Bobbi Brown's Paris Palette: Review and a Look

Bobbi Brown's new Paris Eye and Cheek Palette.

Put "Paris" on anything and I'm toast. Seriously. I have this silly obsession with all things Parisian, because I not-so-secretly wish I could live there. I want to sip chic drinks at French cafés, look effortlessly chic all the time, be fit without trying (ha!) because I walk everywhere, and eat croissants for breakfast every day. I own not one, but two pairs of Eiffel Tower earrings. Real Parisian girls are probably too cool and chic for those (sigh), but I tell myself they're meant to remind me to go someday soon.

So when, as part of Bobbi Brown's 25th anniversary, the brand released the Paris Eye and Cheek Palette as part of the City Collection, I was instantly intrigued. It didn't matter that the palette is dupe-able collection of neutrals. It didn't matter that I own more brown and taupe shades than I'll ever be able to finish. I was pretty. It was Paris. (Just look at that art by Richard Haines.) Beautezine said it was must-have. And it was limited edition. (Evil, evil ploy to lure addicts like me.) So, of course, I needed it. Off to Nordstrom to fetch it I went.

Here's the low-down:

It's a double-decker-style palette, which is common in the Bobbi Brown line. I like it because the palettes feel more portable this way. They're certainly easier to handle. On the top "shelf" you'll find four shadows: Ivory, a matte cream shade, Stormy Grey, a shimmery, cool grey, Brushed Granite, a shimmery, cool, greyish brown (they say it's metallic, but it just looks like a shimmer to me), and Eclipse, a matte charcoal-grey—almost black.

On the bottom "shelf," which you pull out after opening the palette, you'll find a matte, bright, blue-toned pink called French Pink.

Ivory and Eclipse have light-to-medium pigmentation. They're not really meant for opaque blocks of colour, in my opinion. I use Ivory all over the lid as a base and to blend. I use Eclipse as a soft liner, to darken my crease and outer corner, or both. Stormy Grey and Brushed Granite are much more pigmented, and really sing when packed onto the lid. They're not quite as pigmented as, say, a Make Up For Ever Artist Shadow, but you can definitely get opaque or almost opaque colour with some layering. There is fallout, but I expect that with most dark eyeshadows. I always do my concealer after my eyeshadow as a precaution.

French Pink has just the right amount of pigmentation for me. I'm not always a fan of blushes that I can easily overdo (I'm talking to you, Illamasqua and NARS). They're beautiful, but I reach for them much less often because they make me nervous—I don't want to be trying to fix clown cheeks when I'm running late for work!

Longevity in a blush is much more important to me than high pigmentation—and this blush delivers. I get a lovely, girlish flush on my cheeks with a couple of swipes of my favourite blush blush, and the colour is still there when I remove my makeup at the end of the day.

Is this palette especially unique? No. Is it perfect? No. Is it a little overpriced? I think so. But do I love it? YES! To me, it's a perfect mix of sultry and sophisticated. And I smile whenever I look at it. Therefore, it's worth it.

Here's the look I came up with today:

Eyes and Brows

Skin

Lips

BITE Beauty Luminous Creme Lipstick in Musk (discontinued—sorry!)

If you'd like to give the Bobbi Brown Paris Eye and Cheek Palette a whirl, you can find it at thebay.com and at Nordstrom for $75 Canadian.

What do you think? Is the Bobbi Brown Paris Eye and Cheek Palette something you'd like to try? Have you tried any of the other City Palettes (New York and London)? Let me know in the comments!

Disclosure: All products except the bronzer were purchased by Eyeshadow Addict.

My Best Discoveries of 2014: Makeup Edition

A few of my favourites from 2014

A few of my favourites from 2014

So much beautiful makeup, and so little time to write about it all! Truly, 2014 has been a year where I've branched out (peach blush? Say WHAT?) and discovered tons of products I love. (So much for shopping my stash. Oh well! Onward!) As 2015 begins, I thought I'd share a list of 14 makeup products or tools that have become favourites I reach for often.

1) Illamasqua Neutral Palette

I grabbed Illamasqua's Neutral Palette during a clearance sale at Hudson's Bay. With the brand pulling out of North America (what a loss!), this baby was seriously discounted—and I was stoked! This palette contains four mattes and an antique-gold shimmer. I'm not a fan of Illamasqua's awkwardly shaped, slightly cheap-looking packaging, but that's where the complaints end, my friends! I've never seen such soft, buttery, blendable mattes in a makeup line. Yes, they rival even Make Up For Ever's famed Artist Shadow (which I reviewed earlier this year). They're so easy to wear, and they pack a pigment wallop (seriously—Obsidian, a rich black, puts MAC Carbon to shame). My favourite look is a smokey brown eye with Vintage (the antique gold) layered over Wolf (a matte chocolate brown). Mmmmmm. This palette is still available at Illamasqua.com.

2) Bobbi Brown Smokey Nudes Palette

I caved and bought more Bobbi Brown palettes this year. I couldn't help myself. Her colours are wearable and stunning, and the combinations she creates truly inspire me. The Smokey Nudes Palette is a gorgeous combination of pinks, taupe-y browns, and a few other shades. Love. Unfortunately, this palette was limited edition.

3) Bobbi Brown Sand Palette

I know, I know. Bobbi's palettes start to look repetitive after awhile, but I couldn't resist the Sand Palette either. So many warm, shimmery browns! Hands-down my favourite shade is a metallic called Golden Copper, which I featured in this Eye of the Day post. This palette is also limited edition, but it looks like it's still available online at Sephora.

4) Laura Mercier Enlightenment Eye and Cheek Palette

Last palette in this post, I promise! This review from Tracy over at Beauty Reflections Blog pretty much made me run out and buy Laura Mercier's Enlightenment Eye and Cheek Palette. SO PRETTY, right? Four soft, neutral, shimmery shadows and two blushes made this a palette I travelled with several times. I also reached for it often for a quick, work-appropriate eye. Gorgeous. Unfortunately, also limited edition. Boo. 

5) Lise Watier Blush Creme Satin in Rose Eden

Lise Watier is a Canadian brand that gets nowhere near enough love, in my opinion. Seriously, everything they make is amazing. I picked up Lise Watier Blush Creme Satin in Rose Eden earlier this year (and reviewed it quickly several months ago), and I've reached for it again and again. It's incredibly easy to blend with a couple of fingers—even over powder—and sets to a powder-like, natural finish. Plus, it's gorgeous—and much more natural than it looks in the pot. I've seen several beauty bloggers rave about of Make Up For Ever's new HD cream blush in their 2014 round-up posts, and I do love it—I sang its praises here. But my friends, this Lise Watier beauty is even better. Trust me. You must try it. 

6) Bobbi Brrown Smokey Eye Mascara

The very-black Bobbi Brown Smokey Eye Mascara performs very much like Clinique High Impact Mascara, but lasts without smearing or flaking. I love the volume and separation this mascara gives my lashes. My favourite thing is layering this under Clinique Lash Power for an extra shot of length and wear time. 

7) NARS Audacious Lipstick in Fanny

This one was a struggle. $37 for a lipstick is stupid. I don't care how good it is. So I waited for the VIB sale to justify picking up a tube of NARS Audacious Lipstick. I have the shade Fanny, a muted, rich berry that is a beautiful balance between wearable and vampy. I love everything about it, including the luxe packaging, the creamy, moisturizing feel, and the easy opacity. Well done, NARS. (Except for the price. Who do you think you are, Chanel?)

8) Lise Watier Rouge Fondant Supreme Lipstick in Stella

I discovered Rouge Fondant Supreme in Stella late in the year—it's part of Lise Watier's Aurora Collection. (But I believe it's permanent! Wahoo!) The colour is stunning—a muted fuchsia with a metallic shine. And I kid you not: I've never tried a more moisturizing, comfortable lipstick. I'll definitely be shopping this formula again.

9) Lise Watier Imagine Blush

Lise Watier Imagine Blush is the perfect, natural pink, and the formula is so soft and pigmented. And just look at that mosaic pattern. Love. Unfortunately, this blush was limited edition, but if you're new to Lise Watier, keep an eye out for other products! You can find them at LiseWatier.com, London Drugs, and several Shoppers Drug Mart and Sears locations. 

10) MAC Face and Body Foundation MIXED with MAC Pro Longwear Concealer

These aren't exactly new in the makeup world, but I believe I've found my HG for an everyday base. Mixing these two products gives me the beautiful, skin-like finish of Face and Body Foundation AND the longwearing power of Pro Longwear Concealer. I use the smallest dollop of foundation in N1 mixed with one pump of the concealer in NW20, and it's more than enough to cover my entire face, and build if necessary. If you're a fan of light-to-medium coverage and your skin isn't too extreme, you MUST try this. (Note that I have combination skin—oily-ish in the T-zone, and normal/dehydrated in the rest of the face.)

11) Make Up For Ever Artist Shadow (all of 'em)

No biggie—just the best eyeshadow on the market at the moment, in my opinion. The pigment! The texture! The colours! Just try it if you haven't.

12) Clinique Cheek Pop Blush (Plum and Berry Pop)

I loved the formula of Clinique Cheek Pop Blush so much I bought two. It's satiny, soft, blendable, and not at all powdery. There's just a hint of shimmer—enough to make your skin look glowy. It's sheer, and it's not the longest-lasting blush I own, but I love it—it's perfect for every day. Plus, those daisies are SO cute, no? (I reviewed it briefly here.)

13) Armani Master Corrector 1

After much searching, I found a more cost-effective alternative to my beloved Chanel Eclat Lumiere Highlighter Face Pen. As you know if you read my review, I LOVE the stuff, but $40 for about 1 mL of product is just criminal. And the packaging was prone to wastefulness. (Sorry, Chanel.) Armani Master Corrector 1 offers a salmon-coloured, brightening formula that is VERY similar, but with better packaging and four times the product (4.4 mL) for approximately the same price! The tiny, thin brush allows me to deposit a very small amount on the darkest part of my eye and blend over my concealer, which is all I need. Thank you, Armani! 

14) Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge

The Miracle Complexion Sponge is Real Techniques' answer to the Beauty Blender. I haven't tried the original, so I can't compare, but I do really like this little orange sponge (I reviewed it here) for quickly blending face products to a natural finish. I reach for it daily to finish blending my under-eye concealer. 

What are your favourites from 2014? Please post your lists/links in the comments; I'd love to read them!

Disclosure: Most of these products were purchased by Eyeshadow Addict. Some Make Up For Ever Artist Shadow and the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge were provided by PR for my consideration. Opinions, as always, are my own.

My Picks for Sephora's VIB Sale

Sephora VIB

Time to get shopping—am I right? Six points? Pffft. (Warning: I'm an enabler.)

Who's excited about the upcoming Sephora VIB sale in November? (According to Musings of a Muse, it starts November 4 for VIB Rouge and November 5 for VIB.) Who's conveniently forgetting about their no-buy commitment during that timeframe? Anyone? (*Cough*)

I'm keeping it cool this year. I've added a somewhat embarrassing amount to my already overflowing collection this year, so my list is short—just a very few basics. Here it is:

1) Anastasia Beverly Hills Brush #12

So maybe spending $23 on a brow brush is a little silly, but I love the look of this brush for two reasons: a) The line is nice and fine. My current brow brush is splayed and gross, so I think a new one will give me cleaner lines. b) The spoolie on the end. I know, I know. I can just clean up and soften my brows with a separate spoolie on the cheap. But when I'm in a hurry in the morning, I don't want to hunt for a spoolie. Plus, my bathroom is tiny. So this brush will be a win! 

2) NARS Dual-Intensity Eyeshadow

I already have one of these beauties in Callisto, and I love it. It's soft, buttery, and beautiful. The depth of colour in the shimmer is gorgeous, and it packs a pigment wallop with no fallout. I also love that I can use it wet without wrecking the shadow. I'm thinking at least one more of these needs to come home with me—maybe Subra, a beautiful, deep eggplant. The price, $33 for one shadow, is painful. So the VIB sale is a perfect opportunity to justify the purchase, yes?

3) Bobbi Brown Mini Eye Palette

Seriously, WHY don't more cosmetic companies do things like this? We all know that I'll never, EVER go through all the eyeshadows I have. So getting a large amount of each individual colour really isn't a priority for me. I'm more about variety than quantity. So a smaller version of a typical Bobbi palette for a fraction of the price? Yes, please. Even though I already have way too many Bobbi palettes, the $42 price tag on this makes it hard to resist.

What are your picks for the upcoming VIB sale? Are you loading your basket ahead of time?