This week I’ve got a really exciting bunch of products to share with you all. I’ve never really been able to find a makeup brand that has cruelty free/eco friendly/highly pigmented & long lasting products (try and say that in one go!) This particular brand is free of parabins, sulphates & mineral oils as well as many other “baddies”. Hello Tarte Cosmetics!
I was greatly intrigued to see how these products performed as I have yet to find products in abundance in the UK with all these benefits. Lush Cosmetics did well to bring out a range of eye/lip colours a couple of years ago and there are of course brands which have more mineral based ingredients (such as Bare Minerals & Protocol), but none of them have a very “full range” of colours and textures as of yet. Nowadays I often find clients do not want to use parabins and other such chemical ingredients on their skin and I think everyone would agree that we’d like to buy a product which endorse cruelty free beauty (more info on how you can help stop animal cruelty here) so it is a relief to find a brand with so many products to choose from not to mention very adorable packaging!
Rather than go through every product in the range that I tested I’m going to do a “top picks” of the products which I felt worked really well and will be staying in my kit. I’ve also swatched the products underneath their images in all natural light *my skin tone is a pink based fair shade so of course on more olive and darker skin tones colours will look slightly different, but rest assured they have a full range catering to all skin tones.*
Precision Longwear Liner
This black liquid liner was fantastic. It had a smooth applicator for drawing really precise lines and the colour pay off was strong. The pigment was true black (no greasiness, no fade.) 10/10
Amazonian Clay Volumizing Brow Powder - Blonde
I was really impressed with this brow powder as well. For me this is THE perfect “blonde” colour. In this swatch the colour does come across as quite warm but I have medium/ashy toned brows and this is such a perfect shade. I’ve tried brow powders from every brand imaginable. Usually I find the shades are too grey or too warm. This colour matches my brows perfectly - I can’t speak for everyone but I would say this will become a kit favourite as I’ve yet to find a colour match quite like this! The colour pigment is medium and buildable and you wouldn’t need a lot to get a good result. The packing is also quite nice for this. It comes in a little acrylic clear box with a little mirror on the inside. <3 10/10
Clean Slate Timeless Smoothing Primer
I’m not usually a fan of these type of solid primers as I tend to go for more liquid based finishes but I found this really worked to smooth out the appearance of redness on the skin not to mention large pores. It really does “blur” the look of texture/marks on the skin. It’s hard to see with the light bouncing back on this image but you can just see how the skin looks smoother with primer on it. Packaging was a little heavy to carry around in my kit but as a dressing table product for someone who would just use this everyday it was quite nice. 9/10
Park Ave Princess Amazonian Clay Bronzer
I really love the packing on this one! A pretty little faux snakeskin mirror compact in a gorgeous metallic shade. The bronzer itself is really lovely as well. Good colour pay off and satin finish texture - perfect for contouring. Viatamins A + E hydrate as well *bonus*. 10/10
Fearless Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush
The blushers in the range are also really gorgeous. Really full colour pigment and very nice packing (again with a nice little mirror compact.) There are over 15 shades in the range but I really like the “Fearless” colour which is a beautiful coral pink as swatched above. 9/10
Gifted Amazonian Clay Smart Mascara
Out of everything I tried my favorite in terms of packaging was definitely this mascara! The wooden tube is really different and a fun idea. The product itself worked well to give a natural defined & separated effect. I personally like really “chunky” messy full on lashes myself but I know that some clients and jobs require a softer more “natural” look. The product defiantly builds and it separates well. Best for those who like their lashes to look “real” without smudging. 8/10
Fearless Lip Surgency
The lip colours from the LipSurgency range were quite beautiful as well. They were inspired by the brands cheek tints (also lovely) and give a sheer coverage. Pretty for day time wear. I really like the shade “Flush” as it gives that just bitten lip effect without the matte dry finish of having to blot a more pigmented lipstick down. You can see from the swatch the slight sheen/lustre effect of the product. It’s great for dry lips - very hydrating.
Fresh Eyes Maracuja Waterproof Eye Makeup Remover Wipes
The Maracuja Oil based makeup wipes really surprised me. I’m not a fan of wipes as I usually find them very abrasive. These completely remove all makeup in one swipe without leaving the skin red. They smell very fruity which is nice and they didn’t “scratch” the skin like some wipes do. I used one swipe over the lipstick I swatched earlier and it completely removed all traces of makeup :
I really could go on about this range as I have to say it is quite impressive. I also tried out foundations, powders and concealers. The foundations worked really well in terms of staying power and coverage but because of their high content of Titanium Dioxide I wouldn’t be able to use them on photoshoots and editorial work (for non makeup artist they would look gorgeous.) The concealers also performed well with good coverage and ease of application.
Overall for a brand that has only been around for a short while it has achieved alot. Eco friendly, animal cruelty free & vegan friendly products that do what they say = happy consumer!
There’s a new nail brand on the market which promises eco friendly, cruelty free beauty. Free from Formaldehyde, Toluene, DBP and Camphor Nailberry boasts ultra chic colours without the damaging chemicals found on the high street.
From their Extreme Shine Gloss & Plump Topcoat to their bright berry colours and even a Black Berry shade we rate the pigment and pay off of these polishes. We chatted to founder Sonia Hully about Nailberry’s mixed french/english influences and what we can expect to see from the brand in the near future…
You’ve had an amazing career with a huge span of diviersity working in Finance, Films and Real Estate and now Nailberry. What influenced you to start up this beauty venture? Can you recall any childhood memories of your mother/sister(s)/grandmother using makeup/nail polish?
Having beautiful hands. My grandmother used to do french manicure all the time and I thought she looked so elegant. When I was a young girl I started doing my nails with her. We would make a special moment of it and take our time going through the process of cleaning our nails with lemon to get them whiter, cut them and file them. Then we would start painting them. I loved it and felt so good afterwards.
I love beautiful hands with the nails manicured. It is the icing on the cake for an elegant woman. Today we have so many colours, we can play with them depending on the mood or the style we have. We can use nail polish like an accessory.
Who are your beauty icons?
What is your favourite shade in the Nailberry Range?
This is really hard. I chose them so I love them all. I can give you my top 5 favourites. Groseille, Almond, Rouge, Strawberry Jam and Noirberry. We have a new colour coming out called Storm too which I absolutely love :
How hard was it to set up a “healthier” & cruelty free nail brand?
Not that hard actually. I think laboratories are now aware we are looking for healthier products and I am working with the oldest and best one in the world. And guess what, it is French! I love making my collection and working on improving the formulas. However, I wanted to be 100% sure we wouldn’t have to do any testing on animals. I am totally against it and wouldn’t have got into the industry if it had not been the case.
You seem to have both French and London influences - would you say one is stronger than the other?
It is a hard one. Even when I travel people are confused. My accent is a mix of French and English (if you are not English) and my personality too. I have been in the London for over 22 years, so I definitely got some English influence. I would say my classic taste is french but my taste for quirkiness is English. I also love to travel so I take influences from everywhere I go. The world has so much to offer.
6. What can we expect to see in the future for Nailberry? Are there any new textures coming out *glitters or shimmery colours* or do you prefer a classic range with colours that are not so influenced by trends but rather stay in fashion all year round?
My french side will tell you, you need a classic collection. It is the basic but I am always interested by the trend and fashion industry so I have seasonal collections as well. We will have a little bit of shimmer on very dark colours like 50 shades and Storm for this winter. Then, I d rather concentrate on improving the formula than use too much texture. If you use texture you cannot get a healthy product and then, that is not Nailberry.
You’ve got a beautiful salon on Bute Street in South Kensington! I’ve read that you’ve done some interior decorating so it would seem a natural progression! What influenced the style of the salon ? The little pillows and the vintage chairs feel very French but there is still a very modern feel about it all!
Yes I wanted it French and I love decorating myself. This is who I am and I really wanted it to come out in the decoration. However, you still need to be modern and practical if you want your staff to work in good conditions and your clients to be comfortable. The trick is to get the balance right between the style and the practicality.
On a side note, the look of the nail polishes on the shelves and the names of the polishes remind me of French Jams! I took a trip to South of France once and the Jam was a specialty and came in an abundance of gorgeous jars with beautiful spoons! Is it a coincidence that the name Nailberry and all the polishes echo berries such as the jams you find all over France? If not what influenced the name Nailberry?
Funny enough we do have Strawberry Jam, a gorgeous red with a hint of pink and I have a serious sweet tooth so maybe my subconscious chose it for me :).
Actually, Nailberry came to me one day as an obvious choice. I knew it was perfect. I still carried a survey to make sure, giving the option of 4 different names, but as I expected, Nailberry came far ahead. Berries are red and most of the time nails are painted red like little berries at the end of the fingers.
Can you see a vision of Nailberry Nail Bars all over London? What can one expect upon visiting the salon?
Yes but the products are taking most of my time these days so I think franchising would be the best option for Nailberry with a strong health ethic. In my salon we care for your nails. The nail technicians will tell you if you cannot have your extensions or semi permanent gel. If they feel your nails need a break they will tell you to stop and let them breathe.
Finally, If you could pick just one item of makeup to take on your holidays what item would you go for?
Words : Tabby Casto