Product Review – Afterglow Cosmetics

header 1In the past year my skin has become quite sensitive. Hives, irritation and redness occur if I look at my reflection the wrong way so I have been on the lookout for beauty products that are free of known irritants while still making me… well beautiful!

Recently I was contacted by Afterglow Mineral Cosmetics and was very interested in trying their line. I have tried mineral makeup in the past with mixed results – some looked muddy on my skin, some made my face itch, and many seemed to get a weird ghostly glow in flash photography. Afterglow Mineral Cosmetics claims their line is free of synthetic dyes, preservatives and fillers; made with certified organic botanicals and even contains supposedly age-defying antioxidants such as grapeseed and pomegranate extract.

Afterglow Cosmetics was created by Kristin Adams out of need; she too has sensitive skin and found most lines irritated and caused her to break out. Afterglow Cosmetics is free of the following irritating ingredients found in other lines: paraben preservatives, bismuth oxychloride, synthetic dyes, talc, gluten, petrochemicals, cornstarch, FD&C and lake dyes, carmine, mineral oil, and GMOs. The line focuses on natural and organic ingredients, they never test on animals and their line is 100% vegan. They list all of their ingredients on their website and on the product packaging.

Wow, a product that is organic, vegan, free of weird ingredients and will give me a natural and beautiful look? Can't wait to try it out for myself!

I decided to try out their Organic Mineral Foundation in Bisque, the Organic Glow Bronzer in Medium, and Natural Lip Gloss in Bella.

The packaging for the foundation and bronzer are similar to other mineral cosmetics lines – a tiny tub with a shaker cap so you can sprinkle a small amount into the cap of the tub, swirl the brush in it, tap off excess and buff onto the skin. The lipgloss came in a squeeze tube similar to Lancome's Juicy Tubes. All packaging was well made, sealed nicely and was attractive and simple.

foundation1 webI tried the foundation with the traditional Swirl/Tap/Buff method with the Sephora Professional Bronzer Brush and found it went on well, didn't get muddy, didn't itch and seemed to blend nicely.

I wear C3 for L'Oreal True Match foundation and Beige in philosophy's The Supernatural foundation and found Afterglow's Bisque to be a hair lighter than these and a neutral (not too cool or warm) shade. Even though the color was a touch lighter than what I had chosen, it blended naturally and didn't make me look ashen.

organic mineral foundation swatchesThe formula gives a lighter coverage than Bare Escentuals – my freckles showed through, but it did even out my skintone. There was no weird shimmer to the line like many mineral products have, nor did it give me a false and matte finish. The more I layered, the more opaque the finish. The line suggested that those with dry skin mix the mineral powder with a moisturizer; I did that and found it went on well, ended with a nice soft finish and worked for spot coverage. This is a great choice for a lightweight sheer foundation or someone who is looking for a line that is gentle and humane, and I like the real variety of shades (seen at left and also available to view on the Afterglow Cosmetics website).

organic glow bronzerI was interested in trying out the Organic Glow Bronzer because I had tried Bare Escentuals' “Warmth” and found it hard to use, dark and easy to get streaky (I admit, I am a klutz and I get ready each day over my bathroom sink with a limited amount of time). I also like the look of a bronzer on my skin as that I do not tan and am naturally pale. I have bought several bronzers over the years and have yet to find Nirvana. They are too muddy, too orange, too shimmery, too dark, too light.

This bronzer had a slight shimmer, but it didn't make me look like a disco ball when applied (I used the Bare Escentuals Angled Face Brush). Again I did the Swirl/Tap/Buff method. It is not as dark or potent at B.E.'s “Warmth,” but it still was a bit hard to manage on a time crunch. It seemed to blend nicely, but after leaving the house my husband rubbed my cheek saying I had a line.

I liked the formula and the natural color better than the competitor, but still did not find Nirvana. However if you are looking for a mineral bronzer for fair skin, this is a good choice.

gloss2webFinally, the lipgloss. Bella, is described on the website as a “medium cool berry pink.”

Honestly, when I saw the packaging, I thought I would hate the lipgloss. I don't usually like tube applicator glosses and the color looked quite dark and opaque (more like a berry red instead of a pink).

I applied it… and the formula is different. Unlike a typical sticky goopy gel, this has a powdery/mineral finish and feels more like a hydrating lipstick. It gave shine – again, more like a hydrating/shiny lipstick than a traditional gloss. However unlike a typical gloss, it hadn't disappeared after 10 minutes, my hair didn't get stuck in it and it didn't dry out my lips.

Picture 2B039As for the color… I would describe it more as a “medium berry” hue. You can see it on me at the picture to left. I wouldn't necessarily call it “cool,” more of a neutral pink that could work on most skintones. Anyway, it may not match the description, but I have fallen in love with it. It is unlike any other product I have tried – it slowly fades away like a lipstick, doesn't leave lines, doesn't bleed, doesn't crease. It seems to hydrate my lips and keep them soft and the powdery feel is soothing. There is a slight simmer to the product, but this is totally wearable in the most conservative office environment.

All in all quite pleased with this line! Good quality, good ethics, good ingredients! Even better, if you are afraid to purchase the line, Afterglow Cosmetics offers samples of their products at very nice prices so you can try before you invest in a new beauty product!

Just for you Wardrobe Oxygen readers, AfterGlow Cosmetics has offered $5 off your first online purchase! Enter “OXYGEN” at checkout.


  1. Sandra
    September 4, 2013 / 8:28 am

    I have used afterglow for the past 3 years now. My skin has always been sensitive and store brand makeups were causing allergic reactions and blemishes. My mom bought afterglow for me when i was in high school and ever since I haven’t had any problems with my skin or have had any red patches or outbreaks like I did before. I love that they are organic and the colors and shades they offer are perfect for all of my outfits =) I have gotten everyone i know hooked on afterglow.

  2. Anonymous
    August 30, 2009 / 11:31 pm

    just wanted to mention that afterglow is a vegetarian line, not entirely vegan… Beeswax in the lipstick!

  3. samantha
    January 13, 2009 / 3:45 pm

    Great review! I really enjoy Afterglow’s products as well.Have you seen their new satin eye shadows? I bought the shade “purr” and really love it. Afterglow is such a great brand for being aware of safety and purity, while making high performance products.

  4. Nina
    January 13, 2009 / 5:01 am

    Afterglow is absolutely my favorite brand. I thought I would just start with their organic foundation but I loved it so much I ended up throwing away all my other makeup and going with Afterglow for all my makeup. I have also recommended and/or gifted it to almost all the women in my life.

  5. Leslie J
    September 17, 2008 / 5:39 pm

    actually “these products” include all the natural “iron oxide”, “titanium dioxide” etc without using the cancer linked synthetic ingredients much of your cosmetic probably have in them.

    i first found aferglow through the website which sheds some light on what cosmetic companies actually sell cosmetics that don’t contain harmful ingredients.

    i love afterglow and personally – the only one’s here I think are dirty are the companies who use cheap synthetics and harsh preservatives without caring about what it may be doing to women’s bodies.

    there will always be women like you “SueBob” that are skeptical too long and suffer for it…

    we are filling our bodies with chemicals. I prefer to avoid this buy purchasing (and encouraging my loved ones) natural products.

  6. February 9, 2008 / 2:38 am

    I just LOVE the way these products are being sold “minerals” “raw minerals” “natural minerals”. Yeeps, it’s all parts of dirt to me.

  7. February 8, 2008 / 10:42 am

    I sprinkled the powder into the palm of my hand and then squeezed a bit of my moisturizer into it (my moisturizer is in a tube) and would mix with my finger to get it blended; added a bit more powder until the formula was sort of like a tinted moisturizer.

  8. Daffodil
    February 8, 2008 / 3:49 am

    I was glad to read that I’m not the only one whose hair gets stuck in her lip gloss! (Plus, I wear glasses, so then my hair brushes against my glasses and I have goopy lenses.) I have pretty much sworn the stuff off because of the Hair Problem. This sounds do-able, though.

    Allie, can you describe how you blended moisturizer and the powder together? I use Sheer Cover and like it, except it is rather drying on my already-dry skin. This sounds like a good solution, but I’m having trouble visualizing how to make it work. Thanks.

  9. Joy
    February 7, 2008 / 3:00 pm

    I have Sheer Miracle (also natural products) and Bare Escentuals right now. I just ordered some samples from Everday Minerals, and now I want to try this brand as well.

  10. Nicole
    February 7, 2008 / 2:21 am

    Placed my order last night! I can’t wait to receive my samples and gloss. Thank you for the informative review.

  11. February 7, 2008 / 1:37 am

    I’ll have to try this brand, I’m trying to find more organic makeup.

  12. February 6, 2008 / 9:46 pm

    I had a hard time finding a bronzer that works for me as well. Then, I found Trish McEvoy. The price may make you shudder, but it looks fab and lasts forever. I have had mine since August and use it almost every day and it barely has a dent in it.

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