For those who aren’t aware, I love Ben Nye makeup. I bough the Lumiere Grand palette a few years back and it’s been my crack ever since. Ben Nye is one of the few makeup companies where I actually set out to collect each color in an entire collection – and I succeeded!
Ben Nye eyeshadows were actually my favorite brand of eyeshadows until Make Up For Ever’s new Artist Shadows usurped them. BUT, even though they’re not my #1 anymore, they’re still #2…wait, what? O_o
I started with the 12 pan Lumiere Grande Colour Palette, and from there went on to buy all of the rest of the Lumiere Grande collection in singles. Most people, if they have Ben Nye shadows, will have some or all of the colors from the well known 12 palette. But, I wanted them ALL, even if some of the colors weren’t that original. The quality of these shadows always impressed me enough to where I wanted to complete the set.
One thing I have to discuss right away is some of the negative ideology behind these shadows. A lot of people throw shade at Ben Nye eyeshadows calling them “clown makeup” – but not just because they’re bright. Lots of companies make bright/heavily pigmented makeup (as I’ve already said MUFE makes even BRIGHTER makeup). The reason BN gets called clown makeup is because Ben Nye is a theater makeup brand. Originally Ben Nye Makeup was meant for stage performers who needed very obvious makeup that was easily seen in a big theater. Because theater makeup is well known for being bright, pigmented, and good quality; yes, some clowns have used Ben Nye, but that does not make it “clown” makeup anymore than Mac, Urban Decay etc. It’s just colored makeup. Their eyeshadows are just like a LOT of eyeshadows, except the formula is very highly pigmented, and if you’re like me and like pigmented makeup – that just means better quality. Also, because Ben Nye is marketed as theater makeup you get way more product for way less money (mainly because if used in theater you’d use way more product, on way more people, way more often). For example a Mac eyeshadow is 1.5g/0.05oz for $15 while a full size Ben Nye compact is 2.7g/.09oz at an average of about $10. That’s almost twice as much product for 2/3 the cost. And let me go on the record as saying Ben Nye eyshadows blow Mac eyeshadows OUT OF THE WATER! Mac eyeshadows have been getting their asses kicked by a lot of brands these days (seriously Mac, step up your game!), but even before brands like Urban Decay, Sugar Pill or MUFE; Ben Nye was around, and they were better.
The above swatches are from the more well known Lumiere Grande palette. All BN Lumiere Grande colors are shimmer or metallic. So if you don’t like shimmer you probably won’t like any of the Lumiere Grande collection.
Ice: is one of the best white shimmer shadows you can get. I’ve seen a few matte whites more pigmented but as far as shimmer goes Ice wins.
Aztec Gold: is actually a pretty wearable gold if you like gold shadow. Not metallic, just shimmer.
Silver: is a tad metallic and quite pigmented.
Azalea: is one of my all time favorite BN eyeshadows. If you need a super hot pink; Azalea is your color!
Cosmic Blue: is a beautiful jewel blue and very pigmented.
Sun Yellow: If I have to pick 1 BN eyeshadow as my absolute favorite; it will be Sun Yellow. Sun Yellow is THE BEST YELLOW EVER. I have used many yellow eyeshadows, matte and shimmer, and BN Sun Yellow has always been the best!
Iced Gold: is a more subtle shimmer and a much lighter gold than Aztec. I actually use this a highlight sometimes and it’s probably one of my more heavily used colors.
Tangerine: is a warm citrus orange.
Chartreuse: is also another huge favorite of mine. It really is the perfect warm chartreuse color and the pigmentation is INSANE!
Jade: is a more primary green.
Amethyst: is a medium purple.
Cosmic Violet: if you need a cheaper, but WAY better version of Mac Pink Pearl/Stars and Rockets – get Cosmic Violet, its a dead on dupe with WAY better pigmentation.
The rest of these shadow I had to purchase separately from the palette. Please note that the far right “Goldenrod” is NOT a part of Lumiere Grande collection, but it is the only Matte, non LG eyeshadow that I own from BN so I figured I’d show you guys what one of their non LG matte shadows look like.
Golden Apricot: is a peachy color with a gold/pink sheen/shift. It’s one of the few LG colors that actually has iridescence to it and its probably my second favorite after Sun Yellow.
Royal Purple: is a deep blackened purple.
Persimmon: is a warm coral red.
Cherry Red: is a red that leans a little pink, not a true primary red. Sadly BN does not make a true primary red, at least not in the LG collection. As much as I LOVE red eyeshadow, this is pretty much the only BN eyeshadow I own that is a bitch to use. Cherry Red bleeds, a LOT. I have to make sure I put my foundation on AFTER my eyeshadow with this color because it’ll bleed fall out all over my face, and whatever you do, don’t wear it in the crease, you can’t blend it out without getting pink all the way up to your eyebrows no matter how little you use. The pigmentation on this shadow is literally, TOO MUCH. You seriously can’t contain it, it gets everywhere. It’s a very messy shadow.
Peacock: is a cool blue/green color and it has a green iridescence to it.
Turquoise: is a teal; yeah I don’t get what the hell they were thinking with that name. In the above swatch it looks green for some reason, but in real life it’s a very pretty teal shade.
Mermaid Green: is close to Chartreuse, except that it’s more cool-toned. Chartreuse is definitely more warm in comparison.
Bronze: is one of the more metallic shades, but if you’re looking for less “loud” colors I’d recommend Bronze, Iced Gold, Golden Apricot, and Aztec Gold.
Indian Copper: is very metallic and very copper in color. It looks just like a shiny new penny!
Starry Night: is often labeled as “black,” but it’s not. Starry Night is a dark smokey grey, and the only LG color with microfine rainbow glitter. The glitter is very subtle and doesn’t have issues with fall out at all.
Goldenrod: as I mentioned above is not a Lumiere Grande shadow, it’s one of Ben Nye’s many other shadows from their matte range. It’s a soft pastel yellow that is still surprisingly pigmented. I guess BN just knows how to do yellows right.
All Ben Nye colors are permanent and they’re all shades that have been around for ages. They can be a little hard to find if you want to buy them in person; as usually only theater supply stores or costume shops carry them, but you can also order them online from places like SillyFarm.com (they specialize in face paints). I believe you can find these on Amazon as well. I had to purchase my collection from at least 5-6 different retailers over the years to collect them all, but it’s a collection I’m very proud of, and to this day these are some of my most used eyeshdows.
FTC Disclaimer: I purchased all of these shadows with my own money and all opinions expressed are based on my personal experiences with these products.