Edward Bess, the Duke of Understated Chic, has just released two carefully edited and highly ambitious palettes. The one you see here is Back To Basics, a neutral (leaning warm) eye-cheek-lip set. The other Edward Bess palette, Berry Chic, is just as pretty; If I could mix an match, I'd go with Berry Chic's lip glosses but keep the rest of the shades from the Back To Basics palette, but that's just me.
So what did Edward Bess curate for us in this palette?
Four eye shadows, all with a subtle shimmer finish: a light ivory, a warmer very light sand, a rich cocoa brown and a complex and hard to define mauve-peach (I know, sounds crazy)that blends with all of them and creates the base of the look for me.
Then we have two cheek colors: a highlighter and a cheek/lip stain. The latter has the same texture of Edward's Compact Rouge, while the highlighter is a sibling to his All Over Seduction. Now, I made comparison swatches and you can see the colors are different enough. One thing to note is that I don't have the Afterglow highlighter, only the paler Sunlight. The closest of the existing Compact Rouge colors is After Sunset, and you can see it's more red than the one in the Back To Basics palette.
The highlighter is not very light, as you can see. But on my olive skin it has its own charm in giving a warm glow without actually adding much color (I blend it a lot more than I did for this swatch). If you're very pale you'll only need the lightest touch. Still, I suspect almost everyone can find a use for this color.
The lip glosses are probably the weakest link of this palette, at least for me, though they're still of excellent quality and I do find them usable on top of actual lipsticks. Both colors are pale and beige, but at least they're sheer so there's no concealer effect.
The two-sided brush is actually usable when on the go. It's soft and dense enough and feels decent in my hand; It will do nicely when you can't or don't want to reach for your brush roll/bag.
Texture and application are consistent with the rest of Edward Bess' line, meaning extraordinary and luxurious. This palette is truly a wardrobe-basic item to which you can add build upon. It's excellent for travel (I wish it came out before my last trip) and would make a breath-taking gift for a discerning loved one.
Bottom Line: Excellent.
Edward Bess Back To Basics Palette ($75) is currently available on edwardbess.com.