life’s entropy contour stick & lip theory review

Standard

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.

swatches_1

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.

contour_onface

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.”

apoptosis_beforeafter_full

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.

apoptosis_beforeafter

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.

sleepykitten

Needs for coffee.

life’s entropy animal sanctuary collection

Standard

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.)

as_swatches1

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.

as_slanty1

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

as_slanty2

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.

as_swatches2

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.

as_slanty3

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

as_slanty4

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:

le_shadowbox

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.