Pantone was a commercial printing company that became famous for their color standards. To make a long story short, they created books of color swatches and a system by which any of these colors could be consistently created. Some colors are created with the standard printing mix of CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, black). Others are “spot” colors, created from some combination of Pantone’s 13 inks plus white and black. What this means is a graphic designer in Phoenix can create a corporate logo in PMS 78 (Pantone Matching System), and it can be printed correctly in Iceland, India, or New Zealand, without calibrating it to another printed sample. The system is so pervasive that even national flags are described by PMS color.
And since 2000, for the prestige of the brand, Pantone has named a “color of the year.” I don’t always agree with their predictions; I wasn’t feeling “Honeysuckle” last year. Orange was pretty hot last summer — I think it hasn’t yet gone out of vogue. Regardless, I love orange, so I was very excited about the collaboration.
I originally expected to buy the collector’s set, $68. It includes everything I thought I would want: eyeshadow quad, lipstick, the blush duo, and single blush. The lipgloss and eyeliner were just a bonus! But the eyeshadow quad kind of talked me out of it. The texture was nice, but not, as Camel cigarettes used to say, pure swatching pleasure. The shades are all a little sheer (I built them up).
Scallop Shell is a sheer, satin, beige ballet pink. Carnelian is a satin coral with a few pink-gold shimmers. Sparrow is a cool, matte, slightly purpled bark-brown. Pavement is a sheer black satin with a few tiny sparkles. The eyeshadow quad is $28, if you buy it individually.
Tangerine Tango Cream lipstick ($18) is the flagship piece of the collection, and Sephora, you got me good. I love it. It’s a semi-sheer coral orange — and because it’s sheer, it goes completely warm-strawberry red-pink on me. Also because it’s sheer, it doesn’t last THAT long on my lips. The texture is glossy-jelly, not drying at all. It also has a sweet scent (gummi bears?) that I notice only when I’m applying.
Then there’s the lipgloss set, $20 (which is nothing when you consider you’re getting 4 glosses). But in what will become a recurring theme for this collection, I kind of wish they’d done individual products instead of a set.
The lipglosses are a nod to Pantone’s different finishes. Vivid is probably the truest representation of what “Tangerine Tango” is supposed to be. It’s the most opaque and the most red. Tangerine Tango Luminous is a little lighter, a little more sheer, and has gold sparkles. Tangerine Tango Opal is a little more sheer and a little lighter, with dense pink sparkles. But as you can see from the swatches, it almost seems like you’re buying three tubes of the same gloss. Tangerine Tango Glaze is a nice surprise. It’s a sheer, warm, grapefruit pink with pink and gold sparkles.
There are two blush options, a blush duo ($26) and a Prisma Chrome Blush ($16). The blush duo consists of Desert Flower (a matte, warm guava pink) and Coral (a deeper, more intense, watermelon pink with gold shimmer). The Prisma Chrome Blush was REALLY sparkly; I felt like there was nearly as much sparkle as color/pigment. It’s apricot with dense gold sparkles.
Not loving Apricot Brandy confirmed my decision not to buy the collector’s set.
I found the Tangerine Tango nail polishes to be surprisingly nifty… but I wished I could buy just one of them for $6, rather than all four for $24. Like the lipglosses, the nail polishes are an exploration of finish. The set contains Tangerine Tango Matte, Creme, Shimmer (sheer with tiny orange and pink shimmers), and Glitter (intense, autumn-leaf orange glitter in a clear base).
There’s also a trio of mechanical eyeliners ($22). Though these pencils were very soft and creamy, I was concerned about staying power. (Anyone own these and care to weigh in?) Meteorite is black, Tangerine Tango Twist is a sheeny satin bittersweet red-orange with pink and silver shimmers. Chestnut is dark brown.
The collection also contains a number of makeup accessories: “Tangerine Tango” brush sets ($68), false lashes ($28), eyelash curlers ($18), a makeup bag ($28). None of these made my have-to-have list.
Also, I do have to ding Sephora for their packaging on this collection: the outer packaging is absurdly wasteful (perhaps to discourage in-store shoplifting of what was sure to be a popular collection). I also disliked the translucent, non-attaching, magnetized lids on the eyeshadow quad and blush duo.
Are you an orange-lover? A Pantone-groupie? What did you love (and not love) about this collection?