Neutral Glimmer for Eyes: Bobbi Brown Sparkle Eye Shadows and MAC Pressed Pigments

October 5, 2012

This season, sparkly eye shadows are in. A number of brands have released pumped up neutrals infused with extra glitz and micro glitter. Those who’ve followed me for a while know that I’m a bit of a glitter-phobe when it comes to glitter for blush or eyes. For some reason this year I’ve been braver in trying new things. Last month, Bobbi Brown’s Sparkle Eye Shadows and MAC’s Pressed Pigments caught my eye – it’s virtually impossible for me to resist neutral sparkles.
There have been many reviews published on these already. There is no consensus on a thumbs up or down – thoughts have been mixed. Many have commented that these are pure glitter with tons of fall out and virtually no pigment. I think this depends on how you apply these, but I generally agree that these are mostly glitz with very sheer pigment/color. You can get the color to show up better with a dense brush by patting on top of your eyes rather than doing the regular swipe/blend.
I was convinced to try the Bobbi Brown Sparkle Eye Shadows ($28 each, part of the Uber Basics Collection, limited-edition) at the Bobbi Brown counter by my favorite BB artist. She told me that I needed Black Chocolate Sparkle and that these were best used when applied over other shadows (cream or powder) or even a smudged liner. She recommended using a denser brush to pat and gently blend (rather than swipe and blend like regular shadows). Patting allows for the color to actually show up a bit better.
The MAC Pressed Pigments ($21, listed as limited) are part of the Face and Body collection released in September. I did purchase and try the new brush and did not like it at all. I found it difficult to work with and it felt stiff and harsh on my sensitive eyes. The MAC artist recommended using Brush 242 to apply these and I felt it worked perfectly to pick up the pigment and transfer it to the lids. For these I’ve been using a similar method of application: press and pat. Using a damp brush intensifies the shimmer to a metallic sheen. These are coincided with a MAC foundation shade to match skin tones but I found that I liked almost all of them on mine (I think I’m about a NC35 but I haven’t been matched in quite a few years).
I used these shadows two weeks straight – layered over other shadows lightly for a subtle added shimmer. I was really surprised to find them wearable and suitable for work (emphasis when layered lightly). I did experience a little bit of fall-out, which was expected due to the texture of these, but I found they worked a lot better for me than Urban Decay glitter shadows or even the Night Series shades from NARS. The trick is getting the right application. These definitely aren’t for everyone – but if you’re at a counter I would recommend trying just for fun. They’re borderline too glitzy for everyday – but they work for me. I love them for evening, they go well with a neutral lip/cheek or a bold lip/cheek. Photos and swatches below.

Another view of the shadows:

Swatches on the arm:

Did you try these? What were your thoughts?

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