You no longer have to buy Velvet Plum Long-Wear Cream Shadow ($24) in a multi-piece set, such as the Long-Wear Eye Kit. Five new, gorgeous shades are featured on Bobbi Brown's new Coffee to Cocktails Collection at your favorite Bobbi Brown counter, and one is Velvet Plum. The Long-Wear Cream Shadows in the collection are accompanied by new Long-Wear Eye Pencils (stay tuned here) and Long-Wear Mascara - all designed to keep your eyes fresh from morning through evening.
When I saw the display at Neiman Marcus, I zeroed right in on the Long-Wear Cream Shadows, which have been a favorite of mine since they were introduced. I tested all the shades and, naturally, selected the two that were the most neutral. Three had red/lavender tones (Cool Lilac, Berry Noir, and Black Violet) that aren't good for my coloring, but Velvet Plum and Smoky Topaz came home with me to enhance my cream shadow wardrobe. Velvet Plum is shown on the left immediately below, with Smoky Topaz on the right.
I saw the name Velvet Plum (#37) before I saw the shadow. Fortunately, I picked it up and opened it. There's little about it that's plum. The shade is a glorious sparkling golden topaz on my skin. Smoky Topaz (#39) is a shade that might have been named Velvet Plum. It also isn't what I expected from the name. I see a slight hint of plum in an otherwise shimmering grey shadow. All weekend, I looked at these shadows, wondering if there was a manufacturing mess-up with the labels. I waited to post this feature so that I could call the Bobbi Brown counter to make sure what I have is correct.
Even worse, my swatch photos barely show the differences in these two shades. In my first photo above, with both shadows applied heavily with a Bobbi Brown Cream Blending Brush, the shades look too similar. I can see the differences in the photo above, but I worry that you won't be able to see them.
I took more photos after applying the shadows less heavily, using a Bobbi Brown Cream Shadow Brush. The differences are more apparent, but still not what my eye sees. Velvet Plum is shown at the top of my arm, with Smoky Topaz below.
I took more photos, using different backgrounds and light exposures - all in an effort to force my camera to show what I can see. The photo directly below is the best I could get in a bright photo. At least it shows that Velvet Plum is a brown-based shade, and Smoky Topaz is a grey-based shade.
The closest color representation may be in the dark photo below. I hesitated to post it. Take a look and see what you think.
The bottom line? I love both these shades, and I'm sure I'll wear them often. I can apply them lightly, for a wash of color, or more heavily for impact. The color of Long-Wear Cream Shadows stays with me all day, without creasing (as long as I wear a primer), making me a happy gal.
I purchased my new Long-Wear Cream Shadows at the Mazza Gallerie store. You can reach the counter at (202) 966-9700, extension 2265. I'm sure your own favorite Bobbi Brown counter will have the new display soon, if not already.
Photos by Best Things in Beauty