Review of Josie Maran Earth Day Essentials Kit

Most people have probably heard of Josie Maran, or have seen photos of her at some point. She's the girl who used to be a regular feature on adverts for Maybelline (google for her if you don't know who I'm on about) and when she stopped modelling, she created Josie Maran Cosmetics - a range of toxin free, organic and "luxury with a conscience" makeup and skincare. These products are made of the purest earth friendly ingredients and the packagings are recyclable as well.

Unfortunately living in the UK means I don't have easy access to all these awesome stuff, and even if I did the prices would be quite ridiculous. For example a tinted moisturizer that retails for $42 in the States would sell for £34 in this country - how is that for currency conversion?? So when I do want to purchase from stores like Sephora I always use a parcel forwarding service.

This Earth Day Essentials Kit has a value of $98 if you add up the retail prices of each individual item, but for $48 you get full sizes of:
- Argan Oil (the only mini size item, 100% organic oil)
- Cream Blush in Sunrise
- Eye Liner
- Mascara
- Plumping Lip Gloss in Daring

While not exciting, it is a great way to get started and try some basic products. Besides one can never go wrong with some lipgloss, mascara and a bit of blush.

...Until now.

I will start with the things I didn't like so much/at all.

Plumping Lip Gloss
Daring is described as a "sheer shimmery rosy nude" and it is quite accurate (the lighting unfortunately makes it look a bit more orange in the photo) but the problem is the colour just does not suit me at all. Also, the actual brush applicator is so short that the plastic wand scraped against my lips when I applied it, not a nice feeling - I've never had this problem with other brands' lip brushes.

It is not supposed to sting like other lip plumpers, but it burns my lips like mad. At first I thought it was maybe because of what I had eaten or it was reacting with what I had on my lips before or whatever, so tried it again the following day on bare lips. It still stung... not like a minty tingle but more of an allergic reaction of some sort I guess.

It didn't stay on long enough for me to notice any plumping effects while I hunted for a cotton pad to wipe it off asap.

Cream Blush

Sephora's site says this is Sunrise, so does the box and the sticker on the back of the mirrored compact but no matter how I look at it, it just does not resemble its "soft pink" description and is more of a coral pink like Sunset.

Maybe I was unfortunate enough to get a bad batch? Either way, as soft and creamy as this blush is, it's way too dark for me so I won't be using it. That's a shame because had I received the actual Sunrise (swatch on official site) I think it would look rather pretty.

Mascara - Black
Average, average, average. I like its sleek packaging, and the fact that it's free of synthetic ingredients, but nothing else really stands out about it unfortunately. Then again compared to my absolute fave mascara Majolica Majorca Lash Glamour Neo, only Le 2 De Guerlain measured very favourably against it so far. This is not as bad as my Illamasqua mascara faux pas - nothing is - but doesn't make me want to repurchase.

Holds a curl ok, lengthens a bit but no thickening effects really. Looks nice in the morning but a mere few hours (around 2-3) later I start seeing signs of racoon eyes when the mascara begins to smudge and smear at the bottom. For a non waterproof mascara it's tricky to remove, because it tends to burrow into the roots of my lashes and just sits there, as well as sticks to my eyelids in the process. Really stupid formula imo....

Eye Liner - Black

Hands down the softest pencil liner I've used (doesn't drag the skin around my eyes at all), but also the most useless. The shade of black isn't too harsh which is great, except if I accidentally rub it, it goes everywhere. Would be great for a smokey eye look if its lasting power isn't so non existent.

I also need to go over the same line several times, otherwise the colour is a dark charcoal grey.

It retails for $18 but no way I would pay that for a liner that does so little.

Argan Oil

Now for the item that I *do* like (wait 1 product out of 5, that's just dire) - the Argan Oil comes in a tiny sample size bottle which I think is quite cute and portable. I also purchased the full size 1.7oz (48ml) bottle as well.

Don't be put off by the word "oil" as this is lightweight, non greasy and does not clog my pores. I use it on my face before moisturizer if I happen to have a dry cheek day, rub it into my cuticles & nails, and the ends of my hair to give them that extra bit of moisture. I even massage it into my navel scar (unfortunately my piercing became infected on holiday few years ago so I had to take it out) to make it softer so I can have it repierced next year.

I only need to use 1 drop of oil per cheek and its restorative properties make my face seriously soft, especially if I use it at night before bed. It is a 100% natural fabulous multi-purpose product and can literally be used anywhere.

Here's a pic of the back of the box with a list of possible uses

I'm glad I at least found one thing I really like, but as a whole I think Earth Day Essentials is a waste of money. The fact all products are made from organic & natural ingredients with fully recyclable packaging is a welcome change, but most products I tried in the kit simply didn't deliver.

The Argan Oil is now also available in Stick (want!) and Bronzing versions.

I also purchased Josie Maran Finger Paints in Sweet because it looked so pretty; I will be using and reviewing it at a later date.


  1. I thought Josie Maran looked prettier in her Maybelline days (as compared to the pic on the box).

    The lip gloss looked promising, too bad it burns ur lips..

    You seemed to be very fair! Like snow white! *envious* hehe

  2. I prefer her Maybelline ads too... she looked more fresh faced back then.

    I do all my swatches on my arm (so I can wash them off straight after hehe) which is maybe a shade or so lighter than my face, plus I like to take pics in natural light and it makes everything look brighter.

    For reference I'm a MAC NC15-20 (season dependent) which is on the fair side but I guess not quite snow white :p

  3. Hahaha.. Ok... I still think you look fair!

    Can I check with you, what drugstore cosmetics are worth getting in UK? My gal pal is heading to London soon and I'm plotting to ask her to get some stuffs for me. Any suggestions?? Thanks in advance! :D

  4. Hmm... that's difficult because I don't really like any of the UK drugstore brands. One of the first things I look at is the packaging, and most of them just don't cut it for me.

    However, Barry M has some good stuff namely their Dazzle Dust (good alternative to MAC pigments) which I have a few of. Other than that I generally don't buy any UK drugstore brands (I spend the money on Japanese brands instead!) so can't be much help here I'm afraid :(