RATING: 3.5/5

New Zealand based “guilt-free, vegan and paraben-free” makeup brand, Mellow Cosmetics, was birthed in the garage of founder Ima Asali.

The beauty-loving female entrepreneur started Mellow while on maternity leave after the birth of her first son Ario. Deciding she didn’t want to miss out on her son’s milestones, she left her corporate job behind, and using her background in retail and lengths of additional research, Ima launched her own cosmetic brand.

Four years on, Mellow has expanded both its range and reach with incredible successes and can now be found in stores across the US, UK, Australia, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

After testing a range of lip, eye and brow products over the past few weeks, here are some of my thoughts on the Mellow Cosmetics collection:

Creamy Matte Lipstick – $22.10NZD
Available in 10 shades, I tried the dark purple/red toned “New York”. I wasn’t a big fan of this product. It bled and smudged easily – which is much more noticeable with such a bold colour. Maybe I wouldn’t mind as much if it was a natural shade.

Liquid Lip Paint – $23.57NZD
Available in 13 shades, I tried out “Ibiza”, “Auckland”, and “New York”. For a liquid lip paint, the formula has a decent amount of coverage and isn’t too drying. It isn’t smudge proof, however it does last throughout the day as long as you’re not wiping your lips on anything (e.g. while you’re eating). It does tend to accentuate any dry patches on your lips so make sure to exfoliate and moisturise beforehand.

TIP: These are really fun to mix and create new colours with. Although Ibiza is too light for my skin tone to wear alone, when I mixed it with Auckland and New York it made both colours more wearable for daytime.

Gel Lip Pencil – $17.68NZD
Available in eight shades, I tried the colour “Adria”, a darker brick red/brown shade. I’ve seen a few videos of people wearing these as standalone lip colours, and although there is great pigmentation, I found the pencil didn’t stay in place. For example, if I pressed my lips together, it would transfer and stick to only my top or bottom lip – so make sure to pop a lipstick on top.

Liquid Precision Pen Eyeliner – $26.52NZD
One of the more expensive products in this review, the Mellow eyeliner performed really well. With a felt-tip applicator, it was quick and easy to draw on. The formula itself is dark and really long lasting. It doesn’t flake off like some other liquid eyeliners, and if you make sure to not rub your eye, the product will stay on nicely all day.

Brow Definer – $26.52NZD
Available in six colours, I tried out the “Caramel”, “Mocha” and “Chocolate” shades. These brow pencils have a brush on the opposite side which I found a tad harsh on the first use, however, once they have been broken in a bit, they’re fine. Pretty convenient to just chuck in your handbag, and since they’re twist-ups, there’s no sharpener needed.

TIP: If you experience the colour building up and looking cakey, brush your brows out to get rid of any build up, and then go over the spots that need a bit more definition.

The lip paints and liquid eyeliner take the joint place of my top picks – I’m still using them almost every other day. Unfortunately, the darker colours such as the lipstick and lip pencil didn’t perform as well as I’d hoped.

Overall, the best thing about this brand is that they are ethically conscious, so with the products, I really like and use often, I can feel at ease knowing there were no animals harmed in the process.


SERENA LOW is an International Business and Public Relations major who dreams of becoming a polyglot, loves making raw vegan durian cheesecakes and is an expert in staying up past her bedtime. You can find her on Instagram (@serenajlow) or check out her blog here!