Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Let's Talk About Bobbi Brown


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


18 comments:

  1. Finally..thank you for the post!!! I was getting quite tired reading rave reviews on shadows and palettes that turn out sooooooooo sheer and/or glittery when I actually swatch them in store :|

    Could you list some of the colors that you do like from the Bobbi Brown permanent range of eye shadows? I love matte neutrals and some deeper colors too, but whatever I have tried/swatched so far from BB seem too sheer and dry :(

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    Replies
    1. Basically, my favorites are the matte ones: Espresso, Mahogany and Navy that I use as liners; Grey and Cement that I use for blending other colors. at one point I think I also had and never replaced Taupe or Ash or something similar.

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  2. I'm sad to say I completely agree with you. I'd rather have some beautifully textured basics than the powdery stuff that I've experienced with my last few purchases.

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  3. I totally agree with you. I have mostly left the brand after being a true devotee in the late 90's and early part of the 2000's (is that how refer to that decade??). In the 90's especially, Bobbi was the go-to when hitting the makeup counters. Besides stale, her products and their formulations have become second rate... it hurts me to say that. And it isn't just olive or deeper skin toned ladies-her lighter toned shadows don't show up on my NC 15-20 skin either for the most part-it's a quality issue. The only thing left in her line up that I haven't tossed or given away are my shimmer bricks and the oil-free tinted moisturizer (I do like her foundation colors). But she isn't the only game in town for face highlighters and yellow-toned foundations. I only use the tinted moisturizer rarely, when it's used up I will not repurchase. I love your honesty, I'm hoping the brand can make a comeback.

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  4. Ooh, interesting topic. Bobbi Brown is the first brand that really got my love of makeup going. Being quite yellow myself, I found her foundations to be a godsend. Did you know that her cream stick foundations are a RE-release of old items? Yes! I used to use her cream stick in Vanilla as my eye shadow base for a long time. It also came in several other colors that were discontinued. Maybe she's a pioneer! :)

    I kept on buying her seasonal collection items until I realized, too many Navajo! Too many Bone! and everything became so repetitive. I still love when she shows her understated and sophisticated sensibility, but at this point I'm looking for more innovation and have found other brands that entice me more.

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  5. As her palettes have grown stale and repetitive, her formulations have also been declining in quality. In addition, BB is now embracing the mundane concept of celebrity spokesperson rather than promoting the beauty of "Every Woman" as she has done in the past. As was already mentioned, BB isn't the only game in town. There are plenty of other brands that offer neutral colors in creamy, highly pigmented formulations that will easily take a woman through the working day. Once a die-hard Bobbi fan, I know seldom even glance at her counter.

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    1. Ditto! Everything you wrote I wholeheartedly agree with! Her palettes have indeed grown repetitive! As a matter of fact, I haven't bought anything from Bobbi Brown in quite some time, too. Mostly because the last eyeshadows I bought were overpriced garbage with NO pigmentation! It was some sort of new formula that never stuck around, because I think the company realized the new formula sucked! I literally threw mine in the garbage after a few tries, because you couldn't see anything after several applications on my lids! What was the point? Then I initially got excited when I heard about the Navy & Nude palette... thinking, "Maybe Bobbi will finally turn me back towards her counter?" I looked up the eyeshadow colors in the palette, and realized I already owned most of them... so why spend $60 on duplicates? There were only a few new colors, and those were sparkly, and I detest her sparkly shadows! The sparklies & the navy were the only new colors in the palette, so I think I have to pass and save myself the $60. Even the new Gel Ink color released with this collection doesn't excite me. Oh, well!

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  6. The decline of this brand since Estee Lauder bought it is sad (as can be said of other brands they snatched up). I've used Bobbi Brown since she had just the lipsticks, and now I rarely think of it when I'm looking for a new product. It was nice to have a go-to brand, but that's become Edward Bess for me.

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  7. I own one of the Tortoishell palettes from a few summers ago and honestly, this looks pretty much a dupe with one of the browns swapped for the matte navy. In my country there's only Bobbi Brown in one department store. I used to visit the counter everytime I went there, but now I find myself walking past it as I simply don't feel drawn to the brand anymore.

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  8. I agree with you and the commenters completely - I too used to be a huge Bobbi Brown fan but I've found that the quality of her products has gone down considerably ever since Estee Lauder bought the brand. I fell in love with her products in the 90's because the colors were simply perfect for me and gave me the polished lookI wanted. It used to be my go-to brand but that hasn't been the case for quite some time now.

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  9. I have found her creme lipsticks dry too :(

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  10. I think I used to use some of her cream blushes, but it's been a LONG time. ~~nozknoz

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  11. I find that I'm using Laura Mercier and Suqqu in place of products offered by Bobbi Brown. It's not only that her collections have been repetitive, but I think the quality's gone down, too.

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  12. I used to love Bobbi Brown, but her line seems less interesting now that I've discovered the world of Edward Bess, Le Metier de Beaute and RBR's wonderful variety of neutral shades and taupes. The last collection I loved from BB was her Chocolate collection.

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  13. Estee Lauder have owned Bobbi Brown for nearly 20 years now, they bought it when the company was only three years old so the whole Estee Lauder made it rubbish argument is pretty flawed. That's not to say the quality may not have dropped but Bobbi Brown has been an Estee Lauder company, practically, since it's conception.

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  14. I admit I'm a fan of BB's gel eyeliners, and I like her cream e/s (bone) as primer -since my skin is allergic to Nars primer. However, I'm feeling less attracted to the brand as I was before. I feel they release collections too often (almost like Mac) so it doesn't allow me to enjoy products before new ones arrive, as a result, I don't buy any and moved to other brands. I also feel all collections are neutral, and even when I'm a neutral fan, I feel I don't need any more neutras at the moment. Thanks for this post :)

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  15. I used to love BB makeup, but I haven't been inspired to buy from this brand in quite some time. I won't be purchasing the palette. For me it's not only the quality or lack thereof that's at issue, but also the colors have too much pink in them and I'm allergic to any red pigment.
    I would like to buy singles of the bottom two shades though.

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  16. I completely agree! BB used to be my one and only brand. I haven't found an eye palette that works in several years. Colors of the matte shadows I love are discontinued. Even the Broadmoor, a premiere Colorado resort and spa, has replaced the brand with Laura Mercier.

    I wish the line would offer some basics as well as the the things that don't work for me but obviously sell well (super glittery and very dark eye shadows).

    ReplyDelete

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