Jason Wu Beauty: Review and Swatches

Today’s review is about a new brand I’m especially excited about – Jason Wu Beauty. The brand announced that it would be launching in Target a few months back, and they started selling directly from their online store in the past couple weeks. And they started with a bang – 50% off all their purchases – which as of posting, is still valid with code FF50 until January 17th. 

I am extremely excited to see a new makeup brand by Jason Wu, a Taiwanese-Canadian designer. This feels like a huge moment in Taiwanese representation for me, as a Taiwanese-American who had very few Taiwanese-American people to look up to, let alone anyone in the fashion and beauty industry. Korean and Japanese beauty have had (and are still having) their moments, but Taiwnese beauty has not really gotten any recognition. 

I can’t emphasize enough how having representation matters. In the past year, and especially in the past couple of weeks with the attempted coup on our nation’s Capitol by white supremecists. We’ve seen white voices be the dominant voice for centuries, plus the suppression of any others, especially those who are Black, Indigenous, or People of Color (BIPOC). 

BIPOC voices matter, telling us the full story besides white-washed narrative and ideals we are taught. And Asian voices have historically been silenced, especially in Western history. We are shown to be part of a narrative – the model minority who is obedient, hard working, and quiet. Anything other than that and it’s just seen as an exception. Which is why the rise in Asian voices in mainstream Western media and narrative the past few years has been especially exciting. We’re seeing more representation in media, more political power – which helped lead to the Senate wins in Georgia – and now seeing more representation of Asian beauty in the West. We have a long way to go, of course, but seeing Jason Wu Beauty enter the mainstream American market in Target marks an important time in the beauty industry for me.  

So onto the brand itself – its a brand that caught my eye immediately because of its neutral and minimal packaging, along with their muted neutral shades. It’s pretty much my dream minimal decor and color schemes. The types of products are also right up my alley, with  a sizable but still edited range of lip products, eyeshadows, and basics like brow gels, translucent powders, and lip balms. 

The price range of this line also called to me. Since it will be available at Target (starting January 17th), the line is fairly affordable, though it will be one of the more expensive lines at Target. The products range from $10 to $20, making it somewhere between drugstore and mid-range brand. I find that this price range seems really appropriate for the products. Some products are certainly worth way more, and some are just right for the price, which I will explain more for each products. Add the current 50% off sale or any beauty promotions that Target has, and this becomes an affordable and accessible line for many. 

The line is also reminiscent of some Kbeauty lines due to its packaging, shades, and textures. The brand that seems most similar is 3CE, which has very similar packaging (especially for the eyeshadow palettes), and they also focus on neutral shades.

The line contains mostly color products over base products, and I find the shades to be pretty inclusive. Although all the neutral lipsticks and eyeshadow are muted shades, they have the range for the most part to have multiple shades that would work and are deep enough for deeper skin tones. There is one base product that’s listed as a makeup primer that only has 2 shades – but I didn’t purchase this particular product so I don’t know what its like. It seems to be a primer over a foundation so its possible that 2 shades would work, but I will be referring to other reviews for that determination. 

The accessible price points plus the inclusivity of the line with its first launch of products is really what drew me to try so much from the brand at once. It’s clear that this line was thought out with care and with formulas that work. 

So without rambling on anymore, lets get into the reviews.

Opal Stick ($12)

The Opal Stick highlighter is the only face product that I bought, since I felt like it was a unique product. There is only one shade, and it is a dewy balm with a blue-lavender tint. I know what you’re thinking – a blue highlighter doesn’t sound wearable for every day, but that’s what makes this product so unique. When I swatch it on my hand, the tint looks really intense, but blended out on my cheeks, it gives me a really ethereal radiant effect without looking like I have a blue highlighter on. I was surprised by how it worked on my olive skintone, and even over the warmer blushes I’ve been wearing. It really looks natural and radiant, and gives a beautiful glow. This was probably the most surprising product for me as I was skeptical about how it would look on my skin. I still hope there will be more shades because I see the glowy possibilities this kind of effect would have with different shades.

Wearing Opal Stick on my cheeks

Wu-Brow Everlasting Love 24 Hour Brow Gel ($14)

This product is a tinted brow gel that is sweat- and waterproof. This product really surprised me because it has a brush tip like a nail polish brush, and I was expecting a spoolie. It took me awhile to get a hang of this so there is definitely a learning curve. It does best to shade and fill in brows, not necessarily to draw individual brow hairs. The effect is surprisingly natural and its because the formula is not too wet or glooopy. It’s just the right thickness to adhere to brow hairs. That said, it is easy to overapply and get a chunk of gel if you aren’t careful, so it took a few tries to get it right. My favorite thing about this is that once it’s on, it’s completely budge proof. One night I didn’t use my regular oil cleanser to remove my makeup and this brow gel was completely intact on my brows the next morning. For that reason alone, I’ve been reaching for this a lot. Because the brush applicator can be a bit finicky, I don’t know if I would repurchase this to replace all my other brow products, and I’d still prefer a spoolie, but I am really impressed with the formula.

Free-Da Brow Eyebrow Mascara ($12)

This is a brow gel that comes with a traditional spoolie. I bought the clear version since I have a couple of tinted brow gels already. This performs like a standard brow gel for me – it helps brush my brow hairs into place and leaves a soft flexible finish. It does a pretty good job of fluffing up my brow hairs though the hold only lasts a few hours. Keep in mind that my brow hairs are pretty resistant to most brow gels so that doesn’t mean that this one is considerably worse than any other gels I’ve used. This doesn’t stand out to me as an exceptional product, but it also does everything it claims to do so I’m pretty happy with it. I’m curious to try out a tinted one next to see how that performs too. 

Wu-Prime Eye Primer in 03 Medium ($12)

This eye primer comes in 4 shades: white, light, medium, and deep. I appreciate the multiple tints so that it doesn’t look patchy on anyone. The tint itself is quite sheer so it doesn’t create an opaque base layer. The texture of this is slightly more liquid than what I’m currently using, the Urban Decay Primer Potion, and the thinner texture inside of a tube packaging made it easy to squeeze out too much product at once. Although the tube has a needle point tip, the tip isn’t quite as narrow as the Ud, so if you press the tube too hard, you’ll get a lot of product at once. 

Once I figured out the correct pressure to press the tube with, the texture applies creamy and very easy to blend. I would say that this isn’t my favorite eye primer, though it is still effective. It keeps my eyeshadow crease free until about the 8 hour mark, which is decent for my oily lids. However, other primers like Urban Decay and even Milano keep my eyeshadow crease free for at least 10 hours. So again, not the worst, but not the best primer for me. I did notice that eyeshadows seemed to blend really well with this, which is a plus.

Opal Stick, Wu-Prime Eye #3 Medium, Wu-Brow Everlasting Love #3 Deep

Floral 9-Shadow Palette ($15)

I bought these 2 out of 3 of the palettes: 02 Prickly Pear and 03 Desert Rose. All of the palettes have only neutral tones, which really appeals to me. Prickly Pear has mostly shimmer shadows with one matte shade, and its the one I was most drawn to with a range of light to deep shimmers. Desert Rose has a mix of shimmers and mattes with a lighter and rosier color scheme. There’s also an all matte palette, but I have enough matte palettes that I didn’t feel the need to get that one.

I love the easy wearable color schemes of these palettes, and think they would really appeal to an average consumer that maybe doesn’t wear a lot of makeup everyday. Unfortunately these palettes are one of the products that are a “you get what you pay for” product. Although the shades are pigmented upon swatching and creamy, they were not very long lasting on my lids and faded a little bit throughout the day. Primer didn’t seem to make a big difference as I experienced this with the Wu-Prime and my usual Urban Decay Primer Potion, though it performed slightly better with the UD. 

The pigmentation of the glitters didn’t seem to transfer well onto the lids as when I switched them. When I applied the glitter shadows on my lids with a brush, they had a slight powdery effect, even though they looked smooth and creamy when swatched. The texture improved slightly when I applied them with my fingers, but they still didn’t quite have the impact I wanted unless I added a couple of layers. The matte shades performed better, and I prefer applying them with a brush. They definitely aren’t Viseart quality, but they were pigmented, easy to blend, and didn’t have as many issues with fading.

At first I thought it was because the formula was reminiscent to many Asian beauty eyeshadows, and like the 3CE palettes. If you’re not familiar with Asian beauty, and specifically, Japanese or Korean brands’ formulas, the eyeshadows tend to be quite sheer, creating a subtle watercolor effect that can be layered. The effect is almost the opposite of the ultra pigmented shadows you tend to find in Western beauty from brands like Natasha Denona or Pat McGrath. Shimmer and glitter eyeshadows tend to look very delicate, and the glitter is usually very fine and sparkly. When I first switched the Jason Wu eyeshadow it looked like they might be a similar formula, but on my eyes, the glitter wasn’t quite as sparkly. I have a 3CE palette with a similar color scheme as Prickly Pear  and the glitter shades just have so much more impact.

I was really bummed that these didn’t quite work for me as much as I wanted to since I really love the color scheme and the affordable price point. I still see myself using these on an everyday basis but they are probably best suited for you if you like a very natural and subtle look, but I would rather just purchase eyeshadow from an Asian beauty brand for the kind of subtle effect I want.

Celestial Lust Cream Eyeshadow ($12)

These are liquid cream eyeshadows that come in 4 shades. I bought the shade 02 Song Bird, a glittery icy pink with some gold shimmer, and 03 Jane Doe, a shimmery copper shade. They both have different finishes as Song Bird has more chunky glitter while Jane Doe is more like a metallic shimmer. I really enjoyed using these as they are easy to use – whether you apply the doe foot applicator directly to your eyelids, or you dab it on with your fingers from the applicator. The finish is intense and beautiful, and they both work well alone or over other eyeshadows as a topper. 

The wear time of these eyeshadows is also good. It lasts all day (usually 12-ish hours for me) without creasing or fading. I attribute this to the right texture – which is creamy enough to blend, and liquid enough to dab over other products or layer on top of each other without lifting product or being patchy. 

I did notice that the shimmer formula, Jane Doe, applied more evenly than Song Bird, which could be a little bit chunky if I applied too much at once. This isn’t surprising since Song Bird has chunky glitter, but it’s just something to be aware of. 

03 Jane Doe, 02 Song Bird

Stay in Line Lip Liner Pencil ($10)

Staying in line with the rest of the line, the lip liners come in muted neutral shades. They glide on easily because of their creamy texture, but aren’t too pigmented to give an unnatural opaque look. The effect looks very natural and any of these shades could work as a MLBB for anyone. I find that lip products adhere well to these lip liners, especially the Honey Fluff liquid lip colors, though they are not quite as high performing as my favorite Victoria Beckham lip definers (reviewed here). The VBB lip definers have a very different texture – they’re more waxy and almost act like a magnet to my lips and any lip color applied over it. It’s hard to compare the two formulas since they’re very different, but it’s worth noting that the VBB lip definers are still my HG formula. Still, I’ve been reaching for these Jason Wu lip liners most days because they’re so easy to wear, and they are a fraction of the price so I don’t feel bad about using them up quicker. 

I have the shades 01 Adored and 05 Leave Me Alone. Adored is a muted nude pink shade, and Leave Me Alone is a mid-tone beige nude shade. 

I compared these to other lip liners I own: 

Compared to Adored, Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk lip liner is a little deeper and more mauve. Victoria Beckham Lip Definer #3 is deeper and slightly more brown. NYX Nude Suede Shoes is similar. 

Compared to Leave Me Alone, Charlotte Tilbury Iconic Nude is deeper and more Brown. Victoria Beckham Lip Definer #2 is deeper and more chestnut toned. Pat McGrath Supernatural is more warm toned and more opaque. Laura Mercier Hazelnut Tea is more rose. Marc Jacobs  Nudeist is similar, but slightly deeper.

Honey Fluff Lip Cream ($12)

All the lip liners correspond with the Honey Fluff Lip Creams, which are matte, mousse-y liquid lipsticks. These are not anything like the liquid lipsticks in most American makeup brands that dry and settle into cracks. The formula of these is very similar to the velvety matte liquid lipsticks found in Asian beauty brands. It almost feels dry upon the first swatch, but it spreads out into a very thin and velvety formula that doesn’t actually feel dry. It almost has a powder effect to it while still looking very airbrushed and natural. The formula takes about a minute to dry down, but once it’s set, it doesn’t transfer or move on me. I don’t find this formula to be drying on my lips, and I can wear this for nearly the whole day before I feel like I need to apply lip balm. I also don’t notice a scent with these.

Paired with the Stay in Line lip liners, I can get about 6 hours of wear with these, including eating and drinking. One one day I was testing these, I ate breakfast, drank coffee, multiple cups of water, and lunch, and only noticed I needed to reapply after lunch because it was starting to fade – though a lot of the product was still intact. Because of the powdery formula, these also wear evenly so it doesn’t look like the product is literally cracking off your lips like the traditional liquid lip formulas. Overall, I am very impressed with these and they are probably my favorite products from the line. 

I have the shades 01 Adored and 06 Royal. Adored is the same as the lip liner – a nude pink – and Royal is a warmer nude with a hint of pink. The shades all work as very natural MLBB shades for me, though I find myself reaching for Adored since it’s closer to my true lip color. I’m curious to try out some of the deeper shades to see how they wear, though from the swatches it looks like even the deepest shades have a very muted look. 

I compared these to other lip products to look for a similar formula and shade. 

Compared to Adored, NYX Cannes is slightly brighter and warmer. The formula is also more liquid. Urban Decay Liar is a similar tone, but deeper, and it is a traditional cream lipstick. MAC Mull It Over is close, and the formula is like the bullet version of this, but the finish is similar.

Compared to Royal, Pony Effect Powder Touch Lip Laquer has a very similar formula and this shade is also similar. Dear Dahlia liquid lipstick in Delicate is more liquid and the shade is also warmer. MAC Sultry Move is more mauve toned but the finish is similar.

Hot Fluff 3-in-1 Stick for Lips, Cheeks, Eyes ($12)

One of the most buzzed products from the line is these Hot Fluff shades. They are a “modern matte” lipstick that can also be used on the cheeks and eyes. The shades of these are much more vibrant, and there’s a bigger shade range. These have a very faint crayon type scent, though I really have to put my nose up to them to smell them.

I love the idea that these can be used for multiple purposes, since there isn’t a dedicated blush product from the line yet. The matte formula of these, again, remind me of matte lipsticks from Asian beauty lines, specifically the matte lipsticks from 3CE. It’s a thicker pigmented formula, and also has a slightly velvet powder finish. They glide onto the skin and lips smoothly and without dragging, and they are very easy to blend out. These would be great to create a blotted look, though they also work well as full-on opaque pigment. 

As with many multistick products, I find that they perform better for some purposes than others. For me, these are great as cheek products and lip products, and not as good as an eyeshadow. They creased on me as an eyeshadow, and I didn’t love the shades I have applied as an eye color. As a blush, I like to use my fingers to apply this onto my cheeks rather than applying the bullet directly to my cheeks. These work well on my bare skin, and they sometimes could look a little blotchy when I applied them over powder, but I could blend them out well enough. As a blush, they have fantastic lasting power on my oily skin. I can wear these all day and still see the blush shade on my cheeks. On my lips, they aren’t the most long-wearing matte lipsticks I’ve ever used, though they do last a few hours before I need to reapply. I did find these to be more drying than the Honey Fluff, and while they are creamy and blendable, this does make some of my dry spots look more noticeable if I’m not careful. However, I can still wear these even if my lips are dry without my lips looking especially crackly, like some matte lipsticks can tend to make my lips look. 

I think that these are generally great products, especially since they can be used as blush as well. For lip products, I prefer the Honey Fluff formula, tho9ugh I like the brighter and more varied shades of these. I bought the shades: 

  • 01 Jelly Roll – a muted grape jam shade
  • 02 Gingerbread – a warm toned pinky terracotta
  • 03 Cannoli – a warm toned terracotta

I also compared them to other shades:

Jelly Roll is most similar to Maybelline Color Sensational lipstick in Touch of Spice, though Touch of Spice is more mauve and a little lighter. Uoma lipstick in Maya is cooler toned, and the YSL Slim Matte Lipstick in #17 is more pink and less opaque. 

Compared to Gingerbread, Gucci matte lipstick in They Met in Argentina is a lighter formula, and it’s peachier. The YSL Slim Matte Lipstick in #11 is brighter and more coral.

Compared to Cannoli, MAC Powder Matte Lipstick in Impulsive is lighter and more brown, and Maybelline Color Sensational Lipstick in Raw Chocolate is similar, but slightly browner.

Soft Balm ($10)

There are a variety of balms and glosses in the collection, and I opted for the Soft Balm, which is a very sheer balm. I bought the shade 03 Peaches, which has a super sheer peach tint that is virtually clear on my lips. Although I don’t think that this is a must have product, I do really like it as a lip balm. I have been using it as a balm to prep my lips while I’m applying the rest of my makeup and it does a great job of moisturizing my lips. It has just the right amount of thickness for me – it’s not so thin that it feels greasy or oily, but it’s not so thick that it feels like a mask. I find this product really easy to wear. 

FINAL THOUGHTS

Overall, I am very impressed with this line of products! I think that this line is well suited for the everyday makeup wearer, or someone who loves neutral shades and likes to enhance their features without being too dramatic. Many of the products can be amped up for a more dramatic line, but most products are really great everyday products. If you like an everyday neutral glam like, which is what I would describe my style, this is a great line for you. The neutral tones, plus the muted shades really fit in with my aesthetic, which is why I bought so many products to try in the first place. 

I also really don’t want to downplay the price point of the line. The affordability is a huge positive to making this an accessible line for someone who wants to try some new products and different formulations than most drugstore products, and I really appreciate that they will be available at Target, as well as on their own website. I also appreciate that even though a lot of the tones are muted, there are shades in every product that will work for everyone. The only product where that may not be true is the tinted face primer, though I’m not exactly clear on the purpose of that product, and I also didn’t try it. Some of the products perform for the pricepoint that they’re at – which is to say that they work perfectly find, but they’re not the best I’ve tried. This is especially true for the eyeshadow palettes and primer. Other products, like the Honey Fluff, Lip Liners, and Hot Fluff, easily out perform their price. 

My top products from the line that I would recommend are: 

  1. Honey Fluff Lip Creams
  2. Stay in Line Lip Liner Pencil
  3. Hot Fluff 

I think that the eyeshadow palettes are definitely worth trying, but the inconsistent formula and wear makes this less of a must-have item for me. I also would recommend the Opal Stick to try, but I don’t think it’s going to replace all my highlighters. The products that I probably wouldn’t buy again are the Eye Primer, simply because I have other eye primers I really love, as well as the Free-Da Brow Eyebrow Mascara, because I find the application too finicky for everyday use. 

Here are a couple looks I did with the products:

On the left I’m wearing a full face of Jason Wu Beauty: Opal Stick and Cannoli Hot Fluff on my cheeks, Prickly Pear palette and Celestial Lust eyeshadow in Jane Doe on my eyes, Wu Brow Everlasting Brow Gel in #3 on my eyebrows, Lip liner and Honey Fluff in Adored on my lips.

On the right, I’m wearing Prickly Pear Palette on my eyes, Lip liner in Leave me Alone, and Honey Fluff in Royal.

I’m curious if you’ve tried out the line and what you think of it. What are your favorite products, and what do you think of the line in general? 

As always, thanks for reading. 

2 thoughts on “Jason Wu Beauty: Review and Swatches

  1. This is literally the most ridiculous makeup review I’ve ever read. What a load of complete nonsense bringing up the Capitol and ridiculous terms like white supremacist (learn to spell it if you’re going to use it, by the way). Do you know how ridiculous you sound? After months of ANTIFA and BLM burning looting and murdering, you dare to bring this up in a MAKEUP REVIEW??? Laughable at best and cognitively dissonant at worst. Get a life, you look foolish as hell.

    Like

  2. I love this review. I think the fact that this brands means more than just makeup to you is uplifting and powerful. This is your personal blog, your unique platform to express yourself. I love how in depth you are and I have a few things I’m interested in because of this review! I already keep up with your Instagram, I’ll definitely be keeping up with your blog more as well.
    P.s. I’m sure you know you don’t sound foolish, what is foolish is coming on someone’s personal platform and taking time out of your day to tell them not to post their beliefs on their own personal blog. Now whoever does that needs a life.

    Like

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