Review: Surratt Artistique Blush in Grisaille
It’s been a long while since I experimented with new contouring products. The first time I really fell in love with one was Kevyn Aucoin Sculpting Powder (reviewed here), and I was convinced it was The One even when I dabbled with the Senna Face Sculpting Kit (reviewed here). Then when I went to Chicago last month, my eye was caught by a plain little brown pan among the bright blush colors at the Surratt counter at Barneys, and I knew I had to have it. And I have to admit, I’ve sort of been neglecting my KA Sculpting Powder ever since I discovered Surratt Artistique Blush in Grisaille.
Surrat has some of the most unassuming but sophisticated packaging I’ve seen. It’s a simple plastic pan with an equally simple plastic cover that slides on. There’s no metal pan, so the entire thing can be tossed in the recycle bin when you’re done with it. What I love most about it is there’s no wasted space; no excess around the edges and no space built in for applicators that I’m just going to throw in a box never to be seen again. The gradient and logo on the slide cover keep it from looking too chintzy. Beyond extreme minimalism, the purpose behind the simple packaging is that the products are meant to be put into a custom compact palette. I resisted the urge to pick one up since this was the only powder product I got, and now I’m glad because The Non-Blonde (whose product assessments I nearly always agree with) wasn’t too impressed with it. Despite the small size of the pan, it holds .2oz/6g, which is nearly twice the amount in the newly-repackaged Kevyn Aucoin Sculpting Powder. Which, side rant: I’m pretty upset about the new KA packaging, because even though I approve the much smaller footprint of the compact, how are you going to cut the product amount almost in half AND raise the price by $2? I get that brands sometimes need to increase prices but that’s pretty drastic. But I digress. The Surratt packaging is sturdy and functional, though I have slight worries about the cover sliding off while traveling.
I’m absolutely in love with this color for a daytime contour. It’s a little bit more pinky-grey than KA Sculpting Powder, so it plays really nicely with my neutral/cool skintone. The only drawback is it’s on the light side, so I have to do just a little bit of layering to build it up. I’m around NW25, so I’m guessing that it might be tough to get it to show up on skintones darker than NW/NC30 or so. For folks on the lighter end of the spectrum I think it could work really well, especially if other products tend to pull a little too warm. I do still reach for my good ol’ Sculpting Powder if I want a more dramatic contour, just because it’s a little deeper in color.
Application, texture & wear
I was initially a little wary of this shade because it looked like there was a little bit of sparkle in the pan. And it’s true that it’s not as completely matte as the KA Sculpting Powder. There’s a tiny bit of sheen to it – just enough to give it a little dimension. On the skin there aren’t any readily-visible shimmer particles (I can see a few tiny ones if I zoom way in on the photo). The product is dense and creamy, and picks up evenly on all the brushes I’ve tried with it. A fun tidbit about the texture – Surratt products are manufactured using a slurry process, which means they’re originally wet and the moisture evaporates, leaving a powder behind. According to the sales associate at the counter, this makes them less likely to break if they’re dropped, unlike typical powders that are made of tightly-packed dry powder. I haven’t tested this claim, and I don’t plan to, though it’s almost sure to happen eventually. On the skin it blends so easily it’s nearly fool-proof.
In Short: I don’t see why there aren’t more people raving about this, aside from it not being widely available.