A non-toxic beauty blog focusing on botanical ingredients, honest reviews, affordable options, lifestyle musings, and more than a touch of humor.
"I now look back fondly at those being the most constructive years for preparing me for life in the real world...You have to have pretty thick skin and you have to have big shoulders." - Tom Curley

Monday, March 31, 2014

Product Review: Madison Street Beauty Eyeshadows & Bronzer + SWATCHES!

Okay guys, here's what you've been waiting for... swatches of all of my beautiful Madison Street Beauty samples! Just an FYI - Madison Street Beauty is doing a freaking AMAZING sale right now -- 60% off everything in the store! Unfortunately, this sale ends tomorrow, April 1st, so jump on that soon.

Now, without further ado, the swatches!

Parisian Pink: a shimmery, opaque pale pink; a very sweet, feminine color.

Apricot: a gorgeous, sheer orange/coral color; very versatile, I've used this as a blush as well as a shadow and I love it!

Fuschia: a bright magenta with lots of silvery sparkle.

Redcurrant: a lovely Terra-cotta red that can double as a bold lip color when added to water or a soft lip balm.

BonBon: a rich, chocolatey matte brown; very pigmented, can be a bit difficult to blend.

Shamrock: a bright, cheerful matte green.

Golden Olive: a deep olive green with golden shimmer, one of my favorites.

Dusk: love this color! A beautiful purpley blue with sliver shimmer, much less green than it appears in MSB's Etsy shop.

Starry Night: a very unique color, gunmetal grey mixed with an almost opalescent shimmer; both this and Dusk make great eyeliner.

Moroccan Bronze: wow, lots of sparkle! A bit more gold than bronze, perfect for layering over neutrals or just creating a bold golden eye.

Gold Dust: pale golden pixie dust; can be a little difficult to work with, as it doesn't like to adhere to skin without plenty of primer; can be used as a highlighter.

Opal: this shadow is like nothing else I've ever bought. The photo really doesn't do it justice. It appears pale gold or white, but when applied to the skin, it has an amazingly multifaceted, iridescent sheer shimmer. Be warned -- don't use as highlighter! It has unexpected purple tones that don't work well for highlighting.

Candied Fig: a nice neutral, very sheer but buildable. I use this one for subtle looks.

Galaxy: a pleasant surprise -- beautiful taupe with hints of rich purple and a coppery shimmer.

Rose Bronze (Bronzer): this is the first bronzer I've ever used and I love it! Very natural, adds a lovely hint of color to the face. I've also used it as a neutral blush with a dark smokey eye.

So how did these shadows perform? Well, like many mineral shadows, they tend to be a little messy to apply. This can be remedied with careful brush strokes, but I usually end up having to clean up around my eyes with some powder after application. These shadows are also somewhat less pigmented that other mineral shadows I've tried. Several left just a sheer shimmer, rather than color on my lids. I had to apply several layers of Candied Fig to get the taupe I was looking for, which left me VERY sparkly. I'm not sure how I feel about this sheerness yet. It does make it easier to control your color and removal of stray powder is less of a pain than with Star Crushed Minerals' or W3LL People shadows. However, it wasn't what I was expecting. For many of the swatches above, I had to use several heavy layers of product to get colors vibrant enough for photos.

The packaging on these is fairly standard, though be warned -- the smaller samples don't have a sifter lid. This was a bit irritating to deal with, but at such great prices (especially with the 60% off), I can't really complain. Lack of sifter lid + more product needed + general messiness of mineral shadows = a bit of fumbling and annoyance, but I don't hold it against the shop. I am considering using these samples to experiment with pressing my own shadow, though! 

I assume that the owner of this shop is currently inundated with orders, as mine was several days late on delivery. Not that I was experiencing an EYESHADOW EMERGENCY or anything, but lateness does leave a bad taste in my mouth, especially for a first impression.

All in all, I would say that these products are fairly standard, but there's excellent variety and quantity for the price. There were definitely some stand-outs: the bronzer and the Apricot shadow used as blush, for example, were wonderful and garnered many unexpected compliments, and some of the shadow colors were very unique, such as Opal and Galaxy. The sheer finish of these products leads me to to believe they're better suited to blushes and bronzers for me. I may repurchase from Madison Street Beauty, but it will most likely be for blushes and bronzers, rather than shadows.

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