Cargo's ColorStick is billed as a 3-in-1 product – a blush, lipstick, and eyeshadow all-in-one creamy stick. While you certainly could use it each way, it works best as a blush. The creamy formula, sheer application, and colors (varying shades of pink) don't work well if you want to use this as an eyeshadow, and the formula isn't quite moisturizing enough to be a comfortable lipstick.
Applied to cheeks, ColorStick gives a healthy, flushed appearance – it only takes a couple of dabs from the stick to get a good amount of color. It blends easily and doesn't stain your fingers if you choose to use them for blending (always a plus with a cream blush!). ColorStick also lasts several hours without fading away. Most of the colors are great daytime options, though the shimmery colors, St. Tropez and Champagne, are best suited for evening wear unless you want shiny cheeks during the day.
One more thing, it is always best to give cream or stick blushes a test run before buying. If you haven't used this kind of blush before, it can be tricky and takes some amount of technique to apply smoothly.
- Not much product needed for a healthy flush of color.
- Blends easily.
- Color doesn't stain fingers.
- Color lasts several hours without fading.
- Doesn't function well as a 3-in-1 product as advertised.
- Pricey, considering there are equivalent cream blushes that cost less.
Canada-based Cargo is a makeup line founded a little more than 10 years ago by a woman whose mission was to create a professional color line that would appeal equally to makeup artists and everyday women. Apparently, the dozens of product lines that existed just weren't good enough—obviously, she hadn't seen Stila, MAC, Laura Mercier, Trish McEvoy, Quo, Bobby Brown, or Nars, and on and on. Cargo hit the beauty scene with a blend of celebrity fanfare and panache that has become the standard for any new cosmetic brand that wants to grab attention and have the press write about them.
Celebrity gossip and fashion magazine write-ups aside (believe me, their recommendations aren't objective in the least, they love everything; have you ever read or heard a celebrity or a fashion magazine say that a makeup or skin-care product or brand is really awful?), there are plenty of reasons to consider Cargo an option when looking for a new makeup look or just to replenish your current supply. What Cargo doesn't do, however, is distinguish itself in any significant way to indicate you should abandon your favorite Stila, Laura Mercier, M.A.C., Revlon, L'Oreal, Rimmel, or [insert-your-favorite-makeup-line-here] products, although in some cases, you may indeed be tempted.
Several independent beauty stores retail the Cargo brand and you may be wondering what does Cargo do really well? This is definitely a line to shop if you're a fan of bronzers and lip gloss. They also have some reliable foundation choices, improved eyeshadow palettes, and a handful of innovative products worth your attention, assuming you're OK with Cargo's higher price point. (In that regard, this is a line to shop with caution because many of the items aren't worth the splurge.) It's admirable that Cargo donates a portion of lipstick sales to St. Jude's Children's Hospital, but, unfortunately, the lipsticks have one of the greasiest formulas you're likely to find.
What Cargo lacks are foundations with sunscreen, and their one liquid foundation is overloaded with potentially irritating fragrance chemicals. This is also not the line to look to if you're shopping for matte blush or eyeshadows. All manner of shine dominates, though this is typical of many makeup lines; so, if anything, Cargo is just following the herd. Another disappointment is that Cargo initially offered an impressive range of brushes, but that range has now been whittled down to only a few.
Advertising is where Cargo really falls off the wagon and joins most of the other cosmetic companies, bragging about what several of their products do not contain, such as paraben preservatives. The insanity is that although they in some cases push the claim that the product does not contain parabens, at least one-third of the line's formulas still do contain parabens. We don't get the rationale behind emphasizing that something is allegedly bad (and due to media hype lots of consumers are wary of products with these allegedly evil ingredients), and then at the same time continuing to include it in many of your products. Parabens are not the terrible ingredients they're made out to be; and it's clear that Cargo doesn't really think so either or they wouldn't keep selling products preserved with parabens! we mean, really!
For more information about Cargo, call (800) 295-8877 or visit www.cargocosmetics.com.