Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Swatch: Fyrinnae Pygmy Hippo lip lustre

Today's offering: a swatch of Fyrinnae's Pygmy Hippo lip lustre.

Fyrinnae's description:
Matte medium rosey plum shade, not quite mauve. Neutral-warm.

Bare-ish lips (blotted down Vaseline lip therapy)
Pygmy Hippo
Though the section for Fyrinnae's lip lustres lacks swatches, the colour descriptions are quite accurate so far in my experience. Pygmy Hippo isn't as natural-seeming as Ocelot on my face because of its somewhat plummy tint, but it's definitely wearable and probably works for a broader range of complexions. The slight shine Pygmy Hippo has in my swatch photo is mostly due to the whiteness of the overcast sunlight today and I suspect the bit of Vaseline delaying its dry down; it sets to a matte finish, as you can see in Ocelot below.

Comparison to yesterday's Ocelot:
Pygmy Hippo
I'm wearing a moisturizing product under my lip lustre today to see if I can mitigate the slightly drying effect I had yesterday, but I suspect all that I've done is made the product take a little longer to set, since it feels pretty much the same. Ah well!

This lip lustre is available at Fyrinnae's website for $7.00 USD ($2.00 for a trial size).

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Haul: Fyrinnae + Ocelot lip lustre swatch and review

Hey everyone!

Today I received my first package from Fyrinnae Cosmetics!

The pretty foil came with the packaging.

I purchased full-sized lip lustres in Ocelot and Pygmy Hippo as well as minis of Romantique and Sexy Nerd. I also purchased mini eyeshadows in Jade Ghost, Crimson Ghost, Vicious Garden Gnome, Mephisto, Meerkat, Debonair, Red Panda, Work Safe Blue, and an Arcane Magic shadow in Cabaret Noir. I also bought a sample of their powder bronzer in matte light. No free samples were included with the order, which was a little odd since I think they usually do send out samples, but I'm not one to bemoan a lack of free stuff and I imagine they were busy, as they'd just released a set of new semi-matte shadows.

I’m excited to try and to review each of these new products! For now, here’s a swatch + a few thoughts on the lip lustre in Ocelot ($7 USD for an 8ml tube; trial sizes are available for $2 USD).

Fyrinnae's description of Ocelot: Matte warm dusty-rose pink, very close to the soft pink of an Ocelot kitten's paw pads and nose.

Bare lips (sorry, they were in a blurry mood)
Lip lustre in Ocelot

The lip lustre in Ocelot is a my-lips-but-pinker colour on me, which I like a lot. I don't think it leans too warm on my lips, but it still does remind me of an ocelot kitten's paws. (I don't want to thieve any images, but you definitely have to Google that. It is very cute.) In any case, it's definitely something I could wear in any situation. I have a pale, neutralish complexion, for the record.

Ocelot's formula reminds me of the NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams: it has that sweet vanilla scent and the same dry-liquid look and feel upon application. It doesn't dry down as quickly or completely as the lip creams do on me; the NYX products are dry and matte almost immediately after application and they're drying on my lips, often flaky later in their wear, and I have to not rub my lips together or I'll make a mess of them. The Ocelot lip lustre seemed to dry down more over time, but didn't feel as drying (though not moisturizing, either) and it didn't budge upon lip smacks or flake at any point. The finish was similarly matte for me, though!

I'm usually bad at wear tests (I tend to lick and chew my lips and drink many beverages clumsily), but because this lip lustre reminded me of the lip creams, I decided to give it a go. It lasted a few hours and through popcorn as if it were just applied, so that was pretty awesome for me--my eating tends to destroy lipstick. It faded some through a can of soda--but it didn't flake or turn into an awful lip ring, which is what often happens to me with long-lasting lip products, so I was really happy with this!

It did leave my lips moderately dry afterwards, but I have naturally very chapped, dry lips, so that's nothing new--happens after most lip products that aren't balm or gloss. (Or just after a while without something moisturizing.) Next time I may try using a good balm blotted down just before this product to see if it mitigates that, but it doesn't seem too bad. I imagine people without chapping issues might not have this problem at all.

I'm so pumped to try my other lip lustres to see if they wear similarly--not the matte aspect, of course, since only a few of the lustres are marked as matte, but the long-wearing and relatively non-drying aspect was awesome, plus this was easy to apply with the doefoot wand.

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Swatch Saturday: Alchimia Apothecary Maquillage à Lèvres Lipstick in Dahlia

Just a quick swatch/mini-review today. Alchimia Apothecary will be discontinuing their cosmetics after this summer. However, when I was grabbing my first indie scent, I snagged this lipstick and I suspect I'll be glad I did.

Dahlia in the tube.
In case you don't have your magnifying glasses on, the first ingredient listed there is cocoa butter. This lipstick smells like chocolate and it feels nice on the lips. The tube is a balm tube, sadly, so application is tricky.

Alchimia's description of this colour:
A bright shade with an electric presence.

Bare lips for reference.
Dahlia (moderately applied)
I would describe Dahlia as a medium purple-pink shade. A cooler magenta, if you're fancy. It is definitely bright, though not neon-bright. It comes off a bit darker in indoor light, but when I built it up it stayed about this shade. I couldn't achieve the darker colour in the site swatch, but then it probably would look darker on my arm than my face.

The product was a bit hard in the tube initially, but went on better once it had warmed. I imagine it'd be better to use a lip brush with this, anyway. It certainly feels nice on--not as moisturizing as their cocoa lip balm, but definitely non-drying (almost anything is drying on me, so that's a success) and the scent fades if you dislike chocolate for some reason.

Dahlia is currently available at Alchimia Apothecary for $7.95 USD.

Thanks for reading!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Overview: Shiro Cosmetics + lip swatches: A Girl and a Cat, Still No Oscar

Hello Internet!

I want to start contributing more to the indie makeup community online, since it's been such a friendly, fun source of stress relief (and retail therapy) in the past (extremely trying) year of my life. The swatches and reviews on various blogs and at r/indiemakeupandmore have always helped me make informed decisions with my purchases, and I want to be able to help others as they've helped me!

Without further adieu, an overview of Shiro Cosmetics: my first and favourite (thus far) indie.

Shiro's slogan on their old website was "makeup and geekery"--and that pretty much sums it up! Their collections are anime, video game, book, film, and Nic Cage-inspired, and they do very well with what they draw inspiration from. Their interpretations of characters and situations are rarely boring or 100% literal, but usually still spot-on. The collections they come up with tend to fit well together not just thematically, but also on your face. Their descriptions of their products are amusing to read and convey their enthusiasm for the media they enjoy.

(It feels weird to call Shiro "they" since Shiro was originally one woman, Caitlin, who still does a lot of the customer service and note-writing-to-me, but Shiro is now a four-person team!)

Shiro (as of April 2014) has a beautiful new website where you can log in, save your cart, create a wishlist, sort products by colour and finish, the search function is useful, etc. They send business cards with each order and there's always a handwritten note on the receipt, samples, and candy, which are all nice touches. (Samples are pretty usual for indies, but not everyone writes on the receipt or sends me Jolly Ranchers.)

My first Shiro haul, courtesy of Instagram. The Rockets/Smarties thing threw me for a loop.
As you can see from the above, I like collecting mini eyeshadows, and the clear lids are really pretty helpful when you're doing your makeup. However, the jar art has only improved since my first haul and now the new collections have a different (gorgeous) sticker for each jar, which makes collecting full-sizes tempting. They're not the only company to commission artists for this purpose, but it's still relatively unusual (and the art they're using is really really good).

Shiro has a very active Facebook, where they answer questions, post updates, and hold polls for the colour of the month. The colour of the month polls are a favourite of mine: they're a great way for Shiro to interact with customers and provide them with colours/geeky things they want while giving incentives to make frequent orders. Fun and good business.

Shiro is also linked to a pretty inactive Twitter and an Instagram that's fun and has occasional updates, but also there are cats and cosplay. For questions and updates, their Facebook is where it's at.

Shiro tends to have at least two sales each year on their anniversary (April 30th) and Black Friday.

Customer Service:
Shiro's turnaround time (TAT) is stated at checkout and must be confirmed before they process your order. That said, I do wish it was on the website's front page, but it is made quite clear. I've never had Shiro ship outside of TAT and normally they ship at least a few days before, in my experience.

Caitlin has always responded to questions I've sent via their contact form in less than 24 hours and went out of her way to help me out. Most of the special requests I've had in the past wouldn't happen now because of the website updates (for example, I messaged to purchase blush samples, which they didn't offer before, or to get a colour match of a non-lip-safe eyeshadow they had in a gloss), so I feel like they keep in mind their customers' desires as they move forward with the business. Four for you, Caitlin and Shiro.

Products and Sizing Options:
Eyes: Shiro offers full-sizes ($6), minis ($3.50), and samples of eyeshadow ($1).
Lips: They have a line of regular glosses ($8) that can also be sampled ($2), or you can create your own custom gloss ($9-13). They also carry tinted lip balms ($5).
Face: They offer full-sizes ($8) and samples ($1.50) of blush/highlighter/bronzer, or full-sizes ($10) and samples ($1.50) of finishing powder.

Unique or Recommended Products:
Shiro's custom lip gloss option is unique among the indies that I know of, and a lot of fun. Their finishing powder is excellent for my combination/oily complexion and I don't think I'm alone in loving it! I would recommend almost anything from Shiro's current range, though: if I've tried it, I like it. (I did have troubles with their discontinued Intertubes.)

Shipping is a flat rate of $2.75 in the US or free with a purchase over $50.

International shipping is a flat rate of $7.50. This is very reasonable in my experience. Some places will ship to me (in Canada) for less if they aren't using a flat rate, but usually shipping costs as much or more, even for small orders.

Show Us Some Stuff!

I own an endless list of items from Shiro that I'll be swatching on a regular basis from now on (hopefully...) but here are a couple of lip products you may not have seen many swatches for yet!

This first swatch is of one of Shiro's tinted lip balms, A Girl and a Cat.

Their description: Deep purple in the tube, applies as a medium-sheer berry.

They are not shitting you with this description.

A Girl and a Cat in the tube.
My tissue as I was removing this.

This stuff looks like ruddy eggplant skin all over your Kleenex. However, I also found the applied description to be pretty apt:

Bare lips (for reference)
A Girl and a Cat
After about two-ish swipes, this was the opacity of A Girl and a Cat on me. So it's still a pretty sheer berry.

Overall review: 
This is moisturizing, pretty, and it smells like vanilla buttercream frosting. I am for it. It doesn't migrate or wear off easily (though don't ask me wear time, I'm a compulsive lip chewer and snacker) and I got this reasonably nice application out of the tube. If you're seeking opaque coverage, look elsewhere, but this can be built up a little more and still feel pretty vampy for a tinted balm.

My second product on the docket today is a custom lip gloss in Still No Oscar for Leo DiCaprio (moderate), the colour of the month for April 2014.  Unsurprisingly, I needed something in my life with that title, but I'm not really into neutrals and already have a similar beloved eyeshadow (Baker's Boy). I didn't, however, have a metallic gloss.

Shiro's description of Still No Oscar: Shimmering rose-tinted champagne with bright silver sparks.

Bare lips (for great justice?)
Still No Oscar for Leo DiCaprio
This is just one layer of the gloss, so I think it's relatively opaque for a moderate. I don't know that I find the gloss form of this as pink-toned as I would've expected, but it's definitely a warm champagne and it makes a really fun metallic gloss and would probably layer well over a lot of lip colours if you sheered it out. It's limited edition, though--so unless you're in a hurry to make a Shiro order, you might request Baker's Boy instead.

Overall review:
I love Shiro's lipgloss formula. It's not too sticky (my hair never gets stuck to it), it's not watery or gloopy, it feels moisturizing, it rarely rubs off onto my teeth, etc. I wasn't sure how this colour would turn out; it's definitely not office-friendly, but I think it's quite wearable in other situations! Also, I got this in the flavour pink frosting and it smells like pink frosting when I put it on. How can I complain?

That's it for today, and more Shiro to come, definitely. (I, uh, have yet another order in the mail, now? I don't know anymore.) Thanks for tuning in!