Blackbird Alliance eyeshadow: my sad and woeful disappointment

Blackbird Alliance pigment built up a ton and blended over bare skin, then primer, then thinly applied over bare skin again.
Please note the photos in this post have been adjusted for lighting tint using photoshop to make the colors of the product appear to true life. However, the product has not been enhanced, saturated or otherwise improved in any way.
I am usually not that easily disappointed. I somehow tend to be a weird "it could be worse" optimist, in a large contrast to my cynic teen days, so now more than ever I can tolerate a good "oh, well that's unexpected" type of twist. I don't actually remember being legitimately disappointed in an indie product before, which is why this post is a little sad and weird for me, but I think it needs to be reviewed. It's not even for purchase anymore, so this review doesn't serve much purpose besides general feedback and opinion, but sometimes you gotta just put everything out there, right? So here it goes.

Alliance was a Limited run pigment from Blackbird, I believe it was a custom shade that was whipped up for another customer and the remainder of the batch was put into the shop and sold as a Limited color. I am super into anything cobalt-colored, so I jumped on it right away, and also threw a jar of my beloved Atlas in the cart too.

For contrast, Blackbird's Atlas, over primer and bare skin, not overly built up.
While Atlas is still going strong for me, sadly the love between Alliance and myself has been short-lived. Just simply put: it doesn't work. At all. Even applied and built up over primer it blends out rather sheerly and loses intensity and becomes terribly patchy. Without primer, that intensity is even shorter lived. Even with a mountain's worth of packing and blending and repacking, it's still nowhere what I'd hoped for or expected. Blackbird's new formula does seem to "stick" a little less than the old one, thus making for easier blending and sacrificing a bit of pigment punch, but this is neither here nor there. It's not easy to blend or pigmented. It's just...unworkable for me.

Alliance over bare skin and blended out a bit with a finger vs reformulated Atlas, also blended with finger.
When I sat down to photograph for this review I'd actually just received my Notoriously Morbid Say Me Wave 4 mattes, and while I (personally) dislike comparing companies head to head (it feels uncomfortable for me, I suppose, since I'd rather judge a formula on its own merits rather than on comparing it to how it performs vs others) I've used one of them just to compare the difference and highlight the problems with this pigment. I couldn't think of another way to really demonstrate just how difficult it is.

NM Watcher to Father vs Blackbird Alliance
I applied both NM's Watcher to Father, which is a dark navy-ish matte and Blackbird's Alliance over primer and then attempted to blend them out. You can see easily the difference, especially if you look closely at Alliance:

Blackbird Alliance over primer.
Where as Watcher to Father blended out fairly smoothly (there are a few small bumps, but nothing that probably couldn't be fixed with patience) Alliance took some effort, sticks in some places and just overall ends up fairly patchy. Compared to both my other Blackbird mattes and mattes from other companies as well, I feel this just does not do it for me at all. I'm not sure if perhaps Horde, the red half to this custom order, fares better. I hope perhaps this is just a one-off, a "bad day" of products so to speak, and that future limited custom batches will be more on par with Blackbird's regular shadows.

That said, I am super grateful to Alliance mostly because it pushed me to make an order in which I ordered a sample of Half-Full, which is my new favorite primer/transition/base/browbone/everything shade. I've got a pressed pan of it on the way and I really am excited for that!

Where to buy: If you'd like to check out Blackbird's regular selection of matte shadows, they're available here on their website.


Post a Comment



peachy noon

Meet The Author

Noon. 25. American born, Finland residing. I really love dogs.