Friday, 8 March 2013

REVIEW: Cosmetics a La Carte

A little while ago I was sent this very generous package of makeup from Cosmetics a La Carte, a brand that seems to have completely passed me by but one I was super excited to try out after perusing their catalogue at great length.

CALC was foundered in 1973, making this year the brand's 40th anniversary. They pionereed a 'bespoke your beauty' experience which offers an extensive ready to wear range as well as providing customised options. CALC is formulated in London and can be bought from their boutique in Knightsbridge or online.

Everything came wrapped individually in tissue paper which I always think is such a nice touch, presentation and nice packaging is definately a crowd pleaser and CALC do it well. As you can see their boxes are nice and simple with eye catching patterns and the necessary information printed on the outside.

These are the eight products I recieved, again the actual hard packaging is simple but sophisticated, on first inspection I was very impressed. I recieved a liquid foundation, three pressed powders, a face primer, lip primer, lipstick and lip lacquer.

1. Matte Velvet Lipstick - Black Tulip* - I was really impressed with this lipstick, it may not seem it from the swatch but it's a fabulous matte with strong coverage. I'm really enjoying dark, gothic lips right now despite not being one for wearing these shades myself. It also seemed to have a really good staying power and took a lot to make it budge. A big plus point!
2. Neon Lip Lacquer - Vamp* - Again, this is another shade I wouldn't wear myself but I thought it would be a gorgeous colour for my kit. I don't have a great deal to say about this but it does look just as bright on so I look forward to using that on a shoot soon.
3. Cover Tint Mineral Powder - Almond* - These powders are really great, giving a suprisingly good coverage. They come with a little brush each which I haven't tried, but they apply really nicely with a buffing brush. These will be great over foundation to set a look for a really flawless, matte finish. Alternatively they could be used on their own and worked into the skin if needing light coverage.
4. Cover Tint Mineral Powder - Cinnamon* - Exactly the same, just a different shade.
5. Silk Touch Perfecting Powder - Freckle* - This was the main product I chose with me in mind as I'm always searching for the perfect contour colour. I'm happy to say this works really well! I'm very pale and find it hard to find contour shades that don't go too yellowy so I am super happy with this. I've been applying it with a contour brush then blending it out with a buffing brush.
6. Skin Velvet Foundation - Ivory* - Again I asked for this in the hopes it would be my shade but unfortunately as you can see it is too dark, there was one shade lighter which I think may be better but I didn't spot that til it was too late. However, I've been mixing it with my Illamasqua cream foundation (which was too light) to create the perfect shade so although it's a little bit extra effort for every day, I'm still really enjoying using it.
7. Shine Illuminator Primer - Crystal* - This primer, as you can probably tell, is super runny. I was a little worried that it wouldn't be very good but it works into the skin just as well as any other primer when used with a nice face brush. I wouldn't say it's a miracle product but then I also think it's just as good as any other primer I have tried so I'm happy to have this new one.
8. Maxi Lip Primer* - I've got to admit I'm really terrible at remembering to prime my lips so I thought by ordering a new one it would get me back into the habit. This is a lovely product and does its job to perfection. I've tried a number of different lipsticks over this and it has given them more longevity as well as keeping my lips a smooth canvas.

Here is a makeup look I created with some of the CALC makeup I was sent. I used both the primers and then my foundation base was the combination of CALC and Illamasqua I mentioned earlier. The contouring and lips were also done with the products stated above.

Overall I am really impressed by CALC and surprised it took me this long to stumble upon their makeup. The only reservations I had when first trying these products is that they all have quite a strong perfumed smell the concept of which makes me think of elderly women. Fortunately it is a nice scent and also seems to disappear as the makeup is applied.

Price wise CALC seems to be a mid range brand, so I may not have sought it out, favouring sticking with what I know. However now I've had the opportunity to try some of the products I am truly sold and look forward to investing in some more bits, especially lipsticks.

I'd love to hear if any of you have tried any makeup by Cosmetics a La Carte before and what you thought.

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