Lilah B: Divine Duo Lip & Cheek
Lilah B is one of those brands whose clean beauty mantra appeals to those with a minimalistic aesthetic.
It's 2019 and clean beauty is no longer a small niche trend. With many brands flooding an already saturated market, these environmentally minded, vegan, cruelty-free, organic-based products aren't just for hippie 'cool girls' anymore - they're everywhere and Lilah B is only one small player in the Australian market.
"I encourage women to be thoughtful and mindful of their purchasing – and to declutter, minimize and simplify their beauty routine with purposeful products."
Founded by Cheryl Yannotti Foland, this California-based brand embodies the 'natural beauty' look following their motto "With less, you are more."
How shocked do you think Mies van der Rohe would be to learn that his famous declaration "Less is more" could be applied to makeup? The famous Modernist architect hoped to design buildings where form would reveal function. This is something Lilah B tries to do with its pebble-shaped compacts as their natural shapes seem to correlate with their use of natural ingredients.
"Beauty should be about quality, not quantity, and so I set out to create a healthy, ‘good for you’ collection that offers a flawless finish with ease."
Lilah B creates many multi-purpose products which are designed to minimise one's collection while offering luxurious packaging. It's perfect if that's what you're looking for but let's be real. I blog about makeup in my free time so I wouldn't exactly say I have minimalistic collection.
Price, outer packaging and availability
The Divine Duo Lip & Cheek retails for US$46 a piece and AUD$70 at it's only Australian distributor, Mecca. It's a high cost product which places Lilah B firmly into the luxury makeup camp. Lilah B used to be available to Australian customers via Net-a-Porter where I nabbed mine on sale for AUD$50 before exclusivity contracts were enacted. More on that later. In the US, the official website does offer its products at deep discounts. I saw 40% off during their most recent birthday sale and it is readily available at the USA Sephora which regularly hosts sales unlike Mecca Australia where a sale is them offering 50% off products discontinued 4 years ago.
It comes tucked very snugly in a cardboard box that could have been two-thirds the size but no one cares about cardboard. The compact itself is very weighty for it's size. Designed to mimic the shape of a pebble, it definitely feels as heavy as one.
It opens via a hinge mechanism that folds out 180 degrees so the shape is inverted when the cover opens. It swings easily with a firm push but because of a magnet, it won't suddenly open if you put it in your handbag. Like a child, I played with this, flipping it open and closed making 'schwing' noises when I opened it up. That is, until I knocked it against a hard surface which scratched a 1cm gash into the side of the pebble. The packaging is sturdy but won't fare well if you're putting it in with sharp items like nail clippers.
The size of the Divine Lip & Cheek Duo can be deceptive if you're a consumer who relies solely on close up photography. With 2.2g/0.08oz of product, it's a tad larger than a 20 cent coin and the pan is probably closer to the 50 cent coin.
The small size of the compact really does emphasise the "with less" aspect of the company's slogan.
So with that amount of product at AUD$70 a pop, potential buyers will probably seek alternatives at lower price points. This is the most expensive blush I have in my collection based on price per gram. I suspect that Lilah B will have a tough time in the Australian market which is worsened by their exclusivity contract with Mecca that now prohibits other retailers such as Net-A-Porter from shipping to Australia. I can say conclusively that I wouldn't have even considered buying this at all for $70. I do, however, like it enough to try other products if I could nab them on sale. I'd probably buy them directly from the Lilah B site during their sales if they would ship internationally.
Divine Duo Lip & Cheek: b. lovely
b. lovely is a warm beige nude with brown terracotta undertones. This shade is a rich, red soil earthy colour that really fits into the natural vibe of the brand.
A little goes a long way with this highly pigmented formula. I'd recommend using your finger to warm the cream up and dabbing the product on because it's quite solid in the pan. It softens and warms up quite easily after a swirl or two so it's a stable formula that won't turn to liquid during the warmer months.
With just a bit on a fingertip, you can blend out your whole cheek if you want a really sunkissed tanned look. I tend to blend it out completely so I'm left with only a faint bit of colour on my cheeks.
The top swatch in the picture above shows the product blended out and the bottom is unblended.
You get quite a pigmented deposit of colour by patting it onto the skin. This is what it looks like if you just dab it on and blend out the edges.
I'll usually bring the colour horizontally across my cheeks and occasionally across the bridge of my nose to create a more sunkissed look so I continue to blend or dab the excess off with a damp sponge to get the effect pictured below. It's more of a sun-flushed look.
The formula itself is matte very lightweight. You can't feel it on your skin since it's not tacky and it dries matte within seconds. It's quick and easy to blend with fingers or a sponge and as you can see my veins poking through, it adds colour while still managing to look like skin. If you're into natural looking makeup, this will fit nicely into your routine.
It lasts quite well throughout the day for a cream formula because it doesn't slip around once you've blended it out. I have dry skin which I rarely powder down but I get 5+ hours before it starts to fade. This one can easily be reapplied on top of itself if you can be bothered touching up. The compact is tiny so it can fit into a handbag or makeup pouch.
As for the multi-tasking aspect, I think it's too dry to be used on the lips and the drier formula doesn't take kindly to texture including lip lines.
Dupes & Similar Shades
I like a classic pink or rosy blush so I only have one colour dupe for this in my collection. It's the Charlotte Tilbury Beach Stick in Formentera which is in a twist up stick mechanism.
Visually while the products are in their respective packaging, they look quite similar and on the skin, they are also very close if you judge them only by the shade. b lovely is a fraction more tawny than Formentera which has a touch more peach to the colour. There is an obvious sheen with Formentera compared to the flat matte of b lovely.
The formulas between the two are completely different. Formentera is sheerer in consistency, waxier and imparts a slight gloss to the skin. The stick is not as dry as the Lilah B so it glides on a little easier, however the Charlotte Tilbury isn't as long lasting on the skin.
The top swatch is the Lilah B b.lovely while the bottom swatch is Charlotte Tilbury Beach Stick in Formentera.
Blended out, the Charlotte Tilbury can disappear almost entirely if you continue patting away as it is less pigmented. Both products can build colour by layering more.