Blackbird 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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!