I’m a firm believer that the contents of a product are most important, not fancy packaging, but that doesn’t mean I’m not a sucker for something pretty.
Fortunately, Pacifica appear to have mastered both style and substance. I’ve been testing some of their make-up and perfume over the last few months and I’m hooked. Not only is the packaging beautifully designed — just look at those metallic accents — but the formulas are a pleasure to use, and do what they’re supposed to do.
I knew Pacifica were a cruelty-free brand, but I didn’t realise absolutely everything they made was vegan until I had the opportunity to try their products myself. Everything is also free from lead and phthalates, and the ingredients are all natural and as sustainable as possible.
French Lilac Solid Perfume* (v), £10
Normally I use sprays, not solid perfumes, but I liked the idea of being able to take a scent with me in my bag without worrying about a bottle breaking, or losing a teeny little tube. This tin is a good handbag size and easy to find, so mission accomplished.
The perfume is made from organic soy and coconut wax, then blended with natural and essential oils, including French lilac, star jasmine, and hints of orange and driftwood. French Lilac is first and foremost a floral scent, but the orange and driftwood, although subtle, make it fresh and not too twee. It’s a very feminine fragrance. I’d say it melts into the skin and lingers there for a good 6-8 hours, so ironically I haven’t really needed to take it with me when I leave the house.
Transcendent Concentrated Concealer in Light* (v), £15.99
Light looks darker than the shades of concealer I normally go for and I did worry it wouldn’t be a very good match, especially since it’s so pigmented. However, once I blend the concealer out it fades into my skin quite nicely and covers up any redness or blemishes (the hormonal acne on my chin currently visits once a month with a vengeance).
It also brightens up the under-eye area and won’t sit in fine lines. I have quite a deep crease under each eye, so it does tend to settle, but that’s the same for every single product I’ve ever applied there. A little bit of mineral powder helps to set the concealer and minimise this.
As for the ingredients, coconut water is said to reduce fine lines, sweet iris stem cells are said to have a firming effect, and ginseng extract is said to support circulation. While I haven’t really noticed any changes in this regard, I’m not going to complain because I buy concealer to cover up. If it also improves the texture of my skin then that’s a nice bonus, but my main concern is hiding spots and scars, which this does.
Enlighten Eye Brightening Shadow Palette* (v), £15.49
These pressed mineral eyeshadows are infused with coconut water and although I wouldn’t describe them as buttery, they apply evenly with eyeshadow brushes and blend out beautifully. I chose Enlighten because the purple and coral shades are different to any other colours I own, although all four shades are lovely.
Skinny Dip: Matte nude. A swish of this will brighten eyes in an instant.
Coral Sand: Pinky-nude, a shade I would normally use on lips rather than eyes. This isn’t so pink that it’ll make your eyes look squinty, but might bring out red tones if your skin is prone to flushing.
Golden: Shimmery gold, looks particularly good on the inner corners of the eye.
Urchin: Purple with gold tones. Urchin is lighter than it appears in the palette, so it’s not the substitute for black LoveLula suggest, but it’s pretty all the same. A nice weekend alternative to neutral colours.
You won’t get a dramatic smoky eye with this palette, but you will get a wash of colours that define and brighten the eyes, and look a little different to everyday browns and taupes.
7-Free Nail Polish in Totally Coral* (v), £9.99
It’s always good to find a cruelty-free nail polish that sits on the right side of £10, since I’ve found most of the free-from ones to cost a fair bit more (and let’s face it, even £9.99 isn’t particularly cheap). Pacifica’s nail polishes are formulated without parabens, phthalates, toleune, xylene, camphor, formaldehyde, resin, and animal ingredients. The colour is opaque and and long-lasting — I painted my toenails with Totally Coral at the beginning of August and it lasted almost the whole month (with top coat). I swear toenail polish would survive the apocalypse.
What started out as curiosity has turned me into a full-on Pacifica fanatic. I love the gentle, natural formulas, I love that everything does what I want it to do, and the packaging makes me happy. This stuff is special, and worth a try if you’re looking for a brand to bridge the high street/high end gap.
Has anything from Pacifica caught your eye? Let me know in the comments!
(v) = vegan
*Products were sent to me by LoveLula for consideration of review. As always, all words and opinions are my own.
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Beth, 25, South East England.
Lover of books, dogs, yoga, travel, gin, and the Oxford comma.
I write about cruelty-free beauty, vegan & veggie food, and trying to lead a less wasteful life. I throw the odd think piece in there, too.