I discovered Notoriously Morbid on the subreddit Indiemakeupandmore, which has introduced me to a new world of makeup I never even knew existed. I happened to be perusing the sub around early March and someone had posted a thread announcing a sale in the Notoriously Morbid Etsy shop, so I went to investigate and was subsequently caught in Notoriously Morbid's shimmery, dark lure. Reddit is a goldmine.
Based out of West Virgina, Notoriously Morbid is a 1-3 woman shop producing cosmetics catered to those with an affinity for the macabre, mysterious, and morbid (duh). As I looked at their offerings more and more, the product names reawakened the sad 14YO still living somewhere inside me (ask my parents, they'll tell you I was dreadfully woeful back then). Offerings are named for Dr. Who, A Christmas Tale, and Knights of the Round Table, to name a few cultural references.
Notoriously Morbid has their own site and an Etsy shop. Their Facebook presence remains current, and though they have a Twitter profile, it hasn't seen activity for a few months. After poking around their Etsy shop, reading other reviews on Reddit, and seeing swatches of shadows from other bloggers, I was tempted to place an order.
I purchased one beauty blogger package, which entails a full jar (5g) in a color of my choice and then 5 samples in baggies (usually 1/4 tsp). Beyond this, I ordered some mini jars (1g) in a few other colors. Though I was first introduced to this brand via Etsy, I ended up ordering directly from their website because there were more options/visibility to all they offered.
Shopping, Service, and Shipping//
All in all, a pleasant experience though challenging at times if only because of the website's UI/UX, which is generally just a thing for indie shops: usually, the websites are not very user-friendly. That aside, the turnaround time was as expected: I ordered 7 March and it arrived 24 March, which is a pretty standard window for small shops. The order was sealed in a padded manila envelope with the mini jars plastic wrapped and the beauty blogger package in its own baggie. Carrie, the main shop head, wrote me a thank you note on the invoice and included a chocolate. 10 million gold stars for such a lovely gesture.
At first, I was a bit unsure whether sample sizes would be worth it. I had a difficult time envisioning their volume/quantity prior to arrival, but I'm happy to say that sample sizes of product are PLENTIFUL. Samples are a great way to try shadows prior to purchasing larger sizes. Because product wearability and lifetime can vary from indie brand to indie brand, samples are a nice bridge for first time wear. Everything in the baggies will last a long time, at least 20 individual applications. Don't even get me started on how long the jars will last. If it sounds like 1/4tsp or 1g ain't shit, let me assure you that it is more than you might think.
Color Payoff and Wearability//
Phenomenal pigmentation! What you see in the swatches above are the colors spread over a layer of Urban Decay Primer Potion (which I use daily). In general, I am very impressed with the color payoff, though with some colors you need multiple passes to layer on the effect given their sheerer nature. Fallout was minimal and the initial swipe with a brush yields an even and pigmented application (particularly for the darker/bolder colors). After the Tuesday delivery, I wore NM throughout the week to get an idea of their wear time. When I went to remove my makeup before bedtime (12+ hours after initially putting it on), there was minimal fading and only some creasing. SRSLY HELLA IMPRESSIVE.
Swatches and Such//
All photos are taken using natural light without a flash. The photos above of individual jars correlate to those swatches on the arm (standalone photo of Kilgharrah not available, because derp I forgot) in order of application. In general, the color descriptions on their site are VERY accurate, with only a minor discrepancy here and there due to personal opinion.
13 Black Rainbows: a delicious black with microsparkles to create a veritable goth glitter. I wore it the other day and it provided such a soft look to the eyes. To really get the glitter to show, use a glitter primer and apply several layers.
Hearts of Black Lace: a deep, blackened maroon with slight shimmer, maybe almost deep purple or burgundy depending on how one might see it. Have not yet worn this, but I imagine it'd be lovely pitted against a little black dress ensemble.
Kilgharrah: named for the wise dragon of Camelot, this is a warm brown with green and gold glitter and duochrome. Haven't worn it yet, but am eagerly awaiting an opportunity (gotta coordinate with the clothing, after all).
Melancholy One: this one blows my mind. It looks purpley-taupe in the jar but then applies true blue with an orange shift. I noticed that as I worked it into the skin, the blue overtook the taupe color. Watching the color transformation was really neat. Maybe patting it on would keep the taupe intact, but I think this is one hell of a well crafted shadow. Such wizardry to achieve this chameleon effect. I wore this under some glitter.
Stripper Zombie: just like I imagined it to be, a bright green like pretty zombie girl flesh with gold sparkles. Apply two layers for that undead allure.
Belle's Bounty: with a nod to Disney, Belle's Bounty is a bright pure gold. Stunning.
Garmonbozia: another wild card shadow that appears yellow (think maize yellow) in the jar, but then softens into a chestnut finish with a slight icy blue shift. It's subtle, which I like. On brown eyes like mine, the chestnut enhance the eye color overall while the subtle blue works to compliment the brown for extra emphasis.
Tempest: a delightfully feminine hue that is peachy pink with shimmer. It arrived just in time for summer.
Dita: named for the beloved Dita Von Teese, this shadow is a sultry red with purple tendencies. It's in between shimmery and matte finish.
Quiet in the Dark: the color of a drawing chamber, perfect for brooding. It is a rose-colored red with hints of gold. The website says it applies duochrome, but I couldn't quite capture/duplicate it. Still lovely, though.
Shoes to Kill For: naturally named for the witch who rocked those fabulous ruby heels. This is a bright and true red with sparkles.
Victorian Gypsy: a soft, sheer pink that is girly and playful with a metallic tendency and gold sparkles. Ooh la la.
Witch With a Wand: mom and aunts, this color was named for you. The website description claims it to be a neutral, light brown with pink shimmer, but I find it's nearly identical to Victorian Gypsy, as they are both a sheer pink icing sort of color. The difference between them is subtle, but whoever heard of having too much pink eyeshadow?
British Blondes: cheers, darlings, to a color honoring the fair maidens overseas whose flaxen hair color is captured in this light yellow shadow. Silver and gold shimmer/sparkles throughout. Dainty yet feisty.
Trench Coat: perfect for daily wear, this color is a shimmery taupe with a bit of silver sheen. A step up from a boring (though utilitarian) brown. I used it in this look and was very pleased.
Rain on Cold Glass: a perfect harmony of gold and silver with a ton of shimmer; it does capture the blurriness of a window caught in a rain storm. There is the occasional flash of blue.
Lizard on a Window Pane: the name alone was the reason I purchased this, but its description sold me as well: light brown shimmer with subtle green. Very sheer. Like Kilgharrah's younger sibling. Interesting how they are both named for lizard creatures, no?
No More a Witch: the swatch above does not accurately capture this color's depth. It's a rich metallic brown with flashes of bluish green. VERY similar to the effect given off by MAC Club.
Look Upon Me: inspired by the Ghost of Christmas Past (yikes), this shadow appears to be a muted muavish color, only to apply metallic blue/purple. Much like with Melancholy One, a light tapping application might keep the original color intact if you so wanted, but I like the surprising nature of these two shadows.
Morgana: a bright color with equal amounts of blue and purple. On my skin, it renders more blue but it looks much more purple in the package.
10/10, due to customer service and color payoff. I am very pleased with my first order and delighted at the color payoff and lifetime of the shadows. I appreciate shop owners who are a) dedicated to this craft, and b) are inspired by literature. I've noticed this to be a trend amongst indie shops, for many collections are named after books or series or video games (nerd life + makeup love = the reason indie shops are rad). Always will I have an appreciation for the morbid in my heart, and this shop caters successfully to a niche market by producing quality makeup at an amazingly affordable price. From the handwritten note to the lasting wear of the colors, Notoriously Morbid's commitment to quality is evident every step of the way. I look forward to supporting their business as a repeat customer. If you're curious about Notoriously Morbid, turn your intrigue into action and make a purchase.