As one of the longest running beauty YouTubers in the UK, Jamie Genevieve’s channel is one of my favourites to go to for all the gossip on the latest launches. With nearly a million subscribers on YouTube and 1.4 million followers on Instagram, it wasn’t at all shocking when she announced that she was releasing her very own brand, VIEVE – also known as VIEVE Muse. Back in November VIEVE had their first launch, releasing The Essential Collection – a range of essential neutral products including matte lipsticks, lip liners, highlighters and, of course, an eyeshadow palette.
While I’m a bit (OK, definitely) late to my review, I wanted to sit back and observe for a while. From watching and reading other beauty blogger’s reviews, to seeing how the brand and Jamie reacted to any issues, I thought this would enable me to give a more thorough and accurate review of both the products and the brand. On a final note before we jump into the review, I just want to say how incredible it’s been to watch Jamie’s success happen over the past few years, and I’m so excited that her dream is coming true. OK, now let’s get into the nitty gritty…
‘VELVET SANDS’ MODERN LIP DEFINER – £15
I want to start off with a bang. For me, having a great lip liner is an integral part of any makeup collection. As I don’t particularly enjoy wearing lipstick formulas which are thick or heavy, I often just wear lip liner alone as this feels the most natural and effortless to wear. And because of that, it’s become one of my missions to find out which brands have the best formulas, and I was so excited to find out that VIEVE has got one of them.
With a creamy, but not overly soft formula, the Modern Lip Definer glides over the lips with a good amount of pigmentation. As soon as I tried the shade Velvet Sands, the formula immediately resonated with me as a hybrid of Charlotte Tilbury’s Lip Cheats, which are less creamy with immovable pigmentation, and the liners from Kylie Cosmetics, which are much more creamy with a highly soft formula. While the Modern Lip Definers don’t have the same lasting power as the Charlotte Tilbury liners, as to be expected with a softer formula, they’re really comfortable to wear and get the job done.
I only picked up one shade, Velvet Sands, which is a neutral nude, and I didn’t expect it to become such a firm favourite of mine. I use it all the time! As there are four other shades available, I’m definitely going to be purchasing more in the future.
THE ESSENTIAL EYESHADOW PALETTE – £43
Despite loving the idea of the 10 huge (and I mean huge) pans in VIEVE’s all-neutral Essential Eyeshadow Palette, all-in-all I was left feeling underwhelmed. As Jamie is an ambassador for NARS and Charlotte Tilbury, I thought her shadows would be similar in formulation to theirs, but unfortunately they weren’t.
While the mattes do eventually blend out, they’re quite stiff and require some work to look smooth across the eyes. They’re also very powdery and have a lot of kick-back in the pan. Although the metallics are similar to NARS in the sense that they have a shimmer-type formula, unlike NARS, they’re fairly scratchy and don’t have the same level of opacity. While the NARS shimmers have the ability to be worn intensely with a pigmented swipe or alternatively in a light, dispersed and ethereal way, I struggled to built up the intensity of the shimmers from VIEVE, and it ended up looking messy and a bit too grungy for my liking due to the rustic tones of the shadows.
While this palette is far from being bad, and I will get use out of it, I expected more. Also, I’ve heard a handful of times from YouTubers that one or two of their pans have fallen out of the palette due to them being stuck down with glue rather than being magnetic.
MODERN MATTE LIPSTICKS – £19 each
Jamie has excelled with these lipsticks. Immediately upon swatching them for the first time, their creaminess stood out like no other matte lipstick that I own. And to my delight, they were equally as fantastic on the lips too.
With no tugging whatsoever upon application, these lipsticks glide onto the lips effortlessly. As with any lipstick, I applied thin layer of balm first to ensure my lips feel as comfortable as possible, and that they’re prepped well for any product. With a good amount of pigmentation and an extremely comfortable feel, I might even go as far as saying these lipsticks could be my new number one formula for bullet matte lipsticks… but I don’t want to commit myself to that sentiment given I have so many favourites (see my blogpost Matte Lipsticks: Dry Or A Dream? Favourites & Techniques from September for more). Although they do last well, they eventually fade off the lips. Personally, no matter the formula or colour, this isn’t a problem for me since I often find that if I don’t reapply a fresh layer of balm and lipstick throughout the day, the lipstick eventually dries down and feels tight.
The only criticism I have of these lipsticks, isn’t actually to do with the lipsticks themselves, but how the promotional photos show the colours to be. The three shades that I bought – Vieve, Ninetease and Comin’ In Haute – are all stunning and I love all of them on my fair skin tone. However, some of the promotional shots show the colours to be lighter than they are, and in some cases show the shades to be less warm too. If you click here, you’ll be taken to a photo on VIEVE’s instagram page where you can see the different undertones in the lipsticks clearly – just be aware that they may look slightly deeper in person. All in all though, I couldn’t be more thrilled with mine.
‘BIJOU’ NOVA GLOW HIGHLIGHTER – £27
I’m a highlighter girl – I love to glow, but in a very specific way. My number one criteria for highlighters is for them to look smooth and undetectable on the skin. I want to see the glow, but it to look like it’s meant to be there, not as though it’s been put there. So when Jamie was announcing VIEVE and said that one of the products is a highlighter with no cast and an undetectable element, I picked up the lightest shade, Bijou, as soon as possible.
However, this highlighter is unfortunately a straight up glitter formula, and, while these have a time and place, it isn’t a product I believe everybody would like, especially for everyday makeup. Although it blends really well, I was surprised that such a glittery formula was released for The Essential Collection, given that most people (from what I know) would prefer a smooth, non-glittery formula for everyday wear.
Although the lightest shade is pale, it is ever-so-slightly too warm for my fair complexion despite the fact I have a yellow undertone.
From what I’ve seen, Jamie’s response to any and all criticism has been outstanding. Always the professional, she’s been kind and receptive, she’s offered people refunds and replacements, and she’s really kept her head held high. Based on this, I truly believe that she’s going to go back to the drawing board and sort out any recurring issues, listen to the feedback from her audience, and make VIEVE stronger going into the future. I’m so excited so see how the brand progresses and to continue supporting her on her journey…especially by purchasing some more of those lipsticks and liners (I need a shade extension NOW!).
Finally, I want to quickly discuss the packaging. The actual components are really quite nice, but the outer cardboard that the items come in is exceptionally thin and flimsy. I ordered my items back in November on launch day, and since the brand is new I expected some issues and errors. My items were delivered in a very narrow cardboard box, with no internal protection surrounding the items whatsoever. I was really surprised that none of the products were smashed or damaged in any way, but relieved that everything had come in one piece. However, now that VIEVE is available on Cult Beauty, I’ll be buying through them instead as I know they package products well for transit, I’m familiar with their customer service, and it’s generally more convenient for me as I purchase from Cult regularly.
Have you tried any products from VIEVE? If not, are you interested in trying any of their products? Please leave a comment below so we can have a chat!
With love, T x