Personally, I loved them. I received the entire full size 80 shade set as a contest win via Facebook. It made my heart just leap for joy when I opened them and I've just had a ball with so many vibrant colours every day since. Thank you again, Kristen. I've not seen such generosity and people can say what they will, human errors aside, she was always giving back. Thank you. P.S. I don't think Kristen sees my blog really, so this isn't some odd suckup; I really appreciate it any time I receive a gift. Golden rule, girls. Works every time.
As for controversial...they were supposed to be reformulated and it didn't happen. AL is closing and this collection was marked down 50% for a while until it was no longer available. So sadly, unless someone is selling some online or you get a trade, these shades are gone for good. It's a real loss as they're wonderful eyeshadows.
Also, there was some discussion on ingredients in some colours and whether they were cosmetically safe. To be straightforward, I honestly don't care all that much because if I obsessed over what was in everything I used, I might go nuts. If that's laissez-faire, so be it. It's my call. I looked at the jars and the questionable ingredients (dyes) were stated as 'may contain' in every jar. If that's considered a 'cop out' well, again, not for me to speculate upon. I'm not a formulator of makeup and I like them regardless. I'm not an expert on what's 'safe' and what's 'unsafe'. Besides, the ingredients were listed. Bah, all I know is whether it bugs me or not when I wear it or worse case scenario, my eye falls out and then I magically have double the life for my shadows, yippee!
I did have some reaction to some reds. I've read others have as well. If this is due to ingredients, then AL is not the only company to have products cause reactions due to formula. It's not my call to pinpoint as to why I'm having a reaction as I'm not a chemist. So, all I can say is that I did a Valentine look and used Personality Crisis, Newrose, and Teenagekicks. After the LOTD my eyes were watery and itchy and I had a bit of redness. It could've been some staining, but I did have irritation. However, it went away by that evening, so no harm no foul. I've had similar reactions to other companies as well. Perhaps, red pigmentation and my eyes are not a match made in heaven.
But enough discussion, on to the swatches!
MONSTRO comparison chart if you're willing to take a look. I had so much fun making it. I felt like I was paying tribute in a way to a great collection. I'm sad it's not available anymore. Here are some closer shots and swatches on skin. All were taken outdoors, full sun (sorry sometimes my other arm holding the camera made a shadow. Ces la vie)
The yellows weren't as vivid as it would seem. I had to foil liberally and they all paled out. But maybe with a white base or a MAC paint pot, they'd glow. Try it and tell me! Some of the photos will stretch into the sidebar, but I wanted them to be visible, do bear with.
Ah, the pinks and reds. My favorite of this whole set. Newrose is dang near electric red-pink. Iwantcandy is the best candy pink sparkle I've ever seen. Ringoffire had a golden gleam that was really stunning. It was what Burnt Roses from Gothic Lolita would be jealous of. I also wanted Vampira to be more blood than rust, but it's still lovely. Fanclub is an awesome pale pink in that it doesn't go sheer. It's a great light pink!
As for the purples....these are very unique- each of them. I found the greens to resemble each other a lot but these stand out on their own, every shade. Raspberry Beret is just that- with silver sparks. I saw a lot of the same silver spark in a lot of colours in Rocks!- maybe that was the kick, but it worked. I liked it. Sorry Rockbottom is in this. It should've been in the orange/browns...but I had them in my kit this way and was too lazy to fix it.
The blacks and whites. I would've loved a platinum like the Zero glitter. A white gold sparkle bomb, but whitewedding came close. These blacks were all variant. Some were deep black, some were charcoal. The silver sparkle ran rampant and I do like these a lot. Adrenochrome is like your best white gold jewelry dipped in glitter. I adore that one.
Looking at this set of shades reminds me of autumn. Okay...these are really fun! I love Peekaboo (I have 2 full size, I love it that much). It's a bright peach with some sparkle and I think it's a great colour! Similar base as Zinnia from Spring Solstice, but without the crystalline blue and pink sparks. This is all peach, baby! Nightburn is a great brown. I should do some LOTD's with these orange browns...they're a bit neglected by me.
On to the blues! Avalon looks green, but it's this great grey-murky blue green that I think is a good lid colour, on its own. Planetearth totally looks in person like the blue you see on photos of the Earth from space. Space Oddity has a deep, deep navy undertone and Ozone is THE teal. Buy that somehow!
Alright, that's the Rocks! set from Aromaleigh and although they're gone- I love them and I hope you enjoy them too!