I first heard of Madd Style Cosmetics (MSC) through one of my favourite beauty bloggers, who gave the products pretty good reviews. The only downfall in her eyes was the customer base, based on some old drama on another blog. Some people came to the conclusion of, “Boy, I would never!” I think “never!” is an unfair statement — especially if a company is always growing and evolving into something better. So I put MSC on my list of “things to buy”, and made my first purchase a while later. I’m rather glad I did.
I wound up getting a great deal on some samples (10 for $5), and an Iced Mocha Lip Balm ($2.75). I wanted to pick up a good variety of colours, so rather than stick to all blue or green (like I have a bad habit of doing!), I chose Electric Koolaid, Outlaw Star, Bam! Rock!, Fake Bake, Boognish, Disco Biscuit, Nana’s Tea Party, TRON, Tank Girl, and Goathead Redd. All “Madd Piggiez” samples were packaged in clamshells, which rocks my world, because I loathe baggies. Some people complain that clamshells are messy, but all you have to do is tap the container a few times on the counter to knock the product down to the bottom. After you’ve got your product tapped down, open it by pressing the bottom down on the counter, and slowly lift the top with your fingernail. Much cleaner than baggies, which smear product all over my brushes, and easier to use, as you can swipe up every last milligram of product, rather than losing it in the corners.
One thing to note before we continue: I made my order shortly before a logo change, so the sugar skull motif is no longer around. Also, a few of the samples I ordered are now discontinued (Boognish and Electric Koolaid, and Fake Bake). However, there are a dizzying array of colours available, so if you like one of these swatches, there is probably a fairly similar offering in stock. Click on for swatches, shade play-by-play, and a shot of the products in action!
As always, all swatches are taken dry over Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion.
BOOGNISH: Discontinued. A blue-box Mac & Cheese sort of orange. It’s fairly sheer when applied dry, but packed with shimmer. If you’re familiar with MAC Acid Orange pigment, it’s strikingly similar, but leaning more to the yellow side of life.
FAKE BAKE: Discontinued, and I’m extremely sad about this. It was an incredibly beautiful neutral shade, with a nicely metallic sheen and a faint punch of orange for that tan-in-a-can sort of glam. Did I really just say that?
BAM! ROCK!: Described on the site as a “brick red”, I’d say it’s more of a mauve. But it’s not a mauve for your granny, unless your granny is a sexy robot. This dusty pinky-purple is extreme on shine.
OUTLAW STAR: The pink for people who just can’t get enough pink. Outlaw Star is a hot, hot fuschia pink loaded with pink sparkle. This one is also pretty metallic, but not quite as ROBOT ROBOT ROBOT! as BAM! ROCK!
ELECTRIC KOOLAID: Discontinued. This shade was a blue-based purple with aqua shimmer. This was the only shadow out of the lot that I seriously disliked, because it behaved like most other purples I’ve tried (as in, it didn’t behave at all).
DISCO BISCUIT: A strong, primary blue with a very slight touch of teal shift, and positively PACKED with shimmer. This is definitely one of those shades that I would recommend using with Pixie Epoxy, but it’s still punchy enough without it.
TRON: I bought this one for its name, cos of YAY TRON!!1!one. This one is a nice, frosty teal with aqua shimmer. Last I heard, this one was going to be discontinued, but it’s still in stock as of this writing!
TANK GIRL: This is the other shade I bought solely for the name. Tank Girl is a classic, military “olive drab” with green shimmer. The site says it also has pink shimmer, but I did not notice this, myself.
GOATHEAD REDD: A basic, matte black packed with red micro-glitter. This one suffers patchy application problems like most matte blacks, and the glitter doesn’t really stick or come through unless you apply it over Pixie Epoxy.
I snapped about twenty shots of Goathead Redd with Pixie Epoxy, but couldn’t get a picture that really did it justice. You can only really tell that there’s red hanging around the edges in this photo, but it is evenly and quite heavily dispersed throughout.
NANA’S TEA PARTY wasn’t forgotten in the above swatches/play-by-play, but she’s a special colour that needs special attention. Nana is a pale blue duochrome which pops pink and purple when applied over a black base. The picture below doesn’t show how beautiful it is over black, but it will clue you in that “a difference exists, here”. Nana was swatched over UDPP, Kryolan White Aquacolor, and Wolfe Brothers Black Hydrocolor:
Application and Wear
These shadows were silky smooth and generally easy to apply, but I would say that pigmentation is a bit hit or miss. Boognish (discontinued), Disco Biscuit and Tank Girl needed to be built up quite a bit to achieve true-to-pot vibrancy. Goathead Redd and Electric Koolaid (discontinued) were a bit patchy, but I won’t hold that against MSC, as blacks and purples are notoriously bitchy to apply in even professional brands. The strongest players in my sample collection were the frosts, such as BAM! ROCK!, Fake Bake (discontinued), with TRON and Outlaw Star skating in close behind. The staying power of these shadows were rather impressive, too, as evidenced by the next snapshot. This was after swiping the shadows off with a makeup remover cloth:
For the most part, once you put them on, they’re staying put. Especially TRON. Which is good. TRON should never die. Not even when he’s Rinzler. Keep fighting for the Users, dude!
The final piece in my order doesn’t get an individual photo, because I didn’t think to snap a shot of it by itself before I started using it, and BOY HOWDY does it look used now. You really don’t want to see that. But just how do I feel about MSC’s Iced Mocha Lip Balm? The formula itself is quite nice: it’s silky smooth and very hydrating. It also packs a punch of ultra-fine shimmer — not so much that it looks completely gaudy, but just enough to give it a somewhat “glossy” quality. The scent is quite nice, too. Usually, when I see something claiming to be a “mocha coffee” fragrance, it leans far too heavily to the chocolate side of life. MSC’s lip balm leans to the actual coffee, which I love! My only beef with the product is that the product description suggests that the product is flavoured, when there was absolutely no flavour to this lip balm whatsoever. I was looking forward to some lip-smacking action, but was let down. Oh well. At least it smells nice.
Would I buy again? Despite the lack of flavour, I love the formula of MSC’s lip balms, so I definitely plan to pick up another tube once mine runs out. I’m also very interested in trying more of the duochromes and neutral eyeshadows, and I’m absolutely certain I need a full size helping of BAM! ROCK! in my collection (and Fake Bake, but my chance has come and gone, sniff sniff).
Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion
MSC ‘Fake Bake’ (Lid)
MSC ‘BAM! ROCK!’ (Outer Lid)
MSC ‘Outlaw Star’ (lightly in Crease)
MAC ‘Helium’ (Highlight)
Rimmel Professional Liquid Eye Liner ‘Ebony’
MAC Mineralize Satinfinish NC15
e.l.f. All Over Cover Stick ‘Apricot Beige’
e.l.f. Studio Blush ‘Tickled Pink’
Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder ‘Transparent’
MSC Lip Balm ‘Iced Mocha’