blackbird cosmetics matte neutrals v.1


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!


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.


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.


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!


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.


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!

aromaleigh brilliant deductions, ignis antiquita, and serpens swatches


Sample baggies repotted into jars.

When I ordered the first half of Aromaleigh’s Hannibal collection, I picked up a bunch of other samples as well. In this post I’ve got five shadows from three different collections: one from the Sherlock collection (Brilliant Deductions), two from the collection basked on historical women (Ignis Antiquita), and two from the dragon-inspired collection (Serpens).


Swatched over primer + Pixie Epoxy.

Password Protected: A muted warm mauve with coppery iridescence and bright golden sparks. (Brilliant Deductions)

A purple base with a ton of gold and copper shimmer. It reminds me of Darling Girl’s Brocade, only way, way sparklier. There’s no point in using this one without a sticky base.

Hypatia: A very complex shade, with several layers of multichromal effect, to depict Hypatia’s many studies. At its core, it is a neutral grey, but it changes tone in different types of light. (Ignis Antiquita)

A very blue-leaning steel grey. I also see a bit of a brown tone around the edges. (Free sample.)

Lagertha: A deep, smooth copper with a very intense chrome effect of chartreuse, green, and gold. (Ignis Antiquita)

lagertha_fierceLAGERTHAAAAAAA. *fangirls* Light of my life, moon in my sky. I am deeply and intensely in love with Lagertha from History’s Vikings. She is the most terrifyingly amazing super badass. I’ve even drawn some fanart. So obviously I had to get this. Over PE it’s a deep reddish copper. In direct light it does have a bit of a green/gold flash.

Fáfnir: This color is an intense duochrome that goes from warm purple to metallic copper.

This is a vibrant warm purple. It looks like much more of a pure purple on me than in the website swatch, where it’s more of an intense coppery pink. I don’t get much of a duochrome effect, in any case. It reminds me of Gossip (swatched here).

Gargouille: This color is very chromatic and ranges from rich copper to deep teal to evergreen, with copper and bright aqua iridescence.

A rich olive green with a lot of coppery gold shift and bright blue sparks. I get a bit of a darker evergreen depending on the light and application. I love this color. I want to mate with it.

aromaleigh_misc2_angleMy favorites here are Gargouille and Lagertha. I admit I’m partial to Lagertha because of the inspiration, but I also really like the color. And Gargouille runs away with first place all on its own. It’s very, very rare that I buy full-size jars of eyeshadow, or even mini-sizes, because I don’t wear eyeshadow all that often, and when I do it’s usually just variations on a light, neutral eye. But I am considering picking up a jar of Gargouille because it is STUNNING. It’s the first Aromaleigh eyeshadow that’s really impressed me so far, and I want to have its babies.

Since I actually used it, I can show you what it looks like on. Sadly I don’t think it’s all that flattering on my skin – it shows up a little less olive-y on my eyes and really plays up the redness that I would’ve sworn was better hidden by my foundation that day. (Guess it’s time to look for new foundation?)


Gargouille on human eyelids. Shiro’s Whiteout on the inner corners/inner lid and Notoriously Morbid’s Teacher in Tweed in the crease.

If you too would like to have sparkly olive babies with Gargouille (or any of the rest of these shades), head over to Aromaleigh and throw out your best pick-up line. Or $6. Whichever.