Don’t say it: I already know I’m late as fuck. It’s summer, I’ve got perpetual titty sweat, and I’m cranky. I’m always behind on my reviews, but I’m especially behind on reviewing the Collective Cosmetics’ monthly subscription boxes – after this post is done for the July box, I have to go back and write a post about the June box. It’s been a wild couple of months with work and projects, plus starting to venture back out into the world for live shows and events (Miss Jaye’s Friday Night Frights is back at the Fire Hall Theatre on July 30th with two great zombie movies!), so I’m still trying to get everything back into balance. Apologies.
Now that I’ve given the typical disclaimer, let’s dive into the makeup!
This month’s box theme is “The Reaper” and it’s one of my favorite so far! I love pinks and reds with green, so this was a fun combination. As a special twist, the cheek product this time isn’t a highlighter but rather a split pan blush and bronzer called Romeo & Juliet. There are 4 eyeshadow shades, a liquid lipstick, and 2 accessory items: a headwrap and a double-ended face brush.
Let’s start with the main event: the shadows! The swatches are done over the Ulta Matte Eye Primer 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 under the same lighting with a flash. The blush was photographed the same way but over my shade of Uoma Beauty Say What?! foundation (Fair Lady T3C) and the lipstick was swatched over bare skin.
The lightest shade, Come On Baby is a bright pinkish copper shimmer with some notes of silver. This is a soft, creamy shadow and it applies beautifully with a finger. The finger application (or foiling with a spray) thins the shadow out a bit so you get a slightly sheered down, smooth application. Applying with a firm brush will give you a slightly thicker application that has deeper pigmentation. So think about what you want the final look to be and choose your application style accordingly. I found the mattes and shimmers to be opposites in this regard, which I’ll get to in a moment.
Wind is a gorgeous deep matte…something. That’s what I love about these collections from The Collective: there are always hidden tones and surprises in their shadows. I look at this, and I just can’t make up my mind if it’s a deep navy, a really beautiful deep teal, or maybe even a forest green. It’s got a satiny finish, but the color looks different to me every time I look at it! It’s lovely and mysterious and I’m here for it. With this one, I had the opposite experience of the shimmer: it seemed to be slightly sheerer and more blendable with a brush, and the finger application was deeper. The photo doesn’t really capture it, but the brush swatch had lightened up a bit and then when i put the finger swatch down it had more richness to it. It’s a fairly dry formula but it has a silkiness that really feels nice when going on.
Driggs is my favorite shade and it’s a lovely duochrome shade with bright green reflect in a purplish base that almost looks blackened around the edges. Once again, the application is a little thicker and darker with the brush, and then sheered out nicely with a finger to a slightly lighter look. This one is a lot of fun and very beautiful.
I love the satin matte finish of Valentine and it has a sort of bluish glitter tinge to it – this is a bright, vibrant rose shade, and I absolutely love it! Neither of the mattes are fully matte in this collection, but the satin finish is quite soft and it will work the same way a true amtte would for darkening and emphasizing, but gives you more options for blending into shimmers.
The double-ended brush is lovely and I do really like it for a more diffused blush application. It’s a bit too big for the way that I do contour and highlight (I prefer a smaller, fluffier brush like the Morphe 510 brush) but it’s got nice synthetic bristles and it diffuses the product out well.
The blush and bronzer in Romeo and Juliet are lovely and warm. The blush is a bright coral peach and the bronzer is a warm peachy tan. I tried mixing them together…and it was a mess for me! The blush is a little bit glowy, and when I mixed it with the bronzer the two never fully melded and it looked sort of dirty. Maybe you’re not supposed to mix them? Although it could also be user error…
I included the finger swatches because I like to show how the color builds up, but the finger swatch of the bronzer darkened in the middle and got a bit chunky. It you have a very dewy foundation, you may want to use a little powder before adding this bronzer as it doesn’t like the added moisture. It applied beautifully over the Matte Uoma foundation though, so I don’t think you have to worry unless you got a very dewy/moist base that you’re putting it over.
The lipstick was a lovely peach. This was one of the most opaque shades that I’ve had yet in the subscription boxes, and this is definitely more of a color that I would use so I’m excited to play around with it more and see how it does. And now that I’m no longer rocking the quarantine buzzcut, the headband will actually come in handy – it still feels weird to have hair again after a year and a half! This will keep even my short hair up and out of my way while applying foundation.
Overall, I’m pretty impressed with this month’s box. I always say that I don’t really factor in the accessories or lip products when I think about the value for me, but once again I’ve gotten a couple of products that I anticiapte being able to get some use out of. The best for me is obviously the brush – can you own too many brushes? Blasphemy! – but the headband is fun and useful and the color of the lipstick is much more in my typical wheelhouse. And the four eyeshadows are beautiful and make a gorgeous, interesting look.
I’m definitely going to be keeping up with my subscription – and hopefully I’ll do a better job of getting these reviews out in a timely manner! As of this writing the sub boxes are still available, but I’d hurry if this collection catches your eye; once they’re gone, they’re gone!