Morning Skincare: Bobbi Brown Hydrating Face Tonic & Bobbi Brown Hydrating Gel Cream

It’s time for a morning skincare routine update really quick. Not much has changed, but I’ve been really into restoring my dehydrated skin lately. There’s a big difference between dry skin and dehydrated skin; and it’s important to treat both for optimal skin health. For me, my skin is dehydrated most days and I don’t like stripping it for the sake of oil-control. However, I’ve found that with using these two products, the radiance and balance in my skin has happened naturally because my skin appears more healthy. I’ve also discovered that my skin is actually LESS OILY because my skin is balanced.

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Bobbi Brown Hydrating Face Tonic $28.00 USD
After cleansing my skin with Cetaphil, I dry my face with my face towel and directly apply my toner of choice. Currently, I’m totally loving the Bobbi Brown Hydrating Face Tonic to restore my skin from being freshly cleansed. I use a cotton pad and apply the toner on my face. A little bit goes a long way with this toner and there’s no need to be wasteful and saturate the cotton pad. Just a few drops is enough to get the results you want. Immediately, my skin feels fresh and moist.

This toner is a “skin-conditioning tonic that restores and balances skin so that it is soft, soothed, and prepared for treatment products.” It doesn’t feel sticky or slimy; just moist. I like how it doesn’t strip my face, which is important to me since I tend to use harsher nighttime products. The Bobbi Brown Hydrating Face Tonic “delivers instant, 24-hour and long-term hydration. Formulated with Bobbi Brown’s signature Enriched Mineral Water Blend and cucumber, chamomile, licorice, aloe leaf, and lavender, it works to soothe and soften the skin. The Vitamin B5 softens and conditions, leaving your skin prepped for the next treatment step.” I give it a moment to sink into my skin a little bit before moving onto my gel cream. Also, remember that this is a hydrating toner, so it doesn’t contain alcohol or strip the skin, and instead, it balances and refreshes the moisture in the skin. Perfect for dry or sensitive skin, it brings a refreshingly hydrating step to any skincare routine.

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Bobbi Brown Hydrating Gel Cream $56.00 USD
After applying the toner, I give it a few seconds to sink in but not all the way. Then, I apply the Bobbi Brown Hydrating Gel Cream, which is a “water-based gel-cream that hydrates and balances skin.” It feels rich, but lightweight at the same time. The gel texture feels like water once applied onto the skin and absorbs nicely into the skin. Upon contact, it feels a little tacky at first. After a moment, my skin feel nice and refreshed; the look is still moist but not greasy at all. LOVE.

Last year, I reviewed the Bobbi Brown Hydrating Face Cream, but I like the GEL CREAM much better. It’s perfect for the in-between season we’re in, but I don’t think it will make my skin dry in the winter months here in Texas. My skin is combo/sensitive and this gel cream really helps moisturizing my dry cheeks but balancing my oily t-zone. “This refreshing, lightweight emulsion provides a burst of moisture, leaving skin feeling healthy, rejuvenated—and perfectly prepared for a seamless makeup application. It contains a powerfully enriched mineral water blend to hydrate, balance and revive skin. Ingredients include a tropical grass extract, which instantly increases the skin’s natural ability to hold onto moisture, and vitamin E, which provides antioxidant protection against environmental damage.” Normally, after applying the gel cream, I get dressed. By giving this moment for everything to sink into my skin, I find that applying my sunscreen and then base makeup on top has better results because nothing is slipping and sliding around. My skin refreshed, looks even and healthy, and the constant moisture that these two products provide keeps my skin so comfortable throughout the day — even in the heat. There’s such a difference in how my skin looks when it’s restored of hydration; and, the best part is that my skin doesn’t feel oily or greasy.

I recommend both these products together, honestly. I use the toner both day and night, but I only use the gel cream in my morning skincare routine. They both prep my skin nicely and makeup applies wonderfully as well.

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Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Cream Shadow in “Beach Bronze”

I usually skip bronzers in general for my face. Occasionally, I’ll use something if I’m in the mood to contour my nose slightly, but since it’s not an every day kind of thing for me, I opt to apply bronzey colors on my eyes instead. During the summer months, I like effortless, simple makeup that allows me to look put together. When I’m feeling the eye shadow vibe, I normally lean towards neutral shades with a bit of pop for a fun, summery feel. Because I live in Texas, formulas that are long-wearing in general are more useful. For this reason, I’ve been a long time fan of the Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Cream Shadows.

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The Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Cream Shadows are designed to stay on the lids, and doesn’t crease while maintaining its true color. The formula of the shadows are of soft-blending formula that goes on comfortably and has a soft, velvety finish. Additionally, it applies smoothly because the texture of the shadows are soft and creamy. It glides onto the lids and blends nicely with a small, synthetic blending brush. Sweeping the shadow with a Sephora Pro Shadow Brush #14 helps to apply the color and then blend simultaneously.

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The shade “Beach Bronze” was my summer color of choice. It’s a perfect blend of golden brown mixed in with subtle shimmers that are both bronzey and warm brown tones. It can pass for a neutral color if applied sheerly, but you can also really pack it on for my dramatic effects. Because the formula of the Long-Wear Cream Shadows are indeed long-wearing, there’s no need to apply primer underneath. Sometimes I’ll add a darker shade in the outer corners of my eyes for a smokey effect, but generally, this shadow does fine on its own.

If you’re looking to start playing with cream eye shadows, I’d say this is a good starting point. They’re long-lasting on the eyes and in your collection as well. I haven’t had any experiences with the pot drying out too fast or anything like that. I just close the pot tightly and store them with my other makeup and I haven’t had any problems with them. I also suggest getting the Sephora brush mentioned earlier because it helps with working with the cream eye shadows.

Retails for $26.00 USD.
Sephora Brush #14 retails for $20.00 USD.

Bobbi Brown Full Coverage Face Brush

Nowadays, I feel like expensive brushes aren’t necessary because there are so many great, affordable options out there that perform so well. In many ways, I’m most picky about eyeshadow blending brushes more than I’m picky about face brushes. Honestly, with brands like Real Techniques out there, and the Expert Face Brush being one of my top picks for face brushes — “high end” brushes sometimes don’t seem as cost-effective. While the theory of “investing in nice brushes because they last forever” still may ring true, I like to broaden my scope when it comes to makeup brushes. I like to use a wide variety of types of brushes; and, to me, it’s really about how well it applies the makeup and not necessarily the brand.

Having said all this, that’s why I was a little skeptical with the Bobbi Brown Full Coverage Face Brush, but it’s quickly become one of my favorite brushes for foundation! I’ve been reading about it for a few months now and the brush didn’t tug at my heart strings until I tested it out at Sephora. I really like this brush and I think you will, too.

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The Bobbi Brown Full Coverage Face Brush is an “ultrasoft face brush with short, tightly packed bristles that brush on full coverage foundation.” It’s dense and not fluffy at all. The bristles are tightly bound together so it’s not fluffy and has a lot of structure. Additionally, the bristles are short so you’re really able to buff products into your skin with ease. The shorter handle on this brush makes it easier to maneuver around your face; and, most importantly, it’s easy to use around the contours of your face — such as the areas around your nose and under your eyes.

This brush is described to be as “perfect for using with our powder formulas and liquid foundations, this brush cuts shine and delivers just the right amount of formula for an ultra-polished finish.” I agree that this works great for liquid foundation. It provides a sheer, air-brushed effect and doesn’t allow the liquid foundation to look cakey or thick. It’s sort of my pet-peeve when foundation gets clumpy around some areas of the face — especially around the nose and chin. This brush provides a very smooth finish on the face and almost seems to “filter” the product to apply only what’s absolutely necessary. I like how formulas — even heavier foundations — look so natural on the skin because of this brush.

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I’ve tried this brush with both liquid and cream foundations, as well as with BB/CC creams and mineral makeup. While I prefer to use a fluffier brush for setting powders, I don’t think there would be anything wrong with wanting to use this for powders. This brush is designed to deliver full coverage for the face. The beauty of this product is that it can take heavier formulations and sheer them out on the skin — allowing the finish to look and feel more natural without compromising coverage and pigmentation. I also found that when I’ve applied too much cream blush and I want to sheer it out some, I can use this brush to blend it into my skin better.

Overall, I really like this brush and I especially like that it’s versatile and short-handled. It’s very easy for travel or for on-the-go, and despite its size, I can do my face makeup really quickly with this. I recommend this brush and I think that if you prefer heavier foundation formulas, this will be an amazing addition to your brush collection.

Retails for $44.00 USD.

Favorite Pinks: Dior Addict Lipstick in “553 Princess” & Bobbi Brown Blush in “Pale Pink”

Maybe it’s the spring season that’s looming, but I’ve been really into pinks lately. Generally, I tend to stick with pink lip colors and pink blushes to begin with; however, I did notice that I was gravitating towards more coral/peachy tones during the winter months. Today’s post is going to be about my most recent favorite pinks — not only are they available since they’re not limited edition, but they’re also “classic shades” that will flatter many skin tones and will look good all-year round.

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I’ve written about the Dior Addict Lipsticks on many occasions. But lately, my favorite shade has been “553 Princess,” which is described as a “sheer carnation pink.” The soft pink shade is very true its pink base-tone — in that it doesn’t lean coral/red/peach/etc. It’s a great go-to shade, but can also pass for something you can wear for more special occasions. I like to pair this shade with a light, every day look which is generally dewy skin, defined/filled-in eyebrows, strong mascara/lashes, and a light pink color on my lips.

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For my favorite pink blush lately, I’ve been in to the Bobbi Brown Blushes. I’m not disappointed by BB blushes and I’ve been very happy with “Pale Pink” to accompany my ‘favorite pinks’ post. For sure, this blush leans on the brighter side and can be great for the cheeks to liven up any look. You can’t be heavy-handed with this blush because I’ve noticed that it can be too much sometimes; however, with a little dab of a good, fluffy blush brush can go a long ways with BB’s blushes.

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I think being in the mood for pinks has really changed the way I shop for pinks. While I think it’s a great spring and summer color to experiment with, I think the classic appearance of it helps it look good for every day looks too. Keep in mind that not all pinks are created alike, so I think it really depends on the tone and depth of the pink tone. For me, the brighter the better as long as it can spruce up any look…especially after gloomy winter months.

I recommend Dior Addict Lipsticks, as I’ve previously mentioned in other posts, but do check out Dior’s shade in “553 Princess” if you’re looking for a pretty pink color that does a little more than blend in with your natural lip color. In addition, I recommend Bobbi Brown’s blushes for her formulation and smooth texture. The shade in “Pale Pink” is a great way to start off any pink collections — but, especially if you’re getting started in owning BB’s blush shades, it’s a good one to begin with.

Bobbi Brown Natural Brow Shaper & Hair Touch-Up

After a recent disappointment with the Maybelline Brow Drama Sculpting Brow Mascara, I ventured back to high end brow products and decided to try the Bobbi Brown Natural Brow Shaper. As a “cream-gel formula effortlessly defines and fills in brows,” this brow product is great at controlling and shaping brow hairs without making them look and feel crunchy. It appears that the brush has changed since its initial release, and the Nordstrom website states that the updated product now “features a new, shorter brush for more definition.”

I’ve featured other brow mascaras here, and also review my current brow product: the Benefit Gimme Brow. Recently, I also reviewed Tarte’s Colored Clay Tinted Brow Gel as well. In the past, I wrote about NARS Brow Gel in “Kinshasa” if you’re interested.

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The Bobbi Brown Natural Brow Shaper & Hair Touch-Up is just like any other eyebrow gel/eyebrow mascara out there; however, where it differs is the unique cream-gel texture. I chose the shade “Mahogany,” which is a warm gray-brown shade that tints my eyebrow hairs without drastically changing the tone or color. It also doesn’t feel crunchy on the little hair that I do have, even though it still provides a light hold. Additionally, the cream-gel texture of the product allows for flexibility and it doesn’t dry down too fast.

I think if you’ve enjoyed using Benefit’s Gimme Brow, you’ll like the Bobbi Brown Natural Brow Shaper. The brush is much bigger obviously, but it somehow works because of the narrow tip and dense bristles. It really catches all the brow hairs without getting messy and getting product onto the skin. The shade “Mahogany” seems to be a bit darker than what I was initially expecting, but it seems to work when I use the product lightly and with a soft-hand.

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I used to think any old eyebrow mascara/gel would do, but really, I’ve found that color and tone differ depending on the brand. For me, as a fair-skinned Asian, I’ve discovered anything too gray or gray-black is way too harsh, and anything too brown comes off reddish so it’s so unnatural. The color for my brows is my favorite part of using the product, but I think I still really like Benefit’s Gimme Brow’s teeny tiny brush. I think for many brow products like this, it’s important that the design of the brush is small and efficient. As for the formula, it’s workable as long as it can be applied in an easy way.

Overall, I recommend the Bobbi Brown Natural Brow Shaper; and, while I haven’t quite used it as a “hair touch-up” product, I like how it performs and how it looks. Of course, there are a variety of eyebrow mascaras/gels out there so this particular one isn’t a necessity. I prefer it over all the ones I’ve mentioned (except Benefit’s Gimme Brow).

Retails for $22.00 USD.

Bobbi Brown Eyeshadow in “Toast”

My newest Bobbi Brown eyeshadow is in the shade “Toast,” and it’s such a unique shade for being a nuetral-brown color. If you’re like me and a fan of all things neutral, often, you need a really good reason to buy another brown-ish shadow, lol. I find that I’m more likely to purchase another neutral tone if I find it “unique” in some way, and I feel that way about the color “Toast.” In-person, I was afraid that the color would seem too peach or even orange; however, upon swatching the color, I found that the warm peachy undertones balance out the brown, which makes it a great all-over color and/or a transition color for when you’re doing a smokey eye.

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I wouldn’t say that the shade “Toast” is a must-have, but if you’re like me and you like single colors to wear without any fuss, this would be a good color to try. I recommend that you use a fluffy blending brush — like the MAC 217 or something like it — to apply the color. That way, too much of it won’t be concentrated and it would apply more sheerer.

Another great way to wear this color is as a transition shade. Often, I find that when wearing a smokey eye, you can avoid looking like a panda or like you have a black-eye if you use a warm transition shade like “Toast” to blend between your skin and your smokey eye.

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I recommend the shade “Toast” if you’re looking for a neutral color that isn’t really all that brown or earth-toned. It’s unique, but isn’t a shade that you must have in your makeup arsenal; you can definitely substitute this tone for something else that is another neutral color. However, I’m a fan of Bobbi Brown makeup in general; and, I find that her eyeshadows are of great quality. The matte, semi-matte, and shimmery shades are long-lasting, pigmented, and apply evenly on the skin because they’re buttery smooth.

Retails for $22.00 USD.

REVIEW: Bobbi Brown Hydrating Face Cream

Recently, I was gifted the Bobbi Brown Hydrating Face Cream, and I was excited to try it since it’s been highly raved with positive reviews. Because I’m so picky about skincare products in general, what I will say about this product won’t necessarily mean it’s not a good product.

This cream is described as a “rich yet lightweight formula [that] instantly hydrates and steadily releases moisture, skin conditioners and nutrients throughout the day.” While there are multiple formulas in Bobbi Brown’s range, I believe the face cream in its original form caters to those with normal, normal to dry, and drier skin types. The cream promises that skin will be smoothed and plumped, and is recommended by Bobbi Brown’s makeup artists to apply before makeup to ensure its longevity and freshness. A “long-lasting cushion of humectants and hydrating ingredients [with] Algae Extracts moisturize and conditions skin.” Also included is caffeine, which has been a popular skincare ingredient to soothe skin.

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The cream is thick but applies thin, so it is easily absorbed into the skin and dries down pretty matte. My skin felt comfortable and moisturized, but there was a slick feeling of product on my skin afterwards — kind of like a film type texture. My skin felt nice and well hydrated all day, but I didn’t notice any visible improvements in the longevity of my makeup. In general, makeup tends to adhere better to well-moisturized skin — so, I’m more inclined to believe that any moisturizer that you’re comfortable with can do the job. A little bit goes a long ways; the product feels breathable — meaning that my skin didn’t feel heavy or oily with the product.

For my particular skin type, even though I’m fairly normal, I felt that this cream was a bit much for day time use. To be fair, there is a Hydrating Gel Cream as well, so that might’ve been a better match for me.

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Overall, this functioned like a regular moisturizer for me and it didn’t appear to be anything special. Because of that and for the price, I don’t recommend it since there’s other viable options out there. I felt that after a few days of use, my skin was just regular since the cream didn’t do anything spectacular; however, I did notice some congestion in my cheeks — which was odd since I don’t ever have issues with congested skin on my cheeks. When I stopped using the cream, the congestion went away on its own. I can’t confirm and say that this product caused me “to break out,” but I didn’t like the results nonetheless.

I think if you’re just looking for a good moisturizer, there’s plenty of options out there. I would recommend the Olay Fresh Effects Dew Over Hydrating Gel Moisturizer as a great, budget-friendly option; and, a great “high end” option I would recommend is the Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve Face Cream With Super 7 Complex. Moisturizers and creams are entirely personal and it’s important to address your skin care concerns. Unfortunately, the Bobbi Brown Hydrating Face Cream wasn’t special enough to warrant to the high price tag.

Made in the UK.
Retails for $56.00 USD.
Product contains 1.7 oz./ 50 ml.

Bobbi Brown Sea Pearls Collection – Summer 2013

Normally, limited edition collections don’t really excite me for practical reasons. When I do find them exciting, I’m only drawn towards 2-3 products, but ultimately, decided on 1-2 products to actually purchase. Very rarely do I find an entire collection exciting and pretty. While perusing through Bobbi Brown’s website, I came across an ad for her Sea Pearls Collection for summer 2013 and found everything to be ethereal and beautiful. If I were to release a summer collection, it would most likely resemble this particular collection!

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What excites me the most about this collection is the pearly aspect — like, glowy and natural — fun and inspiring — perfect for a carefree and whimsical summer. The color palette runs on the light and pastel side, with shimmer and glow. What do you think? I personally think that the eye palette and blush are exquisite and will be checking them out in person very soon.

Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick – Rose

I’m new to the Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick world, but became intrigued while at Sephora recently. I picked the shade “Rose” because it was pink and iridescent. It was so pretty that I couldn’t pass it up. :)

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I was a little concerned with all the glitter. This product is jam packed with it and it made me almost not purchase it. However, based on such rave reviews, I had to give it a shot. When heavily watched, yes, the glitter it blatantly obvious and a bit scary. But when lightly dusted onto my cheeks over blush…WOW.

A little bit of product goes a long way. I mean, really little. I lightly tap my brush once into the product (definitely, no swirling), tap off the excess, and blend it onto my cheeks over cream blush. Worn alone, the pink still shows through but imparts the most beautiful pinky sheen that gives you an instant, on-the-spot glow.

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This product is marketed as having “five bars of pure pearl color for shimmering lids and glowing cheeks.” It certainly isn’t a highlighter since the product is quite pigmented and “Rose” is most definitely pink. Bobbi Brown claims that “this shimmering, brush-on powder is handmade in Italy and creates a soft, rosy glow. It works well with neutral, pink, and rose blush shades.”

All true. I’ve been adding this product over anything I put onto my cheeks. It’s the perfect finishing touch, especially if you’ve layered this on over a matte blush. Any color, even if it’s transparent or flat, will look glamorous with the Shimmer Brick layered on top of it.

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For the swatch, I swirled three fingers over the product, carefully trying to pick up all the colors evenly. Then, I swatched the shades onto my arm. Notice all are a little different, but quite pretty. This product has to be used sparingly, because the glow factor CAN get out of control.

I recommend this, for sure. Bobbi Brown has various tones and shades to fit whatever you’re looking for. However, I read that “Rose” is a customer favorite because anyone, with any skin type and skin tone can wear it; and, it can be worn with so many different colors and textures of blushes. Very versatile. Worth the money. :)

Made in Italy.
Retails for $42.00 USD.