Ted Baker Sparkle & Shade Christmas Set + Swatches

10 Dec 2016

If you haven't started your Christmas shopping yet, you need to get your skates on as it's only 2 weeks away! Seriously, where on earth has this year gone? It's just whizzed by, hasn't it? As I was saying, if you haven't started yet, the place that stocks gifts and sets for all the family is Boots. I love just going in there and looking at all of the Christmas displays - they just have so many gorgeous things. If you aren't buying for a beauty lover, that's fine because there's foodie gifts, tech and gadgets, and a ton of little stocking fillers for kids. But if you are shopping for a beauty lover, this may be a set that you might want to consider looking into.

I remember strolling through my local Boots as the Christmas display was being set up, and this Ted Baker gift caught my eye instantly. I'm an absolute sucker for all things eye makeup, so I was drawn over to it like a magnet, and ever since then, I've wanted it in my life. Even though I couldn't get into the products inside, with a name like Sparkle & Shade, I just knew that this would be a set I would love. Every time I've been in Boots since, I've been over to the Ted Baker stand to see if they have it out, just so I can look at it. To my surprise, J bought it for me and gave it to me as an early Christmas present. I swear, I almost welled up a little!

What it was that caught my attention the most was the absolutely stunning packaging. It's quite a chunky box, with a gorgeous burgundy outside and embossed flowers. This contrasts so beautifully against the gold foiled Ted Baker logo and the matte Sparkle & Shade text, as well as the large EYES text in the centre, which is made up of a floral design. If that wasn't enough, the box opens like a book to reveal a soft pink interior and products on each side. They're suspended in plastic over an art-deco inspired background, coloured in the same soft pink and gold. I really think it's some of the most beautiful packaging I've ever seen. It feels so luxurious and looks like amazing quality.

Let's take a look at what you get inside, shall we?
So, when you open the box, on the right hand side, you receive a little trio of eyeshadows and a mascara. As you can see, the mascara just comes in a simple white tube with the Ted Baker logo printed on to it in metallic rose gold. While it isn't much to look at, it is unbelievably good at making your eyelashes look fabulous. I think because the wand is very straight with quite short bristles, it doesn't coat the lashes too much, so you are able to control how much you apply quite easily. One coat gives me beautiful, natural and fluttery looking lashes, while two coats gives me amazing length and volume. If I'm honest, it's probably one of my favourite mascaras I've tried this year!
Now on to the eyeshadow trio! I was so looking forward to getting into it and seeing what the shades were like that I almost did a little squeal as I opened it up. First of all, the packaging is just flawless. It's just made from plastic, but it feels so luxe, thanks to it being completely metallic rose gold. This works so well with the Ted Baker logo printed in matte on the front, and matches up perfectly with the rest of the set. I also love that it's a perfect square - not sure if that's just me. Then opening it up, you see the three shades in their equally sized, rectangular pans, and a mirror that covers the whole underside of the lid. 
But let's talk about the colours, shall we? I wish they had names, but unfortunately, there was nothing included, so I'll just have to give the best descriptions I can! The first shade is a pinky-brown nude that is really close to my natural skin colour. I did find it quite pigmented, but it was so hard to pick up on the camera because of how similar to my skin it was. It would be ideal to use all over the lid as a base shade or to set any primer. The next shade is just exquisite. It's a metallic, coppery rose gold shade that would also work perfectly all over the lid to create a bit of a statement. I'm going to a post-Christmas party, and I think that this would work perfectly with my outfit! Last up is a very dark, blue toned brown. It's almost so dark that it's black, but if used very lightly, it can be used to create a striking smokey look. It almost has a plum hint to it too, so it would work gorgeously with brown eyes. They're all so pigmented and buttery, and you get a decent amount in each pan. It's a really handy little trio that I can see myself reaching for a lot in the future.

Now on to the left side, which is the side that really caught my attention!
You can't look at these products and tell me that they aren't beautiful! On the left side, you get four pencil and crayon products, which include an eyebrow pencil, two eyeshadow crayons, and a gel eyeliner. Each of them feature a white tube with a rose gold end and lid, with the Ted Baker logo printed in metallic rose gold again, tying the colour scheme together.
First of all, I really like the eyebrow pencil. It's very versatile, so you can do light strokes for fine, hair-looking lines, or you can go quite heavy with it to fill in any sparse areas. The only problem for me is that I think it's a bit too light for me. I have really dark eyebrows, so I need something much deeper than this. However, it's ideal for fading the front of my brows out, so I will continue to use it, but there definitely needs to be some options when it comes to colours.
Next up is the eyeshadow crayons, and whenever I use them or swatch them, I just get so so excited. Both of them are so creamy and smooth to you, and they're insanely pigmented too! When I first started looking into all of these products and trying them out though, I thought I was only going to be able to use one of them. For a long time, I couldn't get the lid off of the darker one, no matter how hard I tried. Not even J could do it! After running it under hot water and gritting our teeth, we managed to rip the lid off to find that it had been added while the glue from the white tube was still drying. I was a little disappointed to say the least, but at least we got into it and I could finally see the colour. So, the first shade is a fantastic, metallic rose gold that is quite pink. This would make an ideal base on your eyes if you were looking to apply any colours on top, as they would stick perfectly to it. The other shade is quite a deep, metallic bronzey-brown that would look amazing on green eyes.
The last product in the set is the gel eyeliner and would you just look at that pigment! I was really not expecting it to be that great, so I was amazed when I swatched it and it was so dark. Like the crayons, it applies extremely smoothly without any pulling, so you can draw lines with ease. As it's a gel, you could also smoke it out to create a smouldering smokey eye. I'm just a little bit obsessed with it!

There isn't a product in this set that I wouldn't use, so I really appreciate J buying it for me. It is available from Boots for £18, which works out at £3 per product, so it is really affordable! I'll get so much use out of it, and I just can't wait to see the kinds of looks I can create.

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