Usually, if a brand is too hard to get ahold of, I give up. I have a lot of makeup…I mean, a LOT. I will probably survive if I don’t get that limited edition collection or the newest release. Sometimes the FOMO will hit and I’ll stalk it, but usually I just put it out of my mind. It’s the rare brand that can get me to keep checking back, watching for email updates, and keeping their products at the top of my list.
Menagerie Cosmetics is one of those brands. I first fell in love with their liquid lipsticks when they were Makeup Monsters, and the quality is just as good in under their new brand. I’ve managed to pick up two of their palettes in the past, the Whalesong and Courtship palettes, but their releases always seem to sell out super fast. They come back in stock, and are sold out again. And even if something hangs out a bit, if you’re trying to order more than one at a time – forget about it!
Over the Black Friday weekend, I was able to get my hands on the Pastel Pup and the Feral palettes. The Killer Purr was also available, and if I hadn’t been having such an epic shopping extravaganza from a bunch of different sites (gotta spread that small business shopping love!) I probably would have picked it up as well. We’ll see if I end up regretting that, as Menagerie has started discontinuing some of their palettes. In fact, I missed out on the Violet Ink palette, so I’ll have to order the singles on their own sometime. I loved that octopus packaging, but I guess it just wasn’t meant to be.
So even though these aren’t new, they are still poppin’ (and as of this writing, sold out again!) so I decided to do a little retro review and let you know my thoughts!
The swatches are done over the Morphe Eyelid Primer in Translucent with a finger swatch on the left and a brush swatch on the right. The top photo is under my studio lighting with no flash and the bottom photo is the same lighting with a flash.
First up, the Pastel Pup:
L to R: Belly Slide, Cuddle, Snack
All of the shades in this palette except for a blue shimmer in the bottom row are mattes. Belly Slide is a lovely pale lilac shade. This is somewhat similar to a shade in the third row that we’ll talk about a little more below, but this is a pretty shade. If you’re going to an all pastel look, this is a slightly darker option for the outer part of the look or to “deepen” the crease. Cuddle is a bright pale pink. Snack is a coral red pastel.
L to R: Fishy, Sun Bathe, Flipper
This is the rainbow sherbet row to me – for all of us who remember rainbow sherbet before a lot of the brands replaced lemon sherbet (yum!) with raspberry sherbet (also yum…but unnecessary). Fishy is a bright peach. Sun Bathe is a gorgeous and bright lemon yellow. Flipper is a yellowy green pastel, like pistachio pudding.
L to R: Iceworm, Aquatic, Ice Cap
Iceworm is a pastel green that has a very strong blue tone to it. It’s not similar enough to Flipper to cause much concern – this one definitely emphasizes the blue tone while Flipper is all about the yellow tone. Aquatic is a bright cyan. Ice Cap is a deep pastel blue. This is like the pastel version of indigo, and though it’s similar to Belly Slide from the top row. This one is definitely that deep blue shade in ROY G BIV made into a gorgeous, milky pastel!
L to R: Snowball, Saddleback, Whisker
Snowball is the only shimmer shade in the palette: it’s one of the brand’s four “tri-foil” shades. It’s a bright cyan base, but it does have some shift to pink and purple. It’s a pretty enough shade, a little chunky to apply with a dry brush, but it’s not the kind of shade that can stand up to a lot of the multichromes out there in the indie world. I’m definitely going to play with it more in some looks to see how it performs. Saddleback and Whisker are good “building block” shades to fill out this palette: a matte white and a matte black. They both have pretty good pigmentation – enough to give you the desired outcome you want and very buildable, but not so pigmented with a single swipe that they would scare off beginners.
I think this is a great palette for beginners who want to play around with pastels. You get a nice range of shades, you have the black and white blending shades that you can use to alter them even further, and even the one tri-foil shade is an interesting complement, even if only to give you a flash in the inner corner. These were not chalky at all, and I was able to get them to blend nicely. The finger swatches aren’t great, but these are mattes so I don’t expect miracles. These came out pretty good for a bunch of mattes, but if that’s your preferred application then be prepared to put the work in.
Let’s move on to the Feral palette; this is actually the first palette that Menagerie launched under their new brand. They had one previous palette, the Dragon Child (now discontinued), that was launched under Makeup Monsters, but this is the first palette from Menagerie proper.
L to R: Harmonia, Wolfling, Canis Lupus, Alpha
Harmonia is a bright turquoise matte. Wolfling is a duochrome shade with a brown base and coppery red shift. Since I’m so late to the party, I’m getting the updated shades. When this palette first launched, these first two shades were two more neutral mattes. The brand listened to customer feedback and replaced those shades with these. The two original shades are still available, though I can’t remember their names – look for beige neutrals! Canis Lupus is a peachy tan matte. Alpha is a gorgeous deep cool-toned taupe brown.
L to R: Pack Leader, Allium, Mariposa, Night Eyes
Pack Leader is a bright berry pink shimmer with a golden shift. Allium is bright electric purple matte. Mariposa is a bright peachy orance matte. Night Eyes is a bright yellow matte. These are all gorgeous, though Night Eyes is a little bit more work than the others. It’s not bad; this is a problem I see with bright matte yellows, and this performs better than a lot of other yellows, but just know that it’s not as foolproof as the other shades in this row.
L to R: Wisteria, Fenris, Ivy, Huechera
Wisteria is a bright bubblegum pink. Fenris is an olive green matte, a little more finicky than the other shades, but again, not too much of a problem to make it unworkable. Ivy is a lovely and rich deep green matte. Huechera is a chunky lime green shimmer. This one definitely benefits from being applied wet or with a finger. It has a nice yellow gold reflect to it, and I love the look, but on a dry brush it can tend to chunk up a bit.
I really like both of these palettes. I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t as into Menagerie’s new branding concept as I was about Makeup Monsters (I’m a spooky bitch), and the stocking issues definitely make me take a pause, but I have really enjoyed all of the products I’ve picked up from them. They are all solid performers, and I think that the Pastel Pup is one of the best pastel palettes I’ve come across since pastels really started to have a moment a year or so ago. Their packaging is beautifully designed, and I love that it’s all magnetized so you can rearranged the shades if you want! I left the Feral alone (for now…), but I turned the Pastel Pup into a cascading rainbow palette; I also added in a tri-foil single, the yellow shade Chickadee that I bought separately, in place of the black. Once I can get my hands on another tri-foil (they also have a pink and a green), I’ll put that in place of the white and have the pastel rainbow palette of my dreams!
Yes, they can be hard to get ahold of, and you’d better be watching their news about restocks carefully. If you don’t mind picking things up at different times, you’ll have a slightly easier time, but even then it’s a hassle. But to me, when the products perform this well and the color stories are this beautiful, I can live with a little bit of hassle.
At least that’s what I’m telling myself until I can get my grubby little hands on that Arthurine Blush palette! it must be mine…