Edward Bess makes Mondays better. His Soft Smoke Eyeshadow Trio is not new. It's one of his two neutral palettes, together with Island Escape that I've reviewed in the past. This is one of these products that photos can barely convey their awesomeness. Really, haven't we seen dozens of similar "smoky eye palettes" from just about every brand out there. But then again, Edward Bess is not just any brand.
I'm not the first blogger to observe that Soft Smoke is different than other supposedly similar items. Sabrina says that Edward Bess created exactly what she wanted Chanel's Smoky Eye quad to be. She's exactly right, and it's not just the superior texture (seriously, that particular Chanel quad was one of the worst I've seen in recent years). "Smoky" colors can often be too gray, too silvery and/or too blackened for me, thus giving me a harsh appearance. If you know one thing about Edward Bess and his beauty philosophy is that he doesn't do harsh and exaggerated looks. Soft Smoke is flattering, and, yes-- soft. The matte dark charcoal is ever-so-lightly tinged with warmth, so it possesses the Bess Magic that makes it work for every skin tone. Over the last couple of years I've seen Edward apply this trio on many women, friends and strangers, whose appearance and ethnicity were as diverse as you can find in NYC. It always works.
Other than the dark charcoal, Soft smoke also includes a parchment shade that's not stark white but not too ivory, either. Then there's the magnificent taupe in the middle that brings everything together, brightens and enhances every eye color and makes every taupe-crazed makeup nerd go mad with lust. All three colors are smooth, blendable and apply perfectly with minimal effort. Edward only uses his one eye brush to create a full look. I prefer to employ at least one more, a small smudge/pencil brush with a pointy head along the lash-line (try Hakuhodo B533BkSL).
Bottom Line: a must-have classic.
Edward Bess Soft Smoke Eyeshadow Trio ($60) is available from Bergdorf Goodman, select Neiman Marcus location and online from Zuneta (if you're in Europe) and edwardbess.com. I just checked and the 20% off code OPRAH is still working on Edward Bess' website.