Welcome back to my blog! I apologize for being MIA for the past month -- finals have been quite hectic. Now that I'm officially done with the semester (yay!), I thought I would share my review on a new brand I've been super excited about!
KAJA Beauty is a new k-beauty brand at Sephora that features cute, bite-sized products that are meant for all skin tones (a much needed conversation in the world of k-beauty). Their mini-sized packaging is whimsical, innovative, and travel-friendly, but it's the product inside that counts: natural, no-fuss makeup that's supposed to enhance your natural beauty rather than cover it up.
As you may probably already know, Korean beauty is all about helping you achieve a you-but-better look, whether through makeup or skincare. Despite our current obsession with cut creases, perfectly contoured cheeks, and on-fleek brows, Korean beauty is definitely becoming more popular (and for good reason!). It's great to see Sephora stepping it up in the Korean beauty realm and offering us more natural beauty options.
Price: $19; pretty affordable for a blush at Sephora
Shade: Aura, a warm peachy pink with golden shimmer
Application: I tried this blush with both a Beauty Blender and my fingers. Although both work fine, I recommend using your fingers because a Beauty Blender takes away pigment from this already extremely natural blush and doesn't pick up the product quite as well.
Formula: This blush features a really easy and comfortable cream-to-powder formula. The cream-to-powder technology is great for blush because it has the natural, non-powdery flush-from-within look of a cream blush, but goes on and finishes dry like a powder -- it's not wet, sticky, or waxy, and it doesn't disrupt your makeup underneath. It is very buildable (it's practically impossible to put too much), eliminating the main drawback with many blushes and creating the perfect rosy flush to the cheeks, and yet the pigmentation is still there. The texture is a dream: it blends away into your skin and does not look powdery at all. Lastly, this blush is also very glowy, giving your cheeks a healthy, youthful radiance.
Would I Recommend? YES
Price: $19; again, pretty affordable for a highlight at Sephora
Shade: Toy Alien, a sparkling white gold
Application: Beauty Blender and fingers; fingers work best!
Formula: This highlight features the same cream-to-powder formula as the blush. However, while the formula warrants no complaints, the pigmentation is quite lacking in this highlight. The pigmentation looks chalky, and while I understand that these products are all supposed to be quite natural, this highlight was just not very flattering. You are better off skipping highlight altogether than adding on a product that doesn't do anything for your skin. There are plenty of natural highlights on the market that do it better than this one, in my opinion. Moreover, I'm not sure that this highlight is suitable for all skin tones. However, because this product does have a good formula, I can see many people enjoying this highlight if they're just going for a dewey look.
WOULD I RECOMMEND? NO
Price: $24; slightly more expensive, but pretty typical for a blush; however, cushion products tend to run out faster
Shade: Bossy, a soft coral
Application: It comes with a heart-shaped stamp, but I find it to work best with a Beauty Blender for more control and to avoid applying too much (though the stamp idea is too cute!).
Formula: This blush is a bit bolder than the Mochi Pop Bouncy Blush, especially when you use the heart stamp to apply it. Still, the formula blends and sheers out like a dream and is extremely buildable. It packs a punch, but is still soft and natural. Also very radiant and dewey. This blush is perfect for giving your cheeks a fun pop of color!
WOULD I RECOMMEND? YES
Price: $21; average price of eyeshadows at $7 per eyeshadow
Shade: Orange Blossom and Toasted Caramel
Application: Best with fingers
Formula: How can something be so pigmented but so natural at the same time? I really liked these shadows. Some of the shades are very pigmented while others are more of a sheer wash of glitter; all are beautiful. They are all easy to blend and very flattering -- I can see myself wearing these shadows alone without having to blend it out with a crease shade. However, they do have quite a bit of glitter and fall-out. While this product is nothing revolutionary, it is a great buy if you like shimmer shadows. I like how this is a compact way to pack extra shimmer eyeshadow options in my makeup bag; as long as I have my mattes, I can simply pack this and switch my lid color for a no-fuss makeup routine. Honestly, the best thing about this product is that it's a great value in a small package -- three different, beautiful shadows in a compact package that fits in the palm of your hand. Out of the two shades that I tried, I definitely prefer Orange Blossom!
WOULD I RECOMMEND? YES
This line has two main perks: its compact, travel-friendly (and cute!) packaging and its natural beauty claims. All of the products fit in the palm of your hand, and the plastic packaging is sturdy but not cheap (and very reminiscent of children's makeup -- it's nostalgic without being tacky, looking at you Too Faced). You can throw the blushes in your purse for easy finger application throughout the day without having to worry about a powder compact breaking and ruining your purse. You can similarly throw in the eyeshadow compacts in your travel bag and apply these no-fuss shadows on the go.
If you're looking to step up your natural makeup game, this line will help you achieve that. KAJA Beauty is perfect for makeup beginners or for people who don't wear a lot of makeup. Because their products are so effortless and hassle-free, this line is great for no-makeup-makeup days, and can come in handy on a day-to-day basis when you're on the go, in a rush, or putting on makeup at 8 in the morning for work.
As a note, this brand claims to be an inclusive line with makeup for everyone. Darker skin tones are vastly underrepresented in Korean beauty, which is a shame because Korean beauty is very innovative and I'd love to see people with darker complexions be able to access this market. While I'm glad that KAJA Beauty is making an effort in this respect, they have quite a long way to go. Their Don't Settle Concealer has a very disappointing line with only 3 "deep" shades, and their Cat Nap Under Eye Brightener only has one shade. Their cream blush and highlights may not show up on people with darker skintones because they're quite light and natural, though the deeper shades might work for some people. However, I do think that their eye and lip products will work for most people. Moreover, I'm happy to see them include people with darker complexions in their marketing!
For more information, visit Sephora.com.
Have you tried KAJA Beauty? Comment below!