Most readers of this blog know my opinion on the challenges of finding makeup suitable for cool-toned skins. I am not talking about cool/neutral skins, but the purely cool-toned people whose skins broadcast any warmth in their makeup, causing their faces to look sallow or ruddy or just not their best. To the rescue comes elea blake cosmetics. Their slogan is "We've got your color," and truer words were never spoken.
|My custom-poured lip palette|
Developed by Darin Wright (elea blake are her two daughters' names), she wanted to create custom-blended, natural alternatives for women (and men) who were having a hard time finding good foundation matches. A former model, makeup artist, and fashion show coordinator, Darin walks the walk; I'd say she knows both what she's doing and what looks flattering:
|Stunning! (Darin is a Bright Winter in SciART theory)|
Based in Tennessee, Darin started elea blake cosmetics by offering mineral makeup suited for a wide range of skin ethnicities. She later took her business global after she discovered Kathryn Kalisz's SciART methodology, which I briefly discussed in my article about being draped.
If you want to know more about the elea blake brand and its extremely enthusiastic and talented, Coloristas, visit their About page. They also have a YouTube channel, where you can see Darin and the Coloristas (and the wee Roy B. Biv) in action. I particularly enjoy How to Do a Hooded Eye, as it addresses gravity issues I can relate to, and it uses colors from the True Summer palette. Another video shows all 12 red lipsticks for each of the 12 seasons because, yes, there is a red for everyone. Mine is watermelon or raspberry red.
I had known of elea blake cosmetics' existence for a while, but I demurred on purchasing anything besides lipstick samples because the eyeshadows and blush all seemed so, well, colorful. They scared me a little, as I usually prefer neutral colors that extend the hues within within my skin (outside my enduring love of a moderately bright and clear lipstick).
A month or so ago, I noticed they had updated the web site. The new makeup swatches were very enticing, so I ordered every sample in the True Summer category, as well as some from Light Summer and Soft Summer, which came to around $7 (plus shipping).
When my package arrived, let's just say I was surprised. Extremely, pleasantly surprised. The online swatches are perfect! Clearly they did a lot of work on capturing each color's hue as best as they could because what you see is what you get. Any off colors and mistakes in the following photographs are entirely the fault of the photographer (me).
|A combination of the samples and the full-sized products|
elea blake cosmetics makes it so easy to try, as all products (with the exception of lip and eye pencils) are offered in up to four different sizes:
- Speed Dating—sample size. All makeup is available for you to try at $0.25 a sample, which comes in the tiny ziplock baggie we are used to seeing. Although samples might appear almost disappointingly small, I get between 3-5 full lip applications (using a lip brush or knife edge) and a week or more of the eyeshadows and blushes. Foundation samples are larger because there is more skin to cover.
- The Big Reveal—about four times larger than the sample baggie, these tiny pots let you experiment more with a color you liked without investing in the full product. Yet.
- Crush—about three times larger than the Big Reveal, Crush is the travel/eyeliner pot size.
- He’s the One—double the Crush size. This is the full size, available for all blush, eyeshadow, and foundation.
Lipsticks and lip glosses are available as sample (Speed Dating) and full size (He's the One) only. You can also order a pre-made 5-well lip palette from any of 12 seasons, or you can find out what colors are available and request that one be custom poured with the colors you love, such as if you want to mix lipstick and lip gloss. Contact them to find out what colors are currently in their lip and gloss palettes.
It's probably safe to assume that most of us have tried mineral makeups, but three things really set elea blake cosmetics apart:
- They truly care about color and their customers' happiness
- Outstanding customer service
- They take the guesswork out of finding suitable colors
But enough with the words. Let's get on with the pictures, shall we? Here are closeups of the lipstick and gloss colors I purchased and sampled.
|Colors in my lip palette; 4 are lipsticks (Smizing, Selective, Dreamy, and Steamy). Quiet Hottie (farthest right), is gloss|
The lipstick finish is semi-matte and rather pigmented. One application lasts around 4 hours and fades evenly. Although the product can feel a touch dry on my lips over time, it does not dry my lips and make them scream for moisture. Also, because color is moderately staining, I can just add some balm when I want a bit more slip on the surface. The lip gloss formula is sticky and not exceptionally pigmented—I wish it were more so because Quiet Hottie makes me swoon, but my own lips are already that dark, so it doesn't make a statement on me.
|Lip palette compared to the "red/rose" True Summer sleeve|
|Smizing — apparently a play on words meaning "smiling with your eyes"|
|Selective is a blue-rose pink, the TSu version of red, my favorite in the palette|
|Dreamy and Steamy ... did someone forget the Mc prefix?|
|Quiet Hottie is GORGEOUS|
|Secretly Sexy and Pink Stilettos glosses are not as warm as they appear in the photo|
|Satin Lace gloss (next to Quiet Hottie)|
|Come Hither and Coy were samples, both slightly more brown based|
|Sex Kitten is a clear gloss (it has the same 1.1 hue, value, and chroma of the eb eyeshadow Honest, shown below)|
And now for some eyeshadows:
|Honest is a semi-matte base color that neutralizes lid discoloration and leaves a gentle gleam|
|Bashful is a pink semi-matte base. Delightful (a blend of rose and taupe fan colors) has a sparkly finish|
|Note that Perfectionist is a Light Summer blend, but I love it and wear it often; it has a gentle shimmer|
|Staid is a shimmering neutral in an unlikely blend of red-peach that really work|
I have to add a bit more about Staid. Red and peach? For a True Summer?? Quite franky, it looks so ugly in the pot, and I don't like the way it looks when I first look on my lids. But it grows on me. There is something strangely compelling about it, sort of like those ugly-sexy actors we love to watch ... and watch again (e.g., Tim Roth, John Malcovich, Benecio del Toro, etc.)
|By the Book, a deep brown-based burgundy is an excellent crease or outer v color|
|Yielding is a sparkly lavender; Violaceous is a semi-matte soft, clear violet that applies surprisingly sheer|
|The gorgeous greyed greens/teals:|
Tough Cookie is a shimmery, soft, blue-grey green
Modest is a slightly deeper blue-grey green
(I don't think that swatch is Consistent ... will need to investigate)
Picky is a deep blue green
|The workhorse greys|
|Diplomatic is semi-matte, rich blue—True Summer's navy|
|Open Minded is a semi-matte deep teal with some shimmer|
|Kindred (not listed on the eb web site; you will have to ask) is a semi-matte clover green|
|Hideous, you say? Not so! Applied to the center of my lid, Bless You! makes my eyes look like jewel-toned planets|
|Most of the eyeshadows I wear regularly, swatched for comparison|
The eyeshadows apply sheer and need a good primer.
FOUNDATION: You can't order elea blake cosmetics samples without trying their mineral foundation (26 SPF). I ordered all of the True Summer samples, and a couple from Soft Summer and Light Summer. Smooth and silky, the foundation applies with a natural, satin finish. They cover pores without setting into them, conceal redness, and my skin does not feel oily after a few hours after (other than it normally would).
|All current TSu foundation swatches, and Soft Summer's Stable. Not sure why I swatched Honest eyeshadow, maybe for context|
BUSH: I ordered three blush samples. I loved Suspicious, which reminds me of NARS Gaiety, but a bit more shimmery, and Wry (a deeper blue pink) seems to have a whisper of coral. Majestic is hard for me to wear, because it is a bit dark for my coloring, but I thought it might be when I ordered the sample.
BRONZER: I had ordered the True Summer version of bronzer, and Stacie also included some bronzer blends, after I had told her what a hard time I have wearing any kind of bronzer. On the bottom row of the below photo, the True Summer bronzer is on the left, a True Summer/True Winter mix in the center, and the True Winter bronzer on the right. Their bronzers, named after a month (June Love for True Summer and December Love for True Winter), contain some shimmer, which is sad for me. The most shimmery I go for facial products is semi-matte, and I actually liked the June Love color, which looked the way my skin does if it tans, rosy light brown (nothing golden in it).
Last, but not least, Misty Mauve is probably my favorite eyeliner EVER. I took a risk in ordering it, since lip and eye pencils are not offered in samples, but the risk was small, given it fell into my palette. The color is subtle enough to wear under the bottom lashes, and it lasts all day. The formula reminds me of the stiff pencils we used to get a decade or more ago, which cause a little tugging, but I don't mind. I dislike rampant use of silicones these days, anyway.
Here's a montage of my everyday colors. Don't they harmonize beautifully?
|Compiled from swatches on eleablake.com|
Bottom line: If you like loose, mineral makeup and you aren't afraid of color, I highly recommend you give this brand a try, especially because you can sample everything first. Oh, and if you are curious why their makeup takes the male article (e.g., He's the One), check out ebisims for a laugh. If I lived in Tennessee, I would beg them for a job.
INGREDIENTS: For those of you sensitive to Mica, take heart. It is not the first ingredient (which also makes the pigments less likely to press)
SPF 26 Mineral Foundation: Titanium Dioxide, Bismuth Oxychloride , Zinc Oxide, Mica , Boron Nitride, Tocopheryl Acetate, Retinyl Palmitate ). +/-: Iron Oxides , Ultramarines ), Chromium Oxide Green , Chromium Hydroxide Green
Mineral Eyeshadow: Micronized Titanium Dioxide, +/- Iron Oxides, +/- Mica, +/- Zinc Oxide, +/- Chromium Oxide Green, +/- Bismuth Oxychloride, +/- Manganese, +/- Carmine, +/- Chromium Hydroxide Green, +/- Ultramarines, +/- serecite, +/- Boron Nitrate
Mineral Blusher/Faux Glo: Micronized Titanium Dioxide, +/- Iron Oxides, +/- Mica, +/- Zinc Oxide, +/- Chromium Oxide Green, +/- Bismuth Oxychloride, +/- Manganese, +/- Carmine, +/- Chromium Hydroxide Green, +/- Ultramarines, +/- serecite, +/- Boron Nitrate
All photos taken by me except for the photo of Darin and the final collage taken from the elea blake cosmetics True Summer web page.