Fierce Nerditude: Linnaeus Cosmetics Review: The Lovely Cotinga Collection

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Linnaeus Cosmetics Review: The Lovely Cotinga Collection

As I mentioned yesterday, the Lovely Cotinga is my favorite bird.

Yes, I have a favorite bird. I'm just weird like that.

Of all the collections I bought with my first collection (five of them!) this was the one I was most looking forward to receiving playing with and reviewing. I have to admit, I took the above picture just for the art. Ha!

The texture of these shadows is lovely and smooth, and (as with many loose shadows) you only need the tiniest bit to get amazing payoff. The wear is also a strong point. Without primer, it was fine all day. There was slight fading and no creasing. With primer, there was no fading and no creasing.

The first thing I want to mention here is that the swatch for Astute in Linnaeus's etsy shop is off, in my opinion. At first I thought it was completely off, though, and that's not the case. It actually turns out that Astute is just a really complicated shade. It doesn't have a 'shift' or 'duochrome' per se, but when the light hits it it can look much pinker. Almost as if the pink is coming from within, or something.

Here's a photo of the tops of the jars in direct sunlight:

Left to Right: Astute, Flutter, Show Off
See how pink Astute looks? It actually looks a lot more purple in use. It's a purple with distinct pink undertones, but it's very purple nonetheless. In the etsy store, it looks more like a pink with some purple to it, if you can see what I mean.

Here are the swatches, patted on with a finger:
Patted on, Left to Right: Astute, Flutter, Show Off
I don't know if this makes sense, but hopefully it does: If you look past the surface layer of purple on Astute, you can see some very distinct pink. As a matter of fact, when I was washing this off, the other two colors left stains that matched their surface colors (Flutter a light, but bright blue, and Show Off, a blue-purple) but Astute left a very pink looking stain (these stains only occurred on my arm, not my eyelid, and only when I tried to wash with water alone: they washed off immediately with soap or makeup remover).

I love the pigmentation of these shadows as well. They apply opaque if you pat, but you can really sheer them down by sweeping them on.

The below swatches were swept on lightly with a brush:
Left to right: Astute, Flutter, Show Off
I like using Flutter this way especially. The white base in most light blues can make the color look really off on my skin tone, but this one in particular can be applied so sheerly that the white base is barely noticeable. Which means I can wear this color! Yay!

Show Off is a deep blue based purple with very fine, subtle red glitter strewn through it. It also looks like there's a superfine white gold shimmer through all of these shades.

These shades are also really lovely when foiled.

Right to Left: Astute, Flutter, Show Off
Foiling brings out the pink tones in Astute a lot more. Flutter starts looking very metallic. Show Off is, hands down, the coolest one of the three to foil. When you try and apply it wet, the texture is a bit odd (the powder sort of chunks a bit--the other two don't do this), but it's easy enough to smooth out and fix. And the effect is so beyond worth it: the red glitter really begins to pop! It's very difficult to photograph, but enlarging the swatch above will help you get a sense of it. It's really awesome!

On to the colors:

Bottoms of the jars

Astute is a red purple with a red purple with a reddish pink base.
Flutter is light blue with a white base that's subtler than most. You can get this to look really metallic by foiling. On me, I think it looks best when I sheer it out.
Show Off is a blue based purple with subtle red shimmer. I absolutely adore the way that the shimmer suddenly looks a lot bolder once it's foiled!

None of these shades is lip safe. Of these shades, only Astute has an FD&C dye in it, so if you have a sensitivity/allergy to dyes, tread with caution on that one.

The Good:
  • The texture of these is smooth and easy to use.
  • The shimmer is very fine; there wasn't any migration or fall out.
  • Lovely colors, in my opinion.
  • Flutter, in particular, is really nice because of the subtlety of the white base.
  • I really like the bizarre complexity of Astute. I haven't seen anything quite like it before. The effect is easiest to spot in the jar, but you will occasionally see it when you're wearing it in broad daylight as well.
  • The wear is incredible. After I wore it for eight hours without primer, it barely faded on me. And it didn't crease. Total win!
The Bad:
  • I feel like the swatch on Etsy doesn't match what the shadow usually looks like, though that could be an issue of my skin tone vs. her skin tone, so keep that in mind!
The Neutral:
  • These aren't lip safe.
  • Astute contains FD&C No. 40; this is just a shout out because I know one of you has sensitivity issues with FD&C Dyes.
Overall, I can highly recommend these shadows. The texture is lovely, they're pretty, apply well and are priced very nicely. I also had a great purchase experience with Linnaeus.

You can currently buy the full collection for $12 here. Each individual color is also available separately for $5.
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