AFK Cosmetics had a brilliant idea along with some of the Redditors over on the Indiemakeupandmore (IMAM) subreddit to create an indie advent calendar that would include little wrapped gifts for 12 days of Christmas! Dena made it happen, but it was so last minute that she could only have 30 of these calendars made. And I snagged one!
AFK Cosmetics is an indie cosmetics company specializing in eyeshadow and lip products that are mostly video game themed! Dena is the owner, and she is based in Washington.
In the rush to get one of 30 of these, I think I and a few others assumed the products would all be exclusive to this calendar. But, the listing for it clearly states that some of the colors would be exclusive, and it would include samples, minis, and some full size items.
How cute is all the wrapping!? Dena did a great job wrapping it all and making it feel like a special experience, even if I unwrapped it all at once instead of doing one a day. And I love that there was a handwritten card included, addressed to me. Just some great personal touches that I really enjoyed.
Shipping - These calendars were supposed to ship no later than the end of November, but Dena was still waiting on an item that hadn't arrived yet, so they shipped at the beginning of December. It arrived via USPS 3 days after it shipped, from Washington to California.
Product Size - There were some sample bags, some minis, the perfumes were all minis or samples, one full size lip product, and one full size eyeshadow.
Free Samples - There were no free samples included with the calendar, other than some candy.
Day 1: Dawn Eyes Cosmetics Red Chrome - ($0.50) "Bright red base with a silvery sheen, very bold and bright!"
I just the other day discovered I have a mild allergy to carmine. I was so sad since red is my favorite color, and I love red eyeshadow. But, allergy be damned, I'll just wear this shadow over extra primer! And it's so pretty too, perhaps I can find a way to rock this.
Day 2: Darling Clandestine Tyto - ($6) "Bright, tart pomegranate, blinks of green undergrowth and a tangled suite of woods, including a divinely excellent oud from Sumbawa, courtesy of an Indonesian friend."
This is a duplicate product for me, I already have this scent and I reviewed it here. I think it was my least favorite of the three special Black Friday offered Itsy Bitsy vials Darling Clandestine offered, but still a high quality perfume. Just too fruity for my liking this time of year. I think it would be better suited for me during the summer.
Day 3: Blackbird Cosmetics Dog Days - ($1) "Medium, mid toned exactly neutral brown."
I just received a sample of this the other day from my indie Secret Santa, so I'll probably be gifting this extra. It's a great neutral matte brown shade though, which Blackbird Cosmetics is known for their mattes.
Day 4: Beauty Bar Baby Stiletto Lip Gloss - ($2) "A shimmery strawberry red shade."
Wow, this is now the third Beauty Bar Baby lip gloss I've received in something indie I've purchased. It's a pretty color, I just don't know how I feel about the consistency of these. I've been really digging mattes and lipsticks for this time of year, so my glosses have been a little unloved lately. I hope to get a chance to try their eyeshadow soon since I've heard such good things about it, but haven't tried it yet.
Day 5: Hello Waffle Ho Ho Hodor ($3.25) *Exclusive*
Seriously. This shadow from Hello Waffle is named Ho Ho Hodor...seriously? That's pretty much the best thing ever. I think the calendar was worth it just to get this exclusive shade! Look at the dark purple with a strong bluish purple shift...gasp! I love it!
Day 6: AFK Cosmetics Let It Snow, Let It Snow - ($5) "A metallic icy blue/green with silver and blue sparkles."
This wasn't a completely exclusive shade, as it was available in a set for Black Friday. But I didn't buy that set, and I did buy some of the other stuff, so I'm really glad I got a new shade! Plus how cute is that snowflake label art?
Day 7: Smelly Yeti Proserpine - ($2) "Proserpine is the Roman name for Persephone, one of my favorite figures in Greek mythology. It's moody and spooky and...girl, it was obvious that pomegranate seeds count as food. Be thankful that your mom knows how to negotiate because you CLEARLY broke the rules. Dark and deep pomegranate mingles with cool and twisty caverns; a hint of gloomy underworld grounds and balances this scent."
This kind of smells like medicine to me. It seems a little bitter, not much fruitiness to it. Or kind of like licorice? I'm not sure what it is giving it that scent, but I certainly don't smell much pomegranate. I don't think I like it. Which is too bad, considering this is my first perfume from Smelly Yeti. After dry down it smells more like pomegranate but it feels very heady. It's really strong too, headache inducing for me. Nope, I definitely don't like this one.
Day 8: Sixteen92 Toasted Marshmallow - ($4.50) "Everyone’s favorite hot chocolate topping, gooey marshmallows lightly toasted over a campfire."
I've written a full review on this scent here, and overall I like it. I wish this would have been a different scent that I didn't have, but I bought all of the winter scents so what can you do. I'll probably gift this one to a friend.
Day 9: Notoriously Morbid Visions - ($1.25) "A bright peach with electric yellow to green shift."
I already have this shade, which I reviewed here, so this will probably be gifted or traded. It doesn't feel very Christmasy to me. I wish they would have included a different color that was more for the theme, and not just a random color from the last collection they released. I know some others received a more festive color.
Day 10: Ten Three Labs Christmas Party Hop Smudge Stick - ($4) *Exclusive*
This smudge stick was more of an orangey brown than it looks in the photo. I had some issues applying it, as the edges of the stick just came off and left little globs on my lips that I had to remove. But once that was taken care of it went on more smoothly. But I thought it was a little too thin for me. Even though it's in an oval lip balm tube which I love for how much easier they are to apply, you can see from my swatch that it was still a little difficult to keep within my lip lines. This was scented like eggnog though!
Day 11: AFK Cosmetics Merry IMAM-ness - ($1.50) *Exclusive*
I think this was my favorite of all the lip products for the calendar, it's a dark reddish brown shade. The formula was very moisturizing, and the color wanted to kind of cling to my lip lines a little bit, but as it warmed up it spread out very evenly. It's a little bit sheer, but just a beautiful dark reddish brown shade.
Day 12: Innocent+Twisted Alchemy Wintertide - ($3) *Exclusive*
Holy wow is this a beautiful icy blue shade! I was just so surprised by this one because in the clamshell it looked like a muted blue gray, but then bam! I'm so glad I got this shade, I'm going to have to use it for a Frozen type look as an eyeliner or something equally fun!
Overall, I paid $34 for this advent calendar including shipping, and received $34 worth of products total. However, I received 4 items that were dupes for me, which they will probably be gifted. There were 4 items that were completely exclusive to the calendar, and 2 others that were not exclusive, but can no longer be purchased. Do I think this was worth the value if everything in it was new to you? Maybe, if you liked everything you received. Do I think it was worth it for me after getting 4 duplicate items I've already tried? Probably not. I think I just thought there would be more in the calendar that was completely exclusive, and would not be items I just bought within the last month or so. Am I glad I now own an eyeshadow called "Ho Ho Hodor"? Hell yes.
Customer Service - I did not have to contact Dena about any problems with this order. I thought the personal greeting card was a nice touch. I do wish there was a more visible post about the delay in shipping these since the listing did state they would ship out by a certain time and they didn't because of a delay in Dena receiving one of the items for the calendar. Maybe an Etsy message to all of us? But it wasn't that big of a deal.
Availability - A few of the items were exclusive to the calendar, a few were not, but some of the shops are currently closed. For the items that were not exclusive and the shop is currently closed, you will probably have to wait until January to get any of those items.
Overall Satisfaction - I liked a lot of the exclusive stuff, but received too many dupes. If I had known what was in this calendar I probably would not have paid $30 for it, but my favorites were Ho Ho Hodor, Merry IMAM-ness, and Wintertide.
What did you think of AFK Cosmetics' 12 Days of IMAM Advent Calendar? Let me know in the comments!
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