One of my goals for 2019, in addition to lowering my overall makeup spending and consumption, is to branch out and try out some indie brands from the UK and Europe. I keep seeing amazing looks and tempting palettes from our European neighbors, but I just haven’t taken the plunge – until now.
I first saw the Slush palette from September Rose Cosmetics when I was watching some videos from YouTube’s nisipisa, who I found as a recommendation from both Spooky Lips & Fat Hips and Georgia Harris. The minute she opened that palette, I was enthralled! It was the rainbow acid trip color fantasy I had been searching for my entire life!
This is a British brand, and palette retails for 24.99 BP, which at the current exchange rate as of this writing is about $32.25; with shipping of 11.50 BP – or around $15, the total came to just under 50 bucks. I’ve certainly paid that much or more for similarly sized palettes, and the colors really did look amazing, so I decided to go ahead and pull the trigger. It came while I was in Arizona for work over the holidays, so I can’t remember the exact shipping time, but I know that it was much faster than I expected, coming from London. I ordered a bunch of stuff all at the same time, and this palette arrived in the earliest group of stuff, so I was pretty impressed with that.
My friend Angie who was getting my packages for me while I was gone was opening them to check the invoices and making sure everything was included (which ended up being a good thing, as ColourPop forgot my entire Bretman Rock PR collection – but that’s a story for a different day!), but she wasn’t checking to make sure the palettes themselves arrived completely free of any problems. My shadows were all fine in this palette, but the mirror had gotten broken during shipping. I’m sure I could have emailed them and explained my situation and shown them my airplane tickets and hotel receipts and all that to prove that I wasn’t try to scam them two months after ordering a palette, but luckily the shadows came with a thick piece of plastic over them. I was able to get packaging tape over the mirror and clean up any little pieces so that I can still use the palette and not have to worry about tiny shards of glass in my eyes – bonus!
It’s not pretty, but it works for me and I don’t have to deal with getting a replacement. All’s well that ends well, or whatever.
Now let’s take a look at the swatches. All swatches are done over Too Faced Shadow Insurance, with a brush swatch on the right and a finger swatch on the left. Top photo is under studio lighting with no flash; bottom photo is same studio lighting with flash. Usually I swatch rows horizontally, like you are reading, but since the colors are grouped vertically, I decided to do them that way, top to bottom.
Cotton Candy was a little disappointing, and with a brush it blended away to practically nothing. This one will definitely need some work, even with a primer. Strawberry had nice coverage, but there isn’t a ton of pigment, so it ends up almost looking more silvery than really pink. Pink Lemonade is more saturated and is a really pretty color. Cherry Limeade is a deep berry shade that goes on a little more sheer than I would like but is definitely buildable. Sour Cherry is a pretty reddish berry and I think it’s the standout color in the row.
Overall I wasn’t blown away by the pink row, but they were all pretty and even with some problems, none of the shades felt like a total dud to me.
This row was a lot of fun! Peach Lemonade is a little sheer, but builds nicely, and pairs nicely with Mango, which looks kind of similar in the pan but actually applies with more of a yellow tone to it. Orange Soda is a lovely bright, almost neon orange, and for a bright it actually has a good level of opacity. The last two shades bring some reddish tones into the orange: Tropical Fruit is a shimmer, and Tiger’s Blood is a similar shade that is slightly deeper and matte. This row makes me want to play with orange more! It’s not a go to color for me, but this set of shades is stunning. In a surprise twist, it may be my favorite row in the palette!
You know I love me some greens, and that just makes this row extra disappointing. I really would have loved one more row so that you could do the range of yellows and of greens that they did with each of the other shades. Barring that, I just really wanted these shades to be a little bit better. Coconut Milk is a slightly yellow cream shade; a bright lemon pastel yellow would have been a game changer here. Banana is a nice bright yello – I love that they didn’t do something too mustard here, especially since this is the only actual yellow shade in the palette. Lemon & Lime is a pretty swampy green, but it’s just a little dusty and tends to blend away into oblivion. Cucumber Lime is probably the best of the bunch, a yellowy green that builds up nicely with both a finger and a brush. The finger swatch for Sour Apple is a beautiful, and it would have been my favorite color in the palette without question – but look at that brush swatch. That’s a patchy mess, and it literally breaks my heart to have to right that about such a stunning green concept.
Bubblegum is a nice enough shimmer, but it’s way looser and softer than any other shade in the palette. I put my brush in, and I thought I was going to have a Subculture moment and hit pan while swatching. It’s nice and shimmery, but I would have liked the blue to be just a bit more pronounced – it looks white. Blue Hawaiian is a lovely light blue, a little patchy but not unusable. Blue Lagoon is a gorgeous shimmer, another favorite from the palette. It’s not a unique shade; these kinds of blues pop up a lot, but this is a great version of the shade. Blue Raspberry is a nice periwinkle shade that’s a little patchy when working with a brush, but I love the color so I’m willing to fuss with it a bit. Blue Curacao is a little darker in application than it looks in the pan, but it’s nice and pigmented and blends well with the other shades.
So I prefer blue-toned purples over the more violet variety, but I’m so glad they stuck with violets on this one because it just ties the whole palette together and gives you some great options to blend out with the pinks in the first row. Raspberry is a nice lilac shade that is matte, a little dusty but plays well with the other shades. Berry Blast was a little wimpy with the brush, but you can build up some fairly decent color. Grape is a lovely pastel purple shimmer, right in the medium kind of range and really, really pretty when applied. This was one of the few shimmers I’ve seen where I think the brush swatch actually looks better than the finger swatch – that almost never happens! Dark Cherry is a little too red for me, but the coverage isn’t bad. Black Currant is a little patchy, but it’s another one that comes on a little weak but then builds up nicely and works well when blended with the other shades.
Overall, I’m pretty satisfied with this palette. The colors are bright and pigmented, and though there were a few disappointments, and a few shades that require a bit more work than I maybe think they should, this is a great option for people who don’t have a lot of rainbow palettes and want to get a lot of rainbow bang for their bucks! I get that a lot of us are used to our free shipping from Sephora (where my Rouge at?!), but $15 for shipping isn’t that bad considering where it’s coming from at that I had my order within the week. I hate paying for shipping, but when I do I appreciate when the service is good and fast. I was a little bummed about the mirror, but at least the shades weren’t damaged, and the palette was well packaged and protected, so there really isn’t much of anything they could have done differently to keep that from happening.
Have you tried this brand before? What are your thoughts? Do you have any other European makeup brands you’ve been wanting to try? Or maybe some favorites from across the pond that you’d like to recommend? Let us know in the comments!
I’m excited to see what else September Rose comes up with, and I would definitely buy from them again. I’m hoping they do something that has more greens in it – I’d love to see them do an even better job of representing that favorite color of mine with some stunning new shades!