Our Beauty Director, SJ tried out some of the new Prada beauty range. Read her honest review
Not that fashion brand Prada has ever not been in favour, but it is having a serious moment this summer. Not only has their crotchet tote bag become the must-have accessory (if you happen to have a spare £1500 lying around) but they have just launched Prada Beauty - a tightly curated makeup and skincare range. Prada Beauty consists of three products ranging in price from £37 for a lipstick to £65 for an eyeshadow quad and Prada Skin, also three products, ranges from £85 for the cleanser and an eye-watering £315 for the serum.
Of course, the fashion house isn't a complete stranger to the beauty world. Over the years they have created some iconic fragrances, Prada Paradoxe EDP, £65 for 30ml being the most recent smash hit with British actress, Emma Watson as the face of the aesthetically pleasing triangular fragrance. But the launch of skincare and makeup definitely heralds a new direction and dimension for the brand.
The Prada Beauty collection
So, what have they created? Under the Prada Beauty umbrella is a fairly streamlined makeup selection (for now) of foundation, eyeshadow palettes and lipsticks all of which are refillable. British makeup artist Lynsey Alexander, who has beautified the faces of celebs such as Kylie Minogue and Kate Moss and is a Fashion Week mainstay was the creative brains behind the makeup products. She used the brand's archives to draw upon fabrics, colours and textures to inspire the new line and the iconic Prada triangle features heavily in all the products.
The Prada Lipsticks
There are two types of matte lipsticks in the collection and each comes in 13 shades. Prada Hyper Matte Monochrome Refillable Lipstick, £37 has a more intense pigment and texture and Prada Soft Matte Monochrome Refillable Lipstick, £37 has a bit more sheen and luminosity about it but absolutely no glitter as apparently Miuccia Prada - matriarch of the Prada family and brand - can’t stand it.
SJ's verdict: "These are something quite special indeed. They come in decidedly expensive feeling packaging with a very pleasing magnetic lid that snaps together. I really love the attention to detail; all the hyper matte lipsticks have the criss-cross leather-like finish of the Saffiano leather used on Prada handbags and the soft matte lipsticks have the more dimpled effect, inspired by the Re-Nylon fabric also used on handbags and accessories. Yes, it doesn’t last long - once you've applied the lipstick a few times the pattern disappears, but I do believe that you need unnecessary and extravagant touches like this to make a product standout from the mass market brands and slightly justify the cost.
While all the lipsticks are matte, there is quite a difference in the feeling and effect of each. The hyper matte lipstick (which I tried in a deep red shade, Fuoco) is pigment dense and creamy but dries quickly to leave a full-on pout. The soft matte is much more balmy in texture and delivers a sheerer level of pigment. I tried coral orange shade, Flamingo, which I didn’t think I was going to like but was instantly converted."
The Prada Eyeshadow Palettes
Next, the Prada Dimensions Durable Eyeshadow Palette, £65 - a square eyeshadow palette consisting of four shadows (three of which are shaped into the Prada triangle) and available in 5 different colour ways. Each contains three neutral shades and then one ‘pop’ of colour all of which have been inspired by Prada’s fashion archives.
SJ's verdict: “Sadly I could only get my hands on one eyeshadow palette, which didn't contain shades I would wear - I got 02 Profusion. I’m sure there are some very cool people out there who can make chartreuse yellow-green work with black and silver, but not on my pasty complexion. It is also pricey for what it is - there are far more affordable eye shadow palettes out there that offer up wider colour selection for less."
The Prada Foundation
Finally, the foundation - Prada Reveal Skin Optimising Refillable Foundation, £49 . It has a matte finish and offers light-medium coverage. It contains some skin loving ingredients such as vitamin E, niacinamide and a probiotic as well as ‘soft filter technology’ to create the blurry, almost filtered skin look that we all like these days. AI technology was used to help create the 33 shades that it comes in but many have criticised the brand for not having many option for deeper and darker skin tones.
SJ's verdict: "I couldn’t get my hands on the foundation but industry friends who have tried it have told me it’s brilliant and worth heading to the Selfridges or Harrods beauty hall to try out, so that's what I'm going to do. It apparently delivers a really nice finish and feels super comfortable on the skin."
The Prada Skin collection
Prada Skin consists of three skincare products; a cleanser, face cream and serum (an identical lineup to when Stella McCartney launched skincare). Sadly I couldn't get any of the products to try but lets start by focusing on the standout fact: they are pricey. The cleanser, Augmented Skin Cleanser is £85, the moisturiser - Augmented Skin Face Cream is £275 and the serum, Augmented Skin Serum is £315. This is skincare aimed for the few not the many. While I haven't tried it myself, there are a couple of things I can tell you about it. All three products are refillable and utilise adaptogen ingredients (I don't know which because Prada haven't released any information about it) to boost the radiance in the skin.
Over overall verdict: is Prada Beauty worth the price tag?
"While I can't comment on the Prada skincare products as I haven't tried them I do believe that no skincare needs to cost £315 not when there are brilliant serums around that perform exceptionally and are nowhere near that price.
However, from what I've heard about the foundation that could be a winner. But for me this is all about the lipsticks. They have been expertly formulated, the colour range is excellent and I believe worth the £37 price tag."