Fierce Nerditude: Linnaeus Cosmetics Review: The Maned Wolf Collection

Friday, April 22, 2011

Linnaeus Cosmetics Review: The Maned Wolf Collection

When I saw the animal that inspired this, I thought "fox," but then I saw the name of the collection and thought "wolf." No and no. To quote Linnaeus's etsy shop, "The Maned Wolf (Chrysocyon brachyurus) looks quite a bit like a fox, but it actually isn’t that closely related to foxes- or wolves even! Despite it’s name, the Maned Wolf ‘s closest living relative is the Bush Dog."

Seriously, I definitely recommend reading the listings, even if you won't be purchasing. You'll probably learn something cool!

Anyway, on to the eyeshadow! As before the texture is really nice, but Lanky and Twiggy seem to be exceptionally smooth (especially Lanky). Most of Linnaeus's shades have exceptional wear, but Twiggy was perfectly average. It creased in an hour or two without primer. With primer, it wasn't an issue. The other two lasted a long time on their own though. No fading or creasing by the end of my day!

Left to Right: Lanky, Twiggy, Those Gams!
I took a risk buying this set. Confession: I hate the color orange. And I bought this. For real.

But I really liked the picture of the animal the collection was inspired by. Plus, when there's a buy x get y sale, I always make it my goal to use y for something I wouldn't buy normally buy. At first I looked at these in jar and thought they wouldn't be my style, but I've actually had a lot of fun playing with these.

Left to Right: Lanky, Twiggy, Those Gams!
I love the complexity of these shades. All of the Linnaeus shades seem to have all sorts of different levels that you can appreciate them on. I'm gonna start by saying that Those Gams! is going to have a permanent place in my collection. I have a thing for sparkly blacks; I need one from every brand, and this one totally fans the fire. Those Gams! is a soft black. I'd either describe it as a browned-up-black or a blackened-brown depending on the lighting. There's an olive-y greenish undertone when it's under direct sunlight. Twiggy is a really nice orange-y peach. Packed on like this, it looks a bit more orange than when swept out.

Left to Right: Lanky, Twiggy, Those Gams!
Twiggy becomes semi (but not completely) sheer when swept out dry, and makes a very nice highlight (that's my favorite way to use it: if you want to use it as an opaque lid color, that's doable, but expect to dip your brush in a second time if you sweep it on--if you pat it on, it's opaque).

I didn't think I could ever love an orange, but Lanky? Be still my heart. Lanky has a lot of control for a loose shadow, and is somehow even more intense than the average loose shadow. I have no idea how or why, but this formula's really amazing. The color's this lovely gold-burnished orange and once you see it foiled?

Left to Right: Lanky, Twiggy, Those Gams!
Click the picture to get a better look. The gold really begins to pop against the red-orange base. It's so pretty. Twiggy gains a metallic quality (and the orange tones become more visible than they were when the shadow was swept out dry). With Those Gams! wet application really brings out some olive undertones.

On to the colors:

Lanky is a red-leaning orange with gold shimmer. It's subtle when dry, but applying it wet give's it this gold-glowing wow factor. It reminds me of fire. I'm not usually a fan of orange, but I definitely like this. This shade stained my arm; soap and water couldn't get it off, but makeup remover could. With my eye, I use eye makeup remover to begin with, so I'm not sure it it stained my eyelid (but I'd rather not put soap on my eyes to find out).
Twiggy is light orange with a touch of peachiness to it. There are also some white overtones (from shimmer). This is a stellar highlight shade.
Those Gams! is a soft brown-ish black with gold shimmer and olive undertones. My shimmery black addiction was 100% satisfied by this one. Love.

All of these shades is Lanky and Twiggy are lip safe and none of them contain FD&C dyes.

Lanky applied wet to lips
Twiggy applied wet to lips
Those Gams! applied wet to lips. Please don't do this: check up on this post.
Those lip swatches aren't the most flattering because, as opposed to using a gloss, I wanted to show how these looked on their own on lips: I applied with water and let the water evaporate leaving only the powder which, naturally, was drying ('cause, you know, powder).

Lanky looks odd on my lips, but I could see it looking very nice on others. The white shimmer really overtakes twiggy when it's on my mouth. Those Gams! would make an amazing lipstick shade. I'd wear this out, if only reapplying powder makeup to the lips wasn't so darn inconvenient!

The Good:
  • Lanky has an amazing texture. I really love it.
  • Great colors, though Twiggy isn't necessarily as special as the other two in this collection. It's nice, though: it just got outshone.
  • Lanky and Those Gams! have amazing wear, even without primer. Twiggy is average.
The Bad:

The Neutral:
  • Those Gams! is a great lip color, in my opinion. If you're more patient with things like this than I am, you should try it out!
  • These are all free of FD&C dyes.
Overall, this is a really great collection. I feel kind of bad for Twiggy in this review: Those Gams! is the kind of color that's right up my alley, while Lanky really has that WOW! factor. Twiggy is perfectly nice (and I've been using it as a highlighter with fair frequency): I just don't see myself telling anyone they definitely need it because it doesn't impress me as much as the other Linnaeus shadows I've tried in terms of complexity. That could be a matter of taste, though. 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.

NOTE: Yesterday Marin contacted me (she reads the reviews as they go up). She let me know that I don't have to worry about accidentally scratching the stamps on the tops of the jars off, so I scratched at them with my thumb. She was right: they don't scratch off. This note is just to let you know; now that you do, I just updated this review wherein I said I thought that might be the case!

A MORE IMPORTANT NOTE: This review contains a non-lip safe product that was swatched on lips. Read this post for more info. 
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