Yes, it is gorgeous, and I will get to that in a minute, but the coolest thing (to me at least) is that this Bobbi palette is paraben-free! Yes, you read that correctly. It seems like Bobbi is moving towards paraben-free. If she does that for her skincare, I may actually reconsider buying it, despite the cost. But I digress.
On to the palette. Let’s start with a little history first on this type of elongated palette of neutral shadows (feel free to skip if this is boring). This is the fourth such eye palette Bobbi has put out. At some point in the last few years, there was also the Ski Slopes palette, but that one had a lip color, and a blush if I remember correctly, so I am not including it in my history.
The first such neutral palette was the Nude on Nude which, in my opinion, was too chalky and flat. Plus I just don’t think it was useful for anyone that was not pale or medium, as the colors were so light. Then Bobbi came out with the Nude on Nude Shimmer, which I loved because it was not chalky. I bought it, loved it, and then, however, realized the colors were just too light, and had no zip on me. I like neutral, but that one really blended in too much. So I gave it away to a friend.
Then there was the Chocolate palette – my one makeup regret. It was neutrals with zip for sure, but when I had my Chocolate collection makeover, I thought it was a tad too warm on me, I wasn’t sure, and by the time I decided I wanted it, it was sold out in stores and $100 on ebay.
I should also add as an aside that I like my eyeshadows to be very pigmented and not chalky – I love the texture of Shu and Stila, because they are dense and almost buttery. The Chocolate palette was close though. Still, Bobbi Brown shadows never quite did it for me, even though they were great quality. They were always an 8 or a 9, and I wanted a 10.
Enter the Stonewashed Nudes – it’s like Bobbi heard all my hemming and hawing about her shadows and her last three neutral palettes, and came up with the answer. The shadows are buttery, pigmented, wear beautifully, don’t get flat over the course of the day, AND are paraben-free.
This palette is really neutrals with a zip – I firmly believe neutrals should enhance instead of blend in, and this palette does just that.
Let’s talk about the colors in the palette:
Navajo (matte): a non-chalky matte yellow. I think of this as Bone (which is too white on anyone not pale) and Vanilla (too brown) merged into a good base shadow suitable for almost any skin color. This is meant to be the base color or subtle highlight under the browbone. Since I always use up my base color before anything else in a palette, I only will only use this when I travel or applying makeup out. Otherwise I will probably keep using Stila Nude or Bobbi’s Bone as a base and keep playing with other light shimmer shadows for the highlight. For Mac users: according to reviews I have read on the palette, this is similar to Mac’s Mylar shadow.
Mica Shimmer Wash: light, but pigmented, shimmery warm taupe with a tiny bit of gold shimmer. This is the most neutral (and almost warmish) of the palette colors. It reminds me of a very subtle version of MAC’s Sunnydaze pigment. This is a great lid color.
Ash Shimmer wash: Much cooler lid color than Mica. It’s a shimmery cool taupe and could be an all over wash, highlight (if you are deeper toned) or lid color if you want to wear this conservatively.
Hot Stone (matte): This is a medium cool taupe, and a great crease color.
Stonewash Shimmer wash: This is a shimmery cool taupe with a hint of mauve and subtle silver. I love this because it gives the sophistication of mauve without risking looking bruised. I would use this in the crease as well, but reviews I have read use it as an all over color too.
Rock Shimmer wash: This shade allows the palette to go day to night. This is a pigmented shimmery neutral silver taupe, cooler than Stila Diamond Lil. This shade combined with Espresso (below) allow the palette to go from daytime neutrals to killer smoky eye!
Espresso (matte): This is a dark black brown, and very easy to work with. For a day look, this is a great liner, but for night, this can be built up for a smoky eye.
Another tip regarding this palette: unlike Stila and Shu eyeshadows which look better blended, this palette works better layered, with any harsh angles blended only if necessary.
All in all, a really beautiful palette. And very versatile. I have been wearing it with pink (Laura Mercier Rose Petal) and pinky peach (Nars Orgasm) blushes alike. Like I said, this is my year of Bobbi Brown — so far I have bought more from her brand this year than any other.
General Disclosures & Disclaimers