Josie Maran's Coconut Watercolor Eye Shadow is a liquid formula that delivers standout shimmering color. Not everyone will find this kind of texture the easiest to apply or want this level of shine, but if you like the idea of rocking metallic shadow, it's worth a look!
First let's address the packaging and applicator. Coconut Watercolor Eye Shadow comes in a small glass bottle with a doe-foot applicator attached to the cap. You're instructed to shake the dual-phase formula before each use (otherwise it separates) and, quoting the packaging now, "Dab a little bit of shadow directly onto lids with applicator, and use like a fingerpaint to blend."
The tricky part about applying this liquid eyeshadow is that this kind of texture is difficult to control if you want strategic placement and a softened, blended look. It gets easier with practice, and using a brush to blend out the edges helps, but not everyone will be a fan of the extra work that a liquid eyeshadow necessitates. Blending the liquid consistency can also cause the color to sheer out, so you either have to do so sparingly or layer the product to build back up to results that convey rich pigmentation.
The tradeoff? Once you master application, the metallic shine delivers a pop of "notice me" color that resists fading, and comes in some gorgeous shades to accent eyes (we loved the champagne hued "Playa Del Pink"). We also love that the formula doesn't flake—zip, zero, nada. Those prone to eyeshadow creasing are likely to experience some of that by the end of the workday, but using an eyeshadow primer prior to application helps prevent the problem (we paired it with Urban Decay's Eyeshadow Primer Potion and it lasted well throughout the day).
As for the claims that the included coconut water + argan-infused pigments "give eyes a more youthful appearance and minimize the appearance of fine lines," that's a stretch (especially considering that argan is such a minor part of the formula). Ironically, as far as the "youthful appearance" claims go, the metallic finish actually draws more attention to wrinkles.
Despite the marketing claims, it isn't a hydrating formula. It is, on the other hand, fragrance-free which is a plus for all skin types, so kudos to Josie Maran for that.
If you take Coconut Watercolor Eye Shadow for what it is—a liquid metallic eyeshadow that delivers shine-to-the-max color—it's worth checking out. Just don't count on it to provide benefits that extend to the skincare realm and know that its application quirks may take some practice to master.
Note: This does contain a small amount of SD alcohol, but the amount present shouldn't be a problem—however, if you have very sensitive skin around the eyes (such as those with ocular rosacea or eczema), this is something to consider as a potential drawback.
Josie Maran At-A-Glance
Strengths: The sunscreens provide broad-spectrum protection; well-formulated daytime moisturizer with sunscreen; excellent tinted moisturizer for dry skin; uniquely effective gel blush.
Weaknesses: Expensive; some products are potently fragranced.
The Josie Maran brand was founded by supermodel and former Maybelline spokesperson Josie Maran. Almost every Josie Maran product is centered on the ingredient argan oil, which the brand attributes many beneficial qualities—some of which are true, and some claims made stretch the facts a bit. According to the brand, this non-fragrant plant oil is said to do everything from reduce wrinkles to heal acne, while giving you younger-looking skin.
Argan oil does contain beneficial lipids and fatty acids for skin, as well as vitamin E and other antioxidants—but we should note that it isn't the only oil with such properties. Even more to the point, no single ingredient does it all for skin. It's just like your diet: if you eat only one type of food, you'd soon be malnourished. Skin is the body's largest organ, and it requires a variety of useful ingredients to look and function at its best.
Fortunately, the Josie Maran brand does include many beneficial ingredient’s in some of its best products, and does have some unique offerings to consider. It's worth pointing out also that although argan oil does have benefit for skin, it’s less beneficial to include it in products like eyeshadow and mascara. It does add a unique quality to some makeup, however, especially in a few of the brands lip formulas.
We should note that while the brand relies heavily on the natural theme in its marketing—and there isn’t anything wrong with that—it doesn’t talk about the beneficial ingredients used that aren’t so natural. There isn’t anything wrong with using naturally-derived ingredients, but it strikes us as disingenuous to not tout the benefits of synthetic ingredients such as silicones, preservatives, coloring agents and film formers that also appear in many of Josie Maran products.
As is the case with many brands that use predominantly natural ingredients, there are some fragrant oils to be wary of, as these can be problematic for any skin type (but especially so for those with sensitivity concerns). However, there are a few products here that are absolutely worth considering and unique—see our individual reviews on the brand for more details.
For more information about Josie Maran, call (855) 461-6512 or visit www.josiemarancosmetics.com.
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