Bobbi Brown Holiday ’09 Collection – review

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase.

When I was asked to write this review for two items from Bobbi Brown’s 2009 Holiday Collectionicon: the Greatest Hits Velvet Plum Eye Palette and the Limited Edition Glitter Lip Balm Palette, I knew that it would be one of the easiest reviews I’d ever had the pleasure to write. And not just because I’m personally obsessed with all things “BB”, but because Bobbi Brown’s reputation as an industry leader for quality, wearable colors for real women is truly unsurpassed.

The words “Bobbi Brown” and “wearable color” are pretty much synonymous in my book. And the review team at wht learned the same lesson when we studied BB’s Ivy League Collection. For as far back as I can remember, I have coveted Bobbi Brown Cosmetics because Bobbi’s colors just plain work. For everyone. If you stop at a Bobbi Brown counter, you will find a fabulous shade of lipstick, or eye shadow or blush (you get the picture) that perfectly complements your skin tone. It’s as simple as that.

If your looking for a holiday gift, but are unsure of colors (what does she like? what would look good with her tone?), you can’t go wrong with one of the carefully edited, universally flattering and full on glamorous gifts from Bobbi Brown’s 2009 Holiday Collectionicon.

Let’s begin with the Greatest Hits Velvet Plum Eye Palette. It’s really no wonder that this falls into Bobbi’s “Greatest Hits” collection, because the colors are ideal for women who want an office-friendly daytime look, plus a little punch of color for evening, and sometimes, a full-blown seductress smoky-eye. Bobbi Brown eyeshadow palette with four shades, white, tan, gray, blackYou can achieve all three of these looks simply and with no guesswork using the Velvet Plum Eye Palette of silky smooth, powder eye shadows. Not only do you get two of Bobbi’s most wearable matte shades (Bone and Naked), but you also get Velvet Plum Metallic Eye Shadow (and oh what a lovely chocolately-taupish-plum it is!) and the matte Espresso Eye Shadow (perfect for lining to get those smoky eyes).                                            photo: we heart this

The best part? You also receive a double-ended eye shadow brush – use one end for shadow application as well as blending, use the other end for precise lining. This collection of shadows is truly an essential for makeup novices and experts alike, because it’s a workhorse of a palette containing four shades that you can use daily (don’t you hate it when you buy a palette and only end up liking and using one color?)

Next we have the Limited Edition Glitter Lip Balm Palette. The thing I love the most about this palette is that it contains four wearable shades of glittery lip balm. Not lip gloss, but lip balm. How many times have you wanted to wear a pretty, sparkly lip gloss during the holidays, only to find yourself constantly reapplying your gloss throughout the night? This won’t be the case with this palette because, let’s face it, lip balm has much better staying-power than gloss. So apply it once and you’re pretty much set for the next several hours. Genius!

The shades are simply gorgeous as well: Crystal Rose, Crystal Diamond, Pink Crystal and Crystal Gold. Each one looks exactly as its name implies, and even though these balms are sheer, their glitter packs a powerful punch. Oh, I can’t forget to mention that, because this is a balm, your lips stay moisturized all night long. This palette would be a fantastic investment for the holidays, that’s for sure.

The wht team received both the Velvet Plum Eye Palette and the Glitter Lip Balm Palette for review, so definitely check the comments for their thoughts on these beauties!

Disclosure: This review includes products that were provided by the manufacturer/PR firm for our consideration. It also contains an affiliate link, a link that gives us a small commission if you purchase the item. For more info, or any questions, please see our disclosure policy.

Gianna is obsessed with drugstore and budget beauty products. She is the writer/editor of Nouveau Cheap, a blog that’s devoted to finding quality beauty products that don’t break the bank.



  1. I’ve never tried BB because of the price tag and my student/grad student budget, but that eye palette is to die for, so I might have to splurge…

  2. Hi Lindsay! Take it from me (I’ve devoted an entire blog to drugstore and budget beauty and love cheap makeup like nobody’s business), BB is the one brand that I will always try to make room in my budget for. It’s splurge-worthy not just because of the quality (which is amazing) but the colors are so wearable that this will not be a palette that gets pushed to the back of your makeup stash. It’s one that you will want to use a lot because it’s such a no-brainer on the days when you don’t know what color to wear on your eyes. For me, it’s the default. I can put on the colors from this palette and know that they’re always going to look fresh, clean and perfectly put-together for daytime AND nighttime. I really can’t say enough good things about them. Hope that helps! :)

  3. Oh, the Velvet Plum palette is divine! I have to admit, when I heard the name I was thinking this may not work for me. “Plum” makes me think purple (rightfully so) and purples and me don’t mix. But other than a hint of plum in the taupey Plum Metallic, this is really more of a brown based palette. Yay for me, boo hoo for true plum fans.

    As Recessionista says so perfectly, this is one of the most versatile palettes ever. It’s kind of surprising really, because it looks kind of unassuming, just a regular brown based palette. But if you play around with it you can go from day to night and back again in at least 4 different ways.

    As with all of BB, the quality is off the charts! These don’t crease, they wear all day, they blend like a dream. And the brush that comes with it is as good as any full size brush in my collection.

    I can see why they’re calling this a “greatest hits”. This is a palette that will never go out of style, and is going to be reached for again and again.

    And, it’s going fast! So if you’re debating it, act quick. (I see it’s sold out at Nordstrom AND Bobbi Brown at the moment but Bergdorf Goodman does have it.)
    .-= stef´s last blog ..L’Artisan Parfumeur — Home Fragrance review =-.

  4. Down right grateful because I received Bobbi Brown’s glitter lip balm palette to test. It is in an adorable yet sleek, chrome-accented palette. Hard not to love.. BOBBI has gone and done it again. I love what she has done with her glitter lip balm palette. It is filled with four beautiful shades of glitter lip balm. I really can’t say which I like more.. I apply them individually and mix them up too. Crystal rose is a rosy pink shade, Crystal diamond is clear, Pink crystal is a true pink shade, and the Crystal gold is a warm golden shade. Oh, you also get a mini lip brush! When I apply this, it’s very sheer, but still has plenty of light-reflecting pearl and glitter pigments, that are also good for lips.
    Darling, darlings…It’s so pretty and somehow like all her stuff manages to make you feel pampered!

  5. Me too Pam! I also got the Glitter Lip Balm Palette!! The shades are gorgeous, long wearing glittery goodness! They are definite, Glitter Balms, so you will be sure to have pixie dusted lips! So if your not into glitter, this is not for you. If you are and you just want a hint, or you want to go all out and get serious glitter coverage, you are at the wheel with this palette. The tones are gorgeous hints of color and staying true to the fabulous nature of Bobbi Brown, they are ultra feminine.
    The packaging is classy and sleek and if you want some glittery pampering for your lips.. GO GET THIS!!!
    its great. 5 stars from me!!

  6. I have to say, I LOVE BB makeup and would glad to find any of this stuff in my stocking. However… don’t think that’s happening so I picked my favorites… the Velvet Plum Eye Palatte and the trio lip tints. This is top notch makeup and so worth the cost!!
    .-= jennifer´s last blog ..Bobbi Brown Holiday ‘09 Collection – review =-.

  7. I also read every month in My Prevention Mag tips from Bobbi Brown… Love her – she’s so down to earth!

  8. I’m so glad all of you lovely reviewers are agreeing with me about BB! I am totally obsessed with these palettes. :)

    And Stef: I completely forgot to mention the brushes! You’re absolutely right that they’re just as good as the full-size ones. Love that!

  9. The Glitter Lip Balm Palette is so lovely. You can go with a subtle sparkle to all out holiday glitz. I really like the sheerness of all the shades and that they can be worn alone or combined amongst the other palatte colors. It’s hard to pick a favorite color from the mix. I really like the lip brush and I’m pretty picky about my lip brushes. I’ve never known a BB product to dissapoint a soul. Another GREAT feature is the mirror inside. The mirror is the full size of the lid! I dislike when the company have a large space and they put tiny mirrors inside the packages. BB gives you great product, great brushes and sleek packaging. 5 big bright stars from me!

  10. I’m another lucky and happy tester of the Glitter Lip Balm palette! I echo everything everyone has already said about it – the glitter/shimmer is really beautiful – looking at it especially in natural light, it’s stunning! It’s obviously high quality adult shimmer – perfect for the holidays. The moisturizing qualities are superb and it keeps the moisture and the color locked in for a LONG time. Personally I like a little deeper colors on my lips – this is on the light side for me – but does work for me with a dramatic eye. If I was a fan of lighter colors or if this came in darker colors, I would give it 5 stars – it is 5-star worthy – but I have to give it 4, as personally I probably wouldn’t buy it again for the price, since the colors are not perfect for me. But I need to reiterate again, that I am sooo impressed with the moisturizing, the lastability, and the gorgeous shimmer!

  11. As a follower/fan of fashion and beauy, I’ve admired Bobbi Brown for years. I’ve always associated her with designer Donna Karan–creating styles that women want, like and can wear. I never tried either because they’re always been out of my price range, so imagine my joy when I opened my box and saw the Bobbi Brown Velvet Plum Eyeshadow.

    The next day, I quickly swiped on the plum shadow, and I didn’t like it. Because I’m African-American and my eyelids are the darkest parts of my face, the color didn’t pop or enhance my eyes. It just made my eyes look a little darker. About three hours later, all the color had faded away.

    The second time I tried it, I took my time with the application. I used a base first before layering on three of the colors for a more made-up eye. I highlighted my brow bone with the bone, the crease with the naked, and I used the espresso as a liner. Okay, I didn’t get the color pop I was hoping for but it was a nice subtle look. Perhaps, on fairer-skinned folks the colors would be more vibrant.

    On the plus-side, this was the SOFTEST eyeshadow I’ve ever worn. I don’t know if it was the included brush or make-up but it was like sweeping cashmere across my lids. I just wish it complimented my skin tone a little more. I give it a wobbly thumbs up.

  12. As soon as I saw the Bobbi Brown Velvet Plum Eye Palette, I was in love. I can’t resist a nice shadow compact and everyone knows Bobbi Brown makes super smooth, deep eye shadows. Plus, I am obsessed with browns/taupes and creams – they work wonders with my blue eyes. Throw in the sleek chrome palette and this set was screaming my name! In fact, I was so inspired by the simple beauty of the compact I wanted to share it with you all and I ended up (quite by accident) taking my best photo ever (it’s the middle pic in this post). That effortlessly pretty style Bobbi Brown has perfected shines through and somehow I even got it in focus!

    Anyway, while I am drooling over the Glitter Balms (they sound soo nice), I’m super happy with my palette. As mentioned these colors are super pretty and flattering and the powder is easy to work with and so blendable. If I use a touch of eye primer (a necessity for me) these shadows stay put, with no creasing for hours and hours.
    Oh, and the teeny double ended brush is so nice – it’s on par with some of my most reached for (read expensive) brushes. Plus, I love that this brush is included inside the sleek little compact (so I never forget it) and can be used for quick touch ups or full on application during a trip. With the versatility of the colors you can pack just this perfect little compact for your travels!

    Both palettes and anything from Bobbi’s Holiday collection would thrill a make up junkie. In my opinion, this collection is one of the true standouts of the 09 Holiday season. I want everything in it! An easy five stars.
    .-= Tyna Werner´s last blog ..Pink Pig – sponsor highlight =-.

  13. I got to try out the Velvet Plum eye palette and am so glad I did. It is gorgeous! This was the first Bobbie Brown product I’ve tried and I was super impressed. The quality is top notch and the colors are beautiful! Everything from the packaging to the brush was amazing. The colors are perfect for the holidays and can be dressed up or down. These shadows have great staying power and would look great on just about anyone. LOVE this palette and will be looking into more BB products in the future! 5 huge stars from me.

  14. I’m kinda now coveting the Velvet Plum Eye Palette right now…the one thing I like about Bobbi Brown products is that they are good for every day wear and this palette looks like it would definitely give my eyes some “oompf”. I’m usually pretty impressed with most of the items I’ve tried from this line. I do have to say that my all-time favorite Bobbi Brown product is her pot rouge for lips and cheeks. It’s one of the few cream blush products that stays put all day and has excellent staying power on lips, too, without being too drying.
    I saw that Glitter Balm palette in person and was so bummed that 3 of the 4 colors are a waste–they’re essentially colorless. I would so NEED that palette if they contained more richly pigmented lip balm. If I want to wear a clear balm, I’ll slick something cheaper on. If I’m going to pay $40 for balm, I want highly pigmented and a little more special. Why so many clear or almost colorless shades? It made me sad :(

  15. Uh, yeah, so this and the last post was Krista posting, using my hubby’s computer, so the last post was from me, not my husband. I don’t think he wears makeup, but I can’t watch him ALL the time :)

  16. Tyna: OMG, I *totally* thought that second picture was a promotional shot from BB! Wow, that is awesome! You’ve got mad skillz, as the kids are saying these days (or are they even saying that anymore?). lol. :)

    Krista: I’m sorry the glitter balms weren’t a hit with you. I’m wondering if you were expecting them to be more of a lipstick or gloss than a balm? For me, balms are always so much less pigmented, so I didn’t go into these thinking there would be a lot of color payoff. Whenever I hear “balm” I think “sheer”. lol. I tried layering these over some of my matte lippies and I LOVE how it really punches up the color and adds all that sparkle. To me, it’s a great investment because you can layer it over just about any existing lip color that you love and give your lips a festive look. :)

  17. I think when I think balm, I instantly think of those fabulous Prada ones in the monodoses that had such great tints to them. I wish they hadn’t discontinued them :(

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *