Coastal Scents – A Review


I’m not a huge fan of Coastal Scents.  I know they just resell wholesale stuff and slap their name on the boxes, etc etc.  I’m also not crazy knowing that they get a lot of their palettes from China and they cost about $3 wholesale and then they sell them at a 500%+ mark up.  I know, I know, it’s how things work, but a little research and you can just get them yourself, it’s not like you’re paying for a brand name or any expertise/research/marketing here.  A lot of people, however, have asked me to review them and check them out.

The website looks pretty amateur to me.  The design is pretty clunky and the graphics very 1999.  The navigation runs down the left hand side.  They have their own cart system, but no running total on any page, so you need to click over to the cart to see what your total is (the link is at the top).  You can create an account with them to keep the contents of your cart and well as track your order history.

There are several categories and they sell a wide variety of traditional as well as mineral makeup.  They also have a selection of micas and ingredients (they sell pretty much the same stuff that TKB does).

Everything is photographed clearly and the descriptions pretty good, although some are pretty sparse and just contain the ingredients, some have no ingredients at all.

Since I already have a ton of mica, supplies, and a couple of 88s, I ordered:

Light Camo Quad

Brow Tones Palette

Feline Gel Liner

24 K Gold Gel Liner

Truffle Gel Liner

Duocrome Red Orange Mica Sample

Mirage Gold Pigment Mica Sample

Cellini Red Mica Sample


I ended up finding a free shipping coupon, but looking at the site you have your choice of shipping options.  I added two things to my cart and checked Priority and it was almost $10.  If you add about twenty samples and chose First Class it’s under $1.50, so shipping varies widely.  I received my order rather quickly in just over a week.


My order was well packed in a small box.  Some items (the ones that fit) were in organza bags.  I also receive a small mica sample as well as several business cards and my invoice.


Camo Quad in Light

I’ve read a few things and watched a couple of tutorials that sang the praises of this quad.  At $7.95 I thought it might be worth checking out.  In general I don’t really use concealer, but curiosity got the best of me.  I really liked that it had a white and a yellow along with the other two shades.  Even though the ‘light’ shades are too dark for me (one is light toned and one is a little pinker) I figured I could use the white and the yellow to custom match them, even though I realize the yellow is probably for under eye circles.

It seems pretty generous, each quad is 12.5g or about 3.125g of each shade.  It’s fair to say I probably won’t use all four colors.  The quad is flat and about 2.75 inches around, so I’d say it would slip easily into your makeup bag.  It also snaps shut tightly so it WOULD travel well and not get messy.

I can see what the appeal of this quad would be.  The price is certainly right and I do like the options you have for blending.  I would recommend that you blend on the back of your hand, though.  I was watching a guru who was dipping her brush into each color and right after each other and the quad was a huge gross mess and I often wonder why people post stuff like that.  But blending them on your hand (or a mixing palette) keeps the colors clear and you’ll get more use out of it.

I really like the white.  I’m all about highlighting my cheeks these days and sometimes I’m not crazy about using anything ‘glowy’ and this is a nice natural matte finish.  It should be set with powder and used thinly, though, it creases and fades.

The actual concealers are nice, but not all that fabulous.  They are creamy and somewhat opaque, but on several ‘test subjects’ I had to apply a few layers and it looks fairly obvious, even after I powdered and set, so I would rule it out as a heavy duty concealer.  They do blend out nicely.  You do really have to set them, I don’t think I would recommend wearing them on their own since they are not all that long wearing.  It is definitely not for anyone with fine lines or pores, it sort of ‘sits’ above them and emphasizes them.  There are no diffusers in the formula, so it’s not all that photo friendly.

While there are a few pros and cons, to me there are too many cons to purchase it again.  It also contains beeswax and is not vegan.

Brow Tones Palette

I was super excited to get this.  It’s HUGE, even though there is no weight or product amount offered they say each pan is 1×1 inch square and it’s only $9.95.  That’s a seemingly generous amount.  There is only one color option available and it contains shades from dark blond to ‘rich black’, with a usable auburn.  The applicator it comes with is useless, the brush is made of thick plastic bristles.  One thing that gets me, still, is that it doesn’t have any ingredients listed on the page or on the actual product.

When I first opened the box and popped open the palette I was glad to see the powders were, in fact, as big as I hoped they’d be.  Although I have no idea how deep the palette goes, it’s slightly faceted.

It’s not very pigmented at all.  On the brush it looks promising, but it’s very faded as you apply it.  I thought maybe it was just the brush I was using, to I switched out to a nicer one (a MAC 266).  The lighter shades barely show up at all, so if you’re looking for a very subtle way to fill in your brows it might work for you.  It’s just not pigmented enough for me.  I have no idea what the ingredients are to know if it’s vegan or not.

Gel Liners

I ended up getting three of them because at the time they were buy two, get one free.  I already had a white one that I’d purchased from ‘someplace else’.  When these arrived I was hardly surprised the new ones were identical to the white.  All the boxes were the same, the Coastal Scents ones are labeled on the top though, but all the jars were identical.  They are $6.95 each and are about 3 grams of product.  As far as gel liners go it’s a pretty good price and a nice sized jar.

I chose Feline (which is a duochrome blue with gold), 24 Karat, and Truffle.  The quality is really hit or miss.  The pearly shades (Feline and 24 Karate) go on easier and a bit more opaque then the matte shades (White and Truffle).  I had to go over them all a couple of times to get a nice solid line, the darker shades the most.

Truffle seems very dry, so it almost wants to clump on me when I’m applying it, making me have to use thin layers to work it up into an opaque line.

24 Karat is very creamy and lovely, I adore it and it also works as a great base, where as Truffle is too… dry?  hard? something to work well over the whole lid.

Feline is very subtle as a liner, but again, works nicely as a base, however like Truffle it’s pretty dry and clumps when you get it on your brush.

Once applied and dry, they are ON.  They won’t smear or smudge, although Truffle stays sort of tacky longer then 24 Karate and Feline.

They seem to be vegan.

Mica Samples

The mica was just your run of the mill mica.  The baggies were small and labeled and I want to say contained as much as they were supposed to.  The colors could easily be matched to a few other wholesalers.  I used them to make my own shadow.  It’s a duochrome pink with orange and gold sparks.  I’d have swatched it for you, but it’s going in a gift palette for ‘someone’ and I don’t think they want a fingerprint in it.


Would I purchase from Coastal Scents again?  No.

  • I really have a hard time buying from places that aren’t ‘unique’ and just resell wholesale (or repackage for that matter).
  • I was disappointed with the few things I tried, aside from the mica which I made into something else.
  • I know I can get most things from someplace else, sometimes cheaper which is actually important to me since I’m not buying the quality behind a ‘name’.
  • The liner quality was SO varied, I wonder if it’s a quality control issue.
  • Overall: /5


45 Responses to “Coastal Scents – A Review”

  1. Only thing I’ve ever been truly interested in is that they sell the 78 and 88 palettes at a ‘fair’ price. ‘Fair’ in this case being they aren’t hawking it on Ebay for $40+ or falsely advertising it as being a major label like MAC.

    Just out of curiosity where are they available on wholesale?

    • Check out eBay. You can get a lot (I want to say of 5) of them for 20$ sometimes. I bought mine for 99cents plus 4$ shipping.

      • Could you give us the name of the seller if you remember it?

        Whenever I’ve seen those palettes on eBay with prices of 0.99$ or 6.83$ or whatever, their shipping made them equal to buying from Coastal Scents – if it’s 0.99, shipping is 15, if it’s 6.83, shipping’s 10, etc.
        Even bulk buying (and I think it was 100 O_o ) would only get them to around 13 per piece.
        And, since they can break, I feel just a tiny bit better when they’re traveling from US to US (hoping they are checked for cracks when they first come there) than overseas to US.

        Love the shadow, by the way – it looks like it would make a great blush, too 😀 .

  2. I absolutely adore that, so 1999 *lol*

    I’ve seen a lot of reviews of the camo quad, all of which were positive, but none of them bothered to mention more than the colour selection. I’ve never brought it seems I’m more concerned about how well concealer lasts, especially in humid or hot weather, and being able to get the coverage I need while still looking natural.

    I’m iffy about buying their liners. I’ve heard others comment about the quality, and also seen people say theirs dried out and became unusable really quickly.

    The pink you made looks really gorgeous, any chance you might be adding recipes in the future of mica’s or mineral shadows you like to mix?

    • I think the problem with the brown is that it has been drying out, which leads me to wonder how old it was before I got it. Eeeeehhh.

      I might, I didn’t write down the pink, though. I knew what I was looking for and sort of kept adding and tweaking until it was *right*.

  3. If there’s one thing I hate about Coastal Scents it’s their shipping. What is wrong with them, charging 40$ for 2 palettes, a few brushes and a few other things? Yes, it was a large order but not that large that it would cost 40$ to ship. I had to pay VAT for those 40 bucks!
    The only thing I really really like from them and can’t find anywhere else (cheaper, that is) is their brushes. I built my brush collection so easily and they’re pretty good quality.
    I’m very curious about their mineral line. It’s strange that they promote the hell out of the wholesale palettes and not so much their actual products.

  4. I’ve ordered from Coastal Scents twice, both times I got pigments and other base ingredients, never finished products. My last order disappointed me somewhat. The samples are smaller than those I had received before. Also, the bags were thin and flimsy and I already see myself breaking one by accident. Next time it’s TKB again.

    I do, however, like that they have no minimum order and affordable shipping rates, which is good for non US buyers. They’ve also been ace on customer service with me and always included a free sample or two.

    • PS.: Your eyeshadow looks divine. Will you ever happen to do a tutorial on pressing? Yours looks so neat!

  5. I don’t know if this is appropriate for me to ask here, but I wanted to ask if you or any of your readers here know any other place where I can possibly get bath bomb making kits for wholesale (or close to wholesale) price?

    I’ve looked on ebay and Amazon, and it seems like Coastal Scents is the best place to get it. I don’t know where else I might go to; TKB doesn’t carry them. I need a fairly good sized kit in order to make bath bombs for my club’s fundraising efforts, but not so much that I’ll be making them forever D:

    • I’ve always just got the ingredients separately and made them on my own, sans kit. So I really don’t know 😦

      • I’ll look into that as an alternative then. I don’t want to spend too much because this is club money and the people in charge is gonna make sure we get the best deal and stuff – but we’ll see. Thanks!

  6. Love the pink you made, Grey. Really lovely. I’ve never ordered from Coastal Scents, though I have looked at their site. I don’t/didn’t need anything, so didn’t bother looking all that much. Based on your review, I’m glad I didn’t bother.

  7. I really LOVE your reviews! ❤

    I did order a few times from CS but only brushes and they do have some really good ones. When it comes to cosmetic stuff, I don't really check out what they have. I wanted to order the 88 palette but then figured out there are so many the same ones on eBay and MUCH cheaper so I got 120 eyeshadow palette in the end for only $15!

    I also got these gel liners off eBay – 7 of them for only $18 which is a great deal, but I have the same problem as you do – those are really a hit or miss unfortunately. 😀

    The shadow you made would be a perfect blush for this time of year! ❤

  8. I’ve never ordered product from them, only brushes. I have to say though, solely for brushes I can’t complain. They’re cheap and good quality and ship quickly. I’d buy brushes from elf more, except they charge a fortune to ship and take forever!

  9. I’ve never ordered from them and probably never will. The site makes me irky and I just don’t feel interested in their products at all.

  10. I always debate if I want to order the gel liners, but I don’t think I’d bother after reading this. I am curious about their pressing medium though.

  11. I only use synthetic brushes and brush guards from CS. International shipping for brushes is reasonable but quite expensive for heavier products.

    I’m not too excited about their palettes or single eyeshadow pots. It’s mainly because I don’t trust Chinese safety control on cosmetics and I didn’t get straight answer from them on which products are made in China. I’m not saying there’s no safety control in China but after experiencing the melamine incident few years ago I’m just cautious.

    Their website doesn’t make me interested in their products so I haven’t even looked at their mineral makeup. I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything 😀

  12. I really dislike coastal scents. this just reaffirms it, lol.

    I’m sorry the items ended up being poor quality. nothing like buying something, getting excited, and then being dissapointed.

  13. You’re hitting the nail on the head with those gel liners – as I understand it, they can sit in Costal Scents’ posession for some time. As far as I know, though, they are distributed by the same company that does the big eyeshadow palettes, so yeah, looking around you’ll find ’em elsewhere.

    About the only time I hard anything good about Costal Scents is when it’s from someone who doesn’t have that much knowledge and/or experience in the indie makeup world (or at least outside of drugstore brands and department store counters). It seems like if someone’s familiar with TKB, knows how to spot repackagers, whatever, they won’t be impressed with CS.

    • What you said about peoples’ knowledge and/or experience is so true. Reminds me of when Coastal Scents first became really popular with all the beauty gurus on Youtube and they wouldn’t stop talking about it and a lot of companies like them…can anyone say Calypso Minerals fiasco? Or Glittersniffer? I mean, jeez, just because it’s a pretty color or comes in a pretty package doesn’t necessarily mean it’s good or safe. Sorry for the mini rant, hehe 😛

      • Glittersniffer just *scares* me. I knew people had bad experiences and that she repacked, but when I saw Mika Chan’s blog post about receiving soap dyes from her, I was overwhelmed with ickiness.

  14. I did end up ordering some jars from coastal scents recently, because TKB’s shipping is going through the roof. However, next time when we have more money set aside, I think we’ll go directly through kosmotech. I was trying to order from TKB… just some 20 gram jars, and the shipping was 15 dollars for fedex ground. It was about 8 bucks at coastal scents. It can be a gamble with them though, sometimes we order from them and the jars come in the mail cracked. :/

  15. I’m rather interested in their shea butter and African black soap though, that at least has the potential to be very good

  16. Damn and double damn! I saw that eyebrow palette and got all excited – an auburn that looks a bit darker and less fiery than my Sobe Botanicals brow powder (which, don’t get me wrong, is a vast improvement on what I was using before, because it’s at least *red* so I don’t have auburn hair and taupe eyebrows anymore…but it’s a brighter, orangey-er red than my hair, and it’s not very *darkening* or so I’m still looking for something else) – and maybe I could even play around with blending the red shade with the darker brown or even black…but if they’re sheer, nah, that’s not what I’m looking for. Unfortunate, that.

  17. I’ve ordered a few of their palettes, before I knew I could get them on ebay, and I have a few of their brushes too. I do remember being shocked when I saw how much shipping was, but I was a bit of a noob then!

    That’s disappointing about the products, especially the lack of ingredients in the brow palette. I’ve never had an allergic reaction to anything but I know some people are quite sensitive, and to not supply ingredients anywhere easily available is unacceptable really!

  18. CS is my go-to place for brushes, I really don’t ever order anything else from them. Almost all the brushes I have from them are really nice and were priced fair. I never had to pay more than a $5 in shipping with brushes… since I usually order 3 or so at a time I usually pay less than $2.

  19. A couple years ago, I actually bought one of the 88 eyeshadows pallets for $84. I’m so ashamed, and angry at the company who sold it to me.
    Recently I got a Coastal Scents lip gloss, and to be honest it’s crap. It comes off really easily and it feels gross on my lips. So I’m not going to be buying from them again.

  20. Confirms my belief that TKB is the way to go! I’m really lucky in that their warehouse is right by my cousin’s home, about 25 minutes away from me, so whenever I order I can go pick it up and avoid shipping fees/ delays.

    Slightly off-topic question … do you have some of those pressing tiles, or what do you use to press rectangular pans so perfectly? I keep thinking about giving pressing a try.

    • I have a couple of TKB’s pressing kits. They are great, but the more ornate handles bruise my hands something crazy. I am planning a pressing review!

  21. I used to buy the gel liners wholesale from CS. I found the quality was not consistent, so I stopped carrying them. Some were great and then some were dried out or even runny. There was even a batch that smelled heavily of chemicals. Yuck!

  22. I wouldn’t mind trying some of these! After i get my first order from shiro, of course. Is mica a blending type of thing? I’m so lost with all the making makeup stuff. xD

  23. The gold liner was one of the good ones I got from Coastal scents, but I think the other liners I tried you had to layer them a lot to get them to show up, which sucked. Because of various issues, I haven’t ordered from them in quite a long time.

    It was nice to see your review on the concealer palette though!

  24. Years ago I tried their line of minerals and found them to be not worth the bother. I don’t want to buy cosmetics from China so I’ve never tried any of the palettes. I’ll buy a brush or two occasionally but that’s about it. I’ve never had problems with their service, just not interested in their products.

  25. I mostly buy brushes from Coastal Scents, and I think they’re great for that. Since I do shop there from time to time I’ve also bought a couple of the 88 palettes and some of their pigments. I know you can probably find them cheaper elsewhere, but I still think it’s a reasonable price.

  26. Hi!

    When I saw the title of the post I got curious to know if you tried their brushes. I thought of buying several times but never got to. I don’t think I would buy their makeup thought, I’m picky when it comes to listing ingredients, manufacturer, etc.
    But what a beautiful eyeshadow you made from the micas! It looks so professional. Are you going to make a pressing tutorial? That would be wonderful.


  27. Ack! I didn’t know Coastal Scents resold wholesale. 😦 Guess I need to learn to mix and press my own shadows.

  28. I just put in a small order. Wish I had waited a day or two. I bought a few loose micas, 10-10 gram jars that I thought I’d use for mixing, and some empty pallettes for 26mm round eyeshadow pans. And, thanks to Grey and her awesome TKB giveaway, I bought pans from TKB and tons of micas, c-smax, and some pressing liquid. So, I’m hoping my fingers and the quarter trick will work for pressing shadows. Can’t wait to see your tutorial/review on how to press eyeshadows. I am SO excited to try it out! Then, maybe I will press all of my Aromaleigh!

  29. I’ve never ordered from CS… I’m more of a TKB girl, myself. Especially since TKB has their own pressing medium and goodies now, I don’t have much of a need for CS. Although some of their jars are cheaper than TKB, I just get the willies thinking of supporting them when they do all of that reseller crap with substandard products.

  30. I have the gel liners in black and brown, and I did notice the brown one has a completely different texture from the black one – it’s a lot more “solid”. If I poke the black one with a brush, it kind of crumbles. I tried adding extra virgin olive oil to both of them, but their consistencies haven’t changed. They don’t clump on my brush, but neither of them are very opaque and when I finally get a dark enough line, I’ve used way too much of the product and it never dries and ends up everywhere. .__________. They work really well as cream shadows and bases, though. I just need to figure out what kinds of colors look good over a brown base. I didn’t actually order mine from Coastal Scents, but I don’t think that makes much of a difference since they’re the same product.

  31. I was thinking about placing an order from them this weekend, and I’m very glad I didn’t. I’ve heard they had less than stellar products, so I’m glad I waited 🙂

  32. I must admit I did buy 3 palettes, an eyeshadow, and gel liner from them about 2 years ago. I was new to non drugstore makeup and I wish I would have looked on ebay! I don’t believe they had the brow palette back when I ordered or I probably would have ordered it. I’ve never really filled in my brows so sheer sounds better to me! Haha.

  33. I’ve seen a lot of people rave about them so this is kinda disappointing to hear. =/ Thanks for saving me the trouble. I’d rather have something unique.

  34. I love that shadow you made. It looks very beautiful in the pan.
    Did you add snow to your site? I thought the letters were moving at first 🙂 Then I noticed it over a picture.
    I’ve never ordered from Coastal Scents. I don’t know why I just never had.
    Thanks for the review!

  35. I had the same trouble with the gel liner that I ordered from them a while back. Now it just sits there getting dusty.

  36. Oh, I’m so glad I saw this review!!!
    I was going to buy some products of Coastal Scents, but this review saved me!!!