Tuesday, September 16, 2008

New Mineral Makeup Company: Adorned with Grace Minerals

Mineral makeup (MMU) companies grow like mushrooms these days. Just google "mineral makeup" and you will get more than 2 million hits! That shows how popular this type of makeup is these days. I've been following Franchesca Jones's journey to opening her own MMU business called Adorned with Grace. About a year ago, Franchesca opened a Yahoo! Group to ask people to test out her products before launching her own e-business. Before joining her group, I already used MMU from Everyday Minerals but wanted to see what the creative process of the mineral business is. However, I joined the group at the very end of the testing time and did not get any samples. I kept on wondering how she was doing and when her store would opened. And guess what, on the morning I thought about it, I received an email from her saying her store just opened! How wonderful was that? One thing led to another and the next thing I knew was receiving a mail from her with some samples to play with.

The company's logo is so cute, isn't it?

Name card

Franchesca is a Filipina who understands the struggle of having a foundation that matches her skin and from one Asian girl to another, I went through the same route as well. Her foundations are classified in different groups of yellow, golden, olive, and peach undertones. I found her approach unique as most mineral companies do not take time to distinguish these groups. Let's face it, most Asians are not just yellow or golden, we have at least one of those other undertones that make foundation matching so difficult. Beside selling MMU, Adorned with Grace also has affordable brushes for those who need them.

The sample pack I received from Franchesca

I was very amazed at how the samples are packaged: in airtight sealed bag! How often do you receive makeup in an airtight sealed bag huh? The samples are really tiny and I have to admit I'm a little bit spoiled, plus after running around under the hot sun I was a bit cranky as well. The bag is the same size as the one that came with the extra button when you purchase your clothes. It's very very tiny, which prompted me to think she must be crazy to sell a dollar a sample!

But is it so? We are going on a commercial break and find out after the jump!

Haha, totally kidding! No commercial break, I just copied Conan O'Brien there.

The truth is Adorned with Grace's colors are really pigmented. I simply used very little bits of pigments on my eyes. The eyeshadows she sent me are mostly neutrals and out of the bat, neutrals look really really boring. However, when I used them on my eyes, they started to look more and more interesting and I completely changed my opinion about them. Now, most companies that do bright colors tend not to do neutrals really well. It's a bit difficult for me to find a brand that has highly pigmented colors that are not too sparkly. Franchesca does neutrals extremely well and the colors she sent me reminds me a lot of Bobbi Brown eyeshadows: classy, pigmented, and very work-appropriate. However, if you take it up a notch, these colors can give you the most gorgeous smokey eyes you've ever created.

Enough talking, here's an eyeshadow swatch (all colors applied dry, without base):

Top to bottom: Extraordinary, Devoted, Noble, Trustworthy, and Brilliant
Picture taken in regular light without flash
(click to zoom out)


  • Extraordinary is a plum color that Franchesca suggested to use as a liner. This color is a bit frosty but not too sparkly at all. In the bag it looks matte but applying on my skin proved otherwise.
  • Devoted looks like a purplish-brown color on my skin. It's a perfect contouring color for those who want an extra bit of oomp in your makeup. It's sparklier than Extraordinary but again, none of the samples are in that discoball level of sparkle.
  • Noble is my favorite color out of the batch: it looks like mink and is very velvety to apply. I love it as an eyelid color and it's very work-appropriate chic.
  • Trustworthy is a pink-brown color that's perfect as a fleshtone eyeshadow. If you're in a hurry, you can swipe it all over your eyelids, apply some mascara and lipgloss and you're done.
  • Brilliant is a highlighting color which reminds me a lot of MAC Shroom. The texture is the same as velvet eyeshadows from The She Space.
These colors are really gorgeous and also Franchesca's favorites. Noble is no doubt my most favorite shade out of the batch. If you're color shy, Adorned with Grace is the place to be when it comes to eyeshadows as these colors have been tested to the max before putting in the market.


Franchesca also sent me 3 blush samples in Sassy, Radiant, and Affectionate. The swatch is below, again they were swatched dry, without base. Picture was taken in natural light without flash so what you see is really what you get:


Top to bottom: Sassy, Radiant, Affectionate
(Click to zoom)

  • Sassy is a berry pink blush that I love to play with when I'm in a pink mood
  • Radiant is a peach-pink color that reminds me so much of Benefit Dandelion. I think this color is a hit for those of you who wants to have a healthy flush on your cheeks.
  • Affectionate is the color that I'm drawn to the most as it's a very gorgeous pink color. It's part NARS Orgasm, part MAC Dollymix, that's how I can describe this color.
Like the eyeshadows, Adorned with Grace blushes are really really pigmented. As much as I love them, applying blush from a little baggie is painful! I hope in the future Franchesca will put them in sample jars to make the application a bit easier.


Franchesca also sent me a sample of Heavenly rice powder in medium/dark tint which I used as a primer and finishing powder. It's lightweight and holds the foundation quite well. Since I'm looking for a silicon free primer, I will definitely order this product after I run out of my sample.


So what do I think of Adorned with Grace's products? To be honest with you, I'm not a neutral eyeshadow person anymore. However, her colors really change my opinion about neutrals: they are anything but boring! Moreover, if you look at the website, don't let the colors fool you-they're more gorgeous than they look.


To follow Franchesca's journey to open her business and finally see it happen makes me feel happy for her. She is a great person and her beauty philosophy is the same as mine: to bring out true beauty from different shapes and sizes. She is very into her products and spends a lot of time creating as well as testing them. The one and only reason I write a review about her company is because I believe this company deserves to be known. Also, her products really speak for themselves and I definitely would not write about them if I don't think they are fantastic. Right now Franchesca is operating her business as a one woman show but she replies emails and ships your orders really fast. I think you should give Adorned with Grace a try.


Website: Adorned with Grace, right now it's an ecrater store but soon the real website will be up. Free shipping in all orders for now and I suggest you to try samples first, the best deal is 15 samples for $12 USD.


Franchesca's blog: before you order mineral foundations, make sure you read her blog first as the ecrater store does not let her post a lot of information on the colors. Plus, I always find it interesting to read MMU owner blogs as most of the creative processes and color stories are there.


Again, I would like to thank Franchesca for sending me the samples. Her products are great and I hope you guys will check her store out soon. I think once she moves to the real website, shipping and handling will not be free anymore so make sure you take advantage of it now. I wish Franchesca all the best in her endeavors. Now you guys go ahead and check her store out!


That's it for now! If you have any questions about Adorned with Grace or want to know more, please leave a comment. Of if you simply want to leave a comment, do so as well!


Take care and see you soon,
Your Makeup Blogger

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