Friday, September 6, 2013

Antipodean Beauties All About Eyes - Venomous Cosmetics Review

I have to admit, I've been putting this post off for a little while. You know when everyone else is super excited about something, and so you get it too, and then you wonder what the fuss was all about? Yeah, I finally ran into one of those situations. ANYWAY, I realised this post would fit perfectly with the Antipodean Beauties theme for this week, All About Eyes, so I finally got my crap together and got it done.

After attempting to pack up all my eyeshadows for a recent cross country trip, and failing to fit them all in the bag, I've realised I might have a bit of a problem with acquiring new eyeshadows.I just love them so, SO much. Discovering indie eyeshadows changed my whole attitude towards eyeshadow - I was used to years and years of grinding away at cheap palettes trying to get some sort of shadow of colour, and then I come across these rich, beautiful, opaque powders that could transform my eyes in the swipe of a brush. I've always wanted to be a bit more daring with my makeup, but I'm too self conscious about my teeth to go in for bright lipstick. Bright eyeshadow was the answer I'd been looking for, and indie eyeshadow is as bright as it gets!

I'd heard excellent things about Venomous Cosmetics, an American indie outfit, and checking out their colours it seemed they had some very bright colours indeed to offer me. They also had quite a large Alice in Wonderland themed collection, and lord knows I love any excuse to talk about Alice In Wonderland. So I ordered a bunch of samples, as I do when buying from a new company, and waited.

And waited.

And waited.

I tried to contact Venomous by email, and received no reply.

I waited some more.

Eventually by stalking their Facebook page, I realised the email address they had listed on their site was actually out of commission, and so I emailed again to a different address. Finally I got a response, and to be fair, an absolute torrent of apologies. The owner offered to resend my parcel as it was quite likely the first one had gotten lost, and stuffed it FULL of so much extra stuff I was a bit shocked with it arrived. Not a great first impression, but the owner was just SO NICE and SO GENEROUS I was willing to get over the long wait time. I mean, international postage can be a right bitch, and there's nothing anyone can do about that.

But anyway, at long last the package arrived, and out tumbled my pretty little pans of colour! Unfortunately in the meantime, most of these colours have been discontinued, but you will still get an idea of the sort of thing that Venomous tend to do.

As you can see, I went for something a bit different and decided to try out Venomous's pressed eyeshadows rather than the loose ones. As much as I love loose eyeshadow, there is something of a trick to it, and sometimes I just don't feel like messing about with it first thing in the morning. I was looking for something I could just pull out, swipe a brush through, and there you go.

Alice - love the colour, but had to build up three or four layers to get this opacity

Sydney Harbour at Night - this is NOT what the Harbour looks like, but it's pretty all the same.

Cheshire Cat - one of my favourites

Gaboon Viper - surprisingly work friendly!

The Walrus - looked SO much better on than in the pan

Unbirthday Party - sadly, same issue as Alice. Great colour, damned if I could get it on my skin

Atlantis - my other favourite

Caterpillar's Wisdom - I have NO idea when I might wear this, but it's fun anyway

I have no complaints whatsoever about the colours: they're fun, exciting, and while not absolutely unique, they're pretty unusual. Unfortunately, the consistency between different colours was just all over the shop. The lighter ones you had to really grind a brush into in order to get any out, whereas others like Atlantis would crumble at the slightest pressure. Some of them you only needed the tiniest amount to get a HUGE colour payoff - Sydney Harbour at Night is possibly the most intense blue I've ever seen! But Alice and Unbirthday Party were like rubbing chalk dust on my eyes. With some fiddling and a couple of attempts, I got some nice looks together.

This is The Walrus in the crease, with Gaboon Viper over the lid. Consistency on both of these was great.

Sydney Harbour in the crease, with Atlantis over the lid

Cheshire Cat in the crease and outer corners, with Alice in the inner corners
The foily colours seem to be consistently great to apply. Atlantis and Gaboon Viper apply like a dream - smooth and even, with great colour intensity and not too much shimmer. But there's just no point getting them as pressed shadows. After two usages mine have both crumbled so much I've just transferred them to a loose container anyway. I would definitely recommend these two - just get them as loose shadows.

So that was, on the whole, disappointing. I'd heard great things, they looked so pretty, I waited so long, and There's nothing dreadfully wrong with them, but there's not a lot that's amazingly right with them either. The indie cosmetics marketplace is getting ever more crowded, and there's nothing in this package that would lead me to recommend them over any others apart from how great the customer service was from the owner. Which is great, don't get me wrong - but the actual products are only so so.

On a more positive and Alice in Wonderland related note, I just wanted to mention that Shades of Phoenix have now released their Alice In Wonderland polish collection properly, and all shades are available individually from the Etsy store. You can see my swatches and review here and here!


  1. Oh my! I love the look of The Walrus and the Cheshire Cat!!

  2. That Cheshire Cat and Alice look is amazing on you! It makes your eyes look sooooo blue and so beautiful! :) You look gorgeous. :) The rest of the eyeshadows were nice too, but I just can't get over that Alice/Cheshire Cat combo.


  3. Thanks for the review. The shadows looked really vibrant and pigmented. I really like what you did with The Walrus and Gaboon Viper. :)

    Ty's Blog of Epiphanies


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