I’m sure you’ve heard of this brand by now since it’s making the rounds on all the Canadian beauty blogs! 😉 I won’t bore you too much with the mythos of Maison Jacynthe (yes, there’s a real person behind the brand, Jacynthe René) as it’s been written about countless times recently – let’s just get into the products since that’s what I’m here for. In September, I was contacted to select some products to try out – here’s what I chose:
• Eye shadow refill pan in 11 Macchiato
• Blush refill pan in 01 Romeo
• Large Compact
Rather than choosing only makeup items, I decided to pick the refillable compact because, you know that I don’t need any more makeup! 😛
While the brand has a presence in its native province of Quebec, it hasn’t expanded much into English-speaking Canada yet – its promotional material and products were all only in French.
But that will soon all change because Maison Jacynthe is in the process of adding English to all of its content – the website has already been updated (although not 100% of the French content is reflected yet – you’re still better off translating the French site into English using the web browser translator). Promotional material and packaging will soon have English as well. Part of me thinks though, something is lost when I see the French translated to English:
Maquillage becomes Makeup
Fard à paupières becomes Eye shadow
Crayon yeux noir becomes Black eyeliner
Just loses that je ne sais quoi? 😉
The items I received came packaged very securely with a nice touch:
The refill pans are packaged like how MAC packages theirs – simple flat inserts, very minimal waste.
I’ve been testing these items for the past few weeks and here are my thoughts:
Eye shadow in 11 Macchiato (C$22 for 3g)
The formula claims to be soft, high pigment and long wearing – and 91 to 100% of its ingredients are organic (depending on the shade). The eye shadow range is well developed – there are currently 15 shades and I was quite stumped as to what colour to choose to avoid dupes of what I own. I wanted to stay away from the usual suspects: taupes or nudey type shades. Maison Jacynthe offers a lot of neutrals – which would YOU have chosen?
I almost chose one of the purples but I felt Macchiato is different enough from all the neutrals I own.
I would describe it as a matte dark sage grey. It blends fine for a matte finish – it’s a tad on the dry side. It does wear well as claimed – at around the 8 hour mark I see fading / creasing. I would compare the formula to that of the mattes from the Tarte Tartelette Tease palette. Also, I should point out that this pan contains a whopping 3 grams of product which is more than that of most single eye shadow refill pans on the market (MAC is 1.3g, MUFE is 2.5g, Inglot is 2.7g).
I rate this 7/10
One suggestion I’d make is to indicate beside each shade on the website which ones are matte, and which are satin finishes. It’s not apparent from the photos, and the website only states that there are 5 matte and 10 satin finishes.
Blush in 01 Romeo (C$26 for 8g)
The claims for the blush is similar to the eye shadow, except the percentage of organic ingredients is 93% to 95%. It is formulated with coffee extracts, corn, macadamia and apricot oils to brighten and hydrate the skin.
This is a warm rust shade that is highly pigmented – almost too much for a blush. I busted out my MAC 137 Long Blending Brush to tackle this challenge – it does blend out decently. The effect on the cheeks is a “just-in-from-the-cold” type of flush.
The formula is quite long lasting – I noted fading around the edges at around the 7 hour mark but the core colour lasts a full day.
My biggest issue with this blush is, unfortunately, superficial. It is scented with something herbal – it smells like camphor or eucalyptus. When it comes to makeup, I much prefer either soft sweet or floral scents, or no scent at all. It’s a personal preference. Despite the lovely formula, I have to ding this for the smell.
I rate this 7/10
Currently there are only 2 shades of blushes available (both are matte, the other shade is called Juliette – a light pink). Since blushes are my passion, I’d love to see the blush selection expand to include a dusty rose and a peach shade, at the very least. 😀
Large Compact (C$29)
I’m so pleased to have chosen this to house the refill pans. This item is well-made and quite chic looking. The mixture of the real wood base and the brushed aluminum makes it look quite modern. There is a nice weight and quality to the materials used – it really stands out against the sea of black plastic compacts I own.
The Large Compact can hold:
• 4 eye shadows OR
• 1 compact powder + 1 blush OR
• 1 compact powder / 1 blush + 2 eye shadows OR
• 1 terracotta (bronzer / highlighter)
Maison Jacynthe also carries a smaller size compact which is half the size of the Large. I’m a huge fan of customizable palettes so this palette is a welcome addition to my collection.
The concept is similar to that of the Inglot Freedom System, except the lid doesn’t completely remove, but rather, swivel from one corner. It contains magnets in the base to hold the pans, and a magnet at the opening to secure the lid.
The only thing I noted is that the compact has no logo or branding whatsoever. It would have been a nice touch to have “Maison Jacynthe” etched into the cover or the back – even a sticker would have been something.
I rate this 9/10
It’s kind of funny that my favourite item is not even a cosmetic item, but the case!
I have an empty spot in my compact which is going to cause my eye to twitch until I fill it with another eye shadow. And now that I’ve tried the formula, I can certainly see either #10 Bonon or #14 Cubano joining the other pans to complete the palette! 😉
The Maison Jacynthe makeup range also includes the following which were not shown:
• Lipstick – 9 colours
• Pressed powder – 2 colours
• Concealers – 3 shades
• Terracotta (bronzer / highlighter) – 2 shades
• Eye liner
The skin tones on the concealers and pressed powders all skew on the fair end of the spectrum. It would be great to see the line expand to include medium to deeper skin tone.
Lastly, I noted that the products are made in Italy (even the empty compact case), by a company called Colorisi as clearly shown on all the packaging. Which is great – Italian-made cosmetics are typically high quality – but, since Maison Jacynthe prides itself as a Canadian company, wouldn’t it have been great to have had these made in Canada?
Currently, Maison Jacynthe sells its products only online and ships to Canada, US, and Europe. Shipping cost is based on weight and destination. I tested placing an order for an eye shadow (to ahem, fill that hole in my palette!) and the cost to Toronto through regular Canada Post was C$9.50. I added a toning water and the price of shipping remained at C$9.50. I added 4 more items and the shipping still remained at C$9.50. So it is more economical to buy more than 1 item per transaction! 😉 And, I will say that their e-commerce platform is excellent – very slick and user-friendly. Thank you to Maison Jacynthe for reaching out to me with this opportunity to try these products!
Note: I received these products without charge from Maison Jacynthe so I can try them out, and provide my impartial reviews on them.
It’s really not often that a natural company can do both skincare and makeup – often they stick to just skincare or just makeup. Off the top of my head, I can only think of LUSH, 100% Pure, and Juice Beauty that do both. Of course, Maison Jacynthe has the added advantage of being a homegrown Canadian brand. If you can think of another natural brand that offer both skincare and makeup – please do share!