PRODUCT REVIEW – NUDE BY NATURE
In my ever burning quest to find cosmetics that look fabulous on and off the stage and don’t overload your body with toxins, I ordered from the much hyped Australian brand Nude by Nature. Summary: great sales pitch, poor customer service, mixed opinions on the actual products – read on for details of what to avoid.
NUDE BY NATURE –
I was sucked in by their slick advertising and ‘FREE’ offers. It really annoys me when products are offered for free but are not really. In this case, when you rung you were offered some free samples but you had to pay postage and agree to sign up to ongoing products being mailed and billed to you – groan. So immediately I was unimpressed. Normally I would hang up on them after such antics but I had been re-inspired to clean up my make-up drawer and here was an apparently natural brand I hadn’t tried.
The pleasant salesgirl on the phone was really very good at selling and they had a number of ‘deals’ available. I wanted to try the eye shadow and mineral foundation and have no ongoing contracts. Somehow it was the best value if I purchased 2 packages. The skin package that included foundation, blush, liquid mineral concealer, mineral bronzer, mineral finishing veil, brush, lip gloss, and tinted moisturiser and a how to DVD and a separate eye shadow pack that actually had 3 packs of 3 tones of brown eye shadow and 2 little brushes.
The package arrived in reasonable time minus the DVD. Don’t bother ringing their customer service line, you get asked to leave a message and they will get back to you but they never do (it’s been months).
When I purchased these products over the telephone they asked me what my skin tone was like. I said I was very fair, she said there were 3 tones and I should consider the medium tone as they are quite light. Since it is rare that I meet someone fairer than myself and am usually the lightest or second lightest tone available in foundation – I chose the light tone figuring the bronzer would surely be able to help if it was a little too fair.
Mistake!! Why have a light tone available when the only people that could wear it would be the Cullen’s? My skin is so fair that people joke that I glow-in-the-dark. I have met a few people fairer but seriously, this line of cosmetics is for vampires of Caucasian descent only!
Look to be fair, (LOL pun intended), I can get away with it but only just. I don’t look all that well wearing it and its coverage of imperfections is not nearly as good as similar products by Revlon or Minerelle that I have tried before it. So if medium is for light skinned people then dark must be for tanned types and I guess they don’t give a crap about the market for other ethnicities!
Since I was minus the DVD I was left with a tiny package insert to guide me on recommended use of their products. I should say here that a few years back I signed up for a free demo and lesson on how to use mineral products with the Minerelle range and have used mineral powder type foundations for years so I am not a newbie but still I was perplexed. The coverage of the product was so poor, I figured I was using it wrong but from what I could tell from the pamphlet I was using it correctly.
I asked about the safety of their products when I phoned. The sales girl just gave me a whole heap of spin – we are the best, blah, blah. They then put me on to their resident expert – that pretty much said the same thing. I am still not sure about their credentials in this field so I looked up the individual ingredients on the EWG website. The ingredients were indeed in the low to moderate toxicity range with scores from 0-3. This is pretty good going and would make it one of the safer options on the market. The L’Oreal mineral powder foundation I was using previously scored a 6 for some ingredients in comparison (out of 9 – 9 being the worst). So at least in this field this product did well. One concern was that the zinc oxide used is quite safe if not inhaled (then it is highly toxic apparently). Being a powder though, inevitable some is inhaled. I started using powders because of their touted safety and while I still use them, I am becoming increasingly sceptical of all brands because they are not being rated for respiratory safety.
According to the NUDE BY NATURE website, their foundations “offer natural sun protection with a high SPF guard against damaging ultra-violet rays whilst being water resistant.”. According to the Environmental working group these kind of statements are a load of codswallop. No product is water resistant and in this case the SPF factor is not even stated. What is the high SPF? 10? 15? Does it protect against UVA and UVB? I feel it would have been much more ethical to state that it is non toxic and leave the bull shit out.
The EWG is a great place to go for more info on toxins in make-up, mostly American info but you can look up major brands available in Australia too and check ingredient safety.
It comes in a pleasant circular 8 gram container with a brown screw top lid and a plastic insert inside to help avoid spillage and over loading your brush. The lid only says nude by nature on it however and the container is the same size and look as the blush. This means you have to pick both up to see which is which. The finishing veil and bronzer are in a smaller but similar container and they are both identical looking from above too as are the 3 eye –shadows meaning putting on your Nude by Nature make- up involves a lot of picking up pots and putting them down again trying to work out what product you are holding. The screw top lid prevents spillage in transport but adds to fiddliness on an everyday application level.
My summary with 5 stars being the best
Product: Natural mineral cover – light-skin tone
Safety: 4 (by comparison)
Price: promotional pack I bought is no longer available online but a 15g pack is $39.95 + postage (or free Australian postage if you spend over $50)
Suitable for day wear: yes (if pale)
Suitable for stage: No
According to the little pamphlet, one uses this if you want to get that ‘airbrushed’ look. Ummm, when is there a time you are applying make-up that don’t want to haven’t airbrushed look???? I mean seriously, if you go to the trouble of putting on make-up, it’s to look flawless or as close to as you can. Using this product in combination with the mineral cover did improve coverage but felt like yet another unnecessary step. With both products in use it had a similar (barely) effect as a single use of a L’Oreal mineral foundation. For every day wear it was a tedious extra thing to have to do. For stage? Well I used it separately to reduce shine over the top of a liquid foundation I used. For that it did OK. It came in a 3g screw top container that was much smaller than the ‘cover’ meaning you may have to purchase more before your ‘cover’ runs out if you use it on a daily basis. Does it ‘diffuse wrinkles’ as the web site spin states? Not that I could tell. Powders have a habit of doing the opposite.
The Nude by nature package comes with an absolutely excellent brush for applying the product. It is a really soft synthetic fibre with fine bristles. It is a lovely brush that is superior to the ones that come automatically with similar L’Oreal products for example.
***** 5 stars for the brush
As you can tell from the tone, I got off on the wrong foot with Nude by Nature – I can’t stand heavy sales pitches and spin. I have continued to use their products because I can’t afford to buy stuff and not use it if it is at least partly decent. When I run out – I will try a different brand however. I will review the bronzer, blush, tinted moisturiser and lip gloss from this pack in a different product review. I did actually like some of their stuff so stay tuned. You can buy their products here, despite everything I have said it is still one of the safer options available and better for you than most standard supermarket and chemist brands.
I aim for Mondays to become ‘Make-up Mondays’ where I tell you what natural products work and what don’t.
With online shopping most products can be purchased from anywhere in the world but if you are after American reviews then I would like to recommend the excellent “glamorganic goddess” blog.
Have you used these products? What did you think? What’s your favourite natural foundation?