Bobbi Brown's Brightening Brick is supposed to combine the "warmth of a bronzer and the soft flush of a blush," but we found it made skin sparkle more than anything else. Despite claims that it adds subtle luminosity, the glittery finish wasn't as finely milled as we hoped—instead the flecks of sparkle show up noticeably on skin and can end up drifting to other areas. In the end, this product left us feeling more "meh" than "lit-from-within." And nothing about its shine was subtle!
Composed of six shades in one solid compact, Brightening Brick has a stiff, pressed powder texture. The glitter particles pick up easily enough on a brush, but getting the color itself to adhere takes a couple more sweeps (especially with the "Pink" and "Pastel Pink" shades). The fragrance-free formula goes on fairly sheer but is somewhat buildable—keep in mind that layering more color means you're adding more glitter as well.
The shade range is limited but versatile enough to appeal to a variety of skin tones. Swirling the individual colors together in each compact produces hues of coral, berry and pink. Don't count on this to be your blush and bronzer as claimed—this is a blush through and through. Bobbi Brown reps may also try to sell you on you the fact that you can use the six shades in each compact individually, but due to their small size and positioning right next to each other, without any separation, that's difficult to do.
All things considered, Bobbi Brown's Brightening Brick simply isn't all it's made out to be. If it left skin looking lit-from-within as claimed we'd be all about it, but as is, the obvious glittery finish looks like it's just sitting on skin and doesn't measure up to the competition. See our list of Best Blushes for alternative options that live up to hype!
Bobbi Brown At-A-Glance
Strengths: A good cleanser and eye makeup removers; some impressive foundations, with options for all skin types and preferences; very good blushes and eyeshadows (powder and cream); several top-notch mascaras; mostly excellent brushes.
Weaknesses: Multiple moisturizers in jar packaging, otherwise great products hindered with irritating fragrant oils or fragrance components.
It all began with lipsticks. In 1991, New York based makeup artist Bobbi Brown debuted a collection of ten lipsticks at Bergdorf Goodman, expecting to sell about one hundred units in a month. She sold more than that the first day. From there, it's been mostly success after success, as Brown launched her classic foundation stick, wrote her first book, Bobbi Brown Beauty The Ultimate Beauty Resource, and enjoyed continued attention as an in-demand makeup artist and beauty educator.
Today, Bobbi Brown's makeup that continues to excel with superior foundations, true matte blushes and eyeshadows, and with all of the other basics that are essential to anyone’s makeup wardrobe. It isn't the least bit surprising that this makeup collection continues to do so well, because for many it's one-stop shopping that combines classic makeup application techniques with enough fun-yet-functional products to keep customer's interest piqued season to season.
Turning to the skincare collection, there are a few excellent formulas, but unfortunately, many are packaged in a jar, which means their beneficial ingredients are rendered useless due to air exposure (and bacterial contamination from spatulas or fingers). In addition, some suffer from the inclusion of potent fragrant essential oils. Those that should be avoided are noted in their respective reviews. That aside, color is without a doubt Bobbi Brown's strong point—but you will find a few sleeper hits among the selection of skincare products.
For more information about Bobbi Brown, call (877) 310-9222 or visit www.bobbibrowncosmetics.com.
The Beautypedia and Paula’s Choice Research teams have one mission: To help you find the best products for your skin, whether they’re from Paula’s Choice or another brand. By combining efforts, we’re able to share scientific research and remain committed to the highest standards based on our decades of experience objectively reviewing thousands upon thousands of skincare and makeup formularies in all price ranges.
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