The first time I tried these out I mentioned that I didn't know who Gabrielle Faust was. I've done a little searching and it turns out she's a modern vampire/horror novelist, which explains why I didn't know who she was before... But also she seems pretty cool, I'm rather fond of gothic beauty and fashion like she seems to be... Anyone read any of her work?
This collection of mineral eyeshadows from Overall Minerals (house brand of Overall Beauty, aka, BB Couture Heaven!) was designed by and for Ms. Faust and do have a bit of a gothic-smoky-dark-vampiric theme to them. Here they are swatched:
As you can see, they're all mattes except for Sanctified Snow. I know these are technically eyeshadows, but Love Lost makes a great blush.
I've finally used all the colors at least once, so here are my observations.
The color selection is good- all of the colors mesh well with each other. The texture of the minerals is silky and smooth, not dry and gritty like some mattes can be. Very powdery, soft, smooth.
I like the theme of the colors a lot- greys, purples, red-based colors. Perfect for smoky eye looks, but with Hourglass Sand and Sanctified Snow you can lighten things to make some less-sultry looks as well.
I did have a slight problem with the application on some shades, though. I found many of the colors to be a bit patchy and hard to blend. I used several different primers- Urban Decay Primer Potion, Too Faced Shadow Insurance, LORAC Behind the Scenes, MAC Paint Pots and Fyrinnae Pixie Epoxy (would not recommend that one for use with mattes, but I was curious and had to try it with these). Some of the shades just wouldn't stick to my skin and the end result was somewhat blotchy. I don't know if this is user error or just comes with the matte-mineral territory. The patchiness is lessened when these are used wet, but some of the colors change and warp a little when used wet. They may be darker and have a shiny look with wet use. Also, some of the colors can get a bit muddy when blended, so be careful of that.
I wanted to post more looks using these, but I've been in a creative rut for so long I can't come up with any creative combos! You can see the first time I tried these here, and I took pictures of one more look:
Lorac Behind The Scenes Primer
Misanthrope on lid
Karmic Knight on lid and as lower liner
Hourglass Sand as highlight
Sanctified Snow in middle of lid and a little in inner corners
Milani Eye Tech liner in Black
Benefit BadGal Mascara
I ended up with a harsh line near the browbone from where the color wouldn't blend- I blame this on the primer. However, there's a lighter, patchier area in the crease where the color just wouldn't stick to my lid, it kept disappearing when I blinked and I ended up with odd lighter areas. I also had trouble with Sanctified Snow- it wouldn't stick. I kept putting more and more on using brushes and my fingers but it just wouldn't stay on my lid. Misanthrope was great, though, I had no issues with that.
I'm not usually a big matte user- I'm a bit obsessed with sparkle and glitter. But I do love how smooth and creamy mattes look, especially with a smoky eye or a cat-eye type of look. Perhaps I'll have to experiment more!
So my opinion of the formula is that they're not bad but they're not exactly the easiest to use, either. I can't use these when I'm in a hurry because they're just a little finicky.
I have a few comments on the packaging. The set that I got for review are the small sample size and I'd say there's a fairly decent amount in them. The labels look really nice and professional, they have ingredients listed and info about the color and company, but I have just one problem with them... There are labels on the top and on the bottom of the jars, but the well inside the jar on the sample size is shallow, so it's difficult to tell what the colors are without opening them. The sifters are also packed pretty tightly against the minerals so it's also a little tricky to get enough color out of the jars until you've used them a few times.
Another observation... I have to be honest, I think these are pretty steep price-wise. $9 for each individually, $72 for the set of eight. I understand that $9 isn't exactly expensive for an eyeshadow, but for indie mineral brands this is one of the more expensive I've seen. For example, a large-sized Fyrinnae shadow is $6, Aromaleigh full sizes were in the $7-$8 range depending on the product while a pricier commercial brand like Bare Escentuals is $13 for a full size eyeshadow.
One thing I really liked about these is that Kim makes them all herself. I am always wary of trying indie makeup brands because apparently some of them just re-package existing bulk colors, sell them at an increased price and claim that they made/designed/mixed the colors themselves. Kim confirmed to me that these are not re-packaged minerals, these are all created by her.
My final verdict? Love the theme, love the colors, love the names (Misanthrope ftw!), I think it's a cool collaboration and I love to see a spotlight on dark/gothic or non-traditional beauty, but I had trouble with the application and payoff on some colors and I think they're a little pricey.
I think I'm going to need more practice with these because I really like the colors. Any suggestions on how to get the application perfect or maybe a different primer or base to use?
This collection is available at Overall Beauty.
(These were sent to me for review.)