notoriously morbid slay me swatches (wave 3)

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A little while ago, Notoriously Morbid released Wave 3 of their all-matte Buffy eyeshadow collection. It consists of six shades, but one of them isn’t vegan (a bright pink called I Wanna Do Girly Stuff), so I only have five shades to show you today.

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Swatched over primer. Indirect natural light.

I Call It Mr. Pointy: A smokey plum/burgundy that you’ve been searching for.

Kendra! A dark, dusty, slightly reddish plum. A very vampy shade, fitting for the slayer with a comically heavy accent and only one shirt.

So Goes My Nation: A velvet ivory as pure as the devotion of your first love.

Oz and Willow! The feels. A soft vanilla cream shade. I got a mini because I know it’ll get enough use as a highlight shade.

5×5: A burnt orange that ain’t playin’ around.

Faith! A rusty mid-toned orange-red, very warm. Not as bright as Blackbird Fire Pledge.

Rayne Brings Ripper: Magic duels in the forest come to mind with this lush woodland green.

Ethan Rayne! Aka a box full of farm fresh chicken. A dusty evergreen.

Lost in L.A.: A steely slate gray that makes you think of far off places.

Anne/Runaway Buffy! A dark, cloudy blue grey. Appropriate for the gloomy depiction of L.A. in the episode this shade is based on.

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Swatched over primer only. Not quite full sun.

There you have ’em! Short and sweet today, kids. My favorites are I Call It Mr. Pointy, So Goes My Nation, and 5×5. Rayne Brings Ripper and Lost in L.A. are both pretty colors, but too cool-toned for me to get much use out of. I might try Lost in L.A. as a liner, though.

My overall feelings regarding this collection remain very positive. I’ll let Spike sum it up:

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Notoriously Morbid has a standalone site here, and can also be found on Etsy.

blackbird cosmetics matte neutrals v. 2

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A little while ago, Blackbird followed up their stellar Matte Neutrals collection with… another stellar Matte Neutrals collection! This is my kind of shop, guys. All of the neutrals, give them to me.

I ordered the complete sample set to try out, and that’s what I have swatches of today. It’s a great deal – 10 samples for $10 with free shipping. Awesome. Yes please. And it’s a smart move, too, because after trying out both volumes that are currently available, I plan to pick up the two complete full-size collections the next time I have the spare cash. Obviously, I’m a fan.

The quality of these shadows is fantastic – they’re pigmented and almost creamy, long-lasting over primer, blend well, and the color range warms this neutral lover’s heart. The finish is matte but slightly glowy, which is really flattering on skin. As I mentioned in my review of the first volume, they do have a unique smell – like clay or dirt. I don’t mind it at all, but it’s something to be aware of so it doesn’t take you by surprise.

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Swatched over primer only. Indirect natural light.

Half Full: Light whitened gold. A perfect highlight for any skin tone.

A light cream shade, great as a highlight on my skin

Modesty: Light neutral golden brown, resembles khaki.

A light tan, slightly yellowish. A great blending shade for me, or all over the lid.

Everest: Cool toned dark brown, leans a little towards green.

A medium khaki brown that’s screaming “put me in your creeeease!” That was creepy. I’m sorry.

Whisper: Light perfect grey.

A light grey, leaning slightly warm and purplish. There’s something very clean and clear about this shade.

Smudge: Medium to dark taupe, leaning a bit towards dark.

A beautiful medium-dark brownish taupe, maybe leaning ever so slightly purple.

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My favorites from this arm o’ swatches are Half Full, Modesty, Everest, and Smudge.

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Swatched over primer only. Indirect natural light.

Juliet: Dark muted pink.

A muted medium peachy pink. Reminds me of clay. Similar to Imogen, but a little warmer and darker.

Figment: Light muted plum.

A soft muted light plum. Very delicate and pretty.

Vintage: Muted, but somehow still vibrant mid-toned violet.

A mid-toned reddish purple. Slightly dustier than it looks here.

Ruca: Blackened red.

A burnt orange, terracotta sort of color – like Fire Pledge’s subdued older sister. Not so dark that I’d call it blackened, though.

Atlas: Dark slightly blackened brown.

A medium-dark neutral brown. Similar in tone to Beau, but much less warm.

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Favorites from this batch are… all of them, honestly. But Juliet, Figment, and Atlas if I had to pick.

Overall Thoughts: Extremely positive! I have nothing bad to say about Blackbird whatsoever. Four of her shadows have become my go-to look whenever I wear eyeshadow on regular work days – Thirteen, Dog Days, and Beau from volume 1, along with Half Full from this volume. I imagine I could probably sub in Modesty, Everest, and Atlas from this volume for a slightly cooler, more khaki-toned take on the same look. But I’m boring. The possibility for combinations within each volume, let alone taking the two together, is endless. A+++, favorite mattes to date.

Find Blackbird Cosmetics on Etsy.

detrivore vow and apocalyptic

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vow_apocalypseJust a quick swatch post today! Things may be a bit slower than usual around here for a little while, because I’m starting a new job (yay!) and my fiance and I just put an offer in on a house (yay! but also: interesting! oh god oh god we’re all going to die!) and things are just generally kind of in a state of good but stressful upheaval at the moment.

ANYWAY. Here’s some blushes.

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Vow: Delicate peachy-pink with a satin finish.

A warm light pink, slightly peach. Not a super pale baby pink, just a nice, wearable, everyday peachy-pink color. The description says “satin finish,” but for all intents and purposes this is matte.

Apocalyptic: Matte reddened beige.

A ruddy brownish rose sort of color, darker and less pink than Vow. This would be great in cooler weather.

These are my first Detrivore blushes, and while I haven’t tried them out on my face yet, I can tell just from swatching that they’re nice. The texture is soft, not chalky or grainy – similar to their matte eyeshadows, actually. They’re pigmented, but not so intensely pigmented that you have to apply three grains of powder with a stippling brush from 12 feet away from your face. I can’t comment on how they blend yet, though.

There are currently nine shades available on Shiro’s website, seven of which are vegan. Of the five vegan shades I haven’t tried, Concubine, Cyanide, and maybe Lilith appeal to me, so I’ll pick up samples of those in future Shiro orders.

blackbird cosmetics matte neutrals v.1

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blackbird_samplesBlackbird Cosmetics is a new company that was recently started by a user over on /r/indiemakeupandmore. She announced the opening about a month ago, but I guess I completely missed it because it only came onto my radar when reviews and swatches started popping up in the last week or two. The shades are all mattes, which is a bit of a rarity in the indie world – there are metallics and glitterbombs and crazy duochromes abound, but relatively few mattes. They’re also notoriously hard to do well, even for big mainstream companies.  Add in the fact that all of the products are vegan, the color range looked right up my alley, and the full sample pack is $10 (with free shipping!), and, well, let’s just say it didn’t take me long to pop these guys into my Etsy cart.

Customer experience-wise, I ordered on August 3rd, it shipped on August 4th, and arrived on August 7th. There was no tracking, but given the free shipping on the sample set, I can’t really complain about that. (I don’t know if tracking info is provided for regular orders.) When I checked out, I left a little note for Maleah (the owner), just saying thanks for making all of her products vegan, and there was a sweet note in my package in response to that, as well as a discount code for my next order.

But enough talk. Swatch time!

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Swatched over primer only. Indirect natural light.

Dim Tradition: A really light neutral beige eyeshadow.

A light grey/pink/tan putty kind of color. Hard to describe, but very pretty.

Immortals: A light pink eye shadow.

A light pink, slightly peachy.

Imogen: A dark, devious pink eye shadow. 

A ruddy medium reddish pink.

Thirteen: A beautiful neutral light brown.

A soft, warm light/medium brown, leaning a bit pinky-clay colored.

Dog Days: A medium neutral toned brown eye shadow.

A slightly warm medium brown, darker than Thirteen.

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These slanty shots seem a bit less pointy with matte shadows.

This group is very soft and pretty, and leans quite warm in general. Dim Tradition is the exception, but even then it’s not particularly cool.

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Swatched over primer only. Indirect natural light.

Fiction: A dark perfect grey eyeshadow.

A medium grey, leaning slightly blue/purple.

Gravity: A medium, complex toned plum eyeshadow.

A medium/dark muted plum color, somewhere between brown and purple.

Beau: A warm reddened dark brown.

A medium/dark warm reddish brown. Named after the owner’s dog, which is adorable.

Fire Pledge: A really pretty red-orange eye shadow.

A bright but muted medium orange.

Lucid: A black eye shadow, it is not quite opaque, so it makes a really great darkener, rather than making harsh solid black lines. 

Black. Not the blackest black ever, but as the description states, it wasn’t intended to be!

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Just look at Fire Pledge. Damn, girl.

This group is darker and more vibrant, but still very neutral. Fire Pledge is the boldest of the bunch, and a really interesting addition to the palette.

Overall, I really like these! They apply well over primer, and are pigmented and not chalky or patchy. They’re almost kind of creamy? And the finish is clearly matte, but once I got them on my eyes I noticed a tiny, tiny bit of a sheen. It’s super subtle, and I only noticed it under really direct indoor lighting. I guess that’s what the description means when it says “matte but glowy finish!” It’s quite flattering.

The shadows also have an interesting smell – kind of like clay or dirt? It’s not a bad thing, it’s just A Thing Worth Noting.

My favorites are Dim Tradition, Immortals, Thirteen, Dog Days, Gravity, and Beau. Fire Pledge is beautiful, but since I’m stricken with a debilitating Fear of Color, I need to experiment and figure out how to use it. Fiction and Lucid are the only two I don’t see myself needing full sizes of, and it’s only because I literally never use grey and black eyeshadow. (And I could be swayed on Fiction. It’s a very pretty grey.)

The only thing missing from this collection is a paler highlighter shade, but it’s safe to assume that one or more will be added to the lineup at some point. Otherwise, I feel like it’s an excellent range of neutrals that you could make a ton of looks with.

These actually inspired me to put on eyeshadow today for the first time in like… I don’t even remember how long, so here are some of the shadows in action. Very subtle, like I do.

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Also featuring a DIY lip tar lip balm.

I used Immortals (inner half of lid, lower lash line), Thirteen (outer half of lid, crease), Dog Days (outer corner, crease, lower lash line), and Beau (liner) (YES I DID LINER). I have Detrivore’s Porcelain on my browbone and in the inner corner.

And so this gargantuan post comes to an end. Two very enthusiastic thumbs up, will use and purchase from again. If you’re in the market for some new mattes, check out Blackbird Cosmetics on Etsy!

life’s entropy contour stick & lip theory review

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apoptosisNo Free Friday post today – just a regular old review! I wanted to finish up with Life’s Entropy, although I realize now that the timing is pretty poor since LE just announced that they’re closing up for the rest of the month. You can still browse the site and order, though, it’s just that your order won’t be processed until the end of the month.

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Swatches under indirect natural light.

First let’s talk about the Particle Contour Sticks. These come in a standard lip balm tube, which makes for really easy application. You can either swipe it directly on your face and blend, or rub a bit off with your finger and apply that way. (I haven’t tried using a brush to pick up product directly on the contour stick, so I can’t say how that works.)

The texture is a bit firm at first, but once you warm up the surface it’s soft, creamy, and very blendable. I’m a total contouring noob – this is literally the first contouring product I’ve ever used, other than some ill-advised attempts to brush bronzer into my cheekbones, which: don’t do that. At least not if you’re as pale as me. That being the case, I still found these very easy to use. It’s hard to put on too much unless you have a color that’s way, way too dark, and they’re very easy to blend. They’re a true cream product, so you will have to set them with powder if you want them to last the day.

Proton:Proton is the lightest shade of the range (because it’s so positive!). Perfect for pale skin (NC/W 25 or lighter). Similar to Illamasqua Cream Shadow in Hollow.

Proton is a neutral tan kind of color, maybe leaning slightly cool. It looks warmer and browner on me than it does in the website swatch. This is a very subtle contour on my slightly tanner summer skin, and I think it would need to be a touch cooler (grey/purple) to be the perfect color for me. It does work, though, and of course can be layered. I can see this being great for a lot of super pale folks out there, and will probably serve me well in the winter. (For the record I have absolutely no idea what MAC foundation shade I am.)

Neutron:Neutron is the classic, most universal contour shade. It is the cream version of the Kevyn Aucoin Sculpting Powder in Medium. 

Neutron is a warmish medium brown on my skin – more like a bronzer color than something mimicking shadow. In my inaugural attempts at contouring, I’ve been layering a bit of this on top of Proton to darken it up.

Here’s a really terrible picture of Proton + Neutron layered on my cheeks. I took this at the end of a long work day, hence the red cheeks (I always and forever have red cheeks, foundation be damned), and the contour is subtle, but hopefully you can see a little bit of it! It looked more noticeable in person (and, you know, in the morning), but my camera was having none of it for some reason.

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Trying to take a picture at this angle is just super weird.

And now for the Lip Theory! I chose Apoptosis, which is described as “a vibrant, medium orange coral.”

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Also: I cut off my hair.

This applies very much like an OCC Lip Tar – you need a teeny tiny amount, and it’s very saturated and opaque. Other reviews I’ve seen seem to indicate that the opacity varies a bit by color, but that’s to be expected.

Now, Lip Tars dry out my lips like crazy, and they’re also prone to wearing off in that way where you get that gross ring of product around the inside of your lips – you know what I mean. It’s not attractive. I found the Lip Theory slightly better in that regard – it still dried out my lips eventually, but it was quite comfortable for the first 2 hours or so, and the color faded evenly, with no gross ring around the lips. It goes on with a satiny finish, slightly shiny, and eventually does set to a matte finish that’s fairly transfer-resistant.

Notes from my wear test (pictured above):

1:30 pm: Applied Apoptosis over a light layer of lip balm.

(During the first 2 1/2 hours or so, it felt perfectly comfortable, hence the lack of notes.)

4:05 pm: Feeling kind of dry. Not terrible, but I’m itching to slather some lip balm on over this. (I’m not though.) It does seem to be exacerbating the lines in my lips. The color is holding up well, though.

4:35: My lips are feeling very dry.

5:05: Literally dying to put on some lip balm, JFC.

5:30: Very dry. Lips are looking pretty liney and puckery. Color has faded somewhat, but not unevenly. No bleeding or feathering. Looks better in real life, I think, and would look better with some lip balm on top, undoubtedly, but I wanted to test it by itself.

During the four-hour test it survived several glasses of water (with a straw), a bowl of mac and cheese (vegan, of course), some watermelon, and several smooches. After it dries there’s very little transfer onto anything.

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That second picture is pretty unpleasant. Sorry.

As you can see, by the end of 4 hours, it did sink into and exacerbate the lines of my lips pretty badly. They also felt pretty terrible at that point. However, the color faded evenly and a good bit of it stuck around. Normally I would have applied lip balm a few times during that 4 hour period, but I didn’t because I wanted to test the product on its own.

Overall, I have mixed feelings about these. Yes, they dry out my lips. But every damn thing dries out my lips. Most tinted lip balms dry out my lips. I’m also a habitual lip biter and picker, especially when I’m stressed or nervous, so my lips are usually kind of rough to start with. And it seems to be impossible for a lip product to be both long-wearing AND moisturizing, so this outcome wasn’t unexpected.

On the plus side, I was very pleased with how it wore, dryness aside, and I think applying lip balm like usual will mitigate that somewhat. And they are less drying on me than Lip Tars, in addition to being significantly cheaper ($8 vs $18). I do plan to pick up and test drive a few more colors down the road – Coralation, Recursion, Transformation, and Big Bang Theory all appeal to me.

apoptosis_comparisonSince the Lip Theories are so similar to Lip Tars, I figured I’d do comparison swatches of the ones I own that looked similar. Radiate isn’t terribly close at all, but Grandma and Apoptosis are very similar. Apoptosis seems very slightly lighter and less pink, but you really have to be looking for it.

So there you have it! You can check out Life’s Entropy here if anything caught your eye.

Happy Friday, everyone! I’m so ready for the weekend. This sleepy kitten pretty much sums up how I feel right now.

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Needs for coffee.

life’s entropy animal sanctuary collection

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as_bags1Late last month, a new company called Life’s Entropy announced its opening over on /r/indiemakeupandmore. The products were varied and unique, the branding and presentation was awesome, and everything was vegan! So with a grand opening coupon code in hand, I placed an order. Of course I did. I ordered on July 20, picking up a blogger pack as well as two addition samples. My order shipped on July 29th, and I received in on August 1st. Everything was packaged beautifully, but unfortunately my two extra samples were left out – which is totally understandable in the grand opening rush. I emailed the owner, Jane, that Friday evening (the 1st), and she got back to me within minutes apologizing and saying she’d send the two missing items out ASAP. I got a tracking number about 20 minutes later, and my package arrived – somehow, magically – the following Monday, August 4th.

Now, I’m close to where Life’s Entropy is located – I believe she ships out of Boston currently, and I’m in Philadelphia, but even still that is some Hogwarts-level postal sorcery. It takes letters from my mom longer to get here, and she lives two hours away in the same state. And when said enchanted package arrived (presumably by owl), I discovered that she’d upgraded my contour stick sample to a full-size to boot! So sweet, and greatly appreciated since the shade I’d ordered a sample of (Neutron) turned out to be a better match for my slight summer tan than the one I originally chose as my full-size anyway (Proton).

But that’s a post for another day. Today we’re talking about the eyeshadows. Specifically, the Animal Sanctuary collection, which is a set of 12 shadows with punny animal names and adorable holographic animal labels. The description states that “the main color scheme is neutral browns with golden duochromes,” so while I am in desperate need of exactly ZERO more eyeshadow… well. Animals + neutrals = get in my shopping cart, Sprint bill be damned. (Jk, I just paid my Sprint bill, please don’t shut off my phone.)

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Swatched over Pixie Epoxy. Indirect natural light.

The first half! The lighter, more neutrally-neutral set. The sun was not cooperating when I did these swatches. I apologize on its behalf, the lazy bastard.

Stay Pawsitive: A shimmery light golden white with a gold-copper-red shift reminiscent of a Golden Retriever’s fur coat. It is more pink-opal on bare skin but whiter and golden on top of primer. 

A creamy vanilla color with a reddish shift.

My Mane Man: A satin-finish sandy yellow with majestic gold shift.

A mustard yellow kind of color with slight gold sparks. Less shimmery than most, more of a satin finish. This is an odd shade, but I like it. I’m actually a pretty big fan of mustard/goldenrod for clothing and accessories, but I’ve never had an eyeshadow that color, so I’m excited to try it out.

Owl Always Love You: A shimmery reddish silver-grey with strong silver-gold shift. Darkens to a slate grey over primer.

A greyish-purplish-taupish kind of color with a pale gold shift. This one is hard to describe, and pictures don’t do it justice.

Just Kitten: A medium pink-mauve with strong gold shift. Darkens when swatched over primer. Shimmery. 

A plummy, pinky, clay-colored kind of base with a strong greenish-gold shift. Really interesting. It reminds me of a more muted, complicated version of Darling Girl’s Brocade.

Bad Hare Day: Semi-shimmery medium peach-beige with gold shift. Darkens to a tawny peach when swatched over primer. Lighter and more orange than Oh Deer.

A muted orange base with gold shift

Oh Deer: A shimmery peach beige with strong gold shift. Darkens to a medium orange brown when swatched over primer. 

A warm terracotta brown sort of base with gold shift. More brown than Bad Hare Day.

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Slanty in indirect natural light. Here is where I once again bemoan the lack of sunlight.

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Slanty in horrible artificial evening lighting, but it does show off the shimmer.

And the second half! This set is deeper and more colorful, for those of you who haven’t been fully indoctrinated into the Cult of Beige. Yet.

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Swatched over Pixie Epoxy. Indirect natural light.

Quick Brown Fox: A bold satin orange with gold shift that transforms into a blood red-orange with red shift when swatched over primer. 

A dark reddish-orange base with warm red/pink sparks. Less sparkly than most, more of a satin finish.

Elephantry, My Dear Watson!: Medium khaki-brown (like Asian elephants) with slight silver shift (resembling African elephants). Strong semi-matte finish. 

A yellowish-brown base with a blue/gray shift. This is another shade that’s less shimmery and more satiny. It’s kind of an odd color, but a very interesting combination and true to the description. This is one of the few that applied a bit patchier – I’m assuming it’s the more matte base over the PE, since My Mane Man had a similar issue.

Monkey Business: A shimmery medium golden brown with strong gold shift. Deepens over primer. More golden than Horsing Around and Just Kitten. 

A slightly warm medium brown with a subtle gold shift. Darker and less orange than Oh Deer.

Horsing Around: A medium golden brown with a strong red shift especially when swatched over primer. Semi-shimmery.

A dark plummy brown base with a strong, warm red/pink/copper shift. Really pretty – this is a stand out shade for me.

Turtle-y Wicked: A semi-shimmery medium olive green with strong gold shift. Deepens to a dark olive green when swatched over primer. 

A dusty olive base with a subtle gold shift.

Happy Annibersary: A shimmery dark reddish brown with strong gold-red shift.

A dark reddish brown base with a subtle warm pinky/purple shift. Very rich. Bear are my favorite animal, so I’m predisposed to loving this one. Luckily I like the color as well! I think it would make a fantastic liner, if I ever manage to become the sort of person who can apply eyeliner without stabbing myself in the eye with a brush.

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Slanty in indirect natural light, as the sun laughed and laughed and mocked all of my efforts from behind some trees.

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More terrible artificial evening lighting. This picture bums me out, but here it is for the sake of sparkles.

Overall, I was very happy with the shadows in this collection. They applied well, the names and concept are cute, and god knows I start salivating at the mention of an all-neutral collection. There’s still enough variety here that it’s not all just taupes and browns, though.

My favorites are Stay Pawsitive, Oh Deer, Horsing Around, and Happy Annibearsary. I think Turtle-ly Wicked is another one that would make a great liner, and I’m really intrigued by My Mane Man. I don’t own another shade like it, and I’m excited to try it out – I think it’ll work especially well in the fall.

On a superficial note, look how cute the packaging is:

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Adorable packaging, shitty photography. Someone needs a real camera! (That person is me.)

The full-size shadows come in little paper boxes, and shadow samples come in little paper matchbooks with a faux wax seal sticker. It’s all very adorable, and it’s clear that Jane put a lot of thought into everything before she launched the brand. Cute as the boxes are, though, I think they’re kind of unnecessary. They’re paper, so it’s no problem to recycle them, but in general I’m not a fan of excessive packaging. YMMV on that, of course!

That’s it for now! I’ll have a review of the Particle Contour Sticks and Lip Theories (well, one Lip Theory) in another post soon, but in the meantime, you can find everything here over at Life’s Entropy.

free fridays: july favorites

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This week’s Free Friday is all about a few of my favorite things! Like raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, both of which I would class as very enjoyable things. I mean, kittens. But since I don’t regularly swan around scenic mountaintops, here are some things that are somewhat more relevant to my actual life this month. (Links to reviews where I have them.)

1. Darling Clandestine EVERYTHING.

For the longest time, I had no interest in Darling Clandestine. It was a sort of willful ignorance, the same kind I apply to BPAL, though for different reasons. But after I was gifted some DC a few months back, the floodgates opened and I’ve been having a bit of a torrid love affair with the company since. I’ve liked or loved nearly everything I’ve tried, and the scents are just interesting – even the ones I don’t love, I can appreciate. I’ve been buying up bitsies, solids, and the occasional full bottle at a fairly disturbing clip – I went from having zero DC to having four gifted bottles/bitsies to owning 49 51 products in 35 different scents. In less than 3 months.

Let that sink in for a minute.

I don’t think I’ve out-and-out disliked anything I’ve tried yet (well… I kinda hated Carny Wedding), but my favorites are La La La, All Right (which is in my top 10 favorites scents ever, bar none), Cloudswing, Fisticuffs, Hellbender, Pyrotechnik, Tapadero, and Harpy.

2. Silk Naturals Sea Breeze and Zap.

Two lip products I’ve been using a lot this month are both from Silk Naturals – the Sea Breeze slick stick and Zap lipstick. Sea Breeze is a semi-sheer bright coral, and Zap is an opaque orange-red. The slick stick formula is smooth and a little glossy and doesn’t dry out my lips, and the lipsticks are creamy and pigmented. I also love the slim little tubes that keep me from giving myself Joker face if I try to apply without a mirror.

I do wish there were more shimmer-less colors, but that’s just me being boring and anti-glitter-mouth.

P.S. No review yet, but I’ll have a post about these soon!

3 & 4: Midsummer Dreams Apothecary Mermaid and Darling Girl Mermaid’s Dream.

Mermaid stuff!

The star of MDA’s small lineup for me (so far – I have but haven’t tested out samples of the new cologne oils), Mermaid is a gorgeous, sweet, summery floral that took me completely by surprise. If you’ve read my blog at all, you’ll know that I am not a floral perfume person – but I want to bathe in this. I’ve got a solid to carry around with me, but a bottle of the oil is high on my wish list and will probably find its way into this month’s beauty/perfume budget.

(Edit: MDA is having a flash sale today – 20% off with the code Lammas14 – soooo I just crossed that bottle off my wishlist. Perfect timing!)

And then there is Mermaid’s Dream. One of Darling Girl‘s Soft Focus blushes, Mermaid’s Dream is a beautiful vibrant-but-not-unwieldy strawberry red kind of color that I’ve been loving the hell out of. It actually pairs very well with Silk Naturals Zap, and I’ve been wearing them together a lot lately.

5. Cherries!

Cherry season is winding down now, and I’ve been popping them like candy while I have the chance. Cherries are my favorite fruit and several pounds a week have been making their way into our kitchen. Raniers are my favorite for snacking, but I won’t kick regular old Bings out of bed either – and they’re my choice for one of my favorite smoothies, which is:

Soymilk + a frozen banana + frozen cherries + a scoop of maple almond butter + vanilla protein powder (pea protein is my drug of choice) = delicious cherry pie protein smoothie.

6. Rhett Miller’s “The Instigator.”

This album came out the year after I graduated from high school (2002, what the actual fuck), and I listened to it constantly back then. I’ve enjoyed all of his subsequent releases, and of course his stuff with The Old 97’s (saw them live a few years ago, highly recommend!), but The Instigator remains my favorite. I haven’t listened to it in quite a while, but I came back to it recently when I needed something to help me power through some freelance work, and it’s been in near-constant rotation since.

7. New books!

This month I acquired three new books/graphic novels: “Landline” by Rainbow Rowell, “Seconds” by Byan Lee O’Malley, and “Through the Woods” by Emily Carroll. I read the first two during the 4-ish days I was without my laptop last week (it had to spend some time at the Apple store for repairs), and really enjoyed both.

I’ve loved everything Rainbow Rowell has written – Eleanor & Park and Fangirl most of all. Landline is a bit of a departure – it’s not YA, for one, and it’s a smaller, more focused story. There are light and humorous moments, but the overall tone is fairly bleak and tinged with desperate soul-searching and regret. It lacks the youthful yearning and emotional gut punch of Eleanor & Park, and it’s not as sweet and sad and funny as Fangirl, but it is quite enjoyable in its own right, and Rainbow is an author I’ll follow anywhere.

Seconds is a new graphic novel from Bryan Lee O’Malley (of Scott Pilgrim fame, but I also really liked Lost at Sea), about a chef named Katie who has a bad day… and then gets the ability to undo it. Sounds great, until she keeps undoing it and undoing it and undoing it until she basically undoes herself and everyone else into a terrible life and, oh, kinda breaks the universe. The story is solid and compelling, the art is adorable, there’s a stealth Buffy reference – no complaints here.

I haven’t had the chance to read Through the Woods yet, but I’ve been a fan of Emily Carroll’s work for a long time – it’s beautiful and haunting and terribly creepifying. Flipping through the graphic novel reveals more of the same, so I’m excited to sit down with that… in the middle of the day… so I don’t have nightmares.

8. Pretty Little Liars!

I’m not even ashamed to admit how much I love this hot mess of a show. It’s absolutely, unabashedly cuckoo bananas – it really embraces the cray, and I appreciate that. Every Tuesday night I kick my fiance out of the living room (or sometimes hop on over to my BFF’s house for PLL + chinese food) to enjoy an hour of murderstalking, inapproriate relationship drama, and outfits that had to have been chosen in the dark.

FYI, Hanna is my favorite Liar. She is a magical unicorn. So if you are also a fan you will understand why I find this most recent turn of events very upsetting. Rosewood PA (which is supposed to be located quite close to where I live, actually) has a problem with grown-ass men, and that problem is that they aren’t all currently in jail.

Since I get super obsessed with the shows that I like, I’m always looking for recaps and podcasts about them. My favorites for PLL are the recaps from Forever Young Adult and After Ellen, and the podcasts Bros Watch PLL Too and Pretty Little Recaps.

So there you have it! What were you loving in July?

dreamworld hermetica hocus pocus, semi-loose, and misc swatches

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hocuspocus_jars2Part 2 of my Dreamworld Hermetica order! AKA everything that wasn’t Firefly. I have a few from the Hocus Pocus collection, a few semi-loose shadows, and a mix of randoms from other collections.

First up: Hocus Pocus.

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Swatched over primer + Pixie Epoxy. Indirect natural light.

Angry Zombie: A mixure of copper, bronze and tan that has created a beautiful deep bronze color.

A beautiful light bronzey copper.

Black Flamed Candle: Purplish brown with yellow undertones. Slight shimmer.

SHUT UP this color is amazing. On my skin, it’s a really interesting light bronzey brown with slight purple undertones. It’s got a pretty, dusty kind of look to it. Every swatch I’ve seen of it looks different, so it seems to be a bit of a shifter. In any case, it’s gorgeous, and the whole reason Dreamworld Hermetica came onto my radar to start with.

1963: Deep purplish brown in color.

A muted medium reddish purple.

Bloody Witch: A deep brownish black with shifting reddish undertones.

An olivey brown base with tons of red shimmer. Viewed straight on, it looks like a dark reddish brown. On an angle, it looks like a brownish green!

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Check out the shift on Bloody Witch!

Next up, a mix of shades from different collections.

rusalka_jars1Excuse the weird lighting, the sun decided to blast relentlessly through the window for the entire duration of photographing these jars.

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Swatched over primer + Pixie Epoxy. Indirect natural light.

Rusalka: Deep neutral purple.

A medium purple with sort of a grey-brown tone. More of a satin finish. (Creatures of Darkness collection.)

Ahultzotl: A deep burnished gold color.

A bright green gold with a satiny finish. Very lush. (Creatures of Darkness collection.)

Feralia: Warm neutral slight shimmer.

A vanilla cream sort of color, not super pale. Satiny finish. This was included as an extra, and it shows Ellie’s attention to detail because it’s absolutely a shade I would’ve picked out for myself. (Ancient Tradition collection.)

Deadlocked: Deep burgundy brown metallic with satin finish and slight shimmer!

A metallic medium coppery pink. (Sookie Stackhouse collection.)

Keys to the Repository: Deep bronze with slight shimmers.

A metallic copper, less orange than Miranda. (Blue Blood collection.)

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And finally a few semi-loose shadows!

semiloose_jars1I don’t have a ton of experience with semi-loose shadows, but I really enjoyed these. They go on really pigmented and metallic even over bare skin.

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Swatched over primer + Pixie Epoxy. Indirect natural light.

Sonnet: Soft pink that shifts to green and back again! 

A very pale pink with a green shift. I love these kinds of “neutral with a twist” shades. (Medieval collection.)

Leanan Sidhe:  Deep purple with brownish undertones.

A smooth medium/dark reddish brown. (Medieval collection.)

Inner Glow: No website description given.

A light peachy base with a strong pinky red shift. The shift reminds me of Crimson Ghost from Fyrinnae. This was another extra, and another one that I had considered getting to start with. (For the Love of Eros collection.)

Blazing Hearts: No website description given.

A beautiful metallic pinky copper. (For the Love of Eros collection.)

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There you have it! I really like all of these, but my favorites are all from the Hocus Pocus collection – Angry Zombie, Black Flamed Candle, and Bloody Witch, with Black Flamed Candle easily taking the top prize. I did a look the other day (no pictures, because the rest of my face was a sweaty mess) with No More Running, Black Flamed Candle, Bloody Witch, and Feralia, and the shadows wore like a champ all day long (over primer + PE of course).

At this time Dreamworld Hermetica‘s eyeshadows are not up on the website, but they should be back soon! And I will be placing another order once they are, because I’m really impressed with the quality and the range of shades. It’s pretty much a neutral-lovers dream. My one and only complaint is that the website swatches aren’t great – I relied a lot on googling for swatches when I placed my order. But I couldn’t be happier with the actual products or the customer service.

dreamworld hermetica firefly swatches

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Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!

FIREFLY!! A warning up front that this post is going to be long and full of gifs and quotes, because I can’t not get heavily excited about this show.

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a huge Joss Whedon fangirl. So whenever brands do collection based on his stuff, I’m basically powerless to resist. I must try them; it is my duty. I’m drawn to them like a cat to a Katsak… that is to say, magically. There are more Firefly collections than any of his other works – I can think of four or five Firefly/Serenity collections, but just one Buffy collection, one Avengers collection (I’m sure there are more!) and zero things based on Angel, Dollhouse (which, meh, it had its bright spots but to be honest I wasn’t a huge fan of that one), or Dr. Horrible (THIS IS A CRIME, GIVE ME AN EVIL LEAGUE OF EVIL EYESHADOW COLLECTION. BAD HORSE. FAKE THOMAS JEFFERSON. DEAD BOWIE. GET ON IT, INDIES!).

Ahem. Anyway, what I’m getting at here is that I’d been meaning to try out Dreamworld Hermetica for a while, but then they released a Firefly collection and my need became greater, and then they had a really crazy sale and, I don’t know, I guess I blacked out or something because a whole bunch of eyeshadows ended up at my house.

Some nefarious actor who isn’t me ordered stuff from other collections too, but those will be featured in another post. Firefly gets its own post, always.

First up, a quartet of warm pinky-purpley colors.

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All shadows were swatched over primer + Pixie Epoxy.

firefly_businessAmbassador: A beautiful rose mauve.

A very red-toned medium purple with a satin finish, inspired by Inara. Inara always gets this sort of color in Firefly collections (if I was smart I would’ve swatched it with Geek Chic’s Ambassador for comparison, buuuut I’m not – I think it’s darker and more purple), which is fine because it does suit the character and her opulent wardrobe. It’s lush and pretty, if perhaps a bit too pink for my personal taste.

Inara: I’d have to say, this is the first time we’ve had a preacher on board.
Book: Well, I wasn’t expecting to see a state official either. Ambassador. [shakes her hand as Mal laughs.] I’m missing something funny.
Kaylee: Not so funny.
Inara: Ambassador is Mal’s way of—
Mal: She’s a whore, Shep.
Kaylee: The term is “companion.”
Mal: I always get those mixed up. How’s business?
Inara: None of yours

 

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JUST MUSH YOUR FACES TOGETHER GOD

Fog: A muddy burgundy/purplish color.

A stunning soft metallic mauvey, pinkish-purplish-tannish-taupeish kind of color. I can’t with this, it’s gorgeous. It reminds me of a less silvery/warmer/slightly more brown version of Shiro’s He Loves His Hammer.

Inara: Mal.
Mal: I got no answers for you, Inara. I got no rudder. Wind blows northerly, I go north. That’s who I am. Maybe that ain’t a man to lead, but they have to follow so you wanna tear me down do it inside your own mind.
Inara: I’m not trying to tear you down –
Mal: But you fog things up. You always have – you spin me about. I wish like hell you was elsewhere.
Inara: I was.

 

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Kaylee smiles and the whole world smiles with her.

Shiny Young Mechanic: Soft pink that has satin finish.

A metallic peach, slightly pinkish. Shiny and adorable, just like Kaylee.

Mal: I don’t believe there is a power in the ‘verse that can stop Kaylee from being cheerful. Sometimes you just want to duct tape her mouth and dump her in the hold for a month.

 

firefly_sleepinessAutumn Flower: Moderate neutral brown with a variety of orange undertones.

A warm reddish brown with coppery shimmer. Zoe’s color palette was all warm browns, creams, and reds, so this is a very appropriate shade.

Wash: You’re acting captain. You know what happens, you fall asleep?
Zoe: Jayne slits my throat and takes over?
Wash: That’s right!
Zoe: And we can’t stop it?
Wash: I wash my hands of it. Hopeless case. I’ll read a nice poem at the funeral. Something with imagery.
Zoe: You could lock the door and keep the power-hungry maniac at bay.
Wash: Don’t know. I’m starting to like this poetry thing. “Here lies my beloved Zoe, my autumn flower, somewhat less attractive now that she’s all corpse-ified and gross… ”

 

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Click to enlarge.

And now some shadows that are kind of a brownish color. (They were on sale.)

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I love this set, I think they all go so well together. Shiny.

serenity_misbehaveNo More Running: Soft peachy pink perfect for a highlighter!

A beautiful pale peachy pink, like Shiny Young Mechanic’s lighter sister.

Mal: You all got on this boat for different reasons, but you all come to the same place. So now I’m asking more of you than I have before. Maybe all. ‘Cause as sure as I know anything, I know this: They will try again. Maybe on another world, maybe on this very ground, swept clean. A year from now, ten, they’ll swing back to the belief that they can make people… better. And I do not hold to that. So no more running. I aim to misbehave.

 

firefly_mercy_combinedHonour: Warm neutral with blue undertones and satin finish.

This is an odd one. It’s kind of a matte putty peach with a very slight silvery blue shift. It looks warmer on an angle and/or in sunlight than it does head on or in the shade.

Badger: What were you in the war? That big war you failed to win – you were a Sergeant. Yeah, Sergeant Malcolm Reynolds, Balls and Bayonets Brigade, big, tough veteran, now you got yourself a ship and you’re a captain! Only I think, you’re still a Sergeant, see? Still a soldier. A man of honor in a den of thieves. Well it’s my gorramn den and I don’t like the way you look down on me. I’m above you. Better than. Businessman, yeah? Roots in the community. You’re just a scavenger.

 

firefly_riverbug2Gift: A pretty metallic peach color.

A pretty light pinkish copper.

Simon: I’m very smart. Went to the best Medacad in Osiris, top three percent of my class, finished my internship in eight months. “Gifted” is the term. So when I tell you that my little sister makes me look like an idiot child, I want you to understand my full meaning. River was more than gifted. She was… a gift. Everything she did, music, maths, theoretical physics – even dance – there was nothing that didn’t come as naturally to her as breathing does to us. She could be a real brat about it, too.

 

serenity_mirandaMiranda: Golden overtones with burgundy undertones that has created an awesome bronze color.

A metallic orange copper with some dark red in the base. Ellie threw this in as an extra, which is fortuitous since I almost bought it.

Kaylee: How can it be there’s a whole planet called Miranda and none of us knowed that?
Mal: Because there isn’t one. It’s a blackrock. Uninhabitable. Terraforming didn’t hold, or some such. Few settlers died.
River: [to Simon] I had to show them. I didn’t know if you were going to make me sleep.
Simon: You could’ve asked…
Kaylee: Wait a tick, yeah! Some ten years back, before the war. There was a call for workers to settle on Miranda, my daddy talked about going. I should’ve recalled…
Wash: But there’s nothing about it on the Cortex – history, astronomy… it’s not in there.
Mal: Half of writing history is hiding the truth. There’s something on this rock the Alliance doesn’t want known.

 

firefly_impossible2Browncoats: Medium to dark brown with golden undertones.

A neutral medium brown, slightly warm, with some gold shift. In some lights it’s more reddish, in some lights more gold. It is indeed similar to the color of Mal’s famous duster. (Between Mal and Spike, I feel like Joss really has a thing for dusters.)

Mal: Just focus! Alliance said they were gonna waltz through Serenity Valley and we’ve choked ’em with those words. We’ve done the impossible and that makes us mighty. Just a little while longer, our angels’ll be soaring overhead, raining fire on those arrogant cods, so you hold. You HOLD!

 

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Second verse, same as the first. Click to embiggen. P.s. Pun totally intended.

My feelings about this collection overall?

firefly_illbeinmybunkThe shadows are very soft and wonderfully pigmented, and the color selection really does represent the overall color scheme and feel of the show well – it’s mostly warm, with lots of dusty neutrals as well some cool blues and silvers to represent the Alliance.

Of the shades I chose, my favorites are Fog, Shiny Young Mechanic, Autumn Flower, No More Running, and Gift, with Fog and No More Running getting absolutely top billing. I’m intrigued by Honour and am interested to see how it looks on – I don’t know that I have anything like it, which is impressive considering the absurd size of my eyeshadow collection.

Dreamworld Hermetica has taken their shadows off the website for a short time because they’re revamping the sizes and pricing, but they should be back soon if you too would like to smear futuristic space western pretties all over your face and then sob them off while re-watching Firefly’s tragically short run for the eleventy millionth time and thinking about what could have been. DAMMIT FOX. Hold me.

hello waffle eyeshadow review & swatches

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Full-size shadows with adorable watercolor kitty labels.

Hello Waffle is a relatively new brand that I’d heard a lot of buzz about over on /r/indiemakeupandmore, but never got around to trying until very recently. They’re closed at the moment, and will be for another month or so, but I didn’t want to just sit on these swatches for that long, so here you go: a post full of eyeshadow you can’t have. YET. Soon!

I placed my order during a sale on June 6th, it shipped on June 24th, and I received it on June 30th. It ran slightly over TAT, which Christine noted on my invoice, but to make up for it she included two extra full-size shadows, which was very sweet. The actual shipping time was not bad at all considering that Hello Waffle is based in Canada. There are downsides to this for the US shopper, of course – shipping is slightly more expensive than what I’m used to from US companies (though still very cheap for international shipping – $6 flat rate, which is probably about half of what the orders cost to ship in reality), and does not include tracking (I believe it can be purchased separately, but it is costly) – but considering that shipping from Silk Naturals is $4+ and also doesn’t include tracking (which, let’s be real, is stupid when it’s US to US shipping), I don’t consider either of these things real problems and they certainly would not put me off from ordering again, especially given HW’s extremely reasonable pricing.

I ordered the Blogger Pack, which at the time included 2 full-size eyeshadows, 10 shadow samples, a full-size blush, one blush sample, one full-size lip balm, and two lip balm samples. I ordered an addition full-size eyeshadow and lip balm, and received another full-size eyeshadow as a GWP, plus two more as a “sorry your order exceeded TAT” gesture. Today it’s all about the eyeshadows; I’ll review the blush and (now discontinued) lip balms in a separate post.

Vegan note: Hello Waffle is NOT all vegan. Many of the shadows and almost all of the blushes contain carmine. However, vegan options are clearly marked, and the (again, now discontinued) lip balms were all vegan. There was some vegan confusion with the blush I ordered (Rose Coloured Glasses), which I’ll cover in the next post. When I ordered I requested that any extra samples be vegan, and the two extra shadows I received were.

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Swatched over primer + Pixie Epoxy.

Snow Bees: White with silver shimmer that has a hint of orange.

Cream with a slightly orangey overlay. This was one of full-size shadow choices.

Dormouse: Pale sparkly taupe.

A beautiful sparkly beigey taupe. This was my additional full-size purchase.

Gryphon: Muted bluish-gray taupe.

Slate or pewter grey, more of a metallic finish. This was included as an extra.

Bartok: Copper with bronze, gold, and red sparkle.

Gorgeous metallic copper with red sparks. This was my other full-size choice from the blogger pack.

Whale Hello There: Pale shimmery lilac, leans blue.

Sparkly pale lavender, leaning blue. I swear I wrote this description before I grabbed the official one off the website. This was a Color of the Month that I asked to be substituted for the GWP color at the time of my order, which Christine very kindly honored.

Rainforest: Vibrant green-blue with sparkles.

A deep emerald/jungle green, a bit less sparkly. This was part of a past GWP duo and was included as an extra. I bet this would make a killer liner.

hw_samplesPlease excuse the raggedy labels on these – they did NOT come that way! Some big dumb dummy (me) spilled a glass of water all over her photo/swatching area. I messed up some of the full-size labels, too. Sad face.

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Swatched over primer + Pixie Epoxy

Pachelbel: Sparkly white-gold, wedding-like.

Sparkly white. I debated between this and Snow Bees for my full-size, and I’m glad I went with Snow Bees. Pachelbel is very pretty but not quite as unique.

Debussy: Soft pastel green with subtle golden highlights.

Pale spring green.

Prince: Dirty bronze shimmer.

Warm medium brown, slightly less sparkly than the rest.

Locked Doors: Dirty brown with gold shimmer.

Warm, slightly taupier brown, very sparkly.

Bae: Dark stormy copper with silver sparkle.

Similar to Locked Doors, but with a more silvery sheen.

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Swatched over primer + Pixie Epoxy.

March Hare: Rich brown with a lively red undertone.

Warm, dark purplish brown.

Wastelands: Brownish red with yellow sparkle.

Sparkly warm golden brown.

Pride: Warm dark lilac with light purple sparks.

A really pretty warm medium purple with reddish sparks. I love this one.

Enchantress: Shimmery copper leaning purple.

Dark burgundy.

Kai: Reddened copper with green, silver, and gold sparkles.

Red with a coppery sheen and noticeable silver sparks. This is a really interesting color.

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Artificial lighting. I put these in the wrong order, herp derp.

Overall I found Hello Waffle’s eyeshadows to be very pigmented and mostly true to their site descriptions. Many of them are VERY sparkly (much moreso than these swatches show), so a sticky base is a must to get the most out of them, though for the most part they don’t apply badly over primer alone. My favorites are Snow Bees, Dormouse, Bartok, Locked Doors, Bae, and Pride. Pride in particular is a gorgeous purple, and one I will definitely be picking up a full-size jar of in the future.

Hello Waffle is closed right now, but should re-open sometime in mid to late August.