NABLA Cosmetics…one of my favourite indie makeup brands, hailing from Italy, cruelty free/ majority vegan and they’ve just launched the Close-Up Line…a brand new selection of complexion products…course I’d be excited to give them a go!
You can get hold of NABLA at BeautyBay* now which is great (and the Close-Up Line has just launched there too!) but I wanted to mention the actual NABLA site themselves. If I need the odd thing and BB have it/ I’m doing an order anyway, perfect…but if I’m ordering more eg. think over €49 for the UK/ over €69 for Ireland (over €99 for the US and they do ship globally – import taxes and duties are the customer’s responsibility so something to be mindful of depending on your country) the shipping is free (and fast!) so I order directly from their website. That aside the the customer service is brilliant, your products are beautifully (and super securely!) packaged and if I’ve ordered before 3pm (Italy time) …I’ve generally had my stuff dispatched that day and had a next day delivery which is pretty impressive considering the time it gets to receive some way more local packages! They use DHL for UK delivery too and have great tracking which for me is a bonus…there are a few delivery companies that I wouldn’t wish on anyone…you probably know! (Yes, I’m eye rolling.)
Anyway, just look at that packaging!
In the Close-Up Collection, we have…
✖Close-Up Concealer* (9 shades)
✖Close-Up Baking & Setting Powder* (translucent/ universal)
✖Fluffy Makeup Bag* (limited edition)
✖ Shopping directly from NABLA means there’s also a few bundle deals available at a discount price, so might be worth you checking out if you wanted a few different items.
I went for a few shades of concealer and the setting powder. I was tempted by the sponge, but considering I’m already testing out far too many others right now I gave it a miss (for now!). As far as the makeup bag and brushes go, as well as definitely not needing anymore of either and although I can see the appeal…things in baby pink are generally not for me (that goff life). The packaging is pretty though (and yes the concealer packaging has obvious similarities to Tarte Shape Tape, but let’s keep our eyes on the prize here)…the powder and concealer come in heavy weight plastic containers which feel really sturdy and secure (travel wouldn’t be a problem with these) with the outer packaging/ boxes having a clever hexagonal design which I like. The baby pink (*shudder*) is improved/ broken up by the metallic design on the lids.
✖Available in 9 shades.
✖Full coverage and long wearing.
✖For all skin types.
✖Natural ‘skin like’ finish, plumping and smoothing effect.
✖Cruelty free & Vegan.
Straight off the bat…9 shades?! Definitely not enough and hopefully (as with anything like this) that’ll be extended, however as limited as they are…the 9 shades they do have are actually pretty inclusive. They’re designed to conceal and highlight, I feel like if you’re any lighter than me (Too Faced Snow, Fenty 120/ 140, Huda Panna Cotta, KVD Lock It Light 43) you’d struggle to highlight with the lightest shade (Porcelain). I picked up Porcelain and the next lightest shade Ivory…Porcelain is a great match for me (it’s maybe a fraction lighter than my natural skin tone), Ivory is a little too dark but I always like the option of being able to mix a slightly darker shade (especially for blemishes for a more natural match) or using a bit under the lighter shade to colour correct under the eyes.
(Mentioning Shape Tape again (snooze), but it’s worth noting that although the bottles are similar in shape/ size it has 10ml for £22, while the NABLA Close-Up retails for £15 but for 4ml.)
The NABLA Close-Up Concealer has a pretty strong coconut scent…I don’t mind it actually, especially as once it’s on it doesn’t linger at all. It’s almost identical to the Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer* if you’re familiar with that scent. A little goes a long way but once it’s blended out, I’d definitely say it’s more of a medium to full buildable coverage than straight out full. Even though I do get pretty dark under my eyes I actually like that though, it gives you way more control and means it’s less likely to look heavy on. The formula is smooth and blends out really well…I normally use a damp beauty sponge or a fluffy synthetic brush (the Real Techniques Setting Brush is perfect for concealer) and both work well with this formula. I’d generally set any under eye concealer with a bit of powder just to prevent creasing/ transfer of eye makeup and this need it too, the finish is natural though…not too matte, nor too dewy.
So setting powders are a bit of a weird one for me…I have combo/ oily skin so absolutely need it, but can end up looking/ feeling super dry with the wrong kind! Also a big thing for me (and for everyone let’s be real)…I pride my skin on looking pretty good (for my age and in general) and don’t want any powder to cancel that out and make me look ancient…cakey dry under eye, not a good look! I don’t really bake either…obviously you do you, but I feel like unless you’re going to be under strong lighting/ hot face melting conditions or going for a much more full on look that a full on bake’s too much for everyday. Even if I do anything near ‘baking’, it’ll be a small bit of extra powder to clean up under my cheek contour if anything…I never bake my under eye especially!
The NABLA Close-Up Powder*…although it can be used as setting powder too is mainly geared towards using it to bake. Being a fan of NABLA in general I was interested to give it a go anyway. It’s translucent (looks white but for all skin tones) which makes it great for your kit (it reminds me of the cult RCMA No Colour Powder*), but I personally like to use something with a little skin tone/ texture to it that flat matte to it. I just find powders like that more flattering on my skin.
I really like the NABLA Close-Up Concealer…although I do like a small amount of the powder for blotting and it does feel really smooth on, I feel like it looks a little to flat for my liking. If you prefer a matte finish, like to bake or need something neutral for your kit if you’re a fellow working Makeup Artist…the Close-Up Powder would be a great option. For me personally, I feel it makes my skin look a bit flat and compared to others that I use feel like it looks slightly drier on even using it really minimally under the eye, not a bake in sight). I’d still use this for general face setting/ baking instead of on the under eye area.
I’ve been enjoying using the concealer and have been wearing it for a good week (since it launched on the NABLA website)…it’s long wearing, sits nicely on the skin and has a natural finish, but I prefer it set with my usual setting powder either the KVD Lock It Setting Powder (UK*/ IE*) or KVD Lock It Brightening Powder (UK* / IE*). It covers and builds well, looks smooth and although not massively brightening…the shade Porcelain matches me well and blends in seamlessly. This concealer’s a great choice for natural, decent everyday coverage.
The Close-Up Powder* isn’t my favourite for the under eyes, but it’d be great to keep hold of to set a too dewy foundation or for cleaning up contour. Would I repurchase? Well I can’t see it running out soon and I do have others I love, so probably not…but I am really liking the concealer so we’ll see about that one!
There’s so many exciting new complexion launches this year…from Colourpop, Too Faced and Huda Beauty just to name a few! I think with so many options available to us now (high end and improved drugstore formulas), companies have to really step up their game and impress or risk being overlooked. I like NABLA products enough to keep going with the powder…maybe try out different brushes/ product combos (I’ll report back on that one!), but I’d recommend picking up the concealer if you’re in the market for a good (cruelty free/ vegan), long wearing and quick/ easy to apply one! I’d recommend checking out other NABLA products too…the contour/ blush , Dreamy Eyeshadow Palette* (read more about that one here) and single eyeshadows* are some of my all time faves!
Which new Summer launches are you the most excited for??