Saturday, February 26, 2011

SoBe Botanicals - The motherlode has landed

I bought a bundle of things from SoBe Botanicals and then promptly forgot. A month later, wandering through my older emails, I found the conformation of order and immediately panicked because I couldn't find the paypal email saying I'd paid. Thinking myself probably the biggest douche ever, I emailed a very delicate email to SoBe to ask if I had, in fact, paid. She responded the next day, saying yes, I had, and she'd posted my package a few weeks past. She allayed my fears about the delivery time (this was early Jan) citing longer delivery times to Australia. Satisfied that my package hadn't disappeared into the aether, I settled back to wait. Sure enough about a day later, my little bundle arrived. It was like Christmas. Having no memory whatsoever of what I'd ordered, I tentatively dug in.

And hey! I look to have royally treated myself. Good work, past Me.

We have here the Cool as a Cucumber Eye Cream, the Primed and Proper eyeshadow Primer, four mineral eyeshadows in Emerald, Diamond dust, Jet and Butterfly, a sample of the Night Minerals powder and a sample of the Oil control powder. There's also two samples of eyeshadows which I know absolutely nothing about, since they are both labelled with the name ?OOAK? which feels like monkeyspeak to me. And a brush that came as a set with the eyeshadows. Lets look at the brush for a second.

It's labelled as an accent brush, whatever that is. What is immediately evident to me is the completely inappropriate size of the brush. You cannot apply eyeshadow with it. So stop complaining, you say, use it for something else. It came with an eyeshadow set!! This makes my head hurt! It's also too thick for foundation, too small for blush or powder, all I can think of is maybe using it with a highlighter...? And even then I've never heard of a specifically "highlighter" blush. It is a mystery brush. An international brush of mystery. I'm going to put it to one side and try not to think about it for the sake of my poor nerves.

Swatching the shadows (with a different brush) I am cheered. There's some nice stuff here.

Diamond Dust is pure shimmer, with no additional color. It'd be a nice mixer. Not with the other SoBe's here, since they're all shimmer central, but with other matte shadows. It's exactly what it sounds like, and builds nicely. One swipe is barely visible, had to load a fair bit on for all these shadows.

Butterfly is a very soft, shimmery lilac. I like lilac. But I never see it in the kind of opacity that I'd like, and this ones no exception. It's very pale and translucent, and what you see above is an absolute pile of eyeshadow on the back of my hand. But it is pretty.

Emerald is an odd one. It starts very translucent, and with the slightest slip of the brush it becomes opaque and a bit muddy. It's not an acid green in the pot, more of a golfing green color, and I think maybe a little more fluroescent could have cleared it a bit and clarified what it is the color is going for.

Jet makes me nervous. It had opened (interior seal and all) in transit, and dusted most things in my package with charcoal-ish powder, that, unless make up remover was involved, would not come off anything, including me. Every time I touch the pot it sheds black on me. All I can think is charcoal. Its a matte, smoky grey-black, and when you smooth it on, it immediately puts that kind of ashy film on your skin with the exterior edge of crumbling black. Seriously. It exactly like testing charcoals on the back of my hand in art in school. The volatile nature of this pot makes me not want to handle it.

What I like is the labels on the bottom:

They've actually bothered to point out the ones you shouldn't be putting near your mouth. I approve of this. And they aren't whacking it on anything, which always reeks to me of covering-our-arses.

I swatched the two samples, though I have no idea what they're called.

For now, lets say Disco Skin and Disco Taupe. And yes, I am actually that pale.

Disco Skin (above) is actually really pretty. Taking a cursory look through my collection I can't really see a color that's similar. It's a bit darker and peachier than skin, with a buttload of shimmer. It would be a knockout of a base to put on really lightly and widely on your lids.

Disco Taupe(below) is awesome! I approve of this, Sir! It is taupe, but with a huge wallop of copper/brown in it. It's like the skin color of a Brazilian vegas showgirl, and that can only be a good thing. I love the shadows that are so metallic they make my fairly smooth and unmarked hands look like dried up river beds. It's fascinating.

Lets look away from the cosmetics for a bit. I have here the eye cream, which I've applied about six times at various times of the day and night.

Bad news - it's irritated my skin. It goes on fine, and then the skin it's sitting on will start to heat up like Tiger Balm and I have to wash it off. It's worth pointing out that my skin around my eyes is THE most sensitive skin most likely ever and about 99% of things set it off. Oddly enough specifically eye creams seem to do it more than all over face moisturisers, and I couldn't say why. Maybe it doesn't like being excessively touched or something. I don't think you should be deterred from this cream, necessarily. A lot of people have really liked it. But unfortunately it is the most recent in a big list of products that make my skin cry and reach for the tissues.

And damn, forgot to take a solo picture of the primer. The primer is great. I have no complaints about the primer. Goes on smoothly, lotiony and pleasant, and dries fast. Also seems to assist in the removal, which is handy. My only quibble is with the lid. You need such a minuscule amount that using the squeezy bottle and trying to get that tiny fraction out without it retracting again is frustrating, which is why I tend to use it to swatch on my arms more than my face. It needs a doefoot applicator. But that aside, it's my favorite product here and I really think it's quality.

Those observant souls will notice that I didn't cover the Oil Control of Night Minerals samples. There's a very good reason for that. Perth, right now, is in a 35-36 degree heat stretch. The days are unbearable and the nights are sweaty and miserable. Asking an oil control powder to do anything, with the exception of maybe melt off my face like that guy in Raiders of the Lost Ark, in this kind of weather is just unfair. Likewise the Night Minerals. I wake up most days with an ocean on my face. I'm not going to be able to do anything with these two until it get's drastically cooler. I will revisit them at a later date.

I was going to find an image of that face-melty guy. Came to the conclusion that it wigs me out too much to be on my blog.

In conclusion: Bit hit and miss for me. The primer is a champion. The eye cream and I have creative differences, the eyeshadows I just suspect I won't use. I don't add additional shimmer to anything (i.e. Diamond Dust), I have more vibrant greens, and Jet makes me fear for my carpets whenever I go near it. Butterfly (lilac) I think I'll probably get some wear out of. The two samples, on the other hand, were the best. really liked those two, if I was one hundred per cent sure which ones they were I'd jump on them.

And the brush OMGWTF what was going on with the brush.

Also worth mentioning that all correspondence with SoBe was speedy, professional and very friendly. This wins points. There's a huge catalog of stuff on their site which I haven't investigated yet, and suspect I will. I hear such good things.

UPDATE: Got a very lovely email from Lex at SoBe addressing some of the issues/reactions I had. She was very helpful and accommodating. I'm planning on buying a few more things soonish, which I'll have a look at as well. I respond amazingly when people send me nice emails. I go all gooey. STAY TUNED! Fun stuff in my future!


  1. Great review and great response from Sobe! I've seen this brand a number of times on Etsy but have never taken the plunge. I'm going to wait 'til your second haul before I buy! :)

  2. Cheers :) yeah, I was way impressed with the email she sent me. It was an ESSAY. She covered everything, and was incredibly friendly. I felt like such a villain. I'll be ordering some more things on the weekend :) I'm thinking two of the skin products and some more eyeshadows in denser colors.

  3. OOAK stands for One of a Kind, so I guess those are colours she mixed up just for you!

  4. yep - she did clarify that for me. was my face red!

  5. I ordered from Sobe and went through the saaaame thing with the OOAK shadows :P

    I have a handful of shadows from her and to be honest, I don't reach for them all that often. To me, her best products are the face bits and the Gothstix. I have one in Panic, it's ridiculously creamy and I LOVE the colour.

    I've been wanting to try her primer for a while, I might have to now ;) her Illusionist powder is luuuurvely, I have the tinted version and I use it everyday to combat my oily skin and the humidity.

    Ordering from the U.S. is always tricky. Sometimes I get packages in 10 days, sometimes it takes over 3 weeks. So weird.

    How have I not found your blog before?! You live in Perth, you like makeup and comics? Do I know who you are? :P

  6. You almost certainly do, Perth is too small :p are you familiar with luke milton at all? he tends to be my link to most circles...

    I've tentatively tried the oil control powder, and it seems really nice, but it needs to cool down before it gets a proper evaluation. night minerals hasn't happened yet. I'm going to ask for a sample of illusionist next order... heard good things :)

    And items shipped from the UK are the antidote to US shipping - a week usually. Book Depository has spoiled me hugely

  7. I do not know this Luke Milton! Maybe we DON'T know each other! *gasp*

    Book Depository = <3

  8. perth must have gotten bigger! or else we haven't found the connection yet...O_o