Paul & Joe Moisturizing Foundation Primer N and Eye Color Trio Review | Makeup that makes you go squee!

Paul & Joe Moisturizing Foundation Primer N and Eye Color Trio Review
Left to right: Paul & Joe Eye Color Trio in Boitier palette and the Moisturizing Foundation Primer N

The difference between a product that works well and one that works well, but makes you go "I NEED this always in my life!" is probably due to the packaging. Don't deny it. We women are vain creatures and us Libras especially so because we are easily swayed by beautiful, luxurious things.  At some point in your life I'm sure all of us have squealed or at the very least gasped when we saw something pretty and just had to have it.

New and exclusive to Shoppers Drug Mart, Paul & Joe is a French beauty and fashion brand known for their quality products and unabashedly feminine packaging that make women everywhere go squee. I actually thought this brand was Japanese as I'd mainly heard of them through Asian blogs and because of the Japanese writing on the packaging, but Paul & Joe was actually founded by Parisian Sophie Mechaly, who began the brand as a menswear line in the 90's. While the fashion lines have struggled, Paul & Joe's beauty line has thrived with a niche following and now they are available across Canada!

What's awesome about Paul & Joe is that many of the palettes are customizable as you purchase your shadow and blush colors as pans and then you purchase the palette containers separately, which allows you take advantage of the many cute and lovely palette patterns Paul & Joe has to offer. Besides their great packaging, Paul & Joe is well-known for their cheerful, shimmery shadow colors as well as their light, luminous foundations that give you that perfect, youthful look. Recently I was offered the chance to try out a couple of products myself: the Moisturizing Foundation Primer N in 03 Creme and the Eye Color Trio in Night Cafe.

Moisturizing Foundation Primer N


Paul & Joe Moisturizing Foundation Primer N
Moisturizing Foundation Primer N in shade 03 Creme

The Product: The Moisturizing Foundation Primer N is a tinted primer designed to provide a smooth base for longer lasting makeup. It also contains teeny tiny gold pearl particles that give your skin a luminous glow. The Moisturizing Foundation Primer N is available in three shades: 01 Dragee for light to medium skin tones, 02 Miel for darker skin tones and 03 Creme which I suppose contains a higher level of shimmer to create a porcelain look. Although 02 is supposed to be for darker skin tones, it doesn't look very dark to me based on the online photos and it also leans very orange, whereas the 01 Dragee appears to have more of a pink undertone. 03 Creme, the shade I received, is a pearly white and would probably be suitable for most skin tones.

The Guts:
  • Butylene glycol - a common ingredient in makeup that provides a slippery texture
  • Glycerin - a moisturizer
  • Dipropylene glycol - provides a slippery texture and helps products absorb easier. A possible irritant
  • Ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate - a sunscreen ingredient that's more commonly known as octinoxate. Although some studies have claimed that these types of chemical sunscreens could be cancerous, results are still not definitive when it comes to normal sunscreen use.
Other ingredients of note here are white lily root extract (moisturizing), apricot juice (emollient), jojoba seed oil (emollient) and Sodium acetylated hyaluronate (humectant). This primer does contain parabens for those not into those.

Price & Packaging: A 30 ml bottle costs $40.70 off BeautyBay and $40 at Shoppers. I'm not sure what the price is at Shoppers, but likely similar. The bottle is very cute and while not made of super luxurious materials, it still manages to have a chic look. The topper is removable to reveal a pump dispenser. 

Paul & Joe Moisturizing Foundation Primer N swatch
Moisturizing Foundation Primer N in shade 03 Creme

Effectiveness: To use, simply apply a single pump of this primer to your face after your moisturizer and sunscreen, and before your foundation. I always have a tricky time finding primers I like as they either leave me super shiny, or feel like a thick mask. This primer however felt super light and more like a moisturizer than anything. A single pump was enough to cover my entire face. It applies clear and absorbs quickly, but leaves a slight tackiness behind, which I believe helps your makeup adhere better. The slight opalescent tint helps to even out any redness and imparted a super subtle, inner glow to my skin; in fact, this primer kinda reminds me a bit of a liquid version of an Hourglass Ambient powder! I'm not sure about whether it helped my makeup last any longer than normal, but it did help with application and gives a nice moisture boost. I don't think this is a must-have product, but if your skin is feeling rough or dull, this is a great lifesaver.

Final Verdict: Buy

Eye Color Trio

Paul & Joe Eye Color Trio in Night Cafe
Eye Color Trio in Night Cafe

The Product: The Eye Color Trio is well, a trio of eye shadows, available in 8 different configurations. The one I received is the Night Cafe trio, which is a mix of a sparkly white highlight, a shimmery gold lid shade and a shimmery black crease shade. Besides being colorful, these trios also help moisturize your eyes, thanks to white lily extract, jojoba, and sodium hyaluronate.

Paul & Joe Eye Color Trio in Night Cafe
Eye Color Trio in Night Cafe

Price & Packaging: a single trio costs $42.50 via BeautyBay  vs. $32 at Shoppers. (again, not sure the comparable Shoppers price). The price certainly is very steep considering that this palette is quite small! In fact, it's probably smaller than most drugstore shadow trios and you don't even get a case to put it in. The separate Boitier palette costs $8 at Shoppers $11 depending on where you buy it, so altogether this palette is $40 $53

Paul & Joe Eye Color Trio in Night Cafe

Effectiveness: Considering the price, I am pretty disappointed with this trio. Even when not considering the price, I'm not sure I would purchase this particular trio myself. From what I've heard, Japanese eye shadows lean more towards being shimmery and sparkly and these ones definitely are like that. Each shade is very sparkly and shimmery, with very sheer color payoff. The pigmentation I would say is on par to a drugstore eye shadow, and with such a sparkly texture, that's not necessarily a bad thing as otherwise you would just get glitter overload. This trio is more suitable for daytime as the sheerness allows you to get a pretty, all over, but not over the top, sparkly eye that draws light to your face. Of the three shades, I like the gold one the best as it makes for a lovely base color. The white is a bit too frosty for my taste, so I use it very sparingly on my brow bone. The black makes for a pretty outer corner or soft, smudgy liner shade, but contact lens wearers beware as there is a bit of fallout. Besides Night Cafe, other trios I think would be fun to try are Tree Shade Walkway, a lovely mix of browns and greens for spring; and Breakfast in Bed, which is a mix of warm nudes.

Paul & Joe Eye Color Trio in Night Cafe
Eye Color Trio in Night Cafe heavily swatched

Final Verdict: Ditch




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*Updated Apr. 14 for Shoppers pricing


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