A few weeks ago, I previewed Avon's new Luxe Lace Collection (available from today, from £6) and it is actually very nice. Some pieces are even comparable to cult products within much higher priced brands. The collection is influenced by the "luxurious lace" that featured on Autumn/Winter runways and comes in aesthetically-pleasing, limited edition black and pink packaging, with shades designed to create "mysterious" and "alluring" looks.
Let's go through the collection piece by piece...
Oh by the way, I'll put the full RRP price of each item below, but Avon currently have £3 off everything in the collection (except the lipsticks which are £2 off).
Avon Luxe Lace True Colour Eyeshadow Quads (£8)
There are two quads in the collection, "Lace Hues" and "Lace Electric", both designed for creating smouldering smoky eyes. The round shadows are slightly domed and the packaging is well-built and sturdy, making the quads look and feel much more expensive than they actually are.
"Lace Hues" contains:
- A very sparkly white gold (seriously sparkly, not just pearl/shimmer)
- A matte pastel pink (quite powdery and "barely there")
- A satin grey green (in real life it's more grey than in my photo)
- A shimmery, multi-faceted navy blue (very pretty if you like blues)
"Lace Electric" contains:
- A satin white (great for inner corners of eyes)
- A mostly matte violet purple but with some tiny bits of glitter
- A black-toned, smoky purple which flashes a slight pink shimmer
- A gorgeous satin grey blue
|Swatches of "Lace Hues" on top row and "Lace Electric" on bottom row|
My favourite of the quads is "Lace Electric" because I know I would use the shades much more and I just love the grey blue that comes in it (which I wore throughout my recent false lashes post).
The shadows vary in texture. Some are quite difficult to pick up and need several layers to build up colour... this seems to happen with the more matte shades like the pink and violet. On the other hand, the satin shades are fine and are silky smooth to apply.
The shades within each quad are complementary which takes the guesswork out of choosing colours to wear together. And I find they blend very well. If these are the kinds of colours you think you might wear quite often, £8 for a quad is a bargain (actually, £5 if you buy at the launch prices)!
P.S. I can never judge the longevity of eyeshadows very well because I always apply Urban Decay Primer Potion under eyeshadow which basically stops any eyeshadow from budging or creasing.
Avon Luxe Lace SuperShock Gel Eyeliner Pencils (£6)
Avon have really outdone themselves on these gel eyeliner pencils which are as good, if not better than Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-on Eyeliner Pencils. They are extremely creamy and smooth to apply and once they're on, they don't budge at all. Let's just say in the absence of any eye make-up remover at the time, I needed to use a washing-up scourer to remove the swatches from the back of my hand.
There are just two shades in the collection, "black" and "silver". I personally don't have a use for the silver, but black is always an essential.
Again, these gel eyeliner pencils are a bargain considering the Urban Decay equivalent costs £11. Grab them for £3 while you can!
Avon Luxe Lace SuperShock Mascara (£8)
This fat tube of mascara comes with a super chunky brush designed for volume.
I do find it volumises very well and makes lashes look fanned out and plentiful, but it's quite difficult to get much of a thickening or lengthening effect.
This mascara gets top marks for holding a curl, essential if you have poker straight lashes like mine and you depend on eyelash curlers. I also find the mascara lasts well and doesn't smudge much.
If you don't need much lengthening, this is a great mascara choice. I personally will repurchase my usual L'Oréal Lash Architect in "Midnight Black" when this tube is finished, but it's perfectly useable for the time-being and especially good for volumising my lower lashes.
Avon Luxe Lace Ultra Colour Rich Lipstick (£7)
There are three lipstick shades in the Luxe Lace Collection and I have "Pout". It's such a perfect nude pink colour, with a hint of silver shimmer.
However, I find that the formula (which contains Vitamin E and jojoba) just doesn't adhere to my lips. It's very sheer and slips around on my lips when I try to build up the colour and I then get these little flaky "bits" that float around on my lips.
I needed several layers to get the following swatch and there's still a bit of a hole...
It's such a shame because I really do love the colour in the tube. I can still wear it but it feels more like a tinted balm rather than a lipstick (but I don't recommend using it as a balm because it's not quite moisturising enough on its own).
Avon Luxe Lace applied
In these photos I am wearing the white and two purple shades from the "Lace Electric" eyeshadow quad, the black SuperShock Gel Eyeliner Pencil, SuperShock Mascara and the "Pout" lipstick shade. To see the grey blue shade in action, have a look at my recent false lashes post.
How to buy Avon... *sigh*
[UPDATE!! (2nd Nov 2010): The technical issues at avonshop.co.uk were resolved shortly after my post but the site is still temperamental. If you're still having issues getting to the product pages, try clearing your browser's cookies. The links to buy the Luxe Lace Collection items online are as follows:
Avon Luxe Lace True colour Eyeshadow Quad
Avon Luxe Lace SuperShock Gel Eyeliner Pencil
Avon Luxe Lace SuperShock Mascara
Avon Luxe Lace Ultra Colour Rich Lipstick ]
In preparation for this post, I went onto avonshop.co.uk earlier and I couldn't believe their online store is still so bad - I literally couldn't find one item there to buy! Every link goes to the following message: "Unfortunately the product you have selected is not available for purchase in this campaign". Argh so frustrating Avon!! What a way to make it even harder than it already is to buy from them!
It seems like you still need to browse their catalogues (either by getting in touch with your local Avon representative or by viewing the "e-brochure" online) to place an order.
You'll find the Luxe Lace Collection on pages 46-49 in the current Avon e-brochure (17 2010). To order any of the products online, it seems you have to manually enter the product numbers (which you'll find in the brochure) into the ironically named "Quickshop" order form or by calling 0845 601 4040 if all else fails.
On the plus side, we do get forced to look through the catalogue which brings back warm memories of childhood... especially of those shamelessly festive Christmas editions.
By the way, no-one ever says "the new Avon collection is really nice"... it's always "the new Avon collection is actually quite nice" as if we're surprised. Poor Avon... they're trying so hard to shift their fuddy duddy image and they're genuinely bringing out some excellent items at affordable prices (the SuperShock Gel Eyeliners for example). Let's give them a chance!
Disclaimer: PR samples