Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Made in Poland: Bell cosmetics overview

This is going to be a story of my love for a very low-end Polish brand, available in drugstores like Hebe and discount supermarkets Biedronka. The products are dirt cheap, so I added one to my grocery basket, out of sheer curiosity, and then kept topping my mundane shopping with a make-up item and have gathered quite a collection of different products and strangely enough no product has disappointed me so far.

I would like to add that I'm unfamiliar with the brand and their mission and philosophy, but I've noticed that their products fall into two ranges, products sold in Hebe claim to be hypoallergenic and they bear such print on their surface while those sold in Biedronka are cheaper and more basic, but by no means worse. What's more in all points of sale the display looks really nice and the testers of all the products are provided.

So let's start. The order of appearance of the products in this review reflects the chronology of their appearance under my roof.

The first one was their Perfect Skin Eyeshadows Base. This is a faintly purple-tinted product that comes in a small jar. It applies like a dream due to its silicony texture. This product makes eyeshadows blend better and last all day on my super oily, hooded lids. However, this primer doesn't enhance the intensity of my eyeshadows, but I use high quality eyeshadows anyway, so thisis not an issue for me. I must say this is a great budget-friendly drugstore option that actually works.

Excited by the success of the eyeshadow primer I reached for a make-up base.

The Perfect Skin Matte & Smooth make-up base comes in a bigger pot than the eye primer. This product has silicony texture, glides beautifully, fills in my pores, smoothes and mattifies my skin, makes it easier to apply thicker foundations. But whether this prolongs the wear time of foundations, I cannot tell. I have oily skin and foundations simply don't last on me whether I wear primers or not.

Next up is a gorgeous bronzer for pale skin.

The Bronze Sun Powder comes in a simple, cheap packaging that reminds me of Wet'n'Wild style, but the powder itself is beautifully embossed with an image of the Sun. The powder is divided in half into light and dark powders.

The one on the left is very fair, but it does offer natural warmth to pale complexions and the one on the right is neutral to cool-toned and may serve both as a bronzer and a contour powder. Of course both powders may be swirled together to obtain an in-between kind of shade. 
Good drugstore bronzwrs are a rare gem and this is one of them.

Both powders are matte and apply beautifully on the cheeks. They're neither too powdery nor too dry, the brush picks up the right amount of product and packs enough colour for the bronzer to look natural on pale skin.

Next up is probably the least favourite product out of the whole bunch.

Look Now! HD Powder comes in the same kind of drugstore packaging as the bronzer and is one of those translucent powders that mattify and blur pores without adding coverage.  The thing is that they're quite risky products as they may not only leave white cast in flash photography, but also give you a chalk-face that's only suitable on Halloween.

And this exactly is the problem with this HD powder. The brush picks up too much product, which is powdery and turns my face sickly white and I suppose would look even worse on olive skin tones. 

This is by no means a terribly bad product, but you need to be very careful not to overdo with it as it will look ghostly white on all complexions except the palest of pale.

The next product comes from a different line and is available in Hebe drugstores only. The line is slightly more expensive, sophisticated and it claims to be hypoallergenic. I don't suffer from allergies, so I'm not in the position to test its hypoallergenic properties, but it has definitely been receiving much love for what it looks like on my skin.

The Face &Body Illuminating Powder is a perfect highlighter for pale and oily skin. This powder is an off-white shade which brightens super pale complexions without leaving any kind of white cast.

This product is rather creamy, but sheer. As a result it offers glow, but not armour plate shine on the cheeks. This product doesn't accentuate my enlarged pores or make my face look as if it was dripping with oil. It's in no way similar to such iconic highlighters like Becca Shimmering Skin Perfectors, Bobbi Brown Shimmer Bricks or The Balm Maryloumanizers and their likes, but it's exactly what my skin likes and what makes me glow.

Next up is a BB powder, which is clearly inspired by Korean BB pacts the concept of which I have never been able to understand.

This product consists of 2 powders, a neutral beige base and super pale embossing. I use this powder mostly as a matte highlighter, but the colours can be swirled together to achieve a darker shade.

This powder has quite a lot of coverage and I think this could serve as a sheer-to-medium powder foundation. When used as a highlighter it may turn cakey if overapplied, so use sparingly.

Next up is a matte foundation.

Royal Mat Skin Camouflage comes in a very basic tube, which is great for travelling, but doesn't look fancy on the shelf. The foundation claims to mattify and hydrate at the same time, conceal blemishes while still looking skin-like. It contains aloe vera and vitamins and a 'natural UVB filter', whatever that is, which are beneficial for the skin. 
The foundation applies effortlessly and offers a natural matte finish. This is a sheer to medium coverage, which surprisingly does a whole world of difference to the skin.This stuff doesn't look like much, but somehow it does a lot to my skin. When I wear this I feel like I'm having a good skin day.

I picked shade 02 Sand, which is a fair, neutral-toned beige which would suit a variety of skin tones. Being relatively sheer, this has wonderful self-adjusting properties and looked great on my slightly tanned skin and now that I'm pale.

The Hypoallergenic Liquid Eye Concealer is a product I'm on the fence about. It makes a number of claims that made me buy it, although I'm extremely fussy about concealers and tend to avoid the cheapest ones. It promises to brighten the eye area, conceal the symptoms of fatigue, cover dark circles, optically reduce wrinkles, adapt to the skin tone. 

I have dry undereye area and most concealers accentuate my wrinkles and tend to be hugely uncomfortable as the day goes by, that's why it's very hard to find a good concealer for me. I have blue-toned redness under my eyes, but no prominent dark circles, so the main goal is to neutralize the redness instead of packing tons of concealer to cover the darkness. 
Bell Hypoallergenic concealer is rather sheer and liquidy. It applies effortlessly and never looks cakey, I also find it moisturising. However, it doesn't do much to brighten the area unless I use quite a lot, which it turn makes my wrinkles appear and my mascara melt.
It's a good concealer for summer days when I don't want to wear any heavy duty make-up. It's small and  lightweight, easy to carry when travelling.

I suppose there are 2 or 3 shade options available, out of which I picked the lightest one, which is a very pale, almost whitish neutral beige. This is probably the fairest concealer I own, but since it's on the sheer side, it never gives a reverse panda effect.

And finally an eyeshadow from their Hypoallergenic line. These promise buttery smooth texture and no fallout while containing non-irritating ingredients.

I must admit that the tester seemed smoother and silkier than the actual product, but I must say that everything it claims is true. This eyeshadow is on the creamy side and blends really well. It can be applied hight-handedly for a sheer wash of colours or built up for more intensity.

Shade #90 is a gorgeous plumy taupe, which suits my cool skin tone really well. 
It's a very pretty eyeshadow and for $3 you just can't go wrong.


  1. Uh. ..Awesome. Thanks for the brand overview!
    I've never been to my beautiful neighbour country and doubt I will have access to this brand any time soon.. but it sure looks great.
    In terms of Polish brands I could get my hands on, La Rive perfumes have been over in german stores for quite a while, I got past my perfume snobbism a year ago and now really love them.. just amazing value, and amazing for saving a lot of money. Tried two other perfume dupe brands from PL and like them almost as much, which has definitely left me with a strong good impression of Polish brands.

    1. Thanks for the comment! You should visit us one day! Not that there's anything more interesting to do or see than in your lovely country, but at least locally produced make-up and skincare are cheap! I'm so surprised that our dupe brands have reached Germany! Some of them are really good and everlasting!