My make-bag contents
A couple of weeks ago I was put to the challenge to swap my regular make-up for Bobbi Brown Long-Wear and put it through it’s paces at London Fashion Week. You can’t get more extreme than LFW with shows starting at 9am and finishing anything up until 10pm, adding dinner and parties in there too. Running around from show to show doesn’t leave you with much time to sit and reapply make-up either. On top of that you never know when a photographer will want to take a quick snap, so you have to look photo perfect every minute. I guess the easiest way to see what I thought of the products is to take a look inside my make-up bag and see what is in there! The photo above is what currently resides in there and as you can see there is a ton of Bobbi Brown plus a few old favourites. So first up here is what I though about the Bobbi Brown products I tried.
- Long-wear even finish foundation SPF 15 – Warm Ivory 1
- Creamy Concealer Kit – Warm Honey Creamy Concealer & Pale Yellow Sheer Finish Pressed Powder
- Long-Wear Cream Shadow – Shore 35
- Sparkle Eye Shadow – Bone 19 (Limited Edition)
- Eye Shadow – Mahogany 10 (For Brows)
- Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner – Black Ink 1
- Ultra Fine Eye Liner brush
- Blusher – Nude Blush 29
- Illuminating Bronzing Powder – Antigua 2
- Intensifying Long-Wear Mascara – Black
- Rich Lip Colour SPF 12 – Old Hollywood 2
- Hydrating Rich Cream Cleanser
My absolute favourite product of the lot was the Long-wear foundation! I have never worn foundation because I have struggled to find one that is pale enough for my skin tone but also nice and light. I have sensitive skin but am lucky enough for it to be clear so the last thing I need is a heavy foundation. This not only went on like a dream, giving a perfect air-brushed effect but it stayed on right through the day until I chose to take it off. Whilst I was at my consultation I quizzed my make-up artist about all the products she was using and all the tools. I had never tried using a foundation brush before but since I was making the effort I though I would give it a go. I cannot tell you how impressed I was, it really made so much difference, the foundation spread on much more smoothly and it gave a flawless finish. I am converted I really couldn’t go back to using my fingers for application now.
The Creamy concealer kit duo was something of a revelation, putting powder under the eye? Surly that is breaking beauty rule number one! Seems like Bobbi took the rule book and threw it out the window. What the duo does is correct then conceal. The cream concealer neutralises under eye bags – use pink shades for pinky-blue shadows and peachy shades for purple-brown shadows. Then the light yellow toned pressed powder is gently dusted over the top, using a shade lighter than your skin tone, to brighten the eye area. The powder also helps set the concealer. I have also used the concealer just swiped over the eye lid and dotted on blemishes alone when I don’t want to wear a full face and it is perfect for making you look wide awake in seconds.
The Long-wear cream shadow was a delight to use, gliding on smoothly and feeling butter soft to the touch. The shade I used in Shore was a nude tone which worked well as a base for the Sparkle eye shadow or alone for a fresh neutral eye. The Sparkle eye shadow itself was amazing. It really is something I would urge you to go try out for yourselves as it is so hard to explain just how it looks. It goes on like a creamy-powder and looks so subtle, yet as soon as it catches the light it brightens up your whole face. I’ve never had so many compliments and must have sold about ten already after people admired it on me. I used a brush to apply both shadows but have also used my finger to smudge the cream shadow on whilst using alone for a quick make-up look. During LFW so many people asked to photograph my eye make-up, they loved the sparkle and flicked eye liner.
What I first noticed about the Intensifying Long-wear mascara was the tiny applicator brush, the exact opposite to what I usually use. I found it a bit strange at first but the brush was perfect for coating every single lash top and bottom – no need for buying a separate lower lash mascara, I admit I never saw the point of those. The consistency was perfect, not too thick or too runny which allowed it to be built up as much as you want. I’ve never found a mascara which I could build up before without it going all spidery or clumpy. The Long-wear lived up to its name and it didn’t flake or smudge one bit. The only thing I didn’t like so much about this mascara was it’s natural finish, no fault of the actual product, just my personal taste. I have short, thin lashes so feel I need a much more dramatic product. Since I was so impressed with the quality of this one though I will definitely go for a Bobbi Brown one. That said if you are looking for the perfect natural mascara you can’t go wrong with this.
Eye liner may smudge if you fall asleep in it!
The Long-wear gel liner was a bit tricky for me at first as I hadn’t use a ‘pot and brush’ eye liner for ages. On the first day of Fashion Week I was in such a rush I grabbed my usual liquid liner which by the end of the day had smudged all around my inner eye and lower lash line. Having more time to get used to the Ultra Fine Eyeliner Brush the next day I took my time and over the week got the hang of applying the gel liner. Again true to it’s name it stayed put all day. Another beauty myth I learned at my consultation was that you can never apply eye liner in one fell swoop, even make-up artists take their time to build up that perfect line. This made me feel much less a beauty school drop out and now I can get my perfect line in seconds. I do find it harder to create the ‘flick’ with the brush that the tip of a liquid liner, but I find the key is to ensure the brush bristles are tight and in line by pressing it on my hand first. It is well worth persevering with the brush for the lasting result. Filling in my brows was something else which was new to me. I had tried it once before with a Clinique set but ended up with brown smudges all over my face every time I brushed my face or itched my eye. Still wary from past experiences I was skeptical that just using a regular eye shadow wouldn’t do the same. I also wondered if the Eye Shadow in Mahogany was the right shade for me, since my hair is black. All my worries were not just set aside they were totally pushed out. I was seriously impressed with not just how much of a difference defining my brows made to my face but the fact the eye-shadow used didn’t budge one bit, even with my obsessive eye-brow scratching!
The Nude Blush Blusher was the perfect pop of pink, little was needed and it stayed in place all day. I was used to layering a cheek stain and powder to achieve the same effect. I took some convincing about using a Bronzer. The only time I’ve ever used on is on holiday with a tan, I’m so pale I’m translucent so I always thought I would look orange. My make-up artist Ruth explained that Bronzer didn’t just come in browny-orange shades but also more rosy ones. I tried the Illuminating Bronzing Powder in Antigua which you can seen in the photo is only a few shades darker than my blush. I was really surprised by the shade, it did look like Bronzer but more like a rosy-glow than a fake tan. Perfect for lifting my complexion, I can see this being a beauty essential in the summer especially on holiday when all you would need is a dusting of this and a slick of mascara for pool side glam.
To finish off the look I applied my signature red lip, Rich Lip Colour in Old Hollywood. After my favourite red lippie Chanel’s Rouge Hydra base in Fire was discontinued I’d been hunting for the perfect blue based red. This was the perfect colour and a perfect formula, moisturising and long lasting. I’d always been told to build up the colour to make it last, so line and then cover the entire lip with the liner to make a base, then apply lipstick, blot and reapply. Yet I’d be reapplying all day and end up with smudges that needed fixing. My Bobbi Brown make-up artist told me that ‘less-is-more’ was a better approach. Use a lip brush to line and apply the lippie, gradually building up colour, then if needed define the lip shape with liner last. I was even less convinced about this than I was with the Bronzer, but once again I was happy to be proved wrong. I only needed to touch up my lipstick after eating using this technique, sure it takes a little longer to apply with a brush but worth it if it saves time through out the day from reapplying. Neither did I get that smudging which must have been solely from having so much product on my mouth.
Once it is all on, at the end of the day of course you have to take it off again. I used the Hydrating Rich Cream Cleanser which was like having a mini facial at the end of a long day. You just spread it all over, I did this using damp hands, then massage it in. I even used it to rub off my eye make-up with no stingy eyes woop, woop. You can just rinse it off but I thought it was really nice to use with a hot muslin cloth as I like the polish they give to your skin. All make-up came off easily and my face felt soft and refreshed, not at all dry or tight. The product also smelt heavenly – as do all Bobbi Brown skin care products.
My Bobbi Brown kit
The final verdict: All in all I was blown away not just by the Bobbi Brown products but also the sheer friendliness and dedication of the staff. Since the team at Harvey Nichols knew I was going to be reviewing the products I decided to play Secret Shopper in the Selfridges Bobbi Brown. I’d noticed at the end of the day I was still getting a shiny t-zone, so I thought I would go ask if there was anything I could do to help this. The lovely make-up artist explained that if your skin is prone to do that then you can’t change it but I could try the Oil Control Lotion of which she gave me a little sample and wrote down all the info about it for me. So there you go 10/10 and I will let you know how I get on with the Lotion.
I loved all the products I tried and will be buying them all again. As I said the mascara wasn’t really for me, I’ve been using it as a natural every day mascara which it is perfect for, but I personally prefer a more dramatic effect. Since chatting to a few other Bobbi Brown fanatics – all I had to do was whip out my lippie and it would attract other Bobbi Brown fans. A few people have recommended the Extreme Party Mascara so I think I will have to try that, I’ve definitely been impressed enough by the one I tried to go out and buy another – sorry Chanel! I’d previously been flitting between Chanel Inimitable and Revlon Grow Luscious mascaras, whilst I liked both they just weren’t quite perfect enough. The Revlon was amazing at gripping lashes and gave a great effect but was crumbly, whilst the Chanel looked beautiful but was difficult to build up without going spidery.
As you can see from the top photo I did add back in some of my other products so what couldn’t I give up? Well of course I still needed my brushes so I kept those, I have a mixture from The Body Shop and Barbara Daly all which I can recommend. I actually didn’t try the Bobbi Brown powder so I kept my Chanel Mat Lumiere although I have to say when I does run out I can’t say yet if I will re-buy it or try Bobbi Brown, will let you know about that as I do love this powder and the compact it comes in. I didn’t have a Bobbi Brown lip liner or highlighters so kept my existing ones, love the Chanel lip liner as it has a brush on the end. I use the Chanel golden toned highlighter with a red lip for a Hollywood glow and the Benefit highlighter for that fresh faced natural look. I also kept my liquid eye liner until I get more practice with the brush and gel liner for when I am in a hurry but do have to use the Urban Decay primer to get it to stay in place.
Of course I will still be addicted to all the new fashion led releases from Chanel, you know about my passion for their nail varnishes and lipsticks. Neither can I resist the pure luxury of Tom Ford lippes or the fancy pants packaging of YSL. But I have to say for my basic essentials I am a through and through Bobbi Brown convert.
- Clinique Blusher brush
- Barbara Daly Brush Set including foundation, Powder, Concealer, Eye-shadow brushes
- The Body Shop Slanted brush for Eye brows
- Chanel Mat Lumiere – Luminous Matte Powder – Poudre 50
- Empreinte De Chanel – Highlighter (Limited Edition)
- Chanel Precision Lip Definer – Rouge 24 (Liner and Lip Brush)
- Chanel Inimitable Intense Mascara - Black 10
- Revlon Grow Luscious Mascara – Blackest Black 1
- The Body Shop Lip Line Fixer
- The Body Shop Liquid Eyeliner – Black 1
- Urban Decay Eye shadow Primer Potion – Eden
- Benefit Highbeam Highlighter
- Ms Makeup Eye Lash Curlers
- Benefit ‘Gabby’ Make-up case
Ready to roll at 7am (left) and ready to drop at 10pm – other than the lippie, I had just eaten my tea and a little shine to the T-Zone, my make-up is absolutely perfect. All I needed through out the day was the odd dusting of powder to control shine and a slick of lippe, easy!
Bobbi Brown Wish List
There are a few more things I would really like to try from Bobbi Brown so here is my wish list of things I will be buying in the near future and of course I will let you know what I think of them. It is my birthday this week too so I might have to treat myself.
- Extreme Party Mascara
- Extra Balm Rise (OMG this stuff smells like heaven dying to try it)
- BB cream (heard so much about this product but I don’t really get BB cremes so need to try one!)
- Skin Foundation Mineral Make-up or Sheer Finish Pressed Powder (Not sure which one I would need so want to go try these out)
- Hydrating Face Tonic (Tried this in the studio, it felt absolutely beautiful on the skin, very refreshing)
- Sparkle Eye Shadow – Brown Chocolate
- I would also like to check out some of Bobbi’s books
I would thoroughly recommend to anyone, going along to a Bobbi Brown counter for a consultation, there is no pressure to buy only genuine helpful advice. You are given a ‘face map’ with everything you have tried so you can go away and think about the products you tried. I think this is great not just because it gives you time to go away and see how the products lasted but also so you can go back at any time to pick up things as you please. Make-up can be expensive so you can always get one thing a month. I really hate it when I’ve had consultations with other brands and they try to force you to buy all the products they used, often adding up to hundreds of pounds! You can also check out all the products, prices, tips and advice on Bobbi Brown.co.uk