Kosas: Colour & Light Creme Palette
Updated: Sep 9, 2019
This cream blush and highlighter duo is so soft, it melts upon contact with your finger.
Founded by Sheena Yaitanes in 2015, this Los Angeles based company is another of the newer 'clean beauty' brands within an ever-growing market.
"We take our name from the philosophy of the five “kosas” of self. According to this philosophy, there are five intersecting and connected layers of self that communicate with each other: a physical layer, a vitalizing layer of energy, a sensory mental layer, a discerning intellectual layer, and a layer of truthful bliss. Beauty lives in each of these layers, not just in the physical."
If I'm honest, I'm not big into the hippie-dippie lifestyles that many of these clean beauty brands promote but if you are, you do you. Whether you're a believer in clean beauty or you think it's just another marketing gimmick, Kosas advertises its product as cruelty free, vegan, gluten free and so on. The thing that attracted me to the brand was that their products are free from synthetic fragrances. My skin typically doesn't take well to fragranced complexion products so after a horrendous few months battling extreme acne, I wanted to use items that wouldn't make the problem worse so I decided to give more of these natural based products a go.
My skin has cleared up now but I'm still a fan of these clean beauty brands. Their products tend to be easy to use, emollient and unscented which suits my dry sensitive skin very nicely.
Price, outer packaging and availability
The Kosas Colour and Light Creme Palette retails for US$34 and AUD$52 at Mecca. It's widely available across multiple sites including Net-A-Porter where I purchased mine for $36 during a sale (again before Mecca secured exclusive rights to sell).
Encased within a smooth matte black casing, this blush is presented in a solid plastic compact which is easy to open and swings out easily just beyond 180 degrees. The hinge is good enough that you can set the open compact on a table with the top open at 90 degrees if you choose. A mirror within the top portion makes this the perfect handbag companion.
Colour and Light Creme Palette: 8th Muse
"An iconic pink rose duo for classic blush and just-kissed flush."
8th Muse consists of a cool toned pink cream blush and a champagne cream highlighter. Both of these shades leave a sheen on the skin, leaving a dewy satin finish.
This is the softest cream blush formula that I've ever come across. Although it looks solid in the pan, the product literally begins to melt from the heat of your finger upon contact. If you swirl your finger in the pan a few times, you'll actually pick up too much product and leave a melted mess behind for next time.
Given how soft this formulation is and with the clean beauty mantra behind the brand, the blush doesn't have a long shelf life as it lacks the usual binders and preservatives. It has a recommended shelf life of 6 months after opening and although I'm not there yet, I know this one isn't likely to last for long beyond the recommend time-span.
You need just one tiny little bit on your fingertip because of how pigmented this is. The swatches below of first the slightly blended product followed by the finger swatch are actually what I consider to be heavy swatches from swirling the cream around a bit.
"Optically blended for lit-from-within luster and formulated with nourishing marula, rosehip, apricot kernet and myrrh oils for benefits beyond beautiful colour."
The photographs capture the sheen that comes across on the skin. This is such an emollient formula that is made up of a mix of oils and butters. The first ingredient listed is apricot kernel oil, closely followed by shea butter and castor seed oil with a smattering of others afterwards. As a result, the texture of this is extremely creamy and slippy, making this a blush that's supremely easy to blend.
The creamy nature of this product suits my dry skin very nicely but texture-wise this doesn't feel oily to the touch, despite how many oils have been used in its formulation. It does dry down a little but never fully so I don't get the best wear-time with this blush. It's best to use both a swiping and rubbing motion to apply this because if you pat or tap it in, both the blush and highlight tend to lift on itself.
Do you see what I mean when I say that a little goes a long way? Go very lightly with this product. Even after the blush has been blended out, the oils impart a lovely soft sheen while still allowing the texture of your actual skin to show through. You get a lovely 'skin-like' finish as a result because it adds colour without being heavy.
The right side of this palette is a champagne highlighter. The highlighter formula is even softer than its blush counterpart. The colour blends out to an almost imperceptible tone on my skin tone (which is exactly what I want in a highlighter) but it leaves a pearlescent sheen in the sunlight as you can see. It can be layered on for more effect. A heavier application will show its peachy undertone.
Kosas has since released 8th Muse in a 'High Intensity' shade which means that a more vibrant version of this exists. I haven't tried it yet but I can only imagine the intensity of such a product, given how vivid I find this one to be. It probably will suit darker skin tones because I find the regular one pigmented enough.
Here's a photo of me wearing the 8th Muse duo with the right side towards direct sunlight and the left side away from the sun. It looks so lovely and natural once applied with a light hand.
I use my finger to apply and quickly blend out both the blush and highlighter. If I find that I've overapplied product, I take my damp sponge and pat off the excess.
My preference is to place pink blushes directly on the apples of my cheeks and the highlighter directly on top of my cheekbone, running it up to the end of my eyebrow.
The products don't fully set down so if the wind blows your hair onto your face, it'll stick to the product.
Dupes & Similar Shades
This Kosas 8th Muse blush is my only cool toned pink blush in my current stash, however I'm in the habit of using my lipsticks as cream blush.
I have two similar shades in Lisa Eldridge's Luxuriously Lucent lipstick in Love Of My Life and in MAC's Lustre Lipstick in Lovelorn.
Both of the lipsticks are creamy satins and are pigmented as lip products but in no way hold the same amount of saturation as 8th Muse does.
They would need to be built up in at least two layers to achieve anything close to what the cream blush offers with a tiny bit of product.
From top to bottom: Kosas 8th Muse, Lisa Eldridge Love Of My Life, MAC Lovelorn
Blended out, it's obvious that 8th Muse is the most pigmented. It's formulated to be used as blush so no surprises there.
As for the highlighter, I have many in my stash that fall under the umbrella of 'champagne highlight'.
My closest dupe in a cream formula is the Mecca Cosmetica Lit From Within Illuminating Balm.
It's a more solid product compared to the Kosas cream but with agitation, it can become a similar slushy mess.
The pot highlighter is made with a more stable formulation so it comes with a longer recommended shelf life of 12 months but I've had mine for slightly longer than that and it's still good.
Kosas 8th Muse Highlighter (top) and Mecca Cosmetica Lit From Within Illuminating Balm (bottom)
Swatched and unblended, there is no discernible difference between the two products. When you layer on a bit more and blend it out, it shows how the 8th Muse tone has a peachy, almost coppery undertone whereas the Mecca balm is more pink and golden in undertone.
No photograph can really do a highlighter justice, so here's a quick video of both in motion. As above, the Kosas 8th Muse is the top swatch and the Mecca Cosmetica Lit From WIthin Illuminating Balm is on the bottom.
Both highlighters are lovely, subtle and catch the light in the most gorgeous way.