I can't believe I haven't yet reviewed a single Bobbi Brown Long-wear Cream Eyeshadow ($22, 12 oz./ 3.5g). I adore these little pots and wear them more often than any other eyeshadow.
With the exception of Navajo, which I found to be stiff and dry no matter how many times I bought, returned and repurchased (Navajo has now been discontinued in the cream form), these eyeshadows are incredibly silky and velvety. Their smooth formula lets the pigment glide on easily, using any cream shadow brush or a fingertip, and it lasts all day without creasing or smudging. Truly. When I swatch colors on the back of my hand, I have to scrub off the color.
This formula was awarded 'Best of Beauty' 'Allure' Magazine (2011) and 'Elle' Magazine's 'Genius Award' (April 2010) and rightly so. Nothing is more simple on a rushed morning than quickly swiping on my favorite Bobbi Brown cream shadow, dabbing on some lipstick, and racing out the door. I find myself reaching for these shadows on days when I'd normally be too busy to bother. They are as appropriate for weekends as for the office.
Although Cement and Heather are my most reached-for colors, for that no-makeup look, this review is about the more complex Sand Dollar, Galaxy, and Orchid.
Sand Dollar is a lightly-reflective silvered taupe that looks like Cement's shimmering sister. Often I find that Bobbi Brown's color names do NOT match the product in her lineup, but this time they got it right. Sand Dollar looks exactly like a greige sea creature washed up on the glittering sand. Overall, this color leans warm, but because the undertone is more grey than beige, with the slightest whisper of mauve, it works on my cool, pink-porcelain skin. This shimmer is very subtle, more of a delicate gleam, thus it cannot be compared to the uber-sparkly Metallic Long-Wear Cream Shadow, which I just can't make work on me.
If I am not in the mood for shimmer, I'll quickly dab a bit of Cement cream shadow on top of Sand Dollar.
Galaxy is the most complex shadow in this trio. At first I thought it was just another mid-toned, shimmering silver-grey, similar to Make Up For Ever #2 Steel, and I swear that Galaxy is identical the the discontinued Prescriptives Colorscope Eye Color in Smoking Gun, but my Px pot is too old and tacky for an adequate comparison. (I really should throw that thing out.) The Bobbi Brown web site calls Galaxy a deep silver shimmer, but it's more than that. Galaxy is pewter, the color of a shiny meteorite. If hold to the light I can see both silver and gold, and maybe even the faintest trace of moss. The finish is slightly more metallic than Sand Dollar, but it's not over the top for day wear if applied sheerly.
Orchid is described as a light lavender, which isn't true. In nature, if you look at the flowering buds, lavender is a greyed blue, more softly muted than periwinkle, whereas Orchid is a mid-toned, satiny, reddened purple--more like a lilac blossom. Or an orchid flower--duh. I find Orchid can be an eye intensifier in that it makes green or blue eyes appear more vibrant and brown eyes more sparkly. There is definite color payoff from Orchid, but overall it does not scream PURPLE. That said, I don't think everyone will be able to wear this color. I suspect it will make some eyelid skin appear red, and it might show up as a bruise on others.
Here are some skin swatches on my NW15 skin.
I detect no fragrance in this product, and the fact that it's powder-free makes it even more wearable for me. The cream shadows are ophthalmologist tested, and although I do not wear contact lenses, my eyes are extremely sensitive, and these eyeshadows do not bother me at all, even when I use them as eyeliner underneath my lashes.
Though not quite as buttery as Benefit Creaseless Cream shadows, Bobbi Brown's color selection is more comprehensive for pale, cool-toned people, and although comparison can be the thief of joy, it's what we bloggers do so we can make informed purchasing decisions. For my $, Bobbi Brown's cream shadows blow MAC Paint Pots out of the water, which I find drying and oxidizing. My only complaint about the Long-wear Cream Eyeshadow is its delivery system. Like Benefit or MAC's cream shadows, I wish the mouth of Bobbi's jars were a little wider. I prefer to use my fingers to apply because the warmth of my skin lets me better control how much pigment I apply, and it also spreads more evenly. As designed, when the product is half gone, it becomes challenging to pick up color on my fingertip without it getting under my nails, so I use the Laura Mercier (fiber optic/skunk) Finishing Eye Brush, which I prefer for cream shadow application over the typical flat-paddle cream shadow brush. I don't use eye primer with these, and I even apply them directly over eye gel that has sunk in (Clinique All About Eyes). No creasing, wears like it's bulletproof.
For fun, here's a video of Lisa Eldridge using the color Orchid (which is what caused me to buy it):
Bottom line: Adoration and joy. I own six or seven of these, all of which get regular use, and I would buy more if any of the remaining colors flattered me, but six is plenty!
All photos mine