Earlier this month, Aromaleigh launched a brand new (permanent!) collection of eyeshadows inspired by bad-ass, often-forgotten ladies throughout history– Ignis Antiquita. As this combines three of my favorite things– history, pretty colors, and bad-ass ladies– I decided to sample some of the collection, which weighs in at 40 new shades.
Now, I know a few of you who have been following my beauty-related ramblings for longer than I have had this blog are probably confused at my reviewing Aromaleigh. After all, I pretty much swore them off in 2009 when I had what easily ranks as my worst customer service experience ever. EVERRRRR. Long story short, an order I placed was either never sent or got lost in the mail, and the company’s founder was quite rude in addressing this. When I did finally get my order, one item was out of stock, and so I emailed again to ask about it– only to have it insinuated that I was trying to pull one over on the company (they had refunded me, but they never told me about the problem, so I hadn’t known). The owner took my questions, which only ever addressed the facts of the situation, pretty personally, and in her mind, I was calling her a liar and a cheat. It was a mess. And I was far from the only person having customer service issues with Aromaleigh during this time period. So I was pretty sad about everything, because I really did like the products quite a lot.
Aromaleigh closed for a while. And then, after some time away, they opened in 2011 under what I understand to be new management. I was pretty cautious about it. I waited a while to see what other bloggers had to say about the customer service situation before I placed an order, the first of which was for samples in their LE “Lost in Faerie” collection. Which, to be honest, I liked very much. And I am happy to report that since then, I have had no problems with the CS. And orders now ship lightning-fast. So I feel pretty okay reviewing this collection and recommending it.
So, without further ado– PRETTY COLORS.
Tamar: Inspired by Tamar of Georgia, this is a beautiful yellow-based gold with soft holo sparkles. Like any and all holo sparkles I mention here, these do not survive foiling, but rather sit lightly atop the main shade, like they’re floating in silk. This is a super gorgeous shade, omg.
Lagertha: Lemme just get this out of the way– I bought this for one reason only… fannish reasons. LAGERTHA IS THE QUEEN OF MY HEART.
-“You couldn’t kill me if you tried for a hundred years” – Lagertha
Lagertha, is, of course, named for the Viking shieldmaiden who was, at one point, married to Ragnar Lodbrok. It is a very pretty coppery-pink shade with holo sparkles that leans reddish-copper in some lights. It is very nice.
Agnodice: This shade is named after Agnodice, the 5th century Athenian physician. While the swatch on site shows more of a a coppery-buff shade, it was a warm buff pink on my skin with subtle undertones of mauve, and, of course, holo sparkles.
Agrippina: This one was inspired by Agrippina the Younger, and is a pretty rose-gold shade with soft holo sparkles. It’s a beautiful sort of neutral-pink, something I will definitely reach for often.
Boudicca: This is, of course, inspired by the Celtic warrior queen. It’s a really complex shade, too! The predominant shade is a russet/burgundy sort of color. Reddish with purple undertones. And it’s got holo sparkles. Because of course it does.
Trotula: This is named after Trotula of Salerno, the 12th century physician and teacher. It’s kind of hard to describe. In the sample baggie, it’s sort of a greyish steel blue shade. On the skin, though, it was a taupey-brown with greenish blue highlight. Very pretty.
Hervor: Hervor was another Viking shieldmaiden, who, according to the writeup by Aromaleigh, inspired Eowyn in Lord of the Rings. They describe it as pewter, and that’s pretty accurate. It’s a dark grey that I’d describe as “charcoal.” It’s got some subtle blue sparkle happening.
Clotilda: This one was named after Saint Clotilde. It is described by the site as “a rich, complex grey with strong gold highlights and an alternating multichrome color effect of blues, greens and red.” That sounds like a pretty color, and the swatch on the site matches it. However, the sample I got leaned much more of a navy blue that pulls grey, no gold highlight (though there is some holo sparkle). It looks purple-grey in the sample baggie.
Aspasia: This shade is in honor of Aspasia of Miletus. In keeping with the Pantone Color of the Year, it’s a very pretty orchid purple. As you can see in the shot above, it has a very pretty blue shift, and it reminds me very much of Urban Decay’s Asphyxia.
Skuld: Aromaleigh describes Skuld as a “Viking warrior elf witch,” but I know her as one of the three Norns. In the baggie, it looks like a greyed-out purple, and swatched sort of a deep violet with soft holo for me. The website swatches look more like a pewtery-amethyst; I gather this one looks a bit different depending on the skin tone of the swatcher.
Eleanor: Eleanor, is, unsurprisingly, named for Eleanor of Aquitaine. On my skin, it is a light, peach-leaning buff with very subtle multichromatic sparkles that you don’t really see once the shadow is blended out.
Arachidamia: Named for the Spartan queen, Arachidamia is the only one of these shades that I photographed foiled. That’s because for most of the shades, foiling them really detracted from the soft, pretty holographic effect that many of them had. But the description said “light-midtone warm taupe with strong red/pink/violet multichrome effects” and I wanted to see what would happen, since dry it was a nearly-matte warm taupe with very subtle effects. Well, foiled, the violet red really does come out! In fact, it looks like a completely different shadow!
Urraca: Of the shades I tried, Urraca, named for Urraca of León and Castile, surprised me the most. Described as a bordeaux, I expected purple undertones, and the sample bag does indeed look purply. But on my skin, there were definite warm leanings, so much that it looked more like a reddened copper than bordeaux. It does have pretty blue-dominant sparkles, though. Maybe I should foil this one and see if the results are any different.
So, there you have it, a little over a quarter of the shades. There are still lots more for me to try, which I probably will, because the formula was very nice. They were very soft and blendable, even for loose shadows. They lean powdery but silky– so you don’t need to load your brush up or you’ll waste product. What I’d suggest is to build up thin layers if you want to pack the color on.
Before I finish up the post, I have a handful more shades to share that are not part of the collection. Some are LE, some permanent. A few (Fathom, Snowsicle, Infernal Chaos, Janus Primus Vesta Extrema) were gifts with purchase.
Amandier: Amandier is a permanent shade, and is part of the “Bloom” collection. I loved it so much that I bought it in full size so I could press it. It’s a warm-leaning white base with strong gold highlight. It is like a less-chalky version of NARS Albatross. It looks amazing as a lid wash on light skin, or as a highlight. I love love love this shade.
Password Protected: This one is part of the Sherlock LE collection, and at present, is still available (and on sale!). It is described as “a muted warm mauve with coppery iridescence and bright golden sparks.” Which is pretty exactly what it is, only dry those two colors are separate. As in, once you blend it, you get what looks like matte mauve, but with copper around the edges and around the edges only. Which makes this a great candidate for a lid wash if you’re lazy– bingo, it looks like you’re wearing a crease shade. I liked this much more when foiled, where it looks like a bronze with a mauve base.
Damaged & Delusional: Again, part of the Sherlock LE collection. It is described as “a smooth plush burgundy wine frost with a striking gold highlight.” It’s a mauvey-burgundy with a mild bronze highlight, and darkens a shade when foiled.
Infernal Chaos: One of the January LEs. It is descrbed as “a soft cocoa grey/buff with a subtle copper highlight and iridescent microshimmer.” I got more of a light buff with grey undertones. A good neutral if you’re cooler-toned, but sadly not for me.
Janus Primus Vesta Extrema: Another January LE. This one is a light cool-toned lilac with subtle sparkle.
Fathom is a burgundy red. It is not nearly as purple as it appears on the site. But it’s a sort of dried blood color that leans warm.
Snowsicle is a cool-toned white that’s shimmery dry, and VERY shimmery when foiled. There’s no hidden interference shade. It’s pretty straightforward.
There you have it. Which Aromaleigh shades are your favorites?