Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Vampires Need Skincare, Too: Josie Maran Haul and Overview

For a while, I've noticed that just about every Sephora "Favorites" kit has come with a Josie Maran Argan Color Stick, and I've been intrigued. Then, a couple of months ago, Thomas and I were in Sephora and he noticed the Josie Maran display.

Thomas: Is that the vampire chick from Van Helsing?
Me: What?
Thomas: On that sign over there--is that the vampire chick from Van Helsing? Does she do makeup now?
Me: No! That's Josie Maran. She's got a makeup company that does a lot of stuff with argan oil. It's supposed to be really good. She probably just looks like that girl from Van Helsing.
Thomas: I'm pretty sure that's the vampire chick.
Me: I doubt it, but you have IMDb on your phone. Look it up.

She is totally the vampire chick from Van Helsing. I'm not ashamed to admit that I freaking love that movie, so the fancy argan oil makeup instantly became exponentially cooler. That said, I've never been one to buy a product simply because it's hawked by someone I think is nifty. I decided to ask around to find out if any of my beauty junkie friends had tried the line (found some absolute devotees), and also watched Ms. Maran and her cosmetics in action on QVC. (In my defense, I'd just spent the night in the ER and was in no mood for daytime television. I also couldn't focus enough to read, so it was home shopping or staring at the wall.) All in all, what I could see of the line impressed me, and I decided to place an order for some products I felt were representative of the collection. Now, I'm here to share my thoughts on my "haul". Hopefully, some of you who have been interested in trying some of these products will find this helpful.

The first thing I had to try was the travel set of Argan Bear Naked Wipes. As you may have noticed, I do love a good facial cleansing wipe. Actually, pretty much anything in a wipe is tops in my book: lotion, sunscreen, Chlorox...I'm a sucker for a wipe. Anyhoo, here's the good and the bad:

The Good
To start with, a portion of each sale goes toward saving the polar bear. In fact, all of Josie Maran's products are cruelty free, and several items help fund charities. I'm a big fan of this, because it's not right to be pretty only on the outside. Inner beauty is far more important. Pretty is as pretty does, as my Mom and Grandma always said.

The wipes smell fresh and clean, and have a lovely dry texture. You don't feel like you're going to drip all over the place. They also leave your skin feeling very moisturized and silky. You can tell you've done something good to your face.

The Bad
They don't remove makeup worth a flip. Eventually, with enough scrubbing, you might see where your eyeshadow has moved around a bit, but these are not going to clean the makeup from your face.

The Bottom Line
I recommend these. Seriously. I recommend them not for makeup removal, but for touch ups on car or plane rides, and even trips to the beach; anytime you're going to be in a dry and dirty climate. These will remove dirt and oil (just not makeup), and leave your skin very moisturized (that argan oil is ah-maze-ing), without your having to bring along both a facial cleanser and a bottle of face cream. $6 for 8 wipes, or $12 for 30.

The rest of my order consisted of the Power of Argan Oil Skincare Collection--a four-piece set that includes a travel-sized cleanser, multi-use argan oil, argan color stick, and whipped argan oil body butter. Basically, it's a little bit of everything. I was planning to discuss stand-outs and disappointments...but I didn't have any disappointments. These are all fantastic products! Here's the lowdown on each one:

Argan Cleansing Oil
This removes makeup! Just pour a few drops in your hand and apply to your face. Let it sit for a few seconds to break up the makeup, rub in a bit, and rinse off. It's wonderful. Plus, it smells like oranges.

100% Pure Argan Oil
I really love this stuff. It's a complete multi-tasker! I've used it as a facial moisturizer, as an "in a pinch" undereye moisturizer, rubbed it on dry patches of skin, tamed frizzies, and repaired my cuticles. I haven't tried it on linoleum yet, but I bet it would shine up my floors. Awesomesauce.

Argan Color Stick in Love (Rose)
This made my January Favorites, and will probably make February's, too. It's a quick, blendable, natural blush with enough of a glow to make highlighter unnecessary. You can also use it on lips for a subtle flush. It's fairly long-lasting, but if you wanted to bring it along for touch-ups, the packaging is completely travel-friendly. There's pretty much nothing I don't adore about this cosmetic. It's gorgeous.

Whipped Argan Oil Body Butter in Be Loved (Jasmine)
This feels amazing and smells heavenly. Oddly, the butter has a very dry feel, but leaves your skin feeling super soft, with just the lightest sheen. Again, it's an amazing product. $28 for the entire set.

So, yeah, the vampire chick from Van Helsing has her line of makeup and skincare...and it's unbelievable. Now I understand why there's always a Josie Maran item in every Sephora Favorites kit, and why my friends are raving about the line. The prices for full-sized items are definitely high-end, but the travel-sized items are much more reasonable, and will last for a long while--long enough for you decide if the full-sized is worth the price tag. My advice: if you're on the fence over the argan oil fad, give the minis a chance to wow you. I'm glad I did.

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