didn’t like them but I think they might appeal to a few select users that enjoy pastels or frost finishes.

Own them?

Love them?

Planning on buying them?

Do share!

I purchased this item.

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‘.

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  • Charlotte

    I adore the regular Maybelline quads and trios, I own most of them… the color selections are extremely wearable, almost always include mattes, and can go on light or build up for more color. I find them perfect “everyday” shadows. I can see where these may not have enough contrast though, it would have been great to include a dark matte shade for liner/contrast, would have given a lot more options. They do look really nice on you. The colors are quite beautiful, I imagine they would look even better paired with a matte, or over a base, although I prefer my quads to be complete looks in themselves. I’ll have to give them a shot if I can ever find them in my area, been looking for weeks.

    • the Muse

      aw thanks charlotte. perhaps pairing them up with something else could work! thanks for that rec ;-D

  • Icequeen81

    frost? not my thing the colors on the swatch looks nice, but I can barely see it on your skin, but I can see some frost when applied on your lids.
    btw like the blush u are using wich color and brand?

  • tiffany miranda

    muse i completely agree with you! i also have the rose one and although i enjoy the sparkly factor , i would like for all the shadows to be different instead of blend into one shade! i feel like maybe on super light skin the pigmentation would be different , but overall i feel like this was meh , not too exciting but not too boring.

    • the Muse

      sigh! they had the potential to be so pretty too tiffany 🙁


    Really disappointed in these, really frosty, really yucky!

  • Cindy

    Thanks for this, I’ll have to pass on these! No me gusta frost eyeshadows :[

  • Katie

    Well the Gold Lights look very nice on you ^_^

    I actually tried the Rose Lights on, and put the Hard Candy Glitter Gel in Crystal Ball over it, and it looks AWESOME.

    But then again…yeah, I’m going to have to agree with you on these, despite putting a primer underneath, it still blends in all the colors…and yeah, it’s hard to make good contrast.

    • the Muse

      aw thanks katie. did you reviewed? looked on your site didn’t see it! yeah sad sigh 🙁 I wish they mad a few shades deeper…! I don’t think I have the glitter gel but can prob find something similiar in my stash thanks for that tip girl!

  • Jessica

    Just wanted to add a tip for everyone. I’ve used the Opal Lights a few times now, and the first two times I used them as is, dry, and…. just no. However, if you’re looking for more pigmentation and less of a “frosty” effect, try foiling (aka wetting the shadows a bit). They go on much more visibly (I still did have to use two coats of the lid – yellow – shade however), and more of a “wet luminescent metal” look than frosty. I didn’t want to give up on the Opal Lights palette because I LOVED the colors and the look in the magazine ad, but I couldn’t make them contrast much (especially the two shades I wanted to make a distinction between, the yellow/gold and blue/silver) using them dry. The only issue I still have is the liner shade, wet or dry, is a PAIN to make show up. Luckily, there’s a Sephora eyeliner (Sephora Retractable Waterproof Eyeliner in 08 – Brown) is almost exactly the shade of the liner shadow, except a bit darker and it looks AMAZING with this palette…probably the way the liner shadow is SUPPOSED to show up.

    Try it, you may like it! I can post a pic if it’s wanted!

  • Charlotte

    I finally found them and only bought one.. I think it was Rose, but it’s definitely more “peach” or “amber” lights IMO. Very pretty colors.. look great with my green eyes.. but not a good quad as they do not work very well together. Gorgeous for an all over wash of color, with some liner and a ton of mascara.. just pick any one color, they are all almost the same just a slight difference in tone. They also look nice on top of other shades or bases.. give a pretty pearly glow. If you wear it as a duo- the lightest on the lid and the darkest in the crease you can get a decent contrast. Make great highlighters or accent colors as well. I like the one I have, but would not buy more.

  • Ashley

    I love these eyeshadows! I like your reviews;always so helpful. Eventhough it says liner..is it possible to use it just as an eyeshadow?

    Thanks again Muse 🙂


    • the Muse

      aw thank you ashely <3! of course, you can def use as an all over eyeshadow!

  • Nat

    totally commenting on old post so I am naughty, but – I just bought all of these. at first, totally agreed with cons – annoying that the names of the application areas are gone once you’ve used the powders a few times (even though they’re on the back, they should really be on the front plastic cover), not much pigment, and colours tend to be so subtle they just meld into each other. HOWEVER – today I wore the Lavender Lights one, with a tiny touch of tightlining. And my eyes POPPED – think this is my new fave colour combination to wear! (BTW, am super pale with brown eyes). 🙂

    • charlotte

      Nat.. I have the one in Rose Lights.. and I have green eyes.. and I totally agree, it makes my eyes pop. You can’t get a lot of definition within the palette, but it makes a beautiful “wash of color” eye. I wonder what it would look like over a dark base? Hmmm…

      • Nat

        Awesomez! Oh, like your idea about layering over something darker, never thought of that…I’ll have to give it a go! 😀

  • Pale girl

    Okay, I know this is ancient history, now, but I have things to say on this subject, so here goes. I’m so sorry these didn’t work out for so many people. This was my absolute favorite eyeshadow line EVER. And now it’s gone! *cries* However, I loved it because I absolutely adore shimmery and frosty looks, and actively avoid anything too matte. My reason: I am super pale (so, I kinda already have a frosty look to my skin). I have very cool-toned, fair skin to the point of being translucent. So these worked amazingly well for me! So many of the eyeshadow quads (or any eyeshadows in general) are very difficult for me to wear. They’re too dark, the color combinations don’t work on my skin, they’re too matte, etc. I don’t go for mattes because they either look too bold on me or somehow too flat. My pale skin has a natural sort of luminescence, I guess, so shimmery or frosty works well on me. Actually, the Opal Lights is the closest thing I’ve ever seen to something that looked like a nude eyeshadow palette on me. It was my favorite! Well, right up there with the Lavender Lights, which really made my pale skin and cool green eyes POP. I loved those two quads especially. Of course, with my paleness, I could see the different colors. I did appreciate that they blended so well, though. I loved the overall shimmery, blended effect they had. (And I used them as is – dry, no water added for deeper pigment.) They were perfect for me. I was so happy to finally have shimmery shadows for pale people, but alas, I guess there weren’t enough of us to keep this line of shadows alive. *Le sigh*