Ready yourselves for a lengthy post as I have lots to show you in the new Cosmetics a la Carte Eye Beach Glow Collection, plus I always tend to ramble on about my love for CALC because I just find them utterly charming; if you’re in London and happen to be near their Chelsea boutique then I really recommend paying them a visit, either to have a browse of their full collection (and get sucked in by the fully customisable eyeshadow palettes on offer!) or have a shade matching service to find your perfect base product. The Cosmetics a la Carte Beach Glow Collection is pretty much exactly as it sounds; a collection of products to help you achieve and enhance your glow, so think a multitude of bronzer and highlighter shades alongside pots of sparkly eyeshadow. There’s no lip product, which I’m a bit surprised about, but they do these gorgeous Sheer Balm Lipsticks (love!) in a massive array of shades, so they would work perfectly with a look that’s all about that beachy, summery glow.
I’ll kick things off with the Eye Glaze Sparkling Shadows (£25) of which there are three new shades joining the existing line-up; Rising Star – pale gold; Tiger – warm bronze and finally Supernova – silvery pink. I took away Tiger, which happily sits in my comfort zone of the usual nudes and neutrals, but I was actually surprised by how much I liked Supernova, which gives this lovely, light lick of colour and shimmer that’s such a quick and easy way to enhance the eyes.
I’m also fascinated by the texture of the Eye Glaze Sparkling Shadows, which are a mousse-like product that’s light and very easy to work with. I think these are best applied with fingers for a wash of shimmering colour, but of course brushes would be fine too. The swatches above starting from the top are Rising Star, Tiger and Supernova.
I’m still undecided about whether I’m more excited about the bronzer or the highlighter, as I love them both. The Matte Bronzing Powder (£40) is a particular fabulous product because there are five shades available, so no more trying to find your place within the “light, medium, dark” spectrum. Obviously I’m the palest shade which is Biscuit, and this is a really light shade that gives just enough of a warm glow to enhance an existing a tan, or add a touch of colour when you need it. The formula of the bronzer is buttery and easy to blend, whilst also being very buildable.
The Glow Highlighting Powder (£40) is available in four shades, and I think the Beach Glow shade is the only one in the new collection, although I could be wrong. Beach Glow is a warm, pale bronze shade, whilst the other shades are Moonbeam – mid toned peach; Shell Pink – the prettiest, shimmering pale pink and Starlight – your typical pale champagne highlighter shade.
I was so close to picking Shell Pink as it really is gorgeous, but I decided to go for Starlight as it’s one of those wonderfully flattering shades that’ll add light without colour, exactly where you want it, without looking unnatural or glittery. I’ve been using this every day since I got it, and I really like the fact that you can build the intensity, so if you like a strong highlight then this is very workable.
Above are swatches of the Matte Bronzing Powder in Biscuit and the Glow Highlighting Powder in Starlight. I’ve built up both swatches so you can see them; the benefit of both these powders is that they offer very subtle payoff, which is great for everyday wear, but not so much for swatching! I think the bronzer swatch built-up in this fashion looks a lot warmer than it actually is, but from someone who’s pretty neutral and favours cooler tones, this suits me perfectly.
I was also given a couple of other goodies outside of the collection that I just wanted to quickly share, starting with the Blush Touch (£29) in the shade Fuchsia, which I think is a really misleading name, as if I was blindly receiving a blusher called Fuchsia I would expect something bright and in-your-face, but this pink is one of those very wearable shades that gives a pretty flush of healthy colour. Having looked at the huge range of shades, I’m guessing it’s called Fuchsia because it’s one of the brightest shades in the collection, but it’s still very much a muted pink to me!
Finally, CALC have a new mascara launch, the Intense Volume Mascara (£29) which, to be honest, I didn’t have very high expectations for as I’m sooo hard to please when it comes to mascaras, but actually this one is surprisingly good, providing both length and clump-free volume without any smearing or smudging, even during the mini heatwave we recently had.
Definitely pop into Cosmetics a la Carte if you ever have the chance, but if not, find the full collection online here – link.