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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Jul 102010

MAC teamed with Alice + Olivia to create a small line of edgy pieces, including Partylicious pigment ($19.50).  Although I sometimes find MAC a little frustrating with its continual, numerous limited edition releases, one reason that I keep an eye on the line is their ability to collaborate with new designers.  Alice + Oliva was founded by college friends Stacey Bendet and Rebecca Matchett in 2002.  Bendet is currently the line’s primary designer, incorporates element of vintage, edge, fun and culture in her line.

Because I have a strong fondness for MAC’s pigments, I picked up Partylicious on release day.   One note of caution: MAC did not produce many of these.  These evaporated online in one day, and my local MAC got very, very few pieces.  If you want it, and can find it, grab it quick!

Although Partylicious looks teal, it actually leans quite green to give it a mermaid feel.

Like many pigments, the quality of this shadow changes entirely when used wet.

  • The first swatch is dry–you can see that this is going to give a very soft green-blue look, especially if applied sheerly. It has a watercolor quality when used lightly.
  • The second swatch is wet, used with a drop of MAC’s Mixing Medium for eyes-instant drama! This is a liner-only color for my pale coloring but other makeup lovers would be able to rock this one out or incorporate into a mermaid eye.
  • This is a comparison with my best teal–the old-school Shu Uemura ME Blue 638–made before the reformulation.  Gorgeous, right? But this shows that Partylicious has a strong green quality compared to a true teal.

Partylicious is just a little outside my comfort zone, but that’s one of the main reasons that I picked it up.  Overall, it’s a beautiful color that I won’t use often but reserve for those times when I want to push my limits.

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