(Editor’s note: Happy Pride Month everyone! Given the state of the world and the fact that most of the typical June Pride events have been postponed or cancelled, don’t be surprised if you start seeing a lot more rainbows on this site, in this section and others. We’re making lemonade, y’all, and I hope you find some inspiration to get you through these difficult times and help you celebrate your pride in a safe, healthy, way! XOXO – Miss Jaye)
What can I say: I’m a sucker for a good theme!
I’ve been hearing about a new indie makeup brand, Makeup A Murder, for a little while now, and I was sort of interested. There are so many themes in makeup that are just overdone (I’m looking at you, unicorns and mermaids!) but not nearly enough that play with horror, suspense, or the perennially popular genre of true crime. I love a little bit of gore with my glam, so I decided to check them out – and what an explosion of color I found!
I love the way that they really play up the theme of their branding: all of the items came bubblewrapped, and they had special tape that they put on like evidence bags or crime scene tape. I know that it’s not functional and you just throw it away, but I’m here for it. They are going to use tape anyway, so why not use something that helps contribute to the overall experience?
Their prices are pretty reasonable, so I decided to pick up two pigment bundles and a 9-pan eyeshadow palette which ended up being about $73 before shipping. Not too bad for 13 generous bottles of loose pigment and a palette with large pans (these are the same size as a Juvia’s Place 9-pan palette like the Warrior or the Tribe palette).
Swatches were done over the ABH 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 the same lighting with a flash.
Let’s start with my least favorite product and work upwards. At the bottom of the heap we have the Crime Scene Trace Evidence Vol 1 – Paint Chips eyeshadow palette.
L to R: Den, Bedromm, Dining
Den is a bright orange matte. Bedroom is a medium bubblegum pink. Dining is a matte purple, pretty balanced between blue and red.
L to R: Master, Garage, Kitchen
Master is a bright cyan, and it looks to be the only shade that has some shimmer to it (though you don’t really see it, it goes on more like a satin finish). Garage is a bright grass green. Kitchen is a bright yellow, though it’s pretty sheer in how it applies.
L to R: Basement, Bath, Mini Van
Basement is a matte black, though it isn’t as deep as I usually like, applying more like a deep charcoal. Bath is a matte white. Mini Van is a matte primary red.
I had such high hopes for this palette, but it just wasn’t all that great – at least for what I am looking for. All of the shades go on a little bit sheer (I think my photos here are very forgiving of how sheer all of the shades really were!), with Bedroom, Dining, Kitchen, and Bath being the worst offenders. I think that this palette would be great for someone that wants to play with color…but they aren’t completely ready to fully “go there,” if you know what I mean. This could be used to add some somewhat sheer pops of color into looks, or built up to be a little more impactful, though I never found them to be as fully bright and opaque as they look in the pans. The formula is dry, but not that silky sort of dry that you see with like the Norvina Pro Pigment palettes that give you a smooth, rich application. It’s ok, but if you are really looking for a bright, impactful rainbow palette, this might not be your best option. If you are new to color and are worried about going too heavy handed in your early attempts, this palette would be a great set of “training wheels” to get you up and moving!
Next up is the bundle of Poison Neon Pigments. The names are pretty much the colors, so I’ll save any commentary on performance until after the swatches.
L to R: Coral Red, Orange, Yellow
L to R: Green, Blue, Purple, Pink
I generally really like these pigments. You’ll probably notice that a lot of the swatches look a little patchy, but that’s the nature of neon shadows: they are notoriously fussy! To get that level of brightness, you have to use a lot of white in the mixture, and white pigment is what usually makes something a bit patchy or inconsistent. I think that these are on par with most neons I’ve seen, and the color is really bright and intense. There is one issue you might run into in terms of how you apply them. I noticed it most with purple, but it could happen with any of these shades.
I included a close up of the swatches I did with the purple. Notice how there is an opaque area around the edge and then very little pigment. I had applied one swipe of the color and then that happened when I hit it a second time with the same brush. It’s like a small amount of the pigment laid down, but then after that, anytime you tried to blend, the shadow would just move with the brush and it was very hard to get anything resembling an even swatch (I did do some more work before the group swatch you see above).
What’s the cause? I think it’s just that there was nothing at all tacky or moist for the shadow to adhere too. Sometimes I hear people complaining about “filler” in eyeshadow and they seem to think they should be getting pure pigments. But the filler is generally what makes the shadows stick! Yes, if you want intense, impactful color you will want a high concentration of pigment, but without the binders in a shadow, you need some other way to make it stick. I think if I had used a white, tacky base for these powders and stamped the color on, they would have been absolutely breathtaking! That would have given them something to adhere to, and the white base would really make the colors pop. The ABH primer, which I generally like, dries down notoriously dry and smooth, giving these loose powders nothing to really grab on to. A small thin layer of powder will adhere, and that what you see in the middle of the swatch, but then you’re just pushing powder around on top of powder. Definitely give yourself something sticky to adhere to and you will get a better result. Just remember that with that sticky base, it will give you a better, brighter application if you stamp the color on rather than rubbing it through the tacky base (which can muddy or darken the colors, especially for neons).
And before we move on, can we take a moment to just appreciate how cute those jars are with the rubber blood drip caps?! They definitely don’t give you the same level of control when opening and closing (I cleaned up a lot – I mean a LOT – of pigment off my filming table!) but the look is fun and it does give a nice, secure seal to the jars and is perfect for the theme.
And now for the stars of my order: the Pastel Poison Neon Pigments!
L to R: Bubblegum, Peach, Lemonade, Mint, Ice Blue, Lilac
The photos here aren’t necessarily doing them any favors because they just can’t capture how much these colors just radiate off the skin! They have a little bit of chalkiness, which is again typical of neon and pastel shades, and while they would also pop really well on a white and slightly tacky bases, these actually gave pretty good, workable coverage even over the ABH primer. I am dying to play with these more, and now I’m extra impatient for a restock on the Glam Vice neon pastel cake liners because I just have so many ideas!
These bottles are also super cute with their poison labels. They have a plastic stopper which makes them easier to open and you have less product spillage, but they are also less secure than the rubber sealed tops on the regular neons. Both packaging styles are super cute, but with these, especially if you intend to travel with them, be careful to ensure that they are securely closed when you pack them or get ready for a neon apocalypse!
Makeup A Murder has some other products, including another Trace Evidence palette that is a collection of mostly shimmery neutrals and a 10-pan palette that plays with the pink/red/purple trend we’ve been seeing recently, but I knew that I wanted to dive right into their most colorful options! I mean, I am a giant parade float of a drag queen who loves playing with wild, vivid colors – to ignore those shades would have been – you, I’m going there with the dad joke – a CRIME!