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The Best Of Times, The Worst Of Times: My Newest Menagerie Cosmetics Purchases

Posted By on May 10, 2021 in LifeStyle | 0 comments

The Best Of Times, The Worst Of Times: My Newest Menagerie Cosmetics Purchases

Hey everyone!  I’ve been dying to talk about the Flight Club palette from Menagerie Cosmetics for a long time now.  When it first came out, I had the March pre-order in my cart, but I took too long trying to get two single shadows, and it sold out.  So I had to go ahead and wait for the April pre-order instead.  While I was there, I also picked up the Arthurine blush palette.  This palette has been sold out for a while, and any time that it has been in stock, it hasn’t lasted long, so I was very excited to get my hands on it!

I wish I had glowing, beautiful things to say about both of them.  Unfortunately, that’s not the review you’re getting to day.

First, the good news: the Flight Club palette is everything that I was hoping for, and maybe even more.  I love this palette, and I can’t wait to play with it even more – I’ve got so many ideas backed up for Face Friday looks, but this is definitely rising to the top of the heap.  The shimmers from Menagerie are always good, but these still feel like an improvement.  They say “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” and I say “Maybe…but if you get shadows like this I don’t mind you trying!”


The shadows are swatched over the Kaleidos Tone Activator 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.

L to R: Fruity Feast, Squeak, Sky Puppy, Nocturnal

Fruity Feast is a light lavender shimmer with strong silver metallic shine.  Squeak is a cool taupe-y beige.  Sky Puppy is a bright red-leaning purple matte.  Nocturnal is a bright lilac with strong blue shift.

L to R: Hanging Out, Downside Up, A Little Batty, Flighty

Hanging out is a gorgeous deep purple metallic with reddish undertones and a strong berry red shift.  Downside up is a bright beige matte.  A Little Batty is a light orchid purple matte.  Flighty is a deep grape jelly matte.

L to R: Flying Fox, Megabat, Wingin’ It, After Dark

Flying Fox is a very berry red purple matte.  Megabat is a bright purple with blue shift and some reddish undertones.  Megabat and Hanging Out are a very similar base color, but the other shade shows off more of the red tones and shift, and this one focuses more on the blue.  Wingin’ It is a very greige mauve kind of mixture, very matte and lovely for a crease shade to really pop out one of these shimmers.  After Dark is a rich jelly purple with a red duochrome shift and even some golden tones at the base.

This palette is blowing my mind!  These purples have such gorgeous finishes, and the shimmers have such different looks, even if some of them look a little similar in the pan.  I love the shifts, and the metallic shine is absolutely top notch.  This is what Menagerie gets right.

Now for the bad news.

This palette…was terrible.  I’m not saying that with any snide or any snark.  I’m honestly sad about it; I have loved everything I’ve received from Menagerie since the rebrand, and I have been on such a blush journey that I really expected to love this.  Add to that all of the wonderful things I’ve been hearing about this palette, and I’m willing to believe that maybe I got a defective palette, that maybe something happened in the production that is impacting my experience.  I’m usually skeptical when people say “Oh maybe I just got a bad one,” but I can’t help but hope that might be the case because…woof.

I did these swatches with my current process: I lay down a thin layer of foundation (in this case it was my fave, Uoma Beauty Say What Foundation in Fair Lady T3C), let it set, ad then do a finger swatch on the left to show the color against my skin and a more diffused brush swatch to the right.  These swatches don’t look nearly as bad as they were in person.  I even tried doing some swatches on bare skin to see if solved the problem (although as far as I’m concerned, a blush that can’t be used over foundation is a blush that can’t be used!), and it didn’t – those swatches were even worse!  Let’s get into them and talk.  The top photo is under my studio lighting with no flash, and the bottom photo is under the same lighting with no flash.

L to R: Cloudberry, Goji, Sugarberry

Pretty much all of the shades got hard pan even with just the brush swatch (I did a first round of swatches and noticed that I was getting a lot of hard pan, so I redid those and switched it up so that I was always going in with a brush first), and they all applied with a shiny satin kind of finish.  I checked the website and it doesn’t really say what sort of finish they are supposed to have, just that it’s buildable, but they look fairly matte in the pan.  But once I applied them with a brush, I got colors that are much darker and much shinier than I would have ever anticipated.

Gloudberry is a greige mauve shade.  Goji, which looks sort of creamsicle or peach in the website photos, is straight up baby poop brown.  This color is like where mustard goes to die.  I don’t mean to sound snippy, but I love peach blush and I was super excited for this.  Sugarberry is a light lavender pink.

L to R: Dogrose, Agarita, Bearberry

Dogrose is a brown-infused wine, though it honestly looks like of like a fresh bruise.  The shine is especially disconcerting with this one.  Agarita, a bright strawberry red, darkens a bit when applied but it also somewhat inconsistent.  Bearberry is a medium red-leaning orchid purple.  Agarita and Bearberry built up to a nice color, but it doesn’t like to blend around the edges – it either just creates a solid line, or it looks like small dots.  That’s true to some extent with all of the shades, but these two were probably the worst offenders.

L to R: Blueberry, Salmonberry, Persimmon

This is actually the first row that I did, and then had to redo.  Yes, if you can believe it, these are the good swatches!  Blueberry is a light lilac purple with nice blue notes to it.  Salmonberry, which was my favorite color looking at the pans, is a pink-infused peach.  This one got hard pan practically by looking at it.  I had to scrape it with a depotting tool just to get some loose powder to swatch with – the initial swatch was practically invisible.  Persimmon is a terra cotta blush that was the most matte of any of the shades in the palette.

I promise you: I want to be writing good things about this palette!  I love purple eyeshadow, but I was more excited to get this palette than the Flight Club!  I honestly think that I got a bad palette, because I can’t see how so many people that I trust would have good experiences if their palettes were like mine.  I get that I’m an industrial application, but this is just shiny (not glowy – there is definitely a difference!) and not blendable, and the pans all just harden and make it impossible to get any product.  I don’t like to reach out and complain, but I almost did with this palette.  I mean, I’ve loved pretty much everything that I’ve gotten from this brand all the way back to Makeup Monster days!  The only real criticism I’ve had was of the cream highlighters they did, and that was more about the fact that I don’t prefer cream cheek products than anything else!  Right now they are wading through a shitstorm of nasty comments by petty bitches who don’t want to understand the reality of owning or operating a small business because it interferes with their own self-involvement (short version: the Serenity palette launched the day I’m writing this – review coming soon – and people who didn’t get it before it sold out aren’t happy), but I may reach out when things settle down a bit.

This order truly was the best of times and the worst of times.  I’m super excited to get the collab palette with Annette’s Makeup Corner and will definitely be posting a review, but I am seriously skeptical of the blush palette.  They have launched some additional shades of shimmer blush that look gorgeous – but do I dare?

If I reach out, I’ll be sure to update this post with any response/resolution!


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