Spring is in the air, and I’m ready for some big changes!
Rather, I should say that I’m in the mood for a Metamorphosis, since that’s the name and theme of the April Decadence Box from The Collective Cosmetics! This box is ready, willing, and able to get you changing up your makeup routine with 9 fabulous products for only $50! For those who just want a little bit of change, they also offer the Austere box for $30 which includes a smaller assortment of products.
In this month’s Decadence box you get 9 products: 5 eyeshadows, 1 highlighter, 1 lip gloss, 1 lip balm pot, and 1 butterfly hair clip. The Austere box includes 3 eyeshadows, 1 lip gloss, and 1 butterfly hair clip. I’ll mark which shades are included in the Austere box in the swatch sections. Just like last month’s box, there is an extra eyeshadow, but none of the products come in plastic components. Personally, I prefer this. the plastic compacts are nice, but I’ve got all of my Collective Cosmetics items together in the palette that came with the subscription back in January. I would much rather get an extra shade than have the compacts, so I hope they keep doing that in future boxes. There might be times when it’s better to have items in a separate compact, like the beautifully embossed highlighter from the Til Death collection, but most of the time I prefer the loose pans and more shade options!
The swatches are done over the Kaleidos Tone Activator eye primer with a finger swatch on the left and a brush swatch on the right. The lip gloss is swatched over bare skin. The top photo is under my studio lighting with no flash, and the bottom photo is under the same lighting with a flash. Below each shade I will indicate whether the shade is exclusive to the box or part of the permanent collection, and whether or not it is included in the Austere Box.
Icarus – Exclusive, Included in Austere
Icarus is a deep marigold yellow matte. This one seems to darken if it interacts with the primer and looks almost orange, but I’m not mad about it. It has a richness that I really love, and Love the reddish orange tone that emerges. In the pan it looks somewhat similar to Anvil Crawler from the January box, but in use they look very different: this shade is much more yellow leaning toward orange, whereas Anvil Crawler is a brownish mustard.
Nymphalidea – Exclusive
Nymphalidea is a rusty terra cotta matte, nice pigmentation and very, very warm. It does sometimes need a little bit of finessing around the edges to get a smooth blend, but it’s a rich, earthy red.
Cocooned – Exclusive
Cocooned is a bright raspberry pink shimmer with blue notes and a silvery pink sparkle. This is lovely, and I love that it brings a little bit more coolness into the group, though it still pairs nicely with the warmer shades.
Slumber – Exclusive, Included in Austere
Slumber was a little bit of a surprise! It’s looks very purple in the pan, but when you swatch it, it comes out more indigo with a purple glimmery shift. This is really lovely, and it’s something that I’ve noticed with a lot of the shadows from Collective Cosmetics: what you see in the pan, isn’t always what you get when it’s applied – there are lots of surprise tones or shimmers or undertones that really make the product special!
Azariel – Permanent, Included in Austere
Azariel is a light, bright blue matte. This one was a little tricky, but I love the bright blue color and you can get it to be a a consistent, opaque application. In the brush swatch, toward the bottom, you can see that there was a little chunk that just would not blend away. Just be aware and take a little time to work through those little hiccups, and you’ll get a beautiful application.
Glass Wing – Exclusive
The highlighter in this month’s box is called Glass Wing and it’s a lovely and subtle pearl white with delicate pink tones in the mix. As you can see with the brush swatch, it diffuses out quite a bit, giving you that wet skin or glass skin look. So if you’re intimidated by this when looking at it in the pan, don’t be! If you use a finger or a dense brush, you can get a more opaque, blinding sort of look, but the diffused application is soft and pretty and not at all unapproachable.
Kiss Of Life – Exclusive, Included in Austere
The gloss, Kiss of Life, is a deep berry pink shade with reddish sparkle and a nice sheer application. I tried to swirl it around to show you the color, but when applied like “normal” you’ll get a more subtle wash of color.
Persephone – Exclusive
Persephone is a lightweight lip balm pot with a fresh lemon lime scent. It has a thin consistency that reminds me of coconut oil; I don’t know if it actually has coconut oil in it, since I don’t think they have these balms in the permanent line and those pages are where the ingredients are usually listed, but that’s the sort of wet, slicking feeling that it reminds me of. I prefer a lip balm that’s a little thicker, but I am a fan of lip balms in general, so I’m excited to throw this in my bag to keep in rotation with my other balms.
UPDATE: Sarah, the owner of The Collective Cosmetics, reached out to me on Instagram and gave me a little more info about the lip balms. If you are someone who has concerned about coconut oil, no worries! The lip balm does not contain any coconut oil. The base is shea butter and there is also candelia wax and lemongrass otto oil. I appreciate that the owner of this brand is so plugged in to the community, reading and watching reviews and offering information. That’s something that I think is important to point out – she didn’t message me as a reviewer to ask me to make a change to my review, she emailed me as a customer to make sure any questions I might have were answered! I’ve had nothing but great customer service from the Collective Cosmetics!
Butterfly Hair Clip – Assorted Colors, Exclusive, Included in Austere
Finally, my accessory item was a purple butterfly hair clip with gold detail. I really like the color that I got because I feel like it complements the shades in the collection but it’s not the same as any one of the shades…since the collection overall is about combining bold, bright color choices together, this adds another gorgeous tone into the mix.
Four months in, and I’m still loving this subscription box. I like that you can see the current month’s theme and products before subscribing, although I do think it would be nice if there was an option, like there is with Deck of Scarlet (I know, I know, I keep bringing them up – a video is coming soon, I promise!) to skip a month rather than just canceling your subscription. I’m sure that it would make it a lot harder to anticipate how much to order in terms of ingredients without knowing how many people are subscribed and sticking with it at the beginning of the month, but would still be a nice option and might encourage people who are on the fence about subscribing.
Spring is a time for big changes, but as long as the Collective Cosmetics keeps serving up these beautifully curated collections, I hope they don’t change a thing!