Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Kat Von D Lock-It Vox Box Review


Friends, when you're a beauty junkie like myself, there's nothing quite like the promise of new makeup to lift your spirits. A few weeks back I was having one of those epically frustrating, overly-stressed work days that can send even the most chipper of individuals into an existential crisis. Every minute closer to 5:00 seems longer than the last, until the span of time between 3:00 and 3:07 feels like an hour. Suddenly, my phone makes a little ping. An e-mail! Even if its nothing interesting, it's still a welcome distraction from the time-torture inside my cubicle. So I reach over and check, half expecting my electric bill, only to find out that it's Influenster telling me I've qualified for a new campaign!

I'm pretty sure in that moment I took the phrase "doing a happy dance" literally and immediately jumped out of my chair to share the news with my equally beauty-obsessed coworker. This wasn't just any Vox Box. I was being sent 5 (five!!) products from Kat Von D's new Lock-It range to test and review. Truth be told, I've read way more about Kat's products than I've actually experienced them first hand. Many of her products are constantly being raved about by the beauty community at large (Lolita Liquid Lipstick, anyone?), but I'd yet to take the plunge and purchase something myself.

Fast forward to a month later and I've finally got my own thoughts to contribute to masses. Did Kat's products live up to the hype? Read more to find out!


If you're looking for edgy, full-coverage, high-performance products, Kat Von D's line is where it's at. As a Tattoo Artist turned Makeup Artist, you can definitely see her ink-spiration coming through everything from her packaging design, to the types of products she chooses to develop. This new Lock-It line is no exception. These products not only give your skin a flawless finish, but are also incredible budge and fade proof. As one would expect from a Tattoo Artist, Kat's products aren't coming off until you decide to take them off.

In this Vox Box I was sent five different products from the range to try: two shades of the new Lock-It Concealer Crème, the Lock-It Setting Powder, the Lock-It Edge Concealer Brush, and the Lock-It Setting Powder Brush.


So let's start out with the star of Kat's new collection - the Lock-It Concealer Crème ($26). This magical imperfection eraser is supposed to provide 24 hours of crease-proof wear with a flawless, full-coverage finish. The formula is designed to be more hydrating than Kat's original concealer, making it perfect for use in the undereye area. Each tube contains 0.22 oz of product and is available in 21 shades. I was sent two from Influenster to try - Light 1 (fair honeysuckle with a neutral undertone) and Light 3 (fair shell with a warm undertone).

If any of you saw my unboxing and first impressions video, you'll know that right off the bat my feelings towards this concealer were mixed. First of all, the two shades that I was sent were both incredibly light for my height-of-summer tanned complexion. Light 3 worked decently well to brighten up my undereye area, but Light 1 looked ghastly white against my skin. I'm sure that in 3 months when all the color is gone from my face I'll be able to make use of this shade, but it was disappointing to not be able to utilize it right away.


All would have been well and good if I was impressed by the one concealer shade that I could wear, however the formula also was a bit of a disappointment. During my first impression video I shared that it was difficult to get an even finish with this product, but was also unsure if it was the fault of the brush I was using, or the concealer itself. After having tried it with a few other tools, I'm convinced that this formula, while very pigmented, has a tendency to get very patchy as it blends.

Also, while this formula claims to be crease-free I noticed that it settled terribly into the fine lines around my eyes, and would crease if I didn't immediately set it with powder. Needless to say, application of this concealer is a pain. However, once it's on, it definitely does wear incredibly well throughout the day.

Now, when it comes to packaging, Kat Von D is a rock star. You can tell that she puts a ton of thought into the design of her products, and the look and feel of the entire range is very true to her personality and the kinds of makeup she releases. These concealers are no exception. The art details on the bottle are sleek and edgy, making what is kind of an otherwise boring product more interesting to look at. The doe-foot applicator inside is also thoughtfully designed, with a spade-shaped tip that allows for extra precision in application.

However, I did have one complaint.

THIS HAPPENED.


This was the tragedy that kicked off one of those terrible days where absolutely nothing could seem to go right for me. Here I am, late for work, trying to do my makeup in a hurry, and the entire doe-foot pops off inside the concealer tube to be lost forever. I wasn't bending it at any weird angle, or pulling with force. I just went to take the wand out as per the usual and out came a stick, sans doe foot. And of course, this has to happen with the one workable concealer shade that I have, since Light 1 is way too fair for me to wear at the moment.

Is this a sign of shoddy workmanship? Maybe. It also might just be karma, or a freak coincidence. I know that Kat Von D is a stickler for quality, so I'm not going to write off her entire brand with one epic packaging fail. However, I'm also not going to lie and say that I wasn't incredibly disappointed. So far I've managed to salvage the product by using a tiny lip brush in lieu of the applicator, however it's infinitely more messy and a much larger hassle than I'd prefer.

Long story short, as much as I appreciate getting the opportunity to try this new concealer, it's got nothing on my Tarte Shape Tape. Not only do you get more product for less money (0.33 oz for $24 versus 0.22 oz for $26) but the formula is BOMB. Creamy, blendable, full coverage and yet lightweight on the skin. Everyone and their mom is obsessed, and for good reason. It's basically perfection in a bottle.


Now, I would have been perfectly happy just getting to try Kat's new concealers, but Influenster and Kat Von D really went above and beyond when putting this Vox Box together. I suppose in a lot of ways just trying the concealer by itself is like using a shampoo without its matching conditioner. Sure, you can make it work with whatever else you have lying around, but your results might not be exactly as the brand intended had you used the whole system they designed. So, to go along with our new Lock-It Concealers we also were sent the new Lock-It Setting Powder ($30) to help keep everything in place.

This is a translucent, mica-based loose powder with a velvety matte finish. You get 0.67 oz of product in a beautifully designed jar that has a sifter in Kat's signature star shape. This new loose powder format is especially appealing for anyone who's on the baking bandwagon for setting down their undereye. The formula is incredibly lightweight and blurs out imperfections for a super flawless finish.

My first impressions of this powder were also mixed, but I think after a few applications I ultimately got along with it better than I did the concealer. I have very oily skin in the summertime, so I was all about a matte powder that would help control my shine-situation. This product definitely lived up to its claims of leaving your skin looking flawless and matte. It's extremely finely milled, so you only need to dust a tiny bit over your oily areas to set them down. It's definitely not chalky at all, however, I did notice that if you layered this product up it could start to make your skin look overly dry. This was my biggest issue with using this product to bake. My undereyes are generally less oily than the rest of my face, and when I pressed a whole ton of this powder into my undereye concealer, I felt that it ultimately accentuated every tiny line and crease and made the skin look sort of dry and crepey.

Also, while this powder claims to be translucent and friendly for all skin tones, I found that it had a lightening and brightening effect on my face. Don't get me wrong, this can actually be a welcome effect, but if you have a very deep complexion I have a feeling this might make you look washed out.

If you're going to purchase this product, my recommendation is to use a light hand and keep it to the T-Zone. The accompanying powder brush (we're getting there) is the perfect tool to deposit a fine layer of this powder to targeted areas of the skin. And really, that's all you need. Also, if you have very dry skin you might find this powder to be overly mattifying for you.


And last, but certainly not least, Influenster and Kat Von D sent us two different brushes to apply our new products with. Let me be up front about one thing. These brushes are stunning. They both sport long, sleek, tapered handles that were apparently inspired by a witch's broomstick. The design is also ergonomically friendly and makes them feel incredibly balanced and nimble in your hands. Kat is also all about being Cruelty-Free, so the bristles on both of these brushes are made from a high-quality synthetic fiber.

The first brush I reached for was the Lock-It Edge Concealer Brush ($24). The cut of the bristles on this brush is really unique, and apparently is designed to conform to the undereye area, while also providing you with a crisp edge to concentrate coverage over blemishes. To the touch the bristles feel quite soft, but also have a lot of density.

Now I really wanted to love this brush, but I found it to be a bit difficult to work with. The brush head is still quite small, and while you have two different surfaces to work with (the flat sides or the top edge) neither was particularly great at quickly and evenly buffing in concealer under my eyes. The top edge was awesome for blending product all the way up to your lower lash line, but I found it to be a little stiff and uncomfortable when trying to use it over a larger area. Ultimately I think this brush shines when you use it to spot conceal over small areas. It's great at getting around the edges of the nose, or on any spots you have, but I greatly prefer a beauty blender or domed buffing brush for blending in my undereye concealer.

The Lock-It Setting Powder Brush ($38), on the other hand, was a total dream to work with. The bristles on this brush are extra long and slightly tapered on the top, allowing you to have a lot of control with where you're placing the product, but also making the application way more soft and diffused than if you had used a brush with shorter, denser bristles. Since the Lock-It Powder is a little easy to overdo, I found that this brush worked perfectly for applying a thin layer of product to my T-Zone. For the sake of experimentation I also tried this brush with blush and bronzer and found that it definitely has some multi-tasking capacity. Because the bristles are super long and flexible this brush is not the best for blending and buffing. However, if you're looking to dust on a light wash of color anywhere on the face, it'll do a lovely job.

All in all I'm definitely happy that I got a chance to try out such an extensive chunk of Kat's new product range. Hopefully you all found my feedback helpful, especially if you were considering purchasing any of these products. If you've tried anything from Kat Von D's Lock-It range, I'd love to hear your thoughts! Is there anything you're head-over-heels in love with, or did you find some of these products to be total duds? Share your thoughts with me in the comments below!

Do you have your eye on anything from the Kat Von D Lock-It range?


*These products were sent to me complimentary for review from Influenster for testing purposes. All opinions expressed are my own. This post contains affiliate links. For more information regarding my affiliations and disclosures click here.

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