Aug 052010

Previously, I reviewed Burberry Beauty’s Sheer Luminous Fluid Foundation ($52).  As an update, I’ve really been enjoying the finish that this foundation gives.  It has held up beautifully in the summer heat.  I typically can rely on getting a nice, natural finish for a marathon 14-to-16 hour day.  If you are looking for a natural looking sheer-to-medium foundation, I highly recommend this. Currently, it’s edging out my Chanel Tient Innocence as my go-to favorite in that category.

I’ve received several emails asking for shade information.  In response to my plea for help, Kristy Hoffman, who manages the Burberry Beauty counter at the San Francisco Center Nordstrom, was kind enough to send me some samples of all of the shades.  She’s wonderful and so helpful–I encourage her to call her at 415.243.8500 extension 1421 (her voicemail is x1917) or email her at

Each of the Burberry foundation shades is named “Trench No. __,” followed by a numeric designation.  Here are the swatches designated with their Trench Number, in sunlight:

Burberry Sheer Luminous Foundation (sunlight)

Here are the same swatches in very neutral light (open shade with flash fill):

Burberry Sheer Luminous Foundation (shade)

These shades seem quite neutral, except for Trench No. 2 which has a touch of pink.  I am Chanel Intensity No. 1.0 (Cameo/Ivoire) and MAC NC15, and was matched to Burberry Trench No. 4.

Here are some additional pictures of the medium-to-light shades Nos. 3, 4, 5 and 6.  As you can see, Nos. 3 and 5 are warmer than 4 and 6, which are more neutral.  At the bottom you will see swatches of my typical foundation shade–Chanel Cameo/Ivoire Intensity No. 1 and Armani Luminous Silk Foundation shade 5:

The above picture shows that No. 3 appears darker than No. 4.  Correspondingly, No. 5 appears darker than No. 6.

Here is a picture of all shades in their pots:

Hopefully you’ve found this helpful.  This foundation is available at

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Aug 032010

During my Burberry Beauty makeover, I asked the Burberry representative to recommend a strong color for me.  She immediately chose Prune No. 14 Lip Cover Soft Satin Lipstick ($30), a deep red-mauve.  She certainly chose well—I love dark reds.

Like Burberry’s other products, the lipsticks packaging is heavy and beautiful.  The cap is magnetized, and can be spun to find the proper position for closing.  I’ve been carrying Rosewood around for the last week or two and can say that the closure works well–no accidents so far.

Like Rosewood, Prune is very moisturizing.  It adds a layer of beautiful, near-opaque color in one swipe.  In the picture, below, the swatch on the left is one swipe, the second from the left is two.  I find this a very comfortable color to wear.  Some of my other dark reds are sometimes too dramatic. Prune is within my comfort zone–I just wore it out to  a summer evening dinner.  Prune doesn’t have the drama or formality of Chanel’s Rouge Allures Rouge Noir or Rivioli, but I honestly think that I’ll reach for Prune more often–because Prune is easier to wear and I love the moisturizing formula.

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Burberry Beauty Slate Blue Eyeshadow

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Aug 022010

Burberry Beauty’s Slate Blue No. 15 Sheer Eyeshadow Eye Enhancer ($29), is a sheer medium blue that plays well with the neutrals in the line.  A reflection of the blues that appear in Burberry’s fashion line, this color applies more sheerly than it looks in the pan.

Although this looks like it would apply almost as a dark near-navy, Slate Blue applies as a shimmery, soft medium blue.  Here is a comparison with Burberry’s Pearl Blue:

Slate Blue looks quite restrained, particularly when compared to a very deep navy like MAC’s Wait Until Dark (far right).  This picture also compares Chanel’s Bois Bleu, which is similar in tone but adds more green, and Shu Uemura ME Blue 650, which is similar but has a more pronounced shimmer:

Overall, Slate Blue is the best choice to add a touch of subtle blue.  If you are looking for a deeper blue in Burberry’s line, Midnight Blue would be the perfect choice.

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Jul 232010

To me, Gold Trench No. 04 Sheer Eyeshadow Eye Enhancer ($29) is a quintessential Burberry Beauty color.  It is a warm gold-butterscotch with a slight pearl, and reminds me of a warmer version of Burberry’s famous trench coat adding a whisper of gold sheen.

Like the other eyeshadows, Gold Trench comes in the heavy, luxurious packaging with Burberry’s trademarked plaid pattern.  It has a pearl sheen when applied:

Like the other colors in Burberry’s collection, I first thought that the color was easy to duplicate.  Until I tried.  The issue is the texture–although I have more golds, browns and neutrals than anyone really should, I found that nearly all had a shimmer/sparkle or more obvious texture.  The closest ones in my collection are Edward Bess Escape and Shu Uemura’s P Brown 853:

During my makeover to recreate the Burberry Beauty promotional image look, my excellent makeup artist used Gold Trench as the main crease color.  He then used Burberry’s black liner pencil feathered on the lashline, then added Burberry’s Porcelain eyshadow in the inner corner and browbone.  He used a touch of Trench.  He then smudged the liner, smudged the eyeshadow, then literally took a large eyeshadow brush and smudged the entire eye all over again.  Really, you cannot smudge enough to get the soft eye featured in the ad.  No hard edges, no cut crease.  Soft, soft and then more soft.  The black liner acts almost like an extra eyeshadow, because it gets smudged up into the lid area.  As you can see from my post that lists the eyeshadows used in the picture, none of the shadows used are very dark–it is really the liner pencil that adds a deeper touch.  As a last step, he redefined the liner, giving it a slight flick up at the ends.

Bottom line–Burberry Gold Trench is one of those quiet eyehadows that can be the foundation of a soft smoky eye.  The texture is really soft and wonderful.  It is less pigmented than Edward Bess’ Escape, although Escape is a deeper shade.  I did need more “layers” of Gold Trench to make the swatches, above, compared to the easier swipe of Edward Bess’ Escape.  I can see using Gold Trench quite often, for warmer looks, together with a neutral crease color and soft ivory brownbone color.  It sort of looks nice with Escape, doesn’t it?  It would also work well with a gray taupe, like Chanel’s Taupe Grise or Burberry’s Taupe Brown.

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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 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 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

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).

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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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