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Shiro Cosmetics Lip Swatch Extravaganza!
Hot Lips, Reviews, Swatches - Comments (1) - June 20th, 2012

I am really, really excited to be sharing with you lip swatches of all of Shiro Cosmetics’ newest Intertube colors! They are all really super fabulous and it’s hard to pick which ones are my favorites.

First things first. The Intertube formula is great. It’s a tinted lip balm formula, with shea butter and jojoba oil providing some serious emolliency. It’s not too hard, not too soft, definitely not draggy on the lips and the staying power is pretty good for a tinted balm. I have all the love for this formula!

Now for the colors! They vary in their opacity, but none of them are wimpy or excessively sheer. All of them provided a nice bold color, just as you’d expect from the color in the tube. A word about the darkest and lightest shades: Because this is more of a balm-y formula vs. a thick lipstick formula, the whitish shade and black shade are a bit fussy. More on that in a bit. I applied all of these with a lip brush. Applying straight from a tube should give a more even appearance, so any streaks are largely the result of the lip brush.

Battletoads is a marshy green-brown with copper and green shimmer. I am really attracted to this shade, probably because it’s not your typical brown. The bit of green shimmer gives it an oddness that’s quite cool.

Insanity Wolf is a pale cool grey with the faintest hint of purple. This is one of the fussy colors. Without blanking out your lips with foundation first, it’s probably always going to be a bit streaky. That’s just the nature of a non-chalky formula. Personally, I think Insanity Wolf is great to have around to tone down/alter the color of other lipsticks/balms. You could have a lot of fun mixing it on your lips to make pastel versions of your favorite colors.

Magnets is a plum color with a strong silver sheen. OOOOH! I really love Magnets! I don’t have anything like this color, it’s unique and fun and so wonderfully PLUMMY. You need Magnets.

Me Gusta is black. It’s also a bit fussy if you’re trying for a total black-out on the lips. Personally, I love the more sheer yet still vampy look of this one. It would also be great for deepening your favorite lip colors.

Ridiculously Photogenic is a deepened fuchsia. Z.O.M.G. I LOVE THIS COLOR. You really need this if you love that “I’ve been eating berries all day” lip stain look. It’s ridiculously beautiful, is what it is. THIS MIGHT BE MY FAVORITE.

Smashing is a pinky-purple color. It’s quite awesome. Not too bubblegum and very wearable, Smashing is great for livening up your summer makeup.

Trololo is a vivid, slightly reddened tangerine. It looks a little more red on my lips because they were a bit reddened from rubbing off previous colors. If you are looking for a very wearable orange color, pick up Trololo. It’s super-fab, especially for summer!

Why Not Zoidberg? is tied with Ridiculously Photogenic for my favorite of these new colors. I LOVE IT SO HARD. It’s a bright coral, and it’s HAWT. You need it. REALLY.

I’m adding Forty Cakes because I had a sample of it, although it’s not new. Forty Cakes is a bright hot pink. It’s not neon, so still quite wearable without singeing anyone’s eyeballs. I happen to love hot pink, so I’m all over this shade.

Which of the new Intertubes are YOUR must-haves? Good luck trying to pick!!

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Cinnamon Cosmetics Eyeshadow Swatches
Eyeshadow, Swatches - Comments (3) - September 5th, 2011

I am NOT the swatch queen by any means. But the owner of Cinnamon Cosmetics included some samples for me to try with the products she sent for my blog giveaway, and I want to share!

I didn’t want to wait for daylight, so these are taken with flash, which does change things a bit. But you get the idea. The first color, Celestial, is really lovely. The photo doesn’t do the color-shifting nature of this shade justice. I really can’t wait to try it in an EOTD. Chocolate Lab is a color I REALLY want. It’s a warm chocolate brown that is smooth like butter. Chocolate Lab is actually part of a collection of neutrals that I really want – the Gone To The Dogs collection. German Shepherd looks soooo nice! Dusk is a nice light grey shimmer color. Crusher is a very deep color, and a bit finicky to get nice and even. But it’s a lovely almost navy blue.

When Cinnamon Cosmetics changed their name from Cinnamon Candies, a few product names changed too. The color Brandywine that I have (seen here) is now called Tank. The new Brandy Wine is a lovely, sparkly wine color. The Eye looks similar, but the main difference is Brandy Wine is quite sparkly and The Eye is not. Old Forest is a nice dark green with shimmer. Beledi is a nice coppery-brown color.

I’m most interested in trying out Celestial, and also Chocolate Lab, but all these colors are really pretty!

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Detrivore Cosmetics Swatches!
Eyeshadow, Swatches - Comments (4) - May 19th, 2011

My latest Detrivore Cosmetics order came! I took advantage of the 5 Eyeshadows for $10 offer that is running right now, and chose four of the newest colors and one highlight. I haven’t had a chance to really play with the colors yet on my eyes, but I did make some swatches.

I picked Dissipate, a deep rose eyeshadow with shimmer. Dissipate is almost but not quite a purple color, and would blend nicely with purples, pinks, and cream colors.

Consume is a light purple color with a lot of shimmer. Vitriol is a deep red eyeshadow with orange, gold, and red shimmer. I LOVE the shimmer in this red color! Apocalyptic is a light pink eyeshadow filled with red and pink shimmer. Lobotomy is a light blend of white and gold, and it’s quite shimmery.

I can’t wait to try these out! I’m thinking of trying Dissipate with Apocalyptic (with Lobotomy to highlight) first.

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Review: Detrivore Cosmetics Eyeshadow & Powder
Complexion, Eyeshadow, Reviews, Swatches - Comments (5) - April 13th, 2011

I was very excited to try Detrivore Cosmetics thanks to good reviews I’ve seen around the web, and from tweeting with the owner. I placed an order for two eyeshadow colors, and a translucent face powder for oily skin. Read on for more!

My order came within a reasonable amount of time, so that was good. It was all packaged securely, all jars came with heat seals around them and ingredient lists. Yay! (I’ve already opened them, in the photo.) I ordered Misery, a coral color, and Ectoplasma, which looks like a lime green to me. (Ectoplasma is now marked as discontinued, sad!) The translucent face powder is the oily skin formula, that includes kaolin clay.

I really like the eyeshadows!! I ordered Ectoplasma mostly on a whim, because it looks so very bright, but cheerful. It’s very wearable however, because it blends perfectly with other colors. Likewise, Misery is awesome!

I have to add a funny story here. When my order came, I looked up detrivore because I didn’t know what it meant. My sister, the biology student, was familiar with the word. She looked at Misery and said “But worms aren’t miserable!” LOL. This is probably funnier if you know my sister.

Anyway, the quality is excellent. They go on like butter, blend smoothly, and have great pigmentation. Eyeshadow win!

I was interested in the translucent powder because it contains silica (the stuff that I suspect is the reason I love Bokeh Face’s foundation so much), as well as allantoin (a potent skin soother) and kaolin clay. I’ve been reasonably happy with Meow’s primer powder, but the texture doesn’t have the same silky slip as Detrivore’s does. So, total score on this product! It helps with the oilies and shinies, and feels great on my skin.

Overall, I’m super-happy with my Detrivore Cosmetics order. I plan to order again. Two thumbs up!

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Madd Style Cosmetics Eyeshadow Review
Etsy, Eyeshadow, Swatches - Comments (2) - March 8th, 2011

I’ve been curious about Madd Style Cosmetics on Etsy for a while now, since they have really bright eyeshadow colors. When the shop had a buy 3 eyeshadows for $10 offer recently, I decided to take the plunge and make an order.

There are some key things about the shop that I find appealing. First, there are clear photos of the product, as well as swatch photos. There is a consistent theme to the shop and listings, which although it isn’t really my “style” (I must be getting old!), it is good to see. I’ve mentioned before that it’s my opinion that small business owners who take the time to create a strong brand image usually also have great products. This might not always be the case (AHEM!) but this leads me to the next thing I like. Madd Style puts right in their listings that all their eyeshadows only use colorants approved by the FDA for eye use. They also put a link right to the relevant FDA site so customers can learn more for themselves. Each listing also has a full ingredient list. This is good!

This leads me to a little sidebar – I think it really behooves all indie beauty companies to be very straightforward about what exactly is in their products, and to demostrate that they are actually aware of the FDA regs on cosmetic colorants. This provides me with a level of assurance that they aren’t selling me something that isn’t safe to put on my face (or eyes). As a consumer, we basically have to take their word for it that they’re being honest, after all. It’s increasingly something I look for before I’m willing to make a purchase.

On to the fun stuff! I picked She Bop (bright, deep pink color with a silvery shimmer and aqua glitter), Tank Girl (army green with hot pink and kelly green glitter), and Pixie (soft purple with gold glitz). Pigmentation and blendability are awesome! I wore Pixie and She Bop together over UDPP and Pixie Epoxy, and had a full day’s worth of sparkly awesomeness, perfectly blended with little effort. For how sparkly they are, there wasn’t really any fall-out. Nice. These colors are BRIGHT! The color shy need not apply! The jars come packed full under the sealed sifter, have the shop logo on the lids, and stickers on the bottom with the color name handwritten. No ingredient information is on the jars or included with the order.

Shipping time frames are clearly stated in the listings, and my order arrived within the time stated. It shipped in a plain envelope, with the jars inside a ziplock bag. There wasn’t an invoice or note.

Overall, I’m happy with my order. It’s perhaps not the most professional presentation, but the information provided on the shop site shows the owner takes the question of product safety seriously, in my opinion. If OMG BRIGHT sparkly colors are what you are looking for, I feel confident you will be satisfied with Madd Style Cosmetics.

edited to add: You can find Madd Style Cosmetics on Artfire now.

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Riche Cosmetics Eyeshadow Review
Etsy, Eyeshadow, Reviews, Swatches - Comments (1) - March 6th, 2011

I’ve been eying Riche Cosmetics on Etsy for a while now, and finally decided to order when they introduced a cute set of four shadows at a discounted price. Shipping was very fast (ordered on Saturday night, it arrived on Wednesday), and included a copy of my invoice with a nice handwritten note from the owner.

The set I ordered included four colors: Fortune Teller, Caribbean Sea, Ace, and Maui Sand. Caribbean Sea is a lovely aqua blue, Maui Sand is a great taupe color, Ace is a pale pink, and Fortune Teller is a nice warm copper-gold color. Each jar is labeled with the name of the color and ingredients.

I want to take a moment to talk about the importance of good photography for Etsy shops. I was really moved to order from Riche Cosmetics when they switched from showing just a circle picture of the product to a full shot of the jar with a small amount of the product next to it. If you look at their past feedback, you’ll see what I’m talking about. The new photography is really appealing and creates a nice unified look for the shop (plus it’s easier to see what the product actually looks like!). If they had swatch pictures too, it would be perfect!

The colors go on with a nice vibrancy, and wear well without fading much through the day. This set is really well coordinated. My only nitpick is with blendability. They didn’t blend as nicely together as I might like. This is more an issue if you’re putting more than two colors together, since I was using all four. I don’t think it would be as much an issue if I was trying something a little simpler.

Overall, I’m happy with what I purchased. The colors are pretty and very wearable. Customer service is great, and shipping was fast. I recommend Riche Cosmetics.

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Linnaeus Cosmetics Eyeshadow Review
Best Of, Etsy, Eyeshadow, Swatches - Comments (2) - March 3rd, 2011

Given all the drama on the interwebs lately about epically bad indie cosmetic companies, it’s nice to find a company that is doing everything right. I do mean everything! Dear Readers, meet Linnaeus Cosmetics! Be warned, there’s going to be gushing. A lot of gushing.

Linnaeus Cosmetics is run by Marin, who seems to be my kind of girl. From her profile, she says she’s studying veterinary medicine and wildlife conservation, likes to bake and crochet, and loves makeup. Awesome!! Marin “wants to share her passion for animals, as well as all the positive feelings that come with applying makeup, such as feeling good about yourself.” For me animal themes + makeup = WIN! Putting my makeup on, really having fun with it, is probably the number one thing I do to take care of myself (other than boring stuff like taking vitamins, etc.) I do it all for me, because I’m an artist who loves color and playing with color.

In case you don’t know, Linnaeus was a Swedish botanist, physician, and zoologist, who is primarily known as the father of taxonomy. You can go read about him, he was cool. As a child I was kind of obsessed with the idea of order and organization (ok, I still am), so when my botanist mother taught me about binomial nomenclature, I thought it was awesome. I also loved the Dewey Decimal System, and the Periodic Table of Elements. Yes, I am truly a nerd.

Anyway. When I saw the Etsy shop, I geeked out all over the place. Eyeshadow inspired by wildlife? Sweet! And what amazing colors! I purchased the 10 sample set, since it’s a good deal and there were so many I wanted to try! I picked Go Go Flamingo, Pollywog, Brigand, Cliff Line, Balancing Act, Lanky, Twiggy, Those Gams, Fabled, and Bombastico. My order shipped fast, I ordered Saturday night and it arrived today (Wednesday), coming to OR from VA. The envelope even has an awesome critter stamped on it! There was also a copy of my invoice and a sweet handwritten note, and two free samples (Flutter and Show Off). The samples all came labeled with the ingredients and whether or not they are lip-safe.

Today I wore Pollywog and Brigand together, and they are just the awesomest shades of green! Pollywog is a pale aqua green with a lovely gold sheen to it. Brigand is a dark green aqua. Pigmentation is super, and they blended really nicely. In the picture I’m also wearing Fyrinnae Nijiro to highlight, an olive green eye pencil, Bare Escentuals Blush in Desert Rose, and also BE lipgloss in Wild Honey.

Because there are good swatch photos on the shop website, I’m not going to swatch them all. Here are Go Go Flamingo, Flutter, and Lanky swatched on my arm with flash. (The weather is AWFUL today, so no decent natural light.) Despite the flash, they are still bright. Flutter has a little more depth than the picture shows.

All in all, I really love the Linnaeus eyeshadows. I think this is a perfect example of an indie cosmetics maker that is getting everything right – image and theme, quality of product, great colors, and awesome customer service. I give them two very enthusiastic thumbs up!

Be sure to check out the shop blog too!

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Dark Heart Designs Eyeshadow Review
Etsy, Eyeshadow, Swatches - Comments (1) - February 13th, 2011

I feel the need to preface this post with a little more background about me. I work in retail. I do a lot of merchandising for my job. I also used to own my own business making soaps and lotions, and operated both locally and from a website. So I guess you could say I do know something about branding and building a business. I always like to see new cosmetics businesses on Etsy, especially ones who care about doing things right. I’m pleased to say that Dark Heart Designs is doing things right!

Let’s list the things I like. I like that each listing has a description of the color, the inspiration for the name, an explanation of what you’re getting (and a link to a descriptive video!), and the list of ingredients. Excellent! Tina (the owner) really seems to care about offering a good quality product that her customers can trust. I like this a lot!

My nitpicks about the shop are in the interest of seeing this nice company attract even more customers by improving the merchandising of the products. Mostly, I think the photography could be improved. I like the pictures of the jars, but it would be nice if they were shot in natural light (it’s so much more flattering and true to life), and if the focus issues could be fixed. In a lot of the pictures the jar is in focus but the actual eyeshadow powder is unfocused. I really like the branding with the logo design and the names. I think the shop is definitely headed in the right direction!

The shadows themselves are really nice. They have good pigmentation and wear really well. Some of them have sparkle, but I had no issues with fallout. I swatched them over UDPP, and I did use flash. (It washes them out. Too bad we don’t have enough daylight in Oregon right now, or I’d take my own advice on the natural light.) I particularly like Beautiful Nightmare!

My samples came in baggies, and a great brochure was included as well with a listing of colors and photos, and some info about the business. Great marketing!

Overall, I think Dark Heart Designs is still a young business, but definitely going places. I like how Tina really cares about her customers and interacts with them on the DHD Facebook page. You should check them out too!

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