Sunday, 18 November 2012

Willow Tree Naturals product review!

I recently put in an order for several samples through the Etsy shop Willow Tree Minerals. I've used each product a bit and thought I'd write up a product review of the items I purchased.

First off, I like that this shop has many options for sampling. Each sample is 50 cents--she has options for 6, 12, or 18 samples for $3, $6, and $9 respectively. I opted for 12 samples plus a mini-sized eyeliner. The photography of products are gorgeous--very nature inspired. Lora, the shop owner, was great to work with--I had sent her a note asking her to verify that the products I ordered don't contain jojoba oil (I'm allergic to it), and she promptly responded. My order arrived very quickly in a nice package, including an eco-friendly envelope (I enjoy when natural product stores pay attention to the details!). 

The products I bought include: the Chamomile concealer, Sheer Pink highlighter, Indigo Sky eyeliner, Pinch Me blush, Passion Fruit blush/shadow, Sahara shadow/bronzer, and eyeshadows in the following colors: taupe tourmaline, shell, bitten, soft wildflower, chocolate truffle, and iced latte. Lora, the shop's owner, kindly sent an extra sample of her flawless tinted veil. I also got the mini eyeliner in Roasted Coffee.

The packaging provided was cute, if messy. Here are some (admittedly shitty) shots of each--most of them have a metallic sheen to them so it was hard to get an accurate shot. Swatches below each image.

Chamomile Concealer, Flawless Tinted Veil, Sheer Pink Highlighter

Passion Fruit blush/shadow, Bitten shadow, Pinch Me blush

Left to right: Chamomile Concealer, Flawless Tinted Veil, Sheer Pink Highlighter, Passion Fruit blush/shadow, Bitten shadow, Pinch Me blush

Taupe Tourmaline shadow, Indigo Sky liner, Shell shadow

Soft Wildflower shadow, Chocolate Truffle shadow, Sahara shadow/bronzer, Iced Latte shadow

 Taupe Tourmaline shadow, Indigo Sky liner, Shell shadow, Soft Wildflower shadow, Chocolate Truffle shadow, Sahara shadow/bronzer, Iced Latte shadow

Let's start with the products I didn't like, so we can end on a great note :)
Left to right: Chamomile concealer, Taupe Tourmalene shadow, Sheer Pink highlighter

1. Chamomile Concealer: 
I am admittedly not a frequent user of concealer, so weigh that in when you decide whether to take my review for much value. I thought the chamomile concealer, which was designed to "target redness, pale skin, bruises and dark under eye circles," was much much too light--it made my already-pale skin look freakish. It provided good but uneven coverage. Not a fan. Although to Lora's credit it's supposed to be worn under foundation, not alone, so maybe it would work better had I followed instructions...

2 and 3: Taupe Tourmalene Eye Shadow and Sheer Pink Highlighter
I found the sheer pink highlighter and taupe tourmalene eye shadow to be overly glittery, to the point that they were unusable. Sad--both colors are very pretty in the package, since you can't see the glitter as much. If Lora were to turn down the glitter on the two products, or if I were a pre-teenage girl heading to my school dance, I would be a happy customer.

Now for the products I did enjoy!

Left to right: Chamomile Concealer, Flawless Tinted Veil, Sheer Pink Highlighter, Passion Fruit blush/shadow, Bitten shadow, Pinch Me blush

4. Flawless tinted veil: I was happy to get a free sample of this product and pleased with how well it worked. I'm not really a mineral foundation fan, but people who enjoy powder coverage would probably like this. It did seem to even out my skin tone and felt very light on my skin. As you can kind of see on my arm (second swatch from left), it's a light flesh color with a bit of yellow tinge. I can't imagine it being a good color match for anyone with skin tones that are darker than most companies' 'medium' tone, unfortunately.

5. Passion Fruit blush/shadow: This was a pretty bronzy salmon color with a hint of shimmer. I personally wouldn't use it as an eye shadow but it would work well as such. It gave me a summery glow that I really liked.

6. Bitten shadow: in the package Bitten is a dark purple with a metallic shimmer and seems heavily pigmented--I worried it would be too dramatic for my pale skin. However, I was pleasantly surprised--it sheered out just enough to be very wearable but also noticeable. I'm debating purchasing this (only because I don't wear much eye makeup usually). I think someone who is good with eye makeup would find a lot of uses for this. It's a really pretty color, good for many skin tones, that can be subtle or more intense if put on with a wet brush.

7. Pinch Me blush: It's easier to go overboard on this blush, so know that a little bit will do it. It is a matte blush, which I don't usually like, but it gives such a lovely rosy glow that I'll overlook that. Really pretty!

 Taupe Tourmaline shadow, Indigo Sky liner, Shell shadow, Soft Wildflower shadow, Chocolate Truffle shadow, Sahara shadow/bronzer, Iced Latte shadow

8. Indigo Sky liner: I'm not that talented at applying shadow eyeliners so this turned out to be a bit of a mess for me. For people who are used to shadow liners, this is probably a great option. It had great staying power and looks almost black but has just enough dark navy/indigo blue to make it interesting. I would buy this if I were better at applying powder liner.

Next on my arm are the shell and soft wildflower shadows...since you can't see these or the sahara very well on the above pic, I'll review them below.

9. Chocolate Truffle shadow: this was a pretty brown, less sparkle than some of the others. I didn't find this anything special, but it wasn't offending in any way either. I wouldn't recommend purchasing this as I've seen prettier, more interesting brown shadows elsewhere, but it was fine.

10. Iced Latte shadow: I really like this color. It's got a hint of metallic shine to it, but not overly shiny--just enough to bring attention to your pretty eyes without overpowering your lids like the highlighter or the taupe shadow. This is a great shadow.

                                                    Shell shadow, Soft Wildflower shadow, Sahara shadow/bronzer

11, 12, and 13: Shell and Soft Wildflower shadows and Sahara shadow/bronzer: These three are reaaaaaaaaaalllllllly similar, so much so that I thought I'd swatch them heavier so you could see the difference between them. The Shell shadow is pinkier, with a more iridescent look to it than the other two. The Sahara bronzer is indeed a hint more bronze than the other two--more coppery. The Soft Wildflower shadow rides the line between the other two--coppery salmon pink, with the same amount of shimmer as the bronzer. If I were to buy one of the three I'd probably go with the soft wildflower, but those with darker skintones would probably look great with the Sahara.

I also tried the Roasted Coffee eyeliner. I am liking it so far--pretty good staying power, smudges enough to make different looks but not too much so that it slides off your face.

Final Verdict: I am still playing with the products, but right now I'm thinking of purchasing full sizes of the Passion Fruit blush/shadow, soft wildflower shadow, and roasted coffee eyeliner. I don't wear a lot of eye makeup, but I think that this is a great shop for those that do, and I highly recommend trying samples first as some of the colors looked very different online than in reality (especially their sheen--how glittery or matte they were). The samples come in baggies, which are a bit difficult to use, but they contain enough product to really give them a good trial.

If you'd like to try out these or any of the other products available through Willow Tree Minerals, they can be found at her Etsy page.

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