Fridays are always long days for me, made even longer by the fact of the weekend awaiting just past 5:00, my usual hour of departure from the office (if I’m lucky). This Friday in particular included a bus ride home through traffic and then frantic packing and an hourlong drive to my parents’ house as rain clouds gathered ominously overhead—hardly the relaxing start to the weekend that I would have preferred. (My partner and I had vague plans to hike the trails that twine the woods and fields around my parents’ rural home, but of course the next morning dawned rainy and cold and we elected to spend it playing with my parents’ kitten and drinking hot chocolate in front of their fireplace. Priorities.)
Anyway, so in the midst of all this chaos, it was a delight to come home and discover a package from innocent + twisted alchemy on top of the cabinet record player, where we usually deposit our mail.
This was the first order I’d ever placed from i+ta, although they’re currently celebrating their 3rd anniversary and I’ve only ever heard good things. The problem I’ve typically had with indie makeup is simply choosing where and what to buy, given the vast numbers of adorable websites featuring glorious photos of swatches, piles of powder and full face looks that can inspire real acquisitiveness in less guarded souls. Given the unreliability of my paycheck up until recently, I’ve tried to limit my purchases to “basic” items from the bigger shops; but given my new job and my new blog, I decided to give i+ta a long-overdue try.
i+ta’s “thing” is color, particularly eyeshadows, of which they have a vast collection. They play a lot with sheens and duochromes, and feature a lot of really unique, vivid colors that might not be everyday wear for everyone, but are definitely striking (see Cold Grace, Long Forgotten, or Silent Jealousy for some examples). i+ta goes for a fairly Gothic, macabre feel with the design of their website and the names of their products. (What’s even cooler, though, is that they have a large vegan* line.)
I actually made a much bigger order than is featured here, but most of that is not for me, so I’ll talk about those in a later post. Today, I’m only going to focus on the two eyeshadows I purchased: Living Hope and Velvet Crooner.
On the i+ta website, Living Hope is described as “a tan with green shimmers,” and it looks pretty pale and green in the picture. On me, it’s closer to a brown or a gold (as you can see above), although it’s still not far off my natural skin tone. The green shimmers are subtle, and hard to capture with a camera, but are more visible in person as the light shifts. It’s definitely buildable for a deeper color, although I rather like it as a unique “natural” shade.
Velvet Crooner, on the other hand, is a showstopper. On me, it’s a vivid deep plum-y rose with a stunning gold sheen that captures the light. Because my eyes are gray, I tend to favor warm colors over cool, especially in the fall when browns, reds, golds and oranges are so prevalent. My favorite eye looks usually feature gold in some quantity, because I’ve found that it makes my eyes stand out. With that in mind, I can already tell that Velvet Crooner will be one of my most reached-for eyeshadows.
Given the similar undertones in each eyeshadow, it seemed only natural to pair them together, although I hadn’t had any thoughts of doing so when I made the order. I found the combination really soft and romantic and even a bit royal: a soft gold on the inner lid blending to a dark plum on the outer. I went without eyeliner (gasp!), since I wasn’t sure any of the colors I owned would really complement the two shadows. (So I guess I might need to go eyeshadow shopping…?) As you can see from this photo, though, I did not neglect my clumpy clumpy mascara. (I definitely need to go mascara shopping.)
For the last few weeks, my eyeshadow routine has tended to be variations of the same color blended together—i.e., pale brown on one side, darker brown on the other side, blend. But after playing with my new i+ta beauties, I’ve fallen back in love with complementary shadows. I’ll probably be wearing this Makeup Monday look all week.
*In the cosmetics world, “vegan” typically means made without carmine or cochineal dyes, which are made from crushed insects. It can also mean made without lanolin, tallow, or other animal products. So, no, while there’s no meat or dairy in your makeup, there could be some other animal parts. If vegan cosmetics are important to you, check out this list of cruelty-free and vegan products.