Burberry Beauty Sheer Eyeshadows (But Not Really All That Sheer)

July 16, 2010
Yesterday, Diane from OrangeToLA and I met up at Nordstrom South Coast Plaza to check out the new Burberry Beauty line. Ever since we saw the previews in magazines and reviews start to pop up on various blogs, we knew were interested, but weren’t sure what to expect. We were however ecstatic to find that South Coast Plaza was one of the few launch locations for the new beauty line. For me, Karen’s preview (Makeup and Beauty Blog) had me uber-excited. Lisa’s video tutorial (Lisa Eldridge Makeup) added to my anticipation. Amy’s review (CafΓ© Makeup) of Rosewood Lipstick had me sold.

*Please do not republish or hotlink photos.*
*All work is copyrighted.*

Still, we were just not sure what to expect. The products definitely looked natural, very much along the lines of what I love. But was it going to be too natural? We discussed the prices: $29 for a “sheer” eyeshadow? We were a bit skeptical. The promotional images I had seen in magazines left me thinking “boring.” However, after an morning of swatching, testing, comparing and browsing, I’m pleased to report that the line exceeded my expectations (especially the eyeshadows). The packaging is simply stunning. Classic and modern both at the same time. The etching of the Burberry print on the packaging and the actual product is done with exquisite detail. I like that the lipsticks have a magnetic click to keep them shut. We each did some major damage and had so much fun. The products are definitely more special and pretty in person than what you see in photos (mine included).

I’ll separate my reviews into different sections, starting with the eyeshadows. We were not brave enough to go in and out of the store to swatch & photograph everything, but both verbally acknowledged and admired Karla’s bravery for doing so every week. How amazing is she?

The Sheer Eyeshadows come in 20 different shades and appeared to have 3 different types of finishes from what we looked at: full matte (such as Taupe Brown), glowy (semi-matte and semi-iridescent such as Trench, Almond, Gold Trench), and iridescent (such as Rosewood, Midnight Blue and Midnight Plum). NOTE that these are my own observations. There was no distinguishing label on any of the colors.

The gorgeous packaging:

The colors are a bit deceiving in two ways:

1) First they look incredibly boring and ordinary in the compact. But don’t be deceived by what you see in the testers or the compact. When you swipe the colors on your skin, you will see a beautiful glow. It’s hard to describe, but they are all very beautiful. Even the matte shades glow on the skin. Even photographs cannot capture the true gorgeousness. On the skin the colors transform into stunners with a soft but complex iridescent glow.

2) The name “Sheer Eyeshadow” is not really descriptive of these eyeshadows. Both Diane and I were surprised. I didn’t expect to be wowed, but one swipe and you get full pigment. They blend beautifully for a soft but not-too-natural eye. They are truely eye enhancers. There are some beautiful blues, rose colors and plums. All have amazing pigment. Don’t let the name fool you. Even the pale shades are very pigmented. I had my eye on Trench which appeared to be a boring eggshell-nude color. It was absolutely stunning on my skin.

I wanted to get virtually every color but limited myself to pick out 3 shades and came home with Porcelain 03, Gold Trench 04 and Almond 06. Yes, I picked boring neutrals, but it was so hard to decide. I wanted to try out a few safety colors to experiment. Also, the line is so new to Nordstrom at this time they didn’t have any information on possible launch events or GWPs. I decided to wait and save more purchases for later dates.

I haven’t had a chance to wear these for a full day to see how long they last. They are incredibly smooth and soft, but not too powdery like some soft shadows can be (like NYX in my experience, which I love, but tend to break easily on me). In my experience, Urban Decay has the smoothest most pigmented shadows out of all the brands I’ve tried. The Burberry has a similar texture and pigment. They’re just a lot more natural and less frosty.

Swatches don’t do these shadows justice:

Are the eyeshadows worth $29 + tax? In my opinion, most definitely yes. I think there is a color for everyone. Even girls who don’t like neutrals will find one shade that will suit their likes. I will say the line is more for the woman who prefers natural and polished makeup. But there are pretty non-neutral colors that are still very wearable. In addition, there are shades that darker-skinned ladies will like. The lipstick range is pretty diverse from light to bright to dark in my opinion – but all classic types of colors.

What else did we get? I got a few lipsticks, glosses and a blush which will be reviewed soon. Check out Diane’s blog Orange2LA.com for her take. Her review is now up on her blog here. After our Burberry adventure, we went to look for the new Guerlain Fall palettes. Some of you have already asked me if I’ll be getting one. We found them at Saks and our wallets are extremely happy to report that we both passed and weren’t the slightest bit tempted. They are pretty. Just not worth the price. We both agreed there’s a limit, even for beauty junkies like us. $84 could be stretched a lot farther with other brands. We would both rather buy more Paul & Joe or Burberry instead.

*Please do not republish or hotlink photos.*
*All work is copyrighted.*

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  • Wow, the Burberry line screams quality and class.

  • Hi Sabrina!
    Thank you for a nice review. I am very happy to hear that you've loved Lisa's video since I love her a lot.
    I am fan of Burberry but we still don't have the makeup here. I've asked my friends from the US to get some things for me but I've missunderstood the date when they were laeving so it's too late. Now I will have to wait till we get it here.

  • Jayme

    These Look Lovely, the sensability of this line reminds me a lot of Bobbi Brown (with the whole focus being to play up your natural beauty in a subtle manner)

    After seeing this i really wish i had money to get this line (darn being a poor college student!)

  • milkyway

    Wow Sabrina, I think this review had me sold as well! I'm loving the shades you picked out. The finish looks absolutely stunning.

    Just wondering though, what did you think of the Guerlain palettes in terms of quality/pigmentation etc? I haven't seen them in person yet. Hopefully you could elaborate (even just a bit) on why it isn't worth the price? I'm hoping your response could finally kill my lemming for this! Thanks so much πŸ™‚

  • Pinkribbons – You're right, it really does! I was so impressed.

    Marina – A kind reader sent me the link to Lisa's video. I fell in love, although I think Lisa could make ANYTHING look amazing. She's lovely to listen to.

    Jayme – The line is very natural. I don't know that I can compare it with Bobbi Brown exactly. I know what you mean though when you're describing a line that normal women can wear (versus only models who walk the runway). Enjoy your college days! I miss mine – but my 4 years were very busy.

    Milkyway – I tried to update the post. Pigment was ok. The finish just wasn't that unique. Nor were the colors. That is just my opinion. But I personally have never been all that wowed by Guerlain. Something about the packaging that throws me off. Also, in my mind $84 is too much to spend on 1 item. Even if you get 5-6 different shades or something like that, $84 is still $84.

  • Thank you for the great photos & swatches. Porcelain looks lovely! Can't wait to try this line! Unfortunately, being in South Florida, my Nordstrom is not one of the launch cities. Will have to order online, so these reviews are very helpful!

  • Sabrina..you're killing me! I'm trying to talk myself out of going nuts over Burberry and now I have to get my hands on them. Thanks for the awesome review and swatches. How are you liking the blushes?

  • Anonymous

    I ordered the Rosewood lipstick today – hope it is pretty in person!

  • Anonymous

    Hi Sabrina,

    I also did a review on the Burberry line, but I don't want to be a pain and leave it posted here. Not very nice to do… I've been following your blog for the last year and totally love it!!

    You've really inspired me to view lines that I would never even think of. So thank you for that!!

    I just wanted to say that I was also very impressed with the Burberry line. Everything was so pigmented, and I agree about the eyeshadows. They give a little sparkle to your eyes, without being overwhelming. Great colors, everyone can find something, and the quality is amazing. It's so pretty and I'm so glad they were available to see in person, over here in this section of the country. πŸ™‚

    Thanks for reading this!


  • Gorgeous and classy and so elegant in its own way!! Reminds me of Hourglass packaging in some ways but oh Burberry cosmetics look so lovely!! It's screaming out to me wanting me to get my hands on some hehehe… Wondering when it'll ever reach Australia!

  • Makeup Magpie – Porcelain is prettier than I expected. Check out Karlasugar too – she has a few guest reviews.

    Kristie – I tried talking myself out too. Blush review to come soon.

    Anonymous – Rosewood is very pretty. Will feature this soon as well.

    TC/Anonymous 2 – Thank you for being so polite. Please link your Burberry review in the comments! I don't mind at all. It's the ones who are agressive spammers that upset me. If you link your review in the comments I think it will definitely help other women. Colors look so different on swatches depending on skintone. It's great to get more insight. (But thank you, I appreciate you being sensitive about this. It's the comments that say "follow me and I'll follow you, chx out my blog" that I don't appreciate.)

    Dana – I think the Burberry is sturdier than Hourglass. All the Hourglass tester compacts at my sephora are always broken. It's so new to the US – ever the sales associates here are still learning about the products.

  • Can't wait to read your review! I have to run, but I will do ASAP! I know I keep saying this, but it's true! Sabrina! You're THE BEST!

  • i can't wait to try these out. i absolutely love burberry!


  • Great write up! Now seeing your swatches I'm thinking I should have gotten Gold Trench as well. =)

    I hope they end up having some kind of promotion. Thanks for letting me use your pictures!

  • Colette

    My mom and I just made an order for two eye shadows based on your review of these beauties. I got the Antique Rose and she got the Golden Trench. I like the look of this line so far.

  • Thanks for the write-up, Sabrina. We got the line here in Seattle, and I visited the Bellevue Nordstrom to see the colors in person after I read your blog. The eyeshadows are lovely (Have Slate Blue and Trench), and overall, the colors are divine.

  • Melissa

    Thank you for the eyeshadow reviews, Sabrina! How would you compare these shadows to Edward Bess'? I started back to wear more neutral colors now bc of him. I can't wait for the rest of the reviews to come.

  • FrΓ©dΓ©rique

    Love your review, as usual Sabrina. Burberry launches in september only in Paris , so that gives me some extra time to makeup my mind . How would you compare the eye shadow finish compare to the Bobbi Brown shimmerwash for example. I think I Will go for Porcelain , kaki and maybe midnight blue ……and surely the blush lipgloss πŸ˜‰

  • Great review, Sabrina. I've never been too interested in the Burberry brand, and like everyone else has said, this makeup just looks SO boring on first glance. But your description of the glowy colors and smooth textures (and especially the favorable comparison to Urban Decay's texture) sold me.

    I'm not inclined to make the drive down to SCP just yet; I think I'll wait until I see some swatches of the brighter colors, as those are more my style.

    Thanks again! You did a great job with this review.

  • Lovely review Sabrina! Unfortunately there are no locations close by me to check this out in person… will rely on your swatches/reviews and recommendations! Can't wait for the rest of this series.. πŸ™‚