Few beauty launches have been as carefully and strictly orchestrated as Victoria Beckham’s limited-edition makeup line for Estée Lauder. Before the unveiling, I had to sign two legally binding agreements not to share with a soul what lay behind the specially blacked-out windows at Beckham’s Mayfair boutique. My cynical heart was steeled for anticlimax; I didn’t expect to be then sitting on my hands for three months, desperate to rave about the collection.
Not that everything is a 10. The Java Sun bronzer (£48) is too dark and a tad too red for many, while the Lip Gloss in Moroccan Heat, a generic nude (£28), brings little more to the party than any other at a fraction of the price. But what is good here is exceptional.
Beckham has wisely skipped foundation (if you can’t do a proper shade range, as Estée Lauder already does, then some looks worse than none) in favour of a universal illuminator called Morning Aura (£68), a gold-flecked 2-in-1 moisturiser and primer that goes on beautifully and looks glorious on the skin. The reintroduction of Lauder’s much-missed Modern Mercury powder highlighter (£48), loved by Beckham, who’d taken to scoring hers on eBay, is another nice touch. But, overall, the eyes have it. Eye Metals (£36) are dense, metallic shadows in cool brown and dark green with superlative colour payoff to give grownup, sophisticated sparkle to lids. They’re especially good worn over Eye Ink (£36), a highly pigmented black gel-powder that adds a deep, smoky undercoat. If shadow isn’t your poison, bypass the faff with the excellent Eye Foils (£28), two translucent, idiot-proof liquid eyeliners with high-shine metallic flecks that give an instantly eye-widening party look to otherwise bare lids.
The weighty compacts in gold and ribbed black leather are sleek, stylish, expensive – and not a million miles from Tom Ford Beauty’s packaging. And I wonder if Ford is a fitting example of where this might go. I asked Beckham if this was a one-off passion project, or the start of a career in beauty. “I hope it’s just the beginning,” she replied, making me wonder if we’re not far away from a full product line and a fleet of department store counters. Based on the quality so far, I say, bring it.
• Exclusive to Selfridges (selfridges.com) from 13 September, nationwide from October.
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