It’s funny how sometimes things all just come together at once.
Not too long ago, I was scrolling through my IG Newsfeed and I saw that Audra from @audra_at_home was showing off some new products that she had gotten and a gorgeous eye look. I clicked into the description and saw that she was talking about a new indie brand, Ferocious Beauty. A little later that same day, my friend Chris messaged me on Facebook to say that his friend had started a makeup brand and that I might want to check it out. I opened her Facebook profile, and it was Ferocious Beauty! When Audra dropped her video showing off the products, I decided to give them a try and placed an order for the Darkness Rising palette collection. While I was waiting for my order to arrive, JenLuv dropped her monthly favorites and fails video and guess what just happened to be in the number 4 spot? Darkness Rising.
The collection consists of a 15-pan shadow palette, 4 liquid lipsticks, and your choice of 1 of 4 liquid highlighters. Unfortunately, when I went to place my order they were sold out of the light lavender shade I had my eye on, so I went with Viper-Ice, a light champagne. I’m not a huge fan of liquid highlighters generally, so this wasn’t a huge deal for me. I’m going to try mixing this shade with a foundation to see what happens and play around with it in a Face Friday, so we’ll see how it goes.
Let’s start with the Darkness Rising palette. This 15-pan palette has some neutrals, some pinks and purples, a couple of blues, and a matte black and matte white for blending. I normally swatch the rows from left to right, but for this palette I decided to swatch vertical columns instead. Why? Because of the things that is great about this palette, especially for beginners, is that each column gives you a simple, complete eye look. The top bottom row has lighter matte shades to place in the crease, the top row has deeper, coordinating mattes to darken up the outer-V, and the middle row has a shimmer shade that can be place on the lid. Obviously you can grab from anywhere in the palette – all of the shades go very well together – but if you want a simple, fool-proof option you can pick any of those columns and be ready for the day.
The swatches 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 lighting without a flash, and the bottom photo is under the same lighting with a flash.
L to R: Gryphon, Fantasy, Smooth
Gryphon is a medium to deep chocolate brown matte, not too warm or cool, great for deepening any of the other neutrals in the palette. Fantasy is a bright coppery gold shimmer. Smooth is a medium terra cotta orange matte.
L to R: Vixxxen, Jay, Pinky
Vixxxen is a deep wine matte. It’s softly pigmented, so you can build it up to get better opacity or use a thinner layer to get a slightly more sheered out effect. Jay is a brownish crimson shimmer with nice shine. Pinky is a dusty rose matte.
L to R: Twisted, Snowberry, LVNDR
Twisted is a very deep, opaque indigo matte. This one has great pigmentation but ti’s soft enough that you can blend it out easily around the edges. Snowberry is a pale champagne shimmer, with maybe a hint of a golden undertone. LVNDR is a medium purple matte, a little tricky with a finger but beautiful with a brush (and I’m not out here finger-banging shadows onto my clown face, so it’s not a problem for me).
L to R: Midnight Hour, Nebula, No Modesty
Midnight Hour is a dark navy matte. This one seemed to stick to the primer and darken a bit more than other shades, so be aware of that if you tend to use tacky primers. The Ardell primer isn’t very tacky, but I guess it might not have dried down all the way? It was odd. Nebula is a navy shimmer, similar in depth to Midnight Hour but with more of a satiny shimmer shine. No Modesty is a camel shade that had the worst reaction to the primer. In both swatches you can see how there is that ring of darkness around the edge, and I had trouble blending it out when I played with it if the primer wasn’t powdered down. I’m fairly new to the Ardell primer, but it’s fairly dry. If you don’t want to powder your primer, I would suggest a really dry primer like the one from ABH. Also, I would have preferred a lighter blue matte so that you could have a monochromatic trio here, but the nice thing about having a matte white is that you could use that to lighten the Midnight Hour shade in the crease to get a similar 3-shadow look to the other rows that is all blue.
L to R: The Nether, Static, Storm
The Nether is a matte black. It’s deep enough that it comes off as black instead of a dark gray, but it’s not the deepest black out there. I think this a great option for people who want to use black to darken other shades, or to get a smoky look; it’s not overpowering and won’t scare off beginners who aren’t used to working with black shadow, but it’s deep enough that it will look true black when used at full opacity. It’s not full on drag queen black, but it’s a good shadow. Static is a silver gray shimmer shadow. Storm is a matte white, one that can be built up for more opacity, but it’s a little more sheer and good for lightening and blending out other shades to get more range. This is a perfect addition to the palette since most of the mattes are medium to deep (Pinky and No Modesty are the only ones that I would say clearly fall into the light category) so you can use this to lighten them up, create ombre effects, etc.
Overall, I would say that I am pretty impressed with this palette. It’s not ideal for me, the technicolor #HookerClown, but there is great pigmentation and the shadows are easy to blend. The inclusion of black and white is great for adding so much more depth and versatility to these shades. I would have to say that the weakest part of this palette would be the shimmers, and that’s mostly a preference thing. They are lovely and pigmented, and they blend out beautifully, but they are a softer, more satin type of shimmer. Snowberry is probably the brightest, and Jay has a certain rusty charm, but I’ve definitely been riding that much more metallic or glittery shimmer train lately. These are great for easy and beautifully coordinated looks, and I think the versatility and quality would easily make this a ride or die in a lot of everyday makeup wearers’ lives, but for a drag performer I think I would need to bring in a couple of other things to supplement this, especially for a show look. I’m going to play around with it more, and I’ll definitely use it in an upcoming Face Friday look. This palette will give me a great base for the look and then just bring in one or two really high impact shimmers (or even multichromes – I think the deeper mattes in this palette would look STUNNING with some of my Devinnah multichromes!) and it will be perfection!
The collection also included 4 liquid lipsticks and a liquid highlighter. The highlighter comes in 4 shades and you select the one that you want. For these swatches, the lighting is the same as described above but I didn’t use any sort of primer.
L to R: Tianna, Marly, Yumberry, Synnful
Let’s start with the negative and then move on: I didn’t love Tianna. It’s a deep charcoal gray that I think is supposed to be black but it’s just too soft to really go there. I’m still sad that when my site crashed I lost my two rounds of testing out black liquid lipsticks, so that I could show some comparisons (in those two posts, I tested almost 2 dozen black liquid lipsticks!). This was also the streakiest of the 4 shades, though it’s mostly only noticeable under the flash. If you are intimidated by black lipstick, this is soft enough that it can help ease you in. And I think that if you found a glass that had a black base or a black tint to it, you could add some shine and punch up the black color. It’s a comfortable formula to wear, and it comes with the collection, so I think a little tweak to make it more black is a simple step with this. The other three I loved. Marly is a blue-leaning purple shade. You can see how it looks a little uneven just around the edge, but a lipliner will solve that instantly and it’s not really that noticeable if you are anti-liner for some reason. This formula is thick enough that I think you can wear it without a liner if you choose and you shouldn’t see much in the way of bleeding. Yumberry and Synnful are a thicker, mousse-ier texture than the other two, and they are both really nice and opaque. Yumberry is a medium to deep berry shade and Synnful is a medium to light warm cocoa brown. Sometimes I look at it and I think I see almost a greenish undertone? That might just be me, but you can definitely pair this shade with your grungier color stories like ABH’s Subculture!
I got my highlighter in the shade Viper-Ice, a bright gold-leaning champagne. There was another, lighter shade that was lavender that I was interested in, but it was sold out. I’ve said before that I sort of hate liquid highlighters, but I will cautiously say…I think I like this one? Who am I?! My problem with liquids is that they tend to disrupt the makeup underneath them, especially if there is any powder there (and I use powder under my eyes when doing my eye look to bake and to catch any fallout), but then they blend away to a sheer glow revealing the spotty foundation underneath. This one has a lot more body to it, and even when you blend it out it has a nice metallic reflect to it that I think will not reveal any shifting underneath. I did a little bit of playing with it but I didn’t do a full look, so I will need to test this again when I do my Face Friday look with it, but I’m cautiously optimistic that I think I’m going to like this. It probably won’t win me all the way over to cream/liquid products (can’t serve this #CakeFace without plenty of powder!) but it’s a nice reminder to keep an open mind.
The packaging is really well done for the whole collection. A minor gripe is that the shade names aren’t on the palette itself, but they include a card acknowledging that the manufacturer wasn’t able to do it and providing the shade names for you. The highlighter is in a nice quality frosted glass bottle with a nice dropper in the lid. The liquid lipsticks are in pretty basic plastic lipstick packaging, but it’s not cheap and the printing seems like it’s there to stay (anyone have a bunch of ColourPop lipsticks where everything has worn off?!).
Overall, I think this is a great collection. For people just getting started with makeup, you get a nice range of things to build a variety of looks: some neutrals, some purples and blues, and black and white blending shades to really achieve a much wider range of tones. The collection is only $100, which I think is more than fair for the number of products that you get considering the quality is very high. As this brand continues, I hope that they give us more variety and impact in their shimmer formulas, and I’m definitely hoping for a powder highlight options for cakeface bitches like yours truly!
Ferocious Beauty is off to a great start, and with the Darkness Rising collection the future is looking very dark – and I couldn’t be happier!