5/7/14

Little Sparrow Cosmetics: First Impressions & Swatches



Little Sparrow Cosmetics is a relatively new shop that sells blushes, lip products, and eyeshadows. Her blushes are getting a lot of buzz over in the subreddit /r/Indiemakeupandmore, so of course I got intrigued. She carries unique colors like blue, maroon, lavender, and more. Definitely a good niche to fill because I'm allllll about color and putting it all over my face. :D (Her lip jellies, something like a really pigmented tinted lip balm, also are getting raves but I'm not much of a lip person.)

I finally placed an order during a small 15% off sale that occurred right as three new blush shades were released. I ordered the three new shades and one of the older shades: a full-sized jar of Foxglove and 3 mini sizes of Nightshade, Wolfsbane, and Lavender.


I love little handwritten notes. :)
A lip jelly, a lipstick, and 4 blushes!

Jessica, the owner, shipped in less than a week, but there was a little hiccup with the post office in which the PO misplaced a bunch of her shipments. Most were recovered, but mine was one of the ones that just completely disappeared. :( Thankfully, Jessica is AMAZING and she kept everyone updated throughout the whole little investigation, and when she found that mine was a goner, she sent me a message about it, a refund on shipping, a coupon code for 30% off my next order, and a new shipment via priority mail right away, even before I realized what was going on!

CUSTOMER SERVICE = A+ FOREVER!

Underside of the jars!

I got my package extremely quickly afterwards. The colors were gorgeous, and on top of that, she gave me a full-sized lipstick in Nude Peach and a full-sized lip jelly in Raspberry Tart.

LIKE WTF STOP BEING SO AMAZING.

Photos taken the next morning in natural lighting.

Anyway, here's where things kinda got a little disappointing. The blushes were amazingly pigmented and swatched nicely most of the time on my arm, but on my face, they were just draggy and streaky. The blushes were powdery and very "flyaway," so the particles didn't stick to my brush and kept falling all over the place. Anywhere that I put the blush made it stick there like no other, but then they were impossible to blend, so I ended up with streaky, patchy and just a huge hassle to use.

See the swatches on my arm and face.

L to R: Lavender, Wolfsbane, Foxglove, Nightshade

Little Sparrow Lavender Blush
Lavender has an interesting white layer over it. once you rub it out though, it becomes more pink.

Little Sparrow Wolfsbane Blush
Wolfsbane has somewhat of a reddish sheen to it (it's hard to see here). Pretty cool!

Little Sparrow Foxglove Blush
Foxglove gets redder as you rub it out. The lighting in this photo was pretty blue, so it's not supposed to be this cool-toned.

Little Sparrow Nightshade Blush
Nightshade is an awesome color. It's a dark, dusty cooler purple.

Now the face swatches are where the problems started to arise for me. :(

Disclaimer: Maybe it's my problem (like a shitty application technique), but I just put on these blushes the same way as I did with any other super pigmented blush (use very little and blend blend blend) and prior ones have always turned out fine, so I think I just might be incompatible with this blush formula.

Bare skin vs. Lavender.
Lavender wasn't so bad, but then again the color didn't show up much on my skin, so even if it were patchy, I don't think it's that visible.

Little Sparrow "Wolfsbane" Blush
Obviously I put this on heavily for the color to show, but here you can see the blotchiness.

Little Sparrow "Foxglove"
Also applied heavily. In this one, you can see the blotchiness and a bit of streakiness. I look like I just got jabbed in the face. :P

Little Sparrow "Night Shade"
Applied heavily, again. In this picture, you can see the streakiness pretty clearly. And no matter what kind of blending I did, that big dark oval just wouldn't get diffused around the edges. (Also, the longer I look at this image, the funnier it looks. It's like one huge nasty bruise. Hahahaha.)

I did some quick comparison swatches with similar-looking blushes in my collection. Nightshade seemed like it might correlate with Fyrinnae's Tempation; Foxglove with Fyrinnae Mesmerize; and Lavender with Fyrinnae's Seduce.


L to R: Fyrinnae Temptation, Mesmerize, and Seduce; Little Sparrow Nightshade, Foxglove, and Lavender. All heavily swatched.

Okay, so they look nothing alike. At least I got that off my chest. LOL. Nightshade is way cooler (in the cool-toned sense AND in the way that it's more awesome), Foxglove more red and pigmented, and Lavender more white. Fyrinnae's blushes were more blendable and soft though.

L to R: Fyrinnae Temptation, Mesmerize, Seduce

L to R: Little Sparrow Nightshade, Foxglove, Lavender


Do you see the pinkish lilac at the edges of Lavender? That's what it rubs out to. Pretty interesting!

Little Sparrow Lavender

However, this is the problem that I run into when it's on my face. After you rub out that initial top layer of powder, I get left with really tough, unblendable edges and just blotchiness (some places have no color and looks like just plain skin, and some places are heavily pigmented). It almost seems like all of the blushes have two layers. You dust away one, and then you get a weird uneven second one.

L to R: Nightshade, Foxglove, Lavender all rubbed out.
Nightshade does the same thing as Lavender. Foxglove doesn't so that though.

I felt terrible because a lot of people liked LS's blushes. =/ I messaged Jessica about the problems, and she was super quick with responding, understanding, and really nice about it. It takes a bit for me to go message an indie owner about my dissatisfaction because I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings or come off as a bitch, but Jessica was super nice about it so I'm happy. Hahaha. She offered a refund or store credit, and I chose the refund.

She also said this in response to my streaky/blotchy problem, in case it might be helpful for anyone else:
Do you have oily skin? There's an ingredient in the blushes that's meant to make them have super staying power (the kaolin clay). It'll grab on to any sort of oil or moisture on your face and once it's there, it'll stay put (that means if your foundation hasn't set or if your moisturizer isn't dry, it'll stick there). If that's the case, maybe you can try applying a finishing powder before applying the blush.
(I have combo skin with dry cheeks, but I wear a powder foundation all over my face because I find it more convenient.)

Anyway, going to her with my concerns was a breeze. I got a refund on the blushes, and then she asked to pay for shipping so I can send them back to her for quality checking. Now THAT'S some mad dedication to your products! I'm very impressed.

On the other hand, the lipstick and lip jelly are AWESOME! Here are my first attempts ever at lip swatches.

Little Sparrow Raspberry Tart Lip Jelly
The texture of this is really smooth and jelly-like, as its name suggests. It can be built up to a pretty good opacity but it still retains a bit of transparency. Very good for a lipbalm-esque product!

Little Sparrow Nude Peach Lipstick
The lipstick is very opaque and matte. It's a tiny bit dry, but I really don't mind because that's pretty common with matte lipsticks. My lips were kinda dry and flaky, so sorry (haha). This color doesn't work with my skintone though (it's too light for me and makes me look a bit weird), but I'd definitely try LS's lipsticks again if she comes out with more colors!

One small complaint I have is that the lip products are in lipbalm tubes, which reduces precision in application. I'm not a big fan of lipbalm packaging for things that aren't lipbalms, to be honest.

In summation:

Customer Service: 10000 out of 100 points.
Blush: Probably wouldn't purchase again.
Lip Jellies: Pretty awesome! A bit of a limited color choice at the moment.
Lipsticks: Same as lip jellies.

Would I come back?

Yes, if LS expands and gets more products (as I'm sure she will, since she's still growing as a shop), I'll definitely be checking out other things that she has.

If you got this far, thanks for reading!

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Hello! If you have any questions or comments, just go ahead and comment away. I'll get back to you within 1-3 days. :) Thanks for reading!