Specifically, Cognac Sable consists of (colour / finish / pigmentation):
Top left: warm, sandy gold / satin with subtle shimmer / medium
Top right: warm copper / glitter topcoat / sheer
Bottom left: warm, medium chestnut brown / metallic shimmer / pigmented
Bottom right: cool, deep brown with multitonal shimmer / shimmer on a matte base / pigmented
|natural light, sunny|
Swatches are one-swipe with sponge applicators onto bare arm
|natural light, sunny|
|artificial light + flash, deliberately fuzzy|
I think the last picture best illustrates why it took me so much longer to bid Cognac Sable (vs. True Coral or Narcissist) farewell -- I love some multitonal microglitter, especially the hints of cornflower, copper and lime hiding in that darkest cool brown. In general, I found this quad shone most (pun intended) in low, artificial light; in daylight or brighter artificial light, the copper glitter (top right shade) has to pull more than its fair share of the weight in making for the kind of texturally complex neutral look I like.
Some looks as examples:
Lightest sandy gold all over lid and lower lashline, medium chestnut brown in outer v, darkest cool brown to line, craploads of copper glitter over all.
Looks pretty in the closeup, and when I go to look at my pretty lids to cheer myself up midday, it's mighty sparkly. Yay. But this much orange on my eyes leads to the same problem I had with Shiseido Fire: what cheek/lip colours to pair with it that will either be interestingly/intentionally clashy or pleasingly harmonious without tipping into that large intermediate zone of vaguely jarring slightly-off ick?
With nothing tonally harmonious to hand, here are the best clashes I managed: a mild version with Tom Ford Narcissist blush and my naturally very cool pink lips (slick of balm):
And a stronger take, with Wet'n'Wild Megalast lipstick in Cherry Bomb:
Yeah.... not ideal, right?
Without the copper glitter, Cognac Sable becomes a versatile backdrop to whatever bold, bright or even subtle lip I feel like, such as BITE High-Pigment Matte Pencil in Tart [some older shades swatched here]:
Darkest brown mixed with chestnut brown on lid and chestnut mixed with sandy gold on lower lashline, both darkened towards outer corner and angled out slightly, outer corner left 'open'.
Unfortunately, I am a demanding kind of wench and this kind of eye is just too much neutral, not enough kick.
It actually proved surprisingly tricky for me (aren't neutrals supposed to be no-brainers? jeez) to find just the right way to balance/place the shades in this quad so that I could wear it as a palette and not have it wear me (look 1) or (look 2) make me wonder why I'd bothered when a smudge of brown/gold crayon would've sufficed :P
This ended up my favourite combination, and is further proof that red lipstick (Dolec&Gabbana Attractive Monica) makes everything better. Blush is Dolce&Gabbana Nude.
Lightest sandy gold mixed with darkest cool brown over the and lower lashline, warm chestnut mixed with the sandy gold to softly shade edges into socket, copper glitter dabbed into the centre of the mobile lid and lower lashline.
This is my kind of neutrals with a kick look. It partners a strong lip rather than just milksoppily not-competing (gor forbid, she's wearing too much makeup, painted jezebel etc.) However, loving it also means I have no shortage of such variously kicky neutrals....
Top left sandy gold with Rouge Bunny Rouge Sleeping Undeneath a Mandarin Tree pigment and Angelic Cockatiels eyeshadow; the orange (top right) from Suqqu Komorebi; the rosy brown (mid right) from Shu Uemura Prestigious Bordeaux.
Top right copper glitter with Shu Uemura G Orange 251 (god I love this, btw) and the gold glitter (bottom left) from Prestigious Bordeaux; RMK Ingenious Powder Eyes SH-01 Shiny Brown Gold; Chanel Vision Illusion D'Ombre.
Bottom left chestnut brown with Kiko eyeshadow sticks in 06 Golden Brown and 04 Golden Chocolate [these look so much cooler-toned next to Cognac Sable vs. earlier swatches here]; the bronze (top right) silk smooth pan from Shu Uemura Prestigious Bordeaux; the warm bronze (top right) from Suqqu 03 Matsukasa and cooler bronze (top right) from Suqqu 01 Kakitsubata.
Bottom right dark cool brown with Rouge Bunny Rouge Blackpepper Jay; the darkest (bottom left) matte brown from Suqqu 03 Matsukasa; the cool taupe (starred) from KATE Deep Trap Eyes GY-1; the medium neutral taupe from Maquillage Alexander Wang BR 365.
Even one by one, three of Cognac Sable's shades have a lot more (specifically orange) warmth than the rest of my stable of warmer neutrals. In combination, this pulls the palette far, far warmer than my other brown options, which is why I find it so tricky to pair with the lip/cheek options in my wardrobe.
With Visee Smacky Glam BR-7 Bitter Brown; Suqqu 03 Matsukasa; Maquillage Alexander Wang BR 365.
So this isn't really a truly negative review; while True Coral and Narcissist just didn't work on me, Cognac Sable kind of does, or at least can -- I just happen to own other products I prefer, both tonally and texturally. My personal rule is that I need to be able to pull at least three distinct looks from each palette worn as a palette, to go with lip/cheek shades I already own -- obviously individual shades can then be picked'n'mixed with anything else but them's the ground rules for anything that stays in. This one just requires too much work for too little reward -- it's out.
Tom Ford quads retail for £62 each in the UK.