Saturday, December 27, 2014

Run, Don't Walk to Aromaleigh Clearance Sale

SO guys, I've become a bit of an Aromaleigh addict in the last few weeks. So far I've made an order with the old site, the new site, signed up for the sub box, and made a second order yesterday. So many shades! Admittedly, some shades start to look similar after a while as she really favors rose golds and purples. Today I am swatching and reviewing one of her older collections, the "Ever in Your Favor" Hunger Games themed collection. It can be found here on her old website. The collection was discontinued, once her current stock sells out the collection is gone. In light of this I chose to review this collection first of the several reviews that are waiting to be done.

First up, swatches: Pictured over NYX Milk, Fergie take on the day primer, and bare skin. Pictures were slightly color corrected to accommodate for the dreary grey sky.
Colors from top to bottom: Oddly Ostentanious, After the Dark Days, Act of Defiance, Poisonous Nightlock, Rabid, Feral. Mad., Inital Bloodbath, Bragging Rights, Pentulant Affluence, Everlasting Credit, Silver Parachute.

The swatches are pretty true to color, but Rabid. Feral. Mad. has a beautiful cranberry undertone that didn't pick up well in the swatches. 

For me, the standouts of this collection are Silver Parachute, Everlasting Credit, and Rabid. Feral. Mad.  Rabid. Feral. Mad. is just extremely unique with the glitter and purple shade with the cranberry undertone. I've seen pink undertones but no cranberry. The other two are amazing highlight shades. I struggle to find nice highlight shades that aren't just white since I'm kinda milky pale, especially around the eyes.

The collection is definitely on the brighter side for Aromaleigh, and the formulation is slightly different from the new formulation they use now. It works much better with a basic primer, the sticky base brings out the colors but mutes the sparkles a little. The three reds/pinks are not lip safe or vegan. If they were I probably have made them into lipsticks like I did with my reds from Shiro. Currently samples are 0.50 and full sizes are $3.25. There are several other collections on half off on the site I linked to from old stock she still has around after her big reformulation this fall. 

I think Aromaleigh is definitely one of my new favorites. I have blush and foundation on the way from them as well. Admittedly, I bought the blush because it's lip safe Sherlock colors I can smear on mouth, but I will swatch them nonetheless. TAT was less than a week even during the holiday season while she was trying to arrange for her new subscription box. If you order from the main site and the old sale site she will combine orders and refund part of the cost of shipping, which I think is terribly nice of her.   

Stay tuned for a review of the Ten Three Labs Hanging Tree collection, Aromaleigh Brillant Deductions collection, and a fumbling attempt at a scent review or two!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Black Friday Reviews Part Two: Alchimia Apothecary PLUS some super special exciting news!

      Alchimia Apothecary is a perfume company that did have a skincare and makeup line at one time. However, in order to focus on their scents they have stopping selling these on their site. I received some samples of these great colors from a Reddit user who sent me an AMAZING primer on indie eyeshadow samples and I fell in love. It quickly became clear that the shade "Penny Loafer" was an amazing color for me and I was hoarding my little sample and I was terrified of when it ran out. 
     In the few short months I have been a member of the indie community I have seen shop owners go above and beyond to help their customers, so I took a chance and messaged Alchimia's Facebook page to inquire if they possibly had any stock of Penny Loafer left that I could buy. They quickly messaged me back and let me know that they still sold the eyeshadows at shows and kept some stock. I selected the two colors I most wanted- Raw and Penny Loafer. Erin (the shop owner) invoiced me via Paypal and sent out my package with tracking and even offered to combine shipping if I ordered anything during their Black Friday sale. I sadly could not budget in any pretty smells after some panic buying when collections premiered in the early hours of Friday. However, I do FULLY intend to go back for Restricted Section and the Firefly collection at some point.
       On to the reviews!
I LOVE these stickers!

Samples! Yay!

      Swatches over Fergie Take on the Day primer, NYX Milk, ELF Glitter Glue, and bare skin. Top to bottom: Penny Loafer, Incognito, Albedo, After the Fire, and Raw.

       Try as I might my camera couldn't capture the sparkles in Incognito and Raw. Penny Loafer has an amazing sheen to it and I just can't get enough of it. This review has definitely shown me I need to break out the big guns camera wise! Incognito is definitely joining the rotation as a base and a quick wash- I think I'll need to order the full size soon! Also, I think Raw will be a gorgeous crease blending tone for neutral tone looks, it's mostly matte with a touch of sparkle, which is perfect to me. 

      And now for the super exciting news I promised. When I opened my Alchimia order Erin told me to let her know if I needed any other colors and that the skincare and makeup would both be making appearances on the site as limited edition! I emailed her to ask permission to share the exciting news and this is what she said: "No, nothing's really a secret. I try to be as transparent as I can when it comes to shop related things. It's important to note though that's I'm not bringing everything all back at once though. It's so hard to do it that way. I'm bringing back skin care first (with a really fun Valentine's day surprise included in that). Then I'm bringing back eyeshadow. All of these will be limited quantities though, so you'll have to get them while they're up or risk the chance they're sold out until the next run."

       Exciting news for us indie lovers! Think some digital elbows will be coming out, or will the tide of new releases in 2015 quell some of the insanity? Don't worry, I've already messaged Erin to claim a full size Incognito so you all can just form a line behind me.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Black Friday Orders Have Arrived! Review: Parlo Cosmetics

      Hello pretties! I got home from finals last night to discover I might have stress shopped, alot. Therefore this will be the first of many reviews in the coming weeks. If you have an etsy gift card or money received as gifts I hope to help you decide where the best places are, depending on your wants and needs. First up is Parlo Cosmetics. The packaging is very nice and clean, with some awesome labeling. I only ordered 5 of the jars pictured, the sixth "mallard" was a freebie with purchase. Parlo Cosmetics is extremely reasonably priced and her things were a straight up steal with her 40% black friday sale. Each of the 5 gram jars (net weight 1 gr according to the package) was only $1.35. She has phased out 5 gram jars for the most part, packing in 10 gram jars with 3 grams net weight for $3.75. Shipping was quick and I received tracking as well. 

        Before I start swatches I think it's important to note she does not list ingredients for her lip tints, the packaging she send out does contain it but not her Etsy listings. Personally I have not bought her lip tints and the ingredients lists for the eyeshadows are avaliable so it has not been an issue for me. However, I know that is an important thing in the indie community so it's something to consider when deciding to purchase.

     On to the swatches! Swatched over Fergie Take on the Day primer, NYX milk, and bare skin. I took a variety of angles to try to show the glitter and shifts but Astro-Not and Safari both didn't get the full effect communicated. Top to bottom: Luster, Safari, Astro-Not, Aster Me Nicely, Mallard.

      Mallard is definitely a color I wouldn't have picked for myself but I'm still intrigued by it. I think these are great as every day washes or base blending, which would make the bigger jars come in handy as you'd use more product that way. My favorites are definitely Safari and Astro-Not, the shift and depth are amazing in person. I think all of them are slightly different than swatches on her Etsy store and they definitely need primer. Are they as pigmented and in-depth as a bigger indie such as Shiro? Definitely not, however for light makeup with a simple wash I will definitely be reaching for these beauties.

     Parlo Cosmetics is currently hosting a holiday sale for 20% with the code "presents" until December 19th, the last day to ship with USPS. I'd definitely consider picking a couple up for presents for makeup beginners and those who like simpler looks.

Monday, December 8, 2014

AFK Custom Balms.

I don't think my friends are this cool. Today, after a pretty intense month of customizing and then lost packages (seriously USPS you have one job) I received my bundle of pretties. I originally got these for my fellow archaeology friends at school but I'm 95% they won't understand how awesome this is and then I'd have to hate them.
My adorable message!


Trowel crest for label art!

Hard to see here but the deep red in the crest matches the balm PERFECTLY. Awesome little touch.

Swatch, with Thorn's Embrace on the bottom for comparison.

Two light swipes. Great tint without being too strong.

      I was so impressed through everything how much Dena (shop owner) went above and beyond to help me make the perfect gifts. The Etsy shop message thread had 61 messages by the time we were done. She even researched archaeology and asked for background information on my major and goals so she could really customize it to me. And then, when the USPS lost my package she graciously remade the balms ASAP among Black Friday and IMAM advent calendar madness to make sure I got them in time. 
    My balm smells amazing. The other balms are orange scented but she mixed orange and mango together for me since it's my favorite combination right now. The formula isn't at all heavy and sit very nicely with little transfer. I told Dena at the beginning of this to make sure she kept the formula and I'm pretty sure I'll be messaging her pretty soon asking for another tube. But now the big question: will my fellow archaeologists appreciate all this amazing or should I just hoard them all for myself so I never ever run out?

Finals Day One

      Since it's the first day of finals I clearly needed some sparkles to make things happier. I based this look around "Nevermore" because I am a Poe addict. But not like The Following level though...
As usual, dorm lighting sucks so I retouched slightly to try to color balance. It didn't turn out as well as I hoped. Overall I think I'm happy with this one.

Lips: AFK balm in No More Bricks!, (review to come)
Eye: Eccentric Cosmetics "andrea", Shiro "Mother of Dragons", Little Sparrow "Nevermore". Liner in Little Sparrow "Sin" with Shiro's "A Regular Bear's Meeting" lightly pressed on top because I was leaning a little Effie Trinket with the magenta and gold.
Beauty Base Zero achieved with BeautiControl Powder Foundation, BeautiControl Extra Help concealer- both in light. Fergie's Take on the Day primer, ELF glitter glue, and Be A Bombshell Finishing Powder.

Since smellovision is not a thing yet (C'mon Willy Wonka) the scent I'm wearing is DelightfulRot's "Sherlock" in an attempt to make my finals elementary. Yes, Bad pun I know.

Little Sparrow Review and Swatches

So I received my pretties from Little Sparrow Cosmetics today and I must say, it was DEFINITELY worth the wait. I’m so excited Dreamworld will be stocking Little Sparrow in the new year because I am in love so far.

I should note my order was for the sample size set of the Grimm collection, a mini of Nevermore, and a sample of the crush lip cream. Obviously, I got much more, including a full size of crush, a sample of the finishing powder, AND a mini of the eyeshadow shade ‘sin’. It’s like Jessica knew I had been looking at Sin…. The packaging was very nice, and at first glance the sample baggies seem well filled and the minis might actually be full size, I usually get samples so I don’t really have a basis though!

I immediately depotted the samples into 3 gram jars, as I HATE baggies. Not quite as generous as some Shiro samples I’ve gotten the bags were still pretty full for sure. Like Shiro, the stickers fit perfectly on top of the 3 gram jars so I can keep the pretties! I will note that I also have a vendetta against all lip color requiring an applicator, and I somehow missed that the lip creams were tube style. I think I will like it, though it swatched extremely bright and coral on me.

On to swatches! Due to the gloom of December I couldn’t get good natural light pictures so I took several shots in different light to try to display them as accurately as possible. Eyeshadow swatches are over NYX milk, Fergie Take on the Day primer, and bare skin top to bottom.

Swatches bottom up: Beautiful Poison, Prince Charming, Darwves, Huntsman, Hag, Nevermore, and Sin. Also seen on top: Golden Youth powder and Crush lip cream.

Obviously the bottom swatch set is best, but I felt like some of the gorgeous glitter got lost so I added the others, please excuse the terrible dorm lighting and random decor in the background.

Bonus pic of my hand post swatching- I usually just wipe my brush on my hand to clean it off.

Overall, I really like the colors. I think Huntsman might be a touch too light for me but the absolute perfectness of the others makes up for it. I’m not really comfortable wearing purple eyeshadow but I will figure it out for the beauty that is Nevermore. So very Poe. Also, I have a huge weakness for fairytales so the fact it is Grimm themed just makes them a million times better.

In the interest of full disclosure it did take over a month for the products to get here. The stated TAT was 14 days, but to my understanding Jessica had some serious health issues. When you are an indie business that is run by one person, health concerns can severely affect a lot of things. That being said, I think Jessica handled it wonderfully especially with making the step to have Dreamworld take over distribution so she can focus on her career and health.

What are your favorite Little Sparrow products? Any other makeup companies with fairytale lines I should know about?

DIY Adventures

So this weekend I started on some experiments. Some of Shiro’s colors are amazing for the lips but I have a vendetta against all lip things that require an applicator. Therefore I decided to see if the colors would work in chapstick tubes with lipstick base! I added some peppermint oil to flavor and I’m pretty pleased with the results overall.

A Serious Case of the Mondays

FOTD to make Monday just a little easier

Face: ELF mineral concealer, IT cosmetics bye bye undereye, city color be matter blush

Lips: ELF mositurizing lipstick in Ravishing Rose

Eyes: ELF primer and liner sealer (I HIGHLY recommend it), Be A Bombshell Bora Bora quad, Shiro’s Mockingjay for highlights, and Shiro’s King Under the Mountain for liner. L’Oreal Intenza mascara for the first coat, and BeautiControl Mascara to add thickness.

Team #nosleep

Excuse the slightly crazy eyes, I haven’t quite mastered this selfie thing yet and I have a major paper due today

Face: Beauticontrol extra help concealer, ELF mineral foundation in porcelain, ELF mineral concealer

Eyes: ELF primer, Rimmel ScandalEyes kohl liner in black, L’Oreal intenza mascara, Daily Lovelies “I Solemly Swear I’m Up to No Good”

Lips: Wet and Wild balm stain in “Red-y or Not” because this paper is due, whether I’m ready for it to be or not.

Marvel Madness

FOTD Honoring Bill Roseman, editor of Marvel Comics coming to speak at campus

Face: Beauticontrol extra help concealer, city color be matte blush in bright melon, ELF mineral concealer, ELF mineral porcelain foundation

Eyes: Dreamworld Hermantica’s “Inner Glow”, Daily Lovelies “Penny Loafer” Shiro’s “Burdened with Glorious Purpose” and lined with “A Push in the Right Direction. L’Oreal Intenza mascara

Lips: Revlon Lip Butter in “Pink Truffle”

The Grand Makeup Experiment

Day One of the grand makeup experiment. Mission: Use all my lipsticks before I repeat any of them. I can do this, I think.

Face: ELF mineral foundation in Porcelain

Eyes: L’Oreal Intenza mascara, Rimmel retro curves mascara, Shiro’s Attercop, Attercop as a eyeliner

Lips: NYX SNow White