I have to be honest – I have never bought a Black Up product because of the name. Having spoken to people in the brand I know that the intention behind the name is ‘elevate Black’ rather than the Black Face connotation that it has in English for women of my age. The name of this brand makes me very uncomfortable but I have spent enough time in Debenhams to know that this is a brand with great pigmentation and great range complexion shades for women of colour. When I attended Keziah Connects last week (head to my Instagram to see pics) I was fortunate to receive a product to try. One of their latest products in fact – their Dual Ended Contour Stick.
The idea is very clever. In one product you have your highlight and contour shade – imagine two stick foundations joined together. The packaging is quite solid. The lids for both ends pop off and click back on. Across the brand shades are divided into five shade intensities. I am a shade four. This makes it an easier way to choose the colour and it also means that the highlight is appropriately lighter than my skintone and the contour appropriately much deeper – you don’t have to search for your correct shade.
Personally, I feel that the contour shade which a bit on the red side could afford to be more neutral in tone. Shadows which is what you are trying to create in a contour are more grey then brown in tone The texture is very very smooth – you can blend it away to literally nothing. This means that for people like me, which a dinner plate round face, you can do a day appropriate contour around the chin without looking like you are wearing Halloween make up and then build it up for day time.
Because the texture is very very very soft, you really need to powder this down as it will transfer. If you are wanting a heavier contour and you can achieve this very easily … but…it can look a bit greasy on the skin so again you need to powder. Black Up recommend using this colour over a foundation which I agree with. This does not really give you opaque coverage because of the very soft texture so you will need at a minimum a BB cream and if you need to conceal dark marks and blemishes do that before you apply the contour stick. I thought that I would prefer to use this over a stick foundation then a liquid but actually, it works better over a liquid then a stick in my opinion. I have been wearing this for a week and getting lots of complements – my favourite was ‘your cheeks are really popping’ cos I have a round face so any dimension I can create is always a bonus.
You get four and a half grams of each shade (nine grams in total) twenty nine pounds. To put this into perspective you get nine grams of Bobbi Brown Stick foundation for thirty two pounds or ten grams of Fashion Fair stick foundation for twenty three pounds. You will get through is product much quicker than a standard stick foundation as the texture The packaging is black plastic, and while it looks sleek, it does not feel luxe. Despite my reservations over the name – this product is really good. If you have a Black Up Paris counter near you – it really is worth going to have a play with this product to see if it can work for you.
Black Up Paris is available from selected Debenhams stores.