Joining the Dark Side with the Bobbi Brown Black Velvet Collection

Published in: Makeup

Bobbi Brown Black Velvet swatches review

Darth Vader: Bobbi, you do not yet realize your importance. You have only begun to discover your power. Join me, and I will complete your training. With our combined strength, we can end this destructive conflict and bring order to the galaxy.
Bobbi Brown: Speak to me.
Darth Vader: If you only knew the power of the Dark Side…


Actually, Bobbi does know the power of the Dark Side. She joined it this fall, but not in an evil empire kind of way (I would totally buy a Vader lipstick! Darth Vadar).

Bobbi’s new 14-piece Black Velvet collection (pieces $20-24 each) features, as one might expect, a selection of sooty black-based makeup for eyes and lips, and since we’re talking about the Queen of Wearable Makeup here, there’s nothing too cray-cray in the mix. The colors have all been dialed down enough to make them suitable for sidewalks AND catwalks.

Yes, each of the new permanent collection products and limited edition shades is influenced by black, but Bobbi kept everything street- and workplace-friendly, adding plums, cherries and maple tones, as well as a few semi-transparent shades.

My lips like these dark lipsticks; they totally take me back to the gothy mid-’90s, when night shades and black lips were all the rage. Those were my college years, and I remember getting a lot of use out of a color that was similar to Bobbi’s Lip Color in Black Maple (can’t remember the name, but it was also a semi-matte blackish plum), which I’d wear with plaid shirts, ripped jeans, big hoop earrings and Converse high tops. πŸ™‚

Here are some swatches and pics from the new collection… Let me know what you think!

Bobbi Brown Black Velvet swatches review
Clockwise from bottom: Sparkle Eyeshadow in Black Velvet ($24), Metallic Eyeshadow in Black Berry ($24) and Eyeshadow in Black Chocolate ($20)

Bobbi Brown Black Velvet swatches review
Clockwise from bottom: Sheer Lip Gloss in Black Chocolate ($20), Lip Color in Black Maple ($22) and Creamy Lip Color in Black Cherry ($22)

Bobbi Brown Black Velvet swatches review
Swatches from left on NC35 skin: Sparkle Eyeshadow in Black Velvet, Metallic Eyeshadow in Black Berry, Eyeshadow in Black Chocolate, Kohl Eyeliner in Black Chocolate, Kohl Eyeliner in Black, Creamy Lip Color in Black Cherry, Lip Color in Black Maple, Sheer Lip Gloss in Black Chocolate

Bobbi Brown Black Velvet swatches review
Lip Color in Black Maple

Bobbi Brown Black Velvet swatches review
Creamy Lip Color in Black Cherry

Bobbi Brown Black Velvet swatches review
Sheer Lip Gloss in Black Chocolate

Bobbi Brown Black Velvet swatches review
Wearing Sparkle Eyeshadow in Black Velvet, Eyeshadow in Black Chocolate and Kohl Eyeliner in Black

Wearing Creamy Lip Color in Black Cherry with Sheer Lip Gloss in Black Chocolate

I like that Bobbi tried to make sooty black lips and eyes more accessible with this release, but I wonder what die-hard Bobbi Brown fans will think about it.

When I picture the classic Bobbi look, I think fresh, pretty and easygoing — makeup for women who lean toward the conservative end of the makeup spectrum.

My hat goes off to her for trying something new, and I always love nods to the ’90s, but from what I’ve seen of Black Velvet so far, I wouldn’t call it one of my favorite BB releases to date. Apart from the Sparkle Eye Shadow in Black Velvet (glitter!), the eye colors aren’t exciting me. It all feels very serious to me, more serious than MAC’s similar Style Black collection did last year.

Let me know what you think… Inquiring minds want to know!

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



P.S. Comrade cat ladies, have you seen this incredible MAC Fabulous Felines widget/site?

SO AWESOME! You can upload pics of your kitty and then browse the gallery of fabulous felines from around the world (recognize this guy?!?).

If you share pictures of your kitty, please post a link in the comments! Tabs and I would love to see.


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So far, 94 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Beatrice says:

    Omg. I am a lippie junkie and those my friend are divine. I am in love with the fall trend towards dark lips this season. I can’t wait to break mine out! πŸ˜€ you look amazing as usual by the way πŸ™‚
    Beatrice recently posted … Updating Retro Classics Face of the Day

  2. Tina says:

    Bobbi Brown products are seriously lacking in pigmentation. Most of the price-tag is in the packaging, which is admittedly sleek, with the actual product being not upto par. Dissappointing

    • Karen says:

      I think the line appeals to a certain type of makeup lover — ladies who like more of a natural look. I have friends who prefer it over brands like MAC. It just depends on what you like, I guess.

  3. the lip products look lovely!
    dani@callitbeauty recently posted … Garnier Fructis Curls &amp Shine Mousse

  4. Jenny says:

    Whoa, seriously. I’ve never wanted anything from BB before, but DAT SHADOW. Dark, purpley, sparkly… dang. And it looks great on you, as does the lip! Goes well with your coloring. Wonder if I could pull it off…

  5. blovetbeauty says:

    wow! ur eyes and lips look intense. Love the BB lippies!
    blovetbeauty recently posted … Weekend Beauty Cravings

  6. Jen says:

    Dayum girl, you look hot in that last picture!

    For the record, I would totally buy a Vader lipstick, too. Someone needs to get on that.

  7. gio says:

    I’m afraid this collection doesn’t do anything for me. I’m just not a fan of Bobbi Brown in general because their products are too sheer for my taste but I can see why women who are into natural and safe looks love them. I would have loved to see the products in this collection more pigmented and darker, but I guess that’s not what BB is about.

    You look great in the last photo though. Those lip products really suit you!
    gio recently posted … Wanted! Eyeko Cream Extra Glow and Nail Polishes in Punk and Chi Chi

  8. Kim says:

    I actually like this collection, despite the fact that I think it would be too dark for pasty me. You look absolutely amazing though. I would love to be able to pull off that lipstick like you do!! And I’d pick up a Vader lippie too. πŸ™‚ That MAC widget looks pretty cool! My girls are not photogenic at all though – or maybe they just think their back ends look better than their faces in print! πŸ™‚

  9. Astrid says:

    Exciting. Gorgeous. I love deep red lips.
    Dark Greetz from germany.

  10. Victoria says:

    Girl, the lip colors all look great on you! (I’m salivating for the Black Maple lipstick!) My skintone does so well with the darker plums and browns and blacks that I’m excited by the look of this collection, though I am going to wait to test them to see how much color payoff I actually get.

    Again, you look fantastic in that last picture! YAY, FALL!!

  11. You look awesome! What a great Fall look!
    Rachel Taninecz recently posted … Is It Called Refinishing If Its Just Cheap Ikea Furniture

  12. Nina says:

    That lippie looks awesome on you! The only Bobbi Brown ive ever owned was a multiple (or whatever she called it) that I got a few years ago on impulse. Ive not really used it much …. maybe its time for Bobbi and I to renew our acquaintance!

  13. Tiffany says:

    I have never really gotten into BB. I just have a few shimmerbricks and that’s it.

    I am so jealous that you are wearing a hoodie! I want Fall!!!

  14. Lucia says:

    I really like the lip products in this collection. A friend of mine who’s a Bobbi SA said the Dark Chocolate lip gloss gives a “My Lips But Darker” effect, while still keeping it natural.

    • Karen says:

      The lip products totally stand out!

      I’m kind of surprised BB didn’t add any lip liners… with colors this dark you’d think that she’d throw in at least one or two pencils.

  15. Shannon says:

    i LOVE the eye look, fo shizzle. While I’m not usually a fan of dark lips, I think it really pairs perfectly.

  16. I love the quality of BB products, and so it’s exciting to see the line do something daring and on-trend. Even if her fans don’t like the concept, I am sure adding 1 or 2 pieces from the collection will give them something to feel glamorous about. I personally am excited to swatch these for myself!
    Kajal Couture recently posted … Another Quickie Eyeliner Tip

  17. Amber says:

    You look so cozy and fall-ready that I can almost feel the cool breeze! Or maybe that’s the air-conditioning. It’s winter all year in my office.

    I’m loving those shadows! I’ve never used BB products, but that berry is calling to me.
    Amber recently posted … My favorite childhood book

  18. Phyrra says:

    The sparkle eye shadow looks pretty.
    Phyrra recently posted … Red &amp Purple for Grey at LeGothique

  19. Jenn says:

    Ohh, Black Cherry and Black Chocolate combo looks really good on you!
    Jenn recently posted … MAC Dainty Mineralize Blush

  20. lexi says:

    Yeah when I first heard about this collection I immediately thought, “Style Black Lite” but I’m still willing to check it out. I don’t own many BB products but I tend to pick something from her line that I absolutely love like the gel eyeliner in Sapphire Ink I found at a Company Store. I think I’m only interested in the Black Chocolate liner. I don’t know why I am jocking the eyeliners lately.

    I am loving your hommage to grunge in your makeup pic. I feel like listening to “Alive” right now hahahaha…followed up with some Alice in Chains!

    • Karen says:

      Don’t forget to bump the STP… Remember Interstate Love Song? That totally takes me back to driving late at night to and from The X and City Nights (ewww)!

  21. Rachel says:

    I love BB Black Maple to Kibbles n Bits. My inner and sometimes slightly outer goth/vamp girl is pretty excited about this collection! Also love the sparkly Black Velvet. Awesome!
    Rachel recently posted … happy very early birthday to me

  22. Lindsay says:

    I’m glad you mentioned style black because this collection totally reminds me of it. Oh and yes, gotta love STP!
    Lindsay recently posted … MAC Fabulous Felines Haul and Swatches

  23. Alexzandra says:

    I really like some of the products on their own (yea for sparkle eyeshadow!), but all together I feel like it’s too much. I also feel like dark lippies aren’t as glamorous as those from other brands.
    Alexzandra recently posted … BECCA Fall 2010- Prairie Moon Collection

  24. mkdallas says:

    I’m not feeling the love for this one. I think you are right about Bobbi Brown being known for more neutral, conservative shades; this one doesn’t look as wearable as her others. I also have a personal thang against dark lipsticks…but I only because I look like sh*t in them, lol.

  25. Kate & Zena says:

    Did Mommy stick a powder on top of your head to humiliate you? Poor Tibby Tabs! Mommy should give you an increase in kitty snaps to make up for your humiliation.

    They need a collection for canines (Courageous Canines? Crazy Canines? Hmmmm, Cuckoo or Crazy Canines might be better if we’re talking about Zena here) now so I can upload Zena. She could possibly pass off as a feline if I tried hard enough….possibly. I think she gives herself away as deliciously canine though.

    I really like the eyeshadows. They’re really pretty, especially the grey one; I LOVE grey eyeshadows. I have a billion it seems like (okay, more like four and two eyeliners, but you get the idea. I like grey). I would have paired this collection with pink glosses in warm tones and cool tones (so everyone could wear a pink) though. I always wear a grey idea with a pink lip so the lips and eyes don’t duke it out for attention.

    • Karen says:

      He got extra gravy that night, believe me.

      How are you doing? Are you feeling better today?

      • Kate & Zena says:

        Zena would never stay still long enough for me to put a compact on her head and snap a photo. She hates anything on her head and hates staying still; she may be a camera ham, but only if I run after her and snap photos like a maniac. She did, however, stay still long enough for me to take this photo

        I’m much better, thank you for asking. I’m finally free of taking very nasty tasting steroids. They had to be the worst tasting steroids I’ve ever taken and I’ve taken a quite a few kinds. I chugged about 1/2 a bottle of water every time I had to take them.

  26. Advah says:

    Karen, this look is just beautiful on you! It really compliments your skin-tone!

    I’m a real sucker for anything purple/berry coloured and I’m drooling over those lip products already. Sadly they don’t really suit me (I’m FAIR), but that first lipstick you tried on is gorgeous. Sigh. (or maybe the 90s-nostalgia in me speaking.. seriously, whenever I watch “Charmed” I think their makeup is the best thing I’ve ever seen)

  27. Trisha says:

    This didn’t come out nearly as dark as I thought it would. Which I guess is a good thing since these shades look AWESOME on you. I want them all, but especially the lipsticks and gloss.
    Trisha recently posted … Hate the Wand Urban Decay Primer Potion Now in a Tube

  28. Ellen Lange says:

    WOW that eyeshadow in black velvet is completely gorgeous! Looks so perfect for a night out

  29. saku says:

    O I like all the lip products. Not into red lips yet, too worry it may look bright on my skin tone. Wow that black maple looks so good on you.

  30. Sparkle Eyeshadow in Black Velvet is very pretty,D&G Fall Collection is very dark.
    House of Accessories recently posted … The Prettiest Pink Butterfly Earrings

  31. Melanie says:

    that blackberry e/s looks awesome
    Melanie recently posted … Zebra Nail Art Tutorial

  32. Sexy Sadie says:

    I liked the look you made out of it. And Black Velvet should be mine. I would pair it with Chanel Rouge Coco in La Perla for a night on the town.

  33. Nora says:

    Could you provide a bit more detail about the Black Berry eyeshadow? It doesn’t look very berry to my eye. Is it very metallic or more subtle? Thank you!

  34. Vals2Saucey says:

    I Γ’β„’Β₯ you for this post! Just curious, did you have to really rub hard and get in there to get the Black Velvet swatch, or is it just that pigmented? Black Velvet is so va-va-va-voom on you and such a quick and easy way to go for that vamp-in-a-hurry look. Love this. Buying this. Rocking this. I am so totally crossing over! The Bay Area is down with Bobbi Brown! =)
    Vals2Saucey recently posted … Sit Buxom- SitGood Dog – Buxom Stay There Eyeshadow is well trained!

  35. Leslie says:

    It all looks beautiful on you. I’ll be picking up the Black Cherry lipstick and Chocolate kohl.

  36. mill says:

    haha you look about 19 karen with the vamp lip and dark eye! im thinking of getting a glitter eyeshadow cos it looks pretty pigmented, to use as a kind of glitter liner? thing is, BB is hella expensive here.

  37. HanaBerlin says:

    So very Fall!!! It all looks very beautiful…

  38. Roseline says:

    Karen! I am absolutely loving the eye makeup! Can you please please do a tutorial on how you got it?! PLEASE. Or at least tell me the basic steps to achieve that wonderful look?

    Thank-you! Thank-you! Thank-you!

  39. amy says:

    Black Cherry is so pretty and perfect for fall.
    amy recently posted … Too Pretty to Pass Up NOTD MAC Nail Trend F-W 2010 in Jade Dragon Nail Lacquer

  40. Lex says:

    I was really digging the pictures of the Black Berry shadow, but in the swatch, it looks more like MAC’s Beautymarked (which I’m not too crazy about). Do you think they’re similar?

  41. knownever says:

    Blah! what is the point of wearing black makeup if not to be daring? this toothless collection defanged goth i guess. jeeze all i can come up with about this collection are goofy quips about it. lol
    knownever recently posted … Behind the Times Beauty Tip- Black Lip Balm

  42. Laetitia says:

    All those Bobbi brown products are in the top! i like them all.. especially in your face, your look very gorgouse!
    Laetitia recently posted … Lets go to kitchen La Harira Marocaine

  43. Alexandra says:

    Im not sure about the dark lips. I dont think it would suit me. The eyeshadows look nice though πŸ™‚

    I added Vince to the fabulous felines

  44. Maria Luisa says:

    I love the sparkly eyeshadow and the berry lippies. I also love the dark liner you have on your lower lashes. It’s so dramatic! I have always wanted to wear it this way but find that the liner runs immediately.

    How do you apply liner to your lower lash line so it looks dark all night/day long and doesn’t run?

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