Too Faced

Too Faced At-A-Glance

Strengths: Web site has complete ingredient lists; nice range of bronzing powders and a self-tanner; Full Bloom Lip & Cheek Creme Color is exceptional; good powder eyeshadows if you want shine.

Weaknesses: An irritating concealer; lacks matte eyeshadow options; terrible mascaras; dismal selection of eyeliners; Lip Injection lip plumpers contain irritating ingredients.

The story of how this line came to be is echoed by almost every new cosmetic company nowadays, a familiar tale that is as disingenuous as it gets. What's the tale? It's that old yarn about a makeup artist being dissatisfied with what's available because he or she just can't find the cosmetic products that are needed to create a truly beautiful makeup application.

In Too Faced's version of this recycled tale, Jerrod Blandino was working at a department store cosmetics counter and, despite the hundreds of products available, couldn't find what he needed. Of course his clients happened to be A-list celebrities (isn't that how this story always goes, and there are plenty of celebrities around who do need help) who demanded the best, and as a true artist, Jerrod was committed to providing it to them.

So, Jerrod went to work, mixing and creating cosmetics at his home in the microwave, producing products that would meet his prestigious clients' high standards and glamorous needs, all because apparently none of the thousands of products anywhere in the world were good enough. And even though in interviews in fashion magazines celebrities were frequently extolling their favorite department store products, those celebs probably weren't Jerrod’s clients.

As the story continues, word among the glitterati started to spread—that Jerrod was the makeup artist to see if you wanted true originality. Hollywood began clamoring for his services, and talk of his skills quickly reached legendary proportions. No one could turn an ugly duckling into a glamour girl like Jerrod. Soon, it seems, all of his creative talent making those new products just could not be contained in a domestic kitchen. What was a talented goddess-maker to do?

Apparently, the solution was to share his idea with Jeremy Johnson, marketing pro and a friend of Jerrod's. The men joined forces, and voilá: Too Faced Cosmetics was born. Since its inception in 1998 this brand has approached (some may say harangued) women with the question: "Why be pretty when you can be gorgeous?" Of course, anyone looking to become gorgeous from Too Faced products is basically tied to Jerrod and Jeremy's idea of what that means—and it may not jibe with yours, especially if "maximum glitter" isn't on your list of makeup must-haves.

Like many other celebrity-inspired makeup artist lines, most of the items you'll find in this one are engulfed in loads of hype and are no better than many products from other lines that sell for half the price (just check out Jane, Sonja Kashuk, Rimmel, or even Maybelline New York).

Too Faced has lots of pink packaging and glitter so it's hard to ignore the flash this line brings to the cosmetics department, but that doesn't have anything to do with the quality of the products. If you're tempted to take a peek (and you will be), you'll find Too Faced has some great bronzing powders and a cream eyeshadow that's truly exceptional. They also have a foundation worth considering if you can get past the convoluted, hard-to-use packaging. The eyeshadows are good, too (although not great), but you have to accept that all of them have some degree of shine, a fact that won't be a problem for younger women but if wrinkles are something you're trying to hide, shine will just make them more obvious.

For all the exaggeration and puffery of this line, what is really disappointing are the mascaras, a paltry, dismal selection of eyeliners, a concealer with irritating ingredients, and an overall limited product selection. If Jerrod really believed that there weren't products from other lines that were good enough for his clients, he clearly didn't know where to shop or what to look for.

For more information about Too Faced Cosmetics call (949) 553-4431 or visit the Web site at www.toofaced.com.

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