Burberry No. 01 Smokey Grey Complete Eye Palette

November 21, 2012

Burberry No. 01 Smokey Grey Complete Eye Palette ($59 for 5.4 g/.19 oz, made in Italy) is a beautiful classic palette for a sultry smokey eye. The Complete Eye Palettes by Burberry have four shades in an embossed diagonal-shaped pan. The compact size is the same as the light glow natural blush compacts. The eyeshadow quads come encased in a velvet pouch with three small applicators (sponge, angled and eyeshadow).

The colors in No. 01 Smokey Grey include a frosted cool white, a shimmery gunmetal, a matte smokey grey and a satiny soft black. The texture seems to be identical to the individual eyeshadows, perhaps not quite as buttery smooth, and slightly more powdery, but still very close. Pigment in this quad is excellent. The finish allows for either a sheer application of color. Each shade is easily layerable and after testing this for a few days I found the lasting power was quite good. What I love about this quad is that it works remarkably well with my olive skintone. Most classic smokey eye quads with white, greys and blacks look ashy on my skin. This one has a good balance of cool and warm (the matte grey goes on slightly warmish on my skin) to work for me.
A few more photos and swatches:

Update, here is another swatch set under artificial light, I don’t know why the matte grey goes on so warm on my skin. On the eyes it’s more true to what you see in the pan:

Several have asked how this compares to the new Armani Eyes to Kill quads, Chanel Smokey Eyes and the Burberry singles. My thoughts:
  • I didn’t test all the Armani quads, but based on the two that I have, I feel the Burberry has a softer more buttery/blendable texture but more pigmented payoff in color. The Armani Maestro 01 seems to be cooler-toned and more subtle judging from swatches on Fruity Lashes, Beautezine and Best Things in Beauty.
  • Chanel Smokey Eyes is a quad I used to have (but think I gifted it away). It’s a quad that was extremely high maintenance and often clashed with the yellow tones in my skin. I think the Burberry has more buildable pigment (from what I remember). The Chanel appears to be cooler-toned as well. Cafe Makeup has excellent photos and swatches.
  • Compared to the Burberry single shadows, I found the texture and pigment similar. This particular quad was slightly more powdery, but I didn’t experience any fallout when I applied it on the lids. For color similarities, the white is very similar to Pearl White, but not as blue as Porcelain White. The gunmetal metallic shimmer is more pigmented and deeper than Pearl Grey. The black shade has better pigment than Midnight Black. You can probably achieve the same effect and don’t need the quad if you have the singles.

Comparisons to Pearl White, Pearl Grey, Midnight Black and Edward Bess’s Soft Smoke Trio (which is my favorite smokey eye palette).

I most likely won’t use the applicators since the quality isn’t anywhere near regular brushes. The handles are longer than your average machine-made small sponge applicators which is nice. The pouch is handy, but I don’t see myself carrying the quads in my makeup bag at work, so I probably won’t use those either. For the actual product I give it a huge thumbs up. I like that the colors are separated by the compact dividers – this makes it so much easier to apply and dip different shaped brushes into each well without mixing the colors. (I prefer to mix and blend on the eye.)
The quad worked well with a soft pink cheek (Burberry Peony) contoured with a matte tan shade (MAC Strada). I used Edward Bess’s eye base to help it stay put all day and paired it with a glossy pink lip (NARS Frivolous with Burberry Nude Rose):

Have you checked this quad out? What’s your current favorite classic smokey eye palette? Do be sure to check out other swatches and reviews (ones I found helpful linked here) to see how it looks on other skintones.

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