Review: Bourjois

(This post is written for The Glosse Posse.)

Hello readers!

Tomorrow, 3 April, marks 1 year since I began my role as the ‘Beauty Expert’ for The Glosse Posse. How time flies! I hope you have enjoyed reading my posts and have found the reviews and recommendations helpful. Today I am going to introduce you to another brand that was featured in the second series of the ITV television series, Mr Selfridge: Bourjois. Bourjois can be found in some of your local drugstores. In Canada, you can find them at Shoppers Drug Mart; in the UK, Boots; in the US, Walgreens. The products usually range from $15-20.

The History

Having celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2013, Bourjois began as a makeup and perfume company in 1863 in Paris by actor and cosmetologist, Joseph-Albert Ponsin, for actors and actresses. This was to replace the greasy makeup products available during the mid 19th Century. Five years later, Ponsin transferred his activities to Alexandre-Napoléon Bourjois, who then made it internationally known. It has always been known as an innovative brand, finding ways to simplify the beauty regime for women and even to support women in earning the right to vote in France in the 1930’s!

The Cult Products

Bourjois created the famous ‘Little Round Pot‘ of rose-scented pressed-powder blusher and in 1879, were given names to describe the colour. The first of these and the most popular is Rosette Brune, otherwise known today as 48 – cendre de rose brune. To celebrate its 150th anniversary last year, Bourjois came out with limited edition round pots with vintage-inspired scenes, such as this Je T’aime (I love you) scene. I’m personally all about packaging so if there’s a cute or elegant design, I would usually seriously consider purchasing a product because of it. Clever marketing. 😉

(I’m beginning to wonder if The Paradise S2, set in 1876, had made reference to Bourjois as well. The little rouge pots that Clemence brought back from Paris could have very well been from Bourjois. Denise had mentioned it had a delightful rose scent and felt so soft on the cheeks.)

The second cult product, the Java Rice Powder (Poudre de Riz de Java), was created in 1879 to lighten the skin and leave a velvety texture. It became so popular that the powders were being sold to women [not in theatre] worldwide. In fact, two milling boxes of Java Ride Powder were sold worldwide in 1897! Bourjois reinvented this cult product along with the original vintage tin design as part of the 150th anniversary celebration.

For a matte and brightened complexion

The Exclusif Products

My first Bourjois product was a sample of the Healthy Mix Gel Serum Foundation which I greatly disliked. I wanted so much to like it but it was too sticky and impossible to wash off my hands. I was immediately turned off by the brand and avoided browsing any of its products, assuming they would all be disappointing. My second Bourjois product was the Rose Exclusif lip gloss. I generally don’t buy lip glosses but this was on sale for $4 at Shoppers (Canadian drugstore) and the idea of a personalised pink lip gloss was tempting. This self-adjusting lip gloss reacts to the pH of our lips and ‘my pink’ turned out to be quite rosy but thankfully, not enough to look like Barbie. It is lightly scented (not quite like a rose) and does not have a sticky texture as some lip glosses have. The colour stays on for several hours and reapplying is not necessary unless you want a lacquered look. I’ve noticed that it doesn’t leave any bright pink lip marks on tea cups or mugs, which is a relief, but there’s still a light pink stain. According to the website, the product also contains anti-oxidants E and C. This 75ml tube has a small bright pink (maybe they were white but turned pink) brush applicator and goes on clear or slightly tinted. It is good for 12 months.

Some time afterwards, I found the matching Blush Exclusif which also contains pH-reactive pigments. This blusher comes in a small compact with mirror, just like the other Little Round Pots. Not only does this blusher give you a bespoke pink shade, it is a cream-to-powder blusher. You’ll have to use your fingers to apply the blusher and you’ll notice that the pale pink ‘cream’ will change in colour in its pot, which is perfectly normal. This ‘cream’ is the softest non-powdered blusher I’ve ever touched. My bespoke pink turned out to be rosier than I’d thought it would be (I may have applied too much the first time) so one little swipe across each cheek and a good blend gives me a more natural look. This pot lasts for 18 months.

Overall, Bourjois’ products are very unique and I look forward to more innovative products with vintage-inspired designs!

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