Innocent + Twisted Alchemy I+T Alchemists Subscription July 2015 Swatches & Review

Purchased by me/Contains affiliate links

Innocent + Twisted Alchemy I+T Alchemists Subscription July 2015 Swatches & Review

I'm beginning to make a dent in these subscriptions now! Today I have the July Innocent + Twisted Alchemy sub to show you. I really like how these subscriptions push me out of my comfort zone and get me experimenting again - my Instagram would be awfully boring if it was an endless stream of bronze-gold eyeshadow looks, much as I love those colours! This theme pushed me to try a dark brown smokey eye and I really loved the results so I'll definitely be doing that again.

I+T Alchemists is a monthly subscription from one of my favourite indie brands, Innocent + Twisted Alchemy. It comes with three (sometimes more) Innocent + Twisted shades which are exclusive to the subscription (although overstock is occasionally sold in the store for anyone who missed out) and a surprise selection of bonuses from guest indie brands. Whether you're a fan of the brand or just want to try out a bunch of indies, it's a really a fun subscription service which delivers great value and I look forward to it each month!

The sample size (which is what I have) is $12USD per month within the US or $16USD internationally and the Innocent + Twisted Alchemy eyeshadows are packed full in 3g jars. There's also a full size version which is $18USD per month in the US or $22USD internationally. All of those prices include shipping, so it's a pretty sweet deal, particularly when the additional samples are often very generous.

July's theme is tea parties and I really liked the blurb in the info sheet for this one so I've included it below:

Welcome to my tea party! Come inside and enjoy the aromatic teas. Pick out your favourite tea cups and tea pots. Throw on a giant floppy hat (Okay, maybe not! BUT YOU COULD!) and enjoy the savory delights and decadent desserts.

I love, love, LOVE the lid art for this theme! It's by Betsy Luntao, you can check out her Deviant Art here.

The Innocent + Twisted formula is one of the best ones around; while some indies apply sheerly alone and really need a sticky base to pop, Innocent + Twisted Alchemy eyeshadows are generally wonderfully pigmented and easy to work with on their own. I do still like to use a sticky base most of the time for maximum sparkle and duochrome action (where applicable), but it's nice to know that they can be hastily swept on the lids as you're running out the door and they're still going to look good.

All eyeshadow swatches in this post are done two ways: applied on bare skin on the left hand side and over Fyrinnae Pixie Epoxy, a sticky eyeshadow base which maximises colour intensity and sparkle, on the right. This is so you can see how they perform both ways. I take all of my photos with daylight bulbs for colour accuracy.

Availability: All three Innocent + Twisted Alchemy shades are available on the website, Kae Q are closed indefinitely, the Wonderland Beauty and Kiss My Sass shades are July subscription exclusive shades and no longer available and finally the Chirp Cosmetics eyeshadow is still available in their store.

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Teacups & Scones

Innocent + Twisted Alchemy Teacups & Scones Eyeshadow Swatches & Review

Innocent + Twisted Alchemy Teacups & Scones Eyeshadow Swatches & Review

Innocent + Twisted Alchemy Teacups & Scones Eyeshadow Swatches & Review

Innocent + Twisted Alchemy Teacups & Scones Eyeshadow Swatches & Review

Teacups & Scones is described as a 'cool-toned golden beige that has purple shimmers and a slight red sheen'. This shade is such a chameleon, I wore it on the lid in the look below thinking the taupeyness would still go with the warm crease colour and boy was I wrong! It pulls a lot cooler next to a true warm tone. I can see the purple shimmer pulling the colour more taupe on the arm swatch but it didn't really translate on the lid, probably because of the tonal clash. 

Innocent + Twisted Alchemy Teacups & Scones Eyeshadow Swatches & Review

Here I've worn Teacups & Scones all over the lid with the LORAC Nude Skinny palette for the crease and lower lashline colours. 

Innocent + Twisted Alchemy Teacups & Scones Eyeshadow Swatches & Review

Seeping Petals

Innocent + Twisted Alchemy Seeping Petals Eyeshadow Swatches & Review

Innocent + Twisted Alchemy Seeping Petals Eyeshadow Swatches & Review

Innocent + Twisted Alchemy Seeping Petals Eyeshadow Swatches & Review

Innocent + Twisted Alchemy Seeping Petals Eyeshadow Swatches & Review

Seeping Petals is described as a 'dark bronze with a red sheen'. It's a rich chocolate shimmer with a charcoal base, the red sheen giving it that slightly bronze look. I highly recommend popping this one over a sticky base for the best effect. It's still nicely pigmented alone but you lose some of the intensity. 

Shortcake Fantasy

Innocent + Twisted Alchemy Shortcake Fantasy Eyeshadow Swatches & Review

Innocent + Twisted Alchemy Shortcake Fantasy Eyeshadow Swatches & Review

Innocent + Twisted Alchemy Shortcake Fantasy Eyeshadow Swatches & Review

Innocent + Twisted Alchemy Shortcake Fantasy Eyeshadow Swatches & Review

Shortcake Fantasy is described as a 'pale pink that has a white sheen and red shimmers'. The white sheen comes out more strongly as it is blended out - I've worn it on the inner corner in the look below and you can see how much whiter it looks compared to the swatches (which are patted on, not swept as I would generally apply an inner corner colour). Shortcake Fantasy is incredibly glowy and beautiful - not complex, but great shadows don't always have to be!

Innocent + Twisted Alchemy Shortcake Fantasy Eyeshadow Swatches & Review

I've used Seeping Petals all over the lid and over smudged out black liner on the lower lashline, with Shortcake Fantasy on the inner corner. I also used the LORAC Pro palette for the crease & blending shades and these lashes from Born Pretty Store (use code LR10K31 for 10% off).

Innocent + Twisted Alchemy Shortcake Fantasy Eyeshadow Swatches & Review

Chirp Cosmetics Rainbow Bit

Chirp Cosmetics Rainbow Bit Eyeshadow Swatches & Review

Chirp Cosmetics Rainbow Bit Eyeshadow Swatches & Review

Chirp Cosmetics Rainbow Bit Eyeshadow Swatches & Review

Chirp Cosmetics Rainbow Bit is the first of the guest indies in this box, a super opaque white with rainbow sparkles. This was my first time using Chirp Cosmetics and Rainbow Bit leaves a great first impression - it's very soft and velvety and blends out like a dream.

Chirp Cosmetics Rainbow Bit Eyeshadow Swatches & Review

I've used Innocent + Twisted Alchemy Breaking Down all over the lid here with another Innocent Twisted shade, Drone, on the lower lashline. I also used Chirp Cosmetics Rainbow Bit on the inner corner and the Chi Chi Extravaganza palette for the crease/transition shades. The lashes are from Born Pretty Store.

Chirp Cosmetics Rainbow Bit Eyeshadow Swatches & Review

Wonderland Beauty Cosmetics Sugar Pop

Wonderland Beauty Cosmetics Sugar Pop Eyeshadow Swatches & Review

Wonderland Beauty Cosmetics Sugar Pop Eyeshadow Swatches & Review

Wonderland Beauty Cosmetics Sugar Pop Eyeshadow Swatches & Review

Wonderland Beauty Cosmetics Sugar Pop is a cornflower purple with strong blue sheen and it was created exclusively for the July subscription. I found it really easy to work with, just wish blues suited my skintone! 

Wonderland Beauty Cosmetics Sugar Pop Eyeshadow Swatches & Review

For this makeup look I've used Mermaid Tears on the inner half of the lower lashline, Wonderland Beauty Sugar Pop on the inner half of the lid, Notoriously Morbid Sleepy Sands on the outer half of the lid and the LORAC Pro Palette for the rest. The lashes are Ardell Wispies(again!).

Wonderland Beauty Cosmetics Sugar Pop Eyeshadow Swatches & Review

Kae Q Beso Balm - Mamey

Kae Q Beso Balm - Mamey swatches & review

Kae Q Beso Balm - Mamey swatches & review

Kae Q Beso Balm - Mamey swatches & review

Kae Q Beso Balm in the shade Mamey was an inclusion I was excited about, but unfortunately fell pretty flat. When I swatched this I was surprised at how different it was from the website swatch, which was a brighter, pinker and much more opaque coral instead of the semi opaque soft orangey-coral I have. When I went to check out their swatches again while writing this review I found that the Kae Q website is closed until further notice. A little Googling directed me to a Reddit thread full of customers recounting their own experiences with Kae Q products that were wildly different to the colours pictured on the site, became unusable after a few months and formed wax blooms. It's disappointing to see such inconsistency from a brand and I hope that Kae Q will make efforts to do thing differently should they return. 
The formula isn't anything to write home about, lasting a mere two hours on my lips during which it was noticeably drying. Great big MEH from me on this one.

Kae Q Beso Balm - Mamey swatches & review

Kiss My Sass Circus Treat Lip Tint

Kiss My Sass Circus Treat Lip Tint Swatches & Review

Kiss My Sass Circus Treat Lip Tint Swatches & Review

Kiss My Sass Circus Treat Lip Tint Swatches & Review

You know, I hate to whinge, but I was quite excited about not one but TWO lip products in the July sub - that's my jam! Sadly my Kiss My Sass Lip Tint  in the shade Circus Treat (another exclusive shade for this theme) is almost unusable as it does not wind up from the tube. I contacted Linda from Innocent + Twisted Alchemy about it, who in turn contacted the owner of Kiss My Sass and they came back with a suggestion that it may have been incorrectly filled, meaning the product had not reached the bottom of the tube to fit around the twisting component. It was advised that I try to gently melt the product in a bowl of warm water to encourage it to reach the bottom, but after several efforts without any results I gave up on that and have effectively written this Lip Tint off. I used a lip brush to dig out some product to swatch; as you can see it's a very sheer yellowy nude with mostly even colour pay off. I have a couple of Kiss My Sass powder cosmetics that I really love, but I'm not encouraged to try the lip products now. 

Kiss My Sass Circus Treat Lip Tint Swatches & Review

If you're keen on trying out the I+T Alchemists subscription, you can sign up here, or check the store for one month trial subscriptions. I also recommend joining the Innocent + Twisted Atelier Facebook group for sneak peeks and news.

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Lani

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Weak Nails? Grab This! | Faby Nail Renew Review

Provided for Review

Weak Nails? Grab This! | Faby Nail Renew Review

Have you guys tried anything by Faby before? I hadn't, but when a press release landed in my inbox touting the hydrating and healing properties of Faby Nail Renew, I was intrigued. I've long suffered from weak, peeling nails that snap off easily and as a mum, life often feels like a minefield of things that want to break my nails the second they gain any length. Car seat and stroller buckles, nappy changing, helping my wee ones to put on their shoes (don't even get me started on housework) - they're all collaborators in a grand scheme to MURDER. MY. NAILS.

I have been using OPI Nail Envy and taking magnesium supplements for a few years to combat this. The problem with this is that the effects of each product only last as long as you remember to use them and as a naturally forgetful person, I kept finding myself forgetting my supplements and base coat for a week at a time and just like that, my nails - quite literally - would go to pieces again.

Weak Nails? Grab This! | Faby Nail Renew Review

According to Faby, Nail Renew is 'formulated with Hexanal, a powerful technological agent that regenerates nail structure and works with the Keratin-like peptides that bind to the natural keratin of nails to prevent them from future breakage. Argan and baobab oils nourish the nail bed while Vitamin-E with Violet Extract are included for their anti-oxidizing and hydrating properties.' You'll be pleased to hear that Faby is also cruelty free and 5-free (that's dibutyl phthalate, toluene, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin and camphor.)

Handily, I'd forgotten to use my supplements or Nail Envy for the last few months of 2015, so when Faby Nail Renew arrived I had a blank slate to really put it to the test. For the first month I applied Nail Renew twice a day and after that, once or twice a week and as a base coat for manicures as per Faby's instructions. It goes on a translucent off white with a finish that's between a satin and a gloss - quite natural looking, and comes in a 15ml bottle with a medium flat brush.

Weak Nails? Grab This! | Faby Nail Renew Review

And these are the results (bare nails pictured)! You can probably see from my middle nail that there are marks from the usual amount of rough treatment, so they're not perfect but what's amazed me is how they just keep withstanding at all. Last week I caught them under a container lid I was putting back in the kitchen cupboard and accidentally wrenched my nails back because I am too uncoordinated for this world. And still they persisted! That definitely would have broken them all before. I filed them down a bit not long after to keep them healthy and have had to file down the nails on my right hand for the first time in a long time as well - usually I only file them to even out the constant breaks but now they're longer than ever!

Weak Nails? Grab This! | Faby Nail Renew Review

The hardening effect seems to last even when I'm not wearing Nail Renew, and it really grabs onto nail polish when used as a base coat. Seriously -  the only con with this product is that it actually makes nail polish harder to remove because it's clinging on so tight! I've even found that sometimes the base coat is still present on the nail once you get the layer of polish off - I was floored the first time I noticed that! I've never had a base coat adhere so well in many years of nail painting. 

I think Faby Nail Renew is well worth checking out if you suffer from perpetually weak nails too! It's a little pricy at $32 but still cheaper than the NZ RRP for my previous favourite, OPI Nail Envy, which is $39.99 (Nail Envy also contains formaldehyde resin).

Faby Nail Renew is available at selected salons nationwide and www.faby.co.nz. For stockist information contact probeauty on 0508 776 232 or visit www.probeauty.co.nz.

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Lani

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Maybelline Color Drama Lip Pencil - Nude Perfection, In With Coral and Pink So Chic Swatches & Review

Provided for review/Contains affiliate links

Maybelline Color Drama Lip Pencil - Nude Perfection, In With Coral and Pink So Chic Swatches & Review

Lip Pencils have to be one of my favourite beauty trends ever. Super portable lipstick with the precision of a pencil? Yes yes yes! Maybelline have been receiving a lot of praise for their Color Drama pencils for a while now so I was super excited to take them for a spin. I received three shades for consideration: Nude Perfection, In With Coral and Pink So Chic, so a good cross section of the colour range. 

Maybelline Color Drama Lip Pencil - Nude Perfection, In With Coral and Pink So Chic Swatches & Review

Swatched on bare skin under daylight bulbs

Formula overview:
These have a lovely creamy texture which allows them to glide across lips without tugging or pulling. They have excellent colour pay off, delivering fully opaque colour in a single pass. I found two of the three shades here to be mildly drying and wear time averaged around five and a half hours. There was no staining from any of them and they don't settle into lip lines or feather, rather they wear away very evenly, so you're not left with a ring of colour.

Maybelline Color Drama Lip Pencil - Nude Perfection, In With Coral and Pink So Chic Swatches & Review

These are petite pencils, shorter and chubbier than NARS' Velvet Matte Lip Pencils although they surprisingly contain 0.1g more - 2.4g (NARS) vs Maybelline's 2.5g. You'll need to sharpen them, leading to some inevitable product wastage. I highly recommend chilling them before sharpening, particularly in the heat we're currently having in NZ - I've just tried sharpening them and had two out of three break in the sharpener and create a big smushy mess, so cleaning that up was fun! 

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Nude Perfection

Maybelline Color Drama Lip Pencil - Nude Perfection Swatches & Review

Maybelline Color Drama Lip Pencil - Nude Perfection Swatches & Review

Nude Perfection is a medium warm brownish nude. This is the kind of nude that should straddle quite a few skin tones nicely in terms of suitability - it's incredibly close to MAC Velvet Teddy (a much closer match than the often cited Wet n Wild Bare It All, so hunt this down if you're after a Velvet Teddy dupe). Nude Perfection wore for four hours on me and was slightly drying.

Maybelline Color Drama Lip Pencil - Nude Perfection Swatches & Review

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In With Coral

Maybelline Color Drama Lip Pencil - In With Coral Swatches & Review

Maybelline Color Drama Lip Pencil - In With Coral Swatches & Review

In With Coral is a light coral with incredible colour pay off. I love this kind of Wham! Pow! coral and I especially appreciate that In With Coral isn't chalky in the slightest, as neon bright lip colours can often be. It wears for four and a half hours and is a little drying toward the end of wear.

Maybelline Color Drama Lip Pencil - In With Coral Swatches & Review

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Pink So Chic

Maybelline Color Drama Lip Pencil - Pink So Chic Swatches & Review

Maybelline Color Drama Lip Pencil - Pink So Chic Swatches & Review

Pink So Chic is a dark berry pink with fine silver shimmer. This is so gorgeous and begs to be worn in autumn with a snuggly coat and flushed cheeks. Not that I'm a believer in seasonal colour palettes, but when a particular shade gives you outfit inspo, who am I to argue? :D It wears for six and a half hours and is not drying. 

Maybelline Color Drama Lip Pencil - Pink So Chic Swatches & Review

What I liked:
  • Excellent colour pay off
  • Smooth application
  • Wear time ranges between four to six and half hours
  • No feathering or migration
What I didn't like:
  • In With Coral is minimally drying toward the end of wear
  • Difficult to sharpen
Where to buy:
  • Selected pharmacies, supermarkets and department stores, RRP $9.99
  • Ebay
  • Amazon
Have you tried Maybelline's Color Drama Lip Pencils? What's your favourite shade? I feel a burning need to collect them all up...

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Lani

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