I was at the the Bourjois press office a few weeks ago learning about the recently launched UNE make-up range. While UNE is brought to us by the Bourjois people, it's a standalone brand which has very little in common with the Bourjois brand we all know.
I loved the concept of UNE so I was really excited to try some of the products. 98-100% of the ingredients used in each UNE product are derived from natural origin. They've really tried to go all out on being "natural" and "organic"... You won't find any mineral oils, genetically modified organisms, artificial colourings or synthetic fragrances in any of the UNE range. They've even designed the packaging to be eco-friendly and fully recyclable (the mirrors can be popped out and re-used!).
In terms of the make-up itself, the UNE range comprises easy-to-wear, lightweight formulas, with shades that are inspired by skin, hair, lip and eye tones. Essentially, the UNE shades are designed to emphasise natural beauty.
After being shown the entire range and having a play with all the cute products, I took home some carefully chosen pieces from the range. I was particularly interested in trying the mineral foundations and face powders, but sadly, I didn't find any finishes that I wanted to take away. I've never really got on with mineral make-up. I find that the minerals separate on my skin, leaving the appearance of powdery "grains" on the skin while at the same time looking shiny. And my experience with UNE mineral make-up was no different I'm afraid.
However, I had much better luck with the eye, lips and cheek products, which I used to create this ultra natural FOTD (yep, pretty much look the same as I usually do):
Here are my reviews on each of the products used:
UNE Sfumato Eyes Pencil in S24 and UNE Eye Brow Accent Pencil in B04
From left to right, Sfumato Eyes Pencil in S24, Eye Brow Accent Pencil in B04.
I really like this eyebrow pencil! UNE describe this as "powder in a pencil" but it's much creamier than my Dior Powder Eye Pencil, and deposits a lot more colour so I wouldn't really call it a powder pencil. However, the colour is the perfect shade of neutral dark brown with no red or orange tones, and it's easily blended with a brush or even just a finger, making it foolproof for defining and filling in gaps in the brows. I'll definitely be using this pencil regularly!
I used the dark, smoky grey Sfumato Eye Pencil to line my upper and lower lash lines. It was nice knowing that I wasn't putting any dodgy chemicals into my eyes when lining the inner rims of my eyes. The lead of the pencil is quite dry and hard so it takes a lot of going over before a dark line is achieved. However, the colour is really easy to wear and it was a nice change from the browns and blacks I usually wear.
The staying power of this eye pencil is medium... it's not intended to be a "long-lasting" pencil like my favoured Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Eye Pencil, so I wasn't expecting it to look perfect at the end of the day! It would probably have smudged less on my lower lash line if I'd worn primer there.
UNE Sfumato Eyes Shadow in S11
In this photo, I've left the protective sticker on the mirror, but it removes to reveal a handy mirror on the outside which doesn't get dirty from the eyeshadow. Neat! There are three types of eyeshadows in the UNE range (all talc-free), "Nude Eyes", "Glimmer Eyes" and "Sfumato", but I found the Sfumato range much more pigmented. The others barely swatched! The Sfumato shade I chose is a dark, smoky brown, matte powder that works perfectly for casual smoky eyes because the shade is so neutral. Or it could be easily used as a liner instead of a pencil. Don't bother with the included brush though - it's too small to be effective!
I'm really pleased with this colour... it's a keeper for me! Love the way the case slides opens as well.
By the way, all products in the entire UNE range are designed to be applied with either brushes or fingers in keeping with their easy-to-wear philosophy, however I don't think this particular shade can be applied with a finger - it'll just end up patchy, leopard-print style.
UNE Breezy Cheeks Blush in B02
Again, I've left the protective sticker on the mirror in this pic! This shade was a popular one at the event. The neutral pink looks so rosy and laid-back in the packaging. I've never been able to resist this shade of pink blusher!
This blush is a cream-to-powder formula which can be applied using fingers or a brush. It's not very densely pigmented, so I prefer to use the delectable UNE blush brush to pick up more of the colour. Applied on the apples of the cheeks, it gives a healthy flushed look... without looking like make-up. The finish is dewy.
The staying power of this blush is fairly low... it fades quite quickly. But it's so foolproof to wear and nice to carry around that it's a not a big deal to reapply during the day if needed.
UNE Sheer Lips Balm in S12 and UNE Lip-toned Colour in L02
From left to right, UNE Sheer Lips Balm in S12, UNE Lip-toned Colour in L02.
Now these are my favourite kind of lip products! No mineral oils, and sheer colours that are similar to my natural lip tone. The tinted lip balm feels very moisturising and has the slightest wash of nude, browny pink colour to stop my lips looking pale and sickly. The lipstick is the sheerest lipstick I've come across in a while... I had to really layer it on to get the swatch to show up. However, the colour is indeed "lip-toned" and perks up my lips nicely (my bare lips look patchy with bits of purple around the edges... mmm... sounds extra unattractive when I type it). The finish is creamy.
Here's a close-up photo of the lipstick on my lips:
UNE Skin-glow Pencil in G03
I've been using this creamy-textured pencil as a precise concealer for broken capillaries and freckles. The shade I chose is almost identical as my skin colour, so it's really easy to use as a concealer... I just need to "colour in" the problem areas and pat it in lightly, trying not to blend it away completely.
Overall thoughts on the UNE range
UNE is perfect for newcomers to make-up or anyone who finds it difficult to work out which colours suit them. I'm impressed at how all the shades I've tried genuinely work with my skin tone instead of against it (it's not just marketing then!), and the colours somehow just fall into place as if they were designed for me. If you love the natural look and muted colours, give UNE a look next time you're in Boots.
However, if you like wacky colours and making a statement with your make-up, give UNE a miss.
Oh by the way, the green pouches you saw in the first photo are for the blush and eyeshadow... they are so damn cute, like little iPod cases but for my make-up!
You can find out more about UNE at www.unebeauty.com and you can find them in selected Boots stores (definitely at the big Oxford Street store near Bond Street station) or at Boots.com. The prices range from £4.99 to £13.99.
Disclaimer: All products were provided free of charge for me to try.