Saturday, March 24, 2012

Introducing de Leon ‘indie’ Australian cosmetics brand

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A while ago I caught wind of this idea of home grown ‘indie’ Australian cosmetics companies. Since when?! I had no idea Australians had this kind of ingenuity, hence the reason I don’t own any makeup products made by Australian brands, like Australis and Face of Australia. While some brands like LUSH have their products hand made in Australia, the concept and formulas come from the brand’s head office in the UK, so on so many levels Australia just isn’t known to be that original.

Then along comes de Leon. With head honcho Gladys de Leon at the wheels, the brand has released a range of eye and lip products (however their flagship product ‘Post’s of Colour’ can really be used for eye, cheek and lips). Gladys was kind enough to send me a few samples to try out and introduce to my readers!


de Leon Cosmetics is all about:

  • high quality mineral makeup at affordable prices
  • products that are the result of two years of research and development
  • formulated and handcrafted in Queensland, Australia
  • formulations are long lasting and created without cheap fillers
  • Not tested on animals

While de Leon cosmetics’ packaging is somewhat plain, and I think they would go a long way if they were to invested in more marketing (taking a leaf out of books of brands that ride on their marketing like Australian brand MOR US indie brand Lime Crime), this also emphasizes the ‘indie’ feel of this brand, and anyway the products speak for themselves.

So first up is the de Leon Eye Primer. Apparently this Eye Primer can also be used as a lip primer. 13It looks and feels like lip balm, and works treat in smoothing out the skin.14

The below shows eye shadow (Frustrated Horde) applied on the left, directly on my skin, and on the right, over a patch of skin after applying primer. It does appear that after primer, the pigment grabs on more strongly and smoothly.


Rubbing the eye shadow off with a tissue, it’s clear that the eye shadow has adhered better to my skin after applying the primer. So this product gets a tick!


Next is de Leon’s flagship product, their ‘Pot’s of Colour’. I chose:

I was interested in the stories behind the names of these colours, and asked Gladys to elaborate:

Knock out punch - reminded me of the colour that comes up in bruising when you've got a black eye. That pretty colour at the start, not the yellow green colour at the end that seems to linger!!!

Absinthe sugar - I've tried absinthe and this colour reminded me of the sugar as you pour the liquid through, a sparkly green, tinged with a bit of yellow because the glass I was using had yellow in it. Random and probably no one else will see that!

Frustrated Horde - my fiancee and son used to play WOW. Not only was I a WOW widow, I was also a girl all alone in a house of males that could talk strategy and "stuff" for hours. This phrase popped into my head one day and wouldn't go away till I named something. This colour is one of my favourites (and fabulous with a silver) and even though the boys have gone on to play other games, it still represents that gaming attitude for me.

I admit that one of the reason I picked ‘Frustrated Horde’ was that it reminded me of World of Warcraft, and it was hilarious to find out that it in fact was a reference to the game!


So here are my swatches of the colours. My favourite one is definitely ‘Absinth Sugar’, which is a gorgeous sheer but vibrant shimmer green/yellow. Each of the colours are highly pigmented, and are extremely buildable. “Knock Out Punch”, while it is a pretty colour, really is reminiscent of bruising, which is interesting, but I’m not sure it would be everyone’s cup of tea. I mean, worn on its own, it might be too convincing as a black eye!


Next up are the de Leon lip products. The Lip glosses promise to be highly pigmented and still moisturising; not too oily with a great shine. 41

Interestingly, each lip gloss is complimented by a range of ‘lip stick balms’ of the same colour. The de Leon ‘lipstick balms’ are unique in that they have the full pigmentation of a lipstick and have a high level of opacity.


It’s difficult to represent this in photos, but “I like the ruffles” is a fluorescent light pink, and man is it vibrant! There so many other unique colours in the lip range, including Captain Tightpants, which is a shimmery violet, Spank your inner moppet, a navy blue, and my favourite, Girl know things, a vibrant apricot.


Here’s my look created with the de Leon products. For lips I layered the lip gloss over the lip balm as de Leon's product statement suggests. I think both products together is brilliant, and delivers fully opaque and pigmented colour, but I’m not sure that either product on its own would be enough. The lip balm is indeed highly pigmented, but due to its waxy formulation, creates a matte and powdery finish. The lip gloss by itself is shiny, and feel great on (not sticky at all), but looks best laid over the lip balm, which gives it an extra boost of pigmentation.


Over all, I was impressed with the quality of de Leon products. de Leon’s eye shadow products are high quality, and the colours are original and very pretty. The lip products are unique, and I love the colour range. I think this brand has enormous potential. It’s obvious that the brains behind this operation, Gladys, is full of ideas. I can’t wait to see what else she comes up with!

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