Ka’oir Cosmetics: All Bark And No Bite

Published on April 28, 2017 by   ·   No Comments

In my pursuit of new brands to explore as part of the BOMB (Black Owned Makeup Brand) Challenge, I ran across a lot of great looking indie companies that had all manner and kind of cosmetic beauties.  But none was more appealing to my technicolor drag queen heart than Ka’oir Cosmetics.  Their selection of bright and neon shades was like a wet dream wrapped in a massage and finished off with a makeover.  It was everything.

Her prices aren’t outrageous if you compare them with other quality brands from Sephora and the like, but they are on the higher side so it was really difficult for me to choose what shades and products to order – I could have easily spent several hundred dollars looking at all of those gorgeous colors and finishes.  In the end, I decided to focus on lip products and ordered these:

Kaoir 23From left to right, I’ve got a Keyshia Ka’oir lipstick ($16.99), Neon Lyme and Rich Bytch from the Wet Paint Collection ($18.99 each), and 3 “Glitzsticks” – a set that comes with a lipstick and coordinating glitter with coordinating applicator.  The three shades I purchased it in are Survivor ($29.99), Jamaica ($28.99), and Nudity ($28.99).  A pretty heft investment for 6 lip products, but if they looked as good as the promo pictures, I knew that it would be worth it and that I’d probably be back for more.  Glitter lips are something I used to do all the time, and they can be tough to achieve and maintain.  I mean, look at these damn lips:

Spoiler alert: they didn’t work like that when I got them.  Far from it.

Let’s start with the lesser of two disappointments: the Wet Paint collection.  I was so excited for these – I love neon lips and I love a good liquid lipstick, even if it’s not meant to dry down to a matte.  I was hoping that these would dry down to a nice soft application.  What I got was a runny mess.  When you take the wand out of the tube, they smell a lot like OCC’s Lip Tars – I didn’t check the ingredients, but my bet is that they have hemp oil since that (and peppermint oil) are what give Lip Tar its signature scent.  The doe foot applicator is large and kind of unwieldy, making it hard to get a precise application.  I’m a bitch who already paints outside of her lip line, but this one just kept escaping further and further out.  And if you touched your lips together at all, either blotting or even just closing them and letting the color touch, they were streak city.  Here’s the swatches of the two colors on my hand plus some lips – the best I could get them to come out.

These were just a hot brick mess.  I wanted to love them so much – trust me, there were 4 or 5 other colors that I was poised to go back and purchase if these worked out.  Unfortunately, the streakiness and the and messy application are just too much.  If you are going to fuck with these, make sure you use a liner – that might help with the bleeding?  One can only hope.  For almost $20, there are other comparable options out there that will give you much better coverage and staying power IMHO.

Now let’s move on to the travesty of the Glitzsticks.  Jesus fuck.  My face and my office may never be the same – I had glitter everywhere EXCEPT my damn mouth.  The applicators are…weird.  And it’s definitely not the one shown in the tutorial video above (that just looks like a sponge applicator for eyeshadow, which you can get 30 to a pack at the Dollar Tree).  It’s pointy and like a thick sponge on the end.  There is nothing about it that makes the glitter stick to it, and I found myself losing half of the glitter in the transport between the container and my face.  The lipsticks themselves apply rather streaky, and they feel like they are extra slippery or maybe even a little greasy?  I’m assuming it has something to do with the formula and how it is supposed to “lock” the glitter in place, but it just wasn’t that comfortable on the lips and it definitely affected the color payoff, especially for the green shade Jamaica.

Let me show you application and give you my thoughts on each of the three kits:


This lipstick by itself was not awful, though I hate a beige lipstick like that without at least a slightly darker liner to give it some definition.  Usually I’m the definition of chola-chic, and I use a dark chocolate brown, but that’s just me!  This one applied fairly evenly once I started working it.  When we added the glitter, that’s where everything went to shit.  If you look at the picture above of the products in their tubes, the glitter for this kit is NOT silver.  It looks like a rather dark mixture of silver, red, green, and gold.  It has a lot of great flash and dimension.  On the lips, it immediately clumps up and sinks into the lipstick.  What looks like glitter just looks silver, and the rest of it looks like unflattering debris.


Here’s where I really felt betrayed.  Look at this product preview –

Now when I put this on, I felt like Leslie Jones in Ghostbusters screaming, “The devil is a liar!” and I was mad enough to slap the shit out of Melissa McCarthy too!

I do not believe for a microsecond that the glitter I received in this kit is the same glitter she shows off in that promo video.  Mine is light, bubblegum pink and she is clearly rocking a neon fuchsia situation on her lips.  Now, I could forgive a lighter – I love light pinks and in fact prefer them to fuchsia! – if it worked, but as you can see from these application videos, it does not.  The pink lipstick applies ok, but again it takes a bit of work and it is absolutely not anything special compared to the bajillion other pink lipsticks I have.  Real basic.  Add the glitter, and once again I get minor sparkle payoff with maximum chunk.  It’s just…no.  No.  The power of Patty compels you, demon be gone!


Now we’re about to really burn some trash.  At least with the previous two, I got a fairly decent (or at least ok) color payoff from the lipstick alone, but not so with Jamaica (which is doubly disappointing, given my love of green cosmetics!).

Now I don’t claim to be a makeup artist, but I’ve applied lipsticks probably several hundred times in my life; I can put on a fucking lipstick is what I’m trying to say.  This was just ratchet as hell, and I worked at it until I ran out of patience and this was the best I could get.  Add in the glitter, and it only got worse!  Patting with the applicator only seemed to make the streaky, inconsistent application even more see through in places, and added that ever so unpleasant chunk factor.

I think that if you have a lot of time and a lot of patience (and you are a ninja master at not allowing your lips to in any way touch one another), I think you could get a good enough application to take some really beautiful photos, but I don’t believe for a second that this is wearable in the outside world.  The minute you start talking or even rest your lips together, the illusion is going to start coming apart.  If you’re determined to try, I definitely suggest getting some liners to help tame the beast.  I also recommend trying some of the darker colors?  Things that have white pigment in them tend to be a little more streaky and patchy than other products.

Now for the one saving grace in this debacle:

Kaoir 06This is the signature shade Keyshia Ka’oir.  And despite everything that has happened to me up until this point, it’s actually, really, kind of lovely.  It’s a beautiful peachy toned pink and for whatever reason it applied like a dream.  You can see that the swatch above (in the picture with the Wet Paint lipsticks) is smooth and consistent, and the color would flatter a wide range of skin tones.  This lipstick is really good, but even it can’t make up for the trauma of the other 5.  If you’re only going to get one shade from Ka’oir Cosmetics, I suggest this one; maybe because it has her name on it, she decided to put a little bit more effort into it?  This is the only one of my purchases that doesn’t fill me with intense burning regret.

I’ve really enjoyed discovering great new brands through the BOMB challenge.  Some of the are the bomb (think Juvia’s Place – review on the Saharan and Nubian 2 palettes coming soon!), but unfortunately some are just a bomb.  This one is definitely the latter.

In the interest of fairness, I’m including a video below from someone who really loves the glitzsticks, and her lips do look really good in the video.  Maybe there is hope for these in my collection after all?  Maybe.  But maybe not.

Now Go Forth & Get Painted!

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