Josie Maran Cosmetics

Josie Maran At-A-Glance

Strengths: The sunscreens provide broad-spectrum protection; well-formulated daytime moisturizer with sunscreen; excellent tinted moisturizer for dry skin; smooth, natural-looking pressed powder; uniquely effective gel blush.

Weaknesses: Expensive; the cleansers contain irritating citrus oil; malodorous lip gloss; lackluster to poor mascaras; the Argan Matchmaker Serum Foundation is an epic fail.

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.

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