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Calvin Klein Colour Cosmetics: Review

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We all remember using a CK perfume back in the 90’s; indeed a CK scented school uniform was most a la mode. With young blood Kate Moss fronting his jeans campaign the 90’s was also the era when women first starting embracing a more androgynous approach to dressing, scent and style. Calvin Klein also had a makeup line. I have asked a few peers about CK makeup and everyone remembers it but nobody can be too specific about the products they used or liked. Maybe that’s why CK cosmetics quietly faded away as we threw ourselves head first into the new millennia.

It’s not surprising that with the resurgence of 90’s everything, that Calvin Klein Cosmetics is BACK! I was curious when I first heard they were once again retailing makeup and was surprised to find out it had officially launched in october 2013. I must have missed the memo.

Of all the beauty blogs and magazines I read, girlfriends I chat about makeup to, not one of them has uttered a word about CK makeup. Why not? Surely such an iconic household name would have a 6 figure PR budget and a monopoly on central London billboards? I am officially curious…

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First Impressions

After being walked through the range with a few of the Brand managers at Coty head office I come away with a nice little haul. You will probably agree that the packaging is unlike any other cosmetics brand currently on the market and falls in line with the other CK beauty products. I am not a fan of white packaging normally, it gets dirty far too quickly. The white is off set by a black rubber material. It’s grippy too which helps when applying the products.

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Application and Texture

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CK nail paint

I trialled Caitaliste 400 and I found the formula was very pleasant to use. It is what I would call a crelly texture, so slightly sheer and needed 3 full coats for opacity. The colour is juicy and summery all rolled into one! Just looking at it makes me crave a big slice of watermelon. The brush is insanely thick which many people will find great and others with smaller nails like myself maybe a little on the large side. The product dried relatively quickly and I loved the modern, sheer texture which is perfect for summer manicures. £9

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CK Eye shadow quad

CK’s 4 colour eye shadow quad is well thought out. Although the shades I was given work best on brown eyes I did enjoy the effect of the teal/grey toned smokey eye look I tried out. The shimmers are beautifully pearlescent although the overall staying powder is average. I wore mine all day outside in the sun so I wasn’t surprised when my eye makeup looked a little tired come 6pm, however if you were using these for a night look then they would most likely go the distance. Use an eye shadow primer, I recommend eye primer by Urban Decay. £25

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CK Volumising  Mascara

My first impressions are of the gigantic brush it has. It is a sort of horizontal hourglass shape which is said to help ease of application and coverage of the whole lash set. I found it difficult to coat all my lashes without getting product on the skin around the eye. I do like the formula, it stays put and doesn’t flake, it’s is a shame the brush lets it down. £17

CK Lipstick

If there was one particular product in this selection that was stuck in the 90’s it would be Calvin Klein’s lipstick offering. I was throughly underwhelmed by this lipstick named High 210. It was a mauve colour that I haven’t seen produced for 15 years, and for good reason, it’s thoroughly boring and granny-like. The formula has a sheer sparkle to it and is very moisturising so it is a perfect everyday lipstick. Overall, it’s a bit weak. £13

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CK Eyeliner

This is my hero product of the whole CK collection. I am a massive fan of felt tip liners and what gets me really excited is when they are full of inky, juicy goodness AND they stay put! Calvin Klein’s formula, colour and stayability are all SPOT ON! I am in love with this colour! A sort of dark teal, the ink is applied using a wide felt tip with a precision point. You do have to go over the line twice for full colour impact however, the second coat doesn’t affect the first at all. It’s a really gorgeous shade that I haven’t seen before and have been using every week in summer for a softer take on the classic feline flick. This eyeliner has an impressive 24 hour wear. £14

My opinion on the CK makeup range has a few lovely pieces in it but some that don’t quite cut a designer cosmetics range in the 21st century. If it wasn’t for the gorgeous felt tip eyeliner I wouldn’t have been too bothered whether this collection had passed me by. If CK make a hat-trick comeback by the time I am 40 though, I will be off hunting down that teal liner again.

CK Cosmetics are available exclusively selected Debenhams stores.

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