Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Silk Naturals

I was contacted by Karen, the owner of Silk Naturals, who asked if I wanted to try out some of their cosmetics.  I'd read some really great things about them from a lot of other bloggers (Phyrra has a review and a spotlight, Robyn has a review here...those are ones I remember reading in the past, though I'm sure there are a lot more out there!) and it was one of those companies on my list to try, but you know how it is - that list is infinitely long, and my cash flow is very, very finite.  Long story short, I was happy to try out their products!
I received two cream blushes, two lip products, six eye shadows, and their Stick 'Em Eye Shadow Enhancer, as well as a little FAQ sheet with ingredient lists and some helpful information about the company - very impressive!

They arrived very quickly; I got a shipping notification on a Wednesday, and the package was here on Friday afternoon.  Everything was wrapped nicely in tissue paper, and came in a bubble mailer.  One of the eye shadow jars had leaked a bit - beautiful, purple Rollick was everywhere - but that's okay.  Otherwise, the eye shadow jars were sealed on the inside; Rollick's seal had just come loose.

I'd suggest settling in with a cup of tea and a cookie, because this is going to be a long post - with lots of photos (okay, maybe you need two cookies?)!  I tested all of these for wear and tear and all of that good stuff, and I have plenty of photos to prove it.  Ready?

I went on a swatch-a-thon.  These eye shadows are amazing.  I tried them over the shadow enhancer, Stick 'Em, which definitely brings out their vibrant, rich colors.  I was a little apprehensive about it, because I had a sensitivity to Darling Girl Cosmetics' Glitter Glue, and the ingredient list is similar.  However, this one didn't cause the same sort of reaction that I remember having with Glitter Glue, so maybe I will go back and retest that one again, as well.  Stick 'Em is clear, and definitely needs a few moments to dry down.  The tube is easy to use and not too hard to squeeze product out of, which is also very nice.

The eye shadows have the labels on top (so helpful!) and the Stick 'Em has ingredients and directions printed on its label, which I appreciate.  The shadows I received are Clutch, Burnout, Jean Queen, Retro, Rollick, Cloudberry.  Clutch and Burnout are from their new Fall 2011 release.  My favorites are Jean Queen and Cloudberry; I love the duochrome effect that Jean Queen has, and Cloudberry is just such a pretty color.  It seems faint in the swatch photo below, but that's because it's pretty close to my skin color - it goes on beautifully, not patchy or dry at all.  Clutch starts off a little more sheer than the other five, but it was buildable.  Retro has some pretty chunky glitter, which I'm not a huge fan of, and this dusty pink shade is not the most flattering on me, but that's subjective - I'm sure lots of people can make it work.  It's supposed to be a dead-on dupe for MAC Kitschmas, which I've never seen or had an interest in, so I can't assess that.  Burnout reminds me of the darkest shade in Clinique's Black Honey quad (see that here on Rae), though it's *slightly* redder and warmer; it's the kind of reddish brown I normally avoid, but when I tried it in a look, I absolutely fell in love. [*update: Rae says Burnout is different from the Black Honey quad - the dark shade from the quad is much less red!]
All swatched over Stick 'Em.  L-R: Cloudberry, Jean Queen, Clutch, Retro, Burnout, Rollick.  I will do a few eye looks with these soon, I promise!

Same order, in direct sunlight.
I was most excited about the cream blushes - I've been on a blush kick lately.  These come in little tubes, which makes them ultra convenient.  I applied them in little half circles on my cheeks, and then blended with my fingers.  The finish is not sticky at all (unlike Tarte's cheek stains), and they lasted a full work day - Entice even survived an intense workout/dance class.  I don't typically have problems with blushes fading, but even if you do, their handy size and fool-proof application makes them great for touch-ups throughout the day.
They come in slimline tubes; in the swatch photo, they're blended out, and the dot is a more intense swatch to better show the color.

Entice is a lovely dark plum in the tube; on my cheeks, it's a natural looking pink flush.  I almost wish it were darker, but it's a lovely color all the same.  Cherry Bomb is bright fuchsia in the tube and on my cheeks, though these are both fairly sheer.  I noticed that they have a beautiful gold color listed, as well, which has definitely piqued my interest.  I'd purchase more of these, for sure!  They also double as lip colors.  I tend not to multi-task with my products, but the option is there for those pressed for time or who want to minimize their routine/number of products.

The two lip products I received were Excite (an Amplified Lip Glaze) and Gold Blush (a Kisser Slicker Lipgloss Stick) and I really liked Excite.  It's sparkly and gold, but on the lips it just looks so glossy and natural.  It feels good on - you do get a tingly sensation, from the menthol - but it's not bothersome.  The formula is really emollient and not gritty - at least not at first.  Wear time is about 2 hours (after that, the glossy shine is gone), with the gold color lasting for about 3; if you don't reapply, it can get gritty, but it's not really an issue, as I would reapply when my lips lose their shine.  I can't really say whether it amplifies lips, as my lips are um, rather poofy as it is.  I will say that it does have that slightly minty, waxy smell that it appears you just can't get away from with lip products like this, but it doesn't last forever like the Tarte lip stain smell does.  It seems pretty on par with most glossy/glaze type formulas (nothing groundbreaking, nothing awful), at an affordable price point (I think it may have killed my desire for Dior's Holiday Or Etoile lipstick!  Yay, that's $32 saved!).
Excite is shimmery gold, Gold Blush is sheer strawberry pink with a gold shimmer.

Gold Blush is described as a universally flattering shade on its product page.  It actually looks a lot like Excite on my lips - I can't really tell the difference in appearance.  Gold Blush is *slightly* pinker, though and I prefer Excite.
Gold Blush Kisser Slicker Lipgloss Stick
Excite Amplifying Lip Glaze
Gold Blush is supposed to be sheer, light, and very wearable.  Check to all three.  It's also lightweight and has a fair amount of shine.  It has a bit of gold shimmer and a faint strawberry tinge, but I think it would probably not show up on heavily pigmented lips or darker skin tones.  It is supposed to be rather sheer, though, so it all depends on what you are looking for.  It is labeled "flavored," though I couldn't really detect a taste; it has a faintly fruity smell upon application, but that disappears shortly thereafter (thank goodness - I'm not a fan of scented/flavored lip products).

Prices for these products are as follows:
Eye shadows: $4.00 for 3/4 tsp in a 5 gram sifter jar.  Many shades are vegan and gluten-free; these characteristics are designated on the product page.
Cream blushes: $4.50 for a slim tube; a quantity isn't designated on the product page.
Matte powder blush: $1.25 for a sample (1/8 tsp in a 5 gram jar), $6.50 for 1 1/2 tsp (in a 10 gram jar).
Amplifying Lip Glaze: $4.50 for a slim tube.
Kisser Slicker Lipgloss Stick: $4.50 for a slim tube.
Stick 'Em Eye Shadow Enhancer: $4.99 for a 7 mL tube.

Their website is really easy to navigate, and they have a rewards program.  They don't offer samples of eye shadows or lip products, but they do offer store credit for any product you don't love - you just return it.  Many products are vegan and/or gluten-free, and these are clearly marked as such.  They also have a handy rating system that tells you what the level of opacity is, etc. for each product, as well as swatches.  All in all, it's a useful website, and easy to navigate.  Ingredients are also posted on every product page.

Overall, I'm really pleased with the products I received, and I'm already drawing up a list for my own personal shopping.  It will have cream blushes and lip products on it - I'm still on an eye shadow ban!  Have you tried Silk Naturals?  Will you?  What are your favorite products, or what has caught your eye?

Full disclosure policy: All of the products in this review were provided by the company, free of charge, for consideration and review purposes only.