Thursday, 23 April 2015

Meow Cosmetics Review: Foundation, Primer, & Two Eyeshadows + Comparison to Other Foundations!

UPDATE: To read about my interaction with Meow Cosmetics' customer service, click here to see my post on Indie Makeup and More on Reddit.

Meow Cosmetics is a longtime indie business specializing in mineral makeup, especially well-known for their huge range of foundation shades. They have just about anything you could think of -- hundreds of eyeshadows, blushes, bronzers, primers, and powders. They even sell containers and brushes, although those are made by another company.

Some time ago I went ahead and got a ton of samples from Meow to figure out what shade of their foundation fit me best. I settled on Naughty Mau (did I mention that most of their product names are cat-based?), a medium warm shade. I umm-ed and ah-ed and finally broke down to order said shade in their "Munchkin" size -- an impressive 25g (0.88oz) jar (6-8g/0.2-0.3oz net weight). Their full size is a whopping 85g/3oz (22-30g/0.8-1.06oz net weight)! I picked the medium coverage option, Pampered Puss. I also got two samples of the same shade in their high-coverage formula, Flawless Feline. For the sake of trying something new, I also got their mineral primer, the long-winded "Primp & Preen Premiere Puss Primer Powder" -- say that five times fast! It's in the combination skin formula.

The Munchkin foundation is $14.75 for this formula; the low coverage and high coverage formulas are two dollars less and more, respectively. Sample sizes are $1.00 across the board. The full size primer was $14.25.

All the products came in a cute leopard print bag and two free eyeshadow samples were thrown in.

This review will be picture heavy, so click below if you'd like to read more!

The container for the foundation and primer were screw-on tops. Immediately my biggest concern is that the foundation jar's lid screws almost all the way to the bottom of the entire jar. After just a few times using this I've already had issues with powder getting all over the threads -- and consequently, all over me. Very annoying. I might depot this into some other container to avoid the hassle. Otherwise, the plastic looks nice enough and the stickers are fine. I will note that I ordered a bunch of small 5 gram jars from Meow last time I ordered, and I found their quality to be only satisfactory (my Voyageur jars are nicer, in my opinion) -- the threads weren't quite as tight as I'd like them to be.

Top to bottom: Combination Skin Primer, Naughty Mau Pampered Puss, Naughty Mau Flawless Feline
Top to bottom: Combination Skin Primer, Naughty Mau Pampered Puss, Naughty Mau Flawless Feline
Immediately, more concerns. The primer is stark white! You can even see it after I blended this swatch out. However, with a proper powder brush and a light hand, this applies just like any setting powder. I would probably stay away from it if you've got darker skin just in case, though. This blends nicely (better than their Top Cat Finishing Powder, which I got a sample of last time) and soaks up oil relatively well. I wouldn't say it works any better as a primer for this foundation any more than a regular face powder would, though. I didn't notice the foundation going on easier nor lasting longer. As a powder, it's great. It leaves my skin smooth and semi-matte. I don't think I would purchase it again, though.

More concerning is that the foundation between the medium coverage and the high coverage shades are quite different from each other. The Flawless Feline appears darker and pinker than the Pampered Puss. I can understand some small difference in shade, but in my opinion this is too much. I also definitely found the heavier formula to be more cake-y, but that's probably to be expected for a high-coverage mineral foundation.

Top to bottom: Naughty Mau Pampered Puss (sample), Naughty Mau Pampered Puss (Munchkin)
Here is where I really started getting annoyed. I still have my sample size in this same shade from when I last ordered. The sample that convinced me to get a full size. They're the same shade in the same formula, so why is the munchkin version both lighter and pinker than my sample? Sure, it matches my arm better, but my face is darker and more warm-toned than my arm. Luckily, once I apply and blend it onto my face it's not a huge difference, though I can't say it was as perfect as the sample was. I've heard that this isn't an unusual occurrence with Meow. I've contacted them and hope to hear from them soon -- I'll update this post whenever I get a response. For now, this makes me weary to purchase from them again.

I also compared the shades to my other existing foundations: Maybelline Fit Me 210 (old formulation), Missha Perfect Cover 23, and Rimmel Stay Matte Mousse Foundation 200 (soft beige). Lots of pictures of various size, angle and lighting follow: 

Top to bottom: Naughty Mau sample, Naughty Mau munchkin, Fit Me 210, Perfect Cover 23, Stay Matte 200
Top to bottom: Naughty Mau sample, Naughty Mau munchkin, Fit Me 210, Perfect Cover 23, Stay Matte 200
Top to bottom: Naughty Mau sample, Naughty Mau munchkin, Fit Me 210, Perfect Cover 23, Stay Matte 200
Top to bottom: Naughty Mau sample, Naughty Mau munchkin, Fit Me 210, Perfect Cover 23, Stay Matte 200
Excuse me while I scream about how pink the Stay Matte is. I totally didn't notice, and no one ever told me... sigh. Of these foundations the Missha Perfect Cover fits me the best, and I think the Naughty Mau sample is closest to that, as well. Like I said, the Munckin isn't terrible... just not perfect.

Now for the eyeshadow samples. I received Chasm from the Neptune's Grotto collection (top) and Terpsichore from the Sunless Sea collection (bottom). Neither were streaky when applying.

Left: UDPP, Right: Bare skin

Left: UDPP, Right: Bare skin

Left: UDPP, Right: Bare skin
Chasm: bright ice with gleaming green iridescence and duochrome sheen.
I didn't notice much of a duochrome effect with this, and the green is super subtle. It's a very pretty blue. It shines better over primer but on bare skin it's still pigmented enough to be noticeable.

Terpsichore: shimmery salmon rose
A really gorgeous colour that shines over primer but works great on bare skin too. I like this a lot.

Overall, I enjoy Meow's foundation formula. I find that it blends well, feels nice on the skin, and cuts down on my oily zones a lot, to the point where I don't have to re-powder my face halfway through the day like my other foundations. But this problem with varying shade colours both between formulas and between different batches of the same colour is frustrating and turns me off purchasing again.

I would skip the primer, but the eyeshadows are fine quality and Meow offers a ridiculous range, not even including their rotating seasonal collections.

As far as things I did not review, their blushes are nice and again, Meow has a huge variety to choose from. Their colour-correcting powders and finishing powder are mediocre in my opinion due to lack of blendability. Their jars are handy but not the cheapest you could get, while not being the top quality.

Would I recommend Meow? Possibly. They've been in the business for a long time for a reason. They have a great selection and the value for a full size foundation is possibly the best on the market. They have tons of sales all the time, on top of that. Their turn-around-time is good and their packaging is cute.

Would I personally purchase a third time? I don't think so. Meow's website design is very frustrating for me to navigate and this foundation thing has left a bad taste in my mouth. I also personally get overwhelmed with all the options available. The quality for their non-foundation products is, compared to other indies, just so-so, in my opinion. If they get back to my e-mail, I may change my mind, the next time a sale comes along.

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