Friday, August 7, 2009

Fait A-Cassis

You know I've been rather conservative in my spending habits of late. It's good. The bills are easing off - which is to say "being paid". So yesterday I decided - having truly run out of all my beauty staples - it was time to have a smidge of fun.

After work I hightailed it to Holt Renfrew - to the Bobbi Brown counter - with visions of gel eyeliner dancing in my head. I seem to be preoccupied with it. I had a practical mandate as well: the latest tube of my fave BB lipstick (Cassis) just came to an end and, as it's the only kind I wear (yes, boring I realize) I needed to replace it stat. Cuz I don't leave the house without lipstick - and flicking out the last bits with my finger and smearing it on is just trashy. Though strangely effective.

At any rate, at the BB counter I learned some shocking truths:

The gel eyeliner, it of massive fame, is a very reasonable $25.00. Alas that doesn't include the brush you need to purchase to apply it - that's another $25.00. And then you have to clean the freakin' brush after every use?! I don't know about you but high maintenance make up just isn't going to fly. As I've said at least a hundred times, I'm a working mother homeowner. I don't have time to clean brushes. (Note that when I expressed this to my husband he suggested that somehow I have no time to clean brushes but I can find 7 hours to make a tart. Whatever.) Why didn't anyone mention this when talking up this product?

Now I had eyeliner on the brain. I'd been thinking about it for weeks. So I was destined to walk out of there with something. My very helpful SA suggested a liquid Lancome product - not a brand I know anything about - that comes in a little tube in smoke colour. Hello? What a terrific idea. It would be great for redheads. I have very green eyes and it looks terrific on me. It's not as severe as black so maybe blonds would appreciate it? Anyway, that was a no-brainer purchase. I'm very satisfied. Esp. since it is much easier to apply than the free L'oreal stuff I got a while back. Not cheap though at $36.00.

But wait, there's more.

I asked for my Cassis and I was told it has been discontinued. What?!?!? It is my only shade. It is a perfect shade - kind of plum meets red with almost silent undertones of brown. I've been wearing it for decades. Seriously. How could they have cancelled it? The SA commiserated. It was her fave flave as well. Apparently, it's everyone's fave. No one can understand what kind of corrupt corporate politics could have resulted in this cold discontinuation.

Of course, it was time - through my haze of trauma - to move on. A girl can only bitch about the loss of lipstick options for so long. So I reviewed the other 8000 BB shades for a suitable replacement.

OK, is it just me or does Bobbi Brown sell 8000 shades of lipstick that are basically all the same colour? Which is brown, by the way.

She should be calling her line Bobbi Tawny Brown and just be done with it.

I couldn't distinguish one taupe from another. Eventually, I went with the plumiest brown there was (trust me it's a stretch) and when I turned over the tube to see what it was called, discovered I had actually bought it a couple of times before - during my occasional "branch out" phases. It's called Raisin. But don't let that fool you, it's brown. And it seems even browner now than it did when I bought it a few years ago. Although, that could be in my imagination.

Without question the Bobbi Brown lipstick is a superior product, colour notwithstanding. I can't give up on the brand yet, though I am considering waging a grass roots campaign called "No More Nude" (nude being the ridiculous industry term to describe pale and not an accurate reflection of the colour of many actual nude people).

Care to join me?


  1. Does it ever seem like ONLY truly fabulous products get discontinued?

  2. You can be filthy like me and hardly ever clean your brushes. :-)

    Though really, a splash of eye makeup remover will do it.

  3. I like the Lancome liner ok [they discontinued the prune - good for greeny eyes] but I usually just wet a thin brush under the tap and then dip it in the darkesst color on my shadow palette. Works for me.

    oooh! my word verification is "vestessa"

  4. I'm all for no more nude.

    Three Custom Color Specialists will reproduce a favorite color: I had them do one of my fave's years ago. If you are lucky someone might have already requested it, although if it is just discontinued not so likely.

    As for he gel eyeliner, I want to do that too, and the brush delayed it a bit, but I think I will go for it. I have an eyeliner brush that I use for Trish McEvoy's powder eyeliners, and I've worked out a routine for washing that is pretty quick. I have a bottle of MAC's makeup brush cleaner, and a tiny little bowl I keep by the vanity. I squirt a little cleaner in the bowl, do my eyes,swirl the brush in the cleaner, rinse quickly, and leave it to rest and dry next to the sink until the next day. I probably wouldn't be that meticulous but I don't wear the same color every day and the brush gets muddy looking otherwise.

  5. NARS. branch on out over to NARS next time you want a new lipstick.
    NARS tanganyika is more brown.
    NARS captiva is a relative, but with more berry.
    they don't pay me - i'm just delusional and hope that if enough people buy my favorite things, they won't ever be discontinued. i say this, yes, in the face of the very post that disproves my flimsy theory.

  6. There is an award for you over at my blog x

  7. BB did away with its "lip stain" a couple of years ago and I was so disappointed. It was lighter than a lipstick, which is too heavy for me. . . Boohoo.

  8. Sal: Yes - it does. It's insane and not acceptable!

    Wendy: I know it's simple - that's what the SA kept saying. But I have a mental block! Gotta wonder about the stuff in a tube, whose brush you cannot wash. That's the kind I got :-)

    Tessa: Great word ver! And of course, you make it seem simple and easy to do the brush thing. I wish they still had prune - I bet that would be as good as smoke (which is grey, btw)

    Mardel: Great tutorial! You should def get the BB stuff with your sanitary work ethic :-) And thanks for that url. You are a wealth of info...

    editor: Great to see you! Loved your house tour. FYI, the SA suggested I check out NARS cuz it's got the best non-beige colours. I will totally do that next time I get lipstick.

    Fab: Merci, Lady!!

    Miss C: I vaguely remember that product. These disasters are so unnecessary...

  9. Sorry that your favorite lipstick got discontinued. See if you can find (or like) MAC's Dubonnet lipstick. From your pics it seems like a similar shade. Hope that you find a replacement. :)

  10. i hate it when they discontinue a line

  11. I am a HUGE fan of BB eyeliner gel. I have it in 5 diff colours and I would pay even more for it. it goes on easy and STAYS on. I LOVE the stuff.
    Don't tell anyone but I don't clean my eyeliner brush every time. I often go over a week before I give it a quick wipe. Don't let the brush stop you.
    I wear Raisin BB and right now I am wearing BB Ruby. It is not one of her taupey browns.

  12. Great on redheads!?! Lemme at it!

  13. Ursula: Thanks for stopping by and recommending Dubonnet. What a terrific name for a lipstick. Will def check it out!

    Pink: It's terrible! Really.

    Bel: Hilarious that we wear the same kinds! I will totally try Ruby. And you might have me reconsidering the eyeliner...

    N: You have to get it. I'll try to wear it tomorrow night so you can see what it's like...

  14. Love BB Cassis Lip-Stick and I'm still can't find anything close that matches the lipstick I LOVE so much. You can google "cassis lip stick" (which is how I found you!) and you'll get a few copy cats. But, yes, I will join in your BB campaign to get the lip color back.

  15. Thanks for that great tip, Anon!