Sunday, 9 October 2011

Indie Review: The Chequered Lily

I plan on doing lots of reviews of Indie companies, but here is the first!

Available at - The Chequered Lily
Price - $5 (approx. £3.29) for a full size eye shadow. Sample sizes currently unavailable.
Shipping - $2.90 + $0.25 for each additional item within the US, $3.35 + $0.40 for each additional item everywhere else.
Would I purchase again? Yes, definitely! These are really beautiful, quite complex shadows, and it is clear that a lot of thought has gone into formulating them. I will definitely be picking up full sizes of Labyrinth, Love like winter and Mrs Peacock, as soon as I can!

Carry on reading for an in depth review + swatch photos!

The Chequered Lily is currently only available through Etsy. To purchase from Etsy you need to set up an account – this does not bother me, but I know that a lot of people prefer not to have to do this.

At the moment, TCL only sell eye shadows. I have no idea whether or not there are plans to extend the line in the future. As such, there is only one shop section; eye shadows. I think it would be helpful to set up sections for different colour families, e.g. purple, pink, brown etc. This isn’t a massive issue, however, as there are only 3 pages of items at the moment.

Each listing provides all the information you could possibly need; the amount of product you will receive (TCL pack eye shadows by weight, with a full size shadow providing 1gm of product in a 5gm jar), a lovely little backstory for each shade, a shade description and an ingredients list. All this info is accompanied by several photos, including a swatch. Personally, I think it would be great if one of these photos showed the product being worn. Swatches are very useful, but they can be deceiving.

I ordered the blogger and youtuber sample set which comprises of seven samples of your choice, with an additional sample of the owner’s choice thrown in too. I chose the following colours – The Labyrinth, Love Like Winter, Milky Way, Mrs Peacock, Sea of Cortez, “Snow, Glass, Apples”, and Stormbringer. The eighth sample I received was Ice Storm. *Please note that I just checked the Etsy shop and I can’t find a listing for this sample set*

The customer service I received from Kim was excellent. She contacted me soon after I had checked out to confirm my order and any questions I asked were answered promptly.

I received my order within about 7 days of purchasing, in a non-padded envelope, with the sample baggies and a thank you/business card in a larger plastic baggie. I feel that this is a perfectly acceptable method of sending sample baggies – everything arrived in one piece and it keeps shipping prices down. Obviously I do not recommend this method for jars, but in this situation it was fine.

Each sample comes labelled with the shade name, number and the etsy shop address. Some of the samples are labelled as not being lip safe. I think it would be preferable to label every shade with whether it was lip safe or not. I would also prefer it if the ingredients list for each shadow was included on the label.

Ice Storm
Shop description - Ice White with Aqua Shimmer and Purple Sparkle
My description – The shop description for this is very accurate. You have to look a little bit to see the purple sparkles, but they’re definitely there and they look beautiful! This would make a great shade for use on the inner corners of the eye.

The Labyrinth
Shop description - Muddy Deep Violet-Brown with Blue and Aqua Sparkle.
My description – This doesn’t appear to show any violet to me, but is instead a soft brown with a beautiful blue duochrome and lots of blue sparkles. It’s very similar to MAC’s blue brown pigment, but with added sparkle.

Love Like Winter
Shop description – Icy pale blue with red reflect and crimson glitter.
My description – Again, a very accurate colour description. A beautiful pale blue red sparkles.

Milky Way
Shop description – Silver-grey with purple sheen and holographic glitter
My description – Medium silver shade with multicolour sparkles.

Mrs Peacock
Shop description – Dark golden teal with violet sparkle
My description – I would say that this shade leans a bit too far blue to be classed as teal, but it’s a really rich blue with beautiful purple glitter. (Please note that although Mrs Peacock and Sea of Cortez look identical in my swatch photos, they are indeed different)

Sea of Cortez
Shop description –Shimmery teal blue with aqua and gold highlights
My description – Again, this is a little bit too blue to be teal, in my opinion, but a lovely colour nonetheless. This reflects a subtle gold shade and is packed with tiny silver sparkles.

Snow, glass, apples
Shop description –Soft white that rubs down to a golden-ivory with red shimmer
My description – A soft, creamy shade with beautiful orange reflects and golden/orange glitter.

Shop description – Deep blackened violet with blue and violet sparkles, and turquoise glitter.
My description – Smoky, grey violet with beautiful turquoise glitter.

How do they wear?
Unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures of looks using these shadows to show you (but keep an eye on Wendy’s amazing blog on Wednesday ;)) but they are beautiful to work with! They’re lovely and smooth and very easy to blend without turning muddy. You definitely need to wear a primer, and for the darker shades, I would recommend a base such as a NYX jumbo pencil or Evil Shades spectrum pot, but the colour pay-off is brilliant!

In conclusion, I’m really impressed with The Chequered Lily! There are a few minor issues that could be considered (such as labelling samples with ingredients and including pictures of the shadows being worn for each listing) but I really can’t complain about their customer service, or the quality of the actual products. I think the thing that impressed me the most, was the effort which has clearly been spent on formulating, interesting, unique colours. I will definitely be purchasing some full size shadows as soon as I have the money.

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