Friday, November 18, 2011

Edward Bess Back to Basics Palette

I toyed with skipping Back to Basics here, even if it is a best thing in beauty. So many other bloggers have already shown you the palette and its fabulous colors. Then I remembered that our skin tones are different and that colors vary on all of us. So, without any further delay, I'll give you my impressions of Edward Bess's Back to Basics ($75). I'll summarize by saying I'm deliriously happy with it.

Achieve the no-makeup makeup look on the go. Edited neutral shades of cheek and lip stain, allover highlighter, eyeshadow quad, and lip gloss duo complete with a dual-ended brush for expert application - basically, all you need.

Truth in advertising! This palette is a beauty, particularly nice for us light-skinned gals. It looks better on the skin than it does in the palette. How often do you find that? Incidentally, I have no idea why Google Blogger added those vertical lines to the colors in the photo above. They aren't shadows, and I don't see them on my "raw" photo.

On the left side of the palette, there is a large block of Cheek and Lip Color and another large block of Highlighter. Both of these are gorgeous. As with most of the Back to Basics shades, I think they look better on my skin than they do in the palette.

The Eyeshadows are equally exciting, even though they may not appear that way at first glance. The top two, which appear to be "relatively standard" neutrals, are exquisite. I have a lot more to say about the eye shadows below. The two Lip Glosses are very light, but not colorless or boring. They coordinate beautifully with the other shades in the palette, and they will be perfect with many looks - over a lipstick or worn alone.

It's only when you apply these shades that you really discover the magic of Edward Bess. In my humble opinion, every shade in this palette is praise-worthy.

I swatched the Cheek and Lip Color and Highlighter at the top of my arm. My photos were all taken in full sun, and I applied all shades with a sponge-tipped applicator.

I had little heart flutters the first time I applied the Cheek and Lip Color on the left side of the palette. It's a beautiful sheer mauve/grape/rose shade - one of my favorite colors for my face. I can't tell you much more than the photos show - other than to say that it's "fantabulous." The Highlighter next to it looks "just pink" in the pan. Instead, it's a pink with an ever-so-slight tinge of mauve. Absolutely extraordinary!

The lip glosses, shown below in this first set of photos, are beauties. As you can see, they do have color - not a lot, but enough to warrant throwing them on without lipstick when you want to enliven your face or moisturize your lips for a quick touch-up. No matter what color they appear in the pan, on my skin and lips they are warm peachy pink shades - one darker than the other. They feel great too. I suspect I'll run out of them.

The eye shadows blew me away. When I first saw the palette, I thought, "Oh how useful, ivory, beige, brown, and a neutral pink." These colors surprised me. With the first application of each, I fell in love at first sight. They don't sparkle in the palette or on my skin; they glow! They provide a gleam or sheen that's enormously flattering.

I swatched clockwise, starting with the top left shade. It's platinum on my skin, definitely not a ho-hum ivory. I think it's gorgeous. It made me happy, and I got happier with each shade I tried. The color next to it is gold - one of my favorite shadow shades. I love wearing gold alone, swept on my lid below the crease. It opens my eyes and coordinates with almost everything (except silver and grey clothing, for which I have better choices). The brown shade is a lively brown - there's nothing boring about it. You can use it as an accent shadow or a liner. Finally, the shade that looks neutral pink in the palette is instead a hybrid between rose gold and apricot, maybe with a little copper thrown into the blend. From palette to skin, it has an amazing transformation.

I wouldn't have named this palette Back to Basics. Even the name is slightly misleading. Doesn't "basics" sound a bit dull? There's nothing dull about the colors in this brilliant palette from Edward Bess. I'm seriously considering hoarding it, and I can't afford to do that right now.

There you have it: a fair-skinned perspective on Back to Basics. I would have named it Sheer Flattery or maybe Naturally Pretty - possibly even Southern Charmer. Back to Basics flatters my skin and eyes, and it makes me look pretty and healthy. It's perfect daytime makeup. I hope you're happy I featured it.

I used the OPRAH code and got a $15 discount. I don't know if that promotion is still available, but if you order it from, make sure to try it. You can purchase Edward Bess cosmetics from, Bergdorf Goodman, and two Neiman Marcus stores.

Photo at top courtesy of Edward Bess; other photos by Best Things in Beauty


Rosamaria said...

I love Edward Bess eyeshadows. They really do make the eyes glow! When I first used them, I thought, "how luminous!" This palette is beautiful, although I'm really drawn to the Berry Chic palette. It's gorgeous!!

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Rosamaria!

They ARE luminous colors. I adore them. I really don't know how I could have chosen between the two palettes. I love them both, and I'm glad I didn't have to choose one over the other. :)

Mamavalveeta03 said...

I had almost convinced myself that I didn't need this palette, that is, until I read your review and saw the beautiful swatches. Alas, I really DO need it, don't I?

Charlestongirl said...

Hate to tell you, MamaVal, but you do NEED it. It's drop-dead gorgeous and so much prettier than it looks in its portraits.

mkdallas said...

So glad to know you love this palette! I ordered it but was slightly overwhelmed by its' appearence "in the box". I haven't used it yet, but will approach doing so with a much greater degree of enthusiasm now that I've read your glowing comments. I bought it because I as age, dark eyeshadows just look terrible on me and these looked like pleasant neutrals. It's good to know they appear so beautiful on the skin.

mkdallas said...

Correction to my post above: I weas slightly "underwhelmed" by the palette at first glance.

Anonymous said...

I have this, LOVE this, but am I the only one who found the eye shadows a bit soft, meaning more than his other shadows? Still, adore...truly lights up my face in all the right ways....I am becoming a Bess groupie!

lizzybee said...

Love it to death !! I hope to get it, as I have been searching for something that "knocks my socks off" and I'm betting this will be it. Thank you for your valuable efforts, Charlestongirl, I am crazy for your blog. Just loving you ! xo Beth in Pgh ;-)

DivaDebbi said...

So the Back to Basics is also availble in a berry palette? That would be better for my coloring. This is really an incredible value for Edward Bess. I have yet to pull the trigger on his lipsticks because I cant wrap my brain around the price. Lips, cheeks and eyes for $75 from the Master? This I can do!


Sue said...

your review caused me to finally cave in on this. also purchased teh south of france highlighter. the code worked for $15 off of each item! thanks for the review and the tip. Merry Christmas to me!!

Charlestongirl said...

Anonymous, they are a bit soft and powdery in the pan. They apply on the eyelids like a dream, so all is well in my book.

Charlestongirl said...

Thank you so much, Beth. I think you're going to love it. We "no-drama" gals need this palette.

Charlestongirl said...

Debbi, yes, Berry Chic is the other new EB palette - gorgeous!

Charlestongirl said...

Great to know, Sue, thanks for the contribution to our wallets!

Michelle said...

I bought it at the Edward Bess store yesterday and the coupon code also worked for several other items. Thanks again for the timely update! I would have missed out on this offer if it wasn't for you!

Charlestongirl said...

That's fabulous, Michelle! I should see if there's anything else I want and test the code today.

Liv said...

I dislike palettes (don't like the idea of some products running out or drying up before others, and it's messy to have the powder products and the creams together), but I may still have to get this. The lip/cheek color looks amazing, and my coloring is similar to yours, so if you love it... EB products are magical - he has an amazing eye and feel for colors and textures. I have so many products that look awesome in the pan, but sort of meh when applied. His products look unassuming in the pan, and then turn magically pretty on the face :)