Saturday, June 28, 2014

Review / How-to: Product Hacks and The Rock and Roll Eye with Inika Mineral Eyeshadow

By Randi Reed

Disclosure: I received this product in my Birchbox as part of my regular subscription, which I pay for. The Birchbox referral link at the end of this article earns Birchbox points toward my purchases, which I then use to purchase more products to review. All Birchbox subscribers receive points when someone purchases from their referral link.

Ahh, the perfect Rock and Roll Eye…a look that seems so exact in your head when you plan your makeup but is so elusive when you actually sit down to do it. Less refined than the Smokey Eye, the Rock and Roll Eye is more Punk than Classic Hollywood.  Accessible enough even for male rock performers to use in their onstage looks, the Rock and Roll Eye is part smoke, part smudge. A little messy, but not a hot mess. Lived-in without looking too slept in, with just enough metallic to keep things interesting:

Motley Crue's Nikki Sixx  (Photo: unknown, via Gibson website).

A closer view.

Avril Lavigne sporting a Rock and Roll Eye. (Photo: unknown, via Rocket Dog.)

Recently, a sample arrived in my monthly Birchbox that helps achieve a Rock and Roll Eye with minimal fuss: Inika Mineral Eyeshadow.

Available in ten matte and shimmer shades, the one I received, Eternal Marine, is the perfect year-round metallic. A smudgy gray-green reminiscent of tarnished metal, its green shift has enough iridescence to make your eyes catch the light without being too over-the-top glam.

As an added bonus, Inika Mineral Eyeshadow is 100% vegan, cruelty-free, Halal, and free of parabens, fillers and many of the irritating ingredients often found in some mineral cosmetics (bismuth, I’m talking to you). I especially like that Inika uses certified organic ingredients, and that it didn’t irritate my skin or contact lenses.

Inika Mineral Eyeshadow (Photo: Randi Reed/Cosme-Haul).
Shade: Eternal Marine, on Bright White printer paper in full sun. Can you see the green in there? (Photo: Randi Reed/Cosme-Haul).
Eternal Marine Blended out and unblended, on the same paper, next to a tarnished dime. (Photo: Randi Reed/Cosme-Haul.)
If you’re unaccustomed to using loose mineral eyeshadow, it takes a little getting used to, but the learning curve is short. (Shake a tiny bit into the lid, moosh it around and apply it with your finger, blend it out a little, and you're good to go.).

Also, the loose powder texture and lack of fillers in Inika Mineral Eyeshadow make it hackable for many different looks. Here are six other ways I've tried it:

.Apply it over a primer or not. 2.Apply it with a dry brush. 3.Blend it out to a watercolor-like sheer for an ethereal look. 4. Layer several of the shimmer colors for a “beetle shell” look. 5.Apply a shimmery shade as a topper for a matte eyeshadow. 6.Mix it into another Inika loose mineral eyeshadow color to create a whole new hue.

The blendable texture of the loose powder would also make it easy to use several shades for an ombre or  multicolor eye:
Roberto Cavalli runway look, 2012 (Photo: unknown)

Inika Mineral Eyeshadow's shimmer shades would also be great for the Shimmer and Sparkle trend, as featured in Lucky magazine and on the Lucky blog.

Then there are the wet-brush possibilities: You can apply it with a wet brush to intensify the pigments, or mix it into a paste with a little distilled water or eye liner transforming liquid to use it as an eyeliner or creamy shadow. Hacks galore!

But I digress...We were supposed to be talking about using Inika Mineral Eyeshadow powder to create a Rock and Roll Eye. Here's how I do it:

Shake a few grains of the product into the lid of the jar or into a clean, shallow-welled mixing palette, moosh it around in a circular motion with your clean index finger or pinkie,  and use your finger to apply it to the eyelids, blending to just above the crease for a slightly smudgy look. Then go back and blend with a clean finger.
Smudge a little of the shadow under your lower lashes with a damp Q-tip, and blend that with a clean pinkie finger.

You could stop there, but it's so much better if you rim your eyes with a black smudgy pencil or gel eyeliner. You can also add black liner to your waterline for a more "piercing" look, if you like. Add a coat or two of mascara, and you're done. (I like volumizing mascara for this look.) If you're wearing this for an onstage look, be sure your mascara and liner are waterproof.

If you're a guy who's not doing drag, you'll probably want to skip the mascara unless you have light-colored lashes. Totally up to you, though--there's no judgment here. And practice before show day--not 30 minutes before you hit the stage. You don't want to look like you got caught playing with someone's makeup.

You will see the skin texture with this shade of Inika Mineral Eyeshadow, so applying a line-filling eye primer first is a good idea, unless you don’t mind obsessing over eyelid lines and wrinkles you never knew you had. For dry skin, you can try a bit of plumping eye cream instead, letting it sink in for a few minutes before applying your shadow. Everyone’s skin has different texture, moisture needs, and shadow staying power, so experiment to find what works best for you.

See how it melds with the texture of the paper? (Photo: Randi Reed/Cosme-Haul.)
For a rock and roll eye that's more forgiving of skin texture, you can apply line-filling primer, then your favorite smooth-textured dark matte shadow on the lids, blending as far up toward the crease as you like. Then top your shadow with the tiniest dot of Inika Mineral Eyeshadow in the center of the lids, just above your pupils, blending so you can’t really tell where it is. (It should be just a little “something” that brings light to the eyes without highlighting imperfections.) This takes a little practice, but when you find the right placement and amount of the mineral shadow, it’s really effective. Add liner and mascara as above, and you're done.

For more pop, you can use a glossy black liner pencil, or one in a slightly metallic black, or a mixture of black and metallic black.

As for the mess of working with loose powder shadows,
one of the reasons I prefer using my finger to apply Inika Mineral Eyeshadow is that when you use the right amount, the warmth of your fingers helps it melt into the skin and makes it easier to control the application, reducing fall-out.

ou can also minimize the mess by keeping the protective sticker over the sifter opening during storage, and by shaking out just enough for one eye at a time into your jar lid or mixing vessel. I also hold my breath while dispensing and applying the product. (It’s light enough to scatter if you breathe on it, and you definitely don’t want to inhale it.) I make a lot more of a mess with loose finishing powder, so it's not a major issue.

(Photo: Randi Reed/Cosme-Haul.)
This is makeup for people who like to play, so if you’re looking for eyeshadow that does exactly what you want the first time you try it, Inika Mineral Eyeshadow may not be your thing. But given this product's long staying power and multiple uses, if you’re willing to experiment or enjoy discovering how many ways you hack your makeup, Inika Mineral Eyeshadow may turn out to be one of your favorites. Given that it takes so little product, fortunately the little jar will last through a lot of experiments...or at least an entire tour!

Oh, and if you're a guy who wandered in looking for stage makeup tips? Don't worry; the package isn't too terribly girly:

Inika Mineral Eyeshadow, Eternal Marine, Available at Brichbox. (Photo: Randi Reed/Cosme-Haul.)

Would I buy this again? Definitely, but it takes so little of the product I probably won't have to. Will I be wearing this when I go out to see Motley on tour later this summer? Oh, yeah!

Score: 9 out of 10.

Available at Birchbox in ten shades (matte and shimmer), including a rock and roll grey-black called "Thunder."

If you’d like a Birchbox subscription, click here for an invitation:

(If you use this Birchbox invitation link to subscribe, I earn Birchbox points toward my purchases, which I use to purchase more products to review. All Birchbox subscribers receive points when someone purchases from their referral link.)

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