Brand Overview: Rock & Republic Beauty

31 July, 2009

Does the name sound familiar to you? One of the top makers of premium denim, Rock & Republic launched a beauty line last year known for its rock-inspired packaging and of course, the $225 bronzer. The line itself is a fairly small line, but give it some time and visibility and it may just grow! It offers a nice mix of neutrals, colours, and smokey shades, so everyone should be able to find something that they like. Of all the beauty brands out there, this is probably THE one I am dying to try the most.

Let’s start off with that bronzer, shall we? The bronzer is $225, and you get a free brush! No, seriously. The casing has the R&R logo on the top done over with a few hundred Swarovski crystals, over a black main part. The bronzer itself is a “universally flattering” shade, complete with your choice of highlighter, dependent on your skin tone. Benefit does a similar idea with their 10 powder, which is a bronzer/highlight, but this gives you more bronzer for your buck. The other nice thing is that you can buy powder refills for $45, which is a very smart and economical thing to do considering you just plunked down over $200 for a bronzer! Like I mentioned earlier, you do get a kabuki brush with this, which is genius. I personally cannot live without my 181 (small kabuki brush) for bronzer, and I’m glad somebody else caught onto that. This is not something that everybody will ever own, and I would have to give it a try in person-but the packaging is way cute (not tacky) and I do like the bronzer/highlight idea.You will be surprised to hear that there are no foundations with this line-but I’m not complaining, as I don’t wear any! One of the options they do have is a pressed powder for sheer-to-medium coverage, and it retails for $44. There is a fairly good shade selection, however I am just worried if their lightest shade is light enough for my fairness. There is a “Classic” SPF 20 primer (with each of its names representing an “Old Hollywood” starlet) that boasts of caffeine, vitamin E, a silicone base, and being oil-absorbing. It retails for $46, and I like the caffeine part-I have circulation issues (don’t we all) so something like that is certainly welcome. In addition, there is their “Trickery” Tinted Illuminizer which retails for $48, and has light-diffusing polymers that give a nice, brightened look, while absorbing oil as well. I love how it’s a water-based formula, and anti-inflammatory, as my skin can get supremely irritated at times. I definitely would eventually give both the primer and the illuminzer a try, as I love how the mantra is to go for a sheerer coverage on the face. Just enough to even things out-because when you’re in your 20’s (which I believe is the target audience), you don’t need to have a caked-on face.

The blushes look VERY interesting, namely Kinky and Immoral. It is nice to see a brand put out such bright shades in their everyday line, but don’t worry, there’s a lot of more subdued shades as well-Seduce is one I would go for, as it’s a very nice plum. They boast of three finishes-matte, shimmer, and translucent-but I do not know which is which, sadly. Each blusher retails for $40, which I think is about right. If I get the funds, Kinky and Immoral are going to be right at the top of my shopping list.

Their Noir collection (don’t know if it was limited-edition, or just a part of their line) features three products. The first two? Eye trios, retailing for $65, and they are definite smokey-eye sets. The first one features a white, a neutral pink, and then your black, while the second one features a golden white, a midtone purple, and then a matte black. The other thing is the Noir Gloss, which is a pot-form gloss. Thankfully, it’s a wider and shallower pot than many. It also comes with a retractable lip brush, which I think is a wise move on their part: I wouldn’t be caught dead applying pot-form gloss with my fingers! Both of the shades-Conspiracy and Confession-are neutrals, but it’s meant to go with the eye that you get from the Noir set! Each of the glosses is $35.

There are tube-style glosses as well, don’t worry-and the packaging is gorgeous! It’s a rounded packaging that is oh-so-sleek, and the perfect companion to a pair of R&R jeans (which I cannot wear because it would destroy the line of the jean to tailor it to my 28″ inseam). There again is a nice mix of shades here, and they look to be similar to Glossimers. These boast of vitamins A and E for protecting and nourishing the lips, as well as a look that can be sheer or not, depending on your personal tastes. Cougar, Loudmouth, and Hot Sauce (which looks like a similar shade to MAC’s Utterly Posh) all have my interest, although Preppy Punk and Trust Fund are kinda fun too! Each one of these glosses retails for $26 apiece.

You like eyeshadows? There are 48 shadows here for you to choose from, and no less than 10 of them have caught my interest (Fuel, Scene, Brink, Electric, Fade, Corrosive, Paranoid, Femme, Jaded, Love Rocks, Corset, Scorch). These, like the blushes, are available in three finishes-matte, satin, or shimmer. They are a high-pigment, jet-milled formula, which is important (at least the first part) and looking at the pictures of the shadows in the pan, it’s a case of “Hubba hubba”. You can tell that you’re going to get good results from these. They retail for $28, and the vanity junkie in me loves that they come in a mirrored compact, which I find to be nice to have (especially when I have to touch-up on the go).

They also do a gel eyeliner, which I am a huge fan of-I prefer gel to pencils any day! There are six shades of the eyeliner, and I love the casing-a little glass pot similar to MAC’s Fluidline, with a R&R logo cap! Each one retails for $24, and I would be interested to try Smut and Mental to see just how well they would hold up on me. Finally, in the eye front, they do a mascara. One mascara, one shade (black), and it’s meant to be volumizing and long-wearing, with no flakes or clumps. It retails for $28, which considering the rest of the price points of this brand I feel is decent.

Last but not least, there is a selection of 8 brushes. There are some bigger-time brands that do less as far as that number goes, so I think that they did well! There are two face brushes. First up, the 101, is a long-handled buff brush. It’s a flat-topped brush, designed for the buffing of pressed powders, and I like the sound of this! (MAC needs to do something similar) It retails for $65. The 102, meanwhile, is a dome-cut blush brush that looks small-headed enough to where you could highlight/contour with it as well. It retails for $48. Moving onto the eye brushes, the 201 is a short shader brush, similar to MAC’s 214. It’s meant to really pack a colour in or to smudge out a liner for those smokey eyes. This retails for $36. The 202 is a small shader, and it’s got longer fibers than the 201, but it’s narrower-it’s perfect for detailed work. It retails for $34. The 203 is a tapered blending brush with long-ish fibers, similar to the 222 from MAC (that or the 224, I get them confused all the time). For what I do, a brush like that would only work to deposit colour in the crease-I like shorter fibers, or something like the 226. It retails for $32. The 204 is a definer brush, and it honestly is one brush that I think I would go crazy over. It’s a shorter, tapered cut, so it’s perfect for detail work (a hint of colour in the crease, a wider lower liner), smudging, blending small areas, you name it. It retails for $32. I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s an eyeliner brush, though, as it looks to be too thick for that. The 205 is an angled brush, and it retails for $27. A lot of people love these brushes to easily define the brows, however their best use is for applying eyeliner, as you can get a nice, neat line and easily wing out the liner if you so desire. Finally, the 206 is a smudger brush meant to be used with their gel liners, and I frankly love the concept! Short, narrow fibers will help give a nice, thicker look, but also help if you want to smudge out pencils or shadows. This retails for $27 as well, and I kinda think I want it, too:)

While the price point may put some people off from this line, I find that the products are more like investment pieces. The compacts are amazing for people like myself who need our packaging to be as beautiful as the products themselves, and the colours are not all boring neutrals! This is definitely a collection for people who could afford brands like Dior or Chanel as the staples in their makeup collection, but want something funkier. This has a definite rock ‘n roll edge to it, which I love as well (every girl has their inner rockstar). The products are available on the Rock & Republic website, as well as at select Nordstrom stores.

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