Monday, August 29, 2011

My small army of Concrete Minerals

Okay, so it's more like a squad. Since I'm on a swatching binge, I decided to swatch all of my Concrete Minerals eyeshadows, with the exception of my Arkham Collection, because something about showing off a limited edition set that can't be obtained any longer just seems cruel.

Swatched over ELF primer and NYX Jumbo Pencil in Milk
Row 1 (TOP): Rocked, Mad Hatter, Wicked, Juvenile
Row 2: Sabotage, Napalm, Brat, Hustle
Row 3: Arsenic, Souljourner, Harlequin, Vegas
Row 4: Infinity, Temptress, Smut, Swamped
Row 5: Lolita





I know I've said it before, but I'll repeat myself. I love Concrete Minerals. It's one of those companies where I'll probably end up owning everything they make eventually, because it is just that damn good. There is one thing that initially bugged me about Concrete, and I still kind of wish they would offer something like this, and that is the fact that they don't offer a smaller jar option. Not necessarily a "sample," although I DO love samples, but even a 5- or 3-gram option.

Currently, shadows are $7 for a 10-gram jar, and there is always a "color of the week" for the discounted price of $5. You can also buy the colors in certain sets for a little discount. Plus they offer a lot of discount codes (I've gotten one with every order). Overall, I guess can't complain TOO much at only being offered 1 large size, because that is actually a crazy-affordable product-to-price ratio, and even more so if you use a promotion/buy a set.

Someday I will make a top 10 list of my favorite companies, and Concrete will be in there. Not today. But just so ya know. <3

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Linnaeus Cosmetics and my expectations being exceeded.

3 posts in one week, I'm on fire! Honestly, I'm just so behind in my reviews and I felt like getting super-sparkly this weekend :D

So, back in late July, Linnaeus Cosmetics had a 30% off sale, and I thought it would be a good opportunity to pick up a few shades for review, and a good time to get Kitsch, which for some reason just struck my fancy when I first stumbled upon Linnaeus. The problem was, Kitsch was the ONLY color that struck my fancy, but I did pick up a 5 sample pack and just kind of chose some colors at random. I didn't really put much thought into it, honestly. Yes, the pigments from Linnaeus did look very pretty and sparkly, yes I loved the animal correlation with each color, and yeah they were priced  reasonably, but for some reason I couldn't find any color that really excited me. I couldn't really place why, maybe I just felt I already had so many colors in my collection and I didn't see anything I felt I needed or didn't have. Well, I thought stupid.

Happy Linnaeus Surprise #1: I ordered on 7/26 and my order shipped on 7/29. I don't remember what the posted TAT was when I ordered, but I'm pretty sure it was longer than that. So, it shipped quick. Yay!

Happy Linnaeus Surprise #2: When I got my order in the mail, the care taken in packaging was fantastic. What I thought was the coolest thing, though, was something I haven't ever encountered before:

Look at that handwritten note! Sure, most of my orders come with a little blurb handwritten from the owner, and it's always appreciated, but receiving something like this just makes you feel like they really care, no?

Happy Linnaeus Surprise #3: I ended up LOVING the product. The colors, the ease of application, and the incredible pigmentation. When I first opened the package, I was afraid of the bags the sample pigments came in. More specifically, they were the largest bag I've seen a sample come in to date. I sat there going, "Ugh, it's going to be a BITCH to get as much product as possible into a jar." I was pleasantly surprised when I potted these that virtually no pigment even tried to stick in the bag and it was no trouble at all getting all the product from the bag into the jar. Silly me! Just a note, Linnaeus samples are 1/4 tsp which I feel is quite generous. Here is my humble Linnaeus collection:

I purchased a 5 pack, 1 was thrown in for free, and to my surprise I ALREADY OWNED a full size of Skittering (water damage on label from me, it didn't come like that) from when I won a giveaway quite a while ago. DERP. 

Sample of Kitsch that I potted to show generous sample size.

L-R: Kitsch, Twiggy, Show Off, Vex, Skittering, Lanky, Alacritous <3 Swatches were done over Fyrinnae Pixie Epoxy.

Look using Vex, Skittering, and Kitsch. 

I really underestimated how much I would like Linnaeus Cosmetics. The colors are just gorgeous, the customer service and attention to detail stellar, and the product formula to-die-for. I would absolutely order from this company again, and I plan to.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

I wanna be a ZOMBIE! My Pretty Zombie swatches!

A little bit ago, I came upon the Etsy seller, My Pretty Zombie. I don't remember when, or how, but I do know that my life will never be the same. I was kind of in a makeup funk for the past couple of weeks, hence the lack of posts, but this brought me out of it and then some. I randomly decided to swatch all 34 of my MPZ pigments that have been lazing around on my makeup shelf for a bit from when I purchased them on sale a while ago. I purchased 33 samples and received a free potted sample. The other samples came in baggies, and i potted them of course. Per MPZ, "These are good size samples also. Enough to last you for a while so you can really get a feel for it!" What an understatement! I mean, I don't EXPECT large samples from every company, because of course it's supposed to be just that - A sample to decide whether you want a full size or not - But it is always such a treat when you get large samples :D I would say these have at LEAST 1/4 tsp of product in them, maybe more? Anyways, I was really pleased. Here are some nummy swatches:

Row 1(top): New Bruise, Scurvy, Wicked Crochet, Custom Zombie
Row 2 (middle): Thundernuts, Katrink, Miasma, Old Bruise
Row 3 (bottom): Grimdeva, Gangrenous, Monstrous Industry, Hangover

Row 1 (top): Thunderpants, Rash, Murder, Bride
Row 2: Unicorn Pee, MNG #1, Disquiet, Mad Cow
Row 3: Static, My Pretty Zombie, New Age Dolls, 996
Row 4 (bottom): Agonys Decay, Black Eye, Tarayvonne

Top: Hoof and Mouth, Anthrax, MNG#3, MNG#2
Bottom: Moist, Illustrated Ink, Maryjane

This is just an up close picture of Tarayvonne to show how awesome it is and also how my swatch pictures do NOT do these colors justice...but I didn't realize how shitty they were until I uploaded the pictures and washed all the pretties offa mah hands :*(

All swatches were swatched over NYX pencil in Milk. 

In summary, MPZ is AMAZING. They have a lot of colors that I haven't seen from other companies, and I am always looking for that "something special" I haven't seen before. I am extremely impressed with this company and the products, and I would recommend them to everyone and anyone. In particular, Wicked Crochet is...well it's fuckin' WICKED. I love it. I need it in my life forever. Seriously I'm pretty much embarrassed at how my swatches turned out, you don't even know. My favorites from this batch are Wicket Crotchet, Tarayvonne, and Anthrax.

Would I order again? Why yes, I plan on ordering the rest of what I didn't order the first time, which is pretty rare for me to say with a company. There are a select few companies that earn that OMG I GOTTA HAVE IT ALL rank, and this is definitely one of them.

For better shade descriptions and more information, check out the store (linked in the first paragraph of this post), and for christmas sake at least pick up a sample pack of 3...hell it's only $3, a great way to try out my newest addition to "favoritest companies," and I really don't think you will regret it :D

Friday, August 26, 2011

This is Halloween...Rag Dolls Bath & Beauty Halloween Collection Review!

Recently I was offered the awesome opportunity to review the upcoming Halloween collection from Rag Dolls Bath & Beauty. I gladly accepted of course! The collection is based on Nightmare Before Christmas and is entitled This is Halloween. *SWOON* It consists of 5 matte shades and 1 cosmetic glitter. Here's what I got:
Freakin' cutest packaging! It arrived in a bubble mailer and was very well packaged.

My 6 samples in clamshells, which I prefer over baggies, especially since I'm out of pots :D

I love the clamshell labels....BATTIES! Each one had a really good amount of product.

L-R: What's This?, Oogie Boogie, Pumpkin King , In the Dead of Night, Nightmare, Lock, Shock & Barrel
Swatches were done over ELF eye primer, with the exception of the glitter for which I used Pixie Epoxy.

The Shadows: The matte shadows are pretty damn great. They are smooth, apply with a fair amount of ease, and aren't chalky. They are pretty opaque, although I would recommend maybe a white base for more POP and opacity with In the Dead of Night. I did have one exception, which was Nightmare, which is the matte black. I experienced some trouble with both adherence and opacity with this one, and I had a harder time picking up color with my brush. It wasn't a huge problem, but I just thought I would make note that I found it to be slightly different than the rest. Still, though, it is NOT chalky at all. And, surprisingly, when I applied it over Pixy Epoxy (which usually doesn't work great with mattes) it went over fantastic and became quite opaque. 

The Glitter: Lock, Shock & Barrel is an eye-safe cosmetic glitter, and it is quite amazing! It's a little indescribable for me, but it's got tons of colors and I just love it, so see my photos to come to your own conclusions. It's super fun :D

Here are a couple eye looks I did using these products:

What's This? with a matte white from another company on lid and Oogie Boogie under eye

Nightmare with Lock, Shock & Barrel as a liner
These colors will be available from Rag Dolls Bath & Beauty on October 1. Based on this experience, I plan on buying from this company. Their prices are reasonable ($5.95/5gm jar), the product is good, and their shop has some more fun colors I am dying to try.

My 2 favorite colors were What's This? and Oogie Boogie, which means you can have a chance to win a full size of both of these colors! Rag Dolls Bath & Beauty has offered to sponsor my 2 favorites out of this collection for my contest currently going on over at my Facebook page! If you want a chance to win, go to Shadows*N*Stitches and check out the Halloween Makeup Contest album. Yay!

*These products were sent to me free of charge for consideration and review. This does not affect my opinion or influence this review. All opinions are my own.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Thursday, August 18, 2011

50 followers giveaway!

Aww thank you guys so much for following my little adventure into bloggerdom! This is just a little appreciation giveaway for you guys.

Recently I purchased some eye shadows from Concrete Minerals and Gingerluvs for my personal collection, and the jars were so big I really wanted to share with you guys! So, under sterile conditions of course, I potted out 1/4 tsp sample pots for you guys from my brand new pigments. I am giving away 2 sets of 8 colors, 3 of which are from Concrete Minerals and 5 of which are from Gingerluvs Rainbow Bright LE collection. Here are the prizes:

L-R: CM Wicked, CM Sabotage, CM Mad Hatter, GL RB Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue.
My original pots

I know that 1/4 tsp doesn't sound like a lot, but it will be good for a lot of uses, trust me! It's a lot more than it sounds like. Originally, there were supposed to be 4 CM colors in this giveaway, but Juvenile met with unfortunate events, so now what's left of it is in my personal collection. Sorry :( So, instead of doing 4 smaller prizes, 2 each of 4 CM pigments and 2 each of 5 GL pigments, I've combined them into 2 larger prizes! If you haven't had a chance to try Concrete Minerals yet, boy are you in for a treat. Here are some swatches of what 2 lucky winners will receive (swatched out of my pigments, not yours, of course!)

L-R: Wicked, Sabotage, Mad Hatter

L-R: Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue.

Here's the nitty gritty: Must live in the U.S. Must be 18 or older. Must follow my blog (by follow, I mean you HAVE to hit follow on the right and actually BE a follower. Just reading and commenting does not count for the purposes of this giveaway). To enter, just comment once on THIS post with the name you follow my blog under and your email address for contacting purposes if you win. Entry will close on 8/31 at 11:59 p.m. and winner will be chosen via on 9/1. Winners will have 48 hours to contact me after I contact them or new winner(s) will be chosen.

FYI: Your pots will be labeled with the name of the shadow on the bottom. If you need ingredient lists, please refer to the links of the companies at the top of this post, or check out the pics of the back of my pots (if you can read those), OR shoot me an e-mail at :-) Good luck lovelies!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Don't miss River City Lizzy's badass giveaway!

I had been meaning to enter this, and I procrastinated and almost missed it. This is ME telling YOU don't let that happen to you! Plus, you may just want to follow RCL just for cuzzes, because she does gorgeous makeup and she is the biggest sweetheart EVER. I simply adore her eye looks and her sweet disposition <3 P.S. I have been DYING to try BB cream :P ENTAR HERE:::::

Friday, August 12, 2011

Makeup Mama is having a giveaway!

Okay, I know I said I was away from my computer. I lied. I just HAD to enter Makeup Mama's giveaway. It is my favorite kind of giveaway, too! Awesome prizes AND easy to enter. And LOOK, I even made it easier by linking you to it :-) You have no excuses not to now! Go go go <3

Thursday, August 11, 2011

More Sugarpill...MUCH MUCH MOAR (pic heavy)

A momentous event - both in my blogging career and my personal life - happened recently. You see, I did a quicksy review of the Sugarpill Sweetheart Palette that I purchased recently, and Amy (owner of said brand) posted my review on the Sugarpill Facebook fan page. I pert near crapped my pants in excitement. Seriously, on my list of Nikki's Most Exciting Life Events it goes 1. Birth of child. 2. Amy posting my review. 3. That one time I found a perfectly good Depeche Mode CD right outside my car door in a parking lot. For those of you who don't know, Sugarpill was founded by Amy, or Shrinkle, who exudes talent and gorgeousness (see: fucking fabulousness) from her every pore, assuming she has pores, and since she is perfect, she might not. Anywhoz, I have followed (and despite what you may think, I mean that in the least stalkerish way imaginable) Shrinkle for 6+ years through Ebay and now through Sugarpill (and still Ebay). By follow I mean I bought her shit and was inspired by her fashion and makeup. I purchased my first bright QUALITY makeup (Kryolan) through her Ebay store, and my journey for the search of bright, bold makeup began. Thank you, Amy! Now that I am through gushing, lets get to the bare bones of this post.

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, (see: several months ago sitting on my couch)  I became the proud owner of 17 loose eyeshadows from Sugarpill. Yes, I know there are 18. I have absolutely nothing against Asylum, it was just out of stock when I got my shadows. I guess having my review posted on the Sweetheart Palette finally gave me the motivation to swatch and review all my loose shadows.

A little bit of information about these shadows/Sugarpill as a company: These are all VEGAN. I haven't been addressing that point in my other reviews, and I really should have been telling you guys whether the shadows I review in a particular post are or are not vegan. I dropped the ball there, and I apologize, as I know that really matters to some people. I am really in love with the majority of these colors. Another thing to note is that Sugarpill has AMAZING customer service. I have never had the need to have an issue addressed, but I have seen a few (very few, BTW) being addressed on the FB page, and what I see amazes me. Sugarpill has over 60,000 FB likes, and yet can still offer tremendous customer service. I have seen companies with much fewer customers not offer the same level of service. One more thing I truly appreciate about Sugarpill, is Amy (I assume that is who posts on the SP fan page, as I have no reason to assume otherwise) appreciates and posts a lot of customers' reviews and YT tutorials on her page, usually including a little personal status message above it. No matter how little influence you may think you have (COUGHUNDER50FOLLOWERSCOUGH) she lets you know that you are of importance to her brand and she values your opinion. What a doll. Here are some swatches:

L-R: Tiara, Goldilux, Stella, Lumi, Hysteric, Weekender, Paperdoll, Magentric, Decora, Birthday Girl, Magpie, Royal Sugar, Starling

L-R: Darling, June Bug, Tipsy, Absinthe
Birthday Girl
Royal Sugar
All swatches were done over ELF Primer and Pixie Epoxy - I couldn't get Paperdoll or Birthday Girl to be as opaque or as bold as the other shadows, but then again they are the softest shades in the bunch. I would recommend using a white base or layering with your epoxy a few times if you want a bolder touch. Which is why I did this:

L-R: Lumi, Paperdoll, Birthday Girl
See, and you thought I was done trying. PD and BG take on new life over a white base. Black base..ehh...not so much. But the black base was for Lumi, seen on the left. I didn't forget about you, Lumi! This bucket of badassery really outdoes itself, changing depending on whether you are on bare skin or black base. You can use it as a highlighter or as a main color as it transforms all turquoise-y over the black! I've seen people do BOTH in 1 look! MADNESS!

I would like to take a moment to spotlight my favorites in the line. First and foremost, GOLDILUX has ruined me for all other golds. It's like a freakin ground up gold bar that applies gorgeously to your lids. No joke, it is my #1. My #2 is Stella, especially as a liner. Holy blackrainbowglittersparkle. I really like Junebug and Royal Sugar.

So, what do you think? Have you purchased any Sugarpill? What is your favorite from the line? What could you see yourself purchasing based on this post? SHAREZIES >>>!

*EDIT: These products were all purchased by me.