Catrice California in a Box

I wouldn’t call myself a connoisseur of makeup palettes — I’m more of a “single color eyeshadow dish” kind of person. I know exactly what colors I want and need for my blush, bronzer, and eyeshadow and I am scared to deviate from that (although, I was obsessed with orange eyeshadow for awhile, and I kind of enjoyed it). But this palette really stood out to me while I was standing in Ulta — I realized I actually liked every color in it, and would probably actually use them!

Here’s a quick rundown of my take on what’s in the box:

Pearly and dark blush: The darker colored blush surprisingly paints far lighter than I would expect it to. For some reason I anticipated a more mauve-y undertone, but I’d describe it more as deep pink. This has a fantastic pigment and would look beautiful on someone with a medium or darker skintone. Now, for me personally, the dark blush was a little bit heavy for my complexion, so this is where the pearly blush came into play for me. The peachy tones make for a very subtle color on my cheeks, with just a tiny bit of “pop” of pearl highlighter that slightly illuminates the look. Almost undetectable, otherwise — just the way I like it! (but it probably won’t be for you if you’re looking for a bolder look)

Light and dark bronzer: The bronzer is my only gripe about this product. It dark bronzer really skews orange, and I could only see this getting worse as time passes and more oxidizing occurs. The light bronzer is a lesser offender of turning orange, but it’s so light. I think it would be imperceptible on anyone, except possibly someone with an alabaster skin tone.

Highlighter: this is definitely not the most extreme of highlighters, which might be for the best since I’ve noticed the bright highlighter trend sort of winding down on Instagram. It’s very subtle; you might want to add a second layer if you really want it to stand out. The nude coloration of this highlighter makes it look far more natural looking than a pure white highlighter.

Overall one of my biggest issues with this palette is that the colors aren’t very malleable, and they’re unforgiving of user error. Usually if I’m a bit heavy-handed with blush, I can correct it without too many issues just by blending it in more with the brush. That’s a difficult ask with this product, though, so I recommend using a very fluffy brush for the bronzers and blushes.

I didn’t have any issues with the products losing efficacy over time, although perhaps the highlighter may have lost it’s shine after hour 4 since it’s already very subtle to begin with. Also, the bronzer made me want to wash my entire face after hour two when I realized that the orange was only getting worse. But I didn’t, and the bronzer sadly still persisted until past the eight hour mark.

For $12, this is not a bad product if you’re looking for something subtle! Despite the vacation vibes that the marketing of this product gives off, this palette is actually quite suitable for work — you’ll get the faintly sunkissed glow without looking overdone. Just make sure you go in with a very light hand! ~A

Perceived efficacy: 3.5/5

Longevity: 3.5/5

How much I actually like this product: 3.75/5

Recommended for sensitive skin: Yes

Catrice Prime and Fine Dewy Glow Fixing Spray

Catrice Dewy Glow Fixing

“If it tastes good, then it’s not good for you”. Same applies here, minus the taste part… so I guess that’s more like, “if it works well, it’s not good for you”?

This stuff is amazing. So amazing that it’s always sold out at Ulta, and resellers price-gouge on Amazon and Ebay, pushing the price up from the original $7 to $20!

You can go ahead and layer up with your usual moisturizers with this product, then go ahead and spritz some product of this on prior to putting on your foundation. It even SMELLS nice — a little alcohol-y, but somehow, still fresh and floral. With almost any foundation, this fixing spray will guarantee that the makeup won’t budge for at LEAST eight hours, probably more. It works better than any setting or finishing spray OR setting powders that I’ve ever used. In fact, while I was using this, I wouldn’t even bother to use any other setters or finishers!

But alas… one day I turned the packaging around and re-read the ingredients. There it was, that evil benzyl alcohol. As you readers may or may not know — actually, I’m mostly writing this for myself, since I always forget — the “evil” alcohols in skincare are ethanol, isopropyl, methanol, denat, and benzyl alcohol. They make products dry up quickly on your skin, but end up also drying out and irritating your skin.

Possibly but not necessarily due to the benzoyl alcohol, my super sensitive skin had a couple break outs while I was using the product. Initially, I blamed it on my period. But then it persisted well past that time of that month and I just happened to take a gander at the packaging… (should this blog be called “a girl tries makeup without checking the ingredients first”?) It’s very disappointing because this product is phenomenal, and truly makes your makeup last on your face for a very long time. Back to the fixing spray drawing board…

Perceived efficacy: 5/5

Longevity: 5/5

How much I actually like this product: If there were no benzyl alcohol, 5/5!

Recommended for sensitive skin: No