Monday, May 28, 2012

Little Mouse Ears - Review & Swatches

Little Mouse Ears logo shamelessly stolen from their Facebook fan page.

I am in a makeup group online with the Sarah, the owner of Little Mouse Ears, and independent mineral makeup company based in Ireland. Little Mouse Ears sells loose mineral eye shadow, lip balms and glosses, nail polish, blush, bronzers, pressed mineral shadow palettes, bath and body products, and jewelry. 

Last January, Sarah of Little Mouse Ears hosted a review pack raffle in our online makeup group, and I won one of the small review packs. The package arrived quickly, and I immediately swatched and took photos, but I wanted to spend a good amount of time giving a proper review, but never seemed to find the time, or I just plain forgot when I did have the time. So now, four months later (or more?), this review is very, very overdue! But... in the meantime, I also won another prize pack from her, so I get to swatch and review two sets of samples now instead of just one! And I swatched and reviewed all of the colors with my new camera, so the photos are better than the original ones I took last winter.

First, I'll feature the review pack I won in the raffle last winter. This is what I received from Little Mouse Ears: 
  • Full Size of Cream loose eyeshadow from the Music is Life eye shadow collection
  • Sample of Pink Floyd loose eyeshadow from the Music is Life eye shadow collection
  • Sample of Blue Oyster Cult loose eyeshadow from the Music is Life eye shadow collection
  • Sample of Fornell loose eyeshadow from the Navy collection
  • Sample of Sister Hazel loose eyeshadow from the Music is Life eye shadow collection
  • Sample of Ducky loose eyeshadow from the Navy collection
  • Sample of Kensey lip gloss from the Navy collection
  • One pair of Jealous Mama earrings
  • Handwritten note from Sarah, which my dog subsequently ate

L-R, Top Row: Cream (closed), Pink Floyd, Blue Oyster Cult, Fornell, Sister Hazel, Ducky
L-R, Bottom Row: Kensey (closed), Jealous Mama (in bag)

L-R, Top Row: Cream (open), Pink Floyd, Blue Oyster Cult, Fornell, Sister Hazel, Ducky
L-R, Bottom Row: Kensey (open), Jealous Mama (open)

When I received these sample items, Little Mouse Ears was still hand-writing the labels, but if you keep reading to the review of my second prize pack, you'll see she's now using printed labels, which look much more professional. 

Following are swatches in lamp light, indirect natural light, and direct sunlight, respectively:

 L-R: Cream, Pink Floyd, Blue Oyster Cult, Fornell, Sister Hazel, Ducky, and Kensey lip gloss
(lamp light)

(indirect natural light)

(direct sunlight)

Cream is a very light, shimmery, cream color. The the first image above (lamp light) captures the true color the most accurately. It applies smoothly and evenly and is the perfect highlight color. 

Pink Floyd is the perfect lightly shimmery, baby-girl pink. It applies smoothly, evenly, albeit fairly softly, and the color cannot be built up. It's very pretty and looks beautiful paired with Sister Hazel.

Blue Oyster Cult is a very pretty, shimmery, baby-boy blue. It applies smoothly, evenly, and like Pink Floyd, fairly softly without the ability to build up the color. 

The Little Mouse Ears website says Fornell is teal, but I see more of a dark sagey teal-green. It's slightly shimmery, but even when applied over Darling Girl Glitter Glue, I have a really hard time getting the shimmer to stay fixed; it seems like there's more fallout than shadow that stays put, and it brushes or blows away, leaving a semi-matte sage-teal base color. It also streaks around the edges, leaving a strange, grayish cast around the perimeter. 

Sister Hazel is my favorite of all of the Little Mouse Ears colors I've tried so far. It goes on like butter, with full, even application. It's a gorgeous, rich hazel-brown that leans toward a shimmery, silver taupe. I can't put into words how pretty it is.

Ducky is  described as "medium brown" on the website. It's a matte, camel-brown, with a red base. It's my least favorite of the colors I've tried from Little Mouse Ears. It applies nicely, but the color itself looks terrible with my skin tone, so it's not one I'd ever wear.

Kensey is a coral lip gloss. IIn the swatch above, I applied it more heavily at the top, and less heavily at the bottom. When I first tried Kensey, the gloss was separated and lumpy. I thought perhaps it had to do with sitting in a mailbox in sub-zero temperatures. However, when I tried it again in May, the gloss didn't seem to be as lumpy and didn't appear to separated at all and I thought perhaps the warmer weather helped the gloss ingredients blend. Unfortunately, as soon as I put it on my lips, the gloss began to separate again. If you click on the photo below, you can see a larger image, which magnifies the separation issues:

Despite the separation problems, it actually feels really nice and moisturizing on my lips, doesn't bleed or feather, and lasts for a long time. There's a good chance that sitting in my freezing cold mail box could have damaged the product. Little Mouse Ears sells some really pretty lip glosses that I'd like to try out, so I will likely give her glosses another try, and hopefully if I order in the summer months, there won't be be any separation or lumpiness issues.

Last, but not least, I received a pair of Jealous Mama earrings:

I don't see these earrings on her website anymore, and I'm terrible with identifying parts and pieces, but they  have what I'd call blue, green, and turquoise flat shell beads sandwiched between a lime green Swarovski crystal and a clear crackled glass bead. A french hook is used and there is a little bit of dangle. They're really cute and yes, I've worn them out and about! They're good quality and well-made.

And now on to the second packet of samples I received from Little Mouse Ears! I received these a couple of weeks ago after winning another prize sample pack in the makeup group Sarah and I are both in. All of these products were named after a contest in our makeup group in which names were nominated based on uncommon names of ladies in the group, or of the people they love. 

This is what I received:
  • Eye shadow samples from the NTMS collection in Gwen, Ana, Kairi, Mina, Meghan, and Leah
  • Kota Bear blush sample
  • Little Mouse Ears business card
  • Handwritten note from Sarah, not pictured

L-R, Top Row: Gwen, Ana, Kairi, Mina, Meghan, Leah
Second Row: Kota Bear blush (closed)
Third Row: business card

L-R, Top Row: Gwen, Ana, Kairi, Mina, Meghan, Leah
Second Row: Kota Bear blush (open)
Third Row: business card

Following are swatches in lamp light, lamp light with flash, indirect natural light, and direct sunlight, respectively:

L-R: Gwen, Ana, Kairi, Mina, Meghan, Leah, Kota Bear (swatched heavily on left, blended out to the right)
(lamp light)

(lamp light, with flash)

(indirect natural light)

(direct sunlight)

None of the NTMS collection eyeshadows have descriptions on the website.

Gwen is a nude pearl color. The swatch in the direct sunlight photo above is the most accurate representation of the true color -- the other swatches come across as much more yellow than the color really is. Gwen is a strange color -- it applies very dark and matte-like with a much lighter shimmer around the perimeter. I was curious if this had something to do with the way I swatched on my arm, so I swatched on my eyelid, with the same results. In the photo below, you can see how the color on my lid is much darker than the surrounding color, even though I applied Gwen all over my eye area as a single-color wash. Because of this unevenness and inconsistency in color, I will probably not use this color when creating any looks. 

Ana is a beautiful maroon shade with lavender shimmer, giving it a merlot finish. It applies evenly, smoothly, and I'm really excited to wear this one in a look. It's very, very pretty. 

Kairi is a simple and pretty shimmery lilac purple. It applies evenly and smoothly without much fallout. I don't typically wear pastel colors, but it's so pretty that I'll figure out a way to work it into a look! 

Mina is a stunning basic blue and has a soft, crystalline shimmer. It goes on smoothly and evenly, and would make a stunning eye liner color. 

Meghan is a pretty, shimmery "blurple" color that's a cross between blue and purple. It applies quite nicely. 

Leah is a pretty, shimmery silver-grey. Like Ana, Kairi, Mina, and Meghan, it applies smoothly and evenly. It would pair really well with Kairi. 

Kota Bear blush is described on the website as pink blush with violet shimmer. It's a very feminine pink and is such a pretty color. It's heavily pigmented, but blends out to a soft, wearable shade of pink. I can't wait to use it. 

Overall, I'm happy with my Little Mouse Ears products. Fornell and Gwen seem to have some formulation issues, but otherwise, the products are high quality and well-made. I give my experience with Little Mouse Ears four out of five stars. 

* Products were gifts from Little Mouse Ears. All opinions are my own. 

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