6 November 2010

Bobbi Brown vs Inglot

One of my most-used products in my kit is my Bobbi Brown Nude On Nude eye palette.  It actually used to belong to my sister, who bought it duty free when we went on holiday about 5 years ago.  Since then, I regretted not buying one myself - I think she paid about £33 for it - and now I think (based on my searches) that it's discontinued, although you can still buy the shades in other palettes and singles from Bobbi Brown.

About a year ago, she gave me the palette to stop my whining, and I have been giving it some serious love ever since.  As it's discontinued, I have been looking for a potential replacement, as sadly it won't last forever.  I hadn't found anything that contained the right shades and was in the same oblong palette box, which I personally find the best type of palette shape.  That was until I found myself poking around the Inglot store in Westfield, Shepherds Bush a couple of months ago.

If you don't know of Inglot, and I didn't either until quite recently, it's a Polish cosmetics brand that has one store in the UK (I believe) in the Westfield shopping centre in London.  I've strolled past it a few times and never paid much attention, but then I started hearing really good things about the quality and shades of their products, so I went and had a look.  They have a mind-boggling array of colours and products - lipsticks, glosses, balms, eyeshadows, blushers, foundations, powders - in most forms you could think of, but what really interested me was the Freedom system.  It's bascially a build-your-own palette: fun game! You pick your palette - 3, 5 or 10 shades - and - yay! - your palette and pan shape, and they had the 5 circular pan oblong palette that looks exactly like the Bobbi Brown one.

So, I set about matching my Nude On Nude palette as best as possible, which, luckily, I had in my bag.  Do you want to see how I got on?

Firstly, the boxes:
They are exactly the same size and in terms of quality, there's not much between them, but the Bobbi Brown one is glossier and a bit heavier.

Now for the fun bit; the innards:
So similar, so good.  The well-loved Bobbi Brown sits atop the newbie Inglot, almost peas in a pod.  I must have swatched nearly all the shades in the shop, but finally managed to come up with five pretty identical shades.  I have to say the smoothness and pigmentation of the Inglot shadows is outstanding - no grittiness or poor payoff.  They are amazing, and that's saying something compared with the smooth shadow queen, Ms. Brown.

So, shall we swatch?
Bobbi Brown on the top, L-R: Bone, Cement, Malted, Wheat, Espresso
Inglot on the bottom, L-R (annoyingly they don't have names, just numbers): 30, 360, 461, 390, 378

Ok, a couple are not the perfect match, but I think this is pretty good, and I'm looking forward to using the Inglot palette when my beloved Bobbi Brown one is finally used up.  All the shades I chose are matte, to reflect the Bobbi Brown palette, but Inglot did have a great range of different finishes too.

So, are you wondering how much this Inglot palette set me back?  I can tell you it was less than half the price of the Bobbi Brown one, at an amazing £15!  It's unbelievably good value considering the pigmentation, overall quality and the fact that I could choose it all myself.

However, despite loving the product, I was absolutely not impressed with the shopping experience.  It was a Thursday evening, which usually means busy late night shopping, and I was one of about 15 people in the shop, pretty much all of whom were wanting to build their own palettes.  Now, there were two staff on duty, and whilst normally that might not be a problem, when you build your palettes, you're given a magnetic board, which you place your selected shadows onto and then take it to the counter.  The staff then find all your chosen shades, and then, inexplicably, they insist on removing each pan from it's packaging and putting everything in the palette for you.  I would have prefered the sad joy of doing this at home myself, but whatever.  The problem with this though is that it takes each member of staff about 15 minutes to complete what should really be a 3-4 minutes transaction.  They also then don't have time to put back the pans selected by the customer and brought to the counter so when I was swatching, there were numerous pans 'missing', which I discovered were in fact just behind the counter waiting to be put back once people had finished being served.

It seemed like a bizarre a labour-intensive task for the staff to put your palette together when, like in Mac, you could just buy your palette and your pans and put them in happily yourself at home.  It led one woman to queuing for so long to buy one nail polish that she just left the cash on the counter and walked out, which in turn caused a huge fuss as - another odd thing - the staff insist on writing down each product code before they scan it.

I don't know - the experience was just slightly soured by a difficult and lengthy payment process.  It wouldn't put me off buying more Inglot products, but I'd try and go at a very quiet time when hopefully all products would be out on display and I could be served more quickly!  I also wish they did online ordering - one day maybe!

Have any of you got any Inglot products?  What do you recommend I check out?


  1. Oh I'd love to try some of the Inglot shadows - the swatches look gorgeous. Sounds like a nightmarish shopping experience though!
    Nic x

  2. I have Inglot, and I LOVE the shadows; it's just that shopping for them is a major undertaking.
    I'm not anywhere near an Inglot store, so I have to order online. Even though I look up swatches before I buy, the shades I receive are often something of a surprise. I haven't been seriously disappointed in any of them so far.
    At this point, I have:
    348M - medium deep true gray
    344M - medium plum brown
    363M - deep cool brown
    Shine 20- shimmery cream/ivory
    358M - medium greyed lavender
    502DS - mostly matte medium gray, with purple undertones
    454P - shimmery bright silver with a slight taupe cast