A well kept secret… Cosmetics A La Carte.

I got the chance to use products from Cosmetics A La Carte recently on a shoot I did for an up and coming fashion publication. I was a little apprehensive initially as quite honestly, I had never heard of this brand before. My arrogant makeup artist mind was thinking if I hadnt heard of it, surely it can’t be any good?! I tweeted about it and it seemed a few makeup artists and beauty bloggers knew and were very positive about the brand which seemed a good thing. I then heard that makeup artist Daniel Sandler is a big fan, so my mind was totally put at ease and I wanted to investigate some more.

I went along to their boutique shop in Knightsbridge, which was in a quaint shopping mews/ arcade, a stones throw from the glamorous Louise Kennedy and Louboutin shops. It’s a teeny little shop and it’s interior reflects its glamorous location, it’s very luxurious and exclusive feeling. I had a good play with the full makeup range and was instantly impressed. Everything I tried seemed great quality and I was loving the vast colour range that was being offered.

I then had a chat with one of the shop assistants who told me a bit more about the brand. I was assuming that this Francais sounding name would mean it would be a paris-based range but actually, this is a British brand, made just over the bridge in a small factory in Battersea…. Even better!!!  

It seems that a lot of their clients are local chelsea ladies who-may-lunch, and a lot of their clients have been coming to the shop for years and years..this company celebrates it’s 40th anniversary this year! They then introduce the next generation and so on and so on. Mothers and daughters, then their daughters, they tell their friends and so on.

Products I tried and tested

The 60’s look I created was quite dramatic and monochrome. Nice, defined but boyish brows, exaggerated eye contour, above and underneath, fluffy lashes on top and underneath, porcelain skin with a natural contour and flush. The products I used can be seen below…unfortunately, I dropped the eyeshadow palette as I was setting up and one of the shadows cracked *whoops* but half is still there and useable.

Brow inks

One of my favourite products from the Cosmetic A La Carte range. I have always wanted to try the Suqqu ones…I don’t now how they compare as I have never tried the Suqqu ones…but these are very, very good. Like a felt tip pen but a very fine  semi-flexible nib and gives a really precise and long-wearing brow. You can see from the before / after photo above that I added a bit of extra brow on but it is very natural looking. I like the method of drawing on individual ‘hairs’ to make them look really natural. (brow how-to coming soon!!)

Outliner

(Cream shadows in the small pots) I used a pale lilac one ‘Blossom’ on the lid as a base for the whole eye look and this seemed to stay on really well. I am a big fan of cream products at the moment, I used to be so anti-cream on the eyes, but I guess with experience and using good products you can get such beautiful finishes using creams. They do a huge selection of cream shadow pots.

Stay-put Intense liner

The liner on the top and underneath was created with their black liquid liner and abit of patience. Nice nib, good ink pigment and long-wearing. It is both smudgeproof and waterproof ding-dong that’s what we like.

Rose hydrabalm

This was another one of my star products, simple but effective. A gorgeous, rose-infused lip-balm in a lipstick style twist-up stick. Deeply nourishes and hydrates and perfect for prepping chapped lips on shoots.

Total Lift Off

This is one of their skincare products. It’s a one-step oil-free cleanser and toner in one. I love makeup removers (face/eye) that are oil-free but do that job(think Bioderma!. It is non-irritating and feels nicer on your skin than oil I find. After this shoot, I used this on cotton pads to remove the gorgeous model’s makeup, and as you can imagine it was quite a lot of layers of makeup, and this did the job really quickly and easily. It is infused with natural rose too so great for calming the skin when heavy makeup has been worn.

Powderliner

These are their super soft kohl eyeliners. They smudge nice and easily after application with the blender that comes on the end so perfect for that soft smokey eye. I used a deep grey shade called ‘fog’ and now also lusting after ‘Chocolate’ and ‘Tornado’. Great texture, very soft and good payoff.

Silk Radiance powder

This, I used to diffuse shine and set makeup. It’s great because it is not one of these heavy, cakey looking powders, it’s is so, so light feeling and looking. Comes with a buff puff which I didnt use as I prefer setting makeup with a brush for a more natural look, but for more troublesome shine, a puff is really good. Perfume free also.

Custom palettes

A really good thing for makeup artists (and keen makeup peeps!) is that pretty much everything in the shop, shadows, cream shadows, concealers, blushers, etc etc, can be customised especially for you into their range of palettes.

The palette above can fit 6 full-size eyeshadows or 12 minis as I have done, or even 6 concealers / 12 mini concealers…3 blushers etc etc. Very versatile and great to have this choice.

Another great thing to know is that they can hand-make and prescribe you a foundation colour. This is a great service for those who struggle with finding the right tone for their skin. They do shades to suit EVERY skin tone too.

Above: A preview snap from the shoot (more to follow after publication)

Literally, everything I tried from this range was lovely and I was honestly very impressed with the quality, packaging and results. I have a huge list of things I want to try…more of the cream eyeshadows, a couple more shades of the powderliner eye pencils…and mostly…their cream blushers!! My 100-day spending ban is over this weekend, so I may have to pay another visit to this quaint little makeup-heaven in Knightsbridge.

It’s worth to have a quick look at their website to see more of the range (it’s HUGE), prices… and it’s a really great website. Lots of interaction and lots to see and learn. Alternatively, if you are London-based, then you must go down to the shop and have a look/play for yourself. The nearest tube is Knightsbridge and the address is : 19b Motcomb Street, London SW1X 8LB

www.cosmeticsalacarte.com