Silk Naturals Haul

Silk Naturals has definitely become one of my favorite companies.  They're my top pick for lippies these days and their other products are quickly becoming favorites too!  Orders come really quickly, they have great customer service, and I always feel like I get great value for my money too.  

Here's what I got in my latest order.

Bronzer samples in Malibu Miss and Beach Bunny
I'm still looking for a good bronzer for my pale skin and these look promising.  Malibu Miss is matte, while Beach Bunny has a slight shimmer.

Eye Shadows in Sweet Tea, Cloudberry and Daiquiri
I realized I don't have a lot of neutral eye shadows and was looking for a few more "work friendly" shades.  These three are nice peachy nudes, although Cloudberry and Daiquiri are similar enough that you probably don't need both.  Sweet Tea is a gorgeous peachy/brown and my favorite of the three.  I'll try to get swatches of these (and maybe the rest of my Silk Naturals shadows?) up one day soon. 

Sleep in a Jar Under Eye Concealer in Light Peach
My samples lasted a while, but they did finally run out, which was my original reason for placing this order.  I've reviewed this here - basically, it's my go to undereye concealer.

Vegan Lipstick in Crazy Love
This was a new lip stick released with Silk Natural's Spring lineup.  It's described as a somewhat sheer ruby pink with just a hint of purple, and as the lipstick equivalent of SN's Shrieking Violet liquid lip gloss, which is possibly my all time favorite lip gloss.  The swatch on SN's website is pretty accurate.

Liquid Lip Glosses in Icing and Innocent
I've also seen Innocent compared to SN's Wistaria Butter Cream, which is another of my favorite lip products.  Innocent is a pretty light pink that leans slightly purple, similar to Wistaria, but in the liquid lip gloss formula.  Overall, I think I still prefer Wistaria.  Icing is described as a light pink, but on the lips, it's really more of a clear gloss with gorgeous multi-coloured shimmer.  Really pretty on top of other colours.  One thing worth noting is that Icing has a fairly strong fruity (strawberry?) smell/taste that I'm not a big fan of, while the rest of my SN lippies have a really subtle vanilla scent.

+ Free GWP Eye Shadow in Siesta and free sample of Nekkid Eye Shadow
Silk Naturals always includes a gift with purchase (usually an eye shadow) with all orders over $10 and all orders also come with a free sample.


Review & Swatches: Noella Beauty Works

Over the summer, I was lucky enough to win four Noella Beauty Works eye shadows in a giveaway from the lovely Anne of The Velvet Rose Petal.  So first off, a big thank you to her for sending these my way! :)

Noella Beauty Works is a fairly new company, started in November of 2010.  In spite of their newness, they have a pretty impressive lineup of products - foundation, concealer, bronzer, blush, and eye shadow.  Since I got these from Anne, I can't speak to ordering or Noella's customer service, but I will say that I've only heard positive things.  I haven't had any contact with Jackie, the owner, but she's pretty active on both facebook and twitter, so I imagine it's easy to get in touch with her, should you need to.

The Product
In terms of the actual product, I don't have a whole lot to say!  I'm really liking all four colours I received.  Judging by the ones I have and those I've seen in their store, Noella's colours are beautiful, softer shades.  The colours I got have more of a satin finish on bare skin but over primer they do 'pop' and become more dramatic looking.  They aren't the brightest colours out there, but they're gorgeous and very wearable.  The shadows are super smooth to apply and blend very easily. 

The Colours
Smokey Plum - a medium shade plum with moderate cocoa undertones, perfect for accenting the corners of the upper lids.  Part of the glam collection, high shimmer, but not so much that it can't be paired with casual wear.  This isn't a colour I'd normally choose, but I really like it.  It's a dirty purple with some shimmer, but not really what I'd tend to consider a high shimmer eye shadow.

Milk Chocolate - a light/medium brown with lovely lavender and taupe undertones.  A really nice light brown/taupe on bare skin.  Turns into a slightly metallic, medium brown with copper flashes over primer.

Milk and Honey - a soft, creamy beige with golden shimmer.  Really subtle colour on bare skin, but becomes a more metallic pale gold over primer.

Mango Berry - a summery bright orange with very strong pink undertones.  This was the colour I was most excited about and it didn't disappoint.  A gorgeous soft coral shade.  If you're scared to go for a full on orange or if pink shadows make your eyes look irritated or tired, this is a great colour, halfway between the two.

(Top to Bottom) Smokey Plum, Milk Chocolate, Milk and Honey, Mango Berry - Dry, on bare skin
(Top to Bottom) Smokey Plum, Milk Chocolate, Mango Berry, Milk and Honey - Dry, over Detrivore Cosmetics Primer

The Bottom Line
I've been really pleased with the shadows I've tried and would be quick to recommend them.  Noella Beauty Works has a good selection of shades in a variety of finishes (everything from matte to high shimmer) and there are definitely a few more I'm interested in picking up in the future.  I'm not sure how long this special will run for, but if you order soon, Noella is currently offering a free shadow of your choice with any purchase over $10 with the code nbwebsite.


Review & Swatches: Concrete Minerals

I know, I know, I've been a terrible blogger this last month, sorry!  My summer job is finished now though, so it's back to pounding the pavement and looking for a real job.  I absolutely loathe job hunting, but on the bright side, being unemployed for the time being means I should be able to keep the blog updated a lot more regularly!

Anyways, onto today's post - a review of Concrete Minerals!

I've ordered from Concrete Minerals twice.  Both orders were placed from their Etsy shop, which I believe is now closed since they've opened their independent website.  Ordering on Etsy is always easy and their independent site looks really simple to navigate as well.

Both times I ordered, the second of which was even in the middle of the rush after they were featured on Heartsy, my order was shipped quickly.  Both orders arrived safely in bubble mailers.  Both times my orders included an information card about mineral makeup, a coupon code for 15% off a future order, and a free sample.  Full size eye shadows are $7 and come in 10 gram sifter jars - larger than the standard 3 or 5 gram jars I most often see used for mineral eye shadows.  They look to be packed about 1/2 to 3/4 full, depending on the colour, and the bottom says they contain 1.5 grams of product.  Samples come in five gram sifter jars and are very generous.  All jars list the company info and full ingredients.

The Product
Concrete Minerals eye shadows are very pigmented.  Even without primer or a base, they are quite vivid.  The texture is nice and they apply smoothly.  My only complaint is with a couple of the more complex colours.  Smut, for example, is described as a dirty silver with pink-purple undertones and it is AMAZING when swatched on my hand.  The problem comes when applying it to the eye - I just can't seem to get it to apply in all it's duochromey glory.  It ends up looking muddy, even when just patted on.  The same is true with Lolita, described as a shimmery taupe with pink undertones.  On the hand it is beautiful, but on my eye, it looks like an ordinary silver color.  I don't know if it's just me - user error - and the way I apply them or if it's because I don't use Concrete's own eye shadow primer, but it's been a bit frustrating trying to get these two colours to apply the way I want them to!

Anyways, moving on to colours I've been more successful with.  Blitzkrieg, which was the free sample in my first order is an amazing golden maple/bronzy brown colour.  It's become one of my top picks for neutral shadow and I'll definitely repurchase a full size when my sample runs out.  Ruse is a pretty golden bronze that's really versatile, and Napalm is an insanely pigmented orange.  Vegas is a light yellowy gold that's also very nice.  Croma is lighter than I expected, but still a nice, super pale lavender shade.

The Swatches

The Bottom Line
Overall these aren't my most reached for shadows, but there are ones that I like a lot.  Concrete Minerals came out with more colours a couple months ago and there are definitely a few I'm curious to try at some point.  Since not all the colours I've bought have worked for me, I do wish they'd offer sample sizes for sale, but they have great customer service and a 14 day "Love it or Ditch it" policy that allows you to exchange or return a colour that doesn't work for you.  All in all, I'd recommend giving Concrete Minerals a try if there are any colours that interest you.