I know I’ve been talking about doing this review for ages but to be honest there’s been two things holding me back. One – I have so many of these eyeshadows that it felt overwhelming and two – it kinda felt like I always had a package on the way so I told myself I’d do it after that one arrived. And that happened forever. But I’ve decided to stop procrastinating! Let’s get on with it. NB: I’ll have some instagram pics of me wearing these at the bottom as well as swatches so keep on scrollin’.
My collection! <3_<3
I first came across Baroque Cosmetics when the owner and creator, Andi, asked for some opinions on a huge forum I’m a part of, in the makeup thread. When she finally announced the first collection, I jumped at the chance to support a brand that I felt “connected to” already. Did I mention they’re all vegan and cruelty free?
The way BC works is that it is released in “collections”, which are often based on fandoms or movies/games of the fairly nerdy ilk plus some historical literature type situations. FULL DISCLOSURE! I actually am not into games and I haven’t seen any of these movies, they’re of the very artsy anime style (Howl’s Moving Castle, Spirited Away etc) and it’s just not something I’ve ever been into. But hey, I love Les Miserables right? So the first collection, French Revolution, was exciting to me!
Here’s the thing though. You do NOT have to be in any way nerdy or get ANY of the references to freakin’ LOVE these products and admire the care, craftsmanship and sheer originality and creativity of these beautiful products. My love of the brand in spite of a lack of knowledge of the background to the collections is a prime example of this!
BC eyeshadows cover the spectrum from bare, nude, gorgeous neutral shades to ELECTRIC, FULL ON, TAKE NO PRISONERS bold shades in greens, blues and even reds. There is absolutely something for everyone here.
One of the most exciting and awesome things about these eyeshadows is the price. They’re incredibly good value! You can buy these shadows in their original powder form ($6 for full size, $3.50 for dainty size or $1.50 for a sample which comes in a little baggie) or you can order them pressed and Andi hand-presses them for you. You can also order any of them (except National Razor) pressed into a palette of four ($30 for 4 hand-pressed shadows and a palette? Come ON! Bargain!) or order single pressed pans for $8 each. The pressing process is actually quite complex so the extra $2 is well deserved IMO!
Another cool thing Andi does is she has “House Baroque” which is a kind of “colour of the month” thing – it means you don’t have to wait for new collections to come out before slaking your new-shade thirst. Aw yeah!
Disclaimer: I haven’t got any of the blushes apart from one that was made just for me (more on that later) because I am scared of blush. I’m not good at it and it is terrifying okay. OKAY? Okay.
Let’s get on with what I know you guys really want to see – the swatches. I ummed and ahhed over how to present these, whether I’d do it by collection or whatever but I decided against that particular path because I haven’t bought them based on the collections, I’ve just bought what I like. I’ve divided them up roughly into shade groups and I’ll label the collections underneath. So let’s get started.
Golds / Coppers / Neutrals: The Light Ones
Masquerade – House Baroque #5 ||| Dragon Bones – Sovngarde ||| Hikari – Friends in My Heart ||| Good Doggy – A Heart’s a Heavy Burden
Ok so, Andi is GREAT at describing her own colours. I kind of feel like me doing that is moot because her descriptions are amazing and mine are bad. But I’ll give it a go. All these colours are in the neutral range, the lighter end of the neutrals I would say. Good Doggy surprised me SO MUCH. It’s absolutely beautiful. It’s this fabulous coppery shade that’s not too red, just a perfect coppery bronze I love it. Dragon Bones and Masquerade are perfect inner corner highlight shades or even browbone highlight shades. Hikari is an amazing neutral everyday shade that’s fantastic for just throwing on when you’re in a hurry. You can’t mess this one up and it suits everyone THE END.
Golds / Coppers / Neutrals: The Slightly Less Light Ones
Versailles – French Revolution ||| Accolade – Cafe Baroque Exclusive* ||| Compass Rose – House Baroque #9 ||| Boiler Room – Always With Me ||| Walking On Air – A Heart’s a Heavy Burden ||| Pumpkin Queen – House Baroque #2
Versailles. Dupe Alert! Ok, have you guys ever seen the MAC Pigment in Old Gold and lusted after it? Well do yourself a favour and pick this one up instead. It’s like Old Gold but FINER. The colour is an exact match though pretty much. I did pick up Old Gold in the mini-pot recently which is how I know this. They’re both a gorgeous antiqued gold but the MAC one is obviously much more expensive. Accolade is a lovely light copper but was exclusive to the Cafe Baroque peeps (Andi’s FB group for CB fans! It’s great!) sorry! Compass Rose is one of my newest and most exciting purchases. LOOK AT IT. The perfect rose gold. Rose gold is hot right now and this little number is perfect. Boiler Room was kinda surprising to me. It’s a lot more brown than it looks. Andi described it as ‘blackened bronze’ which is accurate. Walking On Air is a true peachy coral, fantastic for a pop of colour! Pumpkin Queen is an orangey, bricky red.
Greys and Blues
Ex-Adventurer – Sovngarde ||| National Razor – French Revolution ||| Sun King – French Revolution ||| Peeping Bug – A Heart’s a Heavy Burden ||| Swansea – Always Together*
Ex-Adventurer is a new one for me, and you know what, I love it. It totally reminds me of aluminium foil, in the coolest possible way. It’s a true steely grey. National Razor is a surprisingly neutral grey with flecks of red (a lot of these shades have glitter reflects! So cool). Sun King is a blue with flecks of gold, this one needs a bit of building, as does Peeping Bug which is a very interesting deep purple. Swansea… well… this is part 1 of the INCREDIBLE Christmas present my amazing husband got me last year. He emailed Andi to team up and make me some custom products based on our wedding colours – hence this one is a beautiful deep navy with a red reflect. The blush is coming!
Greens and Greeny-Blues
Secret Garden – A Heart’s a Heavy Burden ||| Child Who Swallowed a Star – A Heart’s a Heavy Burden ||| Aurora – Sovngarde ||| Star Lake – A Heart’s a Heavy Burden ||| Wherever You Go – Always Together*
Umm so do I just have the whole AHaHB collection? Lol. Secret Garden is a leafy green (duh), Child Who Swallowed a Star is a deep blue/green, AURORA … oh man.. probably my #1 favourite shade of all (see later in post) is like.. I don’t know.. it’s the most beautiful teal colour, in fact Andi describes it as a “blackened teal”. I just love it. Star Lake is a PERFECT pop of colour for the inner corner with something darker on the rest of the lid and Wherever You Go is part 2 of the Always Together collection that Ray and Andi designed for me, it’s the blush shade.
And there you have it! That’s my collection.
A few more points about this brand…
Do yourself a favour – check out the website. Andi’s photography is amazing. As an example, look how appealing these pressed shadows are:
Photo from Baroque Cosmetics – click to visit the site!
Don’t you just want to buy them all!? The website is clean, simple and easy to navigate. It’s set up by collection, you can buy the whole collection/s in sample or full sizes.
Postage to Australia is around USD6.50 (AUD8.30) and within the USA is about $2.50, how cheap is that! To Australia I remember it taking about 2-3 weeks, USA is your usual domestic ground shipping time of 5ish days.
The customer service is amazing. Example: when I moved, I packed all my eyeshadows in a box and when I got to New Hampshire, some of the BC eyeshadows had leaked and there was powder throughout the box. I had a long discussion with Andi and we troubleshooted some issues together. She apologised profusely which was 100% unnecessary – these things happen. Not a lot of product was lost (each full size jar contains 5g and the dainty jars include 3g, by the way) so it didn’t bother me. If you are the kind of person who does a lot of travelling (and as such has a lot of vibration in your eyeshadows’ lives) you might want to stick some washi tape or plain stickytape on the side of your shadow containers just to make sure.
The new containers with the matte black lids are much better than the previous ones. All of the loose shadows come in these little jars with a sifter which is a really handy way to not get too much shadow.
My top five shadows are Aurora (hands DOWN my favourite), Good Doggy (so wearable!), Swansea, Compass Rose and Versailles. This was hard! They’re all so good!
I thought I’d ask Andi if she would do a little mini interview for the blog and she agreed – what a superstar! Here it is:
Freedom & Vanity: First of all, how would you describe Baroque Cosmetics, briefly?
Andi: “Baroque is an indie and vegan/cruelty free makeup company that features chromatic themes applied to cosmetics.”
F&V: What made you want to start your own makeup line?
A: “I’ve always really loved makeup but I would become frustrated at how brands interpreted ideas or fandoms and translated that into colors. So once I was out of college I found myself with free time and started doing research and testing and in June of 2014 I opened Baroque!”
F&V: What is unique about your products? What separates you from other indie brands?
A: “My products are unique because when I start working on a collection I do my best to make each shade match its inspiration material while still retaining a cohesive feel when compared to the rest of that collection. I pride myself on my chromatic themeing, or how I can manage to make a set of colors embody the theme.”
F&V: What are your top three favourite shades?
A: “Hikari for its versatility. It’s a pale shimmery gold that pairs well with a huge variety of shades.
House Baroque #8 ‘Be Wherever You Are’ for the song it was named after. The song is about making sure you stop and just enjoy where you are in life. It’s something I try to do more since I have a tendency to try and plan for everything in the future.
Walking on Air for the color and for the song. It’s a warm shimmery coral that works really well on my skintone. The song was one I listened to a lot when I was younger and going through some hard times. So for me, its like a calming reminder that everything will be ok.”
F&V: Being an indie brand and as such without access to the perks of large distribution brands, what do you think is your greatest challenge?
A: “My greatest challenge right now is space. I’m at that sweet spot where I have a fair amount of orders to ship out but not quite enough to finance a larger office or warehouse. I currently work in the closed off basement of my home, and it’s fine for the moment but I can see it easily becoming an issue in half a year.”
F&V: If I were someone totally new to the brand, what would you suggest for me? Say I wanted to buy four eyeshadows and a blush. Should I get pressed or loose?
A: “If all you’ve ever used is pressed eyeshadows I suggest going for a pressed palette to sort of ease yourself into the world of indies. Shade wise I find that Death of Marat, Good Doggy, Dragon Bones and The Republic form a very flattering neutral look that works on a wide variety of skintones. For blushes it’s more dependent on your skintone but for warm/neutral leaning warm Mucha Ado About Nothing is a great match. If your skin is cool/neutral leaning cool, Such Galle or Sonrel Not Sonrel might be your best pick!”
Some fabulous advice here!
To end things, I thought I’d share some photos from my instagram where I’m wearing these products. Descriptions below photos.
Lid colour – Swansea ||| inner corner – Star Lake ||| cheeks – Wherever You Go
Superbowl Makeup! Inner corner – Child Who Swallowed A Star ||| lower lashline – Wherever You Go [on top of MAC – Cherry lipliner] ||| lid – L’Oreal 24 Hour Infallible in All Night Blue]
Lid – Boiler Room
Soft & neutral – Good Doggy is TRUTH.
Inner / centre of lid – Masquerade ||| outer corner – Aurora
Lid colour – Aurora ||| inner corner – Star Lake
Lid colour – Pumpkin Queen ||| inner corner – Good Doggy
I feel like this post could go on forever about how much I love this brand but it’s long enough already so I’m gonna end it here. If anyone has questions or would like to see other shades being worn please let me know, I’d be happy to help!
I’ll be doing another blog post on Sunday/Monday, it’s going to be a wrap-up of some new things I’ve been learning about (that everyone else has always known probably). Hooray!
Thanks for reading. Go forth and purchase!