Let’s get real for a second: I’ve been shopping my way through the apocalypse.
I can try to dress it up as doing my part to keep stimulating the economy, but the truth is that I have been sublimating all of my feelings in food and shopping, neither of which is very good for me. But I do have to say that since the world turned upside down, I am finally starting to do some of the things that I have always said that I wanted to do, and that includes shopping from more indie brands. I have a lot of indie makeup, but I tend to stick to the same “known quantities” and it’s been nice to stretch out a little bit and find some new hidden gems in the indie makeup world.
One of those gems is The Lipstick Apocalypse.
Now, some of you have probably seen me gush on Instagram about my gorgeous custom lashes from The Real Mary Kelly; I wore a pair of rubber duckie lashes for a recent Face Friday post, and she also gifted me the amazing Swarozski skull earrings that I wore to Days of the Dead Atlanta where I met the Boulet Brothers and hosted their panel at the convention. Oh, if I had only known how much more special that trip would feel when the world shut down and everything was cancelled!
Mary has posted quite a bit about a new indie brand called The Lipstick Apocalypse, and she seemed to be in love with the products, so I decided to give them a try as well. If you love glitter, then you might want to check them out as well! The glitter gels are probably my favorite products from them…but I’m getting ahead of myself! Here’s a look at what came in the mail – my order, plus a couple of extra goodies that they threw in for me to try!
There’s…a LOT of glitter here. And I wouldn’t have it any other way! I ordered 3 bottles of Glitterland loose glitters, 4 Glitter Never Dies! gels, and 3 Artist Powder loose shadows to try out. Nicole, the owner, threw in the set of rainbow glitters and a three lip glosses. At the time of this writing she doesn’t have the tube glosses up on her site, but I had asked about lip products so she hooked me up with a couple to try as well as one of the Boom Boom Glosses. She has a setting powder available, as well as a line of nail polishes called Claw Paint (which pair beautifully with the loose glitters!), and a few other products in her shop.
First, let’s talk about the packaging. One of the goals of the Lipstick Apocalypse is to create fun, creative products without creating a ton of waste; because of this, the packaging is minimal and there isn’t a lot of fluff. Products come in pretty simple plastic or glass packaging with stickers that include the logo and usually the name of the brand. Products aren’t put into additional cardboard packaging; occasionally sets or like products are put into fun holographic zip lock envelopes.
Now, we know that I am a whore for ridiculous packaging, but I don’t mind what they’re doing. I think that minimal can be elegant and attractive, and that’s what they seem to be striving for. They are mostly successful, but I did have one major problem with all of the packaging: none of the containers have shade names on them! That may seem like a little thing, and granted this is coming from the perspective of someone who not only uses cosmetics but also profiles and reviews them on a website where searching for names is just another bit of “homework” (and not something that the average makeup consumer might even care about, but I think that part of the fun and playfulness of makeup is the whole experience – not just the colors and formulations you’ve picked up, but how they are being interpreted by the brand through their naming and packaging. After all, any brand can make a vivid neon pink eyeshadow, but you’re going to think about it differently if it’s named Barbie Pink versus if it’s called Hooker Pink, or You Can’t Sit With Us!, or Cotton Candy, or…you get the picture!
But aside from that quibble, I think the packaging, overall, succeeds at being minimalist without appearing too cheap or haphazard. The glass bottles that hold the Glitterland loose glitters are adorable, with the simple Lipstick Apocalypse logo as the only decoration. The glitter gels come in pretty standard round pots and the Artist Powders come in pots with white lids that have a somewhat awkward pour spout. They were a little tricky for getting finger swatches, but they were just fine with the brush swatches: I was able to get my brush in the opening and then tap any excess back in through the opening.
For the swatches, I did the Artist Powders over the Anastasia Beverly Hills eye primer; the other products were swatched over dry skin (or just poured out onto my filming table – you’ll see!). The top photo is under my studio lights with no flash; the bottom photo is the same lighting with a flash. I also made short videos – badly – because glitter, no matter how good it looks in photos, always looks better in action!
L to R: Forever’s Gonna Start Tonight, Three Little Birds, Love Me Love Me
Forever’s Gonna Start Tonight is described as a “shiny medium pink with sandy brown undertone” and I really wasn’t sure what to expect, but this color is a soft, understated color that I think might actually be my favorite of the three. It’s got a salmon/coral sort of tone to it, definitely not a blue-based pink, and it’s soft and diffused and has a real vintage feel to it. Three little birds is a bright pastel yellow and it has a yellowy green shimmering undertone that is very cool. Love Me Love Me is a bright acid green and has a lot of yellow gold reflect. These are all very diffused and have a sort of 70s washed out vibe to them. I want to play with them as bases to lay other colors on top, and I also think it would be fun to try mixing them with some sort of medium and making eyeliners out of them.
L to R: Envy, Flamingo, She High, Chubby Unicorn
Envy is a lovely collection of chunky green pieces and there are some small yellow pieces as well that really warm up the green tones. It’s got the biggest chunks of the bunch and while I’m pretty carefree about how and where I use glitter gels, this is one that I would definitely recommend following their advice to not use in the eye area! Flamingo is pretty and pinky with yellow notes, a little opalescent shimmers throughout. This is girly and shimmery and a little more subtle than the other colors I ordered…well, as “subtle” as big chunks of glitter can be! She High is super fun, and I’ll definitely be using this when I do my full face of weed-themed makeup products! It’s a pretty densely packed small gold glitter base with green pot leaf glitter pieces throughout. And Chubby Unicorn – with a name like that, you know I had to have it! Chubby Unicorn Energy is how I live my goddamn LIFE, and this is a great collection of purple tinsel pieces, yellow/green iridescent chunks, and some sheer pink tones. All of these gels are very different from other glitter gels that I have in my collection, and I can’t wait to play with them – be on the lookout for them to appear in upcoming Face Friday posts!
L to R: Gatsby, Karen, Anonymous**
Gatsby is a bright brassy gold gloss with a little bit of glittery reflect. Karen is mostly sheer but subtly glittery, a pale pinky brown nude. Anonymous is a bright purple with blue shift that is more metallic than glittery and has a pretty good level of pigmentation. These are fun glosses on their own, but would also help amp up a lipstick if you decided to layer.
**Anonymous isn’t the actual name, but these glosses aren’t currently available and I wasn’t able to get the name. I like the name Anonymous, personally. I feel like I would have lots of very sexy anonymous adventures while wearing this gloss…
*Clearly I swatched the glosses after the glitter gels….gotta love glitter shrapnel! lol
The black holographic glitter on the left is called Lux and has pretty large particles. Then we have the 5 glitters in the rainbow set. The red and orange glitters are larger size particles, and the gold, green, and blue are more of a microglitter. Then I have two more single glitters that I bought on the end: Jem, a fuchsia pink with blue reflect microglitter, and Billie, an iridescent neon orange chunky glitter. I poured them out on the table to photograph them, initially intending to use tools to separate them out and pour them back into their jars. But as I saw them next to each other, I started squishing the piles closer and closer to one another; I knew that my Franken-makeup impulses would take over and I mixed them all together to see what they looked like! That’s the mix in the middle, and I have a very special plan for this mix – stay tuned!
I always love supporting indie makeup brands, but ever since we all went on lockdown and I’ve been shopping away my feelings, it’s been more important to me to make sure that a good chunk of my makeup shopping is directed at these smaller indie brands. I mean, Estee Lauder is gonna be fine, y’all. But for indie brands, especially smaller brands that rely exclusively on online sales, or maybe partner with smaller boutiques that may be closed right now, support during this time is more important than ever.
I also love their punk attitude and commitment to not being one of the “mean girls” of makeup. There are enough gatekeepers and makeup shamers out there, and I think this brand is doing a great job of saying, “You be you, and do whatever the fuck makes you feel beautiful!”
And come one – what could be a more appropriate brand name for painting your way through the apocalypse than The Lipstick Apocalypse?!