Byredo Makeup : a brand overview

Byredo is well known for its fragrances including popular scents Gypsy Water and Bal D’Afrique. The brand has always pushed the envelope when it comes to scent profiles so I expected nothing less of their makeup too. Avant-garde British makeup artist Isamaya Ffrench was a collaborator on the initial Byredo Makeup line alongside founder Ben Gorham.

The Byredo makeup range includes lipsticks, lip balms, lip liners, mascaras, eyeshadow palettes, multi-purpose colour sticks, eye liners, eye pencils and brow pencils. Each product is housed in pretty out-there packaging – unlike any other makeup brand has attempted, to my knowledge.  Byredo’s founder Ben Gorham said that the purpose of the abstract packaging was “to create the products as obscure objects of desire to be possessed as well as worn.

I have been testing some Byredo makeup over the past few months and whilst I haven’t sampled everything from each category I think I have enough items for a bit of a brand overview.

THE UNWRAPPING EXPERIENCE

Before I dive into the reviews I have to talk about the Byredo packaging. If you’ve purchased any of their fragrances before then you will be familiar with the white, minimalist boxes. This has been extended to makeup and in addition, some of the products also come with their very own little pouch. For example the lipstick has a white canvas pouch that I do use if I’m putting it in a handbag as it protects the chrome finish from scratches.

Lipstick

My Byredo makeup collection started with the Lipstick in Earth Dust. Packaged in a curved duo-tone case I can definitely understand Ben Gorham’s “object of desire” description. With a satisfying magnetic closure, it’s both a visual and tactile feast. On the brand’s website, Earth Dust is described as “a pale nude with a yellow undertone” but I would argue with that and say that this is a real chameleon colour. It tends to adapt to different lighting situations so it can look neutral, mauve or a little brown. The formula is creamy and lovely to apply and when it’s on my lips it has a satin finish, feeling comfortable and non drying. It’s absolutely gorgeous and I’m very keen to try more shades. They also have matte and shimmering shades that I haven’t yet tried.

TINTED LIP BALM

In the lip balm formula I have the shades Ocra and Argila. Ocra is a burnt orange and my favourite out of the two. Argila is a neutral that is too pale for my pigmented lips and was not the wisest choice for me. The packaging is very similar to the lipsticks in terms of their shape but in a gunmetal colour. I have been loving Ocra as a sheer, matte but buildable lip balm. This is what I wish the Violette_FR Bisou Balm was like. The Byredo lip balm is fairly stiff but once warmed up it’s definitely balmy. There are three shades in the tinted lip balm range.

From top to bottom: Lipstick in Earth Dust, Tinted Lip Balm in Ocra, Tinted Lip Balm in Argila
COLOUR STICK

The Byredo Colour Sticks are a multi-purpose cheek, eye and lip product that come in a variety of finishes, varying in their opacity and shimmer effect. I played it safe and chose the shade Great Sands which is a nude brown shimmer shade. Used on its own it’s barely there but it gives a glossy lid effect that catches the light beautifully. The shimmer in the formula is in varying sizes and it’s quite dispersed, making this quite a sheer product overall. My favourite way to use it is to layer it on top of a neutral matte liquid eye shadow like the Ellis Faas E104 just to amp the colour up a little bit. As with all products that give a glassy eye effect the longevity is not great but that comes with the territory. My eyelids just eat this up!

EYESHADOW

The Byredo 5 Colours Eyeshadow palettes are quite a sight. They come in a small compact resembling molten gold which is so striking and definitely one of the most unique I’ve ever come across. I have the Dysco compact which is a warm palette with shades that are shimmery, but not overly so.

The shades are described as:

Feather: a pearly peachy beige
Haze: a shimmering rose gold
Flare: a bold, glittering metallic gold
Velvet: a satiny soft bronze
Faux Fur: a warm matte brown with coppery shimmer

Haze, Velvet and Faux Fur are my favourites for a one and done look whilst Velvet and Feather I tend to use in pairing with the others rather than on their own. I apply eyeshadow with my fingers as I’m not very skilled with eyeshadow brushes and this formula is very accommodating of that. It’s creamy, pigmented and really easy to blend. The colour stories of these palettes are quite unique. I have my eye on Corporate Colours as well.

Byredo Eyeshadow 5 Colours Palette in Dysco. From top to bottom: Feather, Haze, Flare, Velvet, Faux Fur
MASCARA

Byredo have three mascara formulas – Space Black, Astronomical and Tears in Rain each packaged in a different colour. I was attracted to Tears in Rain as it’s a waterproof formula and my eyes tend to be very fussy with mascara. I typically only use tubing mascaras but this promised humidity resistance so I was sold.

I have a few issues with this product mainly that it didn’t deliver on the promises of humidity resistance. It does get very hot and humid in Perth and I tested it under pretty extreme conditions. I have also tried it in normal conditions just around the house and it seems to me that regardless of the weather, I always have some smudging around my eyes. It’s not one I would recommend to my fellow hooded eye people with oily eye lids.

OVERALL IMPRESSION

There is no doubt that Byredo have shaken things up a bit in terms of packaging. Formula-wise, is there anything really unique and never-before-seen? I’m inclined to say “not really” but as you can see I liked most of what I tried and if you’re into beauty objects then these are obviously just gorgeous collector pieces. The lipstick in Earth Dust, the eyeshadow palette or the Tinted Lip Balm in Ocra would be my top picks.

If you’ve had your eye on Byredo makeup I hope this review was helpful and gave you something to think about. Let me know if you’ve tried anything from the range. Send me an email here -> hello@iamsanida.com.

– Sanida

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