Cosmetics, Reviews

Metamorphosis 128.0 – Artistic Inspirations, a review of Innocent+Twisted Alchemy

There are so many indie companies floating around out there, it’s hard to try every single one. But every once in a while, a company comes along with a truly original concept and you simply need to try them. This was the case with Innocent + Twisted Alchemy. It wasn’t the branding that caught my eye, not even the pretty-looking colour blends, nor the fact that they seem to have great reviews. What caught my eye were the hand-drawn illustrations done by the owner. A little Ai Yazawa, a little Mistukaz Mihara, completely original, the owner even creates shadow collections based on her pieces. I had never seen anyone do anything quite like it.

But knowing that holiday collections were close at hand, I held off buying until Black Friday. I had just enough spare change scraped together for four samples. Innocent + Twisted uses clamshells for samples and absolutely stuffs them full of products. While I think $2 is steep for a 1/8th teaspoon baggie, it is perfectly reasonable for the samples you get here.

Shooting Stars is part of the limited holiday collection and described on site as a “navy blue with an explosion of golden sparkles.” The base is a very blackened blue, with bright gold generously scattered throughout. Sometimes, I think the gold almost gives the blue a green tint, like dark, murky ocean waters.

Guilty Grinch is another holiday limited, described as a “dark teal [with] multi-colored sparkles.” What stands out most to me are the bits of red and green and violet through the formula, like glittering confetti over the velvety blue-green base. This is definitely my favourite of the shades I ordered.

Hidden Present is an “army green with an explosion of pink sparkles.” The pink in the sparkle is light, like a dusty rose rather than a magenta, which I think can almost look gold or silver depending on the light. Green shadow enthusiasts should most definitely get their hands on this one before it’s gone–the green itself is pretty a pretty enough olive shade, but the added interest of the pink makes it really unique.

Twisted is the only colour from the permanent line I ordered. Described on site as “violet with green shimmer,” it’s a very deep, dark purple with a healthy dusting of turquoise-green sparkles. It’s incredibly pretty and has gotten a lot of wear, despite the fact that I really don’t wear purples often. This one gave me the hardest time photographing, since unlike the other shades, the turquoise here really is a shimmer and not sparkly enough to catch the interest of my (admittedly ancient) camera.

The photos below were taken slightly out of focus to try to capture the sparkles and shift. All were taken in natural light.

Shooting Stars

Guilty Grinch

Hidden Present

Twisted

All things considered, I would definitely order from Innocent + Twisted again and would gladly recommend them to people looking for pretty shades from a unique company. If you’re looking for ways to spend some Christmas cash, Innocent + Twisted also offers Lucky Packs–randomly chosen shades in full size, clamshell, and bagged samples. I’ll definitely be ordering one!

Love you to the Moon and Back,

Luna Valentine

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Aesthetics, Cosmetics, Reviews

Metamorphosis 124.0 – Sheer Heart Attack: Shiro Cosmetics’ Death Note Collection

When I was a kid, there were some things that were just terminally un-cool. Being labeled a “nerd” or a “geek” was the death of your social life, and anyone who willingly embraced the title was committing social suicide. I was in a whole different realm of social exclusion what with my piles of black eyeliner and floor-length lace skirts, but I dangerously bordered nerd territory: aside from my voracious reading, I also watched anime.

Now, it seems like people are going out of their way to be called “nerds,” and “geek chic” is an actual aesthetic. Niche companies are springing up left and right to appeal to people’s nerdy tendencies, whether they want a Companion Cube made of soap, comic book character-inspired perfumes, or eyeshadows named for they’re favourite anime.

Shiro Cosmetics is one of these companies. Offering several collections of themed eyeshadows and a line of lipsticks based on internet memes, they’re definitely a fan favourite. But when they released their latest collection of shadows inspired by the anime series Death Note, I was immediately drawn in by the deep, complex colours. I have to admit, I haven’t seen much of the series. By the time it reached popularity in America, I had sort of fallen out of the scene. But you don’t need to be a die-hard fan to appreciate these shades. Of the ten new shadows, I ordered five and received samples of two more.

Heart Attack (top) is described as a “deep maroon with blue duochrome.” It has a distinct pink-red tone with a satiny finish and a purple-blue shimmer. I kept my camera slightly out of focus so you can see how delicate the blue shimmer is. Task Force (bottom) is listed as a “shimmery deep burgundy,” and swatches velvety-smooth and intensely pigmented. The shimmery particles in this shade seem larger than those in Heart Attack, giving this a slightly more dramatic feel.

Shinigami is a “dark royal purple with silver sparks.” You can see the sparkle is intense, with several different sizes of silver micro-glitters sprinkled though this amazing plush purple. I have not experience much fallout from this shade, especially when worn with a tackier primer like Evil Shades spectrum pots or Darling Girl glitter glue.

More Coffee (top) is a “creamy shimmer in a rich coffee base,” producing a brown-taupe shimmer. Heaven Nor Hell, a “velvety, shimmer gunmetal gray,” has a slightly different texture than the other shades, and is indeed incredibly velvety. The base shade appears to be a very dark, charcoal gray overlaid with a thick blue-gray shimmer.

Other Kira is a “charcoal with bright golden sparks” and is one of the most beautiful and interesting blacks I’ve gotten my hands on. The base is an intense, deep black absolutely loaded with gold micro-glitters. Like Shinigami, this looks like it should be a glitter bomb but with the right primer I have not had any difficulties keeping it all in place.

I received Detective as a sample with my purchase, which is described as a “taupe with strong blue duochrome.” This is an incredible shade with a very noticeable blue shift over a medium brown-gray base. Taupe lovers will absolutely want to get their hands on this one.

Perfect World, a “pure (not yellow-leaning) and slightly metallic gold,” was also included as a sample in my order. This is light, shimmery gold and is not at all yellow or green. It’s also not really metallic as much as frosty, and I imagine it would make a nice highlight for brown or bronze eye looks.

The following shots were taken indoors, without flash to better show the sparkle in a lot of these shades that my camera simply cannot pick up in daylight.

Left to right: Heart Attack, Task Force, Shinigami, More Coffee

Left to right: More Coffee, Heaven Nor Hell, Other Kira, Detective

Top to bottom: Heart Attack, Task Force, Shinigami, More Coffee, Heaven Nor Hell, Second Kira, Detective, Perfect World

These are beautiful, deep shades with velvety-smooth formulas, perfect for smoky, blended looks regardless of whether or not you’re familiar with the series.

Love you to the Moon and Back,

Luna Valentine

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Reviews

Metamorphosis 122.0 – Astonishing Evolution: more from Linnaeus Cosmetics

Back in February, I reviewed a fairly new company with a great concept: makeup inspired by some of nature’s most unique and beautiful creatures. Since my initial purchase, the company has grown immensely with collections based on birds, mammals, reptiles, fish, even insects. Earlier in the year, I placed an order for some of these new colours but never got a chance to post them before the shop closed. But with Shopping’s High Holy Day upon us, Marin is selling off her remaining stock of shadow in order to make room for bigger and better things in the new year. It’s going to be an amazing sale on some truly amazing colours!

Despite the company’s growth, everything is still so incredibly personalized that it’s almost hard to take in all the little details. As usual, everything arrived in a hand-stamped muslin bag and tied with raffia.

If I recall, Linnaeus was moving away from the hand-stamped lids and towards the printed labels when I ordered. I personally think both are cute, but I think the labels really bring the branding together. All shadows were heat-sealed and sealed with paper sifter stickers. From the top right: Anomaly, Aberrant, Myth, Scuttle, Vex, Cyranose, Alacritous

Cyranose and Alacritous are two of four shadows from the Ruby Throated Hummingbird collection. Cyranose is a deep, forest-y green with sparkling green glitter, where Alacritous is a pink-toned red with sparkling red glitter. In the jars, these both look a little dusty but they truly come to life on the skin. Together, they perfectly capture the shimmering, scale-like feathers of the male hummingbird.

(photo source)

Above, Cyranose and Alacritous are swatched over Urban Decay Primer Potion (top), bare skin (middle), and MAC Painterly (bottom). Because of the amount of glitter in these shadows, it is absolutely imperative that you use a sticky base. Not only does the glitter stay put, but the colours are too stunning for words:

 

Above, Cyranose and Alacritous are swatched over Darling Girl’s Glitter Glue. You can see how it not only keeps the glitter in place, but also really pops the base colour. These two are absolutely breathtaking colours, and must-haves for lovers of glitter and colour alike.

(photo source)

The Rose Chafer is the first insect to have a Linnaeus collection, and despite being the bane of rose-gardeners, they are indeed worthy specimens. I’m a sucker for metallic beetle-back shades, so there was no way I was leaving the site without these greens in my cart.

Scuttle is a mossy gold-toned green, reminiscent of the highlights on the beetle’s back. Vex is a shimmering green-turquoise, almost blue depending on the light.

Scuttle and Vex are swatched above over Urban Decay Primer Potion (top), bare skin (middle), MAC Painterly (bottom). These are intensely pigmented regardless of what primer is used, and you can see the sparkle adheres to all primers just as well.

(photo source)

I have a thing for monotremes–who doesn’t? Whether they’re short-beaked or long-beaked, the echidna is an adorable mash-up of porcupine, ant-eater, and kiwi. When Marin asked me what animal I’d like to see a collection based on, I never dreamed she would take my echidna suggestion seriously. How wrong I was! Marin generously gifted me these echidna shadows, and I am thrilled to have them in my collection.

Aberrant is an almost metallic, soft beige, Myth is a shimmering chocolate brown, and Anomaly is a multi-toned taupe-grey shimmer. If you’ve read this blog for any length of time, you’ll know I really don’t do neutrals. But like the echidna, these neutrals are so full of surprises that they deserve their own order.

Aberrant, Myth, and Anomaly swatched above over Urban Decay Primer Potion (top), bare skin (middle), and MAC Painterly (bottom). Aberrant is a perfect my-lid-but-better shade for me. It’s a beautiful peach-toned beige that makes a fantastic base for other shadows as well as a subtle blender. Myth is a deep, warm brown with gold and white sparkles. This can be either as intense as the swatch above or blended out to a much softer shade. Anomaly is not quite brown, not quite grey, but sort of a cool-toned, dark taupe with metallic sparkles. When I use these three together, Anomaly is usually my crease shade since it can really pop the contour of the eye and blend out into a smokey taper. (No one said neutrals couldn’t be dramatic, right?)

I also received samples of Branchial, from the Axolotl collection, and Swoop, from the Ruby Throated Hummingbird collection. Branchial is a bright red-toned pink with silver sparkles, while Swoop is a velvety moss green.

Branchial and Swoop swatched over Urban Decay Primer Potion (top), bare skin (middle), and MAC Painterly (bottom). The sparkle in Branchial is far more intense on the skin as it is in the bag, so I tried it over Darling Girl’s Glitter Glue to see how it might look.

Not only does the silver sparkle look even better over the super-sticky base, but the base shade looks even brighter.

While Linnaeus Cosmetics is still currently closed, you can purchase stock shadows beginning the 25th. Make sure you grab some of these before they’re gone! I know Marin will be putting out great things next year, but can you really wait until then?

Stay tuned this week–I have a big monotreme-themed surprise for my readers!

Love you to the Moon and Back,

Luna Valentine

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Cosmetics, Reviews

Metamorphosis 108.0 – Moonlight Destiny, a review of Persephone Minerals

I am not ashamed to admit I loved Sailor Moon. Not just as a kid, either: up until fairly recently, I did a lot of Sailor Moon fan art, had some OCs, still actively watched old episodes… Not only is there a certain nostalgia in the series for me, I feel there are some great messages in the story for girls who read or watch it. Not to mention the twists on classic mythology, the alternate histories, the fantastic glimpses of the future. Admittedly, I liked the manga better than the anime for both story and art, but the anime had some fun story arcs too (case in point: Stars).

I’m pretty sure I found Persephone Minerals during an Etsy search for Sailor Moon. I loved the idea of a shadow collection based off the characters–they had such strong, distinct colour palettes it seemed all-too-appropriate. But for some reason, I didn’t order until very recently. During the Labor Day sale, I snagged a set of senshi samples including Princess Venus, Venus Crystal Power, Venus Love & Beauty Shock, Mars Crystal Power, Sailor Mars, Rainbow Moon Heartache, Starlight Honeymoon Therapy Kiss, Moon Prism Power, Pluto Planet Power, Sailor Pluto, and received samples of I Want to be a Mermaid and Kalifa.

I want to apologize for the swatches below: I had both arms slathered in shadows in an attempt to photograph several companies at once so I could catch up here on the blog. I was using my “wrong” hand and arm for a lot of these. That said, the colours are still accurate. All swatches are over Urban Decay Primer Potion, bare skin, and MAC paint pot in Painterly.

Princess Venus is a soft, buttery yellow with an orange-pink glow. It’s a great shade on its own, but I’ve been using it to blend some of my red/orange looks together. This is obviously inspired by the dress worn by Princess Venus in the manga.

image via fanpop

Venus Love & Beauty Shock is a bright yellow with orange, gold, and white glitter. It’s named for Sailor Venus’ signature attack and reminiscent of the yellow-gold effects used in the sequence.

image via princessserenity.net

Venus Crystal Power is a light orange-gold shade with a hint of pink shift. The Crystal Power shadows all seem to have the strongest duochromes. Mars Crystal Power is a bright red with strong orange-gold shift, inspired by the fiery transformation sequence of Sailor Mars.

image via soul-hunter

I swatched Sailor Mars and Rainbow Moon Heartache side by side to show some of the more subtle difference between them. At first glance, they both appear to be very bright reds. Sailor Mars, however, is notably deeper and contains red and violet glitter inspired by the Mars’ uniform colour-scheme. Rainbow Moon Heartache is described as a deep pink and filled with pink and holographic glitter particles. Rainbow Moon Heartache was Sailor Moon’s signature attack during the SuperS season.

While a bit more of the holo-glitter is visible in this shot of Rainbow Moon Heartache, below it is Starlight Honeymoon Therapy Kiss, a baby-pink with flecks of holographic glitter. I bought this mostly for the name (I always loved that attack), but it’s actually a very pretty colour. I hardly ever wear pinks, especially paler pinks, but the glitter in this makes it so eye-catching I can see myself getting a decent amount of wear from it.

This was Moon’s final signature attack in her Eternal form from the Stars season. My geek is showing, sorry guys… But Persephone Minerals interpreted this sequence so well. It’s like wearing a magical attack on your eyes.

The shimmering aqua-green-blue on top is not from the senshi collection. It’s incredibly appropriately named, though, as I Want to be a Mermaid is exactly why I would want to wear this on my eyes. It’s such a perfect iridescent fish-tail blue that I couldn’t think of a better name for it. Below is Moon Prism Power from the ChibiMoon collection. In the bag, this looks like a minty green but swatches more translucent pink. The actual description calls it a “duochrome of blue & pink with the palest possible touch of blue so that the pink dominates,” but the combination pulls rather green/peach on my skin. It is, however, a pretty accurate representation of the shades used in ChibiMoon’s transformation sequence.

image via fanpop

Sailor Pluto was my favourite, with powers over time and often death. She was the only character that retained her memories of the past as well as the future since she had full control over the time stream. Pluto Planet Power is named for her transformation sequence, a medium green with light pearl. Sailor Pluto is a gorgeous dark, murky green with notable red glitter–this is a perfect representation of her uniform and overall character colour-scheme.

image via wikipedia

You can see how distinct the red glitter is here–this is such a gorgeous shade I can hardly stand it.

Finally, we have Kalifa. This was a sample included in my order, but it’s absolutely stunning. It appears rather brown in the bag, but has an incredibly strong green duo chrome and violet-blue glitter. The entire effect is rather reminiscent of a peacock feather. I’m anxious to see how this applies on my eyes and will definitely be trying to find a use for it.

All in all, I really like the shades I’ve received from Persephone Minerals and definitely intend to order again in the future. Not only are the shades gorgeous, but the collections are inspired and fun. The shop is on vacation at the moment, but I heartily recommend ordering when they reopen. I know I will!

Love you to the Moon and Back,

Luna Valentine

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Cosmetics, Reviews

Metamorphosis 107.0 – A Hint of Decadence, more from Antoinette’s Revolution

There are so many amazing Indie brands out there that there’s almost no time to follow up with all of them. You may remember my initial review of Antoinette’s Revolution Cosmetics back in May when I fell in love with antiqued-gold Versailles. It was such a summer staple for me that I decided to see what the company had to offer now that we’re moving into fall. The company recently moved off of Artfire and onto its own website which is even more organized and easier to shop. I’d say it’s great, but considering that makes it easier to spend money, my wallet disagrees.

While Antoinette’s Revolution does offer samples, there was a special running on full-sized jars which I find easier to store and use. I picked up full sizes of Gardens, Masquerade, von Fersen, Guillotine, and received a sample of Chocolate Rose.

While the colours in the jars don’t often match the swatches on-site, I’ve learned not to trust the jars anyway. Especially with Antoinette’s Revolution, I’ve found the shadows rub down to a different shade most of the time–since the online swatches are on skin, they’re an accurate representation of how they apply.

The following swatches are over Urban Decay Primer Potion (top), bare skin (middle), and MAC Paint Pot in Painterly (bottom).

Masquerade is a beautiful pearlized fresh mint with a slight silver shimmer. According to the website, this will rub down to a “soft avocado” colour, but I haven’t experienced that yet. Gardens is described on-site as a rich green with “a hint of blue,” but I find it far more yellow-based. It’s a very true spring green, the colour of new leaves and young grasses, with a delicate green sparkle. It’s pretty dead-on for the eye swatch on the site.

I had no intention of keeping Guillotine for myself, but once I saw how beautiful it was I really couldn’t let it go. It’s a very bright primary red with flecks of red glitter. Obviously, the glitter will fall out if swiped or rubbed instead of being patted on, but that’s hardly an issue. Von Fersen is more beautiful in person than it is on site–it is exactly as described, a deep navy with glitter. This is an incredibly striking liner colour.

Chocolate Rose is not a colour I would have purchased myself–I just don’t wear browns. Maybe because my eyes are brown and I feel it washes me out, I don’t know. I might use a darkdarkdark brown as a liner or crease colour on a “neutral” day, but something this light just wouldn’t be comfortable on my eyes. …That said, this is a very unique shade. There’s a distinct pale pink shift to this milk-chocolate brown that I would have never expected from looking at the bag. It can be rubbed down to a straight brown or layered to strengthen the pink. If you wear browns, you probably need this shade. I know I’ll be passing this sample along to someone who can really appreciate its beauty.

Once again, I’m very pleased with my Antoinette’s Revolution order and definitely foresee another order. In fact, I may or may not have just placed one while writing this.

Love you to the Moon and Back,

Luna Valentine

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Cosmetics, Reviews

Metamorphosis 100.5 – Colours of Decay Pt. 2, more from Detrivore

Thanks to Detrivore’s currently-running 10-for-$20 sale, I have a few more swatches for you. The more I order, the more I realize that these shadows are like potato chips: you can’t have just one..or even a few. Despite the similarities between many colours in the Detrivore catalog, there are subtleties that make them completely different colours whether it stems from the finish, the colour shift, or shimmer. What might look similar in the jar turns out to be radically different in application. This go-round, my order was green-heavy, containing Tommyknocker, Abnormal, Institution, Ruin, as well as Cremains, Disturbance, and Psychopomp.

The following swatches are over Urban Decay Primer Potion (top), bare skin (middle), and MAC Painterly (bottom) in natural lighting, unless otherwise indicated.

Psychopomp, Cremains, Tommyknocker, Institution

Ruin, Abnormal, Disturbance

As you can see, these shadows apply best over a primer. I personally prefer these over the Urban Decay primer, but they perform well over MAC’s Paint Pots as well.

Cremains, Institution, Ruin, Abnormal, and Disturbance over SoBe Botanical’s Stick It! foiling medium. You can see how Cremains has an almost blue-silver cast to it, and how Abnormal has rich gold undertones. In fact, Abnormal has all ready joined the ranks of Plague as one of my all-time favourite shadows.

indoor lighting to show shimmer

indoor lighting to show shimmer

What I was most excited about receiving, however, were the blushes I ordered. Detrivore’s blush offerings are not even remotely what you might consider typical, including far more bright pinks and deep reds than the standard nude-peach-pink fare. After much hemming and hawing and googling swatches, I settled on Vulgar, described as a “bright frost pink,” and Concubine, a “faded mauve.” Admittedly, neither of these are colours I really would have chosen for myself in a store or even online, as I tend to go for more dramatic, stand-out shades. However, I’m extremely happy with these shades and foresee myself getting a lot of use from them.

Vulgar, blended out and striped on thick. As you can see, it’s more of a lilac pink and is satin-matte in texture. I do normally prefer some shimmer to my blushes, but I think that would have made this shade unwearably frosty. This will pair well with many of my lavender-purple lipsticks as well as cooler toned, more unusual shades (like my blues, greens, etc). According to the website, this colour contains ultramarines and is therefore not safe for use on the lips.

Concubine, blended out and striped on thick. This is indeed a dusty, faded mauve and matte in texture. This is a great neutral, everyday colour for someone who doesn’t really like neutrals. According to the website, this is also eye safe. Like Vulgar, this blended out effortlessly and can be layered to build colour.

Vulgar and Concubine in slightly different lighting. You can see exactly how lilac Vulgar leans, especially when applied heavily. I am incredibly pleased with these blushes and definitely think I’ll be snagging more before the 3-for-$10 sale is over.

Love you to the Moon and Back,

Luna Valentine

PS: If you haven’t all ready, make sure you’re signed up to follow on GFC–you won’t want to miss what I have coming up for you tomorrow!

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Cosmetics, Love Lists, Monthly Picks

Metamorphosis 65.0 – April Monthly Picks!

Wow! April was a major haul month, between the IMATS, Beautylish event, and Sephora sale, I’ve had a lot of new things to try out and play with. But there have been a few things that I’ve come back to again and again this month–here’s what I’m loving:

I managed to snag a 20 palette from Inglot at the IMATS for a pretty impressive discount, but even at full-price, this would probably rank amongst my best beauty buys of all time. These shadows are buttery, blendable, and amazingly pigmented all in the convenience of a palette. I don’t travel often, but this would definitely be a go-to item for future trips–such beautiful colours all in one place! I also got my hands on quite a number of OCC Lip Tars at that show, and Anime has quickly become one of my favourite lip colours. It’s a bright, bold neon pink that dries matte and stays on my lips for almost 9 hours at a time, even through food and drink!

After thoroughly loving theBalm blush I received from Beautylish, I purchased Mary Lou-Manizer during the Sephora %15 Off Sale. The texture of these products is just amazing for pressed powders–they’re soft and blendable, but not at all dusty. The luminizer is a beautiful shade of pale-golden beige that’s just right for highlighting my skintone. I also grabbed Korres Wild Rose Mask during the Sephora sale after reading up on the benefits of rose for complexion-brightening. I’ve only used this mask twice now, but it’s an absolutely luxurious experience–not only does it smell amazing and leave my skin feeling soft and moisturized, I swear my skin glows after using it.

Anyone who follows my Twitter feed knows how badly I’ve been dying to try butter LONDON. Lucky for me, my local Ulta started carrying their line and my ever-wonderful, amazingly attentive mother picked these up for me. I have a full review forthcoming, but I’ve been wearing this combo for a few days now and it is by far the shiniest, smoothest, most luxurious polishes I own. This colour, Blagger, was definitely on my list, but I likely wouldn’t have gotten the top and base coats simply because I all ready have so many–but I’m glad I did try them, because I really don’t have anything comparable! The top coat is impossibly shiny and the base coat is a creamy beige that dries matte, giving the polish a nice surface to adhere to. After five days of intense typing, working out, hand-washing, and my own personal nailbiting/picking habit, this remains chip-free and gorgeous. I think I’ve found my Holy Grail nail system!

What have you been loving this month?

Love you to the Moon and Back,

Luna Valentine

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Metamorphosis 50.0 – March Monthly Picks!

I decided a few weeks ago that I wanted to do a sort of product feature. Weekly seemed kind of ridiculous, and seasonal seemed too infrequent, so monthly sounds good. I’ve got thirty-odd days to think up new features, and that’s perfect.

This month, my picks are all products I got in March. I’m not sure if that will always be the case, but this month it certainly is. When I get new products, I tend to test out every aspect of their usage especially if I’m reviewing them so I get really attached to a lot of products.

My first pick is Wylde Ivy‘s Silken Body Oil in Little Shop in Salem. It’s like a nifty little moisturizing perfume that goes on smooth, soaks in quickly, and leaves you smelling wonderful all day. The oil itself is made from a combination of Coconut and Jojoba oils with addition oils from various fruit seeds. I particularly like it in this scent because it’s a light incense-y blend that’s sweet and a little dusty and layers perfectly will all sorts of other fragrances. Plus, it doesn’t give me (or anyone else around me) a headache after too long, as most fragrances often do.

Zoya Nail Polish in Dannii is a soft pink-purple with an amazing multi-coloured sparkle. I’m always amazed by the depth of colour in Zoya polishes, which is why they’re my favourite hands-down. This particular colour is great for spring–it reminds me of newly-budding flowers.

For some reason, I was all about the metallic eyes this month. Meow Cosmetics‘ Heiroglyph from the Egyptian Treasures Collection was definitely one of my go-to shadows. It’s described on-site as “metallic chartreuse with verdigris overtones and metallic gold undertones,” but I see it as a darkened, antiqued gold.

You’ve seen how beautiful Brazen‘s Cherry Bomb lip gloss is. If you haven’t, go read my review right now. It’s richly pigmented but still layerable, it’s smooth and creamy, and it stays put for hours. I haven’t seen this listed in the shop yet (which is live again after a brief hiatus!), but the owner is always more than happy to do custom listings if something you want is “out of stock.”

I’ve never been a blush girl, but lately I seem to be obsessed! The more unusual, the more shimmery, pigmented, sparkling, or complex the colour, the more I love it. Meow Cosmetics’ PINK, Inc blushes are really gorgeous. They apply like a dream, they’re incredibly blendable, and they have just the barest hint of shimmer that really bring them to life. My favourite is definitely Slip. On site, it’s described as “bright warm coral PINK with a slight refreshing twist of citrus peach,” but it definitely reads as a light coral-y peach. I ordered it in the 10g size, though I sort of feel like I should have gotten the larger jar.

–and there you have it! Five items I fell absolutely head-over-heels for this month. Also, all $10USD or less.

What have you been loving this month? Products, foods, music, websites, events?

Love you to the Moon and Back,

Luna Valentine

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