The Monkey Is In.

So be prepared. Bring a banana.

I'm a writer of horror and dark fiction. I've been doing this since 1999 and believe me when I say, it's cheaper than therapy and safer for the world at large.

Filtering by Tag: indie company

Makeup Monsters' The Dragon Child Eye Shadow Palette

I've been following Makeup Monsters on InstaGram for a while now but have not purchased anything before this palette. I just like seeing the stuff they create and sell and figured I'd be inspired to buy something some day. 

And that day has come.

I've never pre-ordered any makeup palette before but the theme alone made me do it. Anyone who knows me, knows I love dragons. I ordered this in May and just got it the first week of July. And believe me, it was worth the wait.

Now, from what I understand, Makeup Monsters will be changing their business name and plan starting next year. They will become Makeup Menagerie because they love all animals and want a portion of their future proceeds to go to help animals. Which I think it's pretty tits. They will eventually phase out some products but this palette will stick around so if you're interested in it after reading my review, go find them. MAKEUP MONSTERS

(This is not a sponsored post; I bought this palette with my own money; All opinions are my honest ones.)

The palette is up front with the matching sleeve in the back. Both holographic. Both cool.

The palette is up front with the matching sleeve in the back. Both holographic. Both cool.

So far I've used this palette to create three looks but there's a lot of potential in here. Don't expect to get anything neutral out of it - if bright colors are not your thing, you might skip this one.

The palette retails for $42 and you get 12 shades - 10 mattes, 2 metallics (no info on how much product is in each pan, though). The packaging has a nice heft to it which makes me think it'll be good for travelling. The colors are super pigmented and the shimmers feel like butter. The mattes feel a little dry but they perform great. These pics were taken in natural light and they are true to color. I've seen other pics where Flame Tongue looks like Sugarpill's Love+ but it's not a true red at all. You'll see the swatches below.

I did NOT go ham-fisted for the swatches. I swirled my finger in each pan twice then wiped on my skin. The first fingertips pic is before swatching; the second is after. Still a lot of color left behind! 

You can see how much powder is kicked up just from the finger swatches. So when you go in with a brush, there's even more. Just be aware of that and go gentle...easy does it. There you go.

You'll also note that the blue colors stain the skin. It's not forever. By the end of the day, my fingers were fine. But when I wore them on my eyes, the stain lasted a good 24 hours after I removed the shadow. Not so much that it looked like I'd been in a fight with Leon Spinx but it was noticeable on my pale skin. It might not be as bad on darker skin tones.

Below are the looks I created.

I used Flame Tongue (orange red) in the crease, Mother Dragon (brick/burgandy red) in the outer V, Firefly (yellow gold shimmer) on the lid, and Dragon Rider (neon turquoise) on the lower lash line (over the LA Girl gel liner in Royal Blue). I couldn't quite capture the lovely sparkle of Firefly, even when I took a video, but I might try again. It is so gorgeous.

The blue look didn't turn out how I expected. Myth or Legend and Dragon Rider look VERY similar on the eyes. I also started with a neutral crease color from another palette so that could have affected the look.

Myth or Legend and Wyrm (bright teal and periwinkle) in the crease ; Dragon Rider (bright turquoise) on the lid; Cave Dweller (navy blue) in the outer V; some Stone Drake (lavender) above the crease to add some purple, since the blues were all kind of merging into one color, and Lucky on the inner corner. I used a Tarte purple gel liner for my wing and lower lash line, then smudged some Stone Drake over the bottom lash line.

It's hard to believe there are this many colors on my eyes as it appears to be only 2-3, which is a little disappointing. But, I will try to use them again - just not all at the same time. The teal of Myth or Legend might stand out more against the green, reds, lavenders, or the charcoal grey.

So far the most disappointing factor is the similarities between Dragon Rider and Myth or Legend, and Wyrm and Stone Drake. I feel like one of each of those pairs could have been replaced with something else. Even Dragon Child, which does have the mint green aspect, still looks more blue.

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You can see in the above swatches how similar the periwinkle/lavender shades are. And, though the blues are more pigmented and you can see more teal on the left, on the eyes they translate as identical. This was taken with natural light coming through the window over my shoulder.

For the final look, I wanted to give the green shade, Sleeping Dragon, the spotlight. It is a more muted green, like Kelly Green and Forest Green had a baby. So I put NYX's jumbo pencil in Milk down first. The bright mint color, Dragon Child, is in the crease and along the lower lash line over a NYX eye liner in Sea Foam Green, and Smoke Em Out (charcoal grey) is in the outer V and a little in the crease, as well. Finally put Firefly in the inner corner.

I do like how the Smoke Em Out shade almost morphs into a complementary color when placed next to something else. So it kind of looks like a forest green here. I'll have to play around with it and see if it does the same thing with the other bright colors, which would be disappointing because then I imagine the blues will look like Cave Dweller. But we'll see!

UPDATE: After wearing this look for about 8 hours, I did notice some fading/creasing where the Smoke Em Out color is. I'm not talking about the very corner where the two lids meet (that's where my eyes water and oil builds up). I mean the lines that are extending from the outer V onto the lid. That kind of creasing doesn't happen a lot, even for me, but when it does, it's usually lower quality shadows or the less pigmented ones. *sad trombone*

I think I would have liked a deeper purple color to replace one of the lavenders; keep just one of the bright blues and give the other a metallic finish; and change the mint green to a more neon shade or perhaps another metallic or even satin finish.

But that's just me. And I'm not saying I don't like this palette or regret buying it. I'm pretty happy with it and I plan to get a lot of use out of it.

If you're looking for a soft or neutral eye look, this ain't for you. Even if some of the colors are softer or muted, they pack a lot of punch! And, so far, I've had no issues with fading or creasing throughout the day. Even as I apply them, I haven't had tons of fall out on my face, and they do kick up a lot of powder, though I am careful not to overload the brush.

I have to say I'm very impressed with this palette. It makes me want to buy a few more of their other makeup items to see if they are just as gorgeous. Click the link above if you'd like to check them out for yourselves!

Notoriously Morbid Mystic Monthly July 2018

For those who don't know, Notoriously Morbid is an indie make-up brand and they have a monthly subscription service. For $10, you get one of their Mystic Matte liquid lipsticks and one other full-size lip product. They are also Cruelty Free and subscribers get a coupon code every month for future shopping! Check them out here: NOTORIOUSLY MORBID.

(I pay for this service with my own money and all opinions are my honest ones)

The 2018 theme for the subscription is The Dragons Tail so this month we have a color inspired by the Japanese ocean dragon, Ryujin.

It is a dark ocean blue with silver and gold shift and gold sparkles. I'm not sure I can see the gold but the silver makes it look like more like an icy deep blue. FUCKING GORGEOUS. (It matches my hair a little too much so I'll be remedying that with more purple soon...). Again, it's a very thin formula, more like water, and one layer can be sheer and little streaky/patchy.

So I let it dry down completely then added a blue lip liner to hide the natural pigmentation of my lips before applying a second coat of the lipstick. I've only received three colors so far but this has got to be my favorite.

They included a piece of bubble gum this month so I took an action shot because...why not?

The other item is a lip sugar scrub (it must be new because I can't find it on their site). Basically it's the Slumber Salve mixed with sugar. And it works beautifully. It doesn't taste too sweet, either, so I wasn't tempted to lick it all off before the oils and waxes could soften the skin.

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Very happy with this month's items. I look forward to see what else comes my way in the future.

Notoriously Morbid Mystic Monthly Subscription May 2018

I really thought I'd be on the waiting list for much longer before a space opened up on this lip product subscription service. But here we are! Right now this will be more of an introduction than a review. I have my Invisalign trays for only a few more weeks (gods willing) and once that's done, I can get a better idea of how most of these products will work. But let's get better acquainted with Notoriously Morbid, shall we?

Notoriously Morbid is an indie cosmetics company based in West Virginia, in the Appalachian Mountains. They are also cruelty free (hooray!) which is what made me check them out in the first place. From their site:

We pride ourselves in creating unique cosmetics that are
perfect for those who embrace their beautiful darkness.

Notoriously Morbid makes a ton of different beauty products, from eye shadows, face powders, body lotions, primers, blush and bronzers, lipsticks, and more. You will find a lot of the more 'unusual' colors, like deep greys, blues, greens, bright fuschias, etc., that many people may not find comfortable to wear on a daily basis (or can't due to work restrictions or what not) but there are tons of 'wearable' colors, too. None of that shit makes me uncomfortable and I work from home so further into the fray I went.

I discovered they have 2 subscription services. The Vanishing Cabinet is a monthly beauty subscription that costs $13.25 (domestic US) for 4-5 items, usually mini, with a pop culture theme. The Mystic Monthly is their lipstick subscription service with a yearly theme. It runs $10 for US customers (shipping included) and you get one full size exclusive Mystic Matte lipstick and one other full size lip product (could be another lip stick or something else already in stock). The theme for 2018 is "The Dragon's Tail". HOW COULD I NOT SIGN UP???

I signed up for the lipstick one because, unless you're new here and don't know, I'm a lipstick whore. I hopped on the waiting list and figured I'd get in long after my Invisalign was done. 

SURPRISE!

As I type this I'my wearing the Mystic Matte I received so I could at least get an idea of how it looks on my lips and how it feels. Not really trying to test the longevity yet but so far it's doing a pretty bang up job. Hopefully next month I can be a bit more thorough! But let me share a few pics I've taken of the products I received in my first month.

Free Dum Dum? HELLZ YEAH!

Free Dum Dum? HELLZ YEAH!

Notoriously Morbid includes a little info sheet with an explanation of the theme, lipstick name, the ingredients of both products, plus a shopping code (which is not for the unbelievers...I mean, non subscribers), and a sucker. Awesome! I think I got the cherry flavor because of the Slumber Salve.

The Slumber Salve is exactly what it sounds like. You put it on at bed time, sleep, and wake up with soft lips! The scent/flavor is cherry, strawberry, butterscotch, and pink lemonade. The lemonade is the strongest and it's seriously smells like a glass of pink lemonade. I haven't tried it overnight yet so I'll update you in another post. The little jar isn't full and searching the pics on the site, though the tubs look a little different, they are definitely more filled than mine. Keep in mind the product in my subscription is coating only one side of the jar (I'm guessing it melted a bit in shipping but it hadn't leaked or anything) and even after I scraped it out and set it right, the container was not full or even close. It might be filled by weight but even then, I have a hard time believing it's correct.

The Mystic Matte liquid lipstick is the main event here. I don't know if this color is the same for all subscriptions but it's called Katla. There's an explanation for that on the little sheet of paper, which is kinda cool. This color is a beautiful light copper with a pink base. Once you let the lipstick set a bit, and press your lips together, a bright gold sheen pops up. It's stunning. I don't think I captured it in the swatches, though. I like that the tube comes with a little mirror, too!

First pic is the lipstick freshly applied, still wet. The second was after it set a bit and I opened my window shade to let in some sun. You can really see the gold sparkles there! The gold sheen is a little apparent in the 3rd pic but my phone camera just didn't do it justice. The last photo shows that even after its set, you can still smudge the color (and that really shows the pink base). So while it IS set on the lips and kiss proof, it will come off when eating or drinking. 

Not sure if you can see how damn pretty Katla is in these last pics but trust me, she is. And now that I've had it on for a couple of hours (playing with the dog, drinking water, licking my lips as I struggle to figure out how to move forward on my current story...), you can see how it's faded on the inner rim of my lip. Which makes sense because that's the wet part (that's what he said) and most lip products will not adhere there for any period of time. It also hasn't bled or feathered into the lines around my mouth and that's awesome. I did NOT use a lip liner before applying Katla to my lips.

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So for my first exposure to this brand, I have to say I'm happy. The full size Mystic Matte goes for $12.50 and the lip salve is $4 (though, again, I don't think my jar was full which is fucking weak). But I don't want to judge anything to high or harsh after just one month's experience with the service. I'll keep you all posted!

Medusa's Makeup September 2017 Review

For those who don't know, Medusa's Makeup is an indie brand that has a monthly subscription service. For $16 you get 3-5 full-sized makeup products that are vegan and cruelty free. Check them out here: MEDUSASMAKEUP

I pay for this service with my own money and all opinions are my honest ones. And if I'm remembering correctly, the each of the remaining months of 2017 will include a brand new MM product.

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I love that MM includes an information card that tells you about the products you've received AND how much they're worth. I seriously think the only service NOT doing this is Ipsy. WTH. From the dark berry colors it looks like this month was going for a Fall theme. I think.

Eye Glitter in Key Lime Pie: This is the 3rd glitter I've received and just like the others, I'm less than impressed. The color is cool but as you can see, it's hard to get a full non-patchy application (yes, I put glitter glue down on my hand first). And I tried for several minutes to build it up but it just never got there. $8

(NEW) Luminous Creme in Star Bright: At first, I loved the look of this. Not so much reflective or shimmery but more like a wet look. I figured it might be too waxy but it's very smooth, softer than I thought. Unfortunately, once the wetness absorbed into the skin or evaporated, all that was left was glitter. I had glitter all over my face after I used this - and no, I didn't use it the same time as the eye glitter so it wasn't that. $12

Totally Baked Eye Shadow in Awesome: Though this is the 4th eye shadow I've received, I LOVE THIS COLOR! Gorgeous magenta berry shade, on the info card is says it can be used as blush and that's how I've been using it. It is beautiful! The swatch on the left is the shadow used with a wet brush and the swatch on the right is with a dry finger (ouch). I can't wait to try this on my eyes. $9

Lip Paint in Bang: After getting three meh colors in other months, I'm totally digging this! I love the formula of these lip paints but I haven't been super excited about the shades. Again that fall berry/magenta color is gorgeous! The lip swatch got a bit messy because I was trying to avoid my Invisalign appliances but otherwise, I love it. $9

After going back and looking through the past 6 months, I'm getting a lot of repeats. I know this is a smaller brand so I can't expect a bazillion different products, but there are a lot I haven't received yet. I've probably donated half of what I've gotten so far so I'm not sure if I'll continue through the rest of the year. Sure, I'm excited to see what NEW products they'll include each month, but will it be worth another 3 glitters or eye shadows or lip paints? I just don't know.

 

Medusa's Makeup August 2017 Review

For those who may not know, Medusa's Makeup is a vegan and cruelty free indie makeup brand with their own monthly subscription service. For $16 each month you get 3-5 full sized products to try (so far I've always received 4). Check them out here: MEDUSASMAKEUP

I pay for this service with my own money and all opinions are my honest ones.

I have to say I'm a little meh about this month's box. 

Deluxe False Lashes - Lite: I don't really wear falsies (heh - anyone up on 50s lingo knows why I'm chuckling at that), not even for cosplay. But these feel so light and don't have that thick band that I might consider it. However, you can see from the closeup above that they don't even look the same. The left eye flare out at the end is sparse and was already bending off kilter when I tried to measure them for my eye. It also looks not as full through the rest of the lash either. The right one looks great but what the hell? They look super cheap. Probably won't even bother. $8

Totally Baked Eye Shadow in Whatever: This is the third baked eye shadow I've received. It's beautiful like the others. But I finally realized that since these are baked, the might look better and last longer if applied wet. So you can see the different in the photos. I'm going to try the wet method with the other 2 and see if that helps! $9

Eye Dust in Ultraviolence (Gods, I love that name!): Like the last two eye dusts I've received, Ultraviolence is GORGEOUS!! It's an icy lavender. Looks kinda white but there's definitely a soft purple shift to it. $8

Metal AF Lip Gloss in Cherry Pie: I was so excited to see this. AND I got the red color! But...I can't say I like it. The formula is thin and watery, like a liquid lipstick, so I had a little trouble getting a clean line on my lips (see pics below). It dries down rather quickly so it won't budge, unless you eat or drink something. Somehow it manages to keep a sheen - kind of like a muted chrome finish. So I wouldn't consider that metal as fuck. It is, however, streaky AF. The first pic below is the lip gloss alone, after it's dried. My bottom lip is okay but the top is awful. Liquid lip products tend to leave a heavier line at the outer edge, which you can see, but it also did that on the inner rim. The middle of my lip looks lighter in some spots. You can build it up to an even coat but just avoid the already darker areas - it's hard to fix once it sets. The bottom pic is with lip balm over the dried gloss. It does help the feeling of dryness with this gloss but it also accentuates the patchiness. So while this is a gorgeous color, it's a pain in the ass. It wears off weird at the corners of my mouth (even when I don't eat or drink) and it created dryness when I removed it. My lips were peeling pink patches for hours after I scrubbed this off. I'll probably just wear this with a lip balm or other creamy lip product because on it's own, I can't stand it. $11

A $36 dollar value is pretty good (the card says $37 but according to their website the eye dust is $8 not $9) though I'm disappointed with how many repeats I'm getting. They make several others items that I've never received but I suppose since they are a smaller company, I can't expect a shit ton of variety every time. I may only continue this for a few more months, though. We'll see...