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Face of the Day: Bobbi Brown Tortoise Shell Collection for Fall (Review & Swatches)

By bailaoragaditana · September 14, 2011 · 0 Comments ·

Hello again! I just wanted to share a haul I made a little earlier this summer, the Bobbi Brown Tortoise Shell collection for fall. I bought a limited-edition kit which included a Shimmer Brick and some other goodies, and also purchased the Sand palette and two High Shimmer glosses. I didn't have much of a chance to play with them over the summer when I was  home, due to having chipmunk cheeks, but I thought it was time to play around and offer some impressions of the collection!

(All pictures can be clicked for bigger versions!)

Bobbi Brown Tortoise Shell Collection Fall 2011

The collection includes: Beach Shimmer Brick, Extreme Party Lash mascara (black), Shimmer Lipgloss in Rose Gold, Creamy Lip Color in Toffee (exclusive to this set, as far as I can tell), Longwear Gel Eyeliner in Black Ink, eyeshadow palette in Sand, and High Shimmer Lip Glosses in Beach and Bare. There's also a Bronze palette, but it's intended for darker skintones, and from Christine's review at Temptalia, didn't look like something I'd want to try anyway - too much glitter!

Swatches of everything but the mascara, with flash:

Swatches (with flash)

In putting together a look, I used about half of the eyeshadows, and only two of the lippies, but obviously more combinations are possible!

Tortoise Shell final look

Base: Chanel Pureté Idéale Sérum and Mattifying Fluid

Face: Bobbi Brown Oil-Free Tinted Moisturizer in Alabaster Tint; Estée Lauder Double Matte pressed powder in Light

Brows: MAC Brow Set in Show-Off

Cheeks: Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick in Beach

Eyes - open Eyes - lashes Eyes - closed

Eyes: After a layer of Urban Decay Primer Potion, I used Black Chocolate matte shadow along the upper lashlines, then topped that with a slightly thicker smudge of Sandy Rose metallic shadow. Then I covered from lid to the bottom of the browbone with Hot Stone matte shadow, and used Ivory matte shadow as a highlight and to soften the edges of Hot Stone. Then I put a fine line of Sandy Rose under the lower lashline, before tightlining the upper waterline fully with Black Ink, and doing the same with the outer half of the lower waterline.

Normally I do a tri-sectioned eye with a color gradient, or build things up vertically like this and then deepen the crease, but I actually really liked how this looked without a crease color!

In terms of the palette, there's only one color I really don't like, and that's the "Sparkle" finish eyeshadow in Gold Bar, which is mostly glitter and very little pigment. It was gritty and horrible and I didn't even want to put it near my eyelids. (I kind of feel like the entire Sparkle texture is just not very Bobbi, either, if that makes sense?) Antique Rose and Terracotta are both a little bit too peachy-pink for my tastes, but I think if I blend them with the browns and golds, they could work very nicely. Something to consider for future looks, perhaps. Desert Sand is all-around lovely, it was only left out because I'd already used four shadows and was running out of ideas!

Lips - Toffee

Lips: Bobbi Brown Creamy Lip Color in Toffee

This is a very autumnal my-lips-but-better shade - despite the fact that my lips above show up as more pink than brown, this baby definitely leans towards the coffee-colored side of things, and I absolutely love it. Creamy Lip Color is pretty much my favorite lipstick formula ever, and this color shot straight to the top of my list of go-to lip products for fall.

Full face - no glasses

Before we progress any further, though... let's talk about the shimmer brick. The oh-so-attractive face below was my reaction to the *finished* result, but when I first tapped a brush into the Beach Shimmer Brick and took it to my face - I looked more like this. I was pretty sure Tinkerbell had taken a dump on my face. I spent about five minutes in a panic, trying to blend out the coppery-bronze pigment spill, with a fan brush, an angled blush-brush, and a sponge; once I'd managed to get the clown-spots on my cheeks to look suitably spread out, I covered those suckers with a heavy layer of pressed powder, and then it looked sort of normal, if still quite shimmery. (They're not really glittery, though, so fall-out wasn't an issue. Just pigment and shimmer.)

So, just a word of warning before you touch a Shimmer Brick: When Bobbi says "shimmer brick," she literally means bricks of 100% pure pigmented shimmer, mined by shimmering worker-fairies in the Glitter Mountains of the kingdom of Shimmerovia. This is not necessarily a fault - since it certainly does what it says on the tin - and you can work with it, but you need to be prepared. A feather-light touch will get you more than enough product for the whole face.

Full face - glitterbomb!

(My unimpressed face. Can you tell?)

Last but not least, I added a thin layer of shimmer lipgloss in Rose Gold overtop of Toffee for a bit of golden shine. I actually already owned a tube of this exact shade before I bought the Tortoise Shell kit, and it's long been one of my favorite glosses - a light pinky-gold in the style of MAC Nymphette, but with a finer, more "sophisticated" shimmer finish. Both of my tubes are the old-school little ones with brush applicators, but I'm looking forward to buying one of the new bigger doe-foot tubes soon. (I already like the doe-foot in the High Shimmer gloss, so this can only be a good thing!)

Lips - with gloss

And this is how I finally left the house, adding my glasses, which are ironically not tortoise-shell frames - though I've considered a pair just for the novelty, I'm a little concerned about how they'd work on my face, so I'll be keeping my understated bronze for the moment!

Full face - final look with gloss and glasses

I ended up pretty happy with the final look, despite my brief RAGE against the shimmer brick, and I think it's both very appropriate to the season and to the general "feel" of Bobbi Brown - it's very natural-looking and wearable. I will definitely be reaching for this look again as the fall term gets underway.

Have you tried the Tortoise Shell collection? Or any of the other fall collections? What sort of makeup do you normally reach for at this time of year? I like opinions of all kinds! And even if you have no opinion to offer, thanks for reading!

Filed in: face of the day, Fall, Bobbi Brown
Tagged with: makeup
posted by

Wow, that is quite the haul, girlie! Do more looks with this collection!

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About Me

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Bobbi Brown

- BBU and Artist Lip palettes (anyone?)


- Rouge G L'Extrait gloss in Avarice & Luxure

Urban Decay

- Naked Foundation in 0.5

- Lip Junkie gloss in Naked2 and Strip

- Urban Lashes in Hot Number, Black Velvet, and Sly

- Good Karma Optical Blurring Brush

- Eyeshadows in Vanilla, Suspect, Kush, Busted, Cobra, Blackout, and Secret Service


- Larger Than Life eye pencils in Rue de Rivoli and Via Appia



Bobbi Brown foundations - Alabaster

Bobbi Brown concealer - Porcelain

MAC - NW15/NC15/Light depending on product

MUFE Hi-Def Foundation - 110 Pink Porcelain

MUFE Velvet Mat+ Foundation - No. 15 Alabaster

Hourglass Immaculate - Porcelain

Chanel Mat Lumière - Rose Clair


All of the makeup I feature here is stuff I have bought myself or played with, or that has been given to me by friends and family as gifts (perhaps occasionally stuff that belongs to my friends, as well). I'm not a professional makeup artist, I've never worked for any companies that sell makeup, I have no connections to cosmetic companies, other than the standard relationship between junkie and dealer, and all opinions expressed in my posts are my own. Should a company, someday in the future, want to give me money or products, I'll be the first to say so, in nice big bold letters. I'll also let you know if I win products, as from the Sugar giveaways. Otherwise, you can safely assume it's all the result of my incurable addiction to beauty products.