Thursday, September 2nd, 2010

Bobbi Brown Black Velvet Kohl Eyeliners
Bobbi Brown Black Velvet Kohl Eyeliners: Black Plum, Black Chocolate, Black

When the River Runs Black Velvet

Bobbi Brown Kohl Eye Liners ($22.00 for 0.04 oz.) are a new and limited edition eyeliner from the fall Black Velvet Collection.  It comes in three shades: Black Plum, Black Chocolate, Black.  Bobbi Brown describes them as a “silky-smooth formula [that] delivers dense, even and blendable pigment.”

  • Black Plum is a rich, earthy plum with subtle red undertones.  I love that it’s really quite plum and doesn’t lean burgundy.
  • Black Chocolate is a deep dark chocolate brown.
  • Black is a blue-based rich black.

At first application, I loved the smoothness of the formula, softness of the pencil, and rich color achieved without a lot of a layering.  Unfortunately, that rich color doesn’t last past lunch for me.  If lunch was 20 minutes away.  I tried wearing these in several ways – on the waterline, on the lower lash line, both.  I thought perhaps they weren’t cut out for the waterline and by putting it there was causing the rest of it to migrate, too, so I tried just the lower lash line, staying away from the waterline entirely.

The results were the same–barely there color within an hour or two, but it was already noticeably migrating and disappearing within fifteen minutes.  What seems to happen is the liner fades away except right at the base of the lashes, so it’s a very thin line of color that lasts.

I was so particularly frustrated, because the liner looked so amazing as part of the look I did for the day, but by the time I finished my foundation and slicked my lip color on… I could already tell there was something wrong.  It’s like when you do laundry and there’s always a sock that’s gone missing–you don’t know where it went but yet it’s gone.  I know I put a nice line of kohl on my lower lash line, but by the time I take photos to show you all, it’s half gone!

I’m so frustrated by the lack of staying power, because these have such a lovely texture/finish.  They’re so rich and opaque and don’t require a lot of building to get there.  They have a harder edge than many other pencil eyeliners, but it doesn’t feel harsh on the lash line; it almost melts against the skin as you apply the color.  And I so, so dig the color of Black Plum.

Like any product that has a tendency to crease on its own, setting with a powder (like an eyeshadow) will help greatly, but it can also alter the color.  You could also try a sealing product like Benefit’s She-Laq.  Not that you should have to do that with the right eye liner, but nevertheless, sometimes we can’t let a color go and insist on discovering ways to Make. It. Work.

These are a brand new product, and I haven’t seen any other reviews for these yet, so I am incredibly curious to see what others experience.  Maybe I’m just the unfortunate minority here that yearns to love these but can’t!

They’re not as bad as NARS’ Eye Pencils were on me, which didn’t just fade away, but took on a new life by smudging and migrating everywhere (and somehow, even getting on my lid from my lower lash line!).   I’m torn on rating these, because on one hand, they feel and look amazing, but then they don’t last well on me at all.  At least these just disappear and don’t give me raccoon eyes!

Have you tried these yet?

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 19/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: Is it bad that I really just hope it’s me that can’t get these to stay put?  I want these to work for someone!  I can’t personally recommend the new kohl eyeliners based on my experience.  If you purchase from a store with a health return policy and don’t mind being a guinea pig, I did really enjoy the texture and consistency of the kohl.


See more photos & swatches!

Bobbi Brown Black Velvet Kohl Eyeliners
Bobbi Brown Black Velvet Kohl Eyeliners: Black Plum, Black Chocolate, Black

Bobbi Brown Black Velvet Kohl Eyeliners
Bobbi Brown Black Velvet Kohl Eyeliners: Black Plum, Black Chocolate, Black

Bobbi Brown Black Velvet Kohl Eyeliners
Bobbi Brown Black Chocolate Kohl Eyeliner

Bobbi Brown Black Velvet Kohl Eyeliners
Bobbi Brown Black Plum Kohl Eyeliner

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41 thoughts on “Bobbi Brown Black Velvet Kohl Eye Liners Review, Photos, Swatches

  1. Alexis

    Thanks Christine – once again you saved me some money. I was ready to buy the Black Chocolate until I read this review. Looks like I’ll only need to make a stop at the MAC counter for my liquid liners!

  2. Karin

    WOAH! The colors are gorgeous! Too bad they budge :(

  3. This is heartbreaking. I so wanted black plum! Now I feel like I perhaps shouldn’t spend the money, although the BB website does permit returns. Any dupes for black plum maybe?

  4. JoElla

    Karin I agree. I had really high hopes for these, since they are Bobbi Brown products.

  5. Polly

    Oh… so please tell me what eyeliner did you use on your waterline to review BB velvet lip color. It looks amazing!

  6. Gisele

    I tried Bobbi Brown eye pencils several years ago and they were fine as far as staying power but hard, and I mean hard, to work with. Not a good thing for the eye area. She re-formulated so now they are soft, but, ha, don’t last!

    Lancome Kohl is the best; MUFE is next and then UD 24/7. I was tempted to try one but I thank you, Christine, for your frustration and the time you took to realize these pencils don’t work. Oh, about the missing sock: it’s always inside a tee.

  7. Laura

    That’s a shame since they are STUNNING colors! :(

  8. Christine have you tried setting it with a translucent powder like MUFE’s HD powder?

    • Hey Lettie,

      If you set it with any powder, it will stay more in place, but I don’t like the way translucent powders sit on eyeliner – it always seems to mute it, even though they’re translucent.

  9. Susie

    do these budge on the upper lash line too? because that plum shade is gorgeous ):

  10. Awwww. What a disappointment. Man, that sucks. And from Bobbi Brown, no less.

  11. Fu

    I adore the colours! shame they dont stay on though, no point in getting something for the colours if its not gonna stay on

  12. Natalia

    Colorwise, which did you prefer: BB Black Plum or Chanel’s Casis? Thanks

  13. Cheyenne

    Wow I am so disappointed to hear this! I was really going to buy that purple plumy eyeliner it was SO gorgeous with your Bobbi Brown eye look. :) Thank you one again for your honestly!

  14. Lisa

    So sad. It looked gorgeous in the sparkly look you did.

  15. Miss Silver

    They look good on the skin, but that’s only because you get to scrub it on; can’t do that with eyes! Ugh, do people even test the products before sending it out?

  16. Marian

    Awwwwww… sad. I really had my eye on the plum pencil.

  17. Xtina

    From the way you’re describing them, they remind me of Laura Mercier kohl eye pencils. I really like my Laura Mercier kohl pencil, because they are that perfect kind of smudgey. Since it’s a kohl pencil, I don’t think you can fault it for not being a long-lasting/water proof pencil. I think you were a bit harsh on the review! I like to wear my kohl pencil by putting down several layers. It’s a great pencil to travel with on the weekend because you just take one little pencil with you and you end up with an eyeshadow/pencil. I’ll smudge the pencil up to my crease, and just keep lining and smudging upwards, concentrating the most on my lash line. Do you have a favorite kohl pencil?

    • I think that having a product virtually disappear within an hour or two is pretty much inexcusable. Sure, it can be smudged, but what’s the point if it doesn’t last for at least a few hours? The liner was already migrating within 15 minutes!

      My favorite pencils are UD’s and MUFE’s.

  18. Amy

    It kills me that they don’t last. The purple is so gorgeous. Can you recommend a substitute?

  19. Ms. Jimmi

    I seem to have this problem with many Kohls. I usually try putting translucent powder on and the the kohl. Of course, it always seems to shift eventually. know what you mean about Nars because my girlfriend put on Nars Kohl and it seemed like parts of it ended up on her eyelid.

  20. aradhana

    it’s so strange…i wonder where the colour goes?
    does it matter much whether there’s a base or shadow applied first?
    it’s kind of sad because the plum and brown are so beautiful!

  21. Too bad… I really liked this look you created with it. But I have not seen any BB make-up here recently that I liked. I thought the lips were awful too.
    Too bad. She has such a good reputation for her make-up.

  22. Christine, I can totally understand your frustration. I bought Chanel Le Crayon Khol (black) a year ago. And it’s just the same. I can’t use it at all couse it’s all over my eyes in an hour. Looks pretty scary! And it was the only time I bought something and couldn’t wear it. Such a waste of money. Don’t know what to do. Just throw it away?

  23. Jayna

    Bobbi Brown has a Black Plum eye gel that is part of the permanent collection. I am not sure how it matches with this collection. There is also a Black Mauve shimmer and a dis/ cocoa mauve that is nice. I wear these often as an alternative to black for day wear.

  24. Mandi

    Hey Christine. Beautiful eye look onthe #2..with the dark plum. I was wondering what eye shadows you used. I’m in love!! haha

  25. cloudburst

    So dissapointing, I really liked the look of Black Plum.

  26. Stephanie

    I thought I already posted this question but I don’t know where it went :(

    Do you have a recommendation for a dupe- another brand (MAC?) – for Black Plum? It looks amazing but I don’t want to invest the $$ if it’s just going to come off.