Ever since I received the package last week, I knew this brand would become one of my new indie loves.
Brazen Cosmetics…I mean, first of all what an awesome name!!! (in case you didn’t know that brazen means shameless, bold). The company has a very pin-upy, vintage edge to it and the products they make are not only beautiful, but also beneficial – infused with natural ingredients to improve your skin. Normally I don’t buy these sort of promises, because I believe that chemical compounds are chemical compounds, period. No matter whether naturally occurring or synthesized in a lab, they can be good or bad for you, depending on your personal circumstances. My philosophy is “try it, and if it indeed feels beneficial, then they must have done a good job”. Well, I have to give it to Brazen, they have done a great job formulating their products, because I am so impressed with everything I got 🙂
But let’s start from the beginning….
I first heard about Brazen Cosmetics on youtube. The Biohazardous Beauty had a really positive review and showed a couple of shadows and lipsticks that looked very interesting. A few weeks ago, I saw an announcement on the fb page of Brazen that they are offering the so called “Case of the Mondays” grab bag duo. Basically, each Monday they release a limited amount of those, so you can’t find them in their shop on any other day of the week (if you are gonna creep up on Brazen, do it on a Monday then ;)) You get 2 bags with 3-4 products of their choice and it can be anything – eyeshadows, blushes, or their signature liquid lipsticks. The price is $14,99 and the shipping to the Netherlands was around $7 (they do ship internationally). Although I didn’t get to choose what I got, I still think this was a great way to get to know the brand. And of course, unpacking was a blast, I felt like a 6-year-old on Xmas day 🙂
The customer service is great. Sandi, the owner, was very kind when I got a bit confused about the date the package was shipped. She replied immediately and I received my goodies about a week after they were sent out.
When I opened the package I found not 2, but 3 baggies full of sparkly magic 😀
– 5 eyeshadows
– 3 blushes (2 sample sizes and 1 full size)
– lip balm
– 3 samples of their famous liquid lipsticks (I was particularly excited about those because everyone raves about them)
Let’s get into it then, shall we =>
I will start with the lip balm, which looks like this.
It is called “Ice Queen” and actually looks like a full size product to me (10g). The balm has a very rich texture and feels nourishing on the lips. It smells like mint. The last photo shows you the ingredient list, containing all kinds of plant oils (and you know how much I love me some plant oils!). I am really enjoying this product ! I don’t think I have ever had a more pleasant feeling lip balm. It’s amazing to use as a base for drying lipsticks, or on its own, when you feel like your lips need to soften up.
Now let’s have a look at the mineral blushes:
Slight of Hand and Incantation are both samples sizes and contain sparkles, whereas Charisma is I think full size, and also a matte formula. They feel so silky and the pigmentation is just splendid:
It’s actually funny because I had been wanting a colour like Charisma for a while, and when I opened the package my heart literally skipped a beat. Charisma is a matte, cool-toned pink with a slight purple tone to it. I feel like Barbie, when I wear it haha. When I opened the jars with Slight of Hand and Incantation my first thought was, “hmmm Mariam doesn’t do sparkly blushes’. And then I swatched them…<3 They are gorgeous! The sparkles are very subtle and the formula is so silky that you just want to jump right in and take a bath in the twinkly goodness. Slight of Hand is a dusky rose and Incantation is a beautiful coral colour.
The only problem I have with them is that loose blushes are more difficult to apply than pressed ones. I have no issues with eyeshadows, but I make a real mess with blushes. I take too much on the brush, and then I cannot tap it back because I will just waste so much… also application can turn out more uneven. But that is no way something to blame the blushes for, they are fabulous. I just have to get used to using them properly 😉
I got sooo many eyeshadows too! Eyeshadows are kind of my cryptonite…show me sparkles in a jar and I get weak in the knees :P.
I don’t know, if it was some sort of a theme in this package, or they just do that when they have to make a selection for the average client, but as you see, all the shades I got are kind of on the neutral side. I am not saying I was disappointed, because that certainly wasn’t the case, but I do hope that when I order one of those bags again in the future, I will get some more bright-coloured eyeshadows, for I have seen blues, purples and greens from Brazen and they looked so amazing that I just need to try them some day!
Having said that, guys, these eyeshadows are just amazing! They apply like butter and feel so smooth. I have never experienced eyeshadows that blend so easily, literally a few strokes with your blending brush and you are done. Say you are in a rush in the morning for work…All you need to do is throw Indiscretion on the lid, blend the edges and that’s it…perfection. Despite being neutrals, these eyeshadows are not boring. They have sparkles and layers to them, so that you can feel special, even on a neutral makeup day.
Swatches were done over Art Deco base. On the right, I tried to take a photo in the light for you too see the sparkles better. Trust me, they look even more beautiful live!
Stripped is a taupey cool-toned brown with sparkles. I used it in this look (the colour on the lid):
Indiscretion is a warm mid-tone brown, also with pretty sparkles in it. I used it all over the lid for this eyeball:
Tied Up is probably my favourite of the bunch. It’s an oliver green base infused with mutli-coloured sparkles. It’s so lovely! Used it in the outer V here:
Cold Shoulder is a mid/dark graphite grey with blue undertones, and of course sparkles. Again, used it in the outer V for this look:
The last eyeshadow, Cleo is a straight up matte black. You can judge from the swatch that it is indeed a very potent matte BLACK colour, not a shade of dark grey 🙂
Now let’s discuss those amazing lipsticks, for they are indeed amaze balls! Brazen is known for their liquid lipsticks so I think of all the products, I was most looking forward to trying these.
I got three samples (the actual, full-size lipstick comes in a pen form and contains a lot more product):
The texture is very rich and creamy, and they smell like vanilla cupcakes yumm. The lipsticks apply very easily and go on completely opaque. Needless to say they feel wonderful on the lips, nourishing and moisturizing. They sort of have a frosty, metallic finish though… which is also my only complaint, because it does not look good on me. Mirage and Catalyst (the coral and the baby pink) are really metallic, so I either use them in the centre of the lid for an ombre effect, or apply a more matte (similar-coloured) lipstick on top to tone down the frost. That way, I benefit from the goodies in the lipstick and enjoy soft lippies, minus the metallic finish.
I wore Catalyst with some Essence Velvet Rose matte lipgloss on top here:
Aphrodite is my absolute favourite of all the products I received! First of all, I love egg-plant, dark purple lipsticks. Second of all, this one does not feel so frosty. And lastly, it has pink/magenta sparkles in it..What’s there not to love?!?!?
Lol, sorry for the poorly blended blush…my first try of Charisma didn’t go all that smoothly…
Overall, everything in the “Case of the Mondays” grab bag was awesome and of very high quality…not to mention quantity.
So my advice is: if you would like to try Brazen, be on the lookout next Monday ;).
For general, stalking-their-website purposes, click here. Keep in mind that this is a small indie brand, so if something is there now, it may not be the case next month. Also a lot of the products I got are probably from older/upcoming collections, so you cannot find them there. Anyway, enjoy browsing and definitely check out the liquid lipsticks!!!
I hope you enjoyed this long, long review. I know I don’t normally write such extensive reviews, but, hey, I am only human… trying to grow and improve here. Plus, I think amazing indie brands deserve more recognition!
An important addition: since recently I have kind of teamed up with Brazen, so you (my readers and viewers) can use a little perk: free worldwide shipping on orders over 35$ at http://shop.brazencosmetics.com/ Apply code: Mariam
See you soon for a real swatchfest and review of another one of my indie loves: Darling Girl Cosmetics…