Josie Maran Argan Beautiful Eyes

I was given the opportunity to test a few Josie Maran products recently, and felt mixed about it at first. I’m always up for trying something new, but I’d been turned off by what I had perceived as “greenwashing” on the JM Cosmetics website. I won’t bet money on this, but a couple years ago, I remember reading words like “100% natural” and “petrochemical-free.” Yet, when I delved into the ingredients, I found several that seemed synthetic and most likely petrol-derived.

If you’re a regular reader here, or have read my “about” page, you know that I am not a purist and have a mix of all natural beauty products in my collection, as well as those that do contain synthetics. What I don’t like though, is when a company sells you on the notion that they are 100% natural, yet upon closer inspection, you find you’ve been mislead. That’s how I felt about Josie Maran Cosmetics.

I don’t know if I’ve loosened up, or if her website has changed, but something’s different. Gone is the promotion of her line as exclusively “all natural,” “green,” or “organic.” This feels more honest, allowing me to embrace what she’s got going on with her company which includes eco-friendly packaging, charitable giving and a website that lists all product ingredients.

To be clear, the overwhelming majority of her line contains ingredients that are naturally derived and none of them contain phthalates or parabens. Organic argan oil, sourced from women’s cooperatives in Morocco, is used in every product which not only helps those women to support themselves and their families, but also to protect the argan forests through responsible harvesting practices and reforestation projects. You can read more about the Josie Maran “Giving Back” philosophy at her website.

Today I’m going to focus on the Beautiful Eyes Palette in Beautiful Smoke. Upon first opening the compact, I was admittedly a bit disappointed as cool grays are not my favorite. I definitely prefer warmer colors, but was happy to give it a try nevertheless.

The texture of these shadows is a little hard, so I was concerned about application. Turns out, the pigment adheres nicely to the brush with just a few swipes over the eyeshadows. The two lightest colors are too frosty for my liking, but I had a fun time playing with different looks that I ultimately found flattering, just not for frequent use. The dark shimmery gray color (lower left pan in the photo below) is really lovely on the lid, and when smudged out, the charcoal eyeliner (in the center) completes the smoky-eye.

The brown on the lower right might seem like the odd ball of the palette, but it blends in nicely when applied as an eyeliner and to the upper lid, close to the lash line. I wore the brown color today as an eyeliner on its own, and was impressed that at least 75% of it remained intact after a full day which included over an hour of rigorous tennis.

Below are two shots of me messing around with my camera, pretending to be a beauty blogger. I hope the last one isn’t too laughably amateurish. I’ve reluctantly included it since it shows off the shimmer quite accurately. I’m also wearing one coat of Dr. Hauschka Volume Mascara in Aubergine, Korres powder blush in 16 Pink , and Ilia Beauty lipstick in Arabian Nights.

Visit Best Things in Beauty for a review of the Argan Beautiful Eyes Palette in Beautiful Nudes.

Josie Maran Argan Beautiful Eyes is available at for $36. Mine was sent to me by the PR people for Josie Maran. Opinions in this review are my own. I was not financially compensated for this review or any other.

All photos were taken by me and are mine. If you ask nicely, I’ll let you use them 🙂


Josie Maran Plumping Lipgloss and Eye Liner


* Currently Josie Maran Cosmetics is non-compliant in their Compact for Safe Cosmetics.  Additionally, Josie Maran cosmetics does not appear to be as green as they are marketing themselves to be because of their use of ingredients such as polybutene, butylene glycol, hexylene glycol, and synthetic D&C dyes. Please see the article Greenwasher Exposed: Josie Maran at Feelgoodstyle for more information.

My Josie Maran Earth Day Essentials Kit arrived last week and overall I am very pleased with every item. It’s a great buy, and I recommend getting it if you’re interested in Josie Maran’s line of natural*, petrochemical-free*, paraben-free, phthalate-free, cosmetics. I’ll review all of the products in the kit, but will start with the Plumping Lip Gloss and Eye Liner for today.

I consider myself a minimalist when it comes to makeup. I’ll use tinted moisturizer on certain days or possibly some pressed mineral powder if I feel the need, (Jane Iredale’s is my favorite). But I rarely go without a little eyeliner and lipgloss, so that’s why I’m starting with these two.

Josie Maran’s Eye Liner in black is not for the faint of heart. It performs like a heavy duty kohl liner and is blacker than black. When I first put it on I felt like I should light up a clove cigarette, turn on The Cure and dance myself back to the year 1985. But since I’m not likely to do that, at least not the clove cigarette part, I’ll tell you that I very lightly applied the liner to my waterline, and then smudged it. I loved the effect. It gave a really subtle, smoky look, but was acceptable for a daytime Trader Joe’s run. This could easily be glamed up for the evening with a heavier hand.

In my HAIR post I said that I quit all non-green products “cold turkey” save for my hair products. I have to confess that was a bit for dramatic effect. I did wait until many of my products ran out before I replaced them, as there is no sense in wasting things. I still have a few last vestiges of non-green products that I am still waiting to use up, and one is my Shu Uemura Drawing Pencil in Khaki. Man, how I love that non-green thing. It’s the best eyeliner I have ever used. It ranks a 10 out of 10. But it’s made with petrochemicals and parabens, and I’ve been wondering what I’m going to do when it finally runs out. Thankfully, Josie Maran’s is a 9 out of 10 (I docked 1 point for the time it takes to smudge) and I’m hoping her brown liner is a 10 out of 10.

I am also duly impressed with her Plumping Lip Gloss. Not for its supposed plumping action which I could care less about and saw no signs of, but because it’s a great looking, moisturizing gloss. I felt a slight tingling sensation when I applied it, but it was short lived and I was only aware of it when I was thinking about it for this review. The Earth Day Essentials Kit comes with Daring, a sheer peachy pink imbued with subtle shimmer that does not require a mirror for application. Yay for “your lips but better” glosses! The gloss goes on smoothly with a brush-tipped wand that does not seem to be at risk for splaying out like an old broom as the Bobbi Brown ones do. (You Bobbi Brown fans know what I’m talking about). And this may be a pro or con for some, depending on if you care if your gloss tastes or smells, but Josie Maran’s gloss has a sweet fruity taste and a mild vanilla scent that lasts about five minutes.

If you don’t want to buy the whole Earth Day Essentials Kit, and would prefer to try just one or two of Josie Maran’s products, they are on sale at the Barney’s website, (6/9/09 Update: looks like everything is sold out) as they must have decided to not carry the line anymore. From their sale selection, I have also used her Tinted Moisturizer SPF 30 which I really like as well as the Lip Gloss (the non-plumping one). And if you keep your Barney’s order under $50 the shipping is only $5.

posted by ~Trish