Meow Cosmetics is an indie brand known primarily for its mineral foundation, but it also offers a wide variety of other products, like eyeshadow, eyeliner, and bronzer. Here is the super awesome part of Meow: they offer foundation in 86 shades! That blew my mind when I first stumbled across them. This makes them a great option for pale-skinned girls. (And frankly, pale girls aren’t the only ones who struggle. Dark women have similar issues, as many of the drugstore shades only go up to medium-deep tones.)
I have hesitated in the past to try indie makeup brands. I wonder whether they are truly good quality, if the owner knows what they’re doing, etc. Looking up reviews from real people has helped me immensely, so I hope this will help you as well!
Coverage & Undertones
Meow offers light, medium, and heavy coverage, each labelled with cute cat-centric names such as Purrr-fect Puss, Pampered Puss, and Flawless Feline.
They are also divided by a multitude of skin undertones. Rather than sticking with the well-known but imperfect theory of “warm” and “cool” tones, Meow explores the unique range that exists on everyday people’s faces. Here they are!
- Snow Lynx: white, no undertones.
- Persian: peach.
- Chartreux: peach/yellow.
- Angora: soft yellow.
- Manx: yellow/peach.
- Korat: golden/beige.
- Abyssinian: yellow/beige.
- Siamese: neutral.
- Mau: warm.
- Sphynx: beige/pink.
- Himalayan: warm pink.
- Chausie: cool pink.
- Bengal: cool beige.
- Ocicat: olive/beige.
Phew! That’s an unbelieveable amount of choices, isn’t it?! This made me ecstatic the first time I came across Meow. I’m very pale, usually the palest person of any group. However, I have a tiny touch of warmth to my skin, and I freckle easily. So oftentimes when I find an extremely pale foundation (yay for redheads!) it’s often half a shade too light for me (sad for me!). It’s hard to find that subtle balance between very pale leaning towards fair warmth. So this is a big win.
Next up! (Yes, there are more options for customization.) Here’s how the light to dark shades range.
- 0 – Inquisitive (lightest, almost white)
- 1 – Sleek (very light)
- 2 – Frisky (light)
- 3 – Naughty (medium)
- 4 – Fierce (medium/dark)
- 5 – Slinky (dark)
- 6 – Independent (very dark)
It’s important to note that some of the undertones don’t go up to certain shades. However, there are very few like that. So, with this many options, how could you possibly choose? Meow offers 1/4 tsp. sample baggies for $1 so that you can grab up to 10 samples in an order and see if you can find the right shade. You can also mix a couple together for an even more customized shade.
My swatches are all from the Mau (warm) undertone. Here’s a photo of the whole range from their website.
Let’s talk about the downsides, as it’s not a perfect product. It’s advertised as an alternative to big brands, like Bare Escentuals, who have a lot of mica in their products, an ingredient some people are sensitive to. It can contribute to the itchy feeling of some formulations. Meow’s product does still contain the ingredient, however there’s much less of it. At the same time, it should be noted that mica irritation is not a common occurrence. I’ve experienced more itch with BE than with Meow though.
The foundations are offered in Munchkin and Full-Size. I went for the Munchkin. And I hate the packaging, sorry to say! It’s flat and large and hard to hold without spilling your foundation all over the place. I recommend putting it into some other container. I scoop it into an old Bare Escentual’s jar. You can also purchase something like this. I like buying empty cosmetic jars, bottles, and the like, as you never know when they might come in handy. And they’re not too expensive! I get mine from Amazon, because I’m an Amazon Affiliate, and you can find so many options. You can also check out Sally’s Beauty or ULTA.
In the middle photo you can see that I add a touch of 1 – Sleek in the bottom left corner.
Next time I buy from them, I’ll get the full-size which is in a standard jar with sifter. It also has a large lid like the Munchkin, to make it easier to “swirl” in, which will probably be fantastic when paired with a sifter. The whole jar is huge!
Time for the fun part: swatches! I have 3 shades to show you here but because Meow offers affordable samples, I hope to buy more (maybe all?!) and eventually create a blog post filled with swatches!
These are all from the undertone Mau, perfect for my blend of fair skin and tawny-colored freckles. As you can see, the very palest shade 0 – Inquisitive and 1 – Sleek are very similar. Trust me, however, that Inquisitive truly is lighter. It contains very little undertone and is nearly white. It’s great for mixing with other mineral foundations to lighten them up.
2 – Frisky, which is what I got in the full-size, jumps to a darker shade pretty quickly. I blended it with 0 but next time I’m going to go with the regular fair shade 1. I think Frisky would be a good option for those who are on the fair side of the spectrum, maybe fair-to-medium, but still find drugstore foundations too orange.
Before & After
Both fortunately, and unfortunately, I have very bad acne. This can be helpful in really seeing the difference a foundation makes, though! 🙂 Silver linings to everything, eh? (My skin is so much better from when I took this photo, at least. Yay YoDerm! lol)
Here I’ve applied a mix of 3/4 Frisky and 1/4 Sleek. The formula is Pampered Puss, medium coverage. I applied it with a soft kabuki (not one of the flat-top, very dense ones), and layered it twice.
For myself, I would buy Flawless Feline, heavy coverage, next time. You can still see my acne but I’d rather have fresh skin with some acne than heavy, cakey “clear” skin. It’s a balancing act! I do like that it gives an overall improved tone to my skin. Normally, I put on some concealer before I apply the foundation, so it looks better. But I wanted you to see what it looked like all by itself.
I would absolutely recommend Meow’s foundation. Grab some samples and see what works for you! How about you guys? Any favorite mineral foundations?
I am not affiliated with Meow Cosmetics.