I’m a little sad that there aren’t more Halloween makeup collections this year…or that some of the launches of those collections were such epic clusterfucks (I’m looking at you, ColourPop!). I’m a huge fan of Halloween-themed makeup and I love it that more brands seem to be embracing the idea of having a holiday collection centered around spooky season!
As I was thinking about what I wanted to review in October, I had a couple of palettes that have been sitting in my collection for a while, waiting to be reviewed, and those are Summer On Earth and Forever palettes from Alien Cosmetics. Aliens are sort of spooky, right? I’ve been wanting to check out this brand for a while, ever since Nerdy Girl Makeup on YouTube was reviewing their products, and this seemed like the right time to dive in and see if their products really are out of this world!
The Forever palette is a feminine, romantic collection of berries, pinks, and purples, and the palette contains three pressed glitters. I’ve always been very vocal about my feelings about pressed glitters in palettes, but I’m going to withhold judgment and see how they perform. They have nice big pans: they are similar to a typical 9-pan Juvia’s Place shadow which I believe is a 36mm pan.
For the swatches, I did them over the ABH eye primer with a finger swatch on the left and a brush swatch on the right. The top photo is my studio lighting with no flash, and the bottom photo is the same lighting with a flash.
L to R: ILY, First Date, A Kiss
ILY is a bright raspberry matte. It’s a little patchy and needs some work, though with the brush you can work your way into a pretty smooth coverage. First Date is a pale pink pressed glitter with an opalescent finish. It’s pretty, but it’s mostly just a wash of iridescent glitter. For some reason the brush swatch was really darkened, but I’m not sure why. The color I swatched before this was A Kiss, and that doesn’t look like the type of darkness showing in this shade, so I’m not sure what happened to that. I’m sure it was my error and not the shadow, but I can’t figure out exactly what I did to cause this. A Kiss is a bright rose gold shimmer shadow, a little sheer with a finger but with a brush you get nice coverage.
My first impression is that these are nowhere near as good as the Juvia’s Place shadows; the palettes may have a similar design, but the similarities end there.
L to R: Eternal, A Promise, Roses
Eternal is a bright popsicle red matte, a little sheer but it’s got a nice blue-toned red color. It just needs a little work to get perfect. A Promise is a great grape purple shimmer with silvery reflect. This have nice coverage and it doesn’t chunk up when applied with a brush. Roses is a deeper berry red matte, again a little bit inconsistent and needs some work. These theme of these shadows is that they can be worked with and built up and made to look consistent and beautiful, but it doesn’t just happen on its own.
L to R: Just Because, Forever, Anniversary
Just Because is a cool, silvery pink pressed glitter. It’s got a fair amount of coverage, and there does seem to be a fair amount of base pigment which improves the coverage, but it’s still not winning me over to the side of pressed glitters. Forever is a deep dusty mauve matte shade, a little inconsistent and has a tendency to blend away a bit around the edges. You can get good performance, but expect to put in a little effort. Anniversary is another pink pressed glitter; this one is lighter and brighter than Just Because and is a little more sheer at the base.
I really wanted to love this palette, as it’s right on trend with the pinks and purples that were coming out at the beginning of this year (before the world feel apart – remember the “before times”?!) but it’s only mediocre. The shadows have a good amount of pigmentation, but they are a little fussy to work with and they can blend away or be patchy if you aren’t careful with your application.
The Summer on Earth palette is definitely more of my typical color story: blues, greens, and purples, with a pop of yellow!
L to R: Bitter, Lemonade, Skinny Dip
Bitter is a light swampy green matte. This one is very sheer and it tends to have some chalky streaks when applied. This one is tricky, and definitely needs a bit of work. Same with Lemonade: it’s a nice bright yellow matte, but it’s inconsistent and tends to have a patchy application. These shades are workable, but it’s definitely work. Skinny Dip is a blue shimmer with great pigmentation and smooth, consistent application.
Lemonade is a different shade than originally launched with the palette; in Nerdy Girl Makeup’s video, she has the original version of the palette and Lemonade was a sheer opalescent pressed glitter that didn’t really have much in terms of performance. I’m not sure if they switched it out because of complaints about the quality, but I’m glad that they decided to swap out the glitter for a matte shade. Now if only they had swapped in a matte that had better performance!
L to R: Slush, Pool Side, Cold Shoulder
Slush is a bright purple matte that has pretty good coverage. The brush swatch turned out pretty well, but the finger swatch was a little tricky. This isn’t a problem for most people, but if you apply mattes with your finger that’s something to keep in mind. Pool Side is a light turquoise blue with silvery shimmer reflect. This one has great coverage and consistency. Cold Shoulder is a light blue matte shadow, a little soft around the edges, but it blends well and you can get pretty decent coverage.
L to R: $, Gravity, Ambient
Gravity is a pressed glitter with shades of green and some red glitter for contrast. This one has pretty good coverage; I’m still not a pressed glitter fan but I like the unique combination of colors and you can get some nice coverage with this for a look. Gravity is a deep blue shade that I think is supposed to be matte but has a sort of satin shine to it when applied. This one is a little weak in performance, so don’t expect it to have the most consistent pigmentation. Ambient is a fun glitter mix of reds and blues with a little silver and touches of green. This is another one that is a great, unique combination of colors that have pretty good coverage for a glitter.
Overall, I’m not blown away by these palettes; they aren’t terrible, but the performance isn’t great and when 2 or 3 of your pans in a 9-pan palette are pressed glitter, then you’d better have killer shadows in the other pans if you want to catch my attention. The shimmers are generally pretty good, but there aren’t enough of them in either of the palettes. The majority of the real estate is taken up by rather inconsistent mattes and pressed glitters. The palette shape draws comparisons to Juvia’s Place, and unfortunately the comparison doesn’t work out in their favor: Juvia’s Place is able to deliver the same size palette with the same amount of product for $10 less and the quality of both mattes and shimmers is much better (plus no pressed glitters in most of their palettes.
I’m willing to give this brand another shot if they put out something that really catches my eye, but if I’m honest I’m definitely not checking for it on the regular. I love the color stories of these palettes, but the performance just isn’t there compared to other indie brands that are already on my radar.
I’m going to include Nerdy Girl Makeup’s reviews of both palettes, as well as a 2 looks video with the Summer On Earth palette. She is the one who inspired me to pick up both of these palettes, not because she thought they were mind-blowing but because she created some really gorgeous looks with them! I miss her videos and it’s nice to get a chance to go back and see some of her thoughts on these palettes. I found a lot of indie brands through her channel, including Alien Cosmetics, and I wish she would come back to the Beauty Community!
If you are thinking about picking up one of these palettes to try out the brand, I think I would recommend the Summer On Earth palette over the forever palette. The mattes and shimmers between the two palettes are similar in terms of performance (although the acid green and yellow mattes in Summer On Earth definitely ride the struggle bus!) but I like that the Summer On Earth only has two pressed glitters instead of 3 and the colors of those glitters are much more interesting and unique than the glitters in Forever. The blues and purples of the Summer palette are much more my style, so this probably isn’t a surprise, but I feel like I have enough pinks and purples from recent palette releases and would have these brighter options. If you’ve already got these kinds of shades in your collection, I don’t think you’re missing that much if you skip them, but you can always check out their other releases to see if there is a color story that inspire you more.
At the end of the day, I just don’t find Alien Cosmetics to be out of this world. The color stories are fun and creative, but they don’t necessarily deliver when it comes to performance. I’m willing to give them another chance if the right product came along, but I’m definitely more of a Scully than a Mulder when it comes to these aliens…