The Victoria Beckham for Estee Lauder makeup collection has certainly taken the world by storm, and seems to be completely sold out on her website. For many of us living outside of the US though, the collection has just officially launched at stores. I had provided full swatches of everything in this post here, and I trust that has been helpful for making up your minds about which pieces to pick up. In case you are still on the fence, and wondering how to make that bold Eye Palette or orange Chilean Sunset lipstick work, or whether you really need that Morning Aura… let me try to answer all your questions and show you a few makeup looks using the pieces that I picked up.
Every purchase of the Victoria Beckham x Estee Lauder collection comes nicely packaged in a special black paper bag with black/white polka-dotted tissue. There is also a lovely note bearing Victoria Beckham’s signature for those collectors out there. The entire collection is dressed in black leather and metallic gold; and whilst many (myself included) had commented it looks rather reminiscent of Tom Ford, having handled the pieces myself I feel they are the perfect counter point to Tom Ford. Where the latter is all sleek and shiny, Victoria Beckham for Estee Lauder is all plush and textural. There is a luxurious heft to the palettes, but the only gripe I have is they don’t seem to close properly… even after pressing down tight as much as I could, the palettes somehow drift open after some time. Since they don’t come with velvet sleeves, I recommend you keep the original boxes the palettes come in!
I have already given you my first impressions on all the pieces in a previous post [here], today’s post will focus on the few pieces that make up the New York look, along with a couple other pieces that I personally find irresistible and a must-have.
To start, the Morning Aura Illuminating Creme* is one that will provide a flawless base for any look. The sleek golden fluted bottle is a stunner and definitely makes this even more covetable. But the magic lies in the contents – the white pearlescent fluid sheers out into a translucent base with a golden sheen that is all but imperceptible, lending a luminous healthy glow to the skin.
I was immediately reminded of Tom Ford’s Illuminating Primer which is also manufactured by Estee Lauder, and also included the new Global Anti-Aging Wake Up Balm from Estee Lauder in a side-by-side swatch comparison. Although Morning Aura appears more white and cooler-toned when first pumped out of the bottle, it blends out completely invisible save for some shimmers. It does tend to be slightly cooler-toned than the others, which gives a fresh youthful look to the skin, but does not make me look ashen or washed out in any way. In terms of texture, I found Morning Aura sits better on my skin than the Illuminating Primer though not as smoothening as the Wake Up Balm. My skin is dry lately so I can’t attest to its ability to control oil, but it does seem to help keep my t-zone from getting too shiny at the end of the day.
Of all the eye color offerings in this VB x Estee Lauder collection, I personally find the Eye Palette* the best value for money. It contains 6 shades, including a black, bronze and green… though these are not exact dupes for the Eye Ink in Black Myrrh and Eye Metals Eyeshadows in Bitter Clove and Charred Emerald [refer swatches here]; they are close enough, and surpass the others in terms of pigmentation and texture.
Here is a close-up of the Eye Palette, and I have included the swatches below for your easy reference:
Left to right, corresponding to the shades in palette in clockwise direction starting from top left:
All the swatches are single swipes, which goes to show you how incredibly lush and pigmented these shadows are.
I couldn’t resist putting 5 of the 6 shades to work right away! In the look above, I started by dusting Metal Saffron across the inner half of my lid; and then I blended Grey Amber on the outer half very lightly. Next I used a flat brush and patted Black Nutmeg on the outer third of my lid, on top of Grey Amber, and buffed it out. Then I patted Blonde Cumin on the middle of my lid and dabbed it into the inner corner to pop. Finally, I lined my lower lash line with Burnished Sage, and finished with mascara.
And putting that look into context,
It was an extremely hot day and I couldn’t resist directing the fan at me for this pretentious New Yorker – wannabe glamour shot. I’m really loving the glow from Morning Aura, and this highlighter…
Modern Mercury makes a return in this Victoria Beckham x Estee Lauder collection; and packaged in the signature black leather and golden trim, it becomes completely irresistible. This is not strictly part of the New York look, but it is so gorgeous I had to pick it up. When picked up with a brush, Modern Mercury is shimmery and goes on the skin translucent. However, when applied with a sponge / finger / damp brush, it builds up in opacity and gleams bright, thereby allowing you to dial-up the intensity as desired. I love buffing this into the tops of my cheek bones, chin, cupid’s bow and nose ridge for everyday wear. I’ve also applied Modern Mercury to my eyes and it is just as lovely! It is a unique rose-gold hue that is quite different from what I have in my stash, as you may be able to see from a few comparison swatches that I pulled together.
The natural companion to Modern Mercury is the Victoria Beckham x Estee Lauder bronzer in Java Sun*.
When I first swatched Java Sun, I was afraid that it would be much too warm and red for my cooler-toned Asian skin. But I was surprised, once I got around to wearing it that it is actually quite flattering! You can’t pull a Victoria Beckham look without bronzer of course, and despite the rather intimidating-sounding marketing description of “sweaty-sexy skin”, Java Sun is really as natural as it gets. I don’t wear bronzers all over, but I use them for sculpting my cheeks and jaw line. I’ve also added a touch of it to the sides of my humongous nose in the makeup look above, which gives you an idea of how well it blends out.
Here is a comparison swatch of Java Sun against some of the more recent (and warmer-toned) bronzers in my collection. I must note here that in comparison against Terra, Java Sun had much better texture and pigmentation. Also, Pieno Sole is a cream product and limited edition. The others are all matte and powdered, but all seem more red in tone than Java Sun.
To keep the focus on the eyes, the New York look features nude lips. There are 3 nude options in entire Victoria Beckham x Estee Lauder collection, and here are the Lip Pencil in Victoria* and Lip Gloss in Moroccan Heat*. The lip pencil is incredibly smooth and has a lovely pigmentation, does not skip nor tug when applied on the lips. The gloss has a nice color opacity to it and is non-sticky in texture.
I thought twice about picking up the Lipstick in Chilean Sunset because warm-toned reds are seldom flattering on me, and tend to make my teeth look even yellower than they are. However, once I tried this on me, I completely changed my mind! Chilean Sunset is a neutral-toned (maybe even slightly cool) vermillion red, which has just enough orange in it to make it unconventional, and sufficient blue base in it to keep it from turning tangerine. Again, Chilean Sunset is not part of the New York look, but it is a signature hue of Victoria Beckham’s design aesthetics, and has become one of my favourite lip color this season!
To incorporate the bold Chilean Sunset into the New York look, I took the drama off the eyes by a couple of notches, skipping the black Grey Amber on the outer corners and green Burnished Sage on the lower lash line.
Simpler and yet still impactful, perfect for a day at the office or out for lunch! I wore Chilean Sunset out for a crazy evening of parties recently, and it lasted me through 3 events – lots of drinks, small bites and non-stop chattering away with people… by the time I got back to my car 5 hours later it was still intact!!
And before I wrap things up, I need to show you 1 last New York look, this time featuring that stunning blue Fired Sapphire…
And a close up on the eye look….
I am completely in love with the pieces that I have, and I hope you managed to pick up some too. For those of you in Singapore, the Victoria Beckham x Estee Lauder collection is now available at the Estee Lauder counter at Tangs Orchard and the boutique at Ion Orchard. Enjoy!!
This post featured some products that were kindly provided for my consideration and have been marked by (*) for your reference. Regardless, all opinions expressed here are my own honest, unbiased views.