A coordinated collection of spooky-themed products is not only a surprise - but a delight!
I haven't tried anything from Unearthly Cosmetics since they did their recent rebrand; they used to be Alien Cosmetics, and they had some palettes with fun colors stories that were pretty solid - really good, but not great - and they were a favorite of NerdyGirlMakeup whose channel I adored. I've looked at quite a few things on their site, but it was a couple of Halloween releases that finally got me to pull the trigger. I've got a couple of their Halloween palettes coming (those will be reviewed as soon as they arrive and I can play!) and I also picked up the Halloween Mystery box.
I unboxed the mystery box over on my YouTube channel, but I wanted to make sure that I also go a more in-depth review of the products with swatches done as well. In fact, this is my first concurrent release of a video and a review that support one another - am I a real influencer now?!
I loved that this mystery box was actually a small, coordinated collection of products: 3 mini palettes, 3 liquid lipsticks, and a highlighter trio with one shade to go with each of the three characters that represent the palettes. There is a red vampire palette called Thirst, a green spider woman called Creepy Crawly, and a purple devil called Chilling.
The highlighter palette, Ghoulight, has one shade to coordinate with each of the three mini palettes.
Thirst is a really fun shade. I was worried that this was going to be way too dark for me, and it is too dark to be used alone, but the base is sheer, so this is a great option for me top top some matte blush and blend up into a lighter highlighter. It has a lot of strong shift to it with shades of reddish fuchsia transforming into orangey-copper peach! This is a gorgeous shade. You can see that the brush swatch on the right is pretty diffused, so you can get a lighter wash of the color, or you can build it up to get better coverage. The highlighters aren't really pigmented enough to be eyeshadows on their own, but over a black base you could get a gorgeous topper out of this.
Creepy Crawly is a fun mix of green and gold. The more diffused it is, the more it just looks like a dirty, vintage gold color, but as you build it up the green gets more and more apparent. This is a fun one for people who want to play with a little bit of green, but in subtle, less aggressive ways. This is a really fun shade, and very unique in my collection.
Chilling also surprised me. I thought this would end up quite a bit darker, but it's a strong pearly lavender shade that is really icy and lovely. The purple in the pan has a very sheer base and just tints the pearl white of the highlighter. This is a fun icy shade that has a little twist of color.
Each character also gets her own 4-pan eyeshadow quad. They all have at least one shade that is a "pressed pigment," and we don't live in the EU where they actually staying up to date with regulation of cosmetics, so some of the shades are not recommended for the eye area. If you get your hands on these, be sure to ready the packaging carefully and decide what to do for yourself. In this house, we have no fear.
All of the eyeshadow swatches are done over the Ulta Matte 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,a nd the bottom photo is the same lighting but with a flash. I used a different brush than usual, a domed eyeshadow brush from Moda Brushes. It's fluffier and less dense than the brush that I usually use for swatching. If you are working with these shadows, and you find that they are sheering out more than you would like for the look you are creating, I would select switching to a brush that is smaller and denser, and you will get even more opaque color payoff.
The first shade in Thirst is Bloodline, a deep red matte. This one is a great true red, nice and balanced and not really leaning either yellow or blue. This is a lovely red shade for the crease. I have come to love red eyeshadow, and this sort of brick red is a staple when I do red looks.
Lethal is a super bright, almost neon popsicle red shade. I freaked out over this shade when I swatched it in the video, and I wish the photos truly showed off how bright it is. "The one that got away" for me in terms of makeup is OCC's Lip Tar in Harlot, which was described as a neon popsicle red, and I've been looking for that shade in products ever since. This is probably the closest I've come to finding it in an eyeshadow!
Dread is a silvered orange/red shimmer. This one has a little bit of base pigment, but it sheers out pretty easily and gives you this nice wash of coppery shine with silver reflects. This is a fun shade, and I think that it coordinates with the red mattes beautifully while also giving a little bit of a surprise. All of the shimmer shades in these mini palettes are fairly sheer in opacity and very light. It's a more surprising option than just a more straightforward burgundy or red metallic shimmer.
Barry is a matte black. It's not my favorite black in the world, but it is soft and blendable, and you can get a good diffusion around the edges if you work with it. It's definitely a black, so no worries about it coming off charcoal or gray. It's a pretty solid shade.
Toxin is a beautiful neon acid green. This one has pretty terrific opacity for being as light and bright as it is. This one sheers out a bit with the brush, but over a white base and with a dense brush, you can get some truly amazing color. Close up it can look a little chalky, but when blended in with other colors in a look, it comes off really beautiful.
Squirm is a deep teal matte. This one had a little bit of trouble. With the brush, it was a bit patchy, and I wasn't about to really get full opacity with it. I would suggest using a denser brush and build this around other mattes to get a good gradient. This one is a little weak when it's on its own, but it does work well with other shadows.
Spun is kind of an oddball choice for the shimmer in this palettle. Toxin and Scream are both very yellow-leaning greens, and Squirm, while more blue-toned, is the weakest of the mattes and works best as an accept shade. Spun kind of comes in with a very blue-toned minty color. The more you sheer it out, it doesn't even look that green; instead, it takes on kind of a turquoise to purple glittery look that gets more of the mint green as you build it. It's not terrible, but it is a little bit of a disappointment.
Scream is a bright grass green matte. This one is also a little bit sheer in the brush application, so working with a primer, especially a colored primer, and a dense brush are going to give you the best results. It's a very pretty color, thought, and this with the other two mattes are actually a gorgeous 3-shade matte look.
Morbid is a rich blue-leaning purple. This one almost looks like a blue in some lights and depending on what you pair it with. It's right on the line between purple and indigo. This one has really good pigmentation and performance and I was able to get good coverage and good diffusion around the edges.
Possess is a bright orchid shade. This matte is a little touchy but not bad, you can definitely get a really nice application with only a little effort. It's not the most user-friendly purple shade out there, but it's pretty good.
Prey has a little bit of that orchid color from possess, but then hits with a strong silver and lavender glitter shine. This is good, but very sheer. None of the shimmers in these palettes have very strong base pigmentation, so be prepared to use them with a glitter glue or as toppers - these are going to give you good performance, but they aren't destined to be standout, stars of the show.
Abyss is a really beautiful cornflower blue shade. This is a stunner. I love this sort of color anyway, but then to have it be this pigmented and easy to work with? The brush swatch does get a little lighter and more sheer than the finger swatch, but again, a denser brush will help with upping the color intensity if you're not satisfied. This is easily my favorite shade in this palette, and it might be tied with the neon red for my favorite shade of the whole collection!
Rounding out the collection are three "satin" liquid lipsticks. I tried to find more information about this formula on the Unearthly website, but there were two categories under Lips, Satin and Matte, and only Matte had any products listed. I found that these dried down just like a typical matte liquid lipstick. They weren't terribly drying on the lips and had maybe more of a slightly velvety appearance rather than a true matte - maybe that's the distinction?
Savage is a pretty good black shade that does along with the red tones of the Thirst palette. I mentioned this in the video as well, but I'm glad that they went with a black lipstick instead of a red. Yes, blood and devils and lots of other very Halloween-y things are red, but it's also a pretty common, basic color in everyone's makeup collection. This is a little more unexpected and fun. This was comfortable on the lips and dries a true black, so this is a pretty solid choice.
Ghoulish looks more teal in the tube, but it applies more as a deep emerald or forest green. This is a really pretty lipstick, though it's a bit dark for my taste. But this is a great outer edge color that I would use to ombre a lighter green. I'm glad they went this route and not something more neutral which I often see paired with green in makeup collections. I did have a bit of a problem with this one where if I rubbed my lips together while it was drying, I got bare patches. I was able to correct it for the most part, but I had to really go over it and I hard to keep my mouth open while it was drying: even my lips resting together (no rubbing) would create bald patches.
Wicked is a bright, slightly blue-leaning purple shade. This one was a little harder to get consistent coverage with. It turned out ok, but I had to dunk in several times and really finesse it. This is definitely not going to become a favorite formula for me, but I do think that the colors are well chosen and really coordinte well with the other products in the line.
Also, the teardrop-shaped doe foot applicator combined with the medium thickness of the formula meant that I was getting product buildup around the edges of my lips. I like those applicators for getting a good ridge on the lips (something I will forever struggle with!) but it means that you get a little ridge of product around the edges that can be hard to blend away and can mess up the outline of your lips.
I am definitely glad that I picked up this mystery box, and I think it was absolutely worth it to me to pay $100. It gives me a chance to try several kinds of formulas from the brand, and if my experience with the Halloween palettes that I ordered, So Strange and 1964, is just as positive, I will definitely be picking up additional palettes from this brand!
I love Halloween, I love spooky season, and I'm so glad that so many makeup companies are starting to embrace Halloween as an opportunity to launch great, thought-out collections. Christmas releases were starting to pop up as early as August (and still do...barf!) and I'm glad that Halloween is finally getting a little bit of attention. i feel like there is always a brand or two that does a Halloween collection, but it was only a couple a year, and some of them (I'm looking at you, Makeup Revolution!) just felt like cash grabs with substandard products. Contrast that with what we got here from Unearthly Cosmetics, and I think it's time for people to up their game: Unearthly has not only shown the industry how it's done, but they've also shown how good the quality can be!