Hello Champagne Dreamers, and welcome to February, the most hateful month of the year – ironically, because on the surface everyone is obsessed with love!
I hate Valentines Day. Always have, always will. Ok, so maybe not always: I did kinda like elementary school when we made fancy valentines boxes and gave each other candy. That was cool. And it’s presence does lead to a more important holiday: National Half Price Chocolate Day, recognized as February 15 with celebrations often lasting several days! But in general, I’m sort of over the whole cupid bullshit.
What I do love, however, are red cosmetics, and do I have some good ones to share with you today! I picked up the restock of the Trixie Cosmetics Red Scare collection, a collab with Katya (also of Drag Race fame), and I also got my hands on the Garnet palette from BH Cosmetics. I was definitely skeptical when I saw that they were doing a collection of birthstone palettes this year (the zodiac mini palettes last year were particularly dismal!), but they have been pumping out some absolute bangers lately, and since I’m a January baby I figured it was worth a shot. And since I’ve got a lot of reviews to do for February, I decided that all of these yummy red products could play together, and here we are.
The presentation here is absolutely gorgeous. I mentioned in my review of the blush palettes that I hated their packaging, but aside from that I think they get it 100% on point. The promo card with Katya looks gorgeous and changing the lipstick tube to red is a great touch. There are two glosses: an opaque gloss that came out with the collection at launch called Pleather Daddy, and a sheer red gloss that they added for this restock called Scarlet Letter. Also included in the collection is the Russian Doll glitter – definitely not eye safe! These are Sprinkles, the larger hair, body, and nail style glitters, and it’s a bright red star design.
The lip product swatches were done over bare skin with no primer, using the doe foot on the gloss and directly swiping the lipstick. The top photo is under my studio lighting with no flash, and the bottom photo is the same lighting but with a flash.
L to R: Pleather Daddy (gloss), Red Scare (lipstick), Scarlet Letter (gloss)
Pleather Daddy is a gorgeous and pigmented gloss, and you can absolutely wear it on its own. It’s a bright red that leans towards pink. Red Scare is a true red lipstick. The formula is a little stiff, but once you get it warmed up it applies beautifully and the color is gorgeous. This is the kind of shade that Taylor Swift is always singing about. Scarlet letter is a sheer gloss with some red to it. This will give you the tiniest bit of color over bare lips, but appears mostly sheer. This is a great topper over another red lipstick, if you don’t want to shift the color too much and just want a wet shine.
The glosses have a nice generic vanilla sort of scent, nothing special but it’s nice enough and I always prefer some sort of scent in my glosses. The lipstick is the clear winner for me: if you like a good true red with a comfortable, mostly matte application and you have a chance to pick this up (I’m not sure if it will be restocked again or not), then I would definitely recommend it. I prefer liquid lipstick to sticks, but this is a great formula and it wears very nicely.
You can’t really swatch glitter, so I just threw some out on my makeup table and took a picture! It’s a nice sparkly star with maybe even a little bit of holographic flash to it, but it is very spiky! I am usually pretty bold about wearing non-eye-safe glitters around my eyes, but this one even gives me pause. It’s not advertised as an eye glitter and I’m not telling you how to wear it. Proceed with caution!
This year BH Cosmetics is doing another monthly mini palette collection, but instead of Zodiac signs they are themed around birthstones. One of my main complaints about the zodiac palettes is that all of the early releases (it didn’t take me long to get bored and stop paying attention, so I’m not sure if they improved) were almost entirely neutral with maybe one muted pop of color. Luckily they seem to be embracing the idea of gems and giving us a little more color, but with some interesting coordinated neutrals to make complete looks.
The swatches for this were done over the Ardell In Her Prime Eye Primer with a finger swatch on the left and a brush swatch on the right. The lighting is the same described above for the lip product swatches.
Loyal is a medium warm chocolate brown, “matte” finish but definitely more of a satin matte than a true matte. That’s pretty much the case across the board with these. Go-Getter is a bright cherry red matte. Werks It is a deeper and more cool-toned brown.
L to R: Garnet, Productive AF, Sensitive, Street Smart
Garnet is a gorgeous pinky red shimmer. This is such a pretty color, and I love popsicle stain reds like this! It’s a bigger pan than the others, since it’s the title shade, but it has the same consistency as the others. I’m sure you can wear it on your cheeks if you want – I don’t know your life – but it does seem to be formulated like the other shades in the palettes, so I think it’s intended to be a shadow. Productive AF is a bright icy white shimmer, a little chunky with a dry brush application, and even with a finger, but it has good coverage and you can tame it down with a little spray if you don’t like how it’s coming out. Sensitive is a bright beige nude matte, very pigmented and full coverage, but blendable. Street Smart is a pressed glitter, a blackish base with silver glitter. It’s not bad as pressed glitters go, but I hate pressed glitters and I want this to die in a fire. I hope this isn’t a staple of all the birthstone palettes!
So is this as good as some of their recent collections, like Sweet Shoppe or Weekend Vibes? No, it’s not. But it’s pretty good, it has some nice colors with good performance, and it’s only $9. This is maybe a good starter palette for someone who wants to try out the brand: you can spend less than 10 dollars, get a mix of neutrals and brights, and if you like the formula and performance, you can know that many of the other palettes in the line are just as good or better!
I may not have much use for Valentines Day, but I am head over heels in love with these red makeup products from Trixie Cosmetics and BH Cosmetics. In fact, look for a Face Friday post coming soon where I use these to create a mostly monochromatic red look; it won’t be this week, as I’m featuring a look I’m doing for an upcoming virtual cabaret event (announcement soon!), but it will be the week after, and if you want to see a preview early, make sure you are following me on my Instagram: @JanessaJayeOfficial