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Adorn Cosmetics is an Australian, eco-luxe make up brand that is certified cruelty and toxic free and designed for busy ladies just like you and me

Adorn Cosmetics

Adorn Cosmetics Review

I would love to have more time to play around with my daily look.  What woman doesn’t?  But the truth is, I usually only have a rushed 5-10 minutes a day to get my face into decent shape.  So I need non-toxic make up that is quick and easy to apply, but will also last the distance.

Recently, the team at The Organic Project sent me 3 products from their Adorn Cosmetics range (listed below in the order of application):

  1. Anti-Aging SPF 20+ Loose Mineral Foundation in Fair $59 AUD SHOP HERE
  2. Chubbi Mineral & Organic Eyeliner in Onyx $15 AUD SHOP HERE
  3. Waterproof Mascara in Black Onyx $39 AUD SHOP HERE
UPDATE: As at 29 June 2017, The Organic Project doesn’t appear to be stocking Adorn Cosmetics anymore.  Purchase direct or, for a list of current stockists, click here.

It turns out, Adorn Cosmetics produces the perfect make up for someone like me.  Their products are formulated for busy women… they are water and sweat resistant, which translates to durability, and they require less time and effort to apply.

I was pretty impressed by mid afternoon when there was still no sign of panda eyes and my face had maintained a level of coverage I was comfortable with.  So I’ve become a bit of a fan… and have added Adorn Cosmetics to my list of top Australian, organic & mineral, cruelty-free make up brands.

Adorn Cosmetics Review - Anti-Ageing SPF 20+ Loose Mineral Foundation

Anti-Aging SPF 20+ Loose Mineral Foundation – Fair

This is a loose mineral foundation which is great for oily prone skin.  I generally have dry skin but I managed to make it work by adding a bit of water or toner to the tips of my makeup bush and turning it into a liquid consistency before applying.

The effect was a lovely lightweight finish, natural coverage.  A massive bonus is that it has SPF 20+ sun protection which protects against both UVA and UVB rays.  If you have oily prone skin, this product would be perfect for your skin type.  If your skin is more like mine though – dry, mature aged – it may be worth trying their Compact Hydrating Cream Foundation ($65 AUD) instead.

One of the most common complaints about mineral make up is that it can cause an annoying tingling sensation.  According to the Green Beauty Team, the most common cause is the make up brush used to apply the foundation… not the foundation itself.  Check if your brush is made with animal hair.  If it is, try switching to a vegan brush with man-made bristles (I mean, aside from the obvious animal cruelty issues that come with the manufacture of animal-hair brushes, do you really want animal hair on your face?!).  Adorn also sells a 7 piece vegan brush set.  I used Ere Perez’s kabuki brush, also vegan, to apply this foundation and I didn’t experience any tingling sensation.

That being said, if the itchy feeling stems from a skin sensitivity to Titanium Dioxide, you will most likely experience some tingling with this foundation too, as it does contain the usual suspect: Titanium Dioxide.  This should only happen when you sweat though.  If you have an actual allergy to Titanium Dioxide, avoid this product altogether.

Adorn Cosmetics Review - Anti-Ageing SPF 20+ Loose Mineral Foundation

Chubbi Mineral & Organic Eyeliner – Onyx

I’m all about a fuller lash line and the Chubbi does it well.  I would almost compare this thick pencil eyeliner to one of those thick Crayola crayons for toddlers.  To be honest, I would compare my make up skills to that of a toddler… so the Chubbi is a great tool for women like me!  It’s perfect if you want a thick lash line but don’t have a lot of time, or a steady hand.  Hold the upper lashes and draw a thick line along the underside of your lash line.  You will instantly have a lovely dark, thick base to work with when applying your mascara.  If you have more time on your hands, use an angle brush to apply a thick line along the top side of your upper lashes, angling the line upwards towards the outer corners.  One of the things that puzzled me about this eyeliner is that it doesn’t seem possible to sharpen, so it’s size is deceiving.  In other words, there’s less of it than you would think.  All I can suggest is that once the liner goes blunt, start to apply it exclusively with an angle brush, rather than directly with the pencil.  You will get a lot more use out of it that way.

Adorn Cosmetics Review

Adorn Cosmetics Review - Chubbi Mineral & Organic Eyeliner

Waterproof Mascara in Black Onyx

There are pros and cons with Adorn Cosmetics’ waterproof mascara.  I’ll get to the cons in a second, but let me focus on what I loved first…

In terms of “waterproofness”, this mascara performs very well.  As I mentioned earlier, no panda eyes with this one.  The black onyx is formulated with the carbon black pigment which is going to give you a lovely dark shade of black.  It has a thin, wet consistency and the wand is small, resulting in a delicate, natural lash… perfect for day wear.  For women with naturally thick, full lashes, you will love this mascara.  If your lashes are on the thinner side, I recommend you prime first with the mascara primer.  Create an even fuller lash by running a thick line with the Chubbi eyeliner along the underside of your upper lash before applying the primer, then finishing with the mascara.

Now for the cons.  All of Adorn Cosmetics’ products are Certified Toxic-Free by Safe Cosmetics Australia (SCA), except for one: the waterproof mascara.  Of course, if you’re anything like me, the first question that comes to mind is: “does this mean the mascara is toxic”?  After consulting the experts (which I will get to in a minute), I have come to the conclusion that, no, the product is not ‘toxic’ in the sense that the product itself is safe and non-hazardous to your health.

Two things before I go on.

First, here is the full ingredients list (the two in bold are frequently referred to as ‘nasties’):

Water, Polyvinyl Alcohol Copolymer, Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax, Propylene Glycol, Triethanolamine (TEA), Carbon Black, Nylon Fiber (Nylon-66)

Second, I want to be clear on my position: I’m not perfectly ‘clean’ in my green beauty endeavors.  I actually find it incredibly difficult to be 100% green these days and, at times, I’m not willing to forgo certain products based on the fact that they contain synthetics which may be considered ‘toxic’.  What I do aim to do is reduce my overall exposure to known toxic ingredients where possible.  Most products, consumed by themselves, are not ‘toxic’.  But the issue is how many of these products are we consuming daily?  We now know that toxins have an accumulative affect and can build up in the body over time.  So I try to follow Paige Padgett’s 80/20 Rule, where 80% of my overall consumption is ‘clean’ and the remaining 20% can be compromised with my favorite things which may contain some of the ‘nasties’.  The products in that 20% must be pretty stellar for me to continue to use them.  (A high performing waterproof mascara is a great example!)

Now I’ve made my position clear, let me get to what the experts said about this mascara…

Initially, I reached out to Lorraine Dallmeier, who is the highly esteemed Director of Formula Botanica, an online accredited Organic Cosmetic Science School, and Founder of Green Alchemy, a natural cosmetics design consultancy firm.  I wanted to know her thoughts on the level of toxicity in Adorn’s waterproof mascara formulation.  Her reply:

… the concept of toxicity is often misused in skincare because toxicity is caused by the dose – in effect, everything can be toxic. If you drink a truckload of water, it could kill you for instance. So could a tablespoon of snake venom. So my advice would be not to get too focused on this concept of toxicity. All of these apps and websites that give products a toxicity rating or certification… it doesn’t really mean all that much.

I really respect Lorraine so her comments were a real eye opener.

I then contacted the lovely Amina Kitching, Founder and Editor of SCA.  Amina was familiar with the product as she was involved in the certification process.  I was relieved to learn that she shared my opinion:

Having reviewed the Waterproof Mascara – Black ONYX by Adorn Cosmetics, I would choose this product over another waterproof mascara available due to the product containing very few ingredients, only 7 in total and the fact that the company is committed to producing 100% natural products.

She went on to explain why this particular mascara didn’t meet SCA’s Toxic-Free criteria, despite being considered safe and non-hazardous:

… it contains synthetic ingredients that are required to produce a waterproof substance… a synthetic resin, alcohol and emulsifier that thickens and stabalises the product ingredients, further enabling the formula to achieve it’s waterproof capabilities. This product is an excellent example of the challenges faced by toxic-free cosmetic companies, to produce competitive products that are made from 100% natural ingredients. Consumers demand natural products that perform as well as mainstream varieties, in this case synthetic chemicals are required to produce a waterproof mascara.

According to Amina, no natural ingredients are currently available which deliver a 100% waterproof formulation, so synthetic ingredients are necessary in order to produce a waterproof substance.  It is for this reason the SCA has developed a new certification seal called ‘MADE SAFE’, which means that a product is made in a safe base of ingredients with necessary synthetic chemicals that are added in order to deliver a formulation that meets the product’s end use.  By offering this second seal, the SCA aims to encourage suppliers to produce competitive products that meet consumer demand.  Importantly, companies are required to pledge that when a suitable natural alternative ingredient becomes available the supplier will endeavor to replace synthetic chemicals.

Amina explained the importance of offering the MADE SAFE seal:

This is an essential step in working towards a safer and healthier future. Suppliers need to be competitive in the beauty industry, consumers demand this and if a company can provide evidence that they have sourced the most natural chemicals available, then SCA will support their efforts in working towards a toxic-free future.

Finally, a word from Briony Kennedy herself, Director of Adorn Cosmetics:

At Adorn we strive to offer the best alternative to that of not using anything at all… and for a couple of products that means using synthetics. In the instance of our Waterproof mascara, customers who suffer from mascara smudging (for various reasons) at least now have a choice to use one.  We are very transparent about our company and our products and always do our best to give our loyal following the most natural and environmentally friendly products available – right through to how they are packaged to the customer.  I am very proud of the integrity the Adorn brand has and for which I have worked so hard to achieve.

Briony confirmed the waterproof mascara is certified MADE SAFE by the SCA.

In summary, if you are looking for a ‘non-toxic’ waterproof mascara, this is one of the safest products on the market, as the formulation itself is harmless. That being said, I would still be wary when you see these two ingredients in future: Propylene Glycol, Triethanolamine (TEA).  I think the key is to investigate a little before you dismiss any product.  Review the ethics of the brand.  Have a look at how the product has been formulated.  Ask whether a natural alternative could have been used in the formulation.  How low are the quantities? Remember that the ingredients listed towards the end have the lowest quantities in the product.  Ultimately, you should consider how ‘clean’ your overall consumption is and aim to be 80% clean (this includes the food you eat, the products you use on your body and around your home to clean your house, wash your clothes etc.).

Let me put it this way, if Adorn Cosmetics didn’t offer a waterproof mascara, I would look to another company to find one because, for me, non-waterproof varieties often result in panda eyes.  I’m a busy gal and rarely have time to touch up multiple times a day, so I need makeup that will last the distance.  Adorn’s waterproof mascara performs so well that I’m more than happy to let it sit in my 20%.  I personally wear it daily.

Adorn also offers a non-waterproof counterpart, which is both mineral and organic and is formulated with Organic Jojoba Seed Oil and Grapefruit Extracts.

Adorn Cosmetics Review

Adorn Cosmetics Review

The Organic Project

These products were sent to me by the team over at The Organic Project.  I highly recommend you head over to their gorgeous website and check out their range.

UPDATE: As at 29 June 2017, The Organic Project doesn’t appear to be stocking Adorn Cosmetics anymore.  Purchase direct or, for a list of current stockists, click here.

Here’s why I love The Organic Project:

  • They stock some of Australia’s crème-de-la-crème organic and natural health, beauty and lifestyle products
  • They ship for free on all Australian orders – this is a MASSIVE plus for me
  • If you enter your email into the Pop Up box and enter TOP at checkout, they’ll give you $10 AUD off any order over $20 AUD (I just bought Ere Perez’s Multipurpose eco vegan brush and it only cost me $22.95, shipping was free – cheaper than walking into the local health food store where it would have cost me $39.95!)
  • Their customer service is awesome
  • They also ship internationally at very reasonable rates
  • Their website is friggan beeeoooootiful
  • A portion of your purchase goes towards their partner, Opportunity International Australia, who help women and children in developing countries break out of the cycle of poverty… doesn’t that make you feel good?!

Thanks for reading…

Matilda Eleventh Beauty organic beauty blogger

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* Disclaimer: I am not an expert.  All opinions expressed here are my own.

4 Comments on Adorn Cosmetics Review

  1. Dee
    July 31, 2017 at 2:25 pm (2 months ago)

    I think Adorn Cosmetics and Skincare are amazing. My skin has never looked or felt better and the customer service is fantastic as the staff really care an d there to help you. Keep up the great work Adorn Cosmetics!

    • eleventhbeauty
      July 31, 2017 at 6:47 pm (2 months ago)

      That’s so nice to hear Doreen! Thanks so much for reading xo

  2. Glamor Hippie
    July 19, 2017 at 11:53 am (2 months ago)

    Thank you for such an amazing post! I had never heard of The Organic Project before today. I am going to pop over there now and have a look 🙂

    • eleventhbeauty
      July 19, 2017 at 8:04 pm (2 months ago)

      You’re so welcome lovely! I haven’t heard from the guys over at The Organic Project in a while – they don’t seem to be stocking Adorn Cosmetics at the moment. I will chase them again and see if I can find out what’s going on there. But go and check them out anyway – they have a lovely collection of brands. Thanks for reading! xox


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