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.

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?

victorian disco clow blush swatches

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Alteration looks less pink in real life.

Since I am a bonafide blush whore, when I placed my order during Victorian Disco’s new website/re-opening sale, I had to try out their new Clow Blushes. (I have no idea what that means or is referencing, btw. Not a single damn clue, and since I doubt it’s “an outfall sluice for water from a tidal river after it has deposited its sediment on flooded land,” it’s safe to say that Google was no help.) I got a mini jar of Alteration, which seemed like the shade most up my alley, and samples of the other two coral/orange shades, and The Flower because… I don’t know why? It’s not a shade I’m usually drawn to. I actually thought it was a free sample until I checked my invoice. I guess I just wanted the other (non-purple) matte one.

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AlterationMatte reddened coral.

A darkish apricot color, matte finish. I don’t like this quite as much as I expected to. I wish it was a tiny bit brighter or pinker or more vibrant somehow. Something. It just looks a bit dull to me. Nitpicky personal preference aside, though, it is a pretty color, and definitely wearable.

Dragon FlameBright coral with a slight shimmer, leaning towards orange-coral.

A vibrant light peachy coral with silver shimmer. It’s like a lighter, brighter version of Alteration with added sparkle. Love the base color, don’t love the shimmer. But that’s to be expected. Hopefully it’ll blend away with a lighter application.

The FireyBright orange blush with a slight orange sheen.

WHOA MAMA. Bright, bright orange. Like, traffic cone orange. This blush is not fucking around. It looks matte to me, despite the description mentioning an orange sheen. Quite frankly I find this blush a little terrifying, but orange lovers, this one’s for you.

The FlowerBright matte magenta blush.

A bright, cooler-toned bubblegum pink with a matte finish. Like I said, I’m honestly not sure why I ordered this. I tend to gravitate toward warmer blushes so this is outside of my comfort zone. I don’t necessarily think it looks bad on my skin, though, so I’ll give it a chance.

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Natural light on the left, indoor light on the right. Enlarge to see some of the sparkle in Dragon Flame.

The texture of these is not as soft or finely milled as some other indie blushes I’ve tried. They almost feel a bit chalky? Especially The Flower. But they do blend well. I’m not super in love with any of these colors, though. Dragon Flame would be my favorite if not for the shimmer. Alteration is wearable and will get used, but is a bit darker than I expected. The Firey is super pigmented and awesome but realistically I don’t think I’ll use it. The Flower is the wildcard here – it’s not in my usual blush wheelhouse of coral/peach/red, but I’m interested to see how it works.

Victorian Disco’s Clow blushes are currently available on their website.

fyrinnae shadow + blush swatches

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Mini jars! My favorite size. Also fyrinnae’s fancy shiny wrapping material always makes me happy.

Fyrinnae! I don’t believe I’ve featured Fyrinnae on my blog before, have I? Which is a clear oversight, because I’m a big fan, and Fyrinnae was one of my first – possibly THE first, actually – indie makeup companies. It’s been a while since I’ve placed an order, but recently they released some new shades that appealed to me, so I picked those up along with a few other things I’ve been wanting for a while.

Which – can I say how much I appreciate the Fyrinnae doesn’t do limited edition collections? When they release new collections, everything gets folded into their regular lineup. Occasionally colors do get discontinued, but for the most part things don’t just come and go. I love that so much because I absolutely cannot stand the mad rush to buy LE things. I don’t want to have to spend an entire Sunday hovering over my laptop or my phone, frantically hitting refresh and planning my order down to the last sample so that I can checkout within 30 seconds and maybe, possibly, hopefully get everything I want.

Anyway. In addition to the stuff pictured here, I also got a handful of mini lip lustres, which I’ll review on their own soon.

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Swatched over primer + pixie epoxy (naturally). Excuse my gross bruise thing.

These four make a great neutral quad (though I’d replace Titania’s Bottom with something more beigey-pink if I were designing my perfect quad).

Sled Puppies: Gleaming, shimmery transparent white gold graced with a touch of light blue sparkle.

Very true to the description. A shimmery white gold with blue sparks.

Titania’s Bottom: Rich metallic gold filled with fine light red shimmer at a distance, but closer to light it turns a very green-gold.

A slightly coppery gold with a bit of an olivey shift. Just a touch around the edges.

Bawdy Librarian: This is no basic brown! This, my good guys and dolls, is a lush, shimmery, golden brown rich with gold sparkle.

A gorgeous, shimmery medium warm brown with some distinct green, gold, and red sparks. So pretty. I love this one. Also, the name. Makes me want to read some (more) questionably tasteful Giles fanfic. (JK! I haven’t read naughty Giles fanfic in years.)

Automatic Toaster: Deep neutral brown, nearly matte with just the slightest satiny finish. Deep neutral brown, nearly matte with just the slightest satiny finish.

Does what it says on the tin. A really nice, nearly-matte darkish brown.

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Swatched over primper + pixie epoxy, except for the blush, which is over primer alone.

Debonaire: Warm, shimmery lilac graced with a glowing coppery highlight.

YES MAMA. This is gorgeous. A warm light purple with strong reddish-coppery shimmer. Love. If you like purples, you need this.

Peppermint Vodka: Lush, rich, shimmering burgundy enhanced with copper sparkle.

Shimmery burgundy with coppery gold sparks. This one’s got a metallic sort of finish. Very pretty.

Kraken: Deep teal with a slightly smoky blue cast filled with shimmer and small sparkle which is bronze-gold from a distance, then appears lime green to blue the closer it gets to light or at certain angles.

My free sample! This is a weird one. The base seems matte, with copper and gold sparkles. From the description I expected it to have a more shimmery finish, like the other Arcane Magics I have. The matte + sparkle thing is a bit strange to me. Pretty color, though.

Nordic Angel blush: Vibrant pinky-peach blush with a hint of shimmer.

A pretty pinky-peach with a bit of gold and red shimmer. A bit more shimmer than I prefer myself in a heavy swatch, but when blended out it’s more of a slightly sheen-y satin finish. Really pretty.

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Slanty!

Everything here is available from Fyrinnae. And don’t let the TAT scare you – it’s mostly a CYA thing. In reality they’re much faster than most other indies. I don’t think I’ve ever waited more than a week or so for an order. This time around, I placed my order on May 27th, it shipped on June 2nd, and I received it on June 4th.

belated darling girl haul swatches

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dg_jars2I actually received this probably two weeks ago now, but am just now getting around to posting about it. I got distracted by perfume. (I am always distracted by perfume.)

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Swatched over DG Primped & Primed, except for Bodice Ripper and the blushes.

Chicka Chicka Boom: Pale golden champagne with soft pink glow and in certain lighting a green shift.

A really pretty, really sparkly light rose gold. On an angle it looks more brown, but in most lights it’s got a very rosy pink sheen.

Bodice Ripper: Soft dirtied plum, more on the plummy side than brown.

A medium matte plum.

Tip Taupe: Plummy taupe with purple sheen.

GWP. A taupe base with lots of violet shimmer.

Model Walk: Free sample, from an as yet unreleased collection! So no official description. It’s a slightly greyed green with lots of blue, green, and gold sparks.

Paradise Pink Soft Focus Blush: A gorgeous peachy pink.

A light peach with a satin finish. Very subtle, as you can tell. I prefer Fuji – this one is a bit too close to my skin tone to do much.

Mermaid’s Dream Soft Focus Blush: Bright reddish orange coral.

Strawberry red with a smattering of sparkle. This looks completely matte in the site swatch, so I was confused by the sparkle. I’m still not 100% sure it didn’t migrate over from somewhere else, but I don’t think that’s the case. Anyway, I adore the base color, but I do wish it were completely matte. Sometimes you can blend minor sparkles away, but in this one it’s actually more evident when it’s blended out.

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No slanty shot this time, but here they are in the shade. The colors are more true to life here.

Thoughts on Primped & Primed: This was my first experience with P&P. I used it here as an alternative to using primer and Pixie Epoxy together, and it performed reasonably well. As you can see, it definitely intensified the shadows and grabbed the sparkles reasonably well. By itself I don’t think it performs quite as well as PE in the sparkle-grabbing respect, but that’s not really a fair comparison since they’re different products. Darling Girl also makes a Pixie Epoxy-esque glitter adhesive called Glitter Glue that I will definitely be trying out at some point so I can make a more direct comparison.

I haven’t used it on my eyes yet, so I can’t comment on its performance as a primer.

dg_fujiparadiseBonus Fuji vs Paradise Pink Comparison Swatch: This was requested when I did my DG blush post, so here you go! They are similar in tone, but Paradise Pink (which I keep wanting to call Paradise Peach) is far more on the peach end of the spectrum while Fuji is a more yellow-based pink. I like both, but I think I prefer Fuji for myself.

Everything in this post is (or will be) available from Darling Girl Cosmetics.

darling girl blush swatches

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Sample baggies repotted into jars + mini Yes, Virginia! + full size Fantasia + cream blush sample

The blush portion of my Darling Girl order! (The shadows are here.) And the more exciting part, for me personally. Real talk: I barely wear eyeshadow. Like, maybe three times a month. MAYBE. (Why I keep buying it, then, is another issue entirely.) But I wear blush every day. I love blush. And I’ve tried surprisingly few indie blushes, for as much indie makeup as I buy. I have a few from Fyrinnae, and one from The All Natural Face, but that’s pretty much it. Until now!

I’ve heard a lot about Darling Girl’s blushes, so when I placed an order I knew I had to try a few out. I prefer my blushes matte or slightly satin – no strong shimmer or glitter – so all of the powder blushes I ordered were from the Soft Focus line. Fantasia, a freebie with my order, is one of their Inner Glow blushes. Yes, Virginia! is another Soft Focus blush that I swapped for a few weeks ago – I figured I should swatch it with the rest.

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Swatched over bare skin.

Aloha: A beautiful, earthy pink that leans slight mauve.  This would be a great everyday no-brainer kind of blush.

A light pinky brown – it reminds me of Too Faced’s Cocoa Rose (vegan, a bit cooler than Aloha) or Tarte’s Exposed (sadly not vegan but I’ve seen enough swatches to be able to pick it out of a lineup). It’s slightly pinker in real life than it looks here. I love these kinds of blushes. They’re fool-proof and they give a really natural, healthy, sun-kissed kind of glow. This one is completely matte.

Fuji: Light peachy pink, nearly matte.

Just what it says – a light peachy pink. More pink than peach. It’s a warm, yellow-based pink as opposed to a cool, blue, bubblegum pink (I can’t really wear those). It’s a really pretty, subtle everyday shade that would be hard to mess up. Since it’s so subtle, you don’t need to be nearly as careful during application, and it gives a really nice, natural, glowy look. I thought this was matte, but there is a very slight satiny sheen when the light hits it directly.

Cheeky: Bright cheery pinky coral, nearly matte.

This is a BEAUTIFUL pink coral. It looks pinker on me than in the site swatches. It’s bright, but it can be applied very subtly if you use a light hand and it’s a great color for spring and summer. It has the same satiny sheen as Fuji.

Cherry Bomb: A vibrant cherry red with just the tiniest hint of pink glow.

HELLO NURSE. Look at that swatch! It’s almost retina-searing.

I have a thing for red blushes. They look terrifying, but they’re actually very natural if you apply them lightly – no one really blushes coral, you know? They give a really nice Snow White kind of effect and it’s very flattering. Most days I end up reaching for a red blush anymore, so I’m always on the lookout for new ones to add to my collection – and this one is gorgeous. It’s a VERY vibrant blue red, leaning pink. It looks completely matte to me. It reminds me of a brighter, even more pigmented version of Milani’s Bella Rosa (vegan!), which is another recent acquisition I’m in love with. The caveat here is that if you have fair skin you need to be really, really judicious in your application of this – I used my regular blush brush and just the tiniest speck of Cherry Bomb and it was still verging on sunburn territory, so I’m thinking maybe a duo-fiber brush would be a better choice.

Yes, Virginia!: A lovely lilac-pink.

Light purple. I suppose it is more pink purple than blue purple, but it doesn’t read pink to me – just purple. On my face it’s actually much more subtle and wearable than I was expecting. It doesn’t look pink, per se, but it doesn’t quite look purple either. I’m not sure how I feel about it on me – I have pretty yellow-toned skin so I think it makes me look a little sallow – but this would probably be beautiful on cool-toned skin. This one appears to be totally matte.

Fantasia: A gorgeous orange/coral with a very subtle violet shift.

This was a freebie with my order. Full-size! Super generous. Unfortunately it is not a color I will wear – it’s a vibrant orange coral with a purple sheen. This swatch doesn’t do it justice at all – you can’t see any of the purple shift. Blended out on my skin it just turns carrot orange. I can get on with orange blush, but this shade doesn’t do it for me. Since I also prefer my blushes matte or nearly so, this one was just not meant to be. I’m glad I got to try it, though, and I’m sure I will find it a good home in a swap soon.

Papaya: Juicy ripe papaya with red undertones.

Another beautiful red – warmer and less pink-leaning than Cherry Bomb. The cream blush formula has a really pretty translucency to it. When I washed off these swatches, Papaya stained my skin a bit, so I imagine the lasting power is pretty good with this. This shade is not as in your face BAM POW as Cherry Bomb, but if you have fair skin you still need a light hand here.

I’m into these. The Soft Focus blush formula is my favorite – it’s very soft and blends beautifully into the skin. I don’t generally have problems with my blush fading quickly, but the ones I’ve tried so far have lasted all day. There are a few more colors in that line that I’ll definitely be trying out.

My favorites from this bunch are Aloha, Fuji, Cheeky, and Papaya. Cherry Bomb is GORGEOUS but it may actually be too pigmented – I’ll have to experiment with different brushes. Yes, Virginia! I’m on the fence about, and Fantasia will get swapped away.

Everything in this post (and more, obviously) is available from Darling Girl Cosmetics.

pacifica radiant shimmer coconut multiples

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The color on the left (front) of the box is more accurate.

I was bopping around Target the other day, looking for something they didn’t have – I always seem to be looking for the one thing they don’t have – when I noticed a new Pacifica display. With makeup! I love Pacifica – their Indian Coconut Nectar scent is amazing – so I couldn’t resist the temptation to pick a few things up. I bought an eyeshadow palette and this trio of cream things. Both were $11.99 at Target, which is a bit cheaper than the Pacifica website, where they’re listed at $14.99. There is also a bb cream, apparently, but sadly it wasn’t available at the store.

Today we’re talking about the cream palette. Or the “radiant shimmer coconut multiples,” as Pacifica is calling it. In short: I hate it. Like, a lot. A lot. Let’s run down why.

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Swatches of Bronzed, Island Rose, and Moonlit

The three shades in the palette are:

Bronzed: “Perfectly glowing sun-kissed color with golden shimmer.”
Island Rose: “Shimmering, radiant dewy pink.”
Moonlit: “Iridescent pale shades of moon-kissed shimmer.”

Ugh, those descriptions. “Pale shades of moon-kissed shimmer.” Whatever. Bronzed is orangey-bronze, Island Rose is a light mauvey-pink, and Moonlit is a pale pinky-peach.

The texture of these things is really thin, slippery, and greasy. Since the packaging says they can be used on eyes, lips, or cheeks, I expected something a bit thicker and more substantial. But no. The colors are nice, I guess, but ultimately useless for me since they suck in all applications. They’re all incredibly sheer. The swatches above are two layers each, and you can see how light they are on my pale skin. In the interest of giving them a fair shot, I tried them out in all the ways suggested on the packaging. Here’s how that went down.

Eyes: I knew these weren’t going to work as eyeshadows. You have to layer them up to get any color payoff, and because of the texture they creased immediately with and without a primer. I actually noticed them basically taking off my eye primer as I patted the layers on, which was weird. You can use the lightest shade as a brow/inner corner highlighter if you must, but it’s really subtle and fades quickly.

Lips: I hate how these look on the lips. And only the middle shade is a viable lip color on someone with my coloring anyway, unless you want to look like you have advanced leprosy. Or have been eating a fudgesicle. Unfortunately even the middle rosy shade doesn’t work here. It’s frosty and it sinks into lines and emphasizes dry patches. The whole effect was gross.

Cheeks: I figured they’d be okay here, at least. I was wrong. The blush shade is so sheer that it barely shows up on my skin, and I’m pretty fair. And because of the texture, by the time you’re done blending them out you’ve completely rubbed them off and all that’s left is glittery bits. The bronzer is the most pigmented of the three but still doesn’t show up well, and most people don’t want a shimmery orange bronzer anyway. The highlight shade is pretty, I’ll give it that, and I’ve worn it a few times dabbed on my cheekbones. It works okay in that capacity, but it lasts about half a minute.

Basically these are terrible. I don’t know what I’m supposed to do with them, other than stare at the palette and get angry that I spent $12 on something that is literally useless. I’m glad Pacifica is branching out into makeup and I hope they continue to expand their offerings, but this product is just a massive fail.

To sum up, the pros: gorgeous packaging, they smell nice (kind of like coconut, unsurprisingly), reasonable affordable, cruelty-free and vegan. It even says so right on the box, which is always helpful.

And the cons: Thin, greasy texture, super sheer, does not work well for eyes, lips, or cheeks, thereby rendering it completely useless. Yay!

Would I buy it again? No. I would, however, gain immense satisfaction from throwing it in the garbage. Seriously, save your money.