Indie Eyeshadow & Blush Swatches (plus one animated .gif!)

I recently participated in an Indie beauty gift exchange and due to the generosity of my swap partner, I now have a new hoard of indie cosmetics to try out.

So let my gain be your gain, swatch-wise.

I wanted to get some quick swatches up, with more fulsome reviews when I’ve had a chance to use them for a while longer.

First, a couple of loose powder blushes, swatched with my fingers, over Milani primer.


No Flash. 
Hello Waffle Farewell Bright Sun
Fyrrinae Nordic Angel
Fyrrinae Bewitching
My Pretty Zombie LSD


With flash. 
Hello Waffle Farewell Bright Sun
Fyrrinae Nordic Angel
Fyrrinae Bewitching
My Pretty Zombie LSD

On to the loose eyeshadows! Some of these are duochromatic and/or glittery, so I even made an animated .gif so you can get a better sense for how pretty these are! These were swatched over Milani primer, with my finger. Two passes each for the most part.


Eyeshadow swatches, no flash. 
Fyrinnae Velvet Vampire
Fyrinnae Nepenthe
Fyrinnae Velveteen Werewolf
Fyrinnae Dark Bidding
Corvus La Femme a Barbe
Corvus Barely a Bite
Corvus Northern Lights
Fyrinnae Innocent Sorrow
AFK Freeze Ray.


Eyeshadow swatches, with flash.
Fyrinnae Velvet Vampire
Fyrinnae Nepenthe
Fyrinnae Velveteen Werewolf
Fyrinnae Dark Bidding
Corvus La Femme a Barbe
Corvus Barely a Bite
Corvus Northern Lights
Fyrinnae Innocent Sorrow
AFK Freeze Ray.



From Top to bottom:

Fyrinnae Velvet Vampire

Fyrinnae Nepenthe

Fyrinnae Velveteen Werewolf

Fyrinnae Dark Bidding

Corvus La Femme a Barbe

Corvus Barely a Bite

Corvus Northern Lights

Fyrinnae Innocent Sorrow

AFK Freeze Ray

Thanks to my swap partner for these awesome goodies!! I can’t wait to try out some makeup looks with these.



In My Cart: Stuff I Probably Won’t Buy (Yet)

Every now and then, I publish a few of the items lurking in my online shopping carts, waiting for me to be harebrained or flush with enough cash to pull the trigger. Generally, these things sit for a looooong time before they get purchased, especially as I am on a low-buy right now.

Store: Sephora

Sephora Favorites Quench Your Skin Set, $56 CAD


I’m obsessed with skin care right now, particularly moisturizers as the dry weather + heating on indoors is hell on my atopic, dry and sensitive skin. However! This set feels a bit steep in price for what amounts to a large pile of 100-point Beauty Insider Perks. I nearly got this lil’ guy when the “double points for skincare” promo was on but I think waiting was the right call. Despite several in-store visits last time I was in Toronto I haven’t seen this set in Canadian Sephora stores at all.

Hourglass Ambient Strobe Lighting Blush Palette, $75 CAD


This blush palette has been calling my name since it launched. I love the look of these blushes and have swatched all of them a million times, frozen with indecision. THEY ARE ALL SO PRETTY. The palette’s not cheap by any means but certainly cheaper to buy the set of 3 than to buy them for $45 each. This is what I tell myself anyway. SIGH.

Dior Rouge Dior Lipstick in Grège 1947, $43 CAD


This lipstick is just too dang expensive. Much like a few others I’m lusting after, it’s a very basic color that I could probably easily dupe. I am not spending this much on a lipstick, maybe ever. Second runner up goes to Evan in the Tom Ford Lips & Boys line.

Store: Beautylish

By Terry Hyaluronic Hydra-Powder, $78 CAD


This is a loose face powder that promises HYDRATION, guys. That’s nuts, and as a dry skin sufferer, I feel compelled to try it, as setting powder is a necessary (and often drying) evil. HOWEVER. This powder is ridiculously expensive. And who is to say that a hyaluronic acid treatment in powder form is even effective? I’d much rather get a good HA-infused mask or cream where it’s more directly absorbing, right? Right? I dunno. Still want it. Going to resist, though.

Lit Cosmetics Water Resistant Glitter Base, $33 CAD


This one just feels silly considering the price for a very tiny amount of product (1 FL oz). I don’t actually wear glitter enough to justify the purchase, although the Sparkle Unicorn part of myself insists that if I DID buy it, I would wear more glitter and thus justify the purchase. Anyway I have a tube of Sephora brand glitter glue to finish up, which definitely doesn’t do the job as well as I’d like, but I want to use it up and move on.

Store: Nordstrom

OOHLALA Beauty Aurore Jumbo Cosmetics Pouch, $38 CAD


This pouch is insanely cute and even though I don’t really need it, I need it, you dig? It really represents my gender identity (“kitsch femme”?) better than a label could. I have a real problem with wanting something cute, pastel and girly then talking myself out of it because I am a grown 34 year old woman.

HANAHZO Mendl’s Pink Soap, $19.20 CAD


This soap is $20. That is some Lush-style bullshit. I mean, would it look SO GOOD in a guest bathroom? Would I feel like the coolest person with this soap? For sure it would, and I would. But that soap is way too expensive. Calm down on the soap price, everyone. No matter how cute it is. Like, decorative soaps are a path to heartbreak no matter what. If someone uses them, it is a BETRAYAL of your trust as a host/ess with nice soaps that are to look at and not use. If no one uses them, it is also a betrayal (of the soap’s true purpose).

Brand: TooFaced

La Creme Color Drenched Lipstick in Unicorn Tears, $26 CAD


I’ve got a big heart-on for anything iridescent these days, and boy is this lipstick unique. That said, where exactly am I wearing this, in my mind? A rave in 1998? A My Little Pony convention? Most likely, like all my other “weird” lipsticks, just around the house until my wife makes fun of me for looking like I blew a forest sprite. Still…pretttttty. Luckily enough it’s been sold out or not available in-stores for ages, so the impulse buy becomes increasingly unlikely.

Brand: Zoeva

MAKEUP ARTIST ZOE BAG: Rose Golden Vol. 3, $350 CAD


After buying a couple of single brushes I am OBSESSED with this brand, particularly this rose gold set. Will I ever shell out this much money at once for brushes? I highly doubt it. But a gal can dream, right?



Beauty Products I’m Lusting After

I am ALWAYS creeping on some beauty product or another, and back when I was working at my day job, I could justify a lil’ spending spree online or at Sephora or MAC pretty quickly. The pain of sitting at a desk could only be soothed by a little retail therapy.

Nowadays, I’m lucky to be able to buy a new lip balm, so I either have to a) wait for beauty events that I can cover for this here blog and/or She Does The City (where I also write, dontcha know?) or b) get a tiny sample and milk it forever or c) cry and look at pictures of the pretty pretty stuff on the internet that I can’t afford.

So here’s a roundup of everything I’m obsessed with right now. The longer I am unemployed, the more of these you will likely see!

Anastasia Beverly Hills Glow Kit in Moonchild


Hoooooo-boy. Did you see this? Are you kidding me?! I love love love my Glow Kit in Gleam, and was praying for a new one to come out that spanned across the blue-lavender-silver spectrum. And here it is….LIMITED EDITION and of course I am crying hysterically because I really can’t get it. Wait a few months and these bad boys are going to be like $100 on eBay.

Green and Blue Lipsticks – Various


KALE – Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Summer Collection


TIME – Urban Decay – Alice Through The Looking Glass Collection


JUNKIE and HEROINE – Urban Decay Vice Lipsticks

Ok, I know…these shades make me look full bananas. AND I already have a few “unconventional” shades that I never wear. BUT! These are so, so freaking pretty I just can’t help but swatch them every time I get the chance. LOVERLY. I want to look like an algae-encrusted swamp witch and that is what feminism is all about!

Green/Herbal Perfumes


Aqua Allegoria Herba Fresca – by Guerlain


Verde – by NEST fragrances

Summer perfumes to me are usually kind of fruity, or the kind of heavy, intoxicating florals that linger on the air. This summer, my two most lusted after perfumes are ones that smell green and fresh, like a freshly cut bunch of herbs.

Link Roundup: Beauty

The Fascinating History of the Beauty Blender – Honestly this makes me feel better about giving that company so much of my money!

How Do Bubbling Oxygen Masks Work? – Lab Muffin

Brutally Honest Beauty has a great run-down on the Choix High End Samples Subscription Service, which I hadn’t about.

I’m obsessed with nail videos right now, but my fave by far is Suzie from the Nail Career Education YouTube. Here’s her run down on the difference between gel and acrylic nails:


Product review: Tatcha Rice Enzyme Powder

This powder is a high-end facial cleanser meant to harness the softening and calming qualities of rice bran with the mild exfoliation element of crushed pearl. The product promises gentle cleansing, brightening and an overall benefit to the complexion.

Having used it most days this week, I can say that it definitely fits the “luxury” side of the bill. Tatcha’s whole line is based upon the notion of beauty ritual, harkening to a spa-like skin care regime. This mini jar costs $15 USD at Sephora, making it a pricey trial (the “full-sized” 2.1 ounce jar is $65 USD). This pretty-much sets the bar for high-end skin care in terms of price as well as quality.

Two things jump out at me from the description on the Sephora site (you can google it if you want to, I’m not sending any traffic their way, for the amount of money I make it rain over there, they should probably send me some):

First, as a brand Tacha is really into name-checking Geishas as a key part of their brand story; along with much subtler exoticism.  Add in the usual anti-aging women’s catnip of promises to make your skin like that of an infant. Secondly, Tatcha promises to donate some proceeds from every purchase towards a girls’ education charity. That’s nice. I feel like their entire brand is aiming to snag some dollars from Your Rich Friend’s Well-Meaning Mom Who Definitely Takes A Lot of Benzodiazepines.

The powder canister is a work of lovely design, which even for the trial size feels well-made, sturdy and carefully thought out.

To use the product, you sprinkle a couple shakes into the palm of your hand, add a few drops of water and it lathers up into a subtly rice-smelling grit. I do not mean that in a bad way. It’s a homey, comforting smell without the often overused evils you find in luxury products – artificial scents or dyes being the worst offenders, in my book.

The product does gently cleanse the face, leaving it soft. There is even a mild soothing or anti-inflammatory effect, as rice bran is known to create. I am always interested in skin care products featuring rice derivatives, as they have been used extensively in Asia to combat sensitivity, dryness and eczema in any number of formulations.

In my first-look YouTube video (forthcoming – I will post here once I get a chance to edit it), I mentioned that this product has a good dupe in the form of the Indeed Laboratories Exfoliating Powder, which is a similar product with some ingredient overlap. Overall the Indeed is a much more affordable product in this category – but they are still formulated very differently and I do find that over a week’s use I can definitely see some differences between the two.

The key differences between the two are obvious in perusing their ingredient lists:

First, Indeed Laboratories Exfoliating Powder:

sodium myristoyl glutamate, malic acid, sodium carbonate, peg-150, zea mays (corn) starch, sorbitol, sodium lauroyl glutamate, sodium polyacrylate, polyethylene, phenoxyethanol, silica, alcohol, menthol, sodium acetylated hyaluronate, cladosiphon okamuranus extract, phyllostachys heterocycla stem extract, bromelain, butylene glycol, water, dextrin, oryza sativa (rice) bran extract.

Second, the Tatcha rice enzyme powder:

Oryza Sativa (rice) Powder, Microcrystalline Cellulose, Potassium Myristate, Cellulose, Water, Papain (papaya Extract), Camellia Sinensis (green Tea) Leaf Extract, Hydrolyzed Conchiolin (pearl) Protein, Oryza Sativa (rice) Bran, Algae Extract, Glycerin, Dextrin, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol

You’ll note that the overlap mainly lies in the rice bran. Overall the Tatcha seems to have a lot more other extracts, presumably naturally-derived. While rice bran is low on the list for both powders, the Tatcha powder does begin with a base of rice. The Indeed powder is in a base of baking soda and corn starch – this alone can explain a lot of the price differential.

Overall I do think if you want to try the Tatcha powder, you should. If you’re on a budget they often offer free samples, and the company’s customer service is often raved about among internet-beauty crowd. It is a gentle, eczema-friendly product with some noticeable softening and brightening effect. If you are into ritualistic, soothing skin care regimen, this would be a great addition to your routine.

If you’re on a budget or having a low/no spend period, then I would recommend skipping it for now and maybe trying the Indeed formula if you want a similar spa-like gently exfoliating facial cleanser without the exorbitant cost.

Overall grade: B+

Will I buy again? Only if I’m feeling spendy; considering purchasing a trial kit from their website.