Arbonne Product Review
Passion and tenacity. We all know one...and these are the first words that come to mind when I think of anyone I know who is an Arbonne representative. When my Friend Nikki, asked me to try these products I was very skeptical. What could this company possibly have to offer against such cosmetic giants as Lancome or MAC or Estee Lauder or the countless others in the industry? What does Arbonne have that they don't? Well, their products are dermatologist tested and cruelty-free. They contain no parabens or pthalates (both have been linked to the development of breast cancer). There are no mineral oils in their products (mineral oil is a group 1 carcinogen, basically that means that they are definitely carcinogenic) nor is there any sodium lauryl sulfate which is a known skin, eye and respiratory tract irritant AND they are vegan. So if all these things are important to you then great, but I am very picky about what products I use on my face. So while these perks are wonderful, can these products actually perform as well as my favorites? Determined to make me a believer, Nikki graciously lent me a lovely makeup kit to play with for a few weeks. The kit came complete with everything a girl could ever need from foundation to lipstick, it was stocked. She also gave me samples of the RE9 skincare line. So I decided to write a review on these products and do a few makeup looks (one natural, one dramatic). Enjoy!
I received a sample of the RE9 skincare line complete with a cleanser, toner, day and night cream as well as a serum and tried these products for a few days morning and night.
What does Arbonne say?
RE9 is an advanced synergy of not one but 9 major anti-aging elements that is clinically proven to start working within 24 hours. Vitamin C promotes a healthy glow and algae extract enhances activity on the skins surface, dramatically diminishing fine lines and wrinkles. WOW, that is quite the claim! So long wrinkles...
What do I say?
24 hours!? well let's just say it didn't work for me. My wrinkles didn't magically disappear...In fact I had a reaction to these products. I know what you're thinking, a reaction, you must have sensitive skin. Here's the thing, I have never reacted to a product ever (not with lancome, not with neo strata, not with clearasil) I do not have sensitive skin. My skin is combination with enlarged pores and some early signs of aging like fine lines and hyper-pigmentation. While I did like the cleanser (it smelled nice, removed all my makeup and made my skin feel super soft) that is where the love affair ended. The toner was ho-hum, I much prefer my Yonka toner. The day and night cream were super thick and seemed to not want to absorb into my skin. The serum is a waste of money if you ask me, with all the amazing serums out there (lancome vissionnaire, Estee Lauder Idealist and night repair) this just doesn't hold a candle but I think it is unfair to judge a serum after only a few days use...but then there is that 24 hour claim AND some other serums (visionnaire and idealist) beautify the skin immediately.
I reacted negatively to these products with flakiness, redness and some mild discomfort. Nikki thought that maybe I was reacting to the AHA's (alpha hydroxy acids) in the products but I use an 8% glycolic acid lotion daily. I just think there are better skincare products on the market. If you are going to purchase anything from this line, get the cleanser.
When I first tried this makeup I was not impressed but I had used them over my skin that was flaky from the skincare so I tried again and they performed better. When I looked at the prices of the products I was horrified. These products are very expensive, on par with high end prestige brands such as Lancome or Christian Dior. The question is do they perform as well as my favorites? Stay tuned to find out!
Perfecting liquid foundation SPF 15: Arbonne claims that this foundation has skin firming properties and helps lift the appearance of facial contours for a smooth and even skin tone. Here are my thoughts: this is a moderate coverage foundation, it is a satin finish. I did not find it minimized wrinkles or gave a lift. The foundation is blendable and you only need one pump for your entire face. This is a decent everyday foundation. It evened out my skintone and provided a nice finish. It is not particularly long wearing, I had to blot after a few hours of wear. This foundation might be better for a drier skin or for ladies who don't want a matte finish. At $53 a bottle it is expensive but it will also last you a long time. I prefer lancome foundation simply because the coverage is better and it seems to make the skin look more airbrushed then this product, but lancome does contain some "bad" ingredients. It would be nice if Arbonne had a few different formulations to choose from like a longwearing foundation.
Cream concealer: This stuff is pretty nice and reminded me of MAC studio finish (which happens to be my favorite concealer). While it didn't provide as much coverage as MAC it was definitely more creamy. Arbonne sells for $33 while MAC sells for $22 so for the price difference I would go with MAC, the better coverage is really great for blemishes or dark circles.
Natural Radiance mineral powder foundation: Okay I don't know whether I like this or hate it...oh wait I hate it. I know I know strong words but honestly, if you have perfect skin with invisible pores, then go ahead and use this...for the rest of us with less then perfect skin, don't go near it. The finish is shimmery, like if you go in the sun, you will look like a vampire from Twilight. I prefer to look airbrushed and matte but if you like shimmery, go ahead and get this. Stick with Arbonne setting powder instead, which provides in my opinion, a much nicer finish.
Eyeshadow: I was pleasently surprised by these shadows. They are well pigmented and have a creamy smooth finish so they blend pretty nicely. I always use an eyeshadow primer which I think is a crucial step in your makeup routine, and I found these eyeshadows did not budge, I had no creasing at all after a day with these on and I have oily, pink lids. My 3 favorite colours in their arsenal are vanilla, smoke and midnight.
This is a swatch of Arbonne "blue slate" eyeshadow. The swatch on the left is without primer and the one on the right is with primer. Use primer and the colour will pop, you'll get increased wear with less creasing. I used Urban Decay primer potion.
Here is a swatch of Arbonne shadows next to a comparable MAC eyeshadow. From left to right: Arbonne "titanium", MAC "Knight divine", Arbonne "Java" and MAC "espresso". As you can see Arbonne wins the most pigmented award and MAC wins for blendability making their shadows more buildable. Arbonne shadows sell for $27 while MAC's sell for $16.50.
Arbonne eyeshadow swatches from left to right: titanium, java, blue slate, smoke, vanilla, divine plum, midnight, chocolate and petal.
"It's a long story" Mascara: I am not going to say too much about this mascara, other than $40 a tube is just robbery, plain and simple. I can get a lancome or Christian Dior mascara for $32 and both give me bigger lashes then Arbonne's. I prefer my Loreal Voluminous in carbon black for $10 at the drugstore because I think cheap mascara is awesome.
Lipstick and Lipgloss: Arbonne lipstick and gloss is nice. They feel good on the lips and stay on fairly well through dinner and drinks. My suggestion to Arbonne would be to come out with some different finishes like matte or more punchy colours like MAC's amplified lipsticks. Their lipsticks sell for $31 and a MAC lipstick sells for $18.50 and with MAC you get a plethora of different finishes and colours. I found that Arbonne just didn't have any fun colours.
Lipstick swatches from left to right: satin, earth, vintage rose, mauve and jam
Final thoughts for Arbonne Cosmetics:For ladies who are thinking of trying makeup or are looking for a change in their look and are intimidated by a Sephora or Department store makeup counter, Arbonne may be a good brand for you. Their consultants will allow you to use a makeup kit similar to the one I used for a few days so you can "play" with the products and see what you like. The consultant will also determine colours that will look good on you, and that is a nice service. They are very good to loyal customers and offer discounted rates which is great since their products are expensive. With other cosmetic companies such as Tarte Cosmetics and Josie Maran providing similar "green", "clean" perks as Arbonne it is the consultative service and discounting that sets Arbonne apart. The products are decent but they are not outstanding or innovative in my opinion.
A Natural, daytime look using Arbonne Cosmetics:
Before we start, here is a picture of me without makeup...
Whoa...wait a second, this is a little too natural!!
With makeup...that's better!
To get this look:
Step 1: Apply Arbonne tinted moisturizer to the entire face and blend with your fingers
Step 2: Pat Arbonne cream concealer and blend with fingers under the eyes, around nose and on other areas of redness
Step 3: Apply Arbonne Natural Radiance powder with a fluffy brush to set tinted moisturizer and concealer
Step 4: Apply eye primer (Urban decay primer potion)
Step 5: fill in brows (maybelline "define a brow")
Step 6: Apply Arbonne vanilla shadow on the eyelid using a MAC 230 brush
Step 7: Using a quo crease brush using windsheild wiper motions and a light hand apply Arbonne smoke eyeshadow into the crease
Step 8: Apply Arbonne vanilla shadow to the browbone
Step 9: Using a slanted eyeliner brush apply Arbonne midnight to the outer half of the upper lashline
Step 10: Apply still glamorous pigment in "jazzy" (any white or creamy shimmer pigment will do) to the tearduct, inner corner and along the lower lashline with a pencil brush
Step 11: Using a pencil brush apply Arbonne smoke on the outer half of the lower lash line
Step 12: curl lashes and apply Arbonne "it's a long story" mascara in black to upper and lower lashes
Step 13: sweep Arbonne dusty rose blush onto the apples of the cheeks
Step 14: Apply Arbonne lipgloss in brown sugar to the lips
The Dramatic look:
I thought it was important for all of you to see, that when you are doing photography makeup a dramatic eye looks totally natural in a photo. Here is the exact same eye look in a professional photo.
Okay, so here's how to get this look:
Step 1: Apply Arbonne foundation primer then apply Arbonne perfecting liquid foundation and blend with fingers
Step 2: Pat Arbonne cream concealer under the eyes and on any red areas and blend with fingers; set foundation and concealer with Arbonne setting powder
Step 3: Fill in brows (maybelline define a brow) and apply eye primer (Urban Decay primer potion)
Step 4: Pack titanium eyeshadow on eyelids using a MAC 230 brush and blend out any harsh lines with a clean brush
Step 5: Using a quo crease brush apply Arbonne chocolate eyeshadow into the crease using windsheild wiper motion and blend harsh edges with a clean brush
Step 6: Apply arbonne vanilla eyeshadow onto the brow bone
Step 7: Using a pencil brush apply Lise Watier "folie blanche" pigment into the tear duct and inner corner of the eye
Step 8: Apply Arbonne ebony eyeliner to the lower waterline and line lower lashes with titanium using a pencil brush
Step 12: Line the upper lashline using a black liquid liner (Loreal lineur intense) and create a wing
Step 13: curl the lashes and apply a few coats of Arbonne "It's a long story" mascara in black to the top and bottom lashes
Step 14: contour with Arbonne bronzer (beneath cheekbones, along the jawline and temples) and apply Arbonne blush in blossom to the apples of the cheeks
Step 15: line lips with MAC lipliner in "subculture" and apply Arbonne lipgloss in "posh"