INDIE BRAND SPOTLIGHT: Persona Cosmetics Review

I’d like to begin this post by noting the Georgia Blush, Del Mar Highlighter, and 24Hr Eyeliner were gifted to me by Persona Cosmetics for the purpose of customer satisfaction and not for blog/reviewing purposes. I will go more into detail on that in the Terracotta Blush section.

Prior to January 5th, I only had the eyeshadow palettes. The Identity Two palette specifically had become the closest thing I had to an everyday palette. I loved it so much that I bought the older one, the original Identity Palette afterwards to see how they compared. Ulta briefly listed it for half price and I figured if it had the same formula as the Identity Two, I did not want to miss out, even though the color story isn’t my usual go-to.

Persona Identity Palette

I’m not sure if the formula was changed or updated when Persona updated the packaging of this palette from cardboard to plastic, but I do find these shadows to be a tiny bit on the drier side. The shadows still perform nicely despite being slightly less pigmented (excluding Fearless). I was also surprised to see how grey Maverick looked on me considering how brown it looks in the pan. The overall color story is a little more cool-toned than I expected, but I like having some of these shades anyway. Ironically, I still have to mix Humble and Charming together to highlight under my brows (to avoid looking ashy) like I do with Kind and Loyal. Goddess is a brighter alternative I wanted alongside Resilient. Goal Digger is the more traditional gold shade I wanted alongside Unique. Audacious is the kind of shade I love to have in the crease, so I’m very happy to have that one. It leans more orange than than the shade Passionate which leans more pink. One of the things I really wanted from the Identity Two palette, after using the pink leaning white shade called Honest, was a white leaning gold. When I saw Sassy, I was hopeful this might be it, but it’s more of a silver shade. If Persona ever makes an Identity Three, I hope that pale gold will be in there, though I can still use Goal Digger for the purpose I envisioned.

Persona Identity Two Palette

I raved in-depth about this palette in my 2020 Eyeshadow Tag. If I had to declare a favorite premade eyeshadow palette from 2020, it would definitely be this one. It was one of my favorite palettes to pair with my beloved Clionadh Cosmetics multichromes. Everything I mentioned about the formula of this being creamy, pigmented, blendable, being worth the full retail price, something I can take traveling (which I have by now) and being versatile enough to create simple or complex looks and go neutral or colorful holds true. What I forgot to mention is that Limitless makes an excellent powder eyeliner.

I have additional looks with the Identity Two Palette in the 2020 Eyeshadow Tag post.

Now that I’ve compared both, I can say that the Identity Palette is great, but the Identity Two is the version that suits my preferences specifically: creamier, slightly more colorful, more pigmented, and warmer. If an Identity Three palette is ever released, I will probably purchase it on launch day. The palette would most likely still be neutral, as the owner and brand’s overall aesthetic favors everyday/natural glam.

Persona Superblush in Terracotta

Terracotta is the newest addition to the Super Blush range. As I went completely bananas for blushes last year, I naturally had my eye on them for a very long time. It was difficult to find anyone with a deep complexion wearing Georgia or Carmel via Instagram, Youtube, Persona’s website, or Ulta’s site. There was only one woman I could find, who was darker than me, and I could hardly see the colors on her cheek so I thought perhaps these shades just weren’t meant for me. When Terracotta was released, I had an even harder time trying to figure out if this shade would work for me or not, especially as even the color in the pan looks vastly different depending on the lighting. I watched one of Sona’s videos (owner of Persona) and it looked pretty light on her, but she mentioned that this blush gets much deeper the more it is layered. The website also listed Terracotta specifically as being suitable for medium to dark skin tones. My foundation shade among inclusive ranges like Make Up For Ever, Nars, Fenty, etc tends to be in the beginnings of the dark category and often called medium-dark, sometimes even the tail end of the tan category. So, I figured this should give a subtle color to my cheeks at the very least. Considering how often MAC’s paler shades surprisingly worked for me, I decided to give it a try and purchased the Georgia and Terracotta duo (with the intent to give Georgia to a friend for Christmas).

Unfortunately, Terracotta doesn’t work on me. At the time, I felt duped by the ‘suitable for dark skin tones’ label considering the shade isn’t just faint, it disappears entirely. It’s too close to my skin tone. I have four heavy layers of blush in the photo above, though it looks like nothing. I tried to leave a comment on their website to warn other shoppers about the description inaccuracy, but my comment was never made public. So, I wanted to at least warn those who followed me on Instagram about it. I had no idea Persona Cosmetics would see my post (or I expected it would be ignored by them if they did come across it). Their response was beyond anything I expected. Not only did they change the description from “medium to dark” to “medium to tanned skin tones,” which was the best case scenario outcome I could have hoped for, they also refunded the amount I paid specifically for Terracotta, sent me Georgia (since I had already given mine to my friend) because they were confident that shade could work for me, and sent the eyeliner and highlighter as extra surprises. It became very clear to me that customer feedback is important to them and they didn’t glaze over the situation like plenty of other brands would. It restored my confidence in the brand. It was especially poignant considering a short week later, Hourglass tried to pull the wool over everyone’s eyes with their release of the Ambient Lighting Palette Volume II, promoting it with a photo where the model and palette looked edited to appear deeper. The shades in the trio palette were repromoted ones (two of which I have) and that darkest shade which is considered a bronzer is what I literally use as a highlighter. The response from Hourglass was to simply remove the photo from Instagram and ignore the problem entirely. The different responses between these two companies are night and day, and I have even more respect for Persona Cosmetics when the situations are compared. This is the reason I felt it was important to share this story. If I’ve had a customer service issue in the past that was rectified, I would normally delete my original post since it was resolved. This time I kept my post on Instagram and am talking about it here because I think it’s really important to show the growth and integrity that was shown to me by Persona’s response, and also to present this as an example for how brands should handle things.

The last point I wanted to make is that I’ve tried to use Terracotta many times on my cheeks (and it actually makes a decent under eye setting powder). There was one time that I had it on and a slight tinge of color actually showed on my cheek by the end of the night. I don’t remember what foundation I was using at the time, but it led me to believe that if this shade is applied on foundation that oxidizes or will allow my natural oils to come through, it could potentially show on my skin. I have since tried to recreate that same scenario and have been unable to get the color to show visibly enough on camera (hence the hours later photo in the gallery above). So, I still stand with the fact that this won’t work on someone with my same skin tone. In the best case scenario situation it’s barely a whisper of color.

Persona Superblush in Georgia

Persona was correct. This shade does work for me! Honestly, I was pretty shocked considering my friend who I gave my original one to said it’s perfect for her and she is much lighter than me (though still in the caramel family). It gives a very light flush of pink as if I’ve been out in the cold. If I really layer it on, it’s the type of shade that I think of when anime characters blush, which is super cute!

Persona Del Mar Cali Glow Highlighter

As seen in the Georgia section, the Del Mar Highlighter is perfect for me! It’s close enough to my skin tone to blend in very well, it can be as subtle or as shimmery as I want, and there are no chunky glitter particles! Although I am wearing the Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter under my foundation on the high points of my cheek, this highlighter looks just as great without it. I need to use it a bit longer to see how often I reach for it, but it could potentially knock Nabla’s Skin Glazing in Amnesia from the top spot on my list of favorite highlighters!

Persona 24HR Waterproof Eyeliner in Black

I’m going through this pencil very quickly as I feel like I lose a lot of product when I try to get the tip sharp enough with my Nars sharpener, which I need to sharpen every 1-2 uses. This formula is very creamy and easily glides across the skin. That softness does make it difficult to sharpen as I previously tried to use it with the sharpener that came with my MILK Makeup Gel Eyeliner, but that did nothing but instantly break off the tip. I like that when this dries it becomes smudge-proof and when I use it at an angle I can make lines in varying thicknesses. I can make a very precise thin line across my lid, but creating a sharp tail has proven immensely difficult due to that blunt tip. So, I just draw a line as well as I can and then use concealer to clean up the outer corner. The fact that this stays so well in the waterline makes this pencil worth it to me and I’m curious to see how long this pencil will last at the rate I currently use it. For the precision issue, I usually have to use a brush with my MILK eyeliner pencil, so the fact that this is nearly as black and budge-proof as that, while still being easy to remove with Bioderma (and the creaminess makes it easier to spread with a brush), makes the potential for me continuing to like and use this very high. I’m glad I have it, but I honestly wouldn’t recommend it in this current form. If Persona comes out with a retractable/twist up version, I’d buy it in a heartbeat.

That’s everything! I will continue to keep my eye on new products from this brand as I am more excited about them than ever. They recently launched lipliners and colored balms, but I’m on a lip product no buy. I’ll keep my eye out for the next new release from them!

Thank you for reading!