Previously on The Non-Blonde:
I decided to pass on the Stonewashed Nudes eye palette from Bobbi Brown and get just the darkest color in the set, Espresso, to use with other nude colors that I already have.
And now-The Results :
Other than a couple of black eye shadows that I own (by Dior and Clinique), Espresso is the darkest color I've come across in a while. It's truly the shade of a very black coffee, while still technically brown. It's several tones darker than Bobbi's Chocolate, the darkest one in last year's palette, and very pigmented. It needs to be applied lightly, with a good fluffy brush, otherwise you find yourself having to clean up excess powder. I got the hang of it eventually and found it easy enough to use.
A reader has commented on my original post that she had problem blending this shadow. I'm guessing that it depends on the amount you use and on the brush. That's what made the difference for me. It's such a dark color that you have to blend carefully, but once you do, the effect is great. I tried it with several nudes and neutrals: the light colors from the chocolate palette, a delicate beige from Dior's Beige Massai and a few others from Lancome, Benefit and Chanel. It's nice and versatile, and the look created is sophisticated and classy (as long as you don't overdo it. Very little goes a very long way).
Espresso is also great as a liner, used wet or dry, with or without a sealing liquid (I use Paula Dorf's Transformer). I use a flat synthetic brush for lining, and managed to draw a nice just-thick-enough line, for an almost-cat-eye (that doesn't go the Amy Winehouse way).
All in all, this is a good choice to create several of the looks for the coming fall.