My First Time Ever Trying Black Radiance Beauty. A Haul.

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And as I’m wont to do, I went overboard. In my defence though, Walgreens online was having a buy two get one free, and it wasn’t the sort where you get the least expensive item free, it was based on the order that you placed stuff in your cart. Suffice to say, I got most of the higher priced items for free, although this brand is generally quite inexpensive, so I’m not sure  anything I got topped out over $9.99.

If you’re in disbelief that a black girl hasn’t tried Black Radiance Beauty, I’m right there with you. Most of it is because I’m so tragically used to dealing with mainstream brands that mostly cater towards lighter skin tones, that I’m used to having only two, at the most four shades to chose from. 

When dealing with a brand that’s inclusive or geared towards women of colour, specifically black women, the choices become daunting. Since I happen to fall squarely in the middle of black girl melanin magic, with undertones that are mostly not catered to in most brands, I just get lazy and can’t be bothered. 

However, in my bid to explore and support brands that cater to people that look like me, I started with a sale. So you know, if it doesn’t work I won’t feel too much pain. Plus, I’m looking to experiment, I get sick of the trying products from the same old brands, so if you have a contender out there that I should be checking out, let me know.

I got the new (at the time) Colour Perfect HD Mousse Foundation, three Baked Artisan Blushes, the True Complexion Custom concealer, a finishing powder and ten (I only received nine though) of the Perfect Tone Liquid Lipsticks. 

For whatever reason, none of the Walgreens stores that I live near carry Black Radiance, and the colours are spectacularly off on the website so it was a huge guessing game for me and a lot of Google usage. 

Even through all of that I almost still wound up choosing the wrong foundation shade. All of the shades looked alike and there are no colour descriptions, same with the liquid lipsticks or I may have gotten less of them.

The foundation based on what I read on the website, is supposed to be a second skin sort of deal, but better than I can explain to you, here’s the blurb from the site;

Get picture perfect with Colour Perfect HD Mousse Foundation from Black Radiance. This luxurious, creamy mousse foundation is like second skin. Specially formulated with melanin in mind to enhance your shade of beauty like no other. Black Radiance Colour Perfect HD Mousse Foundation is a high-pigment medium to full coverage foundation made to reveal skins ideal complexion. The rich, long wearing foundation transforms from a creamy mousse into a feather-light powder for a flawless, lasting finish. Available in 6 luscious shades for a wide range of skin tones and undertones.

It comes in six shades from light to darkest in Praline, Cinnamon Spice, Toffee, Caramel Glaze, Mocha Latte and Espresso. Like I said I’m the black girl equivalent of a medium toned chick and so I had a pretty difficult time choosing shades. 

Since I’m square in the middle, I almost got two, Caramel Glaze and Toffee based on the website pictures because I was legit confused. 

In the end, I decided that whatever I felt was right, was probably wrong since I have an extensively  wonderful track record of  going too dark when I should be going lighter. So I went for Cinnamon Spice in the end but good thing that I did.

It comes in a wide mouthed jar that’s pretty heavy glass. In any case it doesn’t look cheap at all considering the $9.99 price, and you get 1.06oz of product.

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I’m sure that the jar irritates a lot of people, myself included, but I simply scoop some of the product onto the back of my hand and use a brush. Speaking of a brush, that is definitely the best way to apply this product. A damp or dry beauty blender just pushes the foundation around. 

When I was searching YouTube videos for review, all of the ones that I came across hated this foundation for one reason or another, I can’t really remember. I didn’t really pay attention to any of them since everything works differently for everyone, and I was simply looking for shade comparison. 

This is legit my perfect shade, I mean, when I first applied it all I couldn’t even tell that I was applying anything, and then duh, ok you’re not supposed to look like you’re wearing anything. The first couple of times that I wore it though, as much as I loved the demi-matte finish and the absolutely perfect shade, it was a disaster. It would slip all over my face, and whole sections would slide off my forehead and form very visible lines, it was mortifying. 

I did eventually figure out that this wasn’t a fault of the foundation though, and I get into that in Friday’s post. It evens out the complexion and it’s a medium with two applications that could probably be built to full, but I’m not testing that theory. It did cover most of my hyperpigmentation spots, but I have two that are particularly stubborn that nothing but a very thick concealer can cover.

This is a true whipped mousse foundation, and as I’ve never used one before I wasn’t sure what to expect. What I got was light and airy foundation that I can’t feel on my face at all. I was also able to take it down my neck to cover that extra darkness and even it out with no problems. 

This shade Cinnamon Spice has a very warm golden undertone that is a perfect match, I like the texture and I think it would make a great summer foundation so I’m likely to pick up Caramel Glaze as well since it looks like a similar shade, just maybe a tone or two darker. I’m wearing the foundation below along with one of the Baked Artisan Blushes in Toasted Almond.

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Speaking of concealers. The Custom Coverage concealer from what I can see comes in only three combo compacts of Fair-Light, Light-Medium and Dark-Deep. Once again vetoing my inner naysayer, I went with Fair-Light simply because the others looked so very dark, and again good thing that I did. The compact is an interesting square deal with a slide out bottom that contains a sponge…for concealer…? Sure, ok.

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See? It’s not very dark In fact, I can just barely use the lighter side for under-eye brightening. When I used it for spot concealing, I had to mix then to get a colour that was lighter than the dark side and darker than the light side, so yeah, custom. Putting this out there right now that I hate this concealer. When I used it for brightening, it did a pretty decent job. It’s rather thin and emollient so trying to build it was difficult, I could have dealt with that had it not turned entirely grey around my mouth. For as warm as they look in the pan, they’re both very neutral. Is a no for this one.

Only three shades of the Baked Artisan Blushes were available from the Walgreens website and I got all of them. Listen, these blushes are the truth. Very pigmented and they last. I was initially not going to get them cause they’re baked and I do not typically like the sheen that accompanies baked products. 

But I figured if I were doing a haul of a brand, then I should give everything a chance right? I got the shades Toasted Almond, a golden brown with a terracotta undertone. Warm Berry, self explanatory, and Rich Peach that I got because it looked nothing like a peach that ever was, and in fact turned out to be a very bright pink coral. They’re housed in the common drugstore packaging with a see through lid, but for some reason, I’m not mad at it.

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Below, I’m wearing Warm Berry and you can see Toasted Almond in action up top, although it’s very lightly applied cause these blushes are scary pigmented and very warm colours overwhelm me.

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I did get the Soft Focus Finishing Powder in Golden Almond as well, but I’ve only used it once so I don’t really want to comment it because I can’t say if it wears well. I just used it in the bathroom once to make sure that the colour wasn’t too light as it looked in the pan. It wasn’t, it’s more of a translucent powder than anything else, but I’m posting a swatch at least. This is the packaging and it is huge.

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Now onto the Perfect Tone Liquid Lipsticks. I have a bit of a love hate relationship with these things. On the one hand, I love the colours, especially the greyed out tones that can often look ashy on darker, warmer skin tones. Black Radiance did a spectacular job of adding a brown to the base of those greyed out tones that doesn’t overwhelm them, but stops them from being ashy. 

They are also a really comfy wear, no dryness although they dry matte with no tackiness. I have nine in my possession, and full disclosure a few of the colours that I own aren’t the ones that I ordered. Thanks Walgreens people. Swatches below.

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What I dislike and why there are only three pictures of me wearing them and the swatch picture isn’t labelled, is the names are printed on the wrapping seal, something that I didn’t figure out until after I had already thrown them out. Something else that factors into few pictures of them is the wear time is balls. 

I mean, maybe two hours and if you do anything at all in those two hours, they’re gone. So be silent. Fading on them is also that weird, what I like to call, Kabuki style where you’re left with colour just in the middle of the lips. This picture is me about an hour and a half after I applied and had coffee. Excuse the crappy bathroom selfie, but you get the point.

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It really sucks because other than the wear time, I would rock with these hard.

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Final Thoughts.

I’m not mad at Black Opal at all, despite the two hiccups I plan to explore the brand some more, I’m really geeking on that foundation to be honest. Also, dude every time I look at a picture I’ve taken I come to the same conclusion…I wear a lot of grey. It’s almost like someone told me I wear too much black and I decided to spice it up but not go crazy…Rebel.

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