Product Review: Bobbi Brown Vitamin Enriched Face Base

My mother is a fantastic cook. People request her chicken parm, they eat six slices of her pizza and they know whatever meal she puts in front of them is going to be delicious. She is not, however, a baker. I thought things that happen in the kitchen are all part of the same category, but Mammamia says she doesn’t like baking because she has to follow recipes. (We’ve got rebel blood in our family.) Substitutions, she says, work fine in cooking if you know your stuff, but you can’t go rogue with baking. (Hence her recent banana bread fiasco–turns out whole wheat flour should not replace regular flour.)

So when I see a primarily makeup company create a skincare product or vice versa, I don’t have high hopes.  Many makeup companies excel in their products–eyeshadows, lipsticks, foundations, etc.–but that doesn’t mean they understand skincare. That’s why I was pleasantly surprised by the Bobbi Brown Vitamin Enriched Face Base.

This product is meant to be both a primer and a moisturizer. It contains shea butter and vitamins C and E. Shea butter has become very popular the past few years due to its moisturizing properties, and vitamin E is known to have a healing effect on scars and marks. Vitamin C is a winner in the anti-aging category. So that trio is impressive, especially coming from a cosmetics company.

Face Base comes in a plastic black and white jar. I have a sample size (.24 fl oz) but the full size is 1.7 oz. The packaging is simple and classy, like every other Bobbi Brown product I have seen. The lid closes tightly and stays on. My only issue with jars is that if you use your fingers to retrieve the product, you are introducing bacteria into the product. When you seal the jar, you are basically throwing a bacteria party. You remember the “warm, dark and moist” breeding ground thing from Bio 101, right? Bacteria can cause breakouts and skin irritation so especially if you are acne-prone, use a clean tool of some sort (makeup spatula, scoop, even a cotton swab) to retrieve the product.

The formula itself is–say it with me–like buttahhhh. But it absorbs quickly and doesn’t leave an oily residue. To borrow a term from Lisa Eldridge, one of my makeup artist idols, this product is nourishing. It made my skin feel considerably softer. I am a combination skin gal and I tend to get more oily as we get into the warmer months, so I think this could be a little too heavy for me and others like me during the summer. It’s not the heaviest cream I’ve ever used, but anytime you see shea butter listed as an ingredient, you can assume the product is geared more towards a normal, normal-to-dry or dry skin. As a moisturizer, this product does a great job. I used it on my neck overnight several times and woke up with crazy smooth skin.

Face Base has a moderately strong grapefruit scent. That doesn’t bother me, and the scent disappears after you apply it, but if you are sensitive to scented products, this might be a turnoff. It’s not perfume-y though. It has more of a fresh scent, which I know many people like.

Primers are supposed to do one or two things. One is to prep the skin to allow for a smoother makeup application. A good primer in this sense will allow your makeup to glide on, and can give a little glow to your skin. The other priming factor is longevity. In that arena, a primer should extend the wear of your face makeup. It does that by forming a kind of protective layer between your skin and your face makeup so the oils from your skin–the culprits behind makeup fading–can’t sneak through as easily. Face Base excels in the skin prep area. My foundation sat beautifully on top of the Face Base and I did see an undeniable glow. (What’s up now, JLo?) As far as extending makeup longevity, I saw no difference. I prefer that my primers take care of both prepping the skin (although I often use moisturizer first) and extending the wear of face makeup, so this isn’t the right primer for me. Longevity is important to me because I do a lot of wedding makeup, which needs to last all damn day. Face Base might be fine as a primer for someone with dry skin, since they don’t have as much oil coming through, but I don’t consider this a good longevity primer for my oily or combination skin peeps.

There is no SPF in Face Base, so if you use it during the day, make sure to use a separate SPF. If you use it only at night, you don’t have to worry about that (unless you live in Alaska and sleep outside during the summer).

Overall, I do like this product. I think it’s great day cream and primer for anyone with dry skin (just make sure to use SPF too). For someone with combo or normal-to-oily skin, you might like this during the winter (still use SPF) or as a night cream.

Feelin’ it? You can get it at Sephora, Bobbi Brown or Bobbi Brown counters. It retails for $58. I realize that’s not cheap but I can see this being a game changer for people with normal-to-dry or dry skin who want a smoother foundation application and some glow.

Have a beautiful day 🙂

 

 

 

 

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Product Review: Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Eye Pencil

Bobbi Brown eyeliner

Topshop Kohl Eyeliner in Saddle was the one that got away. Or at least the one that got discontinued. That was my favorite eyeliner to wear and I used my last one until it was a tiny nub. It was the perfect brown for my hazel eyes. Saddle did a standup job of enhancing the green I desperately try to bring out thanks to its reddish gold glitter flecks. Those tiny particles didn’t look like glitter or worse, act like it (no glitter fallout with Saddle).

I’ve been on the hunt for a new brown pencil eyeliner ever since I laid Saddle to rest. I was open to trying different browns and thought I would go in the dark brown direction. When I saw the Bobbi Brown Long-Wear in Pencil in Mahogany, my broken heart felt hopeful. Could this be the one?

Mahogany is a deep, dark matte brown. No glitter here, Mariah. It’s a standard eyeliner pencil with a solid plastic cap that stays on. The cap of an eyeliner pencil is important because if it is flimsy and cracks open or slides off easily, it exposes the pencil to air, which can dry it out. Even the best eyeliner pencil can’t survive the elements.

My favorite thing about this eyeliner is the color. It is a rich, saturated dark brown with great color payoff. It’s different from my beloved Saddle but I love this color just as much.

Unfortunately, it feels waxy and hard when lining the eye. It definitely drags on the skin, which I think is a universal makeup hate. I try to be so gentle on the eye area since that skin is very thin but it’s hard to be gentle and get the liner to draw on with this pencil.

The tip of the pencil is on the thicker side, even when sharpened, so it’s impossible to get a thin line. Even though it feels hard and pulls on the skin, the tip of it somehow also falls off easily. Usually that happens if a pencil feels soft (like most kohl pencils) but this one does not. It may be because it is on the drier side so the tip eventually dries out and cracks off.

I haven’t experienced any smudging or fading with this eyeliner so I think it lives up to its Long-Wear name. I realize this is a huge plus because many people have issues with eyeliner staying on.

I should have known this going into it, since most long-lasting products don’t blend well, but this eyeliner is impossible to blend. Once it’s on, it sets immediately. If you like a medium thick defined line, you’ll probably love it. I personally prefer a smudged out, blurry line so I don’t like that it sets so damn fast.

The liner is decent on the waterline. It doesn’t stay for hours, but it also doesn’t disappear right away. Some pencil liners– specifically the waxy longwear or waterproof ones–don’t even show up on the waterline so I was surprised that this one did. I didn’t experience any problems with it flaking off, which is important when you are lining the waterline.

The Long-Wear Eye Pencil did not quite do it for me. If Saddle taught me anything it was not to settle. I believe I’ll find my match someday, and I won’t stop looking until I do.

Have a beautiful day 🙂