I debated for the longest time whether to get the Clarins Eye Quartet Mineral Palette in Odyssey (09). It was already top of my wishlist in October last year, but somehow I resisted buying it around Christmas when it physically hit our department stores. Before I could second-guess that decision, it was sold out everywhere. For the next couple of months, each time I passed by a Clarins counter, I would have this lingering hope that somehow, miraculously, the Odyssey palette would be there. Needless to say, that never happened.
Knowing it was limited edition, I basically gave up on the idea of it ever being mine. I wasn't quite sure whether it was a decision I regretted. After all, I didn't really need it. There was nothing particularly spectacular about it, right? Just four neutral eyeshadows, gorgeously packaged, one of them being the most amazing gold shade my eyes had ever witnessed. No big deal.
I clearly hadn't completely given up all hope, because one night, I must've been Googling it, or double-checking there wasn't any remnant stock still available online, when I discovered it on StrawberryNet. Even then, I held out. Now wasn't the time for rash decision-making, just because something I'd wanted for literally months, that I thought I could never get my hands on again, suddenly appeared from nowhere for me to potentially buy and have shipped to me in the space of a few days.
Such was the extent of my restraint that when StrawberryNet had 10% off all makeup, I didn't cave. I had it in my cart, total price displayed, credit card details just begging to be entered. But no. I closed the window. But we all know how the story ends. A week later, sale over, I decided the idiocy must end. I did what should've happened five months ago, and bought the damn thing.
This has to be the prettiest palette that I own. Clarins couldn't have done any better with the packaging, which is sophisticated and feminine, and just the right balance of streamlined and decorative. The shadows themselves are exactly what I expected them to be, which comes as no surprise given the extensive research I did before finally taking the plunge. The gold shade is absolutely stunning — you need only the lightest touch to pick up pigment, but the other 3 shades are more on the sheer side, and admittedly, not exactly unique colour-wise (they remind me of a more refined and subdued version of the Revlon CustomEyes Shadow & Liner palette in Naturally Glamorous). They have a soft, satin finish and can be built up in pigmentation. The lightest shade doesn't show up that well on my lids, but the medium brown is a good everyday lid shade (though perhaps a tad too dark). I'm sure I could find close enough matches to all 3 shades in my existing collection, but that hasn't deterred me from enjoying them regardless.
In addition to how pleasing the palette is to the eye, the gold shade is what distinguishes Odyssey from the ordinary. It has an almost spongy texture, but it's not quite a cream shadow. As a finishing touch to your eye makeup, you can gently dab the gold onto the middle of your lids for that extra dimension and drama (as illustrated by Charlotte Tilbury using the Tom Ford Eye Colour Quad in Cognac Sable). With more layers, the gold becomes almost opaque. It's blindingly shimmery and reflective, but still intensely gold, and not silvery or frosty which is a pet peeve of mine. The gold itself isn't too yellow or orange. You can see from the swatch that if I apply it a little too heavily, it practically looks like gold leaf. As an added bonus, I experienced no fallout with any of the shades.
I don't regret purchasing this Clarins quad in the slightest, but only because I was very clear about the aspects that attracted me to it (and I was accepting and prepared for any shortcomings I'd read about in reviews that weren't 100% complimentary), and the palette completely met my expectations in that respect. It's aesthetically beautiful, the gold shade is unlike anything I have, and the other 3 shades, while not anything to get super excited about, are classic, easy to wear and can be used to create a variety of looks.