A large part of Denim & Rose palette's charm is the packaging. The zippered pouch (is this a first for Bobbi Brown? I think it might be) is cute and I find it very practical, since it can be shoved as is into a purse. This, of course, highlights the palette's one major flaw: it doesn't come with any brushes, so you must also pack your own. Still, the cuteness was irresistible to me.
A reader who commented yesterday about the colors of the Denim & Rose collection said they didn't work for her and she thought they were only suitable for people with cooler skin tones. I can see how it might be the case, but I've always found the strict cool vs. warm thing quite inaccurate. Skin undertones are not necessarily so strictly identified. We can have several degrees of pink, blue, yellow, red and green,/olive tones, and sometimes more than one of those. So I urge you to keep testing and experimenting with a wider range of colors and see what works for you.
There are four eye shadows in the palette. I don't know why Navajo is such a Bobbi Brown favorite. It was also part of the 2008 Mauve palette and I didn't like it then, either. It's completely sheer on my skin and doesn't provide even the slightest "eye opening" effect under the brow. It's not that I'm looking for much (or any) color in a basic nude eye shadow, but a little matte highlighting or brightening of the brow bone area can make a huge difference, as proven by such shades as Lorac Posh, Youngblood Alabaster or Le Metier de Beaute Naked.
The other eye shadows are a lot more interesting. Grey Denim, a smooth matte, is a bit warmer on my skin than it appears in the pan, and looks great blended on the lid and into the crease. It's simple, wearable and works well with many items in and outside this palette. Pink Granite is a sparkling cool toned pink that takes the modest and unassuming Grey Denim into evening territory, but if used judiciously can be daytime friendly. The star of the collection is Dark Rinse, a vivid deep blue with shimmer particles. As always, I could live without the fairy dust, but I seem to be in the minority about this. Still, Bobbi Brown is good in keeping the shiny civilized, so for me Dark Rinse doesn't cross the taste level lines. It's dark enough to function as a liner and those who favor the smoky eye look can do a lot with it. I use it just above the lash line and blend it carefully into Grey Denim. I would be very cautious about pairing this shade with the Denim Ink gel liner- I agree with yesterday's comment that it can be too much.
The blush, Pink Rose, seems like a mostly universal shade. It looks natural, the intensity can be built up (I used a lot in the swatch. You can go much lighter) and it seems to pick the warm undertones from my skin, so it works well for me. My one issue with the blush is caused by the palette's shape. You need to be careful with your blush brush and avoid touching the eye shadows or you'd find yourself with blue streaks on your cheeks.
The four lip products are probably the weakest links in the Denim & Rose collection. The two cream lip colors are nice and wearable and can also be mixed together. The glosses however are not the best choice. Iced Lilac is a sheer almost pink shimmer, less intense in use than it appears in the pan, so it's pretty harmless. The Hot Pink one, though, just looks cheap and doesn't belong in a carefully edited palette. It doesn't play well with the other lip colors, so after several tries I just gave up on it.
Bottom Line: Not perfect but I'm already using it often.
Bobbi Brown Denim And Rose Palette for Fall 2010 ($60) is available at department stores everywhere and from bobbibrown.com
All photos are mine.