Bricks of Shimmer

by Valerie on April 25, 2007 · 1 comment

My friend Danielle asked me to post something about Bobbi Brown Shimmer Bricks.

First, confession time: I own every single free standing Shimmer Brick (I specify free standing because there is a LE brick that includes some lip glosses in a mini palette, and I think at some point there was another one like that). I started with Beige and Bronze and gradually (but fairly quickly) bought every single one. It is one of the few items out there I will buy regardless of how many times I will use one, how versatile or not it is etc. I consider my makeup collection to usually be very value oriented (i.e., I rarely buy a product that I know I will only use once or twice) but the shimmer bricks do not fall under that category. When one comes out, I splurge on it automatically. In that sense the bricks are truly the luxe, decadent part of my beauty stash.

Second, this is one of the few products out there where it is mandatory to brush that is designed to be used with the product. The Face Blender Brush is really is the easiest and fastest way to apply any shimmer brick without fearing looking like a disco ball.

Third, you do not need every single one. What you do need to know before you purchase one is what you want out of your shimmer brick – a highlighter, a bronzer, eyeshadows, blush? In my tips at the end of this post, I will categorize them to help you pick one.

But first, here are my reviews, in the order in which they hit the market:

Bronze – The original shimmer brick, and often forgotten in my collection. This is more of a rust bronze (as opposed to the more realistic tan of the Brownie brick). The pros are that it’s quite pigmented, has a white strip for highlighting the browbone, and is probably the best brick if you are in a rush and just want to get some bronze and some blush on your face and get out the door ASAP. The downside is that it cannot be used as an eye shadow (except maybe the bottom darkest strip), is too bronzy to be a real highlighter the way the Beige, the Apricot or the Rose can be, and is just generally a hard color to wear for many complexions.

Beige – The best every day brick in my opinion. Also the most subtle one. I disagree with the nay sayers who say it is too much shimmer for the day. It does not make me look like a glitter ball – rather, it makes me look airbrushed. It can be used for a really subtle eye shadow effect as well as a highlighter.

Pink – This is a very silvery pink highlighter best left for evening.

Rose – When applied lightly, this is a nice neutral highlighter suitable for cool and warm tones. When applied a bit more heavily, it’s a beautiful rosey blush. And some of the strips are nice dark muted roses that can be used as eye shadow. I would say this is the second most versatile brick after Apricot.

Apricot – If you want a brick that can do everything but cook dinner, go for the Apricot . It really is the most versatile. Applied lightly, this is a beautiful warming highlighter but applied a little more heavily, it is pigmented enough to be a gorgeous apricot blush. I love using the darker copper shades as eyeshadow with either Bobbi’s Bronze Gel Liner, or Stila’s Jade Shimmer Smudge Pot, or Mac’s New Weed Gel Liner (LE unfortunately), or Clinique’s Egyptian Cream Shaper Liner (thank you Hillary for introducing me to ALL these liners, all of which I love!).

Peony – this is a beautiful transparent cool pink blush. It may be my favorite cool pink blush. Unfortunately, that’s all it can do. It does not have the white strip for highlighting, so this is basically a blush, or can only be used over pink blush for slight highlighting. Note that this is LE, but has been on and for over a year if you want one.

Brownie – This gives a truly unique look – tan and a bit shimmery. The color is plumy brown and truly unique and different from most bronzers on the market, as those tend to be either reddish or golden. That said, if you want one brick, this is not the brick to buy as it is not versatile beyond giving you a unique tanned look. If you are darker-skinner, this might be a great highlighter though.

Gold – an evening version of the Beige. It can be worn by cool and warm skintones alike, as it is not pigmented as much as shimmery. Gold was LE but can still be found on I am also convinced it will be re-released come holiday time.

Two more thoughts before I wrap up and give you tips:

  • I would not buy Bronze or Brownie hoping to use either instead of bronzer. The effect both give is not the effect of most basic bronzers, which are easier to wear on a daily basis
  • The Tawny Shimmer Brick and Lip Kit (see: is basically identical to the Bronze shimmer brick without the top white strip. So you do not need it if you own the Bronze. I personally don’t like palette lip colors much, so don’t find the Lip Kit interesting, nor do I think it is the greatest price point unless you are low on glosses and lip colors.

So which brick is the one for you? This summary might help:

  • Most versatile bricks: Apricot and Rose. If you are warm to neutral, Apricot (Hi Danielle, perfect skinned redhead!) is actually even more versatile, but if you are very cool (Hi Amy, winter princess!) Rose is the most versatile one for you. Both bricks can be used as highlighter, eye shadows and blush!
  • Best highlighter: Beige (and likely Sandstone when it comes out). Both of those can be used for subtle eye shadow work as well. You will need a blush with the Beige brick so as not to look washed out, but Sandstone might be enough on its own.
  • Evening only bricks: Gold or Pink (which is really silver pink in my opinion) would be your best bet.
  • “Second” bricks: Peony and Brownie. Neither are worth buying if you are going to buy one Shimmer Brick, but are lovely additions to any makeup collection in that they are very unique. Peony is definitely for neutral and cool toned women while Brownie is for warmer tones

Some tips, since I always wrap up with those:

  • Do buy the blender brush when you buy your first brick (or second or third :D). Don’t buy the long-handled professional version – it feels awkward to hold and apply. The “travel” length is much better (and not that short either). The travel length tends to be more easily found at counters than online.
  • Do think about what purpose you want your brick to serve – highlighter, blush and/or eyeshadows and/or bronzer substitute.
  • Do check out the Shimmer Brick Shade Guide to see what other shades coordinate best with each brick: There is no need to buy more Bobbi just to coordinate with your bricks, but it does help figure out what works for you.
  • Once you have purchased your brick, do leave it at home if you want it to last. This is really a fragile make-up item. This is not the make up item you throw in your bag for touch ups. I try not to travel with them, and when I do, I wrap it in some bubble wrap or tissue paper before packing it in my purse (not luggage, ever). Lest you think I am obsessed with my makeup products to the point of having a true OCD problem, the brick is the ONLY product I wrap in bubble wrap before traveling.
  • Finally, do beware of shimmer brick face:
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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 H. April 30, 2007 at 3:07 pm

Just wanted to thank you again for introducing me to shimmerbricks and the face blender brush – it really IS essential for applying them! *bows down to shimmerbrick queen* 😀


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