Here's a close look at Ellana's latest drops + swatches
We’re no strangers to the caliber of Ellana Cosmetics, which is why we’re always in the middle of surprised and not surprised when they launch new material. This time, they’re expanding to more complexion products, hitting the sweet spot of quality and accessibility (as usual). We got to test a bunch of new products: from setting powders, to setting sprays, to makeup removers. Plus! New Lip in Luxe shades in new packaging. How do these people do it???
Let’s see how they fare.
Stay Matte Poreless Powder (P399 for 8g)
Ellana claims that their loose setting powder “instantly mattifies and fills in fine lines to create a perfectly poreless appearance that lasts a long time.” Containing rice powder, yellow illite, and kaolin clay, the consistency actually feels like that of superfine paper. Available in two variants, both mattify well and do a great job of setting foundation and concealer in place, well over 10 hours on my combination skin. My nose area, which usually feels gunky by the 6-8-hour mark, yields a light sheen instead.
I tested both in two ways: over a dewy foundation (Bobbi Brown Skin Tint), and over matte foundation (L’Oreal Pro Matte, Estee Lauder Double Wear Original). Both formulas set the Skin Tint well but doesn’t mask over the sheen — just the way I like it. On the other hand, you have to be careful with the amount of powder used on matte foundations if you’re not supremely oily.
The Sheer Translucent Finish powder tends to yield a cake-y finish when packed on over matte foundation (while other loose setting powders will not), and dries up the under eye to a pretty noticeable point. Although the texture improves once the natural oils seep through, I can’t recommend it either for event use as there is a noticeable flashback as well.
The Sheer Buttercream powder is perfect for brightening (as it claims) but doesn’t make the skin (I am a medium to dark, NC37) look ashy. If you’re not too pale for it to be dark, or too dark for it to be pale, I think this is the best option for every day!
Both variants extend the wear time of makeup pretty much the same, although as expected, matte foundations last longer. In my case, I found matte on matte too matte, which I suspect to be an oily girl’s dream.
So as a setting powder they work well, but as a “perfecting” (ie, texture improving, pore blurring) powder, I find the claims to be inaccurate. None of my lines and pores disappeared. Actually, they weren’t even minimized. They do not, however, emphasize any of those either, so I will say that primers and foundations are still needed to achieve a “poreless” look. Still at this price point, it’s a great find and a reliable everyday companion.
Flower Power Setting Spray (P559 for 60ml)
Now this, I love! The Flower Power Setting Spray is a perfect companion to the setting powders if you’re not into the übermatte look. Although I didn’t find that it “sealed in” hydration, this works similarly to other hydrating sprays, in that it helps in smoothing the texture after powder, allowing for a “perfected” skin-like finish (as opposed to matte crepe). It has a very, very faint rose scent that is almost difficult to notice.
Stay Fresh Setting Spray (P599 for 60ml)
The Stay Fresh Setting Spray is a little more interesting. Boasting of skincare benefits (brightening through niacinamide, apple, green tea extracts), it can be used as a priming, refreshing, and as a setting spray. As a primer it becomes tacky after a few seconds, which I suppose helps in foundation adherence, although overall, I found the effect to be minimal. It works better as a setting spray as it dries down matte, although, again, if you’re already setting with powder, the effect of the spray on makeup longevity is minimal.
Take It Easy Makeup Remover (P499 for 120g)
The makeup remover “has a creamy, milky jelly formula that,” supposedly, “dissolves waterproof, hard-to-remove makeup easily.” Unfortunately, I didn’t find this to be true. It’s more suited to removing light makeup, and it’s difficult to remove even Ellana’s own products. I applied it over my makeup as directed and tried both prescribed ways of makeup removal: with a dry cotton pad and with a wet cotton pad.
I found that using a cotton pad (whether wet or dry) didn’t work. Massaging the remover in and rinsing is the best way to use it, but it had a hard time taking off waterproof mascara, Ellana’s Lip in Luxe Matte Liquid Shades, and concealer and foundation set with their Stay Matte Poreless Powder. Still, this is great for those who wear light coverage makeup who want a gentle makeup remover, as it never feels heavy on the eyes.
Lip in Luxe Matte Lipstick (P499)
“Smudge-proof” and “kiss-proof” are apt descriptions for these products. Ellana claims that Lip in Luxe Lipsticks don’t look dry or patchy, and while they are not patchy, I can’t say the same for the drying factor. I know that some of our writers swear by the formula, but I just can’t handle it even with correct preparation. On my first try, my lips literally split and peeled off on its own. I find all of the shades to be equally drying, so much so that I feel it minutes after application.
What I do love about this line, however, is the shade range. Love is a Gift (a deep mauve pink) and Love is Forever (a deep warm brown) are soooo attractive that I just had to make them work on my lips. They’re bearable and almost undetectable when patted on (instead of swiped on) and used to create a diffused or gradient lip (which defeats the purpose of its longwearing claims). And while Love is Deep (a plum wine with a gold shift) and Love is a Promise (a bright pink red with gold and copper shift) aren’t my cup of tea, I appreciate that Ellana still creates something different. Plus, both Love is a Gift and Love is Forever are great nudes for those with truly dark skin! I hope they can recreate these shades in a velvet matte lip creams, please and thank you.
The new products are not without imperfection, but Ellana remains to be a reliable source of base products. I wish the makeup remover performed better and that the liquid lipsticks were more forgiving, but the powders and setting sprays knocked it out of the park so I wait excitedly for more.
Wanna try these new drops yourself? PV readers have an exclusive code to get a discount on your order! Make sure to enter PVFRESHFACE upon checkout to get P300 off on a minimum order of P1,000. The promo code can only be used once per customer and is valid until August 29, 2018 only.