All opinions are mine, this is not a sponsored review. Continue!
ROMAND is a new, mid-priced makeup line coming out of Korea. The ethos appears to center around enjoying makeup, and the makeup process. As translated (somewhat...poorly, but if you've got a better translation, please comment) : "I enjoy the makeup process itself. It is very important to look beautiful to someone else, but I am enjoying the process being more beautiful than I am Now, would you like to start enjoying makeup everyday? [...] follow every morning for 30 minutes."
Right, that's simple enough. I enjoy makeup, for myself though. Fuck other people (except, y'know, I do care about what some people think, I'd be lying if I said I didn't). And the idea of being able to do makeup quickly in the morning seems to be one of the driving factor for this line, along with embracing 'romance' and beauty in yourself. Self esteem, I get it. Packaging certainly reflects this.
The name also is supposed to mean women's romance - 'ROM & You' is their Instagram. Cute. Their identity is also aimed at content makers, which makes me think of Glossier, and how they've grown as a business through marketing via social media content. This kind of takes away from the brand a little, when they send out free products, and people wax lyrical about it. It's becoming an issue amongst the beauty guru community and their audience, as it causes the audience to question the authenticity of a review (or first impressions) of a product. The same can be applied to beauty bloggers, in a way.
So, why buy from this company? Or any company that targets customers through content on social media? It's no different from magazine adverts, it's just more in our faces now - because that's what we choose to view on a daily basis. It's what we choose to watch. Yes, we can bitch about someone giving a rave review for a product we know is shit, but the awareness of know that the product isn't up to standard is something to keep in mind. In times where there's a wealth of information and possibility, don't be the Luddite that goes by someone's word alone. Be smart, research before spending your money, and know that at the end of the day, companies just want to make money, and rarely care about your feelings. Obviously there are exceptions to this rule, and indie companies are a great example, but there's still that bottom line there for them as well.
http://www.romand.co.kr/product.html As you can see, there's a full line including blush, foundation (and tools for application), lipstick and an eyeshadow palette. So it seems simple enough, right? Being able to do makeup in 30 minutes? It did take about 20 minutes for this look, and I do apologies for the lack of proper lighting (I'm getting to it..along with a better camera).
I TESTED THIS SO YOU DON'T HAVE TO.
I purchased the Wednesday set, which included foundation, brush, Temptation Night eyeshadow palette and a matte lipstick in Dusty Pink. Now, before I go into detail, it also included a marble tray, which I did not realize when I purchased this. I was already in mixed minds about which foundation to get, but a fucking marble tray. It's heavy. It's nice, don't get me wrong, but it's all aesthetics. Now I need to construct my battlestation when I finish moving.
Getting back to it...on the website, it says to follow the method of eye makeup first before skin. This isn't an altogether new concept, so let's...just follow what they say.
This was my guideline that did not quite go according to plan (I used the gold shade on the lid to try and fix my mistakes). I'm pleased to report that assumptions of the eyeshadow not being very pigmented are false. This is about as pigmented as Etude House eyeshadows, and you can build up the colour if needed. If you want SUPER STRONG PIGMENT, pick up a Colourpop eyeshadow. This is far easier to use with an eyeshadow brush than fingers, and a fluffy brush is the best tool.
I used a flat, synthetic brush for these swatches, with two-three strokes of colour. Note that shades 1, 4 & 5 appear to be more blush-like shades (albeit 5 is incredibly glittery).
Now, while the shades are buildable, there is a fair bit of glitter in the...well, glitter shades. Like, a lot. But from using it, they seem to be a topping shade, though you can use it on its own as an opaque glitter shade. There's not too much fallout, either (but it did ball up when I used a flat brush for the swatch), and I used an eye primer on my left eye, just to compare longevity, but it still didn't crease at all. Cool.
There was still some residue when I washed my face, and on my arm here, you can see the darker shades stick around even after rubbing it (sans water).
The foundation. Fuck, it's a great match. The left half of my face has primer (Pony Effect Radiance Glow Hydrating Starter, E.L.F primer on the lid). You can really pick the side with primer, huh?
I was hesitant, as I'm NC20-25, with more neutral undertones. I find that NC21 cushion foundations tend to be a good match overall, and this foundation shade is very similar to the IOPE cushion.
This is a brilliant foundation. It dries to a satin-matte, almost powder like finish. The scent isn't great (a little like sunscreen, but it fades), and it is easily blendable. More of a watery consistency than I'm used to, but you can layer it (as I did for my under eyes). From the company, I think the idea is to enhance the skin, not completely conceal - much like the Glossier ethos. Your skin, but better. As my skin is doing pretty well lately, I'm on board.
Lasting power is significantly better than expected. I did not use a powder, or setting spray, and while it creased a little in my marionette lines, it did not get all gross and sweat right off my face parts. I will definitely try a primer for oily-skin and aim for an all-nighter this weekend. However, as I'm in the tropics, start of the wet season, it won't be a perfect test.
The brush used for application is densely packed and soft. It's good for buffing, and overall great for application. It feels like a synthetic brush, but I could be wrong. I've not found much information, unfortunately. There is also a sponge applicator available, in a light bulb shape, so I imagine this foundation is easy to apply with a sponge as well (I did not purchase, as I am not wooed by the sponge movement). The brush is nothing to write home about, and it's certainly not an Artis brush.
Overall, the colour was a good fit, the weird sunscreen-type smell went away very quickly, and there's no flashback on the foundation on my face (despite containing SPF, though it's a measly 20). It did not pill on the side with primer, and it blended beautifully with the brush (and a bit of finger action as well...). I would say this is one of my favourite foundations so far. It's disappointing about the limiting range of foundations, but what do you expect from a Korean company based solely in Korea?
The lipstick is a lovely shade. It's a matte, dark dusty rose (true to name and looks a little burgundy in a way), leaning towards cool undertones. It doesn't feather too much, though it is difficult to put on dry lips - so exfoliation is key for application...which applies to all matte lipsticks, I suppose.
It doesn't have any discernible scent, and it is fiddly to apply straight from the tube - I did not use a brush. You can, of course, use it for that now common-place gradient lip, and build the colour into something darker. I haven't used a matte lipstick in a long time, but it's not my favourite product, and it's definitely not something I would have bought separately. I do tend to ruin matte lips with a gloss or balm, and I would recommend priming your lips before using this, just so application is easier.
Unfortunately, formula wise, even for a matte lipstick it is incredibly patchy.
Overall, I think this line is good, not fantastic. I wouldn't buy the 'multi-duo' blush, as I'm not overly impressed by them. There is a nice selection of colours, I admit, and I'm sure they're innovative (there is the boast of 'sebum control' which is always a bonus). They're just...not my preference. In my opinion, the worst product in this collection is the lipstick - as stated. The blush shades in the eyeshadow palette are also a bit of a pain to work with, but the fact that they double as eyeshadow as well gives them another purpose.
PRICE: Mid-range, 80,000 won+, shipping was a nightmare (marble tray was heavy as fuck) and costly. Almost not worth it, and only purchasable through Naver.
WEARABILITY: Foundation almost makes up for the price.
RECOMMENDATION: Do not buy the set, purchase the palette, eyeshadow and foundation separately.