So recently I found out I won a giveaway over at Toxid Lotus for Linnaeus Cosmetics' Axolotl collection. I was beyond ecstatic because I've been wanting to give Linnaeus a try and also two out of the three colors are ones that I don't have anything even remotely similar in my collection. I had originally shied away from pinks but as you'll see soon, I love these.
Unfortunately, I was a dolt and forgot to take pictures of the packaging but it was simple and something that I would expect from a company that uses wildlife as inspiration. It came in a canvas drawstring pouch with a rabbit stamped on it. It was also tied with natural raffia and had a little MOO card with all of the company info on it. I detached the raffia and put the card on the drawstring so that when I show it off, the information is right there.
|From L to R in natural light: Puerile, Branchial, Archetypal|
The name of this eyeshadow references the perpetual immature state of the Axolotl; they do not developmentally advance as far as most salamanders. Puerile is a delicate, pink rose shade. It has a hint of a warm yellow-toned background that is overlain flecks of white and pink.
Puerile is a shade that is sheer and light. The main shade that is great to wear alone for everyday or pair it with one of the other colors for a little more depth. It also makes a wonderful highlight color. I agree that it has a bit more of a yellow undertone which is why it goes great with both the cooler Branchial as well as the warmer Archetypal. The formulation is very smooth and light which surprised me in a good way. I had very little fall out over Too Faced Shadow Insurance as well.
|L to R with Flash: Puerile, Branchial, Archetypal|
“Branchial” is used to describe the gill filaments in vertebrate anatomy. This became the name of this particular eyeshadow because Axolotls keeps their gills their entire life, unlike other salamanders. Branchial leans a bit toward a brick red; it has orange undertones to it. It has a cardinal red shimmer with flecks of deep pink sparkle throughout.
This description was a smidge off to me. Especially when placed next to Archetypal Branchial seems to be on the cooler side of the spectrum. The photos on Linnaeus' website were very true to what I received though which surprised me. For a moment, I thought this description was for Archetypal and I had to double check. Despite this, I like using this color on the top half of my lid over Puerile. It deepens it just a little bit and works as a great in-between color for when I am layering all three. Yet again, a smooth application with little fall out.
Archetypal is a maroon based red with a gorgeous, subtle sheen. There are glints of dark and light pink dusted over top. This shade was coined Archetypal due to the fact that unfortunately, Axolotls are excellent model organisms in research. This means that they are ideal to study because among other reasons, they have a relatively well understood development pattern and also have the ability to regenerate limbs.
Hmmm... I'm not sure I would have picked out maroon as the base for this. It looks a lot more toward the coral/copper end of the spectrum and actually seems to be a great dupe for the sample of Rockeresque Beauty's Beating Heart which isn't available yet. It's warm, orange-y, and full of glitter. This was the color that I had the most issues with fall out. This wasn't necessarily because of the amount of shadow that ended up on my cheek so much as what little did end up there made my cheek turn copper. Just something to be aware of and keep some makeup remover handy and do this before you apply blush to your cheeks.
Overall, still a very squee worthy set. With the light formulation and sheer, glittery colors this is something that stands apart from most of the other indie products I've tried. Definitely worth taking a look at and I love the inspiration behind the collections. A lot of these colors could possibly be found elsewhere but on the same token if you enjoy conservation and wildlife, these are for you.