I got the J.Cat Beauty Shimmery Powder as part of the brand’s eye vault. 9 items for $24.00! This product retails normally at $3.45 ($31.36/oz). I got the shades floral white and dark wood. I gave them a score of 19.
It took me a while to get brave and try this product. I’ve never used loose eyeshadows before and I really wasn’t sure what to do with them. I was already very dubious about the size of the opening on the container so I had to come up with a way to get at the powder first. I decided to give them a try on days that I wasn’t leaving the house, just in case it was a disaster.
This review is split into 2 parts: One where I’ve trialed this product with a wet brush and one where I’ve trialed this product with a dry brush.
My first attempt was a disaster.
I have a compact that is great for holding product that I can’t apply from the pan. I normally use it for foundation and then wipe it out with an antibacterial wipe when I’m finished. I thought that might work for these loose powders. I just can’t see myself trying to blindly stick a brush down into that tiny bottle. The mess…
I applied Urban Decay Primer Potion and used a light brown transition shade (can’t remember which one) and got ready to try the shade dark wood first.
I tried shaking it out into this compact and well, the powder doesn’t come out easy. You kind of have to tap it a bit and I ended up with way too much powder out for my first try. I managed to scoop a good bit of it up and return it to the bottle. Then I was stuck with trying to get this from the compact to my skin. I already knew fall out would be an issue. I mean, it is loose powder. I pulled out my setting spray and wet my brush first.
That was a mistake.
I went way overboard on the setting spray. As soon as it touched the powder, it kind of melted into this molten-looking shimmery pool. I wasn’t really paying attention to the compact though. I went straight in with the brush on my eyelid and it went everywhere. Including in my eye. Uh… this stuff burns, just fyi.
So I had to go wash my face and flush my eye for a few minutes. That was fun.
When I was finally able to try again, the powder soup had dried. I cleaned the compact, washed and dried the brush, and tried again. This time, I wet the brush less. When it touched the powder, the powder became creamy. I applied it to my lid (cringing inwardly) and to my surprise, it went on with the ease and pigmentation I expect from my ColourPop cream shadows. It was stunning pigmentation. I did the same thing with the floral white shade and applied it to the lash line like a gel eyeliner. When I swatched floral white, it was almost sheer. But using it with a wet brush like I did, it had good pigmentation.
I tried to blend the shade dark wood that I had applied wet after I applied it and had let it sit. No go. It does not like to blend when applied like that. Similarly, floral white didn’t smudge on the lash line after I applied it.
Applied wet with a good eyeshadow primer, this product will last about 8 hours before it starts creasing. It is not waterproof so if you have watery eyes like me, it will run lines onto your eyelid and eat the eyeshadow. As a loose powder, this is messy but application is pretty easy with a reasonably wet brush. The finish, thanks to the shimmer and wet application, almost looks like a metallic foil eyeshadow. It is quite stunning.
After the semi-successful trials of using this product with a wet brush, I finally had to try it dry. Again, I was doubtful that this was going to work.
I set it up like I had with the wet application: clean compact, eyeshadow primer, light brown transition shade.
Getting this product onto a dry brush was not as difficult as I thought it would be. It seems to cling to the brush hairs well enough. But once I touch it to my face, the fall out is beyond reasonable. I looked like I had a bad case of freckles and dandruff when I was done. The worst part was trying to do a nice inner-corner highlight. It went everywhere but where I wanted it to go.
When I tried to blend the darker color after applying it dry, it just kind of faded away. It took about 4 or 5 layers of product and very careful blending to keep some of the pigmentation in place. The same happened with floral white. I carefully dabbed it onto the center of my lid for a halo effect. It went on fine. But when I tried to blend it, it just faded away. Ultimately, I didn’t even bother photographing these, it was that bad.
In conclusion, these loose powders are probably not for amateurs. They are very reasonably priced but the learning curve is steep. They don’t blend well, no matter how you apply them. If you can live with a sharp line and apply it right, these can be incredible eyeshadows for a short day. But if you want everything to be softly blended or need longevity, these are not the eyeshadows you are looking for. I haven’t decided what I’m going to do with these loose powders. I am not a fan of them but I think they can work for someone that knows what they are doing. I don’t have too many occasions where I plan to only wear makeup for a few hours but that dark wood would be very appropriate for any situation that might be. I haven’t decided if they will go in the box of shame yet or not. If I keep them, they’ll expire long before I use them up.