Unless you’re Rip Van Winkle and have been asleep for a hundred years, you know that Vera Wang is synonymous with glamour, especially weddings and special occasion dresses, although she has also designed clothing for day wear, and even unique items such as the beautiful costumes Nancy Kerrigan wore in the 1994 Olympics. In fact, the petite designer had aspirations of being an Olympic ice skater, herself. But Vera Wang has put her style and her name on many items, most note-ably fragrances, and more modestly priced “Simply Vera” clothing and accessories that are exclusive to Kohls.
The price tags may be much lower, but the style and quality are still very much in evidence. But now, Ms. Wang has taken her elegant style to another level, this time, to enhance your face. Vera Wang has designed a collection of Simply Vera by Vera Wang cosmetics. What woman wouldn’t want one of these “designer originals?”
Are the products as glamorous and good as the designer’s clothing, fragrance, and accessories? Here’s a first look:
The photo above hardly does justice to the entire collection, which is fairly extensive, and available now at your local Kohl’s store, or online at www.kohls.com. Let’s start with the quintessential must-have for most women: lipsticks. The new, Vera WangSimplyVera Lipstick is $18.50 and comes in seven shimmery shades. This is not exactly bargain priced, and yet, for a good quality lipstick, it earns high marks. The two shades I tried applied smoothly, lasted a long time without fading or feathering, and felt moisturizing. The shades were pretty, wearable and not crazy. I like the shiny black lipstick cases, and the fact that the “color” of the lipstick is showcased on the bottom of the tube so you can tell what is inside. But the color in that outer plastic case is much lighter than the actual lipstick. As a consumer, if I’d only seen the outside case, I would have a different impression of what’s inside. To compliment the lipsticks, there are wanded Vera Wang Lip Glosses (also $18.50). While I didn’t try any, the shimmery shades seem glamorous and pretty enough, even for a bride.
One thing I didn’t like about the packaging of all the makeup items, is that the collection uses numbers instead of names, to identify the various colors and items. Maybe it is easier to catalogue things by the numbers, but why not include something more relate-able as well? For example, my favorite lipstick in the collection is #706. It’s a deep, shimmery rose. But wouldn’t you remember it better if it was called something else, like ROSE706? How hard would it have been to give this deserving lipstick color a name? The same holds true for every single item in this makeup collection. Other high end makeup lines also use just numbers, and I feel that this cheats the consumer out of part of their beauty experience. Even simple names would make the products more memorable.
That being said, I did like the Vera Wang Transforming Shadow Duos ($19.50) that work out to a little less than $10 a color. For that price, I expect perfection, and these shadows, deliver it. The shiny black case is simple. Inside there is a nearly useless sponge tipped mini applicator, and a nice, round mirror in the lid. The dual-pan holds a matte and a shimmer shadow in complimentary shades. There are 14 different duos, and each has something to delight, from nudes to purples, pinks and greens, and even a charcoal/grey duo. The shadows were a little difficult to blend, but once on my eyes, they lasted without fading or creasing all day and evening long. You can layer the colors or wear them color-blocked, or individually. #412 is a matte and shimmery silver duo that is party perfect, all four seasons.
A good powder blush is a joy to find, and the half dozen colors of Vera Wang Illuminating Powder Blush ($19.50) give a believable glow in light to medium shades of primarily peach and pink, in warm and cool tones. The included mini brush is a bit small, but it worked perfectly to smooth out the silky blush. It’s all you need for touch-ups on the go, although I’d use my own makeup blush brush, at home. Blush colors have to look good, not necessarily trendy, and these are all completely wear-able, pretty, and easy to use. These are good products, and a good investment.
There are plenty of other items in the Vera Wang collection including two Mascaras, Skin illuminating Tinted Moisturizer (at $39.50 the most expensive piece in the color cosmetics collection), plus pressed powder, lip liner, eye liner, concealer, and a bunch of beauty prep skincare products. The Skin Brightening Primer ($39.50) and the Smoothing Lip Primer ($32.50) rival anything in their categories. The rundown on the prep products follows:
The Bottom Line: My take on the collection is for the most part a very positive one. Beauty is highly subjective, and what I might find personally appealing or a good value, may not be the same for you. The formulas perform well. The colors are fashionable but user-friendly and wearable. But many people shop at Kohl’s are seeking very modestly priced goods, and this collection is really not budget-minded. It’s what I’d call the lower part of high end. But then again, part of what you’re paying for is the allure of the Vera Wang brand. If you have some extra in your makeup budget for Summer, and love Vera Wang, you won’t want to miss adding at least a few items from this newly launched collection, to yours! Check out the entire Simply Vera by Vera Wang Makeup Collection HERE