The Line Up Project: Bobbi Brown
Review by MUA's Cavewoman
I admit that I haven't been much of a Bobbi Brown Cosmetics fan. I used to stop at the counters and look at the 40 neutral-toned, matte shadow offerings. It all kind of looked dull and boring to me. I get her philosophy about the natural look, but I do like a tad of shimmer and a bit of color when choosing my makeup items. Her pre-made palettes are famous and very popular, though, and I'd read many raves about her gel liners. Recently, on a trip to Bergdorf with Miss Blogdorf, I noticed huge changes at the Bobbi Brown counter. Gone were the many dull round shadow pans, replaced now with a fabulous and ingenius system of square pans of shadows and blushes, which fit into empty palettes of two, three, four or six pans. The shades are beautiful, some with shimmer, and a lovely, creamy texture, and color! So many pretty colors! When you pop your choices into the palettes, the bottom of the pan shows under the palette so you can see the names of your colors. I can't wait to go see James at our Saks Bobbi Brown counter in Cleveland and make a custom palette of my own with the new colors! I may be a Bobbi Brown believer very soon!
When I started this liner series, I ordered a Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner from the QVC website, and I chose Black Mauve Shimmer Ink because the name sounded like a color I would love. It's not black and it's not mauve, it's more of a medium brown, and the shimmer is gold, which is subtle but definitely skews this shade a bit toward warm. It was very pretty, though, but just not something I would have chosen had I gone to the counter to see before buying. Setting aside my disappointment in the color itself, I set out to try the liner in terms of performance.
I used my Sonia Kashuk bent-angle liner brush on one eye, and the Shu Uemura 5F on the other. The consistency of the BB Long-Wear is creamy and soft, unlike the drugstore gel liners which are very dense and thick. The liner applied smoothly and evenly with both brushes, and it didn't even take a minute to line both eyes. I'm really developing a good skill with these liners! The BB glides on with no skipping or clumping. I really liked the color on my eyes, too, which was a pleasant surprise. It did not look as warm on the eye as it did in the pot. It was definitely a cool-tone, and I could see the shimmer, which I loved. I didn't have any other liners that even came close to the color of this BB, so I was glad I chose it. I had a day of errand running to do, so out the door I went, wearing the Bobbi Brown, and hoping the Long-Last promise would be true. I even checked the Bobbi Brown website and saw that this product comes in so many beautiful shades! I thought that I'd ask James to help me choose a few more colors that he'd think would look good on me.
Four hours was all I got out of the Bobbi Brown liner. When I came home from my errands, I checked to see how it looked. There was some definite wear in the liner, some fading of color, and some gaps here and there on both eyes (so it couldn't have been the two different brushes, the results were the same for both eyes.) I noticed a flake or two of the liner here and there on both eyelids. I had high hopes for the Bobbi Brown formula, it does get raves on the MakeUpAlley makeup board and the product review section, but it just did not last very long on me at all. There was almost nothing remaining at the end of the day when I removed my eye makeup with the Benefit Gee That Was Quick. I couldn't believe that I had gotten such dismal results with the BB liner, so I decided to test it again, a few days later. And this time, I used a powder shadow from Bourjois over top of the liner on one eye, to see if that would make a difference. I chose the gorgeous Noir Precieux, a black-purple shade with a tad of shimmer, and applied it over top of the BB liner with a very thin old Sephora liner brush I had in my stash. I put the liner on the other eye without setting it with the shadow.
The results were much better this second time around, not just with the eye that had shadow over top of the liner, but with the liner-only eye, too. I was pleased to see that both eyes looked great after seven hours of wear. The shadow-on-top side had a bit more color, but the liner on both sides still had the defined line that I had applied earlier in the day. I don't know why I did not have such good results the first time around. I'm as perplexed as you are about this. But I'm happy that I don't have to flunk the Bobbi Brown as I did the Clinique. And I have to say that I love the way the liner looked with the Bourjois Noir Precieux over it. This really did give that purple-black shade that I was hoping for when I chose the BB Black Mauve. I'll definitely be doing this again, and I will try this powder-shadow-over-liner technique with some of the other liners, too. I'll report about that in the future. In the meantime, Bobbi Brown gets a solid 8 in performance and now I am even more eager to go see James and choose more shades. And to make that palette.
Disclaimer: All products mentioned in this were purchased by the reviewer.