Bourjois Intense Smoky Eyeshadow and Liner Trio review, swatches

Find out if this trio of two eyeshadows and an eyeliner worked.

Bourjois Intense Smoky Eyeshadow and Liner Trio review, swatches

Bourjois is my favourite drugstore/non-department-store makeup brand. Their Healthy Mix Foundation, Rouge Edition Velvet Mat lipsticks, Pinceau eyeliner and Rotating Mascara feature regularly in my makeup routine. However, I am not a fan of their eyeshadows. They don't have large palettes, but single, duo and trio eyeshadows. In fact, when I first began wearing eyeshadow two years ago, I began with the Bourjois trios, before discovering what pigmentation and staying power meant and moving on to other brands.
I received the Bourjois Intense Smoky Eyeshadow and Liner Trio in Violet Constelle in my December LookFantastic beauty box and, having never tried one of these, I decided to keep it if only for nostalgic reasons.

Here are swatches and the review of the Bourjois Intense Smoky Eyeshadow and Liner Trio.




This comes in a round, plastic palette containing three pans and an applicator. The latter is rubbish; sponge at one end and a thin liner-brush at the other. I keep such applicators for swatching.
I have used similar trios before, but those are the Smoky Eye Trios (see here) which do not feature eyeliner, with a highlighter, a crease colour and a medium eyeshadow. Those were hit-or-miss; I had success with the rose (Rose Vintage), the neutral (Moredore Chic) and the blue (Bleu Jeans) but the others were not as decent.
Bourjois Intense Smoky Eyeshadow and Liner Trio review, swatches

The moment I swatched the purple eyeshadow once, it came apart and I have two separate cake-bits now, as you can see below. 
Bourjois Intense Smoky Eyeshadow and Liner Trio review, swatches

The formula is dry and powdery. Pigmentation is better than I thought; but nowhere near those amazing Makeup Academy palettes (HOW are they just £4?) or Sleek or Accessorize shadows. I haven't had much fallout, but wear time, sadly, isn't much. Worst of all, these shadows crease very badly, despite primer, after a couple of hours.

Here are the swatches on bare skin. No primer. In direct sunlight:
Bourjois Intense Smoky Eyeshadow and Liner Trio review, swatches

In natural light:
Bourjois Intense Smoky Eyeshadow and Liner Trio review, swatches

Forgive the blur. I am experimenting with aperture settings on my camera.

On the eyes, it looks even less pigmented, despite being worn over primer. Some eyeshadows work better on the forearm and not as much on the eyes; this is one of them. I am wearing the greyish shade in the inner corners, the violet shade everywhere else and the eyeliner on the lower lashline.
Bourjois Intense Smoky Eyeshadow and Liner Trio review, swatches

Now for the biggest issue - see how this creases? I have worn this over Kat von D High Voltage Primer, reviewed here. That primer keeps anything intact and brings out the colour nicely. Except for lousy eyeshadow, clearly.
Bourjois Intense Smoky Eyeshadow and Liner Trio review, swatches

This is not a one-off incident with Bourjois eyeshadows. Here is what happens when I wear the Bourjois Smoky Eye Trio in Vert Trendy. As I said before, some of those smoky eye trios work; some do not. 
Bourjois Intense Smoky Eyeshadow and Liner Trio review, swatches

Verdict

While the Bourjois eyeshadow trios are inexpensive and cute, they cannot stay put for peanuts. Most of the eyeshadows crease. At £7.99 for two eyeshadows and an eyeliner, you are better off putting your money elsewhere. I got this in a beauty box; I would definitely not have bought this.
If you are on the look for a drugstore eyeshadow brand, I recommend Makeup Academy (MUA) since they are just £4 per palette and have far, far better pigmentation, staying power and formula. Not to mention that each palette has some 12 eyeshadows, in great shades. Used over primer, the MUA eyeshadows will do as good a job as you want.
It does pain me to be harsh, particularly when I talk about a brand I love so much. Bourjois is still my favourite drugstore brand, but I'm not a fan of their eyeshadows. And eyeshadows are one makeup product where paltry performance cannot be put up with.
If you have never tried Bourjois makeup, check out their products here or here. I highly recommend the lipsticks, the foundations, blushes, mascaras, bronzers and everything else but eyeshadows. Both places ship worldwide, of course!

Which is your favourite drugstore eyeshadow brand? Tell me in the Disqus comments widget below.



  1. Thank you for the honest review! These are always appreciated. There are so many inexpensive brands that do have great pigmentation and staying power that I'd hate to waste money on this one1

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  2. The colors are lovely! Saaaaad face about how they wear, though. My favorite drugstore eyeshadow would definitely be NYX. They've got some fabulous taupe singles.

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  3. Oh no, what a shame this was so bad. I've had similar experiences with Maybelline and Covergirl shadows, so I usually stick to higher end brands. Though I would love to try Sleek, but I'm pretty sure you can't get that here in America - boo!

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  4. Whoo, boy. This palette looks unwearable. I can't even put those colors together, myself, not to mention the formula. You are right about the MUA palettes, though! I wish they resumed shipping to the US, because I love them.

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  5. These are cute little trios. The purple is really pretty and it stinks that they don't stay. I have never heard of this brand before so I am glad you mentioned that.

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  6. I love purple but I'm sad about the pigmentation

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  7. The shades look great, but it's too bad about the quality. I really like the Sleek palettes. I use the Oh So Special one a lot..

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  8. What a bummer they won't stay!

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  9. Too bad they didn't work well for you!

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  10. Sorry to hear these didn't work out. It's always the worst when a brand you love lets you down a little bit. Thanks for the honest review!

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  11. Boo! The colours are pretty, too bad the quality isn't there. My favorite drugstore eye shadows are Wet n Wild Color Icon. I like the Maybelline Color Tattoo creme shadows, as well. I don't won many drugstore shadows, I honestly prefer mid tier and high end eye shadow.

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  12. Oh no, I hate when e/s creases! I'm quite forgiving when it comes to cheap d/s brands but never on designer/high-end ones....

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  13. I hate when something won't work

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  14. Sorry to hear they didn't work out :( The colors would be great tho!

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  15. I agree! So many better eyeshadows out there for the price.

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  16. I did so wanted to love this palette :(

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  17. Doesn't Sleek ship worldwide from their website? They are AMAZING palettes; do check out the shipping deets on their website!

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  18. I need to try NYX shadows; I've only tried eyeliners and lip products.

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  19. I didn't know MUA stopped shipping to the US. Why?? Their Spring '15 palette is just so beautiful that I had to order it!

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  20. I LOVE Sleek; their Sunset and Vintage Romance palettes are among my favourites.

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  21. I love the WnW eyeshadows! But as a rule, I prefer higher-end eyeshadows as well. They are a lot more pigmented, long-staying and buttery.

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  22. Thank you! I usually love everything from Bourjois but their shadows are appalling.

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  23. Thank you! I badly wanted to love this palette :(

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  24. That sucks it doesn't stay, the shades are gorgeous on you!

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  25. I was never really impressed with Bourjois' eyeshadow palettes but I really liked their shadow singles. They don't sell their product on shelves here in the states and I wish they did. There are a few of their foundations I have been dying to try.

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  26. The colors in this palette are so pretty - it's too bad the quality is not great.

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  27. Bummer that the shadows are patchy and not so pigmented. Purple is definitely your color though!

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  28. Shame it is not good quality! I do think purple looks good on you :)

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  29. What a total bummer! The purple palette is so gorgeous, what a shame that it was a fail for you!

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  30. I prefer high-end eyeshadows for this reason; d/s eyeliners are fine, but not shadows.

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  31. I ADORE their Healthy Mix foundation. I hope you can find them in the US soon! That foundation is ah-mayyy-zing!

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  32. Purple is my favourite!

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  33. Thank you! It is my favourite shade!

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  34. Ah, too bad, because the colors are very pretty. Thank you for the honest review!

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