It’s been awhile since I’ve done a product review and I thought some fancy makeup would be a perfect topic as we head into party season. This year Bobbi Brown introduced their “City Collections” which featured palettes, eye liners and lipsticks based on New York, London and Paris.
Frankly, they were all amazing, and when I found a great coupon deal online, I decided to splurge and try out a city out for myself. My budget allowed for one palette and one gel eye liner.
After chatting online via instant message with a Bobbi Brown makeup specialist (which you can do for free) and uploading a photo of myself, I was able to finally decide on the Paris palette and matching gunmetal longwear eye liner.
The Description: “Exclusively for our 25th anniversary, Bobbi introduces a collection of limited edition palettes celebrating three iconic fashion cities. Inspired by Parisians’ effortlessly chic style, the Paris Palette features four shadows in nude and deep gray shades plus the perfect, fresh shade of blush—all in a collectible mirrored compact with an illustration by renowned artist Richard Haines..
Featured in O, The Oprah Magazine (November 2016)”
To start, this palette has really beautiful packaging. I actually don’t mind spending a little more for a product if the packaging is very attractive. Eyeshadow palettes can have a pretty long shelf-life, so you’ll be looking at that lovely compact for quite some time. Plus sturdier packaging (as opposed to cardboard) holds up so much better over time.
I have other Bobbi Brown eyeshadows and they are my go to staple, for blendable neutral eyes. They aren’t as pigmented as other shadows (like MUFE) but they are great for creating subtle natural looks and they apply easily.
Like my other Bobbi Brown palettes, the shades on this one aren’t super pigmented, but you can build them for more color. When you’re dealing with grey (or really dark) shadow I think that’s a plus. The palest shade pretty much just blends into my skin.
The darkest shade can be used as an eyeliner, or for setting over a gel eyeliner.
The blush goes on easily and is a surprisingly wearable shade. It gives a subtly bright pop of color, that makes you look healthy but without looking like you’re wearing a ton of makeup. I also used it for my eyes to add a little pop to the grey tones and it worked quite well.
My one problem with this palette, is one I have with some other Bobbi Brown ones – staying power. Even with my sturdier eye primers, the eyeshadows tend to disappear very quickly. The blush had better staying power and when I used the darker shade to set eyeliner, that seemed to last long as well.
(Liner on the far left, then the eyeshadow shades from dark to light, and the blush).
(It’s hard to see, but the lightest shade is swatched right before the blush.)
If the shadows could stay a bit longer for me, this would definitely be a love. Even so, I like the subtle, sophisticated way these shadows layer. The shades are timeless and would work on a variety of skin tones. I was afraid the gray would be too dark for my pale skin, but the colors were chic and not goth at all.
CITY COLLECTION – LONG-WEAR GEL EYELINER – GUNMETAL INK
The Description: “A Dark Steel”
Verdict: Too hard to apply
I have hooded, oily lids so my eye products tend to disintegrate or migrate all over my eyes. The best luck I have with creating a winged eye look that lasts more than 10 minutes, is to use a gel liner and then set it with eyeshadow. I have an espresso brown from Laura Mercier that I adore and I really wanted to try out a grey, but Laura Mercier’s color options are severely limited. This Bobbi Brown one seemed perfect. The color on this is great, but even with several different types of eyeliner brushes, I found it really hard to apply. It’s not at all in the same league as the Laura Mercier version. I’ll keep experimenting, but I think I’m just going to have to hold out until Laura Mercier puts out some new shades.
With my coupon code, I got the above plus 5 free samples (see below) for $65.27 (including tax), so I’m still happy with my purchase, even if the eye liner wasn’t a win.
If you love a makeup brand, be sure to shop around to various stores to get the best deals and freebies. Department stores and brand websites can often give you a lot more bang for your buck than Sephora or Ulta. They often feature coupon code and freebies you don’t always see in other places.
If you’re interested in the City Collection, the London palette is still available as well and Bobbi Brown is currently offering 6 free minis with purchase.