Housed in a sleek black compact that’s slightly smaller than a CD case is this collection of powder blush, bronzer, and highlighter. The tiny brushes included are useless and should be discarded; full-size, properly shaped brushes are a must. This collection is designed so that you can sculpt or add color to the face. With the proper techniques, but don’t include all of James’s tips because it’s overkill, you can use these smooth-textured, matte-finish powders to do just that. The contour color is a decent option for light skin tones, but should be a bit less peach. The powder labeled “bronze” works better as contour and, of course, doubles as bronzing powder. All of the blush shades (which are not for contouring) are beautiful and have good pigmentation. The “highlight” shade is simply a pale yellow powder that you can use on key areas of the face as part of your contour/highlight makeup application. Taken together, everything in this kit is likely more than what most women will want to do on a daily basis, but for special-occasion makeup (and again, using the right, streamlined techniques and tools for contouring), this is worth a look.
Dimitri James is a makeup artist, hair stylist, and fashion consultant who spent two decades working for some of the biggest cosmetics companies in the world. After stints with brands such as Estee Lauder and Revlon, he decided, as so many others have before him, to launch his own products. Apparently, he was disenchanted with the business model most large cosmetics companies follow. According to James, the formula was always the same: "make a cheap product, put it in a fancy jar with a nice box and charge as much as possible." His cynical summation is definitely appreciated by those of us on the Cosmetics Cop team. Ironically, however, for the most part, Skinn's business model mimics the business model of many large and small cosmetics companies; that is, his products come in fancy jars, make inane unsupported claims, and are absurdly overpriced. Adding to that insanity, many of his products are poorly formulated.
Aside from the glaring same old, same old mix of disenchantment, those hoping for some good news about Skinn products will be pleased to know that this line does have some products worth considering. That doesn't mean the claims are accurate or that they outperform excellent products from many other lines. Overlooking the omission of reliable sunscreen from this line, the handful of good formulas are capable of getting as close as possible to keeping skin looking youthful and healthy. They won't replace cosmetic corrective procedures, but no skin-care routine will do that. Please refer to the list of strengths for products worth your attention; any products not on that list you can skip, unless you want to set yourself up for disappointment, and you will be disappointed if you expect the farfetched claims to come true.
Skinn's promises for their makeup—that they will make you a picture of airbrushed perfection—are beyond reality. Today's best makeup products can go a long way toward making a beautiful finish to your appearance and they're easier to apply than ever before. Just keep in mind that technique still plays a major role, so don't expect any makeup product to be the final answer. Skinn's color line has just as many misses as hits, so shop carefully. In this case, the foundations and concealer are not worth considering over countless others, but there are some great powder blushes and eyeshadows, a fantastic eye pencil, and mascaras that perform beautifully; but again, these are easily replaced with less expensive options. Those intrigued by makeup palettes may find some good options here, too.
All told, the Skinn line has a handful of impressive products, but it's not remotely "the revolution in cosmetics" Dimitri James makes it out to be. For more information about Skinn by Dimitri James, call (866) 346-4874 or visit www.skinn.com.
Note: This line is sold primarily on home shopping channels.