Review & Swatches: Selections from the L’Oreal Project Runway “Colors Take Flight” Collection

I really hate to say this, but it’s been quite some time since I’ve watched Project Runway, which is why I was surprised to be so excited about the L’Oreal Project Runway “Colors Take Flight” Collection—and I know I’m not alone. I went to three places in one day and the displays were practically wiped out, that was fast! I’m thinking my local CVS received more pieces than other stores, when I returned on a second visit, there were more available and I was able to see almost all of the collection in-person finally. Some of the shades were kind of gutsy for mass retailing—a quality I’ve grown to appreciate from L’Oreal on a consistent basis in their limited edition collections. Project Runway featured artist Collier Strong helped develop this tasty assortment of shadow quads, blush shades, lipsticks, and nail polishes to represent the show’s product partner for fall 2011. I most certainly could not wear about 95% of the fashions featured on the show, but I’m happy to say that Colors Take Flight features a dramatic, yet pretty wearable palette. I wish I had more to share with you!

The collection was created around four very distinctive looks with an exotic bird theme; The Audacious Amazon, The Charming Cockatoo, The Watchful Owl, and The Sultry Raven.

The Audacious Amazon — Bright eyes with a dramatic fuchsia lip
The Charming Cockatoo — romantic eyes with a deep burgundy lip
The Watchful Owl — Metallic eyes with a red lip
The Sultry Raven — Smoky eyes with a nude lip

L’Oreal Paris Studio Secrets Professional Eyeshadow quad in Audacious Amazon’s Gaze

L’Oreal Paris Studio Secrets Professional Eyeshadow Quad in Charming Cockatoo’s Gaze

L’Oreal Paris Pro Manicure Nail Color in Amazon’s Flash

L’Oreal Paris Pro Manicure Nail Color in Raven’s Dream

L’Oreal Paris Pro Manicure Nail Color in Charming Cockatoo’s Wisdom

Of the four looks, these shades represent both the most wearable for all skin tones, to the one that’s most daring. (Can you guess which is which?) While the shades I’ve presented are not indicative of the entire collection, these were the two I found most attractive—and the blushes were all gorgeous. (And I forgot to mention, HUGE!) The Charming Cockatoo’s Gaze eyeshadow quad is definitely the winner of the two I tried in terms of quality. I thought the shadows were smoother and blended a little easier, but I find that with brighter pigments (like in the Audacious Amazon’s Gaze) I typically have to give more effort since they’re less forgiving—no matter what the brand. Both quads each had a weak spot, and it just so happens that those shades were both mattes.

For a brand that isn’t necessarily a nail polish brand, I liked the three polishes I tried—although the greige/brown-toned Charming Cockatoo’s Wisdom could have used a thin third coat versus the other two which were a little easier to work with. I’ve used polishes that cost a mere .99¢ and been perfectly happy, and even have some in the $10-$16 range that I think rock. These nail polish shades from L’Oreal sit right in the middle at a suggested retail of $4.99 each, and I find that price to be pretty fair. The brushes are easy to work with, the wider pro-brush allows the color to lay down with ease while delivering a nice flow—and is pretty forgiving if you need to go back in and lay down a thin third coat. In terms of performance, there’s an almost elastic-like quality to the polish once it has dried on the nail, which makes it pretty flexible and less prone to chips and cracks in my opinion. With a good base coat and top coat, I don’t see why you couldn’t make it through the week with them, minus the occasional (and obligatory chip from digging through a drawer), or even a little bit of tip wear towards the end of the week with all the typing you do!

More photos…

My final recommendations are…

Nab the Charming Cockatoo’s Gaze Eyeshadow quad, along with the skin-flattering Charming Cockatoo’s Blush if you can. Also pick up the Charming Cockatoo’s Wisdom nail polish, it will grow on you in a good way—and you can totally work it out should you experience any minor balding upon application. A super thin third coat will remedy the situation, and it should still dry fast! Quick tip regarding the darker, matte shade on the eye quad; should it give you any issues, try applying it over a cream/gel liner as a liner and it should look beautiful (and stay-put)!

Price & Availability — The Eye Quads retail for $8.95, The Super Blendable Blush Shades retail for $9.95, The Colour Riche Lipcolours retail for $8.95, The Pro Manicure Nail Colors retail for $4.99 each. You should be able to find these at CVS/Pharmacy and ULTA stores now.

Also check out: where you can view videos on customizing your look using your new makeup, and to get more details on the L’Oreal Paris/Project Runway partnership.

An editorial sample was provided by the company and evaluated to determine our opinion of the product in this post. Please see the Disclosures page for further information regarding our policies for using editorial samples.
  • Sharleena Bramley

    Amazing colours! The Audacious Amazon palette is absolutely gorgeous! Pity, I don’t think we have these in Australia yet :( x

  • JoJo

    Really like the Amazon Quad and Raven’s Dream Lacquer

  • Amber

    Hi JoJo! Great choices 😉

  • Shari

    Like the Audacious Amazon’s eyeshadow quad & the all of the nail polishes. Never really saw a brown polish before, but the Cockatoo’s Wisdom is something that I would like to try.

  • lika

    the gold is beautiful!!

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