Ethical Beauty Brand Overview: Sonia Kashuk

Today in #EthicalBeauty, I’m writing about Sonia Kashuk, a brand available exclusively at Target. I’ve been a fan of Sonia Kashuk’s brand since she first launched it at Target. It used to be a super bargain brand – with Revlon prices but department store quality. Now it’s not quite so inexpensive – ounce for ounce, some of the products are as pricey as the most luxurious brands – but for the most part the quality is still there. The only bummer is that Target doesn’t put out testers of the products (which they do for their other brand Pixi) and they don’t accept returns on open products. It’s really annoying, especially when you’re trying to figure out your foundation color. Please note that not all of Sonia Kashuk’s products are made in the US so I’m only reviewing products that are. Please double check labels when you’re buying Sonia Kashuk products – and be aware that their brushes are all made in China.

  • Hidden Agenda Concealer Palette – I really like this palette. It comes with three shades of concealer and a tiny pan of setting powder. There’s a greenish shade to use over red areas and then a lighter and darker color you can blend for a custom color match. The only downside is that this palette only comes in two colors – light and medium – and the medium is actually on the light side so a lot of women are left out. However, if you are in the color range of this products, it’s great to have in your kit!
  • Radiant + Tinted Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 15 – I love that this tinted moisturizer has a broad spectrum sunscreen, though I prefer a minimum SPF of 30. This is a really good product in a fairly decent range of shades that is a nice option for anyone looking for sheer to light coverage.
  • Foundation Stick – I was hoping this would be a full coverage stick as I prefer full coverage cream foundations to come in a stick rather than a pot. Sadly, the coverage on this is about a medium and it isn’t really buildable – it gets too cakey looking when I try to build it up in areas that need more coverage. If you’re someone who needs light to medium coverage, this would be great because you can apply it directly to areas that need more coverage and then use a damp Beauty Blender type of sponge to spread it out to the rest of the face.
  • Undetectable Loose Powder – This is a great loose powder. On me it is undetectable as it says it is, although I am not sure if it would work as well on darker complexions. It’s a smaller loose powder container with a screw on top so it’d be great to travel with. The only thing is that at $10 for .1 oz, it’s not that inexpensive.(To compare, Laura Mercier’s loose powder is $37 for 1 oz – 10x the product.) BUT it’s one of the few cruelty free loose powders out there and it’s the same quality as any department store loose powder.  Please note, on Target’s website, it says this product is imported, but on the packaging, it says that it is Made in USA. That could mean that they’ve changed where they’re getting this product manufactured so please double check the packaging when you buy it!
  • Shimmering Loose Powder Bronzer – I don’t necessarily see the value of a loose powder versus a pressed powder bronzer, as I didn’t see a difference in the application but this is a nice shimmery, golden bronzer that gives a lovely sunkissed glow. It’s not exactly natural because you can see the shimmers but if you want that J. Lo glow, this product will deliver. This comes in packaging that is almost identical to the loose powder so, again, it’s actually not that much of a bargain for the amount of product you get BUT a little goes a looooong way so this should last you a long time.
  • Beautifying Blush – I got this in Flamingo, a lovely cool-toned pink. I really love the packaging of these blushes as the compact is small, flip top (instead of screw) and has a clear top so you can see the color of the product. This blush gives a very natural flush to the cheeks. It doesn’t really build up so if you’re looking for a “pop” color, keep looking.
  • Creme Blush – I got this in Rosey – a warm-toned pink. This is actually way more pigmented than the Beautifying Blush so at first I had clown cheeks. But once I got the hang of it, this blush gave a gorgeous natural flush. I like using a stippling brush to blend it out onto my cheeks.
  • Dewy Luxe Lip & Cheek Balm – This is a liquid stain like Benetint which you can apply with the little brush applicator. I’m not crazy about products like this because they tend to set faster than I can blend them out but if you like Benetint, you might want to check this out as a cruelty-free alternative.
  • Satin Luxe Lip Color SPF 15 – If you like bullet-style lipsticks, Sonia Kashuk has a great selection of beautiful, flattering colors. These lipsticks are comfortable on the lips, though not necessarily hydrating, and have a luminous finish.
  • Lustrous Shine Lip Crayon – I have this lip crayon in a couple of colors – Dahlia (a beautiful deep fuchsia color) and Sweet Pea (a perfect peachy nude). These are great throw on lipsticks because the smaller tip makes them easy to apply without a mirror (although Dahlia is so pigmented, you probably want to use a mirror just in case).
  • Moisture Luxe Tinted Lip Balm – For those days when you just want a touch of color, for a my lips but better look, these are easy to grab for. I wish they’d come with a broad spectrum SPF, though, since I still have to layer these with my SPF lip balm.
  • Shine Luxe Sheer Lip Color – This lipstick is a little more pigmented than the tinted balm above and is formulated for shine rather than moisture (although it still feels soft and comfortable on the lips like a lip balm). The texture reminds me a lot of Clinique’s Almost Lipstick and I find that I reach for this a lot on days when I’m running errands and don’t want to be too precious about my lips. I personally prefer this to the Moisture Luxe Tinted Lip Balm but I like slightly more pigment. Otherwise, the texture of the two is very similar.
  • Liquid Line Precision Marker – I was really excited about this eye liner because it looks a lot like Kat Von D’s Tattoo liner. Unfortunately, the actual pigment is really thin so it doesn’t show up on my lids the way that I want it to. I would NOT recommend this, sadly.
  • Dramatically Defining Liquid Eye Liner – Like the marker above, I found the pigmentation in this eyeliner to be watery – it was really hard to get a defined black line. Another eyeliner dud!
  • Dramatically Defining Longwear Gel Liner – If you’re looking for a cruelty-free, ethical (made in the US!) gel liner, this is definitely one to check out. It has great pigmentation (unlike the liners above) and definitely performs the same on me as other gel liners that I’ve tried.
  • Lay It On The Line Eyeliner Palette – If you’re someone who likes to use a pigmented powder eyeliner pressed into your lash line with a flat head brush then this stuff is the bomb. I really love that you get 6 colors in this palette. It’s my favorite of the Sonia Kashuk eyeliner offerings. A couple of colors are a little light, and I would consider them eye shadows rather than eyeliners, but that’s a minor quibble.
  • Dramatically Intensifying Kajal Crayon – This product is really beautiful to look at and fun to use for a VERY dramatic look. Think Benefit’s Bad Gal eyeliner. This crayon has a very thick tip and no way to sharpen it. The annoying thing is that this doesn’t really smudge very easily. Whenever I tried to use a smudge brush to smudge it out for a smokey look, the brush lifted the product off my eye lid. I didn’t find this to be very workable for my purposes, but if you want a very dramatic, dark thick line and don’t want to smudge it, this is a good option.
  • Eye On Neutral Matte Eye Couture Palette – At $20 for .34 oz of eye shadows, this is VERY pricey for a drugstore brand. However, it’s still a great deal when compared to department store palettes and with one exception, the eye shadows all perform as well as department store eye shadows. (The exception being the creamy white, which has barely any pigment.) This is a great addition to any eye shadow collection. A great basic to build a cruelty free kit on.
  • Pearlesence Longwear Creme Shadow – I have problems with dry eyes that water constantly, so I had high hopes that this creme shadow would last longer than powder on primer. Sadly, it didn’t. Based on how well a swatch on my hand lasted, I think anyone with normal eyes would be happy with the wear of these pretty, metallic creme shadows.
  • Eye Makeup Remover – If you’re a fan of biphasic eye makeup removers like Lancôme’s or Neutrogena’s, you *have* to check this out! This is great at removing waterproof eye makeup or liquid lipstick. Granted, you do still need to do a bit of rubbing, it’s not exactly effortless (but I find that to be true of ALL eye makeup removers since I use waterproof eyeliner and mascara), but this is one of the best eye makeup removers I’ve tried and it comes in a nice big bottle so it’s a great deal!

My favorite products in the line, the ones I definitely recommend, are the matte eye shadow palette, the eyeliner palette, the concealer palette, the loose powder, the Lustrous Shine lip crayon, the Shine Luxe Sheer Lip Colour and the Eye Makeup Remover but I think this line has a lot of great quality products and an affordable price point and is well worth the trip to Target!