Monday, 29 December 2014

Baroque Cosmetics Pressed Palettes (+blush) Review (Swatches included)

During Black Friday, I went a little indie-crazy. One store I hit on my shopping spree was Baroque Cosmetics, which currently sells vegan & cruelty-free eyeshadows and blushes. Themed collections include those inspired by Studio Ghibli movies, the French Revolution, and Skyrim. There is also a newly-released Kingdom Hearts collection. Along with loose shadows and blushes, Baroque offers small pressed palettes, either custom made or limited edition. The store caught my eye with it's well-designed website and beautiful, vivid colours. I'm a huge sucker for deep, shimmery tones. The obvious historical feel pulled me in as well. I grabbed a custom palette and one limited edition Holiday 2014 palette in "Sparkly".

I placed my order on November 28th and my items were shipped on December 7th, within the stated turn-around time of 1-1.5 weeks. I did not receive a tracking number for my order. The package got to me around December 20th, though I didn't open it for a few days due to Christmas plans. The package consisted of a bubble mailer; within, the palettes were individually wrapped in bubble wrap with washi (paper) tape, which is appreciated because it's infinitely easier to tear. Also included was a paper bag sealed with a sticker containing a sample baggie of a blush. Andi, the owner, handwrote a small thank you on the packing slip -- I love those small details.

Now to the sad part.

My custom palette broke during delivery! The other palette was just fine, so I attribute this to the hectic holiday shipping. I e-mailed Andi about suggestions to fix the colour and got a very helpful e-mail detailing the steps I should take to re-press using alcohol. This included a great tip to use organza bags as a replacement for a pressing ribbon to get a similar texture as most pressed shadows have.

Ta-dah! The texture is spot on. I can't say the press was perfect; it's still very soft and delicate when I pick it up with a brush. But it stays in place when turned upside down, is still useable, and without any binding agent on hand, this is the best I'm going to get. A+ customer service for the detailed information. Now, onto the swatches! All the shadows I chose for this palette were from the Viva la Revolution collection. The weather outside has been less than ideal, so all swatches are under a light that runs yellow with a mix of white fluorescent light from surroundings. Swatches are over Urban Decay Potion Primer.

Versailles: Antiqued molten gold.
This is gorgeous. I don't know what else to say. True to its description, Versaille is a gold over a blackened base to give a complex, rich colour. I think a glitter-glue type base would really make this colour outstanding, but over UDPP it's still one of my favourite colours to date. Super pigmented.

The Republic: A rich, leathery brown.
Poor thing. A pretty brown like this doesn't deserve to be broken up in transit. I can't say this is the most unique colour ever, but it works wonderfully paired with the other three shadows and is just shimmery enough without being overstated.

Dictateur Sanguinaire: A deep blood red.
This colour disappointed me if only because it wasn't as vivid as the website swatch. It's vivid and shimmery in the pan, so I think another sticky base is in order here. It looks a little brown under some lights (such as in this swatch) and a little purple under others. It's still very nice and pigmented.

Sun King: A deep noble blue with flecks of gold.
Okay, this one is entirely at fault to my poor photography skills. This is much deeper in person, akin to the 2nd swatch on Baroque's website. The gold flecks are especially more noticeable in real life. I really like this. This stained a tiny bit when I washed it off, but nothing terrible.

Top left, clockwise: Versailles, Dictateur Sanguinaire, Sun King, The Republic
Above are quick swatches without any primer so you can see how pigmented the shadows are out of the pan. As you can see, they can work as stand-alones, but a primer is probably your best bet to get the most out of Versailles.

This is the Sparkly palette, which is still available. Only 10 were made! The other LE palette was Cozy, a neutral palette. For whatever reason, this caught my eye. I just really like Christmas.

Spike the Eggnog: A warm toned white.
This was the only colour I could maybe describe as a bit chalky. Still workable, and better than many drugstore brands I've tried, but less silky than the other colours. This will work great as a inner corner highlight.

Party Hopping: A coppery rose.
Coppery rose is a perfect description of this colour (I was struggling to describe it beforehand). Not really red, more muted, a nice colour if you're looking for a subtle Christmas look. I think it'll work well for with the colour of the year (Marsala) trend as well.

Candle in the Window: A candlelight champagne.
A softer yellow in contrast to the vivid Versailles. This colour was a dream to apply. I know what they mean now when they say a colour is "buttery". Fantastic.

Office Parties: A fest green [sic] with gold glitter.
Oh man do I like me some dark green shadows. I really like this one. Very festive, and the gold comes through without being overwhelming like some shadows do. Not too glittery (none of them are, really).

Again, no primer. I think all the shadows here could stand alone, but Office Parties plays best with a primer.  

Left: Under white light. Right: Under yellow light.

Sonrel not Sonrel: A lovely cool toned pale fuschia.
I found this impossibly hard to photograph. No primer; top is straight from the brush and underneath I blended it out. I balked a little bit when I saw that it was fuschia, but it actually blends out into a very natural looking flush. The colour is fairly accurate to that on the website, but it definitely has shimmer to it. Not NARS Orgasm levels, but noticeable before blending out.

Overall impression? I love it! I love the colours, the quality, the customer service, the themes. My only real "complaint" is that I think the palettes should come in more patterns so that they're more easily discernible. I am definitely going to order again and highly, highly recommend this business.

P.S. On January 5th, use code SWIGGITYSWOOTY for 20% off. See Baroque Cosmetic's Facebook for any updates.


  1. Lovely!! - I'm going to look into this brand :)