Y’all, I am super excited: I am finally getting a review of The Collective Cosmetics’ subscription box up and posted while the box is still (currently) in stock! Hats off to their customer service, I was able to get my date switched to the first, and the USPS actually got this to me fairly quickly, so I can tell you more about this box and let you know what I think while you still potentially have time to make a purchase!
March’s theme is the Korrigan, named for mythical creatures from Breton folklore. In some versions they are just like gnomes or fairies, but in some myths they are somewhat sinister water spirits who enchant – and kill! – the men who spy on them as they comb their beautiful hair. Sounds like my kinda chicks!
I do the larger of the two options, the Decadence box, which is $50 with free shipping and includes all of the items in the month’s selection. There is an Austere box option for $30 which includes fewer products from the same grouping – but I’m the queen of “go big or go home” so I go for the whole thing! My box came with 5 shadows, a highlighter, a glitter gel, a colored mascara, and a head chain. The Austere box includes three shadows, the highlighter, and the accessory chain.
Let’s get into what the products are and see some swatches, but first let me just say that I think this box is probably the best value for me since I joined in January. I love that I got 5 shadows, and I don’t mind at all that the highlighter was loose – I have a ton of magnetic palettes (including the one that I got from The Collective Cosmetics when I joined up!) so I don’t mind having it in with all the shadows. Now, when there is beautiful stamping in the pan like there was last month with that gorgeous rose design, it’s nice to have it in a separate compact, just to keep it safe and protected, but I really don’t mind it being loose and letting more go into the products themselves!
The mascara that I received is a rusty red, and I’m very interested to try this out. I always buy colored mascaras, but I never end up using them because I always wear falsies! What I need to do is go on Amazon and buy some super cheap lashes so that I can see how this applies over falsies and then I can see about making a pair of red lashes for a look! It’s not something I’m going to use a ton – obviously red mascara is a very strong choice! – but I am excited to try it and see how it looks. And I love the idea of the head chain. I like the idea of an accessory in every box, but I go into this expecting that the accessory probably won’t work for me. I figure out whether the box is valuable to me without considering the accessory and buy it based on that. I think these head chains are beautiful, and I love that for people who are going to wear it, but if I can say something #HurtfulButAccurate: I have a big lumpy melon head. On top of that, I wear huge teased up hooker wigs. There is no way this is going to work for me…as is. However, a bitch is crafty, and I LOVE the style that I happened to get in the box (they are assorted) because it’s design is going to be super easy for me to convert into a really lovely two or three strand bracelet with gold leaf dangles! So even though I don’t buy the box to get the accessory, this particular piece is going to be one that I will get lots of wear out of!
Now for swatches! These were done over the Ardell In Her Prime eye primer with a finger swatch on the left and a brush swatch on the right. The top photo is under my studio lights with no flash, and the bottom photo is under the same lighting with a flash.
Mhyrr is an “old gold” shimmer with a deep base and muted golden shimmer. It’s very smoky eye, Studio 54! I love how much depth it has at the base, but the gold still has a certain impact and flash. It’s a really pretty color and this with a deep black matte would be a very simple, beautiful dramatic smoky eye.
Changeling is probably my favorite shadow in this collection, and it might be my favorite shadow that I’ve gotten from them in my whole collection. It’s a bright blue-leaning green that has some pale yellow shimmer in it. I even think I see hints of turquoise shift from certain angles. I adore this shade!
Submerged is a blackened forest green with lots of beautiful shimmer. You really get that darkened shadow around the edges and it blends out beautifully. This is a great color if you want to try darkening the outer part of a look with a shimmer – it can be done, I swear!
The deepest shades from The Collective always seem to confuse me, but in the best way! Moss looks like it’s just going to be a deep green, and it is, but there are these little flecks of blue that you can see, and when this is applied…I mean, I just can’t. The outer edge has this deep swampy moss green color, the inner part of the shade almost looks black with a translucent sheen of blue. It’s complicated and strange, and absolutely unique to my collection! That’s one of the joys of indie brands, and especially handmade cosmetics: you can get colors and finishes that you don’t normally see from the “big boys” of the makeup world. There is so much more care and attention to detail.
Breton is a bright orchid purple matte. This is the only one that struggled a little bit as it’s a bit sheer. This is probably a good time to talk about why I do both finger and brush swatches and why I apply them over primer. I try to simulate the conditions of eye use as much as possible, so I always swatch over a primer. Sometimes I will switch up different primers to see if a formula is better over a drier primer vs. a more tacky primer, but I always have something down because that’s how I’m going to use. I get that not everyone uses primers, and that primers are all different, but for me, I still get more from a swatch that approximates use rather someone just sticking a finger in once and swiping it down their dry arm.
Why am I bringing this up? Because if someone does swatch like that, I think that Breton is going to look pretty rough. This one did not swatch well with a finger for me at all; it was super sheer and patchy and I needed to really work with it to even get the swatch that I did. Is that a problem for me? Not at all! I’ve said many, many times on this site that I don’t fingerbang matte shadows onto my lids. I don’t know anyone who uses their finger to apply mattes, but I recognize that some people might so I include the finger swatch for them. I do have to say: if you like finger application for mattes, I don’t think The Collective Cosmetics is for you. If you do it a lot, maybe you’ve worked out application tricks that I don’t have, but I struggle. If that’s a non-negotiable for you (and again, I’m not sure why that’s the hill you’ve chosen to die on, but you do you!), then definitely think this over carefully, but if you are using a brush and don’t mind a little bit of work, you can get some really lovely coverage from this shade.
The highlighter, Deep Fake, is gorgeous! I included the pic of it next to the typical 26mm eyeshadow so you could see the difference. This is a pink base with a really gorgeous turquoise shift. What I thought was really interesting is that the finger swatch on the left appears more pink and the brush swatch on the right appears more turquoise. It’s the same product, the only difference is the application! I did swatch this over the Ardell primer and with the same shadow brush I use for shadow swatches because a color like this is something I would also use as eyeshadow to sparkle up a look! Maybe I’ll pop it into a Face Friday look so you can see it more diffused with a fluffier brush!
The glitter gel, Moon Dance, includes large gold chunky glitters with smaller glitters in purple, green, fuchsia, and gold. The gel is a little bit drier than other gels that I have in my collection so just be aware when you’re applying that it might get a little messy, and if you’ve got something tacky for it to go over that will help as well. This is a fun complement to the shades in the collection – there are hints of green without being a green gel, so the purple and gold shades get to have a moment as well. I am always a sucker for glitter, and I’m sure I’ll find a good use for this! The site notes that this is not recommended for the eye area, and I feel the need to repeat that as well because of the large chunky glitters. If you see me use this near my eyes, just do as I say and not as I do, and remember that I’m a grown ass adult who can take responsibility for their own potential corneal abrasions! I’m telling you not to do it.
I am absolutely loving this subscription service. I think the themes are fun and I think they put together collections that are interesting and inspiring. I’ve mentioned this before, and I’m planning a video for my channel, but I did the Deck of Scarlet subscription for a little over a year, and while I do enjoy their products and I loved the way that you got to choose your kit from their available options, I didn’t find myself as inspired by their products as I am by The Collective Cosmetics. These are handmade products from an indie brand, and it’s just a different experience than shopping from the larger brands – they are willing to experiment and try things and put together colors in interesting and unique ways!
Now that I’ve gotten a few of their collections, look for an upcoming Face Friday where I use a bunch of their products together to create a big ol’ drag look!
(Also, can we just take a moment to shake our collective heads at the fact that every time I’m talking about this collection I keep calling it Kerrigan, after the character from StarCraft, and have to correct myself. This poor, addled old brain… XOXO – Miss Jaye)