Burberry Sheer Eye Shadows: Pearl White, Pearl Grey & Lavender

September 22, 2011

I stopped by the Burberry counter at Nordstrom San Francisco last month and was helped by the most wonderful, artistic & knowledgeable staff. After chatting a few minutes about my past experiences with Burberry, the artist quickly urged me to try something new and non-neutral. He mentioned most women gravitate towards the safe colors of Trench, Gold Trench, Rosewood and Taupe Brown. His observation was that while these colors are good, he felt there were better colors in the Burberry Beauty Range to take a woman’s looks from good to great. I eagerly listened. As I swiped my finger in Pearl Grey No. 17 to see how the color blended on my hand, he picked up Pearl White and Lavender to show me how I could mix and match these two shades with my existing products by blending and layering on the back of his hand. The three new shades I ended up with included: Pearl White No. 01, Pearl Grey No. 17 and Lavender No. 14 (all $29 for 2.5 g/ 0.088 oz).

Pearl White No. 01 is a pure pearly white. It has scared me every other time I’ve been to the Burberry counter so I never gave it a chance or even a swipe. I thought it would be too pale, too chalky and just not me. However, Vaugh, the artist at Burberry, showed me on his hand how Pearl White is not like most other white shadows. Its finely milled texture and beautiful pearly quality gives a beautiful sheen to the skin. It looks amazing when combined with Rosewood on the eyes either as a soft blending shade, a highlighter on the brow, or for a subtle highlight to the inner corners of the eyes. I particularly enjoyed The Non-Blonde’s lovely review and Café Makeup wrote about this shade in a recent Burberry Makeover which will give you ideas on how to coordinate this color. Although Trench is still my favorite nude shade for a base and Porcelain is my favorite for an all over neutral wash, Pearl White is going to become a staple in my stash.

Pearl Grey No. 17 is something I’ve had my eye on for quite some time but never pulled the trigger to purchase. Most medium grey shimmers can look ashy on my olive skin. Most of us first saw Pearl Grey featured on Lisa Eldridge’s Burberry Beauty Review Video (eyeshadow application starts around 4:12), however given her amazing makeup skills, beautiful features and fair skintone, I wasn’t sure this color would be as pretty on me. This color is a fairly sheer grey shimmer with a loose fluffy brush. I found the best application and finish for me was to pack it on with a dense MAC 242 brush directly over a cream base (like Laura Mercier’s Satinée Crème Eye Colour or Metallic Crème Eye Colour). It layers well over Rosewood, but if you layer it on top of too much powder, the color loses its luster and quickly looks dull. Once the color is on the eye, I think it best to not touch or blend too much or else the color/sparkle disappears quickly. It’s fairly cool which is hard for me to pull off easily for everyday, although it makes a lovely going out/evening color.

Lavender No. 14 swatched so beautifully on the back of the hand. Unfortunately, the application to the eyes did not translate quite as well. On the fingers and hands you see a gorgeous blue-purple with a slight lavender periwinkle sheen. It’s quite lovely. When applied with a brush, the shimmer disappears and the color looks a bit flat. I tried this numerous ways with different brushes and bases and have resorted to just applying as a liner with a damp brush. Yes, I can create a smokey eye by layering this with a slightly damp smudge brush, but for deeper vibrant colors like this, I want something with high impact and pigment that is easy to blend (similar to what Midnight Brown is). With a bit of work, this color looks amazing, but I find it too high maintenance to love it. I know that Burberry shades are meant to have a subtle glow and finish but I was still slightly disappointed with this color. If you’ve had better luck with the application please share!

Here are all three swatched, two variations of lighting (I wish that Lavender would look as good on the eye the same way it swatches on the arm or hands):

I pulled a few other shades from Burberry (Trench and Rosewood), Le Metier (Thunder) and Armani (Maestro 21) to compare. I didn’t really try to look for dupes, but just similar shades.

Overall I’m still very impressed with the quality of Burberry Eyeshadows. To date there are only 2 that I’ve tried that I did not love (Midnight Black and Lavender).

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