Edward Bess Back to Basics ($75) is the perfect palette of polished neutrals for the woman on the go. It's natural yet not too natural and I believe it's as goof-proof and universally flattering as his Daydream Bronzer. The Non-Blonde has a great review with beautiful photos and swatches. I agree whole-heartedly with everything she says. My thoughts & descriptions (working my way from the left side of the palette to the right side):
- Lip/Cheek color - This has the same texture as the Compact Rouges. The color in pan for Back to Basics was slightly misleading but in a good way. In the compact I expected a warm nude with brown tones. Instead it goes on a nude-pink. It's lovely on the cheeks for an understated pink tint and gorgeous on the lips. The pigment is excellent - buildable, non-greasy and easy to blend very much like his compact rouges. Also has the fig scent.
- Highlighter - The highlighter is a cream formula. It's a warm sheer nude sparkle. I felt the texture of this one was slightly textured to the touch of the fingers (in pan) but it felt completely smooth when applied to the skin. The color is sheer but more sparkly than his other cream highlighters. Still not overly so. I layered this over the lip/cheek color on the face and it added a wonderful highlight. This does have the fig scent.
- Eyeshadows - The eyeshadows in the palette are beautifully pigmented - even more so than his regular shadows. The colors are all shimmery. I found the shimmer factor to be higher than all his other shadows. The colors are an ivory shimmer, a beige shimmer, a warm pale copper frost, a deeper warm brown shimmer. I was scared of the light coppery shade thinking it would be too warm. Alone, I think it is. But when layered with the other paler shades it gives the eyes warmth and depth.
- Glosses - I agree with The Non-Blonde these were the weakest points of his palette. Both are sheer beiges, one with slight pink tones. They do add a nice shine to the lip/cheek color, but alone I suspect they will appear very sheer.
- The Brush - The double-ended brush contains one side for applying cream products, the other for shadows. Initially thoughts were a let-down. The brush seemed to be not-the-greatest quality. The bristles for the powder didn't appear to be hand-made. Yet again Edward Bess never fails to please. The brush is a wonderful mini applicator and applied the eyeshadows with ease.
A few close ups of each side:
Swatches below. Note mine are applied with a very heavy hand. Don't be scared of the shimmer factor for the shadows. If you're familiar with Edward Bess Eyeshadows you know they apply beautifully but are layerable. The colors in his palette work the same magic as the individual colors. The frost isn't overpowering at all. Be sure to check out The Non-Blonde's review. Her swatches are more inline with what the colors look like when applied naturally.
Bottom line: Even though I prefer to pick items individually (rather than palettes) and prefer creams to be separated from powders (in palettes), I adore this. It made my whole face glow naturally. It's worth every penny and I will just take extra care to try and not get the debris from the shadows in the other cream-based products. The palette is available at Bergdorf Goodman in-store. It is also up online at Neimanmarcus.com and EdwardBess.com. I haven't checked with the Beverly Hills store to see if they have this yet, their number is (310) 550-5900. PS - I just heard that Edward will be in LA starting tomorrow until next Thursday. I highly recommend calling the counter for the details, if you can visit while he is in-store, you are in for a real treat.