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.