The move towards “green beauty” has been steadily growing over the last few years, but non-toxic beauty products have not always been all that … sexy. There’s no reason to trade quality over safety, and California-based brand BEAUTYCOUNTER is shrugging off the industry’s notion that clean = boring, and this latest Desert Sunrise Collection couldn’t be a better example of this line of thinking.
Early last year BEAUTYCOUNTER launched in Canada and having received a few products (primarily skincare), the beauty lover in me was intrigued but I still didn’t know where something like this brand fit into my life. Then in late Fall of last year, I was invited to a media event for some upcoming launches and I had the pleasure of meeting Christy Coleman, Head of Creative Design for BEAUTYCOUNTER as well as the woman responsible for the creation of all the brand’s colour cosmetics, and after chatting with her for some time I was left with new insight … and a lot to think about as well.
Christy, a makeup artist in her own right having worked on a who’s who list of celebrity clients & loads of editorial/fashion shoots (and who also happens to be BFF with Alessandra Ambrosio, she of Victoria’s Secret fame), was given her start by none other than the iconic Kevyn Aucoin. Several years later, two things happened; her father was stricken with Lou Gherig’s disease and she chanced upon a book on the toxicity of beauty ingredients, both events which changed her way of life and thinking around completely. She then embarked on a journey of cleaning up her beauty kit for use on bother herself and her clients and teamed up with BEAUTYCOUNTER founder Gregg Renfrew to create healthy & toxin-free cosmetics for all of us to enjoy as well.
BEAUTYCOUNTER has banned over 1500 known toxic ingredients from their cosmetics & skincare, but you’d never know it from the luxurious look, feel, and quality of their products. No detail has been overlooked — including the packaging, but as with the rest of the range, everything is geared towards safety while leaving a minimal environmental impact.
technically this is a sunset, but it’ll do …
The event was held at Montréal’s luxe Ritz-Carlton Hotel, where select invited media were given the opportunity to hear Christy’s story, as well as get an early preview of upcoming launches. As seen above, the Desert Sunrise Palette was in prototype form (the compact case was in fact empty with the shades in a Z-Palette underneath), with the glosses not even properly labelled yet.
Crossed off the bucket list: meeting Christy Coleman (above). What I didn’t expect, however, was the fun, energetic, and truly caring human she’d turn out to be. The best moment was when going over the Desert Sunrise Palette prototype, I almost shrieked upon seeing the vivid coral blush in the pan, because it looked exactly like my first luxury blush purchase from YSL from back in my late teens where I had saved like a fiend for it (and subsequently repurchased). It turns out that THAT was exactly the inspiration for this shade because it had been one of Christy’s fave products too! We were both giddy talking about it, let me tell you!
Why do I look so happy leaving the Ritz? Insert crying emoji …
Desert Sunrise Palette, limited edition (CAN $75.00) | Housed in a lovely ombré-patterned sturdy cardboard casing with a magnetic closure, there are 6 eyeshadow shades and 3 cheek hues. The colours are meant to evoke the light over a desert plain and while all are more warm than cool leaning & accompanied by varying levels of complex shimmer, they are shades that should still work on a broad range of complexions.
I was totally unprepared for the quality of these textures; smooth and with little powdery kickback, laying down easily along the skin as well as being effortless to blend. Over primer, the eyeshadows lasted true until removed, while the cheek shades (worn over foundation) didn’t fade or oxidize. You can even dial up the intensity of the eyeshadows by applying them with a dampened brush — I usually stick to one corner of the pan for that, in order to not disturb the powder overly much.
- Pearl – warm white
- Champagne – light apricot undertone
- Dove – mauve leaning
- Khaki – green shot through with gold
- Bark – soft umber
- Pinot – shimmery grape
- Tawny – soft peach/tan (can be used as a bronzer as well)
- Bloom – fresh rose
- Flamingo – supercharged coral
Desert Sunrise Lip Gloss, limited edition (CAN $36.00/each) | I have quickly become a huge fan of BEAUTYCOUNTER’s gloss formula; for starters, it’s relatively non-sticky, feels so good applied, and leaves lips totally hydrated long after all colour’s faded. These two limited edition shades are both sheer and can be worn alone for a light wash of colour, or layered over a lip pencil and/or lipstick for more depth and staying power. The texture is buttery smooth and they bear a light & totally yummy vanilla scent which dissipates fairly quickly once applied. Staying power is what you’d expect with light shades such as these, about 2.5 hours (when worn solo).
- Beeblossom – pink nude shot through with ultra fine glitter
- Coralbell – sheer coral
I’m the first to admit that I can be a bit of a beauty ‘elitist’ and while I may not be ready to chuck all my cosmetics just yet, I welcome the addition of stunning makeup to my vanity table such as the Desert Sunrise Collection, which also happens to apply beautifully AND be 100% safe to wear. In fact, I’d be tempted by that palette for that electrifying blush shade alone … the happy bonus is that everything else included is also amazing.
Have you tried anything from BEAUTYCOUNTER? If so, let me know in the comments!
BEAUTYCOUNTER products are available online
Media samples kindly provided, all opinions are my own
Desert sunset photo credit