My records show me that the last time I bought anything from Bobbi Brown was last December. Once upon a time Bobbi Brown was one of my favorite makeup brands. I relied on the perfect neutrals from the permanent collection as the base of many makeup looks. I went through more than one pan of Cement and Grey eye shadows. Then there were the limited edition seasonal palettes that used to be sensational and sell out within days (Chocolate, anyone?). While I never found a match in the base products (far too yellow even when the depth was just right), I kept buying palettes. lipsticks, blushes, eye shadows and liners, knowing that I'll get fresh ideas with an elegant and grownup color/finish.
This hasn't been the case for a while now. Bobbi Brown seems to be a follower rather than a leader now (the Longwear Cream Shadow Stick is a reaction to the success of Laura Mercier's Caviar Sticks. While Chanel did basically the same thing, they at least came up with several original colors). Something also seems to have happened to Bobbi's powder eye shadows. Thankfully, my favorite mattes are still there and will be replenished in due time, but new offering seem to be too sheer, too sparkly, too pale to show up on my skin and compared to other leading brands the quality and finish are not what I'd expect.
Then there's the question of innovation and originality. Or lack thereof. I promise you that I don't expect to get a case of the blown off socks with every release, but I do hope for more than what you see above, Bobbi Brown's Navy & Nude Eye Palette for Summer 2013 ($60, available in June). I love the combination of navy and natural skin and sand colors. It makes perfect sense to offer a palette with this color combination, and the deep blue in this Navy & Nude seems to be Bobbi's matte Navy eye shadow from the regular line that I own and like. The taupe shade next to it also looks fabulous. But is there a real need for six more pale and mostly shimmery variations on the same beige idea? From years of experience with Bobbi Brown eye shadows I already know that some of these will not show up on my lids and the ones that will are going to be undistinguished from one another. Add to that the fact that most Bobbi devotees already own at least one of her nude palettes. So what exactly is the point of a double-decker compact full of recycled ideas and less-than-great eye shadows?
I'm not buying it. What about you?
Photo via Barneys.com