Femme Fatale Cosmetics: Eyeshadow

For many international indie lovers, Femme Fatale is their one-stop shop for indie perfume and makeup. While they sell numerous indie brands, they also have their own cosmetics brand, and they are known for their eyeshadows. I’m a sucker for duochrome, and I was so excited when a friend sent me a bunch of Femme Fatale samples. Will they live up to the hype? The eyeshadows can be purchased on Femme Fatale’s website.

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From top: Alpine Skies, Animal-Shaped Jellies, and Candied Apple. Swatched over Urban Decay Primer Potion.
  • Alpine Skies

A super pale taupe with cool tones and prominent turquoise shimmer.

Magical, ethereal cool toned sparkle. It reminds me a bit of NYX Glass Slipper eyeshadow, but this one has a stronger shift and leans more blue than green. I love it.

  • Animal-Shaped Jellies

A brilliant mid-tone pink that leans warm, and golden shimmer.

This one is BRIGHT. Like neon pink bright. It has a very subtle gold shimmer in it, but on the eyes, it reads as just hot pink with shimmer; the gold is hard to pick up on.

  • Candied Apple

A pale redwood pink with a green duochrome.

Probably the most famous of all Femme Fatale eyeshadows. This one is a major shifter. In the swatch, you get this reddish brown color, but on the eyes, its more of a light greenish color with a pinky red duochrome. Its surprisingly subtle, but quite striking.

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From top: Cheap Tricks, Clockwork Train, Land of Tea Parties.  Swatched over Urban Decay Primer Potion.
  • Cheap Tricks

A vibrant mid-tone pink with shiny green-gold sheen.

If you think this looks similar to Animal-Shaped Jellies, you would be right. They are almost identical, but I feel like this one has a stronger gold shift to it. Because I love any and all duochromes, I prefer this to Animal-Shaped Jellies. It’s so fun and pretty!

  • Clockwork Train

A warm puce pink with bold golden overlay.

This is easily one of my favorites of the bunch. The description is true to the color and it’s subtle but gorgeous. It’s not quite a rose gold, but its close.

  • Land of Tea Parties

A soft ruddy pinkish-beige with blue glow.

This one shows up very lavender on me. I’d call it more of a “soft beige with a strong lavender shift”. Despite not really matching the description, I really like it.

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From top: Mister Whiskers, Puzzle, The Wayward Prince.  Swatched over Urban Decay Primer Potion.

 

  • Mister Whiskers

A grey-toned mauve purple with strong golden shine.

Sometimes you come across a shadow so magical that you just have to stare at it. This is one of those. It’s so insanely pretty and pigmented, but its still really wearable in my opinion. It’s sort of like My Pretty Zombie Anthrax, but it has a gold shift instead of a green one and the purple is more mauve-y. I’m in love with it.

  • Puzzle

A concrete grey with copperish-gold overlay.

I’m not super impressed with this one compared to the others. It’s a pretty blue-ish grey with copper sparkles. It’s not bad, its just not something I could see myself wearing and I feel like I can find a similar color in other brands.

  • The Wayward Prince

A mauve-rose base with strong bronze-gold overlay.

At first, this looks like a boring reddish brown, but once applied, you get this brilliant bronze shine. It’s really nice.

The Formula

I really like Femme Fatale’s formula. It’s very pigmented and it blends well. You could probably get away with not using primer for some of the non-duochromes. Fallout is minimal for all of them, but I noticed that Animal-Shaped Jellies and Cheap Tricks had a bit more than the others.

My favorites of the bunch are Alpine Skies, Clockwork Train, Cheap Tricks, and Mister Whiskers. Least favorite is probably Puzzle.

I hope you enjoyed my review! What Femme Fatale eyeshadow is your favorite? Comment below!

Indie Glossary

Entering the indie world can be daunting, and there are tons of abbreviations thrown around that might confuse a newcomer. I’ve done my best to provide a comprehensive list of common terms you might encounter.

  • BNNU– Means “Bought New, Never Used”. Refers to a product that was purchased but never actually used by the buyer.
  • BPAL– Short for Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab. It is the largest indie perfume house known for scents like Dorian and Antique Lace. They also frequently collab with Neil Gaiman and major films such as Crimson Peak and Labyrinth.
  • BPTP– Short for Black Phoenix Trading Post. This is the sister shop of BPAL, and they sell hair glosses, soaps, atmosphere sprays, nail polish, t-shirts, and other goodies.
  • DC– Short for “Discontinued”. These products can no longer be purchased at their source stores.
  • Decant– A decant is when someone takes some perfume out of their personal bottle and puts it in a smaller container, usually a sample. It can also be done with eyeshadows.
  • FF– Short for “Femme Fatale”. They are an Australian indie retailer who sells brands like Arcana, Shiro, and more.
  • FS– Short for “Full Size”. A product that is not a sample. For perfume, a FS is usually 5mL.
  •  GC– Short for “General Catalog”. It refers to items that are not limited edition or seasonal and can be bought year-round and are restocked somewhat regularly.
  • HG– This can refer to two things: “Hair Gloss” or “Holy Grail”. Hair glosses are scented hair oils. Holy Grail refers to a person’s favorite product.
  • HoG– Short for “Haus of Gloi”. A perfume company known for scents like Cozy Sweater, as well as their bath and body products like their Pumpkin Butter.
  • Imp– BPAL’s term for a sample.
  • ISO and DISO– They mean “In Search Of” and “Desperately In Search Of”, respectively. These are items on a person’s wishlist that they are actively searching for.
  • LE– Short for “Limited Edition”. Refers to items that are around for a specific period of time before being discontinued.
  • MPZ– Short for My Pretty Zombie. An indie makeup company known for their edgy aesthetic with product names like Anthrax, Everything Looks Better on a Meat Hook, and Grandma Cleavage.
  • Notes– These are the components that make up a perfume.
  • NAVA– Short for “Nocturne Alchemy and VApothecary”. They’re a perfume house who specializes in rich scents with notes like resin, vanilla, and musk. Their perfumes have an Egyptian theme.
  • OHWTO– Short for “One Hand Washes the Other.” An indie perfume brand on Etsy.
  • OOS– Short for “Out of Stock”. A product that currently cannot be purchased because the company has run out of it.
  • PIF– Short for “Pay It Forward”. Usually its a giveaway of some items where nothing is expected in return; it is done out of the kindness of the person’s heart.
  • RIS– Short for “Received in Swap”. This means that the item was not purchased by that particular person, and they either bought it from someone else or swapped it for another item.
  • S92– Short for “Sixteen92”. They are a perfumery that specializes in witchy, gothic scents such as Salem.
  • SN– Short for “single note”. A perfume where it only has one component for the scent.
  • Sniffie– A sniffie is an empty bottle or sample of perfume that is usually free with another purchase. Sniffies are a great way to see if you like a scent before you purchase a larger size of it.
  • SS– Short for “Solstice Scents”. They are a perfume house that specializes in atmospheric scents. Popular ones include Manor and Rose Mallow Cream. They also make EDP scents.
  • Swap– Swaps are super popular in the indie community; its simply when one person trades one item for another. Money does not change hands, only the items do.
  • TAT– Short for “Turn Around Time”. This refers to the time it takes between placing an order and the order shipping. Most indies have longer turn around times than mainstream brands because they are smaller companies where things are sometimes made to order by one or two people.
  • TOL– Short for “Top of Label”. Refers to the fill level on a perfume bottle being at the top of the brand label.
  • YMMV – Short for “Your Mileage May Vary”. Such a term usually pertains to perfumes, and it means that a fragrance can vary from person to person due to skin chemistry. If a scent smells bad on one person, it might smell great on another.

Black Phoenix Trading Post: Hair Glosses

Black Phoenix Trading Post (BPTP) is the sister shop to Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab. While the Lab does perfume oils, the Post does other merchandise like atmosphere sprays, nail polish and t-shirts. Many of their hair glosses, nail polish and atmosphere sprays correspond to other items available at BPAL. Today I will be reviewing five of their hair glosses in the scents Dragon’s Milk, The Moon Reflected in Every Rice Paddy, Sharing the Cake Between the Lion and the Unicorn, Enveloped in Silk, and Holliday. All of these scents are no longer available on the BPTP website.

What is a hair gloss?

Hair gloss or hair oil is a mixture of oils and other ingredients that are meant to make your hair shiny and more manageable. Several perfume house make them with some of their bestselling scents, so not only will your hair look better, it’ll smell better too.

Here is what BPTP has to say about their hair glosses:

“We have combined Tahitian monoi, camelina oil, argan oil, and karanja oil to give your mane a gleaming finishing shine without leaving it gloopy, weighted-down, or greasy. Camelina oil provides a protective coating for the hair follicles, argan oil nourishes stressed hair, enhances elasticity, and repairs cellular damage to the hair strand itself, and a touch of Monoi oil adds moisture and enhances softness. Your hair will be silkier, shinier, glossier, more vibrant, and frizz-free. Black Phoenix’s Hair Gloss is paraben and sulfate free, and contains no petro-chemicals, no GMOs, and no triclosan.”

The Glosses I Purchased

I got decants of five hair glosses: Dragon’s Milk, The Moon Reflected in Every Rice Paddy, Sharing the Cake Between the Lion and the Unicorn, Enveloped in Silk, and Holliday.

Dragon’s Milk

Dragon’s blood resin and honeyed vanilla.

This is the hair gloss version of the beloved BPAL scent of the same name. Dragon’s blood is a weird note on me; I either love it or I hate it. Luckily, I really like this. It’s definitely dragon’s blood, but it’s very evenly balanced with the honey and vanilla. It’s not headshop-y at all, just a little spicy.

The Moon Reflected in Every Rice Paddy

Madagascan vanilla, rice powder, iris root, and pale musk.

This gloss was part of 2017’s Lupercalia collection and it’s received rave reviews across the internet. Vanilla and musk are notes I love,and rice powder sounded like an interesting component. The hype is totally worth it, because it’s a magnificent vanilla with just a hint of powdery rice and iris. It’s stunning.

Sharing the Cake Between the Lion and the Unicorn 

Honey cake

Sharing the Cake was from the 2016 Unicorn collection. I love honey and gourmand scents, so this one was on my wishlist.

It’s exactly what the description says: deliciously rich honey cake. It’s sweet and amazing and I love it.

Enveloped in Silk

Strawberry cream, white musk, and orris root.

After the strawberry success that was Arcana Strawberries Crave Waterfalls, I wanted to find a hair gloss that had that had more strawberry goodness. This totally fits the bill; it smells like super fresh strawberries and a hint of whipped cream. If you like strawberries, you’re gonna LOVE this.

Holliday

Red musk and bourbon vanilla with blackened amber, gunsmoke, honey, and a splash of rum.

The notes for Holliday are much more up my alley. It’s mostly bourbon vanilla, honey and amber with a touch of rum. The musk is in the background to ground it all out. The gunsmoke is subtle, but it adds a little bit of a masculine, smoke note in there. I imagine that this is how Westworld would smell. Sexy, a little dirty and dangerous.

I also received a sample tube of the famous Pink Wig Spray (A glittering cloud of cotton candy and rhinestone white musk). True to the name, this scent is bright, sugary cotton candy with a hint of something else to ground it. It’s super vibrant and fun.

Does it work?

For reference, my hair is long, thick and wavy and I live in a humid climate.

I applied the gloss to mostly dried hair in the morning by spritzing it onto my hands and then running them through my hair. I feel like it definitely made my hair shinier and it helped to hold the waves in place so they didn’t frizz as much. It’s not a miracle product or anything, but it makes my hair look pretty and it smells good. It might do more for frizz if you live in a climate that isn’t tropical.

Crow and Pebble Cosmetics

New to the indie makeup scene is Crow and Pebble Cosmetics, a company based in Scotland. The shadows caught my eye when I saw that the debut collection was based around the Four Horsepersons of the Apocalypse from Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett’s Good Omens, which is one of my favorite books. That, combined with some lovely interactions with the owner of Crow and Pebble, convinced me to check out some shadows. I purchased the shades Chernobyl Power Station, Petrochemical Sheen, Devotion to Duty and Forest Fire and I received freebies of Lights That May Have Been Stars and the Adam highlighter.  The prices are $7.13 US for a full jar, $3,89 US for a half jar and $1.30 for a sample. Shipping was quite quick considering that the company is based in the UK; it arrived 9 days after I got the shipping notification.

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Swatches on the left are over Urban Decay Primer Potion and the right is over bare skin. From the top: Devotion to Duty, Forest Fire, Chernobyl Power Station, Petrochemical Sheen, Lights That May Have Been Stars, Adam

Devotion to Duty

A deep cranberry with a red shimmer.

I’m a girl who loves reddish, warm-toned shadows, so this one was a no-brainer. Shimmery reds are somewhat tricky to find as well.

This is a stunning eyeshadow. It’s a rich, shimmery, deeper red, very true to the description. It’s super pigmented and you don’t really need a primer for it.

Forest Fire

A vibrant, bright orange with gold and violet shimmer. 

This is another warm toned shadow and another duochrome. I was especially curious about the orange-purple shift, since those colors are the opposite of each other on the color spectrum.

It’s impossible to capture on camera, but there is a subtle pinkish-purple duochrome shift that’s gorgeous. The color is a striking bright coppery-orange, but you will need primer and layering to get full pigmentation because it is a bit sheer.

Chernobyl Power Station

A biting, shimmery acid green, practically radioactive.

I had to get this one because the color is just so unique. I don’t have anything like this.

The description pretty much says it all. The color is extremely vibrant and pigmented. You could get away with not using primer for this one. Despite its brightness, I find it actually really wearable. This one is probably tied for my favorite alongside Devotion to Duty.

Petrochemical Sheen

A deep, warm brown with a bright green duochrome sheen. 

Duochrome shadows are the main reason I buy indie eyeshadows. I absolutely love them and this one looked super pretty.

If you’re familiar with MAC’s blue/green duochrome, Urban Decay’s Lounge, or NYX Voodoo, this is very similar. The shift (which I can’t seem to photograph) is definitely green rather than blue and the pigmentation is good. That being said, you’ll need a primer to really get that beautiful shift.

Lights That May Have Been Stars

A vibrant sparkly stark white of glittering stars with a red shimmer of something else.

This was a freebie, and at first I thought “oh, its just a plain white eyeshadow.” WELL I WAS WRONG. It’s a really shimmery white with reddish-purple sparkles that add a really cool dimension to the shadow. This would make a killer highlight.

Adam

Adam is not a Horseperson of the Apocalypse; fans of the novel will know that Adam is in fact a sweet kid growing up in the English countryside who also happens to be the Antichrist. This is a highlighter, and is only available when you purchase a certain amount of product. The other shades of the highlighters are Pepper, Brian and Wensleydale.

There is no official description of the shade, but I find it to be a soft lavender with gold shimmer. It’s really pretty and sheer, which I like. I’m not a huge fan of the strong highlight, and if you are, Adam is probably not gonna work for you.

Overall, I’m very impressed with my order. Chernobyl Power Station and Devotion to Duty are my favorites of the bunch and I’m pleased with the freebies I received as well. I look forward to the next collection!

 

Bath and Body Reviews: Luvmilk

Luvmilk is an etsy brand that makes bath and body products, their specialty being the milk bath. They also make lotion, shampoo, conditioner, dusting powder and lip balm. I hadn’t heard of it until I started chatting with the owner on the IMAM Discord server. They’re super nice and very passionate about their products. Several scents caught my eye, so I placed an order for a lotion, body spray and bubble bath.

NOTE: One thing I noticed is that the scents need to settle after they arrive. Because of the heat from travel on the plastic packaging, there’s a weird smell to the items when they first arrive. That quickly goes away after about a day or two, so don’t worry.

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Goat’s Milk Lotion

$6 for 4oz or $10 for 8oz

I chose the scent Mellonia, which is described as “Delectable, sticky-sweet honey and sugar that you will want to just eat right up.” I love honey scents and this one has the bonus of some of the proceeds going to a local apiary to help save bees.

Mellonia is really lovely. It’s sticky, sweet honey that isn’t overly sugary or cloying. I feel like there’s something almost softly floral about it, like orange blossom.

The lotion itself is light and non-oily. It’s the perfect weight for me, since I live in a climate that is hot and humid with winters that never go below 48 degrees Fahrenheit.  If you’re looking for a really heavy-duty moisturizer, this is not it. But its great for warmer weather.

Moisturizing Body Spray

$4 for 1oz, $6 for 2oz, $12 for 4oz and $24 for 8oz

For this, I went with the Magical Girl scent, a “sweet, toasty marshmallow.” I figured this would be a good scent that I could just spray on and go and not have to worry about it being too obtrusive to other people.

Magical Girl is just as described: toasty marshmallow. Its sweeter than something like BPAL Stekkjarstaur, and more vanilla-y. It’s really fluffy and sugary and I like it a lot.

The spray is pretty straight-forward. It’s not sticky and it doesn’t leave a residue behind. I like to just throw it in my bag when I’m on the go and I just want a light spritz of scent.

Bubble Bath

$4 for 2oz, $6 for 4oz and $10 for 8oz

Aphrodite’s Temple was the scent for this one: “Honey slathered peaches with a hint of spice and vanilla, rounded out with rose and a touch of sweet burning wood.” I heard that it was super peachy, so I had to get it.

I am IN LOVE with this scent. It might be my favorite of the bunch. It’s decadent, juicy peaches with spiced vanilla and woodsmoke. It’s not incensy, which makes me very happy. I’m probably going to get this in other forms.

The bubble bath is nice and sudsy and I also like how it can be used as a body wash as well.

All in all, I’m very happy with my Luvmilk purchases! Aphrodite’s Temple was my favorite scent and I really like the lotion in particular. I will definitely be purchasing again. The summer collection just dropped today (6/1),so I highly recommend checking out the shop!

My Pretty Zombie Cosmetics: Brisket and Anthrax

My Pretty Zombie is another indie cosmetic company. They make eyeshadow, blush, setting powder, nail polish and lipstick. Most of their products are known for their interesting or edgy names like Anthrax, Everything Looks Better on a Meat Hook and Grandma Cleavage. I purchased two of their most popular shades in a destash: Brisket and Anthrax. Both are available on the My Pretty Zombie website for $5 each for 5g jar.

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The top shade is Anthrax and the bottom shade is Brisket. All swatches were done over Urban Decay Primer Potion.

 

Anthrax

Purple to Green with a gold to red shift

“Oh, what are you wearing on your eyes?”

“Anthrax.”

Besides being a hilarious answer to the question “what eyeshadow are you wearing?”, Anthrax is a really interesting color because its a purple and green duochrome, which is quite unusual. It’s so gorgeous and I have never seen another eye shadow quite like it.

Brisket

Copper with a red to gold shift

Brisket was recently reformulated, so this is the original formula of Brisket. The color is more gold while the new one is more copper according to the website. I’m honestly freaking out about this color. I really love warm-toned eye looks and its hard to find something more warm than this. It’s so fiery and vibrant. It honestly looks like someone took the Eye of Sauron and made it into an eye shadow. I’m in love.

I am extremely impressed with both of these eyeshadows. The colors are spectacular and unique and the formula is really good too. It’s pigmented without having heavy fallout. I look forward to exploring more of My Pretty Zombie’s eyeshadows in the near future.

Shiro Cosmetics: Eyeshadows and Lipgloss

The indie community isn’t just made up of perfume; there are many cosmetic companies as well, and one of the most famous is Shiro Cosmetics. Shiro makes loose eyeshadows, lip gloss, highlighters, blush, and nail polish and all of the collections are themed around a book, TV show or movie. Just a taste: there’s Harry Potter Collection, a Fullmetal Alchemist collection, a Game of Thrones collection and an amazing collection based around Nicolas Cage and different time periods. Those are only the tip of the iceberg. Today I will be reviewing a handful of eyeshadows samples and a lip gloss. Eyeshadow samples are $1 US, a mini jar is $3.75 US and a full jar is $6 US. Lipgloss is $2 US for a sample and $9 US for a full size. Shiro also includes free random eyeshadow samples with every order!

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From top to bottom: Alkahestry, Day of Reckoning, A Fell Voice on the Air, The Boy Who Lived, Colonel, Have a Biscuit Potter, Lingered in Twilight. All swatches done over Urban Decay Primer Potion.

Alkahestry from the Fullmetal Collection

Sheer-ish pale violet with a brilliant blue-sparkle base. Lip-safe!

GLITTER BOMB. The color is gorgeous, but because its so glittery it can be difficult to work with. You’ll need a glitter primer/adhesive for this one.

4/5

Day of Reckoning from the Fullmetal Collection

Intense, metallic deep burgundy. Lip-safe!

I think this one is my favorite of the bunch. The color is magnificent and its very pigmented. It goes on smoothly with minimal fallout. It definitely looks more purple than red on me.

5/5

A Fell Voice on the Air from the #JustLegolasThings Collection

Bold iris purple with strong green/aqua shift and golden sparks. Not lip-safe.

I’m torn on this one. On one hand, the color is really pretty once you apply it correctly, but on the other hand, its very sheer so it takes a while to get the color to its full potential. I find it more blue than purple as well.

3/5

The Boy Who Lived from the Marauders, Mugwumps and Muggles Collection

Pure smooth charcoal with Gryffindor-worthy sheen: a heart of warm red and bright flecks of gold. Lip-safe!

This one is my least favorite. It has a ton of fallout and the color just seems like a dull brown with some sparkles in it. It’s fine for a plain neutral, but I was expecting more.

2/5

Colonel from the Fullmetal Collection

Military blue packed with gold sparkle. Not lip-safe.

This one is highly pigmented and the color is true to the description. However, it does have a lot of fallout.

3.5/5

Have a Biscuit, Potter from the Marauders, Mugwumps and Muggles Collection

Pure metallic emerald, gives an intense depth of color without being too dark in the base. Not lip-safe.

THE COLOR. This is one of the prettiest eye shadows I’ve ever seen. It’s a true, Emerald City green. Unfortunately, I find that green eyeshadow looks really weird on my skin tone, but if you love green shadow, you need this in your life.

5/5

Lingered in Twilight from The Hobbit Collection

A twilit forest: blackened blue and green tones with slightly metallic shimmer. Not lip-safe.

SO PRETTY. The swatch I did doesn’t do this one justice. I find it to be more of a black with green and blue sparkles, but its absolutely stunning. I love using this for a smoky eye look.

5/5

Red Wedding Lip Gloss from the Seven Kingdoms Collection

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Very opaque blood-red. Flavored with cheerful fruity cranberry!

First off, I had to get this because of the name. I got the full size because I had a feeling I was going to love this and I was right. It looks like straight up blood; the perfect mix of dark red and brown. It’s not sticky and it lasts for a while and leaves a lovely stain behind.

7/5

All in all, I really like Shiro Cosmetics. They make some really unique eyeshadows and their lipgloss formula is incredible. Their samples are a great way to try out different colors and finishes and the price point is awesome too!