YouTube done got me talked into some shit. But I sorta like the shit, so I’ll let it slide.
Let me explain.
So many of the smaller YouTuber that I love have been singing the praises of indie makeup brand Kaleidos Cosmetics. They came out with some 6-pan shadow palettes last year with really beautiful packaging, and I was intrigued but not breaking my neck to get them. They were cute, but I go against the current trend of wanting smaller and smaller palettes. I want variety, I want color! But when they launched a collection of highlighters, I was definitely salivating. And when they started sending them to all of my favorite creators as PR, and I could see how gorgeous and sparkly they were, I knew I had to have them.
The week of Thanksgiving, they started their sale early and on Tuesday I ordered 4 of the Futurism eyeshadow palettes and the full collection of 6 highlighters. They had a deal where you could get three (of the available five) shadow palettes for a little over $50 and the highlighters were on sale for about $65. As an added bonus, if your order was over $100 you got one of the eyeshadow palettes, the Cyber Bronze, for free! 24 shadows and 6 highlights for $120 isn’t the best deal I’ve ever gotten, but it’s an indie brand and the reviews had been kind, so I placed my order and waited for them to arrive.
And I mean…I waited.
It was a few days into December when I finally got a shipping confirmation and my first tracking number, but nothing really changed. Then a few days later, I got a new shipping number. That one showed that it was dropped off at an airport in China, but there was no movement from there. Finally, on the 15th I emailed the company to see what was going on. They explained that the first shipment had gotten pulled by customs enforcement as part of a random check and the second tracking number was the reshipment. They told me that there was sometimes a delay in the tracking getting updated, but I should receive it in a couple of days, probably before the tracking was even updated.
Yeah, not exactly.
The tracking information didn’t actually get updated until right around New Years, and the package finally settled on my doorstep on January 4th.
I love supporting indie brands, and I understand that shipping from China can take a while, but I knew that these products had better be spectacular or I was going to be one salty bitch.
Luckily, for the most part, these products are pretty good. Are they worth a month and a half wait? I don’t know if I’d go that far, and I’m hesitant to place another order in the future unless it’s something that I really, really want, but the products were pretty solid, the packaging was beautiful, and they definitely are supporting the right people in the YouTube sphere to convince me to part ways with my money, so you never know what the future might hold.
Let’s start with the highlighters.
Obviously the packaging on these is stupid cute – I am loving the 50s sci-fi vibes, and I think the little chubby tins are just perfect. At least in how they look. They have that rubberized feel to them that tends to get kind of dirty in your makeup case, so we’ll see how well they hold up. And two of my hinges broke pretty much immediately. Broken hingers popped up in a couple of the videos I watched (I think both Emily Hanhan and Theresa is Dead had broken hinges), so I wasn’t the only one and like them I probably would have blamed myself but it seems to be a more widespread problem.
As for the highlighters themselves, I generally enjoyed the quality. They come in a nice spectrum of colors and they have good impact, though I don’t think they are my favorite formula. I appreciate the range of colors available, though, and I’m sure I’ll start working these into the rotation for show and photoshoot looks.
L to R: Solar Sailor, Ray Rider, Star Surfer, Comet Catcher, Sky Walker, Laser Glazer
Solar Sailor is a bright yellow highlight. I love this sort of pale yellow highlighter that doesn’t feel the need to be too golden. I love a true yellow highlighter! Ray Rider is a lovely peachy tone with some silvery shimmer to it. Star Surfer is a pale, pearly pink. Comet Catcher is a pale orchid pink shift kind of color, not sure if it’s a duochrome or just has a nice depth to the base color and the shifting highlight. Sky Walker is a pale blue with glittery blue highlights. Laser Glazer is the standout in this collection, a glitter highlight with a reddish base and copper and green shimmery glitter highlight.
These have enough punch to be used alone, but I think I’ll probably use these to make the color of some of my other highlighters more dramatic. Ofra has become one of my favorite highlighter formulas, but the range of colors is a little lacking. But take the champagne pearl Glazed Donut shade and add a couple of these? Magic!
The palettes are really beautiful, and I went against type and decided not to get the green palette! I know – shocking! Instead I picked up the Futurism 3-5, and got #2 as my freebie with my order.
These swatches are done over the Crayon Case Glue Stick primer with a finger swatch on the left and a brush swatch on the right. The top photo is my studio lighting without a flash; the bottom is the same studio lighting with a flash.
Futurism 2: Cyber Bronze
L to R: Quantum, Infrared, Plasma, Droid, Y2K, Carbon
Quantum is a lovely chestnut rose metallic, brown in the pan but with definitely rusty tones when applied. Almost seems to have a bit of a rose gold shine to it. Really pretty. Infrared is one of the best red metallic shadows I’ve ever seen! It’s so pigmented and bright, and has a nice cherry metallic sheen. Plasma is also an amazing silver metallic shimmer. This is like tin foil on the eye – so gorgeous! Droid is a matte Dijon mustard brown, and it didn’t really play well with the primer. That’s actually true of all of the mattes for Kaleidos: they are a silky, dry formula like the mattes from the Norvina Pro Pigment palettes which don’t always work that well over a tacky primer. For best results, I would recommend setting the primer or using a drier formula like the ABH primer. This shade is nice, but a little basic. Same with Y2K – nice pigmentation, but just a basic medium brown. Carbon was lovely, and I’ve glad they went with a deep brown instead of a black to finish off this palette.
Futurism 3: Astro-Pink
L to R: Cosmos, Neptune, Nebula, Lightyear, Stardust, Luna
Cosmos is a richly pigmented matte black that has some glitter in it (why, for the love of JAY-sus, do brands keep doing this?!); the glitter is a bit of a mess, as they always are with shades like this, but it does look pretty when first applied. Neptune is a lovely teal blue metallic that went on really nicely with a brush but for some reason really sheered out when applied with a finger. Nebula is a matte deep berry shade, nicely pigmented, but same story as the other mattes in regards to the primer underneath. Lightyear is a bright silvery shimmer pastel shade – maybe a pale pink or lavender? It’s a very interesting shade and I can’t quite decide what color I think it is! But I’m into it! Stardust is a cool-toned beige nude with some pinkish tones. Lunar is a lighter matte cream shade, also fairly cool-toned and great for the basic white girl transition shade.
Futurism 4: VR Neon
L to R: Hologram, Easter Egg, Game Over, Boss, Level Up, Glitch
The two metallic in this palette are truly gorgeous! I am in love. Hologram is a coppery gold, but it has some pinkish red shift to it, and it is a really beautiful shade. Easter Egg is a bright Barbie pink metallic, very blue toned and 80s and everything you could want in a neon pink metallic. Game Over is bright red matte realness! This is a phenomenal red bright shadow. Boss is a bright construction cone orange matte, very neon, very pigmented. Level Up is a neon yellow matte, a little chalky but can be built up and manipulated, definitely worth checking out if you need a bright yellow for creating really popping looks. Glitch is an electric lime shade that is a little inconsistent, but can be worked – the key is patience! These last two shades are tricky, but you can get a really good look. If you like neons and brights and want a cheaper alternative that is a similar vibe to the Melt Cosmetics Radioactive stack, I would definitely recommend checking this out.
Futurism 5: Electric Turquoise
L to R: Wired, Digiteal, Tron, Voltaic, Force Field, Shockwave
If I’m completely honest, this was the palette that pushed me over the edge and convinced me that I needed to give this brand a try. If you remove that orange shade from the palette, it’s just a cool-toned palette of brown and teal, but something about this combination had me totally entranced! I needed to have it. Wired is a cool-toned deep chocolate brown matte. I love a cool-toned brown, but I just wish that these mattes worked better over a tacky base! Digiteal is deep teal matte, a nice complement to Wired. Tron is a glittery metallic semi-sheer shade that looks like perfection over Force Field. It can be built up or applied wet to get a really sparkly, opaque sort of finish or done lightly for a lighter, more semi-sheer wash. Voltaic is that bright blood orange matte that just fucks up this whole color story in the best way possible! This color story makes me excited for makeup, and it makes me want to play! Force Field is a mid-toned teal matte. Shockwave is another semi-sheer metallic with a silvery tone. It’s definitely less chrome than the silver in Cyber Bronze – less base color and more chunky glitter.
Final thoughts? I love having these products in my collection and I’m sure I’m going to play with them and enjoy myself, but I don’t love the amount of time it took to reach me, and the general lack of communication from the brand. They sent a second tracking number without any sort of explanation and didn’t tell me about the customs search until I emailed them a week or so later to check on the order. I didn’t know going into this that they ship from China – since I heard about these products mostly from people who got them in PR, there wasn’t as much talk about how long they take to arrive (it’s not like they were waiting for orders that they placed).
I’ll probably be back, especially if they keep up this trend of good quality, cute packaging, and inspirational color stories. I might even give in to my inner completionist and get the last Futurism palette. But I’m secretly hoping that this indie darling will catch the eye of one of the big “curators” (i.e., Sephora or Ulta) and become a little bit more readily available.
I think they’ve got their pulse on the future…but at their current pace, they’re never going to get there!