Sunday 20 November 2011

Making Up With Sensitive Skin - A Review Of Queen Cosmetics

I have to be honest and say my skin isn't that sensitive, but I know I'm one of the lucky ones, a lot of people can experience reactions to both skin care and make up products, and to everyday life. Like most people I thought that this was a new phenomenon but that's not the case. Queen Cosmetics were founded in the UK way back in 1927 by a group of dermatologists whose aim was to provide a skincare and cosmetics line that was suitable for anybody with a sensitive skin. The very fact that the company is still in existence over 80 years later shows the products obviously do work, don't however expect this company to use only natural ingredients, and forgo synthetics Queen Cosmetics have done their research on the most common allergens and if a synthetic or chemical product causes less reactions than the natural alternative then that's the one they'll use. Don't expect this brands products to contain the trendiest anti aging ingredients either, again they only use ingredients that they are sure will cause as little sensitivity as possible. I recently received a press release on behalf of the company, and they very kindly sent quite a number of products from their make up range for me to try.

They sent my so many things I don't quite know where to start, so we'll start with base products. Queen very kindly sent me a 10g sample jar of their Tinted Foundation Cream. Their are four shades to chose from and the colour I was sent was Warm Peach

Designed to provide a touch of colour, and be the perfect base for sensitive skin, this foundation has a creamy smooth texture, and as you would expect no real smell

Unusually for a cream foundation I found this really easy to apply either with a brush or with my fingers. Often cream foundations are heavy, and thick but not this one, it actually felt really light on the skin, and it was pretty easy to blend in without any caking. From that you can probably gather that this isn't a very full coverage foundation, I did seem to need quite a bit to cover and even out my skintone, sorry for the not so great photos here - as you know the lighting hasn't been great lately,



I don't know how well you can tell from these pictures but this foundation gave me a light to medium coverage and a very glowy and natural finish. Personally I think the foundation would be better for a drier skin, unfortunately it didn't seem to last very long on my t-zone without using a primer. Another downside for some may be the fact that it only comes in four shades, come on Queen give us some more colours! If you can get a colour match though, and you would prefer a lighter coverage foundation and you have sensitive skin, then maybe this could be the one for you. Queen Cosmetics Tinted Foundation Cream retails at £15.35 for 50ml.

OK I mentioned primer, well the people at Queen also sent me a sample tub of their Sensiderma Foundation Cream. Despite the name this product is in essence a primer, which can be used to even out your skin texture in order to make either a cream or powder foundation last longer and look better. I mentioned previously that there isn't great colour choice in the Queen foundation range, well this product can be used to provide a barrier between your skin and any high street or high end foundation.

The product itself is white in appearance and has a smooth and creamy texture, there is no silicone in it so you don''t get any of the stickiness or greasiness. This cream seems to absorb into the skin really well and it leaves a clear, none ashy, semi matte finish.

I have to say I quite liked this, first of all it doesn't contain silicone, a lot of people love silicone based primers but I'm not one of those and find they can really make my skin even more greasier than it already is. This as I said left a semi matte finish and I really think it helped the Queen foundation in particular stay put for longer. There are only two drawbacks with the product for me, first of all the smell, it has quite a synthetic smell a little bit like Vaseline, which isn't the most pleasant but it's understandable I guess as fragrance is a big cause of skin sensitivity. The second drawback is the price, the Queen Cosmetics Sensiderma Foundation Cream retails at £23.45 for 100g which a bit steep in my opinion. Having said that though you really don't need very much so I guess if you have sensitive skin or your looking for a silicone free primer this one may be worth a try x

Next up the thing that excited me most - a little palette full of goodies :)

Queen Cosmetics sell a magnetic based palette very similar to the Z or Freedom palettes for £8.95, to house your blushers and eyeshadows, if you buy 2 or more blushers, or 2 or more eyeshadow duos,or 1 blusher and 1 eyeshadow duo though you get a free palette.

I love this idea, it basically means you can buy the colours you like, or you can just take the colours out with you that you want. I was lucky enough to receive 5 eyeshadows, and 1 blusher to try out

Queen Cosmetics sell 4 Soft Powder Blusher shades and the colour I received was Natural Blush , a gorgeous nude, peach shade

I have to say Queen were completely honest with me in their correspondence, they did tell me that I may need to scratch the surface of both the blusher and the eyeshadows the first time I used it to get the colour going and I did. Once I'd done that though the blusher was fine, not the smoothest admittedly, but it was very pigmented and easy to apply - Apologies that this photo isn't the best or the clearest, but this is a natural blusher

Over the last month this has definitely been one of my most used blusher, it's a such a natural colour that it's been a real go to, any occasion blusher so much so that it popped up in my September / October Favourites Video , I'm not sure I would repurchase on account of the price but this is definitely something I will use regularly. Queen Soft Powder Blusher retails at £10.75.

In my palette I also received 5 of Queen's top selling eyeshadow shades, I received two of the duos in Brown and Grey, and 1 of the single shadows in Baby Pink, Queen do 6 duo shadow sets, or you can buy all 12 shades individually, they will even make a mixed duo set of your choice. The colours I got were

Top Row
Baby Pink, Dark Grey

Bottom Row
Dove Grey, Chocolate Brown, and Beige / Nude

As you can see from these pictures all of these colours are matte shades, about the same size as a MAC shadow, again I found I had to scrape a little bit of the top of each shadow but for pigmentation in a matte shadow they really weren't too bad, and they lasted pretty well too - I've taken a few pics of them on the eyes for you - first up - the grey duo x

and the chocolate and beige shades

As you probably know I'm not the biggest fan of matte shades, I need a bit of sparkle in my life but I was pretty impressed with these for lasting power and pigmentation. The Queen Eyeshadow Duos retail at £10.95 and the Queen Individual Eyeshadow Pans retail at £6.95. (click the links to see the colours and combos)

Next up eye pencils, Queen were kind enough to send me two of their Eye Pencils. I have to say these look gorgeous, they have a lovely white and gold design which looks so expensive

There are 6 colours to choose from and I was sent, Violet, and lovely dark purple, and Brown, a lovely rich chocolate colour

Specifically designed for the delicate skin round the eyes,  Queen say that these pencils "are easy to apply and easy to remove". Queen recommend that you use a bit of pressure on the hand or piece of paper the first time you use it to get the pencil going.

Even after doing that though I still didn't find these pencils particularly soft, I found it took quite a bit of pressure to transfer the colour on to the skin. I've taken a few pics just to show you the colours on the eyes, first up an unusual look using the Violet with the Grey Eyeshadow Duo

Next up a more neutral look, with the Brown pencil and the Brown Eyeshadow Duo

Would I purchase these pencils again? Unfortunately not I prefer a much softer liner than these, they were just to difficult to work with :( Queen Eye Pencils come in 6 shades and retail for £6,75 each.

The final item that I was sent the Queen Mascara. My skin isn't that sensitive but my eyes can be, a couple of times I've bought mascaras to review I've tried them once and I've had to throw them away. This mascara is especially for people with sensitive eyes and for contact lens wearers.

The packaging is quite chunky for a mascara but surprisingly the brush is quite slim

The mascara comes into two colours black and brown, I was kindly sent the brown, I don't generally wear brown mascara so this was a bit of a departure for me from my classic black

As you can see it's quite a dark brown, but I hope what you can also see is the texture, this is a very wet and slow drying mascara, and do you know what that means, yes smudging and mascara dots boo. Never the less armed with a cotton bud it does actually give a nice natural lash look



See, a nice natural lash look :) As nice as it looks at moment I can't recommend, the formula is just too wet to be practical. That said mascaras due dry out the longer they are open so I'm hoping after a while the formula will be more manageable. Queen Mascara retails at £10.75 for 12mls.

OK there have been a few hits and misses in the items I've tried, and Queen Cosmetics aren't the cheapest brand out there, but if you have sensitive skin and have trouble buying make up on the high street, this may will be a brand for you to try. As well as make items, they also sell, skincare bodycare, shampoo and more, all created for the most sensitive of skins Not only that but they also sell trial and sample sized products, and can offer product advice either by email or over the phone. For more on information on Queen Cosmetics, and to purchase an item or find a stockist please take a look at the Queen Cosmetics website. If you have any questions please leave me a comment x

(All The Products In This Post Were Provided For Review Purposes)

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