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Today we're talking Honest Beauty by actress Jessica Alba - I will do a post at a later date talking skincare, but this time we're spotlighting the makeup. This was one of the earliest 'celebrity beauty brands' before it was a huge trend and, honestly (from hearing Jessica talk about the products), I feel this was a passion project and definitely not a money grab. It is in the 'clean' space; I don't buy into that idea, as regular readers will know, I'll just review products on their own merits. Honest Beauty has been available for around about a year in the UK at a pretty reasonable price-point and Cult Beauty were kind enough to send me some stuff, as well as the brand's agency over here, plus I picked up something myself, so let's see how I got on with it all...

First up we have the Gloss-C Lip Gloss in Star Ruby* | £15. This isn't the shade I'd have chosen - it's quite a pink-toned red with a sheen running through it, but it looks quite nice when dabbed in and sheered out on my lips. It's a hydrating formula with hyaluronic acid and Vitamin C. It's fine as a gloss; nothing that's out-of-this-world, so let's move on...

I have the LIT Powder Blushes in Foxy & Frisky* | £18 each. This is a really nice, easy formula to work with. I tend to go for creams, but we'll get to that shortly! These are sheeny, buttery-smooth powders that are really quite foolproof. The colour comes off as a natural flush so you aren't going to go overboard with them. They're easy to blend out so are really forgiving. They go on evenly and I find they last really nicely on my skin, including when I'm wearing a mask. Apologies, I did get the two shades mixed up in my swatch labelling: Frisky is this interesting almost iridescent mid-warm purple-plum colour and Foxy is like Honest's version of Nars Orgasm, so a warm sheeny peach.

One of my favourite products from the entire line was the Creme Cheek Blush in Coral Peach | £16. I love a cream blusher and this is a beautiful formula. Just dab a bit on your cheeks for a natural flush of colour and build the pigmentation to your preference. I just use my fingers and I love the consistency of this; it goes on evenly, it's not too thin and definitely never looks greasy. It's so natural and really melds with the skin. I have no complaints about longevity but if you're very oily or going to be wearing a mask, you might want to take a tiny bit of translucent setting powder over the top to really lock it in. This is such a pretty spring / summer shade that adds a beautiful pop of colour to the cheeks. I love it and I think this could be my favourite product from the brand. The other shades in the line aren't really my cup of tea, but if they released more options, I'd be all over that.

Lastly for the face, we have the Magic Beauty Balm Stick* | £20. I'm sorry; I just didn't get this product! It's based on the original balm Honest Beauty came out with, which we'll get on to, but it's kind of trying to be a highlighter. It's not really emollient enough for me; the texture feels dry and isn't the easiest to work with. It's also just not enough glow for me; I like a really dewy, moveable (almost sticky?) highlighter, whereas this just drags and doesn't look like much. Plus this sort of frosty colour isn't my personal cup of tea.

I personally really enjoy the Vibeliners in Grounded and Divine* | £15 each | which come with a pencil and a smudger. My only negative is that these need sharpening rather than being twist-up, so if I was packing a makeup bag for the weekend I'd have to bring a sharpener and inevitably there will be those times when they get a bit blunt and I have to just crack on anyway! I really do like this formula; they have some pigment and when they go on, you get a bit of play time if you want to smoke it out, but also: they set down and don't smudge, smear or transfer throughout the day. Grounded is a rich, soft brown that I love for tightlining and is a perfect alternative for those who find black a bit too harsh (I personally only use black for winged liner, never really underneath my eye). Divine is a light gold shimmer that can be used on the inner corner to add a highlight or to brighten the water line if you're using a darker shade across the lash line. Both are fantastic and I'm definitely going to repurchase. I also have their Liquid Liner* | £10. Although it's bled slightly in my swatch, I do think maybe that's the fault of my body lotion, because I don't find that when applying it to my lid. As you can see, this has a really fine brush, which is great for detail. I used it alone in the image below just to get a gauge of how it stands up without any help, but it was hard to fully fill in the wing with this tip, so I'd suggest going back over it with a black pencil. I felt this was long-wearing and didn't smudge at all, but I do still think Stila's is my favourite and this hasn't trumped it. It really depends if you prefer the pen application or a brush and pot like this.

Another favourite of mine was the Extreme Length Mascara + Lash Primer* | £19. I have to say: I don't use lash primers, I think they're pointless and normally just make things look clumpy and spidery. Why layer on more product when you're already happy with the result? I love the mascara, however - I just wish they sold it separately, because with the amount of product in here and the waste, I wouldn't want to have to buy it with the primer too. The actual mascara wand is one of those plastic, short-bristled ones that really helps to separate and lengthen the lashes, whilst also giving a natural volume boost. Basically, exactly what I look for in a mascara! It doesn't flake throughout the day either. I also have the Brow Pencil in Brown* | £10. I would have preferred this in twist-up packaging, of course, but this comes with a nice spooly and it's a nice, natural formula. The shades are realistic and you really can't be too heavy-handed when applying the product. It's really easy to get a nice, natural brow with this and it has that perfect level of waxiness that means it stays in place all day for me.

Lastly, I've just thrown this in with the makeup, because...! It's the Magic Beauty Balm* | £16. This lives in my handbag and it's such a great little multitasking compact. This is super-simple with shea butter, sunflower seed oil, jojoba oil and other plant oils in this solid form. I use it as a lip balm, I use it on my cuticles, I use it when my nose gets a little bit dry and on flaky patches of skin, and it softens and nourishes things immediately.
There are some real winners in this line and I would love to see them expand into complexion products more, perhaps with formulas that have added skincare benefits! My top picks are the cream blusher, the eyeliners, the beauty balm and the mascara (sans primer).

Have you tried Honest Beauty makeup?

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Read more posts from this series here!

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