When I was asked to review a few products from a brand called Saint Germain Paris I was a bit hesitant. I had never heard of the brand and I was unsure of the quality. But I figured if the quality was absolutely terrible I would just let you all know and be done with it. I was impressed by the very low prices of the cosmetics and again, had a few reservations that the quality would be poor. Well I'm happy to say I don't have to write a scathing review because the quality is actually decent with this brand.
From the Saint Germain Paris press release: "Launched this past January (2012) Saint Germain Paris brings affordable cosmetics with Parisian sophistication. Saint Germain Paris retail prices range from $2.85 - $9.95 and are available now online at www.saintgermainmakeup.com."
Let's start with the nail polish. Retail value at $3.95, Purple Silver, a frosty lilac color, was sent to me. I know some people detest frost polishes because of the visible brush strokes they leave behind, but it doesn't bother me all that much. The polish was a good consistency, not too thick, not too liquidy. It applied well but definitely needed two to three coats to become opaque. The polish dried quickly and had a nice shine even without a top coat. The best part about this polish, aside from the minor tip wear I experienced, I got a full 5 days + of wear without any chipping. Yup. The Saint Germain Paris nail polish wore like IRON! I was very pleased with that. The range of colors is limited but they still have some pretty metallics, a sea foam green and a bright yellow, so they are at least contemporary.
Moving on to the Eyeshadow. I was sent an eyeshadow duo which retails for $3.65. The colors are Purple Blue/Night Blue. Basically a lilac and a blurple or blue purple. The eyeshadow comes in a small black plastic case. The case itself it slightly flimsy and there is no mirror included in the compact. It comes with a protective cover and a dual ended foam applicator. (I personally toss those as I prefer to use brushes on my lids.)
The eyeshadow colors are not separated by pans, they are melded together in one pan. I did not experiment mixing the colors but judging from the quality I experienced I would say that would be possible and would yield a nice result.
The formula of the shadow was that of a satin. It was not too frosty and not too matte. The shadow was hard. I would say that it was as hard as a MAC shadow, which I consider harder than Bobbi Brown, Chanel or even Wet n' Wild. The powder was not as finely milled as some of the high end shadows I am used to, so again, the quality is very similar to MAC.
The pigmentation was very good. For a $3.65 shadow the color payoff was decent. The arm swatches were done over Too Faced Shadow Insurance with a foam applicator. The eye picture was done over LORAC eye base using brushes. You can see that the pigmentation of the lighter lilac color was much lighter on the eye, but I also made it lighter on purpose. The darker shade was slightly harder than the lighter shade, and it also had a touch more shimmer/glitter to it. It applied to the eye easily and blended quite well considering the fact that it was a fairly hard shadow. There was some powder fall out upon application, but that my be user error more than the product's fault, if you get my drift. The shadow lasted a good 7+ hours but began to fade by the end of the day.
All in all, I was very satisfied with the quality at that price range. Now let me make it clear that I had lowered expectations for this brand because of the price range. Perhaps that isn't fair. Everything should be expected to have the highest quality, despite the price, right? Well I believe you get what you pay for, If I'm paying $3.65 for an eyeshadow duo, I don't expect it to blow me away. If I'm paying $3.85 for a nail polish, I expect it to be decent but not amazing. Well, the nail polish blew me away with the durability and application. The Eyeshadow slightly exceeded expectations in terms of pigmentation, but met expectations in terms of formula and wear.
Do you NEED this? I say YES if you want an inexpensive cosmetic fix. Saint Germain Paris offers a wide range of cosmetics from eyeshadow to lipstick to foundation and even brushes. And nothing costs more than $9.95. Shipping to US and Canada is $5.95. I do wish that Saint Germain Paris was available in local drugstores, as it pains me to pay for shipping on items that cost less than the actual shipping. But that's just me. Would I buy this on my own? Probably not. While the quality is decent, it's not amazing. I also don't find the colors exciting enough to go to the trouble of ordering on line. However, if I was at my local drugstore, I would probably pick up a nail polish or lipstick as an impulse item without hesitation.