Thursday, 31 January 2013

Shu Uemura Smoky Velvet....s Swatch and Comparison

Not sure how I contrived wind up with double the Dora at the end of this holiday season (uh, not that I'm cramming this belated post into the last day of January or anything....) but hopefully this comparison between the two different versions of Shu Uemura x Karl Lagerfeld's Smoky Velvet palette (LE for holiday 2012) will prove helpful for sale-stalkers, and any collectors/ebayers visiting from the fuuuuuuture *woo-woo noises*
identical red-eyed evil...
...but what lurks within?
On the left is the version sold throughout Europe and Asia, which I originally swatched here.
On the right is the one sold in the US and Canada -- excellent swatches on Planet Martha and The Notice. (Please avert your eyes from the dented black silk smooth shade here -- spontaneous depotting aint all it's cracked up to be. Literally, when your creamilicious cake of sparkly black lands on the edge of your palette. Woe.)

The top two (silk smooth) shades are identical, but the other three eyeshadows are substantially different. Texturally, the Europe/Asia version of Smoky Velvet is symmetrical to Prestigious Bordeaux; the North American version replaces one satin shade (middle left) with another glitter. [In my opinion, the blush pans (bottom right) differ very slightly, with the North American version being a hair warmer and more red-toned. This was admittedly so minimal my camera couldn't capture what I thought I could see, and might be attributable to batch variation.]

All pictures taken in natural light without flash; only the angle and extent of focus/fuzz varies.

Middle Left
The European/Asian version has a light grey satin with a gunmetal base and silver sheen (respectively visible at different angles). The North American version features a holographic white creamy-feeling powder glitter -- i.e. a smaller pan of Glitter White Rainbow in the core line, swatched on the far right.

Middle Right
The textures of these were identical this time, so only the colours differ: Europe/Asia got a silvered turquoise, North America a soft spring green.

Bottom Left 
Again, both are the newest kind of Shu Uemura glitter -- beautiful, if ridiculously sparkly, sheer topcoats, best pressed onto the eye with a fingertip. The European/Asian palette has a cool white gold and the North American a yellow-toned old gold with sparse flecks of warmer copper and red.

Which version do you prefer? And why do you think Shu chose to release two versions of the 'same' limited edition palette, without fanfare?


  1. Oh wow, I didn't know there are different versions of it! The whole Chanel thing is frustrating enough. I really don't want to think about something ELSE that varies according to regions gah!

    1. ITA! I wish Chanel would simplify things and make all their eyeshadows the American kind and all brushes the French kind!

  2. I always want the unattainable. I'm in the US and have the North American version. I want the Europe/Asia version simply because I can't get it (without some more serious effort, that is). I want that silver and that turquoise.

  3. Wow, I knew they were different from online comparisons, but side by side is really crazy! I am still unsure about how much I love my Doras. A couple tries with PB have left me feeling cold. I love the gorgeous color combos and the overall look in the pan. Come do my makeup? Lol.

  4. I totally did not noticed the different versions but now compared to each other it becomes obvious. I cannot choose which one I like most tho, they both have their charm I guess, lol.

  5. I can't decide which I like better. I'm torn between the silver to the glitter white rainbow - no preference, both are lovely. Then, I prefer soft green to the blue - one point to North America. But then, between the white gold and the yellow gold, I definitely prefer the white gold - so Europe/Asia gets a point. Maybe a point and a half.

    So maybe I like the European one just a tiny sliver more, because that white gold is seriously pretty, and while I prefer the spring green, I don't wear shades like either middle right side often, so neither would get much use. I think I'd use the other five shades in each version, though.

    Wow, I think I just talked myself into wanting this palette, which I had zero desire for before writing this comment. What is wrong with me???

  6. I honestly can't decide which one I prefer--they're both SO so gorgeous! The almost blue gunmetal grey to the white glitter but between the silvery turquoise and light green, it's absolutely impossible to choose!! I wish they had gotten rid of the white and put out on with both the shades instead! :(

  7. I love this packaging so much. If I could combine the gold from the North American palette with the rest of the EU/Asia palette, I'd be set for glitters!

  8. Didn't know that double the Dora equals Dora dupes... Will the real Dora pls stand up? The colors do differ from each other. Maybe there are certain materials/ingredients that are banned in EU or in US to be used and thus the dupes? The US version does lean a bit warmer, don't you think? Or maybe this is the same mystery as to why Chanel quads differ from EU v.s. US version (and so are Chanel JCs). Nice detective work!

  9. I own the Europe/Asia version, and while I LOVE it, I'd kill for the gold shade on the US version. It still sucks that Shu staff didn't even bother changing the images on the US website, though! :/

    The only reason I can think of why the palette aren't identical is FDA regulations. Some shades may have been reformulated (if so, lazily) using FDA-approved ingredients. The Europe and Asia regulations are a tad more lax, as far as I know, hence why the US didn't get MUFE Aqua Cream #19 and got it duped a year later as #26 instead!

  10. mmm, a somewhat visible difference. I basically don't like Karl due to his outings towards other people so I am quite consistent not buying anything from this collection, and sometimes I regret this but this palette would be too glittery/sparkly for me anyway

  11. Seeing these swatches break my heart. I'm preparing to get rid of both of my Dora palettes. I so wish they had worked for me :(

  12. Definitely the Asian/European version for me! More eye complex and brightening, less warm.