Jul 222010

When I had a makeover at Nordstrom’s Burberry Beauty, I asked for a neutral look that mirrored the Burberry Beauty promotional image.  True to my request, the excellent makeup artist used Burberry’s beautiful Warm Glow Natural Bronzer in No. 1 Warm Glow and the Light Glow Blush in Russet, swatched here at KarlaSugar’s blog.  Together with the very neutral eye that I’d requested, I looked in the mirror and craved a little color.  After reviewing their palette of blushes, I chose to add Rose Blush No. 03 (Light Glow Natural Blush in Rose) ($42).

I chose Rose because it’s an unusual color for me–it’s a pink with a touch of coral.  It’s not as coral or as bright as MAC Hipness blush, it is deeper and has more medium rose.  To me, its a sophisticated color that still looks lovely with a bronzer.  If you have a deeper complexion, I’m sure this would be lovely on you.  Although it looks quiet in the pan, it really comes to life on the skin. With flash indoors mixed with windowlight:

Despite the words “Light Glow” in the product name, I found this blush to be quite pigmented for my light MAC NC15/Chanel Cameo Ivoire complexion.  With a bronzer, I found that I was able to use  one sweep of a standard blush brush for plenty of color.  It gives a beautiful, deep-rose coral glow.  That being said, the color can be very pronounced on pale skin and I found it worked best with a neutral eye and lip.  Adding too much color to my eyes (especially cooler colors) means going more sparingly on Burberry Rose.   It occurs to me that Burberry’s decision to create an eyeshadow line with well over half the shades devoted to neutrals means that this blush will integrate very well into the Burberry system.  Some of my more dramatic eyeshadows from other lines will probably stay in my makeup drawer when I wear Burberry Rose, at least for my personal coloring.

During my makeover, the makeup artist stressed that the line was created for how many women actually wear makeup.  When I looked around the store at women shoppers, and think about women that see everyday in meetings, conferences or elsewhere, I realized that Burberry was onto something.  Most items in my makeup collection are neutrals, because those are the most practical ones for my lifestyle.  Although I love (and sometimes need!) a dash of color, I can get that effect by using a high quality items like Burberry Rose blush in an otherwise neutral makeup look.

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Jul 212010

Butter London has just released All Hail McQueen ($14.00), in honor of genius designer Alexander McQueen.  This is a taupe based shade has a holographic quality, which in my mind evokes the legendary runway moment when McQueen projected a holographic image of Kate Moss to an awe-struck crowd.  If you haven’t seen this moment, this video tells the story:

The polish has tiny shimmers which react strongly to changes in light.  Here are a few pictures, this one in neutral light:

You can see tiny sparkles suspended in the taupe.  These pictures were taken with the polish applied in three coats, over CND Stickey Base Coat and topped with Essies Good to Go:

In shade, the sparkles appear silvery:

In warm direct sunrise light, the polish sparkles flash orange, gold, green and a few other colors that are hard to identify:

This polish is currently available as part of Butter London’s Fall Collection on their website. (This is not a paid link, this is simply inserted for your convenience).

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Jul 202010

Burberry Beauty’s eyeshadow range includes Pearl Blue No. 16 ($29)(Sheer Eye Shadow Pearl Blue), a delicate grayed-down blue with a light pearly shimmer.  Normally I don’t include blues in my makeup purchases–most advice that I’ve seen says that those with blue eyes should stay away from blue eyeshadows.  Nonetheless, I make exceptions for blues that I consider “off-blues,” like blues mixed with golds, greens or a touch of silver.  Pearl Blue fits my criteria because the large amount of gray brings this shadow close to a neutral.

Like the other Burberry eyeshadows that I’ve reviewed, Pearl Blue comes in a heavy, luxurious packaging with a mirror.  Both the compact and the eyeshadow are engraved with the distinctive Burberry plaid print.

Pearl Blue is a sheer shade, it absolutely needed a base on my lids to go through an entire day.  Also, the color of the base matters.  If you use a light base (like Bobbi Brown Bone cream eyeshadow), it brightens Pearl Blue considerably.  Pearl Blue takes several layers to build up to opacity.  If you are looking for an opaque blue on your lid, that will be easier to achieve with a Chanel Lagoon or MAC’s Moon’s Reflection–but both of these are shimmery and a truer blue.

If I apply a more conventional one or two swipes with a brush (like a MAC 217 or equivalent) over a neutral base (for me, MAC Paint Pot in Painterly or a Laura Mercier Eye Basic in Linen), I get a sheer, cool pearly lid that whispers blue-gray in a very flattering way.  It’s a glint of color that is noticeable and pretty, but doesn’t scream “blue eyeshadow.”  The shadow is light enough to wear as an inner-corner brightener, or can be worn as a pop of color over a neutral beige-to-brown eye.  It would be lovely with a deep, dark blue, including Burberry Beauty’s own medium-toned Slate Blue or the darker Midnight Blue.

As you can see, this can be applied as a very delicate wash:

Here is a heavier swatch comparison with MAC’s Azreal Blue pigment (applied dry) and the blue from the NARS Underworld duo.  You can see that Burberry’s Pearl Blue is softer and the shimmer is less intense than the others:

Pearl Blue is a very soft pretty color for those that are looking for a toned-down, quiet blue.  I find that it is an eye brightening shade that tends to make the whites of the eyes look brighter and can really set off an eye color if done right.

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Jul 192010

I was unable to resist getting Burberry’s Beauty Brush ($52), a small square kabuki-style brush that comes in a plaid-themed fabric case.  Although this was an emotionally-motivated purchase based on the brush’s pure good looks, the brush does work quite beautifully for bronzers, face powders and blushes.

My everyday kabuki brushes are two MAC 182 brushes ($45) that I purchased from MAC’s Catherine Deneuve Collection and they have held up beautifully. At $52, the Burberry Beauty Brush runs a few dollars more than MAC’s.  Despite their similarities, the feel of the two brushes is different.  The MAC 182’s bristles are more densely packed, and will deliver comparatively more concentrated pigmentation compared to Burberry’s.  During my makeover, the Burberry beauty expert applied all face powder products with the Beauty Brush, and the effect was very natural.

I know that I’m going to reach for this brush quite frequently.  The square shape fits easily into the hand and it is quite pleasant to use.  Although this rest of Burberry Beauty has very heavy packaging, this brush is quite lightweight.  In fact, the Burberry brush feels lighter in my hand compared to MAC’s. The light weight allows me to use the brush to glide over the skin without much pressure.  I’m not convinced that the Beauty Brush offers something that no other kabuki can offer for less. But that’s not really the point of a luxury line, I suppose. Overall, I love this brush for its looks and convenience.  It was an extravagance, but one that I will use often.  Does that mean that it’s not an extravagance?

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Jul 162010

Consistent with the deep mauves and purples featured in Chanel Fall 2010, Cassis Stylo Yeux Waterproof ($28) (Contour des Yeux Longue Tenue Long Lasting Eyeliner) (limited edition) is a deep berry blackened plum.  “Cassis,” which means “black currants” in French, is deep enough to give definition to the upper lid.  Similar in pigmentation to Chanel’s Black Jade, one can use this as an off-black to give a beautiful color accent that will work well with a variety of eye colors.

That being said, I love to wear Cassis over a black liner.  It gives it an added depth that I really enjoy.  Cassis will look beautiful with any of Chanel’s Fall 2010 eyeshadows.  In addition, I love to wear Cassis with a champagne-colored wash.

Here are a few very quick swipes on my skin.

When applying the pencil to the eye, I move more carefully, feathering the liner in quick, short strokes as I move across the lashline.  This avoids any hard lines which can look too obvious.  Then, I go back over the line with a smudge brush to even the color and smudge it out even more.

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Jul 152010

I went to a Burberry Beauty Event at Nordstrom for a makeover and closer look at their new makeup line.  To my surprise, I found that I liked the Burberry Sheer Luminous Fluid Foundation ($52) very much.

My thoughts about the foundation:

  • The finish is beautiful;  it gives a natural looking glow without needing any powder on my combination skin.  This is the reason why I had to have  it;
  • The lasting power was excellent, at least for the short time that I have owned the product;
  • As the name suggestions, Sheer Foundation is sheer.  However, the foundation is very buildable, in the same way that Armani’s Luminous Silk Foundations are.  One can create thin layers with a foundation brush without caking.
  • How to Layer:  Apply the foundation all over the face, as usual.  Then, use a brush to build up more coverage only where needed.  Double-check yourself before you finish your makeup routine; add another layer if needed.  You can do this even in the under-eye area.
  • With the buildable coverage, I found that I did not absolutely need a separate concealer.  That being said, I will likely continue to use a corrector for my under eye area when wearing this foundation.

I prepared myself to dislike Burberry’s foundation, despite Lisa Eldridge’s video review.  I am very choosy about my foundation, usually gravitating to Chanel in Intensity #1 shades (Cameo/Ivoire), or Guerlain’s Parure Gold although I have used many other brands.  Nonetheless, I found that this gave me a beautiful, natural look.

Burberry’s packaging is gorgeous, with a large metal cap etched with the signature Burberry plaid print:

I found the bottle quite stunning, although I don’t believe that I own very much in the Burberry clothing line.  I like simple, clean designs.  That being said, the packaging is quite heavy and so not very travel-friendly.   I wouldn’t want to add this to a bag that I had to carry up winding, narrow French staircases.

At the event, I was matched to Trench #04:

Sheer foundation has a pump top, which keeps the product sanitary.  Once the cap is removed, the transparent bottle shows the amount is comparable to other high end lines (30 ml/ 1 oz.),  and allows one to easily tell how much is left:

At present, I’m really pleased with this foundation.

UPDATE (1/25/13): I’m on my second bottle and still love it. I’ve incorporate a lot more foundations into my rotation. However, I’ve found that Burberry is a great go-to, for many of the reasons described in the posts. No breakouts, amazing buildable coverage, and looks beautiful when applied. Available at Nordstrom.com.

Ingredients:  Aqua (water); cyclohexasiloxane; propylene glycol; ethlhexyl methoxycinnamate; potassium cetyl phosphate; squalane; beheneth 30; myristyl alcohol; phenyl trimethicone; glyceryl osterate; glyceryl stearate; phenoxyethanol; polyacrylamide; carbomer; methylparaben propylparaben; cyclopentasiloxane; c1314 isoparaffin; sodium hydroxide; parfum (fragrance); butylene glycol; alpha isomethyl ionone; laureth 7; xanthan gum; tocopherol; benzyl benzoate; hydroxycitronellal; ascrobyl palmitate; BHT; rosa roxburghl; fruit extract; plus/minus (may contain)-> CI77019 (mica); CI77891 (titanium dioxide);  CI77491; CI77492; CI77499 (iron oxides); CI77007 (ultramarines).

This post contains an affiliate link (for more information, see About Cafe Makeup)

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Jul 132010

A recent article in The New York Times featured Burberry Beauty’s promotional image of Lily Donaldson, Nina Porter, and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley.  Quoting Christopher Baily, Burberry’s Creative Director, the article states that the same makeup was used on all three:

Usually, there’s one face and that’s the look, that’s the character. For the Burberry Beauty campaign, however, I chose three girls with three very distinct looks and personalities. In the ad, they are all wearing the same trench coat and the same makeup, so it was really about expressing and articulating these different characters — from sexy to sensual to rebellious — through these three English beauties.

A Café Makeup reader emailed to ask—exactly which makeup was used on all three?  After some investigation, I received the answer:

  • Sheer Luminous Fluid Foundation
  • Effortless Mascara (Black)
  • Eye Definer Eye Shaping Pencil in Midnight Black
  • Sheer Eyeshadows in:
    • Golden Trench
    • Trench
    • Porcelain
    • Almond
  • Lip Definer Shaping Pencil in Sepia
  • Lip Cover Soft Satin Lipstick in Rosewood
  • ‘Warm Glow’ Natural Bronzer No. 01
  • ‘Light Glow’ Natural Blush in Russet

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Jul 132010

Burberry Beauty’s new line includes Rosewood #09 Sheer Eyeshadow Eye Enhancer ($29), a soft, shimmering gray-brown with a touch of rose.  Packaged in a heavy metallic compact etched with Burberry’s iconic plaid, the eyeshadow is etched with the same plaid-on-fabric pattern that Burberry uses in its clothing and accessory lines.  There is a large, usuable mirror and a sponge tipped applicator included as well.

One of twenty eyeshadows released by Burberry, Rosewood has a faint shimmer quality.  Many, if not most, of the eyeshadows in the line are matte.  All appear to have a similar, good level of pigmentation that is similar to Chanel’s eyeshadow singles (of the Ombre Essentielle line).  Most of these shadows are variations of browns, beiges and chestnuts.  There is a soft grey-blue, a navy, a nice lavender, a good shimmery pearl-gray and a black.  The entire line of eyeshadows is comparatively conservative, even by the standards of other high-end lines like Chanel, Guerlain and Giorgio Armani.

Although Rosewood is shimmery, it lacks any metallic quality.  It melts into, rather than stands out from, the lid.  You may find that you have forgotten that you are wearing it, it is a “my lid but better” shade that would pair well with the darker shades like #05 Chestnut, #7 Taupe or #8 Khaki (a deep khaki green).  Here is a swatch comparison to two similar colors in my collection, Chanel Safari and MAC’s Satin Taupe.  I chose these because I thought most readers would have one or the other in their collection, and so they served as useful comparisons.

I tried Rosewood paired with Burberry’s Midnight Black Eye Definer Eye Shaping Pencil ($27), topped with Burberry’s No. 08 Khaki Sheer Eyeshadow ($29) over the liner and tucked into the crease.  We put No. 01 Pearl White Sheer Eyeshadow on my browbone as a highlighter.  I quite liked the look.  Although I was concerned about the term “sheer” in the product name, Rosewood can be built up nicely without becoming cakey.  It is a well-formulated, pretty color that adds a soft, natural sheen to the lid.  It sits nicely on the skin, and does not emphasize any imperfections.

Many high end makeup lovers will enjoy these eyeshadows.  The question for some will be whether these colors are already available in other lines, and whether the packaging makes these shadows lovely for at-home use, but quite heavy for travel. Based on my very quick review, I found the following shades quite appealing:

  • No. 5 Chestnut
  • No. 7 Taupe Brown (matte)
  • No. 8 Khaki
  • No. 13 Lavender Blue
  • No. 14 Lavender
  • No. 16 Pearl Blue
  • No. 17 Pearl Grey
Of course, your preferences may vary from mine.

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Jul 122010

Mega-brand Burberry has launched a beauty line that evokes luminous skin, contoured cheeks, neutral eyes and signature lips.  The line is composed of 96 products, including foundations (a fluid and a powder), mascara, finishing powder, bronzer, lip sticks, glosses, liners and eyeshadows.  The Burberry palette is decidedly neutral, inspired by rainy weather and the iconic trenchcoats that made Burberry famous.

The line is launching now in only 30 locations throughout the world.  In the U.S., Nordstrom is selling the line in only five locations–Nordstrom San Francisco Center (San Francisco, CA), Nordstrom Garden State Plaza (Paramus, NJ), Nordstrom Bellevue Square (Bellevue, WA), Nordstrom South Coast Plaza (Costa Mesa, CA) and Nordstrom Michigan Avenue (Chicago, IL).  The San Francisco Center store has a newly-built counter that has all products available, and these are sold online on Nordstrom’s website.

The packaging is heavy and beautiful, etched with the signature Burberry plaid.  The surface of the face powders, blushes and eyeshadows bear the same styled etching, as do the lipsticks.  This is certainly a line for those who wish to keep their vanity top stocked with beautiful, coordinating pieces.  With so much history and marketing behind the Burberry brand, as I approached the Nordstrom counter I had to wonder whether how the products themselves compared to other luxury brands.

My overall impression of the brand is that–consistent with their promotional picture–the focus is on creating a perfect neutral “no makeup” look, or one that adds color very judiciously.

My first question to the sales associates that I spoke to was whether the line had any “hero” products.  According to her, the basics of the line are intended to be integrated for a simple, contoured look.  The models in the promotional pictures are wearing the foundation, the bronzer, and a combination of neutral eyeshadows.  Although there is the possibility for amping up the eyeshadow by using a dark navy, or a red lip, many of the products in the line are geared toward a polished version of one’s self.  There are no teal eyeshadows, black lipsticks or silver liners.  In terms of the available colors, this is a conservative line–in the same spirit as Edward Bess.  According to the press, Burberry partnered with a French company, Inter Parfums of Paris, to develop these products.

I tried Burberry’s Lip Cover Soft Satin Lipstick in #04 Rosewood ($30), which is featured in the above promotional picture.  The packaging is heavy and beautiful.  The cap is magnetized, rather than offering a mechanical closure.  It can only be placed on one way–when the magnets in the cap and base properly connect–so you may find yourself spinning the cap to find the right position before closing the tube.  It has a mirror finish that does pick up fingerprints, and shifts from silver to grey depending on the light:

Inside, there is a deep browned red that borders on burgundy, with a slight silver-grey undertone that keeps the color very neutral.  This is clearly a color that will nearly always be appropriate.

The color applied slightly lighter in color than I expected from the dark color in the tube, but I found it pleasantly opaque and slightly matte.  This gave the lips a very natural look:

I found this lipstick surprisingly emollient and moisturizing–noticeably more so than the Chanel lipsticks that I typically use.  I detected no smell or taste. They were very easy to apply.  I really loved the feel and look of Rosewood, and plan on going back for more of these in different colors.

Here is an on-the-lips swatch of Rosewood on Liz:

Here is Liz wearing Burberry Rosewood, and also Chanel Tient Innocence in Cameo, Guerlain bronzer, Yves Saint Laurent Faux Cils mascara and Prestige Total Intensity liner in Deepest Black:

Overally, I’m very impressed with Burberry Rosewood lipstick.  Although I was initially concerned that the line would be more packaging than substance, I’m pleased to find that I love Rosewood and a beautiful, polished every shade that I will enjoy.  The soft, moisturizing feel and the beautiful near-matte color give a very polished, natural look.  I cannot wait to learn more about the rest of the products in the line.

I understand that Burberry will not have seasonal collections, but rather release new products as they believe appropriate.  I’m taking this to mean that, although it is likely that colors like Rosewood will sell out, that such colors are part of the permanent line and will become available again.  Also, we won’t be seeing Burberry do four or five launches every year.

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Jul 102010

MAC’s Alice + Olivia collection includes Later ($19.50), a multidimensional off-black.  If you swatch this in a store, you will probably not choose this. It was only after I used the product wet that I found its magic.

I have a strong love of black eyeshadows, they can really add some beautiful effects when used properly.  I also love off-blacks, those eyeshadows that have either a duochrome or other flash of color.  Later is a neutral-with-a-kick.

Later’s magic is a duochrome blue-purple that comes out most strongly used wet.  Here it is, compared with two other off-blacks in my collection, Addiction’s Neverland and Guerlain’s L’Instant D’une Emotion.

Shown in strong sunlight, you can see the multidimension color of Later used wet–primarily a purple with touches of blue.

This picture shows Later’s duochrome most strongly along with the glitter bits (Addiction’s Neverland and Guerlain’s L’Instant d’une Emotion do not have glitter).

Like Partylicious, Later was produced in very limited qualities so don’t wait long if you like it.  This is not an everyday shadow, but it can be used to create some drama on an otherwise neutral eye (or really amp up something colorful!).  As an aside, I skipped the other pigment in this collection (If It Sparkles), a pink sparkle shade, as not something that I’d likely wear.  Also, it seems close enough to MAC’s permanent Pink Opal for my purposes.

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