I know, I know. In a race of little critters, I’m the underachieving sloth who took a nap and is only drowsily waking up now. Still, at least there’s a good one week for me to join the bandwagon of enablers as I regale you about the splendor that is Innocent + Twisted Alchemy’s awesome monthly subscription pack. This is my first subscription (I went for the sample sized subscription to start myself out easy) and there is no way that I’m ever giving up on my membership because, really. This stuff is just too AWESOME. No wonder there’s always an insane rush when new subscription slots are released. I mean, just look at that awesome artwork. And that’s only the cherry on the delicious cake that is waiting inside the package.
August 2014’s theme is centered around “NANA” by Ai Yazawa. I have to confess that I don’t know my manga/anime so perhaps I couldn’t really get the full impact of the references but I have to say that everything is just stunning. That artwork is just out of this world. I know that the handmade envelopes are probably going to go extinct, as referenced from her facebook post, but I sure am glad that I got hold of this one. Of course, the beauty here is not just skin deep; the goodies were enough to make me feel all minkish inside. ♥ I just love opening surprise packs like these because you just don’t know what to expect!
Here’s what I got in my pack:
I+TA’s Nana Collection
- Deluxe eye shadow samples of Ren Flower, 7 & 8, Blast! and Tranes
- Eye shadow sample in Dog Days from Blackbird Cosmetics
- Eye shadow sample in monster from Chinovi Cosmetics
- Eye shadow sample in Ashitaka from Dusk Cosmetics
- Eye shadow jar in Angel Wings from Glamour Doll Eyes
- Matte Lipstick in Very Berry from Performance Colors
That is quite a haul and I was really excited since other than Performance Colors which I’ve already tried some time earlier, all the other companies were new to me. So I braced my swatching hand and got ready to dive into the goodness!
A quick company overview
Innocent + Twisted Alchemy (or I+TA) is a cosmetics e-tailer that is well known throughout the indie universe for their highly coveted subscription packages. They specialize in the most enticing eye shadows that range from multichrome eye candies to incandescent glitter. One thing that really cements the company’s identity is the owner’s amazing talent in creating her own manga-inspired artwork for every collection. With gorgeous hand-drawn labels and gorgeously blended colors, you really feel like what you’re purchasing is so much more than just your average eye shadow – it’s like a work of art.
Although subscription packs and lucky packs tend to sell out insanely quickly, there is a huge general collection available and sometimes limited edition shades can be purchased from the storefront as well. Having recently celebrated their 3rd anniversary, I+TA is one of those indie companies that will very likely have its name set in stone for the sake of indie posterity.
Innocent + Twisted Alchemy’s August 2014 Collection – “NANA” by Ai Yazawa
This is my first experience with I+TA and I have to say that I am just blown away by their attention to detail. Those have got to be the most beautifully packed samples that I have ever seen from any indie company. The clamshells hold a lot of product and although I do have to contend with a bit of spillage when my fingers get clumsy, I really love how I don’t have to depot them. Plus of course, that label art. /jaw drops. I surreptitiously moved these to the top of my eye shadow drawer so that I could look at the art all day.
Here’s a group swatch of the gorgeous, gorgeous colors. I guess I’m really lucky this month because every color is pretty much up my alley. I really like how well the four colors complement each other since it really ties the collection together so nicely.
Ingredients: Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxide, Calcium Sodium Borosilicate, Tin Oxide, Silica, Magnesium Myristate, Zinc Oxide, Carnauba Wax
I let out an extremely un-ladylike squawk and startled my westie when I first laid eyes on this color. This. Is. So. Beautiful. Blast! is a striking inky black shadow with an explosion of iridescent fuchsia and cyan specks of glitter.
Photos really can’t do justice to this gorgeous shade that is so ultra dramatic and stunning. If you ever find yourself plotting to leave an impression on everyone who lays eyes on you, this is your color. Given my love for glitter and smokey eye shades, I think this is indisputably my favorite shadow in the collection.
Ingredients: Titanium Dioxide, Ultramarines, Manganese Violet, Chromium Oxide, Tin Oxide, Silica, Magnesium Myristate, Zinc Oxide, Carnauba Wax
This color caught me by surprise. It looks like such an innocent dusty purple in the clamshell, but in actual fact, it has a pale violet base with a shimmery matcha green shift and a slightly darker shade of purple beneath the surface.
I actually redid this swatch because I thought that there might have been remnants of Blast! on my brush because the actual color was so different from what I expected. This is a really unique shade which is a little out of my (boring) comfort zone, but I really really like it.
7 & 8
Ingredients: Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Ultramarines, Iron Oxide, Tin Oxide, Carmine, Silica, Magnesium Myristrate, Zinc Oxide, Carnauba Wax
This is the proverbial girl next door who’s sweet as sugar and innocent as snow color. 7 & 8 is the prettiest shade of baby pink with little shimmery specks of silver glitter.
I think I’m going to get a lot of mileage out of this one since I can imagine it working well with many other shades. It’s the perfect shade to wear out on a first date!
Ingredients: Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Kaolin, Tin Oxide, Carmine, Iron Oxide, Magnesium Myristate, Carnauba Wax, Zinc Oxide, Talc, Zinc Stearate, Copper Powder, Silicon Dioxide
This shadow has got to have the most poetic and beautiful name and the shade totally lives up to it. Ren Flower is a bold and beautiful rose pink with an over-current of glittery gold shimmer.
I actually really want to try mixing this with some lip balm because I can imagine that this would be so stunning as a lip color.
Blackbird Cosmetics is a new Etsy e-tailer that I have been pretty excited about. The company specializes in matte shades and I know. I’ve never been that interested in matte colors, but after seeing all those gorgeous swatches out there, I figured that if I’m ever going to fall in love with mattes, Blackbird is probably my ticket.
I received Dog Days as my eye shadow sample and it is a beautiful rich dark chocolate brown that applies like a dream over Nyx Milk. I didn’t take many shots of this one since it mostly looks the same from all angles.
I’ve heard tons of good things about Chinovi but somehow, I never got around to trying out the company so I’m really glad to receive a sample of their product. I think this could be love and I’m definitely going to be exploring this company a lot more.
Monster is an amazingly striking electric purple / blue and the color really pops. The purple base is a lot more prominent in person; for some reason, I couldn’t really pick up much of it in my swatch.
Dusk Cosmetics is a relatively new player in the indie market and I am already head over heels in love. They really have beautiful shades in their collection so be sure to check them out!
Ashitaka is so gorgeous! The eye shadow applies like silk and the duochrome effect is too lovely for my eyes to bear. The shift from purple to turquoise is almost magical and I couldn’t take my eyes off it.
This is another company that has been high on my want list and after trying out their eye shadow, it has definitely been bumped up quite a few notches! I’m not exactly sure if what I received was a mini jar or a full jar, but there is such a very generous amount of product in it! I’m totally overwhelmed by their generosity.
And of course, Angel Wings is totally love. Once again, my swatches don’t do justice to this color. It’s so ethereal and the purple and red glitter really sparkle like fairy dust off an angel’s wing. It’s no wonder that this is one of their best selling colors! I’ll definitely have to look into picking up some samples from them in the near future.
And here’s a familiar face! This little Matte Extended Wear lipstick sample didn’t come with a calling card or store label on the clam shell so I’d imagine that unless you’re familiar with Performance Colors, it might have been a bit of a mystery to try and figure out where this came from. I haven’t actually tried this on my lips, but I did review Performance Colors a little while back. If you’re interested in knowing how the product worked for me, have a peek at it! The nutshell version is that I found the formula a little dry on my desert-like lips, but I know a lot of people have had success with it so maybe it’s just me.
Performance Colors’ lippies are always beautifully pigmented and this one is no exception. I love the fun berry shade! Their products are really cost effective and the range of color options is huge so do check out this company if you get the chance to!
On the whole…
I am ecstatically happy with my first I+TA subscription and I cannot wait for next month’s package! I read on their Facebook page that September’s package may feature a collection of various I+TA products in lieu of the bonus samples which is pretty fine with me. I’m really excited to try their non-eye shadow products. I do hope that the bonus samples come back eventually, because it’s such a fun way to discover new companies.
Sample subscriptions are $12 for US subscribers and $16 for international subscribers (includes shipping). You will get:
- 3 deluxe sized samples that are exclusive ONLY to the subscriptions.
- 30% off coupon code
- BONUS! Surprise items (Note that Sept 2014 may replace this with I+T products instead)
Full sized subscriptions are $18 for US subscribers and $22 for international subscribers (includes shipping). You will get:
- 3 full sized samples that are exclusive ONLY to the subscriptions.
- 35% off coupon code
- BONUS! Surprise items (Note that Sept 2014 may replace this with I+T products instead)
Subscriptions will be available on the 1st of September and they sell out literally within minutes so be prepared to get your stalking game on!