October 31st, 2018
Most of the makeup you find at Sephora are chic and sleek, so imagine my surprise when I glimpsed a completely new concept that stood in stark contrast. With vintage-inspired packaging that has an element of youthful fun without falling into the junior category, and a name that almost makes fun of itself, Pretty Vulgar is the latest brand to hit our shores and it’s time to take a look at some of the offerings!
Don’t let the cutesy packaging fool you though, Pretty Vulgar packs a serious punch with a 81-piece collection at launch, and are cruelty-free, vegan and also free of parabens, sulfates, phthalates. I have 4 items to show you today.
Pretty Vulgar Phoenix Rising Eyeshadow Palette comes in carton packaging with a magnetic snap closure. Interestingly, this was a Spring 2018 release but featured mostly warm tones. The shades are arranged in the shape of a birdcage which is really cool, but in no decipherable manner that made matching shades intuitive. There is a good mix of light to dark hues, and matte/satin/shimmer finishes. Here are the swatches:
Eyeshadows are one of the things that I’m most passionate about, and so I tend to be rather critical as well. Having played with this palette several times, I found the quality to be somewhat mixed. I love the metallic shades as these applied with the best pay-off. However, many of the mattes were dry and hard to blend (especially Fly By Night), and a couple of them (Light My Fire, My Ash) had poor pay-off. Here is a sample eye look:
I started by laying Is Fire as a base, followed by Light My Fire on the outer third of the lids. Thereafter I patted some Resurrected Sin on the middle of the lid, and blended out the crease with My Ash. Lined outer corner and lower lash line with Fly by Night and mixed in a bit of Devilish Darling for a midnight purple effect. Dabbed some Untamable to the inner corner, and finished with mascara.
Pretty Vulgar The Feathers Mascara comes in the most beautiful packaging, adorned with a tiny little bird at the top. Be careful when opening this though, I grabbed it unthinking one morning and that bird nearly punched a hole through my palm when I tried to twist the mascara open! I liked reading that this mascara is formulated with pro-vitamin B5 to nourish the lashes, and that it is built for length and no flakes. However, I found the curvature of the brush itself hard to manoeuvre on my Asian eyes, and it really clumped up.
A couple of other items that are at first impression, not my cup of tea. Pretty Vulgar Shimmering Swan Highlighter in Lilac Lust surprised me because I had initially thought it was a blusher (haha, apparently I don’t read labels!) and plopped a big shimmering disco blob onto the apples of my cheeks. It is in fact a rather pigmented highlighter, and quite purple. It is hard to say if I’m reacting to the fact that this particular shade of purple just does not work on my skin (makes me alien-ish), or the fact that I’m more used to subtler highlights. I do think that the pearlescent shimmer catches light very well and am intrigued by the other shades in the range.
I generally am not too fond of matte lipsticks, preferring them to be more creamy instead. Pretty Vulgar Bury Them With A Smile is as matte as lipsticks come, and very pigmented. The packaging is beautiful, almost reminds me of Paul and Joe, but the formula just is not my favourite. There are 8 shades, and the one I have is called If Kisses Could Kill. I remember my immediate reaction when I was putting this on my lips was that, this lipstick really could kill.
Anyway, since I was already wearing a full face of vampy and I just unboxed this pink headpiece, I decided to put it together for a special Pretty Vulgar look! I blotted the lipstick down a little because it was going all patchy on my lips and feathered the edges out the way I like my lip colors these days. You can almost make out the lilac on the top of my cheek bones though this camera has filtered away the shine. I have on just 1 coat of The Feathers Mascara here and combed it out, but you can still make out some bits of clumps that I couldn’t get out.
Overall, Pretty Vulgar has interesting packaging, but at the price point (SGD33-58) I think there are better and more consistent brands in Sephora such as Tarte. What do you think?
This post featured products that were kindly provided for my consideration. Regardless, all opinions expressed here are my own honest, unbiased views.