I really wanted to love the limited edition Sand & Surf eye palette from Bobbi Brown. It’s pretty. It’s shimmery. It almost sings of summer on the beach (okay, the Shore for us, Jersey girls).
But I had to ask myself the question: How many aqua eye shadows does one really need?
The answer, unfortunately, isn’t five.
I had to face reality and admit that Bobbi’s light-colored shadows don’t work for me. They are too pale and too sheer, and in most cases don’t even show on my skin. This collection is labeled as ultra-sheer, which doesn’t bode well for me. Actually, I can't say that I'm too impressed with the way they look on the very tanned model. Too California Girl, not much sophistication.
I also have an issue with the whole suggested "look". You don't need to work very hard to realize that the only new product here is the eye palette. The single shadows (Bone and Banana) are part of the regular collection (and I can't wear either one), just like the mascara (in brown and black) and the gel eye liner (black, sepia and espresso).
To sum it up: I'm disappointed. It's interesting to note that the most sensational limited edition from Bobbi Brown was created around simple browns, while everything since (remember the horrible Orchid face palette?) was seriously lacking in oomph. It's too bad, really, because this beachy theme could have been done much better, and the eye shadows look so pretty. While in their compact, that is.
However, there is a tropical beach look that is as wearable as it is beautiful. Earlier this week, I received the "Beauty Benefits" catalog from Bloomingdale's (the one with the hot pink cover). It's full of pretty little things, but one that really caught my attention was Bronze Tropiques from Lancôme. Now, I don't know if it's actually available at their Lancôme Counter, because it hasn't been officially launched , and the web site only offers a sneak peek. But Lancôme boutiques (or at least, the NYC one) already have it, and I had the good fortune to actually play with them at the Manhattan store.
To my delight, the colors are very wearable and flattering, from the light turquoise shadow in one of the two eye palettes to the pretty Juicy Tubes. There's something for just about everyone in this collection. The bronzing pressed powder comes in two shades. My medium-tan skin tone can carry both, so I guess that it depends on application. The two darkest Juicy tubes (one is more berry while the other is a rich caramel) are great (if you're pale, there are also two lighter ones in peach and pink).
I already mentioned the eye palettes: both are great, one has the aqua color, the other is more conventional, but very pretty and still uses the tropical theme successfully. If eye shadow quads are not your thing, there are two super pigmented loose powder shadows. One is bronze, the other one in a lovely pink hue. Both are extra shimmery. If you’re not afraid of high octane color and have excellent brush skills (unlike me, who would end up with this thing in my cleavage and on my cats’ whiskers), then it’s worth trying.
The collection also includes three lipsticks and a couple of pencil liners. No new Artliner, though.
There was only one (literally) sour note in there. Tropiques is a fragrance that was previously limited to duty free shops around the world, and now brings the glory of mango to Lancome boutiques . I should have known better than to spray something with a tropical name on my fruit-repellant skin. I can’t deal with Escada-like scents. It didn’t sit well with neither my body chemistry, nor with Andy Tauer’s L’Air that I was wearing. As far as I’m concerned, the perfect fragrance to wear with Bronze Tropiques is Monyette Paris. All of the island feel, none of the fruit.