Thursday, October 2, 2014

Bobbi Brown 'Smokey Nudes' Creamy Matte Lip Colors: Soft Nude and Nude

A few months ago, I noticed a new collection by Bobbi Brown of four new creamy matte lip colors called the 'Smokey Nudes' collection on Nordstrom's website.  I am not sure whether this collection is a Summer or Fall limited edition release.  Also, I am not sure if this collection is limited edition or a permanent addition.  I saw this collection posted up on Nordstrom about two months back and I do check the website periodically to look for new lip color releases.  

I have always been drawn to the Bobbi Brown brand.  I believe I like the packaging and shade range.  Obviously, I will not purchase a product solely because its packaging is appealing to me.  However, despite several dissatisfying past experience, I was still eager to try this new collection.  This collection caught my attention specifically because it consisted of neutral, yet deep shades, which I presumed would suit women of color like myself.  I cannot wear a majority of the popular nude or pinky-nude lip colors in the market because of my more pigmented lips and deeper skin-tone.  The majority of beauty bloggers I follow are fair-skinned and can wear the popular, cult-favorite shades.   

Being a lip product "junkie" (dislike that word, but it seemed fitting here), I want to experiment with almost every shade out there.  I have come to terms with the fact that the nude lipsticks designed for fair skin-tones will not suit me.   However, I am still not satisfied with the availability of nude lip colors for women of color in the mainstream market.  What especially irks me is this new Kylie Jenner or 90s lip trend?  I have been wearing these sort of mauve-pink-brown shade since I began wearing lip colors five years ago.  Before the dawn of this trend, these sort of shades were considered the "grandma shades" or "mom shades" or boring or "work-appropriate."  Now because Kylie Jenner wore such a shade, she, unbeknownst to her, created a marketing scheme and cult-favorite.  

The 'Smokey Nudes' collection consists of shades that are right on point with the Kylie Jenner or 90s lip trend.  I believe the 90s lip trend was brown lip colors, as in straight up chocolate brown, sometimes mixed with mauve or red undertones.  I cannot be too certain of the trend because I was just born then and a little tyke for most of that decade.  My aunt still rocks the 90s brown lipsticks. In fact, it still appears to be one of the go to lipstick shades for the women in India, especially with a bit of icy frost added to it.  Yuck, I hate frost or shimmer in my lipsticks.  I cannot even tolerate the most subtle hint of frost or shimmer.  Kylie Jenner has altered the 90s lip trend by wearing a gradient of light to deeper mauve-pink-brown shades.  Coincidentally, new lip product releases have reflected this resurrection of an old beauty trend (Bite Beauty Matte Creme Lip Crayon in Glace, Maybelline Color Sensational Creamy Matte Lip Color in Touch of Spice, NARS Audacious Lipsticks in Barbara, Anna, and Deborah --> just to name a few of these new cult-favorites).  As a side-note, these new NARS Audacious Lipsticks are next on my Wish List.  I have only heard reviews proclaiming the excellence of these lipsticks, so I cannot wait for the Sephora VIB sale in November to purchase quite a few of the NARS Audacious Lipsticks. 

Well, let us get on with the review.  After hearing about the superior quality of the NARS Audacious Lipsticks, I almost feel like discouraging you from purchasing these Bobbi Brown lip colors, but that would be an unfair judgment on my part as I have not tried the NARS lipsticks myself.  I can advise you to test out both brands in the store, before making your investment in one over the other or compare my review of the Bobbi Brown lipsticks with someone else's review of the NARS lipsticks.  

My first gripe with the Bobbi Brown Creamy Matte Lip Colors is that they are dry and need to be worn with a lip balm underneath.  They are not as uncomfortable as MAC's matte lipsticks, but they are not as comfortable as Bite Beauty's matte creme lip crayons either.  As demonstrated in one of the pictures below, each and every crevice or line in your lips will show.  The formula is not at all a creamy matte.  Rather, it is a true-matte, but not entirely unbearable like a stain, such as the Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lip Colors.  I cannot tolerate most matte lip products even with a lip balm worn underneath, but I was able to wear these Bobbi Brown shades without feeling complete discomfort.  My issue with the formula of these two lipsticks is not so much the feel, but the dry appearance.  Both lipsticks applied smoothly and when I pressed my lips together, the product felt smooth (not emollient, just smooth).  While applying, I felt no tugging or friction with the lips.  In a nutshell, I suppose I just do not like the true-matte look, especially with light or neutral shades.  

Color-wise, I liked both the shades.  Of course I was expecting Soft Nude to look on my lips as it does on my hand - a brown with something mixed in.  Instead, it looks like a rosy pink-nude. Next, Nude is not very different from Soft Nude.  Only a beauty enthusiast would notice the difference, so it might not be necessary to get both.  I prefer Soft Nude over Nude.  According to my fiancĂ©, Nude looks like the chalkier version of Soft Nude.  By chalky he means that the shade has a gray or white cast to it, which I feel dulls my complexion and teeth color.  In my amateur makeup experience, I have observed that the gray or white undertone in lip colors seems to have a counter-brightening effect.  The names of the four shades in this collection is deceiving.  I only have two to show you.  For example, the swatches I have seen online demonstrate that warn nude (not reviewed here) is a lighter shade than soft nude (reviewed here).  I am still unsure whether I will be keeping or returning Nude.  Mr. Beau completely dislikes it and wants it to go back ASAP!  

Bobbi Brown Creamy Matte Lip Colors cost $26 each.  I find this price point to be high for the quality of the product.  It is not an ideal product.  Again, I shall reference the wisdom of my Mr. Beau, who believes that I should not invest a lot of money in a product that I have to put in additional effort to make it work, such as a lip balm or gloss or another lipstick.  It is so underwhelming to talk about disappointing products even though my reviews of sub-par products seem to be lengthier than products I absolutely love.  Fortunately, I used a $40 Nordstrom note towards the purchase of these two lipsticks.  I cannot say that the note justifies buying sub-par expensive products though because Mr. Beau received the note after he purchased almost a year's worth of formal business clothes.  Sadly, you need to accumulate a lot of points from your purchases before you receive these notes.  Other than these notes and an occasional 10% off of select beauty products, Nordstrom does not have any special sales on beauty or give out any coupons that can be used on beauty products (like Sephora's VIB Sale or ULTA 20% off high-end products coupon).  Ebates (a website too good to be true and I am curious to learn about its business semantics) occasionally has 3%, 6%, or 10% cash-back on Nordstrom purchases.  All you have to do is start a virtual shopping trip to Nordstrom's website via the Ebates website and of course create your account.  

(Soft Nude on your left and Nude on your right, with Fresh Sugar Lip Balm underneath) 

(Nude, with no Fresh Sugar Lip Balm underneath) 

(Bobbi Brown Creamy Matte Lip Color in Nude)

(Bobbi Brown Creamy Matte Lip Color in Nude) 

I hope this post was informative and helpful. Your friendly comments are much appreciated.  Come back soon. Please follow, like, share, connect, and subscribe. Thank you!


  1. I think both colors look great on you!! I dislike matte lipsticks that feel dry and make my lip look dry too. And I also have been a fan of the brown/mauve/pink lipsticks and didn't really know it was a 90s trend until recently lol!


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