Mary Quant Eyeshadows

Hm, Mary Quant. Wasn’t that something from the 1960s, mod dresses and cute tights?

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(Pic taken from the dovima2010 flickr page.)

Turns out the iconic UK brand is alive in Japan, running a badass Instagram page and nestling in corners of fancy department stores such as Lumine Shinjuku. Its displays still look very pop arty and colorful, with the Warhol-esque flower logo everywhere and bright eyeshadows, lipsticks, and blushes in triangular pans. Mary Quant uses the same refill system as MAC, Inglot, Makeup Geek, etc. You can purchase a few pans and put them in a flower-embossed plastic palette.

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Unfortunately, the palette is not magnetic, and the Lumine sales associate stuck my two eyeshadows in with an adhesive. The pans sit in there without budging, and I’m afraid I’ll damage the shadows if I try to take them out. Aaaand I never wrote down their numbers–whoopsie doodles. I think the brown one is N-05, and the glittery one is… A-43?! Lol, I don’t know, man.

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Why I still want to cover them here, even though their numbers are lost, is because the quality of these eyeshadows, N-05 in particular, blew me away. The refills are on the expensive side: around $12 a color (same as Anastasia Beverly Hills but pricier than Inglot and Makeup Geek), so you kind of expect they would perform decently. But still, I didn’t think I’d go whoa! the first time I put N-05 on my lids. In the pan, it looks like a dry satin eyeshadow; in actuality, N-05 is an extremely smooth and rich next-generation metallic.

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Yeah, N-05 is “just” a neutral brown, but I like its subtle rosy tone, which I think complements my green eyes. Since it’s medium-toned, N-05 is also perfect for soft one-eyeshadow looks. Not too dark to be worn all over the lid, not too light to be smudged underneath the lower lashline. I love pairing this eye look with striking lipsticks, such as OCC Shoegazer or ColourPop Lyin’ King.

For the look above, I stuck the glitter eyeshadow, A-43 (or something) into the inner corner. It’s not really a highlighter, just silvery glitter with an almost imperceptible white gold base. I got curious about that type of product on my recent trip to Japan, where I saw an employee of a Tokyo soba place we frequented wear delicate glitter (solo) on her lids.

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I think that a swipe of glitter onto the lids adds subtle visual interest to a bare-bones tinted moisturizer + lip gloss type of look. The first time I tried that, I put A-43 on top of my usual Lorac primer, which turned out to be a bad, bad idea. The primer is lighter and greyer than my skin tone, plus it brought out the whiteness in the shadow’s base, resulting in lightened lids. Some people say that light eyeshadow worn without any sort of socket contouring provides for a younger and fresher appearance, but for me, it’s exactly the opposite–I start to look grey and sickly. Ai yai yai! So, I now go full Temptalia and wear A-43 without any primer–the audacity!–and that gives me exactly the effect that I want.