Housed in one compact are two shades of cream concealer that you're supposed to mix to get your best match. The concept is intriguing, but there's also the matter of the extra time involved: Why bother mixing two shades each day when lots of concealers come in a beautiful range of soft, neutral shades you can apply in a blink?
If you like the idea of customizing your own concealer, this is an option, but still not the best. The creamy texture blends well, but takes its time to set. Because the finish remains creamy, you need to top this with powder to keep it from fading or from creasing into lines around the eyes. That's true for most creamy concealers, so this one doesn't cover any new ground.
Maran offers three sets of colors that are best for fair to medium skin tones. Each set has a neutral shade and a brighter color (such as pink or peach) that you wouldn't want to apply alone. However, mixing the brighter and neutral shade together can produce natural-looking results—assuming you want to take the time to do this. Coverage is smooth and even.
- Creamy texture blends well as you mix shades and as you apply to skin.
- Generous-size compact, so this isn't as expensive as it seems.
- Provides good coverage.
- Long set time.
- Settles slightly into lines around the eyes (be sure to blend well and set with powder).
- Blending two colors every day isn't the fastest way to apply concealer.
All of Josie Maran's products contain argan oil, even the makeup. Despite how they market this ingredient, it isn't a cure-all or a must-have for your skin. Argan oil is merely a good, non-fragrant plant oil that's best for dry skin. Like all non-fragrant plant oils, it is a natural source of beneficial fatty acids (skin-repairing ingredients) and antioxidants.
Argan oil is particularly useless in a makeup product because the oil quickly goes rancid when exposed to air. You can read more about the folklore and genuine benefits behind argan oil here.
The Josie Maran brand was founded by supermodel and former Maybelline spokeswoman Josie Maran. By almost any definition, Maran is an iconic beauty. Like Cindy Crawford before her, who launched a namesake product line, Maran used her notoriety from modeling to do the same thing.
Anytime a model with celebrity status launches a cosmetic line, the curiosity among consumers is intense. The question lingers: Is Maran so beautiful because of these products? Of course not! She was magnificent long before her products were launched, and being born beautiful is not a sign of skin-care knowledge.
Almost every Josie Maran product is centered around the allegedly miraculous argan oil. This non-fragrant plant oil is said to do everything from reduce wrinkles to heal acne, while giving you younger-looking skin. Argan oil isn't a bad ingredient, as it contains beneficial lipids and fatty acids for skin, as well as vitamin E and other antioxidants, but it isn't the only oil that has these kinds of properties. Even more to the point, no single ingredient does it all for skin. It's just like your diet: if you eat only one type of food, you'd soon be malnourished. Skin is the body's largest organ, and it requires a variety of useful ingredients to look and function at its best.
It's worth pointing out also that although argan oil does have benefit for skin, it's gimmicky at best to include it in products like eyeshadow and mascara, but that's what you'll find in Maran's line. Oil in a mascara and eyeshadow will make those products slip and slide off your face and lashes, but there is barely any in her makeup products so not to worry. Even if argan oil had benefit in makeup, it wouldn't remain stable—it would quickly turn rancid when exposed to air.
Despite some high points, the makeup fails overall because when compared to less expensive options at the drugstore, Maran's color options are more average than exceptional.
Although makeup comprises the bulk of this line's offerings, Maran has several skin-care products, too. None of them are must-haves, although a handful of them have decent formulas. Like most lines that use predominantly natural ingredients, there are some fragrant oils present that smell great, but they can irritate your skin and lead to collagen breakdown.
Many of Maran's products are labeled as having a "natural formula," which often is not the case; there are plenty of synthetic ingredients present, including silicones and a synthetic film-forming agent. Those are not bad for skin, but it just shows that you can't trust the company's claims.
For more information about Josie Maran, call (855) 461-6512 or visit www.josiemarancosmetics.com.