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Who among us has not wished for natural beauty? That we were Grace Kelly-like, with the perfect turned-up nose, eyes set not too far yet not too close, lips full but not fat, cheekbones high and delicate yet still soft. Perfection like this is unattainable but for a few with amazing genes (or deep pockets and fantastic plastic surgeons).
Thankfully, Bobbi Brown obstinately emerged from an industry bound and determined to define perfection empirically to become an imminent makeup authority, showcasing women’s unique imperfections as true beauty. Bobbi Brown built an empire on celebrating natural beauty and making your strongest (and possibly less-than-classic) features downright inspirational. Her most recent palettes harness the power of individual beauty and so are appropriately named Pretty Powerful.
The Pretty Powerful collection has two limited edition palettes (both $60); the Pretty Palette (softer, lighter pinks for lighter complexions) and the Powerful Palette (darker, richer shades of pink and plum for darker complexions). I test drove the Powerful Palette and found it to be Mary Poppins-esque, practically perfect in every way.
Pretty happens before you even open the smallish 3 x 4.5 inch compact. A graffiti-style font on the lid gives this compact a designer feel. Upon opening, the mirror encompasses the full space of the lid without unnecessary framing infringing on your look space. This is a big deal to me, as I hate palettes that skimp on mirror size. After all, palettes are made for purses or travel and sometimes that mirror is all you’ve got.
Now down to the business of color….
My initial reaction upon seeing these was that the eyeshadows looked fantastic, the blush looked a bit too dark and plumy and the glosses looked phenomenal. Luckily I was wrong about the blush. Every single color in this collection looks amazing on my face. The Plum blush is highly pigmented and goes on dark, but the color settles into the skin and is toned down with a little finishing powder. My skin is fair to medium with yellow undertones while my eyes and hair are medium brown. I believe that someone with darker or more olive skin tones may be able to use this color with a heavier hand.
The quad of eyeshadows included here is a neutral-lovers dream. Navajo is a sheer matte cream, perfect for highlighting the brow or corner of the eye. Burnished Rose is a matte pinky beige, leaning a bit toward salmon on my skin; this is a nice nude-ish daytime lid color, by itself or layered with others. Rose Gold is Burnished Rose’s shimmer twin—same pinky-beige with a little shimmer. Chocolate Caviar is a dark black-brown, medium pigmented shade that serves as a great crease color, eyeliner, brow-filler or lid color—indispensible shade and a must for any palette.
Bobbi Brown’s first foray into the business end of cosmetics was developing universally flattering, natural-looking lip colors; therefore, it should come as no surprise that lips are no second thought here. With two glosses and one sheer matte color, these will take you anywhere you need to go. Pink Pudding is a gloss without shimmer in what I can only describe as the exact color of my natural lips. Pink Bouquet Glitter Gloss isn’t really glitter, it’s shimmer. Pink Bouquet’s base is slightly more brown than Pink Pudding’s and the shimmer creates multi-dimensional look that I love with a smoky eye. Finally, Powerful Pink is the one non-gloss of the lip trio. Powerful Pink is more of a brown-based purple. Somewhat sheer, this is great for a berry-like stained lip or lightened up with a little of one of the glosses swiped on top.
My only complaint with the lip products is that there is not nearly enough of these since you’ll want to wear them every day. After only a week of use, both Pink Pudding and Pink Bouquet dwindled to half their size.
It’s not very often a makeup palette impresses me; there’s always a throwaway—even in the good ones. To me, that’s a waste of money. But Bobbi Brown, you have not only changed industry attitudes about beauty and power, you’ve changed my mind about palettes—talk about moving mountains! Without a throwaway in the bunch, Practically Perfect Pretty Powerful Palette is what this should be called. Ms. Poppins herself would wear it, I’m sure. we heartsters, what about you?
Sherri is co-author of What Would You Do With This Room? My 10 Foolproof Commandments to Great Interior Design, and of course, a wht writer!
Disclosure: This review includes products that were provided by the manufacturer/PR firm for our consideration. It also may contain 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.
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