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Notoriously Morbid’s Grisly Grimoires

7 Nov

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Nobody does creepy holiday sets like Notoriously Morbid. I missed a few of them in the past (Sealed Judgment, siiigh) so there was NO way I was passing up on this one. Especially since the theme was mystical, evil tomes from both history and fiction.

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For a mere $25 you got 6 fullsized shadows, a mini blush, an exclusive Coffin Kisser, and a Hand of Fate charm–essentially a little skeleton hand clutching a gem! I got in on the pre-orders, which also included a mini COTM shade, and Carrie snuck in a peek of Black Friday 2014 as well!

The Coffin Kisser, Splendor Soils, smells exactly like the bottom of your candy bag after a night of trick-or-treating. Smarties, taffy, lolipops and melted sugar. So nostalgic.

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Of course I was most excited about the shadows. While Notoriously Morbid gets a lot of love, I rarely see people talk a lot about their insane duochromes: honestly, some of them rival Femme Fatale. This collection is literally nothing *but* duochromes so I was excited as hell.

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Uhnf, color shift you can see in the jar. Come to momma. The shades are:

Book of Honorius, the oldest medieval grimoire, full of necromantic knowledge: olive green with a strong red shift

Clavicule of Solomon, aka the Key of Solomon (though it was decidedly not written by King Solomon), a book of pentacles and summoning circle: blush pink with a violet, red & gold shimmer

Necronomicon, the infamous tome of madness that appears in Lovecraft’s stories: a deep black packed with gold sparkles & a strong purple shift

Magus, a word for priest or sorceress, also a work of mind-bending fiction by John Fowles: sky blue with a soft pink & red shift

Dragon Rouge, a modern esoteric magical order: bright coral with a pink-to-gold shift

Book of Shadows, a name for any Wiccan book of spells: grey shot through with pale purple with a otherworldly green shift

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Book of Shadows is probably the strangest and most undefinable shade in the line. It’s sometimes-grey-sometimes-purple-sometimes-pink with a strong hit of green throughout.

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The CoTM was Creepy Green Light, which is a vivid chartreuse with green shimmer. It’s basically the color of, you guessed it, creepy green light in horror & scifi movies.

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The mini blush is Grand Oracle, a gorgeous plummy mauve with a matte finish.

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From bottom to top we’ve got Magus, Book of Shadows, Necronomicon, Dragon Rouge, Clavicule of Solomon, Book of Honorius, and Creepy Green Light. Oh, and the top one? That’s Nothing is Trivial, the Black Friday preview. Does this mean… The Crow theme?! It’s a really shocking color, a creamy blue base with a shift from pale sliver to warm gold.

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As you can see, the shift on all of them is ridiculously prominent. Magus is probably the most “subtle” because the shift to red is quite soft from most angles, but it’s definitely there. And as you can see, Book of Shadows looks different from pretty much every angle!

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An out of focus glitter shot so you can really see the color changes. Necronomicon is so sparkle-packed, it’s stunning in person.

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Grand Oracle is a gorgeous and unique blush. Not quite mauve, not quite pink, with hints of purple. It is a big stainer, though (the heavy swatch lingered on my arm for 2 days!) and is SUPER saturated so use a verry light hand when applying it.

Sadly this set is out of stock now, but it was an insane value with gorgeous shades. Plus, it has me super excited for Black Friday…

Review: Glamour Doll Eyes, Part II

26 Jul

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[Part I]

Hello guys & gals! After a rather long absence (for me at least) I have returned! Life has been a bit hectic lately, especially on my main blog–I would love for L&L to be the center of my life, but two big events overlapping has drawn most of my attention to Plastikitty. This site is still very much a side project, though with every post I’m hoping to bring it higher up the ladder of importance.

But, you know, you’re probably here for pictures of makeup so let’s get started!

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As I was picking out these 6 colors I was sure there was a ton of variety. Turns out it’s all shades of blue-green and pink. I’m very predictable. But… look how pretty they are! And they go together so well!

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I got a shadow from Glamour Doll’s new Paper Runway collection, and look at the label. It’s so damn cute. Tiny clothing! Ahh!

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It’s time to get up close and personal with some of these babies. This is Celestial Crow, aka my new one true love. I have kind of a crow “thing:” I’ve always adored them, and in junior high one flew right in to me and hit me in the face. It was awesome. And just look at this shadow. I was expecting a black base with blue & green shimmer, but instead I got that beautiful, iridescent quality that actual crow wings have. Ahh, it’s just dreamy.

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This is Lethal, which I assumed was named so because it is lethally pink and pretty. It’s like pink overdose. SPARKLES. But it’s purple when you swatch it… magic. Okay enough of this, it’s swatch time.

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Let’s just take a moment of silence to appreciate the fact that I put in some real effort into swatching. I know I said I liked the natural, no-tape look but I realized that *jut maybe* I was being lazy and I should try it out. And, yeah, it looks better. The tape has won me over. Also, all swatches are done over GDE’s new Control Freak base, which is a thick primer–one of those ones that basically doubles as a glitter glue. I’m in love with it. From bottom to top we have:

Katie’s Storm: This is a hard color to describe, and harder to capture on camera. It’s a silvery-taupe with hints of muddled green and grey.

Buyer’s Remorse: Bright seafoam with a strong aqua/purple shift

Celestial Crow: Deep deep blue with green iridescence

Picture Whore: A satiny rose

Paramour: A reddish-pink with a gold/green shift–similar in feel to Femme Fatale’s Candied Apple

Lethal: Metallic Barney purple

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Let’s check out some of these shifts, shall we? Paramour is seriously Candied Apple’s older cousin. And just look at Celestial Crow. LOOK AT IT.

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The blues together! Umm, blues/greens/taupes, I guess. I swear, Katie’s Storm has some green tones in person! You can see the shift on Buyer’s Remorse nicely here–it’s quite subtle but gorgeous. This makes a great one-color look, it’s so multidimensional.

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Pinky purples! I was really shocked when I swatched all of these, they look so different in the jar. Especially Lethal, which I was expecting to be a pink overdose. I’m not gonna get started on Paramour again because I have such a crush on this shadow. GOODNESS JUST TAKE A LOOK. SO PRETTY.

I have yet to be disappointed with a product from Glamour Doll Eyes and I own… a lot. 15 shadows and over half their blushes (which, yes, I will be swatching soon!) but I think my two favorites from them are in this batch. Celestial Crow and Paramour have stolen my heart.

{Thanks to Glamour Doll Eyes for providing these review samples! All opinions within are strictly my own}

Review: Chinovi Cosmetics’ Blushes

15 Jun

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I think at this point it is safe to say I have a *blush problem*. (And also, possibly, a “making sure the jar pictures are in focus” problem, siiiiigh). If there is blush in an indie store, I am going to buy it. So when Chinovi had a big sale, I snatched up a full size of their purple blush and samples of the other two colors.

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The samples in jars are about the size of a mini shadow from other stores, very generous! The fourth blush was a bonus sample of a not-yet-available color, so I might have screamed just a little when I saw that. It was in a baggie, but I depotted it because I have an organizing problem. Things need to be neat. Especially makeup things.

Jocelyn is a cool, shimmery lilac that blends down to a soft and super-wearable almost-pink

Gidget is a mauvey-rose with light shimmer

Bianca is a warm, brown-based rose with a soft, satiny finish

Vanessa is a terracotta color that reminds me of a bronzer: unlike the other shades, it is nearly matte

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Swatches of all 4 together, heavy first and then blended out. The heavy swatches are applied wet to bare skin, the blended are applied dry to bare skin. From bottom to top: Jocelyn, Gidget, Bianca, Vanessa.

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Because purple & pink blushes are my comfort zone, Jocelyn and Gidget are my two favorites. Look at how wearable Jocelyn is! If you are scared of purple blush but want to dip your toes into this trend, I think this is a fantastic way to do so. It’s very much a “radiant orchid” color and has a really lovely soft sparkle. Gidget is also so pretty, much softer and more girlie than what I was expecting.

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Bianca and Vanessa, on the other hand, are from the dark, super-warm end of the blush range. It’s an area we don’t see a whole lot of from indie companies, so I was really surprised at how pigmented these are. Just look at Vanessa! Bianca is more “wearable” for an everyday brown blush, but Vanessa is a showstopper. The matte formula blends like butter, and I think it would work well as a bronzer for paler girls if you go with a light hand. I’ve tried it out as a blush paired with a bold contour and it is definitely a beauty–but not for the faint of heart!

Review: Candii Blossom’s Mean Girls Collection

13 Jun

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If there is one movie that is dying for a makeup collection, it’s Mean Girls. It might just be the defining movie of my teenage years (head to head with Superbad we all know who the true champion is), and I can think of dozens of colors off the top of my head. Glen Coco: a frosty white with a bright red shift. Too Gay To Function: a deep royal purple, the color of Damian’s prom suit. She Doesn’t Even Go Here: a white highlighter with a surprising rainbow shift. Ahhh, now I’m all nostalgic.

Thankfully, one brand is here to fill the Mean Girls shaped hole in my heart: Candii Blossom Cosmetics, with their “On Wednesdays We Wear Pink” quartet of shadows.

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I’m sure no one is surprised that these are all variations of pink! Or, you know, in the pink family–some have shifts toward red or purple.

Life Ruiner is a hot hot pink loaded with sparkles

The Rules of Feminism is a soft salmon pink

Cool Mom looks similar to The Rules of Feminism in the jar, but it’s a champagne frosty rose when applied

Get in Loser, my favorite of the bunch, is a pearlescent lilac with a blue duochrome. In some angles, it’s full-on bright pink!

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Swatches are wet over bare skin, as always. From bottom to top it’s Life Ruiner, The Rules of Feminism, Cool Mom, and Get In Loser.

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The sun was really fighting against me today, so while I tried to capture these babies in action it’s hard to tell how pretty they are. You can at least see the dramatic shift in Get In Loser! While these colors all look pretty similar in the jar, they give a wide variety of shades when you swatch them. This is definitely a full-look collection! You’ve got a highlight (Cool Mom), soft lid shades (Rules of Feminism and Get In Loser), and a bright accent pop (Life Ruiner). Plus, you know, Get In Loser is the bet thing ever.

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Since my previous Candii Blossom order also featured heavily on pinks & purples (and I got full sizes of Candy Corn & Miami Rose in this order, yay!), I decided to try samples of some of their neutral shades. From bottom to top: Lotus, Cafe Au Lait, Macchiato. Of course these swatches look totally perfect. Thanks, camera!

I really wasn’t expecting so much pigmentation for these, they’re gorgeous! I want to order more right now. Especially of Lotus: it’s an AMAZING highlight shade. And not just for your eyes: it’s got a very, very soft shimmer which makes it a perfect face highlighter. My love for Candii Blossom is only growing stronger.

Review: Aromaleigh’s Ancient Magick Eyeshadow Collection

31 May

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I am a huge mythology buff. It was a passion of mine as a kid, and I have shelves upon shelves of books dedicated to the subject. My favorite pantheon? The Egyptian Gods, which is why I may have screamed a little when I saw that Aromaleigh was running a 50% off sale on their Egyptian God themed collection. I snapped up the full sample set (for only $10!) and a jar (based on my favorite god, not the color–I know, I know), and I’ve been waiting for a sunny day to swatch them. Seriously, the weather in NYC has been such shit. Just horrible.

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Since there are 20 shades in this collection, I’ll be dividing them into sets of ten, starting with warm & neutral tones. And unlike usual shade descriptions, I’ll include what they are the god/goddess of! And as an added bonus, their non-Greek names (since, y’know, that’s not what most people know them by). Also I won’t be mentioning finish because these all have a STRONG satin finish, verging on glitterbomb.

Seth (also known as Set-God of the desert, storms, disorder, darkness and violence): a bright ruddy red with silver sparkles

Thoth (arbiter of disputes, associated with writing, magic and science): a soft tan-gold

Re (also known as Ra, god of the Sun): a brilliant, metallic gold

Aten (also known as Atum, the creator-god): a metallic taupe-y champagne

Apophis (also known as Apep, serpent-god of darkness): a bronze-khaki that can’t make up its mind about what color it really is

Bast (also known as Bastet, cat goddess of the moon or the sun, depending on the time period): a deep olive-tinted gold

Ma’at (goddess of truth, balance, and justice): a deep brown with rosy hues

Selkis (also known as Serket, a healing goddess): a metallic copper

Horus (god of sun, war, protection, among various other things): another metallic copper, deeper than Selkis

Anubis (god of mummification and protector of the deceased): a deep gray, almost black, with rainbow sparkles

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From top to bottom: Anubis, Horus, Selkis, Ma’at, Bast, Apophis, Aten, Re, Toth, and Seth. Swatches are applied with a wet brush to bare skin, no primer or glitter glue.

I feel like this would make SUCH a fantastic neutral palette (minus Seth, of course). They are very complex and so shimmery. A lot of them have very taupe-y feels, which is certainly on trend now and fits the line’s desert theme. But of course Egypt isn’t all sand, so let’s move on to the more cool, colorful shades.

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Khepir (also known as Khepri, a god of creation and rebirth): a bright, vibrant palm tree green

Hequet (also known as Heqet, frog goddess of fertility): a rich mossy green

Tefnut (goddess of rain): a brilliant aqua

Nut (goddess of the sky): a soft sky blue

Isis (goddess of motherhood and nature): a beautiful deep lavender

Hathor (goddess of love, beauty, joy, and a million other things): a gorgeous frosty mauve

Shu (god of wind & air): a pale, almost silvery taupe

Osiris (god of the afterlife): a deep blackened blue

Khonsu (god of the moon & youth): a very pale tan

Tawaret (ancient goddess of birth and fertility): a stunning deep rose gold

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From top to bottom: Tawaret, Khonsu, Osiris, Shu, Hathor, Isis, Nut, Tefnut, Hequet, Khepri.

This time I took pictures with and without direct sunlight so you can see how much they come alive in the light

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Wow, shimmer! I love the lovely, vibrant contrast between this “half” of the deities and the first half. There’s nothing neutral about these: even Tawaret, a more muted shade, is packed full of gorgeousness. And the more vibrant colors like Khepir and Tefnut are just STUNNING.

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I mentioned that I did get a full size, and it was of Bast. Because she’s my spirit animal. Seriously, I wish I was Bastet. Sigh. Thankfully, as you saw in the swatch, it’s a gorgeous color: golden olive with aqua shimmer. Check it out, ya dingus! I do want a few more full sizes from this collection, mainly Tawaret, Isis, Hathor, Ma’at, Toth, Anubis & Horus. Okay, so maybe more than “a few.”

While these are all high on shimmer they aren’t really glitterbombs, and go on quite smooth. But I adore Aromaleigh’s formula, so I expected as much! Seriously, everything about this collection was tailor-made for me. Tons of unusual neutrals? Check. Bright, cool-toned vibrants? Check. Insane mythological themes? HELL YEAH. I’m just so happy to have these, and the samples are pretty decently sized. Of course, I wish I bought two sets… sigh. I always need more makeup!

Review: Sleek’s i-Divine in Del Mar Vol. 1

29 May

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Sometimes I sit around and think about the drugstore makeup available in the UK and cry a little bit inside. Because let’s face it, they have it way better than the US in that regard. But we have Sephora, so I suppose it evens out. And Sleek, my favorite UK drugstore brand, ships to the US for insanely cheap. I mean under $2 cheap. Shipping & handling on this palette was a whopping $1.34, bringing the whole shebang to a shockingly reasonable $13.33.

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If I had one complaint about Sleek, it’d be the packaging on the limited edition palettes. They always have SUCH beautiful box design, but the actual palettes are just the usual black cases. Sigh. They’re the only makeup items of mine I keep in their original packaging, aside from Paul & Joe. Also, they use a black, rubber-ish material similar to NARS but it somehow manages to be even more prone to picking up fingerprints. I swear I rubbed most of them off before taking this picture, but yet some remain…

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Del Mar follows this season’s super-bright matte trend, but for a much more reasonable price than, say Urban Decay’s Electric Palette or some of the other mid to high end brands. It’s also got a lovely, fresh selection of shades–not exactly neons, but definitely not ordinary colors.

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My other Sleek pet peeve is that the names of the shadows are on a plastic insert. I think their makeup naming is pretty creative and I so wish they just stamped it on the back of the box. I really hate having to keep these stupid things, sigh.

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Mm, yeah. Look at those colors. We’ll start descriptions with the top row!

Lounge Lovers is a very shimmery silver with taupe undertones, it has the most glitter of any in the palette

Poolside is a deep, matte teal

Sunset Strip is a lovely matte clementine

Ambience is a basic matte eggplant

Chilled Out is a matte white, and one of the only shades in Del Mar with pigmentation issues

Blue Marlin is a stunning matte peacock blue

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Why is the mirror so dirty?! It’s all a dust magnet, I tell you.

Opening Party is a navy blue with just a hint of satin finish and a teeeny bit of pink shimmer

On The Rocks is a perky coral with a shimmer finish

Talamanca is a matte cocoa brown, and one of the only “normal” shades in Del Mar

Feel Euphoric is a pink-leaning coral with a bit of shimmer

Balearic Beat is a matte kiwi green that looks a bit sickly in the pan

Paradise is a gorgeous matte lilac

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Swatches, one swipe applied wet onto bare skin (as always, I should just make a little disclaimer about this).

As you can see, pigmentation is pretty intense on most of these. Chilled Out falls a little flat, but since it’s basically a highlight shade and I have enough white shadows in my collection to last me several lifetimes it gets a definite pass. I was also not that impressed with Talamanca, which looks much darker and richer in the pan. But, again, it’s really the common colors that fall short.

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The surprise favorite for me was Lounge Lovers. From online shots I expected a straight silver, but it’s really a lovely taupe! And, of course, Blue Marlin has a special place in my heart because of my intense love for peacock blue. But I think in general the bottom row has better pigmentation than the top: probably because of all the shimmers, which performed better than the mattes.

While this might not be a wearable palette for a lot of people, I’m a color addict: I love brights, I love playing around with color combinations and contrast. There are a lot of relatively unique shades in here, and the mattes definitely make it more refined and less “night club.” While it’s in the same family as UD’s Electric, I don’t think there is a single shade overlap. Which is great, because I plan on combining them into a color explosion on my face.

So if you are scared of Electric’s pricetag or the colors in Sleek’s Acid & other matte palettes, this might be one to try! It’s summery, it’s tropical, it’s bright and refreshing, it’s insanely cheap. Really, it’s hard to go wrong with any Sleek palette. Except for the damn dust-attracting packaging.

My Beauty Addiction’s Tropical Escape Collection

25 May

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Sometimes I feel like I should have a corner of shame to go sit in for all my impulse purchases. I make far too many of them, and of my recent ones this is by far the most egregious. I have yet to try anything from My Beauty Addiction, and I’m not sure why I thought a full set of insanely bright summer shades was the way to go for the first purchase. It was the sale fever! The shadows worked out to $2.37 each!

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The thing is, I don’t usually wear bright colors in warm tones like orange, red, or yellow. Which is… basically this whole collection. OOPS.

Hawaiian Tropics is a cool chocolatey tan

Beach Bum is a coppery brown–very similar to Hawaiian Tropics, only a bit warmer

Papaya Punch is a warm, pale orange that is less bright than other shades in the set

Island Sunshine is big bird yellow

Lava Flow is a dramatic, brilliant red with pinkish undertones

Aloha Rose is a vibrant mangenta

Kiwi Kiss is an odd, kind of flat green reminiscent of carrot tops

Bahama Mama is a bright, happy aqua

Notice that I didn’t note the finish on any of them? That is because they are all insane glitterbombs.  Every. Single. One.

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See that glitter? Yeaaah. Swatches are, per usual, done with a wet brush over bare skin, one swipe each.

From bottom to top we’ve got Hawaiian Tropics, Beach Bum, Papaya Punch, Island Sunshine, Lava Flow, Aloha Rose, Kiwi Kiss, Bahama Mama. And the lovely molten gold on top? Sadly not part of the collection, but my free sample: Aged Gold. It’s gorgeous, and I am very sad that the Tropical Escape falls so short of its quality.

I suppose these shadows are nice enough for what they are: cheap, bright summer shades. But I am so used to complex, muti-faceted and super-pigmented shades from indie companies. Here, that’s just not what you get. Everything comes off fairly sheer and many pale in comparison to their in-jar colors (Lava Flow in particular, what happened to that bright red?).

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However, I am OBSESSED with Old Gold. Look at it! It looks like liquid gold! Which, of course, means that I have to go place an order for it… and the rest of the Molten Metals collection.

Review: Siren Cosmetics, Part 2

23 May

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I think my eternal love for Siren Cosmetics was solidified in my first review of them, which consisted of more samples than a single human being should ever be allowed to purchase. Shortly after I purchased all of the remaining samples of Teenage Kicks (because I love it like a child and need it in my life for the rest of time). Imagine my surprise when I got the package in the mail and found all of these goodies! Teenage Kicks, which I now own in glorious full size, is not pictured because I keep it on my person at all times whispering “my precious” and stroking it. Just kidding! Haha, I’d never do something like that. Probably.

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Siren’s full size shadows come in lovely sifter jars with a rotating insert, so it doesn’t all fall out of there at once. It’s similar to Little Sparrow’s blush jars, and makes traveling with them much easier. Also, these babies are stuffed to the brim. Probably the most generous fill level I’ve seen on an indie full size shadow, because these are BIG jars! The colors I got were:

Gold Digger, a glittery warm gold

Heart of Glass, a soft pink with gold glitter and a very slight lavender shift that comes out in direct sunlight (I could not capture it on camera, damn you endless rainy days of NY!)

Cherry Bomb, an insanely pigmented bright red

Static, a crisp white with hints of gold and pink

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From bottom to top: Gold Digger, Heart of Glass, Cherry Bomb, Static. Swatches are done with a wet brush onto dry skin, one swipe each. I had a bit of trouble with Siren’s matte shades the last time, so I was SHOCKED at how well Cherry Bomb swatched. I mean, look at it. It’s almost radioactive.

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Cherry Bomb is lip (and cheek!) safe, so the first thing I thought was “I have to make this into a gloss.” I mixed some up real quick (I mean, 5 seconds quick) with my lip balm base from TKB, and LOOK AT THIS BEAUTY. UUUUHNF. This is with only a tiny hint of the pigment, so you can bet I’m going to be whipping up a jar of this asap.

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Next are the glitters! This is actually my first experience with cosmetic glitter (gasp, I know!). The jars for these are HUGE, twice as tall as the shadow ones. The colors I got were:

Sugar Kisses, a deep, almost plumy mauve-pink with warm brown tones

Love Triangle, a bright turquoise

Miss America, a snowy white with a strong blue-violet interference

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Application took a bit of work, but I figured it out! They’re done over my home-brew glitter glue, which picked up the glitter perhaps a bit too well. That’s just one layer of patting it on, and it came out pretty heavily glittery. You’ll notice that from this angle, Miss America looks very pale and the shift is only slightly noticeable. But this shade is literally magic.

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SUDDENLY, glowing! This is not from post work. That’s literally what the glitter looks like in person. Luminous. I mean, the other two are really pretty but I feel like Miss America is outshining them. And every other color I own. It’s literally the white companion to Teenage Kicks: in-your-face, insane sparkle. And it might have started a total obsession with cosmetic glitter.

[Thanks to Siren Cosmetics for providing Lipstick & Libraries with these review samples! <3]

Impulse Cosmetics’ Once Upon A Time Collection

21 May

For my birthday back in April, I got a rather large gift certificate to etsy. My general rule for gift cards is “splurge on things you wouldn’t get with your own money” and a full collection from a company I don’t usually buy from usually definitely falls under that. I only own two shadows from Impulse and I really like them so, past ethical issues* from the company aside, I decided to jump on their Once Upon A Time themed collection. Mostly because it’s insanely, over-the-top girlie.

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I rarely have trouble ordering from indies but this purchase was a pain in the ass. I ordered during a 15% off sale (or 20%, I honestly don’t remember) but the code didn’t go through–something I didn’t notice until after I placed my order. So I contacted the owner, asking if it could be applied retroactively. Note that this is something I’ve dealt with before and other owners have had no issue with it. But this time, I got a big fat no. So I asked if my order could be cancelled instead, so I could re-order with the coupon. Then I waited, for a very long time. On the last day of the sale, I finally got an order cancellation. But gift card balances can take 48 hours to go back to your account. UGH.

Thankfully it got put back in my account on time, but one of the full-sized shadows I ordered was not in stock AND the clamshell samples were out of stock (only baggies). Well, beggars can’t be choosers, and after the drama I still really wanted all the pinks and purples here.

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Glass Mountain is a sheer, soft and glittery pink-purple

Wish Upon A Star is a super-pale baby blue loaded with gold sparkles

Drawbridge Dreams is a deep purple with a golden aqua shift

Damsel is an almost matte hot pink with gold interference. It’s my favorite from the whole collection!

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The Huntsman is a milk chocolate brown with a very unique gold-green shift

Gallant Prince is a sky blue that swatches almost matte. I originally ordered this in full-size but it was out of stock the second time around and was switched for Wish Upon A Star

Rags to Riches is a rich, pigmented pale gold with hints of a lilac shift

Sugarplum is a paler, cooler version of Drawbridge Dreams with a more metallic finish

Magic Beanstalk is a hunter green with blue glitter. Color-wise it feels out of place but thematically it works

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From bottom to top: Wish Upon A Star, Gallant Prince, Glass Mountain, Sugarplum, Drawbridge Dreams, Damsel, Rags to Riches, The Huntsman, Beanstalk. Swatches are done with a wet brush on bare skin, one swipe each.

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I took a deliberately out of focus shot to capture the shift in Huntsman: it’s SO gorgeous! I’m really torn about this collection because the shadows are absolutely beautiful. Some of them are very unique (Wish Upon A Star, Damsel, Huntsmen and Beanstalk in particular) but even the more “common” mixes like Drawbridge Dreams and Rags to Riches swatch like a dream and are crazy-pigmented. There’s also the downside of not knowing if this is really the full collection: the whole thing is never in stock at the same time, but I’ve never seen more than these 9 so I’m just assuming this is it… though 10 would make more sense. Plus, the customer service is lacking.

But were these worth it, with all the bumps in the road? Hell yes. Not only are they gorgeous, but I feel like it’s a really cohesive collection. All of the shadows work together very well, with Beanstalk being the lone outlier (though it looks fantastic with Huntsman and Rags to Riches).

[*Past ethical issues from Impulse involve briefly stealing photos from other companies, though they did take them down once called out (still super shady). I can overlook this if it is a color I absolutely need, but be aware if this is something you care passionately about!]

Review: Black Widow Balm

6 May

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I am obsessed with all things space related, so of course when I saw space themed lipgloss, I ordered it right away. Even though I kind of hate lipgloss, unless it’s from Buxom or NARS. But look at how pretty the packaging is! So fancy.

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I only ordered one thing (and during a sale), but my order came with this cute little booklet of DIY recipes for scrubs & masks, plus STICKERS! Ah, I love stickers. Also, I ordered on my birthday–do they always come with Happy Birthday stickers? Are they psychic? The world will never know.

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Hmm, I only remember ordering one thing?! What is that other tube! It’s how Black Widow Balm packages their samples! Yep, there is only a sliver in there, but it is SO much neater than the baggies with slices you usually get for lipstick samples.

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The sample I got was Voodoo, a very deep berry balm.

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The star of the show! Star Dust is a sheer black gloss with craaaaazy rainbow sparkles. In the tube it is SO PRETTY. I could just look at it forever.

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However…. the swatch does not live up to the tube. And it’s not that the sparkles are settled. It’s just insanely streaky, super sticky, and sinks into EVERY crack of your lips when actually applied. I am going to have to work HARD to make this work, but I am determined.

Funnily enough, the free sample is 10x better than the actual item I purchased. Voodoo is a lovely sheer wash of color that is easily built up (this is one swipe), and is a dreamily smooth formula. So while I really regret getting Star Dust, I am going back for more balms for sure. The packaging, overall presentation and freebies will lure me back even though Star Dust has broken my heart.