I purchased this product with store credit earned through my Glossier affiliate link. I am not a Glossier rep.
Avid Glossier followers know that the best source for upcoming releases is Glossier’s trademarks page. When the name “Lidstar” appeared there about a year ago, I surmised that Glossier was developing a shimmery eyeshadow. That product finally materialized earlier this month, on the eyelids of a handful of celebrities at the Oscars. (Beyoncé also wore Lidstar at the Grammys back in January, but Glossier revealed only that she was “wearing __ in __.” Ooh, mysterious!) Launching new makeup at awards shows is apparently Glossier’s Thing now, and while I find it a little tacky, I can’t deny that paying Sir John to put Lidstar on Beyoncé is a pretty effective way to market your product. I also can’t deny that I was excited about this particular release. I tend to like Glossier’s approach to color makeup, and an eye product was long overdue. And I’d never used liquid eyeshadow, so I was curious what I’d make of the formula.
|L-R: Cub, Fawn, Moon.|
Glossier advertises Lidstar as “[l]ess shadow, more glow…Each shadow lights up eyes with a wash of twinkling color, thanks to custom-blended colorways of coated pigment and floating multicolor pearl.” To me, this sounded like a liquid shadow with a sheer base and pronounced sparkle, perfect for the delicate glittery looks you see all the time in k-beauty. Here’s a helpful closeup from a recent music video by the new girl group LOONA:
Lidstar ($18 for one, $30 for two) comes in six shades: Cub, described as “a rose gold with warm shimmer effect”; Fawn, “a cool, smoky taupe with violet and neutral gold pearls”; Herb, “a smoky green with yellow gold pearl”; Lily, “a sheer lilac base with blue and violet pearls”; Moon, “the sheerest cream base with blueish opalescent glitter”; and Slip, “a sheer baby pink with gold highlight effect.” Frankly, this array of shades feels a bit dated to me: five out of the six are cool-toned, and there’s no bronze or brown in evidence. And I say this as a cool-toned person! I’m curious whether warmer-toned people feel that they can wear these shades.
For my first Lidstar experience, I limited myself to three shades: Cub, Fawn, and Moon. I waffled a bit between Moon and Slip, but I was really curious about Moon’s “blueish opalescent glitter,” and the description of Slip made it sound like a shadow I already owned, Kiko Golden Mauve.
The Lidstars come in standard Glossier blush-pink cardboard boxes with white lettering:
The bottles, designed to look like test tubes, are made of sturdy-feeling plastic. The cap closes securely. I had no problem opening and closing the tubes, but I think I got lucky: Renee, for one, has reported struggling with the lids. As usual with Glossier, I think the packaging is cute and nicely portable, but slightly cheaper-looking than I’d expect for the price point.
|I can totally imagine that “Glossier” lettering rubbing off in a few weeks.|
Edit, 4/24: While putting on Fawn today, I noticed that the cap had cracked badly. I inspected my two other Lidstars, and Cub had an even deeper crack. Keep in mind that these two shadows have lived on my shelf since their arrival a mere month ago. I don’t carry them with me during the day. I may have taken Fawn on one overnight trip (I can’t quite recall), but still, this is unacceptable. Glossier, you’re not a tiny indie brand on Etsy. If you can afford to put your products on Beyoncé at the Oscars, you can MORE than afford to improve your packaging.
The applicator is a small, fluffy doefoot. I’ve tried dabbing the product directly onto my lids, but I find it much easier to swipe it onto my finger first, then blend out.
Before I review each shade individually, I’ll give some thoughts on the formula as a whole. First, let me be clear: this is a sheer eyeshadow! Fawn and Cub are more pigmented than Moon, but they still require at least two coats for anything approaching opacity. Moon is never going to come close to opaque. The descriptions and photos on Glossier’s website indicate that Lidstar is meant to deliver a subtle, slightly undone look, and I’m going to take it on those terms in my review.
That said, Lidstar diverges from the website description in one important way: it’s not as sparkly as advertised, unless you’re standing right under artificial light. Fawn approaches k-pop levels of ethereal glitter, but Moon has more of a sheen, and Cub dries down to a satin formula that actually looks matte in some lights. I’d been looking forward to trying Lidstar as the center of a halo eye or as a glitter topper for matte shadows, but it’s not remotely suited to those purposes.
As I’ve mentioned ad nauseam on this blog, my eyelids wreak havoc with many eyeshadow formulas. I’m only 30, but I have lids that might be described euphemistically as “mature”: full of creases, folds, and wrinkles. So I had some apprehension about Lidstar: Would the formula gather in the creases? Would it flake off weirdly? Would it look messy, like, not chic-messy but busted-messy? I’m pleased to report that for the more pigmented shades, Cub and Fawn, my fears were misplaced. Being fairly sheer, those shades don’t exactly disguise my creases, but they don’t emphasize them, either. Moon gives me more trouble (more on that later), but I don’t think Cub and Fawn are bad choices for textured lids.
The formula spreads smoothly across my lids and takes about a minute to dry down. I’ve tried all the shades both on their own and over my usual eyeshadow primer, Urban Decay Primer Potion, and I’ve noticed zero difference in wear time or fallout levels. With or without primer, Lidstar lasts all day with minimal fallout and creasing (granted, I don’t have especially oily lids). If anything, the stickiness of the primer makes the shadow harder to spread across my lids. I never wear primer with cream shadow, so I’m not surprised that I don’t need it with liquid shadow, either. Because Fawn has the largest sparkles, it also has the most fallout, but not enough to be noticeable at a normal speaking distance.
Now for the individual shades!
Cub is a very warm rose gold that verges on copper. On my cool-toned skin, it leans more orange than I’d prefer, and I wonder why Glossier made Cub so warm-toned when the other shades are cool. It wouldn’t be easy to wear Cub in a look with any of the other Lidstars, except maybe Slip, which I haven’t personally tried. Here’s Cub (left) swatched next to one of my favorite single eyeshadows, Seventeen Statuesque, which is pinker and more muted:
The arm swatch makes Cub look almost metallic, but once it dries down on my lids, its sheen is quite subtle. It’s the most evenly pigmented of the three, and the one I’d recommend most enthusiastically; it’s just not an amazing color for my complexion. Here I’m wearing it as a one-and-done shadow with Tarte Paaarty blush, Glossier Haloscope in Quartz, Revlon Matte Balm in Fierce, and wet hair because I remain inept at timing my blog-selfie sessions:
|My Marceline pin (!!) is from the brilliantly named Girl Fawkes Pins.|
Fawn is my favorite of the three, though it’s a far cry from the “cool, smoky taupe with violet and neutral gold pearls” described on the website. It’s gray, people. It’s a shimmery gray that leans slightly purple.
Fawn harmonizes nicely with my plum, purple, and cool-toned nude lipsticks, including my current favorite, Pat McGrath Madame Greige. This is Fawn on its own, without any eyeliner or other eyeshadow:
Fawn swatched between NARS Lhasa (left) and Kiko Rosy Brown (right):
Finally, Moon. Sigh. The color is unusual, I’ll give it that. Moon has a very pale gold base with a blue sheen that’s much more noticeable on my lids than it is in the tube or an arm swatch. Here’s Moon swatched between ABH Vermeer (left) and Topshop Holograph (right):
If your lids are as smooth as the inside of my forearm, you might be pleased with Moon. If you have lids with any lines or texture at all (and most people do), you’re probably going to struggle. Unlike Cub and Fawn, Moon doesn’t disperse evenly across my lids. It clumps up on itself and pools in the creases, producing a milky-looking mess. I can get it to semi-behave if I apply a very thin (basically invisible) layer, wait a minute for it to dry, then go in with another layer. I don’t hate how it looks here, but I don’t love it, either:
Instead of wearing Moon all over the lid, I prefer using it in conjunction with Fawn. I place Fawn on the outer half of my lid and Moon on the inner half, blending them in the middle with my finger (see below). You could also dab it lightly on top of Fawn or another shadow for some added glimmer.
|Yes, I’m wearing Madame Greige again.|
My final thoughts are…mixed. I don’t hate the Lidstars. I’ve been wearing all three, especially Fawn, pretty frequently in the last few weeks. I love an eyeshadow that I can smear on lazily with my fingers, and the Lidstar formula lends itself well to my lifestyle, which can best be described by a pin that my friend Lucy gave me last weekend:
But do I think these are worth $18, or even 2 for $30? Not really. I don’t think that’s an unconscionable price (I’d rather pay $18 for a Lidstar than for a Generation G lipstick), but you’d be better served by picking up a Kiko eyeshadow stick for $9. Fawn and Cub are both decent shades, but I can’t recommend Moon unless you have cartoon-smooth eyelids. Part of me wants to try Slip, but another part of me wants to save my store credit for the “Disco Lip” product that’s been hanging out on Glossier’s trademarks page for the past year. Now, that might deliver enough glitter to satisfy my trash-witch soul.