Mini Black Friday Haul: Rouge Bunny Rouge, Tom Ford, and NIOD Photography Fluid (12% Opacity)

This year, I managed to get through the Black Friday/Cyber Monday madness without giving in to too many impulse buys. Instead, I mainly started on my holiday shopping. Boring, but hey, even a beauty blogger has to be responsible sometimes. Christmas always seems to sneak up on me, inducing a state of panic in which I wake up the morning after Thanksgiving and - all of a sudden I realize I need to buy the tree, get hold of wrapping-paper, buy new ornaments and decorations for said tree (must be cat-proof, unlike last year's) - and, of course, presents, presents and more presents! Still, I didn’t want to totally miss out on the sales and attractive deals flowing into my inbox. So I picked up a couple of things, just for me.

Rouge Bunny Rouge

I’ve been a longtime fan of Rouge Bunny Rouge’s Diaphanous Powder and their Sea of Tranquility liquid highlighters, but somehow I’d never gotten around to trying their eyeshadows. Shocking, I know. As it happened, Rouge Bunny Rouge had a fantastic Black Friday sale with products going for as much as 70% off. In other words, it was the perfect time to rectify my RBR-eyeshadow-free-situation. To make things even more convenient, RBR sells ‘refill pans’ of many of their eyeshadows, which can be stored in their custom-made magnetic Eye Keeper palettes, available in both Duo and Trio sizes. I love singles but I don’t depot stuff EVER and as for storage, let’s just say it’s something of an issue at this point. Moving on swiftly...

Conveniently - and also, as usual - Emily was on hand to weigh in on the contents of my order and tell me which shades were non-optional buys. (Emily is my No. 1 enabler btw.) .

Clockwise from top left: Solstice Halycyon, Sweet Dust Seriema, Papyrus Canary, Umber Firefinch, Chestnut-napped Apalis, Abyssinian Catbird

Fair warning, Rouge Bunny Rouge’s product names are...not the most succinct and can be a bit of a mouthful. Highly flourished? Well, no, more like bird-inspired. Each of RBR’s eyeshadows is named after a species of bird and, man, do birds get given long a** names. I guess one could say it’s rather whimsical but I find it quite ornate and frou-frou myself. While I appreciate the whole Neo-Victorian vibe that RBR has going, it makes actually talking and writing about their products a bit...well, annoying. The bird-inspired shades I ended up with from this particular Black Friday haul were as follows:

  • Papyrus Canary
  • Chestnut-napped Apalis
  • Abyssinian Catbird
  • Umber Firefinch
  • Sweet Dust Seriema
  • Solstice Halcyon

First Impressions - Formula:

Three of the shadows I bought are categorized as mattes - Papyrus Canary, Sweet Dust Seriema, and Chestnut-Napped Apalis. Meanwhile, Solstice Halcyn and Umber Firefinch are satins, and Abyssinian Catfird is a metallic. The mattes are semi-opaque and feel VERY light and almost airy, while the satins are a bit more opaque upon initial application. The mattes can be built up but are definitely on the subtle side- however they blend so easily and seamlessly with no chalkiness that they’re very easy to work with. Abyssinian Catbird, the metallic, feels heavier and almost creamy- it’s also extremely pigmented, definitely the one with the most “wow factor” out of the 6. (Also the one Emily said was non-optional). The satin shades felt somewhere in between, and out of all of them Umber Firefinch was the only one i needed to spend a little time blending. The end result was not patchy so this is a minor complaint, the other shades just blended so effortlessly that I noticed in comparison.


Abyssinian Catbird: Dirty olive bronze-gold. Gorgeous texture, unusual color, and extremely metallic. It almost looks foiled (and I’m betting it will look stunning applied foiled with a damp brush). Opaque at first swipe.

Papyrus Canary: A super basic cream colored shadow. I probably wouldn’t have bought this full price but I can always use something like this as a base shade or for blending as it’s close to skin color for me and has a hint of a yellow undertone. Semi-opaque and most importantly for these types of shades-not chalky.

Sweet-Dust Seriema: Cool mauve-undertoned taupe. I’m a sucker for these type of shades and always want to make them work for me so badly. Luckily I can pull mauve off on my eyes much better than I can on my lips. It pulls quite purple on me which most mauves do but AHHH it’s so pretty. Like a wispy fog. I can’t wait to try this with Solstice Halycon.

Solstice Halcyon: Taupe beige satin, it’s glowy without glitter. My first impression was that it looked boring in the pan but it’s not. Solstice Halcyon is mostly opaque at first swipe but is easily built up.

Umber Firefinch: Cool, muted, iridescent brown. Quite dark compared to my other selections and I thought it would look too harsh on me buuut it’s beautiful. I’ll be using this as a liner and smoked out on the lower lashline as well.

Chestnut-napped Apalis: This one is...not chestnut, it’s more yellow leaning than reddish, and chestnut brown tends to mean reddish-brown, as in the nut of a chestnut tree. Quite neutral on me, definitely doesn’t read warm at all. This is a buildable and lovely crease color. The name makes more sense once you look at an actual Chestnut Throated Apalis, which have mostly gray plumage with a beautiful patch of yellow-brown feathers at their throats.

I can see that these RBR eyeshadows are clearly the beginning of a real problem for me. The textures are simply lovely, the colors ethereal and complex but not overwhelming. Honestly, I love eyeshadows but they’re not my favorite makeup product (that would be lipstick) but I was genuinely sighing over these. I stuck with mostly neutrals this time around because I am boring (except Abyssinian Catbird) but maybe next time I’ll venture in some blues? Greens? Who knows! I’ve got my eye on Angelic Cockatiels.* Ok Rouge Bunny Rouge, you got me, whimsical long-winded names and all.

* Fun side note, I have never in my life seen Cockatiels (or Cockatoos, Parrots, Lorikeets, etc) outside of a zoo or pet store until I went to Australia, where they are EVERYWHERE. My friends shoo away flocks of glorious Sulfur Crested Cockatoos from their feeders, birds that sell for 2k apiece around here. They’re practically the pigeons of Australia and I’m extremely jealous of AU’s good bird fortune. Look at this cheeky bugger in my cousin's backyard!

A Little More Tom Ford:

I had to pick up a new Tom Ford Eye Defining Liquid Liner Pen (otherwise known as liquid liner); this is a gift for my friend who simply loves mine and *very* rudely has a birthday just 2 weeks before Christmas, but I’m including it to just note that I can’t believe I bought this thing twice. I’ll wait while you google the price.

See? I just don’t wear liquid eyeliner enough to justify repurchasing it myself, although it’s a great liner, don’t get me wrong. Anyway, while in the Tom Ford section I figured I might as well get another of the new Private Shadows, so I bought Videotape in the Suede finish, and I’ve swatched it alone and alongside the other shades I have.

The finish is consistent with Hush, the other Suede shade I have, but there seems to be a very small amount of random microglitter interspersed throughout. It’s a warm reddish brown, like mahogany or chocolate burgundy. Very pretty, smooth, and richly pigmented. Why glitter tho??? Luckily it’s not noticeable on the eyes (so far, will test out more).

I’d like to add an addendum to my Tom Ford Private Shadows sneak-peek from a few weeks ago (find it here). I found the shadows pretty blendable at the time and noted they weren’t WOW IN YOUR FACE OPAQUE PIGMENTATION at first swipe but they could be built up to be… well, you know how sometimes hard packed powder products like shadows and blushes can have almost a harder layer on top and then once you get through that it’s not as...hard? Now I don’t recommend like, scraping off the top layer of your $36 eyeshadow singles. I’m not (totally) insane. It only took a few uses for me to notice they were coming up a LOT more pigmented at first swipe, so no drastic measures necessary. The difference is even noticeable in my Paillette finish shade, Camera Obscura. I had to really build that one up in my swatches in my initial post, and pat it on over glitter primer. This photo has no primer and is just a swipe or two. Still a bit sheerer than the other finishes but it’s one of the glitter shades so that’s to be expected.

So give the Tom Ford shadows a few good swipes, you don't have to be gentle with them as you would be with a softer, powdery shadow (like the RBR). Overall, between these and the RBR singles, my glittery urges have been satiated momentarily and I’m very pleased with everything. Word of warning though, I’ve now heard from several people who swatched all 30 Tom Ford shades in person, that 2 of the Paillettes- Black Onyx and Emerald Sun- are not up to standard i.e. they are huge duds. So if you’re interested in those, maybe check them out first to see if it’s something you can work with.

NIOD Photography Fluid 12% Opacity:

Apparently this will make me look like a photoshopped 20 year old. I need to test it out further to give my full review, first impression is it’s a white liquid, similar in consistency to a thicker serum, that applies smoothly and on it’s own gives a luminous, slightly yellow/gold sheen to the skin. You can use it by itself, mixed in with or applied underneath foundation. It’s supposed to be a “skin perfector” type product that reflects light in an such a way that imperfections are blurred, with perhaps a bit of color correction thrown in. Lots of science-talk thrown around, like “Nano-Prismatic Yellow-Red Hue Corrector” and “Surface Mesh Adherence Technology”. Sure. I’m excited to test it out! Anyone else tried this? Let me know in the comments! I love the packaging as well.

Click here to see my updated thoughts on the NIOD Photography Fluid (hint- it's good)! It also made Emily's list of slam-dunk winners for Fall 2017.

I also made a Dermstore order for some presents and some items from Smith & Cult and By Terry for myself but we’re going to cover those brands more in depth in the coming months so I’ll leave it here for now. I was pretty proud of myself for not going full “blackout” on the sales, and I almost made it! Until I was checking out the Koyudo brushes sale on cdJapan and Emily helpfully(?) pointed out that the holiday 2017 Konayuki Collection was still available and they only made 180 sets so…. Look, I said I ALMOST made it! LOOK AT THE PRESS RELEASE !!! I was powerless to resist. They are still en-route from Japan, I’ll be sure to review and photograph them once I’ve finished rubbing them gently all over my face. Stay tuned!

Did you splurge or somehow manage to control yourself on Black Friday? Let me know in the comments!