11 October, 2015

Arbonne cosmetics: First impressions and mini reviews

Arbonne is a brand I knew very little about other than spotting some pictures on Instagram here and there so I was naturally curious when I was approached to try out some of their cosmetics for a weekend. "A weekend?" you say? Well, yes and that suited me just fine because it meant I really had to focus on how these products performed and - knowing that I was parting with them after a few days - it also made me ask myself what would I actually buy (and create my own little wishlist in the process).  Also, there was that collective sigh of relief in my household that this beauty blogger wasn't going to drown in yet more products.  I genuinely think this is a genius, non-wasteful idea but before I digress any further let me tell you a little about Arbonne the brand.

I was surprised to learn that Arbonne has actually been around for 35 years (originating in Switzerland and expanding around the globe) and has been very much a green company since its inception.  Arbonne products are botanically based, cruelty-free and the majority of product packaging is recyclable.  Finally, Arbonne's "Pure, Safe, BeneficialTM" ingredient policy means that their products are formulated without: talc, tallow, carbon black, animal products or by-products, formaldehyde-donating preservatives, phthalates, formaldehyde, alkylphenols, benzene, monoethanolamine, triclosan, synthetic dyes, hydroquinone, artificial sweeteners, artificial flavours, cholesterol or trans fats.

As you've probably gathered from the list of "no-no" ingredients above, Arbonne sell more than cosmetics and their full line covers skincare, bath & body, hair, sun, cosmetics and nutrition.  Of course cosmetics are my passion so read on to find out about what I got to try...  

Base products

Makeup Primer (30ml) $51* –  I found that one pump of this primer is enough for full face application.  The gel like formula glides over the face, blurs pores and ensures smooth makeup application. Key ingredients: hyaluronic filling spheres, green tea leaf extract, grapeseed extract.

Got You Covered Mineral Powder Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF 15 (12 shades - 8.5g) $53* - First of all the packaging was great and relatively mess-free for a loose powder product. I loved the easy application, tapping the brush into the mesh sifter base and then simply buffing it into my skin. This powder foundation offers very high coverage, and yet it still results in a natural looking glow rather than a flat matte. I love this product and will be buying my own because I need a good powder foundation especially in the warmer months.  Key ingredients:  zinc oxide, linseed extract, rice lipids, ribose.

Mineral Powder Brush $31* – I'm tempted to get one of these too! This brush is a perfect dome shape, and gets into all the face contours to buff in product. It picks up and securely holds the powder within the bristles until I tap and buff into my face.  While the bristles are dense enough to hold a lot of product they feel super soft and not scratchy at all on the skin.

Perfecting Liquid Foundation SPF 15 (15 shades - 30ml) $56* –  Again one pump was enough for the whole face.  This liquid foundation has a creamy consistency which blends in seamlessly for a satin finish so it provided excellent coverage that evened out my skin tone (pigmentation spots etc) without looking obvious.  To put it to the wear test I wore this without a setting powder and while it settled just little in the creases on either side of my nose it looked otherwise fresh all day without needing any mattifying.  The shade I tried, Honey Beige, was a great colour match for my skin so I must admit I'm tempted to buy this foundation as well.  Key ingredients: zinc oxide, polypeptides, buddleja davidii extract, marrubium vulgare extract.

Arbonne Intelligence CC Cream (4 shades - 30ml) $49* – I didn't get to road test the CC creams properly because the shades were unfortunately both too dark for my complexion.  According to Arbonne the formula is a hybrid of skincare and cosmetics that "primes, mattifies and brightens for more even-looking skintone." Swatched on my arm these are a creamier, thicker consistency than the foundation. The swatches below alongside the Perfecting Liquid Foundation give you some idea of the different texture.  Key ingredients: phytinol, chondrus crispus extract, caper fruit extract.

Swatched heavily from left to right:
 Perfecting Liquid Foundation (Honey Beige), CC Cream (Light, Dark)


Sheer Glow Highlighter (1 shade - 30ml) $56* – This liquid highlighter gives the skin a pinky-pearl glow without any obvious shimmer, and was subtle and natural enough for me to wear during the day.  The lotion texture is much more forgiving and flattering for mature skin (like mine!) and I found that a little goes a long way so a teensy little squeeze of the tube was all I needed.  Key ingredients:  polypeptides, buddleja davidii extract, marrubium vulgare extract.

Bronzer (1 shade - 9.3g) $47* –  This bronzer is a warm, reddish brown with a hint of glow to add warmth to the complexion on cheeks and browbones and I wore this on my face and jawline. The shimmer is more apparent when swatched but it translates as a natural glow, avoiding that muddied complexion look that some matte bronzers can give.  Key ingredients:  lavender, licorice and chamomile extracts.

Blush (8 matte and shimmer shades - 4.5g) $41* – I tried the matte shade Dusty Rose and was surprised at how pigmented this blush is! It applies smoothly with no patchiness, builds up and blends beautifully and because of the rich pigment a little goes a long way. Key ingredients: polypeptides, cucumber and mallow extracts.
Swatched heavily from left to right:
Sheer Glow Highlighter, Blush (Dusty Rose), Bronzer


Eye Shadow (20 matte and shimmer shades 2.2g) $27* – I received 4 of these mineral-infused shadows to try. The one matte shade in the selection, the light pink appropriately called Petal, did not feel chalky or powdery and applied smoothly without any patchiness at all so this has been added to my wishlist (see swatch below). All of the 4 shades applied and blended easily and lasted all day on the lids so they're good workhorse shadows for long days. The shades I tried lightest to darkest were Linen, Petal (my must buy - it could probably multi-task as a light blush shade for pale skins too), Smoke and Titanium. Key ingredients: polypeptides, cucumber and mallow extracts.

Swatched top to bottom:
 Linen (shimmer), Petal (matte), Smoke (shimmer), Titanium (shimmer)


Glossed Over Lip Gloss (10 shades - 3.36ml) $37* –   These new glosses feel thick and cushiony on the lips, and have a natural slightly fruity scent.  The consistency is neither watery nor tacky, and is long lasting as far as a gloss goes.  The method of application is with a brush rather than a sponge-tip applicator and the pigmentation is good enough for the gloss to be worn alone.  Key ingredients:  edelweiss extract, passionfruit oil and peptides.

Smoothed Over Lipstick (16 shades - 4g) $41* –   Being the lipstick connoisseur that I like to think I am it takes a lot for a lippy to wow me but - spoiler alert! - these were winners.  These newly released lipsticks offer one swipe colour and feel weightless like a gel lipstick.  They're very moisturising and yet they do not bleed or fade and they are surprisingly long lasting for a gloss-satin lipstick.  Also, I have to say I am a fan of the delicious fruity scent.  I need to own one of these because these feel so comfortable and moisturising on the lips!  Key ingredients: watermelon extract, apple extract, meadowfoam seed oil.

Swatched top to bottom:
Glossed Over Lip Gloss (Mimosa), Smoothed Over Lipstick (Poppy, Aster)


Overall I was very impressed with Arbonne's cosmetics as these are quality products that perform well throughout the day and of course - very important to me personally these days - they're kind to animals, and contain no nasties.  The packaging is chic, functional and appears sturdy and the pigmentation of all of the colour cosmetics is right up there.  The proof was most definitely in the wearing and I wrote up my own shopping list along the way as the mineral powder foundation and lipstick have particularly wowed me! 

If you want to read more about or browse online for Arbonne products then click here.

 *All prices listed are in Australian dollars.

(Products were provided for my consideration.  All comments and opinions are my own.)


  1. Hmm, I have to admit that it's an interesting idea to only provide these products for you to try over the weekend - it looks like you received products that were already used. I'm not sure what to think of that, even though I have to admit that it probably means less products ending in landfill, which is a good thing.

    1. The products were from the Arbonne rep's own kit so I felt that it was an act of trust in a way actually. In terms of the products being used I viewed it the same way I view department store beauty testers so it didn't concern me at all - I've had instore makeovers many times. I definitely would hesitate at using lip products if not sterilized but these were new so that wasn't an issue either. Apart from swatching things straight from the tube onto my arm I was also careful not to contaminate the lip products myself by applying to my hand first then using a brush - the paranoia can work both ways! I don't want to contaminate things either! Lol.

      So true what you say about landfill too! I always feel bad about the products that don't work, aren't the right shade whatever and as I can't hand them back I have to think about responsibly passing them on

  2. I've used a few odd Arbonne bits and pieces that they sent to me but nothing really wowed me enough to grab anything else from them. I don't know how I feel about them sending you used products though...a half-used gloss isn't very enticing now is it? Glad you were happy with the range though :)

    1. Thanks Emma, I'm curious as to what you tried now! This range was a completely unknown quantity to me and I found it pretty solid all round - I'm really into CF and green beauty these days so that is another thing I look for :)

      See my comment to Monika above about the lip products - I know what you mean but the lippies were all new so I took care myself not to contaminate them. In terms of the rest being used that didn't bother me at all - pumps etc make for hygienic application and I viewed these as testers on loan :)

    2. I'll have to root around my stash and find the products I tried, I can't remember them exactly! I think it was nice of the Arbonne rep to loan you the products, I suppose when you think about it that way it's good to be able to try more products, and you would know she kept them cleaner than a store tester anyway haha! I think the lipgloss factor is what made me double guess, but the rep would have kept that clean so it makes sense :)

    3. Absolutely! I think it was very nice and very trusting...On the other hand I could tell you the story about another cosmetics rep who contacted me to review some products but I had to buy them first...

    4. Haha it always makes me laugh when that happens! Or they say, if you promise to write a post on the brand I will give you a discount - no, either way I'm not writing about your stuff, be gone!

    5. Sounds like it must be time for us to catch up and swap war stories over a coffee :-))


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