Sunday, November 24, 2013

Bound for Barley

I've been wanting to try Burberry cosmetics for the longest time, but could never justify the hefty prices. I finally had sufficient impetus to splurge after coming across an enticing gift with purchase from David Jones: purchases of $79 or more would result in a 7-piece gift set purportedly worth over $149. The gift included a Sheer Eyeshadow in Pearl Grey, Lip Mist in Camelia Pink, Eye Brush - Socket Line No.09, baby kabuki brush, something called the "Beauty Glow Multi-Usage Highlighter" and a 4.5ml Burberry Body miniature, all housed in a (cheap-looking) black makeup bag. While the eyeshadow and lipstick aren't shades I would've personally selected, considering they're proper full size products able to be purchased separately, I found them to be generous inclusions. I was most excited about the full size eye brush, worth $US38 or $55 alone. To qualify for the gift, I contemplated a blush or eyeshadow palette, but in the end, picked two of their most-hyped eyeshadows: Pale Barley and Midnight Brown (Rosewood was in the running, but I wasn't sure if it'd be too cool and grey for my skin tone). I'll talk more about Midnight Brown later, but focus on Pale Barley for now.










Pale Barley was an eyeshadow destined for my collection. It wasn't a matter of if, only when. I was prepared to hold out for quite some time given the 28471 similar shades already in my possession, but I figured there was no point in waiting any longer. It'd been a couple of years, it cost as much as my typical Friday dinner and dessert out, if not less, and it wasn't like I was easing off on the non-luxe makeup purchases anyway. Yes ... the workings of a cosmetics junkie's mind. Frightful, I know.

I remember reading a blog post a while ago that compared Maybelline Silken Taupe to Pale Barley. In fact, that was one of my primary motivations for buying Silken Taupe last year. Now that I have both, I really don't see how the two are similar. Silken Taupe is more of a pale, silver-purple. I found these particular reviews of Pale Barley helpful and definitely persuasive prior to purchasing: Kate at gh0stparties, Christine at Temptalia, Trang of Delicate Hummingbird (miss her blog), and Reika of Front Row Beauty.

l-r: Burberry Pale Barley, NARS Kalahari, Urban Decay YDK, Rimmel Smokey Quartz, bareMinerals A-Ha

Bottom to top: Burberry Pale Barley, NARS Kalahari, Urban Decay YDK, Rimmel Smokey Quartz, bareMinerals A-Ha

About the multitude of similar shades I mentioned. I picked out four of the closest I could find after briefly rummaging through my makeup drawers. I realise that to most sane and rational human beings, all the eyeshadows look the same. But they're not, I promise. There are differences, as minute as they may seem.

Burberry Pale Barley (No.22) is the most dirty yellow, with a slightly ashy appearance. I'd describe it as a darkened beige that can be built up to a medium brown base with a gold pearl overlay.

NARS Kalahari (from the And God Created the Woman eyeshadow palette, or the left side of the Kalahari duo) is more shimmery, with an almost flaky glitter. It's warmer, more golden and bronze than the cooler, tad more pewter Pale Barley. I think it's the more beautiful shade, but due to a somewhat crumbly yet dry texture, it's a lot more difficult to work with than the buttery smooth, superbly blendable Pale Barley.

Urban Decay YDK (from the Naked2 palette) is even more metallic than NARS Kahalari, but with more of a silvery thread running through it. It's also slightly more coppery than both Pale Barley and Kahalari.

Rimmel Glam'Eyes Mono Eyeshadow in Smokey Quartz is warmer, more brown and a little darker than Pale Barley. It differentiates itself from the rest with a hint of mauve.

bareMinerals A-Ha (from The Epiphany duo) is warmest still, more coppery/bronze, more metallic and reflective than Pale Barley without being shimmery or glittery.



Did I need Pale Barley? Probably not. I'm at the stage of makeup accumulation where there is no "need". For someone that might just be starting out with makeup or who has relatively minimal products, I think it's well worth the splurge to buy something like Pale Barley than a multitude of cheaper eyeshadows that might be similar in shade, but incomparable in terms of quality.

Do I consider Pale Barley a worthy addition to my stash? Sure. But at the same time, I don't find the colour to be so beautiful and unique that I can't picture myself living without it. I think what makes it special is the subtle gold overlay and how it falls in a near-perfect place between warm and cool. On medium and darker skin tones, I can see how it could be too light. I was afraid that it'd blend into my skin tone and hardly be visible, but it's pleasingly dark enough to serve as an easy, fuss-free all-over lid colour. If I wanted to add more depth and definition, I'd have to place a much darker shade closer to the lash line and blend upwards.

Pale Barley is a very well-made, high quality eyeshadow. The solid-feeling, gunmetal Burberry check packaging is, of course, a major part of its appeal and reflective of an elevated price tag. I can't fault the pigmentation, texture or application. I experienced hardly any fallout. It's an ideal everyday shade that leans more on the subdued side both colour-wise and with its soft, sophisticated sheen.

45 comments:

  1. Dayum, Burberry. We don't have a Burberry counter in Brisbane... that I know of. I'm actually so excited on your behalf lol you've wanted this for absolutely ages! Keen to hear about Midnight Brown. I'm not sure Pale Barley is up my street- too pale, too greeny-gold but on you (in conjunction with Midnight Brown or Almond) it would look so pretty and the formula would be impeccable.

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    1. I think part of the allure and mystique of Burberry is definitely the "exclusivity" which makes procuring their items difficult even if you were willing to shell out the moolah in the first place. Spoiler alert for Midnight Brown ... I'm a bit on the fence with that one actually. I reckon you can get similar for much cheaper. It's not an absolute must :p (But then again -- what is LOL.)

      I find some shades too greeny-gold (Sahara Treasure comes to mind, along with KIKO e/s stick in #4, and Maybelline Color Tattoo in Gold Shimmer) so I know what you mean, but Pale Barley looks more muted beige on my lids. I don't detect that much of a greenish tinge (thankfully). Plus I know you're not that into eyeshadows which is a fortunate position to be imo ;)

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  2. I think that, after a while, we really don't care about how close one eyshadow looks to another one :P
    I have to admit that this one looks amazing, If burberry eyeshadow wouldn't cost as much as palette (specially when I'm saving for the Naked3, that it's quite expensive, thanks to the fact that - again - sephora/Urban Decay decided to raise their prices.
    I believe that Sidecar from the original Naked would also look, somehow , similar to this one.
    Thank you very much for the lovely post!
    Please take care, have a nice day!*

    beauty-with-love.blogspot.com

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    1. I think I would actually be pretty annoyed if I purchased an expensive eyeshadow and I went home and swatched it alongside a much cheaper alternative and found they were almost identical :p

      I never managed to make Sidecar work for me. It's too cool and silvery on my lids, just not flattering against my skin tone. It swatches almost identically to Maybelline Bad to the Bronze which is weird since I love the Color Tattoo so much but hardly ever touch Sidecar.

      I know what you mean by favouring the value for money that palettes offer compared with buying single eyeshadows. That's definitely a factor that deterred me from buying these Burberry eyeshadows sooner. I'm tempted by Naked3 and have this hopeless feeling of inevitability when it comes to eventually caving and purchasing it - but for now I'm trying to actively stay away :p

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  3. oh I saw the Burberry GWP you guys had there in Aussie on instagram and I was so jealous!! burberry is my fave high end brand as almost all products that I've tried from the brand are impressive.
    Pale Barley is on my list but I am not sure if I really need it since I have 1194+ similar shades T.T
    But the shade Mulberry is still on my wish list! I think I'll give it a go soon!!

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    1. I was definitely thinking of you and your terrible influence when I resolved to march into Burberry and bite the bullet once and for all! :p I wanted to get a blush because of your raves but they're $75 each here ... like how about no.

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  4. It looks beautiful and shiny! I love neutral colors on eyes :)

    Thank u for nice words honey :)

    www.magdalennes.blogspot.com

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  5. i haven't experienced burberry makeup yet and i don't think i'm going to anytime soon. i have a couple of well-raved makeup brand that i don't find my self gravitated towards, and burberry is one of them.
    having said that, i really like the texture and color payoffs of pale barley that shows from your picture.
    taupe eyeshadows and pink lippies are ALL different for me, i guess it's golden beige eyeshadows for your case.
    and of course, we are all sane people. ;)

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    1. LOL ... sane amongst the insane :p

      I think I generally have a neutral eyeshadow problem. I clearly gravitate towards the exact same things over and over again. My other major weakness is pink lipstick so I can completely relate (sadly).

      I don't even tend to gravitate towards higher end brands because I don't think the quality difference is that huge to justify the far-inflated price tag compared with more affordable "drugstore" brands. But it's about making good choices no matter the cost. And of course a healthy dose of falling for any kind of blogger hype :p

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  6. DUDE. There are no Burberry GWPs here -- like, never ever. I don't care how the gift bags look because most of them are super tacky and never get used anyway, but this was a sweet deal.

    I definitely want some Burberry and haven't made the splurge yet but probably won't go for solo shadows. Still, I admire the beauty of these new classic shades whenever someone does a post. Can't wait for the next one!

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    1. I had read of some other Burberry GWPs from Emma at Emma Bovary Beauty, but nothing as maj as the one I nabbed. They didn't even advertise it that much - though they ran a full page ad in one of the Sunday paper magazines, when I went to the Burberry counter, there weren't any signs or anything. I had to ask the lady at the counter for it specifically. Maybe they didn't want to give them out? LOL

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  7. Such a pretty colour but I can never find Burberry make-up here and I really like to swatch pre-purchase :)
    Imogen's Typewriter. <3

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  8. I completely identify with your comment about the workings of a beauty addict's mind - andno, one can't have enough taupe-y silvery beige-y brown! This entry was exactly what I've beenwaiting for, thanks for posting.

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  9. No you didn't… NO. YOU. DIDN'T. I have been lusting over Burberry eyeshadows (let's be honest: their cosmetics in general) for SO long but as of late I had forgotten about their allure. Now thanks to you that burning fire has returned my makeup consumed soul haha. Regardless, I'm glad you got such a great deal on this (with the GWP and everything) but am sad that this shadow, like I've always assumed, is a nice thing to add to the eye shadow collection but not necessary. Sighhhh maybe someday I'll go ahead and get it anyways ;)

    ♥Cassie
    thriftthick.blogspot.com

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    1. YOLO! :p

      You've done well resisting for all this time! :) I think it would look amazing on you so maybe you can allow yourself an early Christmas gift or something? *hinthint*

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  10. I ❤ Burberry eyeshadows. Totes kicking myself for not availing this gwp offer. The colour looks so gorgeous and it totally suits you. You're right about it not being a unique shade as such, but it's still always nice to have staple shades like this (especially from luxury makeup houses).

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  11. I feel the same way about my makeup kit. I'm no longer in the phase where I need stuff, but I guess now I'm much more careful with how I spend my money. It's now spent on skincare items, since I tend to run out of creams and scrubs faster than lipstick. Thank you for this review, nonetheless! I don't own any Burberry items and don't plan to try them in the future, but it's wonderful to know that their makeup items are just as well-made as their clothes! x

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    1. Spending on skin care sounds like a good idea - at least you'll be using it up and benefiting your skin in the process (one would hope!). I used to skimp on skin care so much but increasingly have found myself enjoying it and spending more on it :) I have so many face oils that I need to attempt to finish up before I allow myself to buy more in that department though.

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  12. I love Pale Barley! I love all of my Burberry shadows, actually. The texture and pigmentation are so, so nice. I agree with you that at this point, there is no such thing as "need" anymore, but I still enjoy having them in my collection :)

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    1. I definitely blame you for being yet another Burberry enabler! ;)

      Sometimes I wish I could start from scratch with my collection and not feel occasionally guilty for all the excess. But then I think if the alternative was to have too little or too much, I'm fine with where I'm at :p

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  13. written very well and the photos are very good :)

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  14. Pale Barley looks like a gorgeous, gorgeous shade and the packaging...my dear lord! If only Burberry would do a GWP here, I think I may consider venturing out to take a look at their highly priced makeup products. But for now, with my lack of use of eyeshadow on a regular basis I don't think I can justify splurging on only one single eyeshadow. :P

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    1. Haha I know what you mean - especially when said eyeshadow rivals the cost of a whole eyeshadow palette. It's a blessing in a way to not be all that inclined towards eyeshadow - saves you a lot of $ and irrational decisions :p LOL

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  15. So gorgeous! I have yet to see Burberry make up in person but I've seen people wearing this shade and it seems like that perfect fuss free everyday shade. Can't fault the packaging either. For now YDK will have to suffice!

    Emma x

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    1. YDK is still beautiful! It looks gorgeous on you, as does pretty much any eyeshadow you wear if your blog posts are anything to go by :)

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  16. I have this shade and Midnight Brown, they are the only Burberry shadows I have as well. I want to try out their matte shadows like Almond to see if the quality is the same. I just hate the single shadow packaging. Its pretty but takes up so much space. I like Pale Barley and am glad I have it in my collection but the color doesn't wow me too much.

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    1. Oh really?! I quite like the packaging. I mean, yes it takes up a lot of space but at least it's not on the level of Benefit kits :p I know what you mean about the colour though ... it is pretty and super wearable but it's nothing spectacular and unparalleled.

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  17. I have never tried Burberry makeup before but this looks beautiful.

    Kah-Feh Yen

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  18. I don't own a single Burberry shadow.. I always swatch them because they feel so luxe & smooth, but I'm not really an eyeshadow girl, so I always end up opting for a blush or a new lipstick. I am loving this shade, though! I have a penchant for neutrals -- any and all are welcome lol. That GWP sounds so good -- the best I ever got was a mini lipstick & a mini sample bottle of fragrance after a $150 purchase haha :) x

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    1. Oh me too, my total weakness is neutral eyeshadows. I clearly have a problem judging from the arm swatch! I don't know why Burberry decided to do such a good GWP this time ... but I'm glad I didn't miss out and it gave me the perfect opportunity to try out a couple of products I've had my eye on for a while :)

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  19. Well, I don't "need" it either but it really is a gorgeous color! And the packaging is to die for, of course.

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  20. That's a beautiful eyeshadow! It looks really pretty on you! :)

    ~ Yun

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  22. Such a beautiful shade and I love the packaging, especially because it has a mirror even though its a single eyeshadow!

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  23. Love the finish, although I prefer YDK from the Naked 2 a lot more. I too want some shadows from them so badly. I want midnight brown and rosewood!

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  24. this shade i believe is very much wearable and i super agree that it is worth a splurge for those who are not a makeup hoarder(im not sayin' you are, lolz) and just needed a super good quality eyeshadow to lived with them for a period of them ;)

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  25. That shade is STUNNING. :o Now I want to try Burberry makeup!

    http://jemaroons.blogspot.com

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  26. Ok WOW--that gift sounds soo amazing. I am so jealous of you right now! I cannot believe that I STILL have yet to try any of Burberry's shadows (I hear great things about them all. the. time. and *adore* their blushes so not sure why it's taken me so long to try the shadows!). Pale Barley is definitely on my list (if it'd EVER come back in stock. Blossom blush, ditto!), as is Midnight Brown and Rosewood.

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    1. I was lucky that Pale Barley apparently had JUST come back in stock when I visited the Burberry counter. Couldn't help but feel it was all meant to be :p I've only heard raves about their blushes but one is $75 here which I can't stomach ... (yet).

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  27. Such a lovely 'everyday' shade! Ive seen this on a few blogs now. Im surprised I havent gone out and bought it yet!

    Leanne @ Leanne-Marie | Beauty, fashion & lifestyle. x x

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  28. Before even seeing the last pictures I thought, 'this girl has too many similar eyeshadows shades', lol!

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  29. It's beautiful! I don't own any Burberry makeup products. I see the appeal as I love shades like that but I see why you say you don't need it seeing as you already have a few in the same color family. Bare Mineral's A-Ha is gorgeous too! x

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  30. I definitely prefer this to midnight brown, it has something more special about it :)

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