Beautylish Presents The Year of the Tiger Brush and other January Purchases

I’m still playing catch up on things I purchased in 2021 and wish to post about, but today is an update on all my beauty purchases from January 2022. I’d like to show how well (or not) I’ve been sticking to my Beauty Resolutions for the year.

Beautylish Presents the Year of the Tiger Lunar New Year Powder Brush

  • Full Length: *170mm / 6.69 in
  • Hair Length: 47.6mm / 1.87 in
  • Hair Width: *40mm / 1.57 in
  • Bristle Type: Blue Squirrel

In my Beauty Resolutions post, I mentioned that I should only purchase Lunar New Year items that had personal significance to me (ex: Year of the Dragon). This brush depicts the most adorable chubby kitty with tiger stripes, which does make it significant to me in my interpretation of this design (it’s an inside joke). In addition, for half of my life the Tiger was my favorite animal. This is why I succumbed to the temptation and finally bought one of Beautylish’s collaborative Lunar New Year brushes. They did not announce which brush-maker created this year’s brush, but in the past is was Chikuhodo. Even if another Fude company created this brush, I’m still happy that it has the Chikuhodo aesthetic with the large round shiny handle similar to the Z-series. As long as the brush is high quality, which it is, it doesn’t matter to me which Japanese company created it. This brush is still hand bundled with an exquisitely detailed lacquered handle using the maki-e process.

This brush is unbelievably silky soft and of course perfect for those who want a very sheer application of powder. I can use this for highlighter (when applied just on the very tips), blush (when I use sweeping motions across the cheek), and bronzer, but in my eyes this is a dedicated all over face powder brush. Although it picks up a small amount of product, when that product is very pigmented it takes more effort than I like to buff it out because it’s not dense enough for that. If I use a squirrel hair brush for blush, I prefer one that’s thicker and more round like the Z-1. Anything looser packed than that, I consider to be more ideal for setting/finishing powders. Honestly, this is more of a collector item for me and not one I intend to use a lot. When I do use it, it’s heaven though. It’s so soft and light that I barely feel any pressure on my skin. This is a beautiful powder brush, but if you already own one with grey/blue/ash squirrel hair, you’re not missing out by not having it. For those who don’t and would like a light/medium density powder brush, this might be a good place to start since comparable brushes to this would be a little more expensive. I still recommend this for collectors, but for someone looking for a more functional or versatile brush, I would direct them to Chikuhodo’s Z series and FO series.

At launch, Beautylish also restocked the previous Lunar New Year brushes as well: Pig, Rat, and Ox. As cute as those designs are, those three have nearly identical brush heads which is already practically the same as the Tiger brush, so I didn’t feel any pressure to add those to my cart. Since I already have three close enough brushes as the Tiger, Koi/Carp, and the Z-1 (the Z-9 is a better dupe but I don’t own it), I don’t feel a need to get a backup brush. However, trying to steer clear of a Rabbit next year will be difficult, and I suspect trying to ignore the Dragon will be impossible.

Sonia G Builder Pro Eye Shadow Brush

  • Full Length: 152mm / 5.98 in
  • Hair Length: 12mm / 0.47 in
  • Hair Width: *9mm / 0.35 in
  • Bristle Type: Dyed Saikoho Goat Hair

The Builder Pro and Builder Three are both brushes that lay product down well but can also be used for blending. I’ve discovered that the Builder Three leans better on the blending aspect because of the flatter top, so I prefer that one for crease work. The Builder Pro leans better on the lay down and building aspect because it’s perfect for applying shadows to the section of my eye between the eyelid and inner corner. I always struggled with that spot, but this brush gets in there easily. It’s also more precise for application to the outer V. I’ve actually been able to do entire eye looks using this brush alone. I’m very happy I decided to finally buy this!
The tapered tip that makes the Builder Pro so great for applying shadows also prevents it from blending large areas as quickly as the Builder Three, so I will probably use that one more often when I’m in a rush. However, for when I have more time and want to create a detailed and more skillfully done eyeshadow look, I will definitely grab the Builder Pro instead. They perform differently enough that I feel justified having them both in my collection.

Before we move onto the next topic, I have to acknowledge that I bought a backup of the Builder Three at the same time that I ordered the Builder Pro, which is a breech of my beauty resolutions. Then Sonia G/Beautylish restocked many brushes I wanted, including the Cheek Pro which would have been yet another backup purchase, but I was able to stop myself.

Lethal Cosmetics Charity Eyeshadow in Meekha

This is one of four limited edition charity eyeshadows released from Lethal Cosmetics. I mentioned liking tigers earlier in this post, but I am dog person and I have a soft spot for pitbulls. It was very lucky that the only eyeshadow that caught my attention happened to be the one named after the sweet rescue pitbull named Meekha. In addition to the animal charities being supported by the purchase, Lethal also committed to planting a tree for each January order. My sister had a pitbull named Radja, so that’s the name I chose for the planted tree in her memory.

This is the second indie brand that I’m aware of who has created limited edition shadows for charity, and I am here for it! For some reason, when larger brands do it, it feels like it’s just for press. Somehow, this kind of thing coming from a smaller brand seems more heartfelt. In any case, I like to see this.

The combination of the colors in the Meekha pan turn into an icy lavender shade on me. I’m not sure how often I will use this shadow, but I was able to create a look that I liked. It even makes for a nice bright inner corner highlight shade for other eyeshadow looks! The eyeshadow texture and performance feels just like other shimmers from the brand. The formula is a bit thick, but they smooth out nicely on the lids and fallout is about what one would expect from a shimmer shadow (present but not too bad especially if applied wet or on top of a glitter primer).

And as a follow-up to the charity aspect, post-January purchases will continue to go to charity. It’s just the tree part that is over now.

Lethal Cosmetics Highlighter in Fusion

I wanted this highlighter shade for a long time, but it was initially exclusive to the Equilux face palette, which I did not get because the blush and bronzer in the trio were too deep for my skin tone. Since it’s now available as an individual item, and I wasn’t completely satisfied with the highlighter selection I brought with me on my trip to Germany, I figured this was the best time to get it (especially with the lower shipping cost). I am supposed to be on a highlighter No-Buy, but this purchase was allowed as it falls under the category of something I would have bought last year if it was available to me, and in this case, available as a single product.

Unlike Gamma and Gravity, my two other Lethal Cosmetics highlighters, I find Fusion to be quite subtle. Fusion is close to my skin tone, and that could add to how subtle it is, but even the texture feels a bit different than the other two, and not just because of the lack of ridges. Fusion was difficult to show in swatches, even when built up. It feels a bit hard pressed*, and when the highlighter was delivered, it was messy around the pan edges as well as within the packaging. My brushes are able to grab product easily (despite the fact that it looks a bit hard-panned** now too) but perhaps the hard pressing is preventing more of the actual shimmer particles from being picked up. That would be ironic considering if I have an issue with a highlighter it’s usually that my brush is picking up too much of the shimmer.

*NOTE**: I have a few wonderful friends and family members who read my blog sometimes and may not be aware of some of the terms I’ve used. For anyone who needs clarification, the press of a product refers to the force in which a product is physically pressed into the pan (usually with a pressing machine). Makeup that is “Hard Pressed” has powder so compacted together that it becomes difficult to get the product out of the pan and onto the brush. “Hardpan” is when a powder product gets a hard or filmy top layer that also prevents someone from being able to pick up product onto a brush, but it is usually due to oils from the skin getting into the powder and creating that tough layer. Certain formulas of powder products are more prone to hardpanning than others.

Fusion has an orange tinge to it. Although the shine level is a bit low, when it hits the light, the golden-orange sheen is apparent at that point. It’s not what I was going for but mixing it with some of Gamma puts the look back in my comfort zone. I will likely declutter Gravity and Fusion at some point, but testing out these shades reminded how much I enjoyed wearing Gamma, and I will have to remember to use it more often. Anyone interested in seeing those shades on me can check out my previous Lethal Cosmetics post here.

Chanel JOUES CONTRASTE Powder Blush in 320 Rouge Profond

I considered buying a Chanel blush for a long time, although I always expected it to be from one of their limited edition collections. My interest in buying one re-sparked when Ulta started carrying Chanel Beauty products in January (although the brand will probably be excluded from all coupons including prestige). I also really wanted the Blush Lumiere Brun Roussi shade from the Spring 2022 collection, but I wasn’t willing to spend Hermes prices for it. So, when I was browsing the Duty Free section at the Frankfurt Airport, I had an impulsive moment to buy shade 320 Rouge Profond, a shade that is not available at Ulta and is part of their older blush formulation. Chanel changed to the new formula in March 2021, and according to reviews I’ve seen, the new formula is less smooth, less sheen-like, and less pigmented, so I decided to go ahead and get this one in the old formula while it was still available.

The Houkodou Nagi Powder N-F1 Brush fits perfectly around the dome of this blush and applies it perfectly as well. The blush swatch needed to be built up on my arm, but color goes onto the cheek nicely. The perfume scent is very noticeable. The color and performance reminds me of the MAC Mineralize Blush in the Flirting With Danger shade. In fact, as much as I like this blush, it didn’t “Wow” me more than the MAC blush and that one is significantly less expensive. My curiosity is satisfied knowing Chanel’s permanent blushes aren’t superior to products I already have, but there’s still that troublesome part of me wondering if Chanel’s even pricier blushes are better. Either way, at twice the price, I doubt it would be two times better, so it’s best I leave that topic alone.

That’s everything I bought in the month of January! I did not include products I ordered in December that arrived in January. Those items will show up in future posts.

Thank you for joining me today! I hope this has been helpful!

-Lili

*UPDATE: For those on the email list, I apologize for the accidental early release of this post. I’ve been consistently posting at the same time for a reason, but I’m not sure how or when the scheduled time for this one was changed and it completely escaped my notice. Considering we just entered Daylight Savings time in the US, this could be especially early for some people. I plan to resume our regular schedule of Mondays at 11:30 am EST.

Lethal Cosmetics Face Powders, Velvet Dusk Palette, and More

I’m a big fan of Lethal Cosmetics for their quality products, fantastic customer service, fast worldwide shipping, and the importance they place on diversity and inclusion. My initial interest in the brand was for their eyeshadows. At the time of writing this, I own 72 out of their 90 individual shades released so far, and I reviewed most of them earlier this year.

Even though I’m trying to limit the number of face products I buy, I couldn’t resist ordering from Lethal on launch day. I purchased the Solstice palette, another highlighter, blush, bronzer, and the Lethal Cosmetics x Jolina Mennen eyeshadow palette. The same morning I began working on this post, the brand announced their new Velvet Dusk Collection and details about a Black Friday sale, so I delayed posting until those items arrived as well.

Face Powders

The Solstice Palette

This is one of the four premade palettes on Lethal’s website. It was created for those with dark tan/olive to deep skin tones. Lethal Cosmetics has six individual highlighters that have been available long before the bronzers and blushes, but the highlighters in the premade palettes are exclusive to those palettes. The exclusive shade from Solstice is called Gravity and it has a strong yellow base. The blush included is called Echinopsis and the bronzer is Caldera.

Although Lethal doesn’t have designated contour powders, within the bronzer line are three shades with cool undertones that I consider contouring-bronzers. I picked up one of them called Zenith.

Until Zenith, I had no real contour powder that I liked enough to wear regularly. The best one I have is actually a Colourpop eyeshadow called Cloud Nine.
Because Caldera is warmer and I prefer to use bronzer around my forehead, while Zenith is cool-toned and I prefer that for cheek and jaw contouring, I have found uses for both powders in my collection. I actually replaced the Gravity highlighter with Zenith in my trio palette when I was on a brief trip for my birthday. The palette is magnetic with holes in the back and the pans are not glued in, so that makes it easy to mix and match face products.

Terrestrial is the newest addition to my face powders that I purchased with the launch of the Velvet Dusk Collection. I wanted to see if I could get a cool-toned contouring bronzer that was closer to my skin tone for times I might be in a rush and don’t want to have to be careful about how much I apply. Between Terrestrial and Zenith, I think Terrestrial is better for me.

I like these powders, but I should note that these are not beginner-friendly in the sense that using the wrong brushes can make these harder and more time consuming to blend. I found this to be the case for the bronzers and blushes, but not the highlighters. Also, when it comes to bronzers, I still prefer the Kosas Sun Show Moisturizing Bronzer and the Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush matte bronzers because of how they look on the skin and how they blend regardless of the tool. It should be noted that those two bronzers are 2-4 times more expensive than the ones from Lethal.

The texture and consistency of Lethal’s powder products remind me of MAC’s Satin blush formula but they are definitely matte and they perform like MAC’s brighter blush shades, such as Loudspeaker and Frankly Scarlet. What I mean by this is that wherever you first apply with the most pressure is where the powder mostly sticks. They’re still blendable, but using too small of a brush can concentrate the product in too small of an area that is time-consuming to smooth out. If the initial placement covers the entire area you want, it makes the blending process easy. This is why I recommend using a fluffy brush with these powders in order to disperse the product lightly and evenly.

Calyx was more orange than I expected. Echinopsis is more of a berry color, and darker, but it can be worn in a sheer layer as demonstrated in the photo above (a heavier application is in the Terrestrial section). Between the two, I think Echinopsis looks better on me.

As I mentioned before, Gravity has a strong yellow base, so I prefer to wear it only on days when my blush is on the more neutral, natural, and sheer side. This way, the highlighter doesn’t have to compete for attention, so to speak. If I use less, Gravity doesn’t look as strikingly yellow, but it’s still very apparent in person.

Gamma is an “elegant bronze with warm gold highlights.” It is everything I want in a highlighter! It can be subtle and look more shiny than glittery, but it can also be built up more intensely. I think it’s a better shade match for me as well.

Gamma, Echinopsis, and Terrestrial is my new favorite trio palette pairing! I have a magnetic palette with depotted face products that I’ve taken on trips before, but this is the first time I’ve ever had a highlighter, blush, and bronzer/contour from the same brand that actually works for me and is kept in an aesthetically pleasing palette that looks like it was premade! Although I could pack a trio of Nabla Skin Glazing Products, I find carrying one palette to be easier with less chance of an accident than a stack of 3 compacts.

Eye Palettes

Lethal Cosmetics x Jolina Palette

I love the fact that these shimmer shades make beautiful new colors when mixed together. For example, Fck Me Eyes and (A)mar create a pretty turquoise blue. Loyalty is a red-based purple but when combined with (A)mar is makes a nice deep cool purple. For a white shade, Scandal is not stark on my skin tone and I can actually use it in the crease. This is probably the only white shade in my entire eyeshadow collection that I like! The only color in the palette I dislike is Cold Brew, and that’s because it’s the same color as my hyperpigmentation. When I use it, it looks to me like I missed a spot or that the eyeshadow faded, but it’s just the color of the shadow.

Overall, I find the quality of this palette to be consistent with Lethal’s single eyeshadows. With the exception of a few shades, there are close enough similarities to other Lethal singles that I don’t think this palette is a necessity for anyone with a large enough collection of their shadows. If your collection is on the smaller side, this is a great way to get a variety of neutrals with vibrant pops of color at a more affordable price. The pans in this palette are smaller than the individual shades, but I have still yet to hit pan on any eyeshadow in my collection, even with mini palettes.

Velvet Dusk Eyeshadow Palette

These pans are also available for purchase individually, which is why I counted them as part of Lethal’s 90 current shadows. What made the Velvet Dusk collection especially exciting is that for the first time, Lethal introduced two “triochrome” eyeshadows.

Lethal has had duochromes for a while, such as Aerial, Stargaze, and Mainframe. Apart from certain shades like Enigma and Lucid, I don’t consider a lot of them to be true duochromes because they don’t make as much of an impact as the duochromes from other brands. I’m also more impressed when a duochrome is one base color that either shifts to another shade or the glitter color very different, as opposed to a base color with plain gold or silver shimmer particles.

Keeping this in mind prevented me from expecting much from the triochromes, so they weren’t the selling point for me for this palette. I just loved the overall color story. It’s rare that I like even half of the shades in a palette. With this one, I was drawn to 10 of the 12!

As for the triochromes Revolve and Covet, they do have a shift but they aren’t easy to see. With Clionadh, you can see a change on the fingertips, the pan, the eyelid, and/or arm swatch. Revolve is a shade I can slightly see on the finger in very specific angles but Covet is extremely difficult. I cannot see a change on either of them in arm swatches. I can faintly see a shift on the lid while wearing Revolve if I’m in the proper light. However, the only time I could capture anything from Covet was on my palm. I included a photo below, but to see a 3-second video clip you can click here. I was unable to figure out how to change the video dimensions to be smaller and embed it to a reasonable height and width on this page.

There’s something that seems a little different about the formula of the Velvet Dusk shades (and even the ones from the Afterdark palette), but I can’t put my finger on what it is or how to explain it. They’re still pigmented like the others and long-wearing. Corrosion and Deceit took a bit of work to blend. Deceit specifically is a bit patchy but the sparse areas can be patched up if extra shadow is added on top and not manipulated too much. All of the shadows in this palette stuck to my arm fine in swatches, but these absolutely need a primer in order to stick properly to my eyes. There isn’t anything wrong with needing a primer, but my other Lethal shadows from the older collections still look great without it.

I’ve found that the mattes work better over MAC Paint Pot and the shimmers work better on the Urban Decay primer potion or a non-dry base, even though Lethal recommends a dry base for all of them.

This palette is another great mix of pops of color with neutrals, just with a grungy twist. It isn’t perfect, but I would still recommend this to anyone who likes the color story. I don’t recommend this to someone specifically wanting it for the duochromes and multichromes. For those kind of shadows with more impact, I suggest Clionadh, Devinah, and Terra Moons. Even JD Glow’s Galaxy Shadows have more sparkle and shine.

Additional Single Shadows

Besides the new Velvet Dusk Palette eyeshadows, I added Synth, Ephemeral, and Frequency to my collection. I kept updating my previous Lethal Cosmetics post with either arm swatches or eye swatches each time I got a new order. It looked a bit messy, so for the sake of consistency, I redid all 72 eye swatches here! I felt it was important to show how they look on my eyelids because what I expect from the pans isn’t always what I get on my lids.

I also redid all the arm swatches because I wanted to have similar shades from lightest to darkest next to each other for comparison purposes.

The only shadows I don’t have yet, plus the remaining face powders I’m curious about are in the photo below.

Light colors of eyeshadow are my least favorite, and I don’t need so many medium-toned browns, so that is why these haven’t made it to my collection. Due to the cost of shipping, I don’t intend on making another purchase just for two more face powders, so those won’t be reviewed unless another new release catches my eye from them in 2021. I’m also planning a low-buy for 2021, so perhaps I will skip them entirely.

That’s everything! Thank you for reading! If there are any swatch comparisons you’d like to see from Lethal or any of the products in my posts, just let me know!

-Lili

INDIE BRAND SPOTLIGHT: Lethal Cosmetics

JULY 19th, 2020 UPDATE: Towards the end of the post I have an update section with 24 additional eyeshadows, some of which have come from the new After Dark collection.

Note: I can’t post a review at this time without first mentioning that I hope everyone reading this is and remains safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. This year has been especially difficult with what is going on throughout the globe, in addition to having yet another surgery. The beauty world has been a comforting distraction for me these past few months and I hope that my blog posts are also a welcome distraction. Now, onto the review!

These are the shades I currently possess. There are twelve more eyeshadows I intend to purchase, after international shipping prices return to normal, which I believe would fully round out my collection.

Lethal’s website has a fun palette designing tool that helps to put a color story together. There were so many shades I wanted that didn’t go together, so I wish we weren’t limited to 12 spaces maximum (as my intention was always to put them in a larger magnetic palette), but it’s still helpful when getting started. Plus, the palette builder allows you to put the 12 shadows in a bundle to be discounted. You can see tons of combinations others have made following the #lethalbyop on Instagram. I found their examples to be quite inspiring. Here are some of my own.

PRICES, SHIPPING, AND CUSTOMER SERVICE

The eyeshadows are $6 each, which is great considering the normal cost of single shadows, but I do recommend using the palette designer to bundle for the best prices.


It usually comes out to be $58-$59 if you include one of their magnetic palettes, though you can bundle without one as seen in the screenshot above. The smaller Orbital palette holds 9 shadows and also gives a discounted price after putting it together.

Lethal Cosmetics is based in Germany, but shipping under normal circumstances takes about a week. Standard shipping used to be $7 or free on orders of $80 and up. Currently, due to the pandemic, it is $24 or free with orders at or above $150.

I love getting a good discount, so I spent hours looking for promo/affiliate/influencer codes, but I have been unsuccessful. By signing up for emails, you can get notified about sales (and the occasional code). I was able to find Jolina10 from Jolina Mennen who collaborated with Lethal Cosmetics to create their first (non-customizable) eyeshadow palette. However, the code does not work on everything, like Jolina’s own palette. Also, when the palette was first released, I heard that the Pieper Perfumery had 30% off, but even with Chrome’s help translating their site to English, it was hard to navigate.

My Duolingo lessons didn’t prepare me enough to understand the site either.  

I have interacted with Lethal Cosmetics’ customer service a few times and the representatives I’ve spoken with have been so polite and friendly. They also have a great social media presence with the way they interact with customers regardless of their follow-count. This is not always the case, even regarding Indie brands, so I felt it was important to note and applaud good customer service whenever I come across it.

SWATCHES

I normally use eyeshadow primer when taking pictures for this blog, but I did not for any of these arm or eye swatches. However, for my different eyeshadow look examples, I used a MAC Paint Pot in Groundwork, ABH eyeshadow primer for the pastel look specifically, and Nyx Glitter Primer in any area requiring the metallic/shimmer eyeshadows.

For the mostpart, the color you expect from the website is what you get. However, I had quite a few surprises

The orange shades look vastly different in the pan than what appears online, but when actually used on the eye, they do reflect the color presented on the website. Backdraft is way darker in person than on the website. It’s not the light peachy-pink I was expecting, though it is described as being “fiery.” Also, it says fuchsia in the description of Enigma on the website, but it looked so blue from the glitter shift that I was expecting a cooler blue-purple shade. Several more of the shades were slightly different than I expected, so I would recommend paying close attention to the descriptions on the site. Some, but not all, of the photos from the website include swatches. I wish they had light, medium, and dark arm swatches for all of them. Overall though, when you compare the shadows in my first picture with flash on, it shows more accurately what they look like in person (excluding enigma which looks more accurate with flash off in this case). The flash off side looks closer to what is on the website (again excluding Enigma which is the reverse).

Another thing I noticed was how similar some of the shades look on my skintone. So, I put them together to have an easier time seeing the similarities and differences.

The similarities are less apparent once they’ve been built-up, such as Relapse and Habitat. Habitat builds up to a medium green. Crossroads and Release look alike because of the shared purple tone, with Crossroads being a cool pinkish purple compared to Release’s lavender shade.

PERFORMANCE

The darker and red-based mattes look opaque on my lids with minimal effort. The lighter and pastel shades take more time to build up, but they do build beautifully, especially when I use a light base such as the ABH primer underneath. The mattes blend so well, and though some take extra time, the unique shades make it worth the effort. I tried comparing them to other eyeshadows in my collection and could only find a few that were similar.

As for the metallic/shimmers, some shades worked well regardless of the tool used, but for the most part, I’ve been unable to get the maximum color payoff using just a brush. So, my favorite application method is to lay the color on first with the brush and then apply another layer with my finger. They all apply so smoothly and pigmented to my eye when using my finger that I don’t feel the need to wet my brush when I use them.

 Here are some of the looks I’ve done:

I also got the last two look ideas from Instagram:

There isn’t much more to say about these eyeshadows except that I enjoy the formula. I have some shadows, like Natasha Denona, where I can mix two shades on top of each other to create a new shade. I haven’t found that to really be the case for the Lethal Cosmetics shadows (or at least not easily), which is useful when I want to do a more complicated look involving more than four shades and want them to stay true to color. You definitely don’t have to worry about these shadows looking muddy on the eyes. The fact that they are different from the other shades in my collection and unique enough to inspire me makes these eyeshadows worth it to me. And as I mentioned earlier, I intend to get a few more!

JULY 19th, 2020 UPDATE

This is what my collection currently looks like with the new additions. The names with * in front of them in the swatch photos are brand new shades from the After Dark Collection.

Thank you for reading my first in an ongoing Indie spotlight series! I’m not sure when the next one will be since it takes me so much time to test them out. The new brands I’ve tried this year are Sydney Grace, Devinah Cosmetics, Clionadh Cosmetics, Give me Glow, Makeup Geek, Menagerie Cosmetics, etc. I’ve been posting a lot of eyeshadows lately so I might do a different topic for my next post.

-Lili