Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Zoeva Brushes : Review

Ok, this isn't indie makeup, but let's take a quick break for today and talk about some brushes. I did not find out about Zoeva brushes on my own, my friend over at Pigmented Lips actually told me about them many months ago. So what stopped me from ordering before now? Are they insanely expensive? No. Do they look like bad quality? No. So what was it?! It's the fact that this company is based in Germany and shipping is $18. I didn't want to get a huge order since I wasn't familiar with the quality of the brushes, so a few Reddit friends and I decided to do a large order all together to help minimize shipping costs. After sitting in customs (thanks DHL!) for what seemed like an interminable amount of time, they finally arrived to our "mule" who then turned around and shipped them to us. I got five brushes total; a buffer, a luxe highlight, an eye blender, a luxe crease blender, and a brow line brush.

First and foremost, every brush comes in its own little zip slide bag which is made of plastic. The backside has the name and number of the brush in case you want to continue to store your brushes in their little homes.

#104 Buffer: This brush is pretty much like a million other brushes out on the market, but believe it or not, I did not own one that was this exact shape. I have a buffer from Coastal Scents that is a bit longer and some from Sonia Kashuk that are much shorter, but none this is exact size and height. I'd be lying to you if I didn't say that I bought this because it looked really similar to the Sigma F80. I absolutely adore this brush and it was the first one the I busted out to use. I've used it with liquid and with mineral foundation and it works amazingly for both types of foundation. The bristles are dense, but not so dense that it makes the brush impossible to clean (I'm looking at you Real Techniques Expert Face Brush). It distributes foundation evenly on the face and the length of the bristles are perfect for a nice, even finish. I can see myself ordering another one of these as a backup when I'm too lazy to wash my brushes. This brush is synthetic.

#105 Luxe Highlight Brush: Another brush that I bought because it looked similar to something else! If you saw my LA Haul post, then you would have seen a Hakuhodo brush that I bought that looks extremely similar to this; the B5521. So... seeing as how the Zoeva brush was only $13 and the Hakuhodo was $34, I thought that I would try this one out. The Zoeva is almost the exact same size as the Hakuhodo, which I was pleasantly surprised with since it's honestly the best size highlighting brush for my face. The #105 is a great brush, but it isn't as good as my Hakuhodo. The reason that it is similar but not as good is due to one major thing; the type of hair used to create the brush. Zoeva says that their brush is a blend of natural and synthetic hair, but doesn't specify the type of hair. If I had to guess what it is, I would say that it's most likely goat. The brush just feels a bit too dense to me and that's the only thing that bothers me. Since it's meant to be a highlighting brush, I feel like it needs to be a bit lighter and fluffier to distribute a more diffused higlight. That's my preference however and you readers might prefer a more dense brush! Regardless of that incredibly long side mention, the brush is still awesome and if you don't have $34 to drop on a single brush, this would make a good, affordable replacement.

#225 Eye Blender: This was a brush that I was really on the fence about getting, but that I'm ultimately really happy to I decided to pick up. I have some sort of weird aversion to anything that is even remotely shaped like a pencil brush because I have a MAC pencil brush that is horrible and scratchy and scarred me forever. Also, the fact that this brush is brown and makes me think of pony hair just brings back bad memories of scratchy brushes. The bristles on this are actually squirrel, but it still surprised me by how soft it was. It's not soft in the sense that it feels like you're rubbing stuffed animals on your face, but it's definitely soft for being a tightly packed, dense brush. This guy holds his shape, but also allows for really great blending in the outer corner of the eye socket. I haven't used it under the eye yet, but I think that it will also work perfectly for create a smoked out effect! When I place another order, I will most likely get another one of these.

#227 Luxe Soft Definer: I have to laugh a little bit since I think that this is the fourth brush that I've shown you guys that looks like this. I'm pretty sure my first review on one of these brushes was a Sigma E25, then the Coastal Scents Pro Fluff brush, and then the Hakuhodo J5523. Well, guess what, here's another white, fluffy, all over, jack of all trades kind of brush. I'm just obsessed with these kinds of brushes and I love comparing them to one another. I don't own a MAC 217, mostly because I kind of refuse to buy any brushes from MAC (it's a weird thing, don't even ask), so I can't compare this to that. I can, however, compare this to the other brushes that I own and I can say that it definitely falls right below the Hakuhodo J5523. The Zoeva brush was a bit odd feeling when I first got it, but after a wash, it was luxuriously soft and wonderful. Both the Hakuhodo and the Zoeva are made of goat hair and honestly, I think that the only difference between the two is probably how they're made; the Hakuhodo being hand made and the Zoeva... presumably machine made. It blends and applies shadows like a dream, so this will definitely be purchased again (and again and again?).

#322 Brow Line Brush: I think my reasoning behind this brush is seriously flawed, but it happened to work out perfectly for me, so I'll tell you what it was. I bought Anastasia Dip Brow a while back, used it once, and then never used it again. I really hated how it applied with an angled liner brush and even though I knew there had to be a better way to apply it, I just didn't want to look for it. Well, along came this brush and I knew as soon as I saw it that I needed to have it. It may just look like an angled liner brush, but it's broader, shorter, and better packed than any liner brush I own. Honestly, I think that this brush is probably the best thing out there for Dip Brow since you can literally line the length of your eyebrow and drag the color down into the brow all in a simple flick of the wrist. I am in love with this brush. I want to marry it. It's so simple and easy that I don't understand why they're aren't a whole lot more that look like this. This brush is synthetic.

I don't know if I just lucked out with the brushes that I ordered, but I'm going to say that Zoeva is stepping up in the world of affordable makeup brushes. The quality of these brushes is great and they all retained their shape and softness even after washing. Everything works exactly as it should and even though that highlighting brush is a little dense, I'd definitely still recommend it to people. I've already started planning my next purchase from Zoeva and I think that you should be too.

Questions, comments? Let me know down below!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Limnit Lipsticks : Swatches & Mini Review

A quick break from eye shadows and blushes to bring you an indie lipstick company; Limnit Lipsticks. I found out about Limnit a few months ago when I was on an intense search for a gray lipstick and could only find one that I liked on the entire world of the internet. Somehow, I stumbled upon Trina's (the owner of Limnit) shop on Etsy and discovered a whole new world of colors. I ended up waiting to place an order and then Trina closed up shop for a bit, but when she reopened near the end of June, I immediately placed an order. I kid you not, I sat on Facebook waiting for her to make the announcement that the store was open again and then poured over the new colors that she had created and carefully thought out what I wanted. 

I ended up buying three small pots of color, but you can also get full sized tubes if that's what you prefer. I actually prefer applying lipstick with a brush, so the pots of color are great for me. Unfortunately, Trina does not have the full sized tubes in her shop right now (they'll be returning, don't worry), but she does have pots of all of the colors available for $4.60/each.

The info card that comes with your order + a small note :)

Trina includes a small postcard in the order that explains how to get the best results from your Limnit lipsticks and also includes information on how to mattify the shades, how to remove them, and also how to store them. I think that this little information card is a fantastic idea since some products really do require a bit more attention and it's better to know all of that upfront.

The three shades that I bought were League of my Own, Abracadabra, and Goodness Graycious.

I also received a free sample of Olly Olly Oxen Free in this little plastic baggie. Don't be mistaken, there is a massive amount of product in that baggie and it will last me a long, long time.

Indoor Bathroom Lighting

Indoor Bathroom Lighting

Outdoor, Natural Lighting

Abracadabra is a warm toned mid range purple. I have included both indoor lighting and outdoor lighting so that you can see how these lipsticks look under different lighting circumstances. The outdoor lighting is the most accurate for the shades, but I thought I would include both just so that you can see the difference that lighting makes.

The lipstick applied smoothly with my lip brush, but took a tiny bit of work to make sure that it wasn't patchy. In the realm of all lipsticks of the world, this was very easy to apply but in the realm of the lipsticks that I received from Limnit, this was the most difficult of the four. Once I got it on my lips and how I wanted, it was very pretty and I like the color quite a bit. I think it might be fun to pick up Bewitching Hour and mix these two shades together to create an awesome blue-violet!

Indoor Bathroom Lighting

Indoor Bathroom Lighting

Outdoor, Natural Lighting

Outdoor Natural Lighting

Goodness Graycious is a warm toned, darker gray color. This is what originally led me to Limnit, gray lipstick! Although this isn't the actual shade of gray that was looking for, when I saw this color, I knew that I needed to have it. There's something almost kind of taupe colored about this lipstick, but not so taupe that it ends up looking like something out of 90s George Michael music video. 

The application of Goodness Graycious was amazing. It is so pigmented and so smooth that it just glided on like a dream. Sometimes, incredibly smooth lipsticks can get streaky and weird, but not this one; just absolutely wonderful to put on.

Indoor Bathroom Lighting

Indoor Bathroom Lighting

Outdoor, Natural Lighting

Outdoor, Natural Lighting

League of my Own is a cool toned aqua green shade. So, I have a bit of a mild obsession with "odd" lip colors, so I pretty much had to purchase this shade. I try to steer away from light colored options of fun lipsticks, but since this one is so deep, I went with it. Ignore that patch near the center of my mouth, that was bad application on my part!

League of my Own is just like Goodness Graycious in that it applies wonderfully. However, if possible, I think that League of my Own is even more pigmented than Goodness Graycious. I had to put almost no effort into getting the rich opacity that is seen in the above pictures; totally awesome.

Indoor Bathroom Lighting

Indoor Bathroom Lighting

Outdoor, Natural Lighting

Outdoor, Natural Lighting

Olly Olly Oxen Free is a rich, deep berry toned burgundy shade (how do you like all of the adjectives?). Pardon my language, but holy fuck, this shade is incredibly and I can see myself wearing it a ton in the fall and winter. The shade is something that most companies often attempt, but fail at making. If I could marry a shade of lipstick, this would be it. It's amazing; insanely pigmented and just glides onto the lips with zero patchiness or streakiness.

Only one word of warning with Olly Olly Oxen Free; this will stain your lips like whoa. I only had this shade on for about an hour and it left a stain on my lips for the entire next day. I'm sure if I had scrubbed and worked at it a bit, I could have gotten the stain off, but the color that it stained my lips was so pretty that I just put lip balm over the top and called it a day.

So... did I convince you to buy some lipstick? Honestly, diving into the world of indie cosmetics has been a bit overwhelming because it was something that I knew very little about, but it has been beyond rewarding. I have not had a single bad experience (yet? knock on wood?) and all of the owners of these companies have been amazingly kind and awesome. Trina at Limnit makes some of the most amazingly pigmented and smooth lipsticks that I've ever worn on my mouth and she carries "normal" colors as well as some more off the wall shades. I highly recommend that you pick them up!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Fyrinnae : Eye Shadow Swatches & Review

I've realized that at the pace that I'm moving, my indie obsession "month" is going to turn into more of an indie obsession two months. I looked at what I still have yet to receive in the mail and what I still need to swatch at my house and it's... a lot. Regardless, today I'm going to be talking about Fyrinnae! Back before I had ever even heard of Reddit or the indie makeup community, I had heard about two indie companies; Shiro (which I have coming up, it's just going to take a long time to do swatches) and Fyrinnae.

To be honest, Fyrinnae's website put me off and I held back from ordering for a very long time; I guess I'm just a really visual person and I couldn't get past the web design for a while. However, I eventually got over it and after seeing so many beautiful shadows, I had to place an order. You guys, you guys; don't be like me, don't let the website deter you from ordering. These shadows are seriously amazing quality and applying beautifully. 

The pictures above are from my first order, however the swatches include a few more shadows since I placed a second order not too long after the first. I also ordered some lip lustres and their Pixie Epoxy, but those items are going to receive their own posts, so I'm only focusing on the shadows (and two blushes) at this point.

I do have a few individual comments for certain shadows, but I can honestly kind of do a lump review because the quality of every shadow is so similar that they all fall under this umbrella. Typically speaking, loose powder shadows are very powdery; I think that idea kind of goes without saying, but Fyrinnae's shadows aren't like that. They did a reformulation of their shadows in early 2013, so I can't compare the old and new formulas, but the new are much more of a semi-loose shadow. Fyrinnae writes on their website that there might be some clumps in the shadow due to this and that's definitely true, but you can just the blunt end of your brushes to break them up and then they become perfectly useable.

Every single one of their shadows that I own is buttery and smooth and insanely pigmented; more pigmented than any other indie shadow and maybe all of the other shadows that I own.  I kid you not. I can literally dip my little finger in the powder and swipe it down my arm and get full pigmentation. While it's an undeniable fact that all the shimmery shadows look better on top of their Pixie Epoxy, I can get full pigmentation with just plain old primer underneath. I don't really know what I was expecting when I purchased these, but whatever it was it was completely blown out of the water.

Before I get to swatches, I just want to tell you that no matter how nice the shadows might look in photos, they look 1000x better in real life. The beauty and complexity in these shadows is so incredibly hard to photograph, but I tried my best. And my last words before showing you the swatches are these: if you love eyeshadow and you love complex, amazing colors, then buy some Fyrinnae shadows!

Ok, now to the swatches.

I'm really sad about these photos for one huge reason: Mephisto. I could not get Mephisto to photograph true to itself! Remember Blue Flame from the Darling Girl post? Mephisto is basically the evil twin of Blue Flame... Mephisto having a navy base with a red overlay/shift. Essentially, what I'm trying to tell you is that I'm a horrible person and I couldn't get Mephisto to show its majestic-ness in these photos. Sorry. It's awesome though, believe me.

Out of focus for those sparklezzz

I got a little overzealous with Bawdy Librarian... so there was some fallout

This was my favorite set of shadows to swatch! Sake & Sashimi actually has green sparks in it which makes it unexpectedly awesome, in my opinion. Do you see that reddish shift in Serendipity? Seriously, to die for; I would sell my first born for that. My absolute favorite shadow from this set is Velveteen Werewolf, which is actually part of their Arcane Magic collection (it has its own section on the website, make sure to visit it). I can't even put into words why I like Velveteen Werewolf so much other than it's fucking gorgeous, so there. 

Greek Goddess and Royalty are both blushes; yup, that lovely purple shade is blush. I got a purple blush last year with the Creme de Couture collection from Sigma and I kind of fell in love with it. I've been wanting something that is more purple and less Lavender, so I decided to pick up Royalty. The swatches that I did are several swipes of the product, so unless I pile it on my face, it won't be that dark when I wear it. Greek Goddess has a bit of shimmer, but Royalty does not, so any shimmer showing up is just fallout from something else.

Out of focus for SPARKLES!!!

And then there is this gorgeous bad boy. I'm an idiot and tried to swatch this over Pixie Epoxy, which was incredibly stupid. Pixie Epoxy is specifically made for shimmer and glitter shadows, not matte shadows (which is what Inappropriate Popsicles is). I couldn't get a good swatch of this shadow, but I'll try to incorporate it into an eye look so that you can see what it looks like!

And that's that! Like I said above, I'm going to do a separate post for the Lip Lustres and Pixie Epoxy, but if you're curious, I've posted some swatches on my instagram (link on the right side of this page!). Questions or comments? Let me know down below!