This is my internal crisis as a beauty blogger — Rome is burning. The economy is in the veritable toilet. A gas shortage is crippling parts of the South. Banks are eating each other, and thanks to global warming, so are polar bears. What is this world coming to? And here I am, going to write about makeup? Sometimes I look at the list of products that I have to review, and I feel so conflicted.
I figure the best I can do is:
a. suggest products for bellas on a budget,
b. tell you which products to avoid at all costs, and
c. let you know which products are truly worth your purchase.
Because the bellas who can afford to whimsically purchase a $60 bronzer based on a cavalier product review are lessening in number. I’m gonna focus on my essential favorite items by two of the top makeup brands on fancy department store shelves — Bobbi Brown and Shu Uemura.
I still remember getting confused between Bobby and Bobbi Brown. The makeup artist started her product line in 1991, and since then she’s all but eclipsed my instant name-association with Whitney’s ex. Bobbi Brown is known as a must-have, subtle and classy brand by any cosmetics-loving diva. If a makeup pro like Lianne the Makeup Girl raves over Bobbi Brown’s stuff, you know it’s worth a purchase.
Bobbi always has great palettes — exhibit A, the Shimmering Nudes palette, and exhibit B, my new obsession, the Moon Rock Long Wear Eye Palette — four “celestially inspired” long wear cream eye shadows that can be also used as liner. $55, but the gorgeous silver fox who runs the Bobbi Brown counter at Saks Dadeland, assured me it would last forever.
She didn’t convince me to buy the eye palette, but she DID convince me to buy Bobbi Brown’s famous bronze shimmer brick compact — that’s it up above. $38. Absolutely no regrets. I have used this thing every day since I bought it. It makes my cheeks look luminous, and used individually as eye highlighters, makes my eyes look incredibly bright and glowy. Loves. This is a bronzer for all shades of beautiful, but I think it’s especially wonderful for beautiful brown skin. It can be subtly shimmery on its own, or swirled over your fave blush to add an extra dimension of gorgeous.
The Saks makeup artist dusted it on my cheekbones, then highlighted my brow bone with the lightest shade. I was initially skeptical, but instantly convinced. Love the shimmer brick, and any bella who loves an outstanding eye that can go from day to night with subtle but effective layering, will adore the metallic eye shadows. I’ve been rocking these in broad daylight as an easy daytime face, just a dusting along my eyelid, and a lightly applied fingertip to highlight the brow bone. Finish with black liner alone the lash line, coat of mascara, and I’m out the door. Sage (a shimmering gray green), and Penny (bangin’ golden copper) are my favorites.
Other products I’d like to snag from Bobbi Brown? I hear great things about the Brownie shimmer brick, and the pink ribbon Breast Cancer Month lip collection looks universally flattering. Multitaskers, busy bellas, and newbies to the makeup scene would do well with the basics palettes, perfect starter sets in compact packages you can take and use anywhere.
I’ve already done quite a few Shu Uemura reviews — still loving the cleansing oil, which d’oh! Would have been great in a travel bottle for the trip to Vegas, and I told ya, the Fiber Xtension mascara is a great secret weapon for special occasions. Shu Uemura is primarily known for their crazy false lashes (like, for example the Tokyo Lash Bar collection). I couldn’t apply them onto myself in Vegas, but my sister in law Katrin did, and she rocked a pair very similar to these, that had a pretty greenish strip to bring out the color of her eyes. Lashes can be insanely pricey — like these Viktor and Rolf lashes,which go for $95 a pop dontcha know.
I’ve tried several Shu Uemura eyeshadows, and the packaging can be lovely, but the colors were either chalky or veritably unnoticeable on my lids. It’s possible that I just haven’t found the right shade yet, but it didn’t make me want to rush out to the store (especially at $20 per color!). What I do love is the Energy Flow tri color eye pencil — three fun, stubby little eye crayons in white, sunshine yellow, and a peachy bright orange. I love just a flash of color on my eyelid as an easy Mod-sixties inspired look (plus black liner and mascara), and these shades are so pretty on my skin tone, I just love em. $25, but I tell myself I get three colors in one, so it’s worth it. And I am totally buying the
Aqua Flow next, those are my colors. What can I say, I’m a Pisces! I can never get enough blue, green, or the colors in between.
The deepest purple shade is my evening lippie favorite — glosses over lip stain so beautifully. I honestly haven’t tried a shade I haven’t liked, and they’re $22, but if you’re looking for a gloss that isn’t sticky, that offers sheer but noticeable color, and is generally awesome, I’d say this is it.
So those are my favorite of favorites of two of the top beauty brands. Have you tried Bobbi Brown or Shu Uemura makeup? Got a favorite I haven’t mentioned? Tell me about it!