Thursday, December 23, 2010

Need A Graphic Designer/Illustrator Extraordinaire?

Posted by iamglamourpuss at 10:59 PM
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After the past few blog posts, I've decided it's time for some good news.

I have this nifty friend who is a wonderful graphic designer and illustrator. His name is Matthew Wilson and he is the bee's knees. You need a poster, he's your man. Need a t-shirt design, he can do it. Website designs? Yep. You name it, if it can have a design on it, he can rock it.

And the best news is that he is accepting freelance work!

Check out his work:

Sleek Make-Up, WTF?

Posted by iamglamourpuss at 3:52 PM
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I finally got the order I placed in November today. This is the order I placed during Sleek's 50% off sale.

I ordered 3 palettes: the Good Girl, Acid and Storm. But I received the Sparkle palette too, which wasn't even available when I placed this order. I had to place another order the following Wednesday for the Sparkle palette. Now I have two!

Then I ordered some of their nail polishes. I got Barbie, Lilac, Florida, Turquoise and Princess.

When I opened the box, everything was pretty much as it should be. Once again, they packed things impeccably well. I got a free mini lipgloss which is adorable.

BUT the Florida nail polish has polish on the lid. Has it been opened? Has it been used? This is bad, Sleek....bad.



BUT IT GETS WORSE! After I take everything out, I glance at the box and see this:

WTF? Is this supposed to be funny? Is this simply a case of a disgruntled employee playing a game of "Let's Screw With the American?" I have to say I was absolutely speechless. And the more I think about it, the more I pissed off I get. This COULD be construed as a threat. And that's really ridiculous seeing as how the UK is almost constantly under the threat of a terrorist act. You'd think they'd be more sensitive.

This irks me because despite their shipping issues and silly terrorist doodles, I really love the product. These new palettes totally kick ass. The polish colors are nice, despite the questionable Florida bottle. Ugh, why are make-up companies frustrating me so much these days!?!?

**Added Note: I'd like to add that I do not think the package was tampered with in customs. All the original tape was in tact and the box is flat black on the outside, so if it had been tampered with, I'm certain I would've been able to see it. I have posted this on Sleek's FB page and I've tweeted it. I don't expect to hear anything from them until Monday the 27th at the earliest.**

Monday, December 20, 2010

Disenchantment Part III

Posted by iamglamourpuss at 3:15 AM
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Well, the fit has really hit the shan. Turns out there was such dissension and turmoil with the mineral make-up company I've been blogging about that they have gone on an indefinite hiatus to sort their business out. In the meantime, they have said if you've made any purchases, even if it was 5 minutes ago, to file a dispute with PayPal.

Seems like it would be easier to just go through and issue refunds. But what happens if your dispute is over 45 days old or isn't listed as paying for "goods" or "services" since it was paid with via the iPhone app for PayPal? Well, you can put in a request for an out of pocket refund which you may or may not get.

And I am annoyed because I emailed the owner about that craptastic bag I got that was supposed to make up for the multiple collections I never received and here is the reply I got:

"I'm sorry you are disappointed. We have revamped our company policies and procedures, so we hope we never run into this situation again. XOXO"

WTF is that? Like I'm going to give an opportunity for this to happen again? Especially now that she isn't even bothering to fulfill paid orders and just says "file a dispute"?

Ugh, I am very frustrated and upset. I know it seems like a no-win situation for the vendor. She's allegedly trying to improve her business, but people are questioning her products and practices. There are people wanting their orders and then there are people not wanting what may or may not be safe for their eyes. Cutting people off when they are expecting packages for Christmas is just another wrong to add to the pile. Not fulfilling orders is yet another one to add on. But sticking your head in the sand and waiting for it to pass is simply unacceptable.

So, I can sit here and firmly declare that I do not endorse Glittersniffer Cosmetics in any way. Should the company ever regroup, I would still advise you to steer clear.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Disenchantment Part II

Posted by iamglamourpuss at 3:07 PM
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This blog is a little update to my previous blog.

First of all, my second order from Sleek, the one that shipped on the 26th came in today. The one that shipped on the 25th (the larger order) has not arrived yet.

Secondly, I got my products from the mineral make-up company I wrote about. I accepted a deal to make good on the collections I had not received. Not to sound like a Debbie Downer, but I am still not pleased.

I had gotten my hopes up when the vendor posted photos of the process of packing and shipping these orders. A collection I had ordered was being put together, so I had hopes of receiving it! But now I'm just annoyed to see that they posted photos of a decent-sized quantity of that collection and I didn't get one.

When I get a package, I almost always document (with photos) how it arrives, how it is packed, the contents and anything else worth noting. I think that blogging about the entire experience, not just the products, is very important.The first thing that caught my eye is that one of the pigments got loose and was all over one corner of the vinyl bag everything was packed in. Then I noticed a clamshell pigment was not closed properly.

A lot of the colors I received are similar. And the two vials of glitter that were sent were identical. There is a soap and something that looks like wax tarts. There's a mini-stack of pigments that is barely half full. There are some cheapie lip brushes. A full sized chrome serum was included. There's also a make-up bag, a button and some samples. Oh, and a 20% coupon on the next order.


I don't know what I'm going to do with this stuff. I suppose I'll post on the message board for this company and see if anyone is up for a trade.

Here are the pics:



(My hands are dirty from simply unpacking this parcel.)



This is a waste of sending me a container...there isn't even enough product to fill half of it.



Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Disenchantment (What Goes On?)

Posted by iamglamourpuss at 11:54 AM
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As a consumer, I've had some less than satisfactory shopping experiences lately. In an effort to provide as much insight as I can and create awareness, I am writing this blog for you.

First of all, Tate really wants these ear muffs from Justice for Christmas. They are furry with sequins on them. I became cautious when I went online to buy them and they were nowhere to be found. I went to three local stores that never received them. I can only assume there was some issue with the supplier and these will simply NOT be available via any avenue. It really stinks because Tate's the typical kid who wants what she wants. Yet this is a gift I cannot buy.

Secondly, I am having problems with Sleek Make-Up. I wrote a blog about my last order from them in May. My final conclusion was that while they may take a while to ship, the products are so great they are worth the wait. I'm not so sure about that now.

I placed an order with Sleek before Thanksgiving. They had a huge 50% off the entire site sale and they simply were NOT prepared for the avalanche of orders they received. It took a week for my order to get confirmed so I could pay for it. And ever since, I've been waiting...waiting. I stupidly placed another order the Wednesday after Thanksgiving because they launched a new Sparkle eyeshadow palette. That order went off without a hitch, but again, I have not received the product...and it's a Christmas gift for me, from the fam.

I have emailed Sleek relentlessly, yet not gotten a reply. I have tweeted to them about it, but no reply. They have disabled posting on their Facebook fan page, which I consider worrisome. But people are still posting on the most recent comment they made, so I did that. Again, no reply. Sleek is a company that is very popular and widespread in Europe. I cannot fathom that these issues from this 50% off sale have crippled them to the point of completely shutting off all customer service. BUT that appears to be the case.

This really stinks because I really do LOVE their products. They are insanely affordable and the quality is top notch. I actually ordered some palettes for my work kit this past order. I suppose the next step will be to dispute the payments. I suppose I can only truly love them when I am in the UK and can buy their products first-hand with no middle man.

***UPDATE: I just got an email from Sleek. The first order was shipped Nov. 25th, the second November 26th. They said they would email me the tracking info tomorrow. We'll see.*** (Guess what? No email today!!)

Last but not least, there is a mineral make-up company that I've been dealing with for about a year now. I really wanted to love this company. They used to sell on Etsy, but this fall they launched their own website. I had been holding off writing a review of their products because I had had a couple of disappointments and hoped for some redeeming gesture to right all wrongs.

I ordered a couple of things earlier this year. I got a pastel collection of colors that were quite nice. I ordered a "Wizard of Oz" collection, but was disappointed because some of the sifter seals were not secure and product had gotten loose. I ordered these tiny vials of cosmetic grade glitter, but was disappointed that there was no consistency in quantity. Some vials were kinda full, some were only half full. The price I paid was kinda ridiculous and I would feel like an idiot if I told you. I also ordered 3 random "pay it forward" offers she had going once and only got 1 set of pigments. (The listing listed the various things you could get if you bought one and they varied from her bath line to a set of pigments, with no stipulation about quantity of purchases.) At the time, I did consider the possibility of starting my own mineral make-up line because I thought I could provide better customer service, consistency, packaging, etc. The fact is that the market is saturated (with both decent sellers and hacks) and I already contend with that with my jewelry, so I am not about to start again in what could be a fruitless effort. I may end up ordering some stuff and making things just for myself, but that would be it.

After my extended stay in the hospital this fall, I went home to recover, got back online, became a fan of this mineral make-up company's Facebook fan page and really got excited by what I saw. There was a constant stream of new collections with eye-popping colors! There was newness every day! I did start to grow suspicious of things when posts would be made for suggestions for new collections and by the end of the day, there they would be! Yet there would be an 8-day turn around time. Were these already made up or not? I am a make-up artist, this is my career. It is of utmost importance that what I see is what I get.

So, I ordered more stuff to treat myself. I had had a rough couple of months and felt I deserved it. Well, I added to my stress because orders didn't come in. I sent emails. A few were ignored, but as you know, the squeaky wheel gets the grease. The owner and I began corresponding. There were promises of having thing shipped with extra goodies for my troubles. But I'd get no tracking number and nothing would arrive. After a month of this nonsense, I sent an email stating that I don't spend my money just to throw it away, I expect what I ordered in return. She said she'd personally see to it that it got shipped and that she'd include extras and one of her new make-up brushes. Well, that didn't happen for another week. I finally got the package. It contained parts of the two orders I was missing. But NOT everything. This concerns me because she allegedly sent out the first order, although I am skeptical because the tracking number says that the USPS received the info, but has not picked up the package. In short, the package wasn't sent. But the package I received had some things and a ton of extras, yet NO brush. I was a happy camper, although after a chat with the owner I was wondering if she was trying to confuse me with the extras so I wouldn't know what I did or didn't have. I know exactly what I'm missing, now that I've gone through photos and emails, but I have opted to take this big "deal" she is offering, for people who have missing orders, where a package allegedly stuffed full of products will be shipped out in lieu of what you originally ordered. While I wanted what I originally ordered, I currently just want to be done with it all. In the meantime, things have gotten so out of hand, the seller has basically shut down the shop for a week to catch up on orders and make customers happy.

The USPS is a frequent scapegoat for this seller. And while I know the holidays are hectic, I can't believe that her local USPS is soooo bad that dozens upon dozens of orders are lost. There are countless posts on the FB page about missing or late orders. It was a relief to know I wasn't the only one, but it made me sad at the same time to see that others were going through the same thing. I guess it also makes me sad to see that a seller allows this to happen.

**EDIT: As of today, the owner has posted pics of the progress of packing up orders and getting them shipped out. Looks like she is really trying to save face. And I think there's a good possibility the Sanrio collection I originally ordered is in it. But there are no tracking numbers for these parcels since they were all packaged by hand and not labeled via Paypal. I will keep you posted.**

Since then, there has been a mass exodus of fans, with them each making statements about their experiences. Some question if products are just directly repackaged, as they are, from the supplier, with no art of color mixing at all. Others question if the products are actually vegan. And I read an alarming blog (and did the follow up research) that found that some of the pigments I ordered are soap dyes and not approved for cosmetic use!! This is pigment that should be diluted in a soap or some other from, then diluted again when mixed with water on your skin...not applied directly to it! I know from my experience with MAC that not all colors are approved for eyes and lips, so I was skeptical, but thought there may be something I didn't know. Silly me.

The die hard fans are holding firm and defending to the death and that's fine. I wanted to have that enthusiasm too. But I've found another vendor for some identical products at a fraction of the price and I will be using that vendor for future purposes. I think this is simply a case if growing too much, too fast...or perhaps it's just plain, old greed.

If you'd like to read some of the blogs, here are some links:

Aijuswhanakno

Phyrra

Macismycrack

Julie Says...

VeggieBeauty (YouTube)

Krissi's Art Studio

Brandy's FB Note


**The whole FB thing has turned into some serious drama. There are rumors of the owner making threatening phone calls and sending angry emails to people. You can hear one of the voicemails HERE. Please be forewarned there is inappropriate language. I also find this practice concerning.**

***UPDATE - Here is what was posted by the owner of the mineral make-up company posted today:

"To all my customers and friends,
It’s with much humiliation and regret that I need to address you on several matters. In the past year I have made an unbelievable amount of changes to my business. Unfortunately, not all have been beneficial ...to GS. In my desire to “take it to the next level”, I have unintentionally let major aspects of this company decline in quality. I wish to apologize whole-heartedly to all the great ladies who have recently decided to leave the page and the company. I do not have hard feelings and realize I would probably have done the same thing I’m sad to say. I also wish to apologize to all the newer ladies for having to see all this hashed out on my fanpage. I take complete responsibility for all the negative comments made of late. I am not proud, but I am enlightened. I have had complete tunnel vision, looking ahead and not around . All those women who left were friends, not just customers. I would like to think I would never treat my friends in the manner as I did those whom I took terribly for granted. I will say on my behalf though, I never sold things with out intending to deliver them. I did however oversell things and then have to scramble to get them, though that was not intentional as some have implied. My actions from this point will be scrutinized and that is to be expected. My plan is to take it slow and get back to the roots of what GS is. I intend to stop selling before product it is stocked. I intend to ship orders within 5 days of receipt. I intend to email people immediately if, for some reason product is not available and give an estimated ship day. I’m going to need to limit the time I spend on emails. The new policy will be to email me if your order has not shipped in 5 days of payment. I will ask people to please not email me unnecessarily, so I can focus on the other aspects that need my attention to better serve you. Please don’t take this as I don’t want to be emailed, take this as I won’t be getting all the emails because things are running smoothly .The last few days have been a real wake-up call for me and very difficult. I guess the biggest lesson was no matter how “better” I made up for shortfalls, the fact is, people just want what they ordered, and no amount of extras, etc. can make up for that. I again apologize to current and past supporters of GS.

♥ Lela
"

It seems heartfelt and thought out, unfortunately it seems that many think that it's simply too little, too late. Perhaps she can turn her business around.***

The bottom line is that people simply want what they pay for. That's what I know I want! And I don't want to have to be jerked around to get it. I don't want substitutions, if you don't have it, refund it! Don't sell items you do not have ready to ship! I pay the money on the spot, so my order should be treated with the same diligence as the vendor expects payment. I am talking about ANY vendor, not just the ones mentioned in this blog. Apart from my unexpected stay in the hospital in September, I strive to get any orders I get out in the mail on the day or the very next day at the latest. I know what it's like waiting around on the receiving end...waiting and waiting...

So do your research, read reviews and blogs and be informed before you make any purchases. It pays to be informed.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Madd Style Cosmetics

Posted by iamglamourpuss at 12:53 PM
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Lately, I've been steering away from big cosmetic companies and I've been trying out more things I find on Etsy. The latest shop I have tried is Madd Style Cosmetics. The shop offers a wide range of loose pigments, lip balms called "lip bombz", lip glosses, fragrances and a few other odds and ends.

My first order was for pigments. I ordered 6 and got a variety of candy colors. If you're going to get pigments, they should at least be fun colors! You can see for yourself:


I really love the pigments. My favorite so far is "Waffle", a sparkly aqua-blue. When I wore it the day these came in, my daughter told me my eyes looked like the sky, except sparkly. Gotta love that!

I even got a freebie sample of a color called "Oz", a dark emerald green. Yay for free samples!

My second order from Madd Style was just Lip Bombz. I ordered three...Holy Grail, Frankencake and Sweets-n-Stuff. I gave Tate, my 8-year-old daughter, Holy Grail because she was having a serious issue with chapped lips. She even had a place that had cracked. But after using Holy Grail for a day, I'm happy to report that her chapped lips are gone! I kept Frankencake and Sweets-n-Stuff for myself. Frankencake smells and tastes wonderful and has a pretty shimmer to it. Sweets-n-Stuff is heavily pigmented...almost a rusty red, which works perfectly for me since I'm a redhead!

So, all in all, the products are lovely. The transactions were smooth and flawless. And if you follow Madd Style on Facebook, you can see products that are in the works, add your input and even find out about deals and contests in advance!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

WOW! It's Been a While!

Posted by iamglamourpuss at 2:37 PM
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So, I haven't forgotten about this blog. And I haven't forgotten that I've promised cool product reviews for the future. I just had a temporary set back in September. I was in the hospital for 3 weeks, you can read the whole story on my other blog, Holy Stoltz!

As for reviews, there are some good ones coming!! I've been waiting a while to write my review of Glittersniffer Cosmetics because I wanted to see how the transition, from an Etsy shop to it's own private entity, would go. I can tell you one thing, the products look nifty. And there is bath stuff too, although I am not sure when I will get a chance to try that.

Another Etsy shop I'll be reviewing is Madd Style Cosmetics. Their colors are also very fun and I am most excited to try their awesome lip bombs I've read so much about.

I hope you enjoyed the Konad nail blog. I plan on getting in touch with the China Glaze people to see if I can get a couple of bottles to try out with the Konad plates.

OH, and before I forget, I won 4 AWESOME shopping bags from Bungalow 360! I just answered a trivia question on their FB fan page and the rest is history! I love the bags! Already putting them to good use! (Be sure to check out their website for bags that are only $10 or $15!!! You can't beat it!!)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Konad Nail Art

Posted by iamglamourpuss at 9:48 PM
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I've been promising this review for a while now and here it is!

If you go to Konad's website, they describe their product as follows:

"Konad Stamping Nail Art ™ is a new and innovative nail-imprinting kit that allows you to stamp beautiful pre-designed images on your nails in minutes! Our kits do not hold back on quality, it delivers beautiful delicate images that hand painting cannot achieve.

Not only are the kits cost effective and time saving, but they are also versatile; You can also use them on accessories like sunglasses, cell phones, earrings, and almost anywhere you wish!"


I came across this in Las Vegas at the Adventuredome in Circus Circus. Of course, my daughter Tate was immediately taken by the idea of stamping a super-cool, intricate design on your fingernail in a matter of seconds! I'd be lying if I said I wasn't intrigued too.

The process is relatively simple. The patterns are etched into stainless steel plates. You take nail polish and brush over the design you want. Then squeegee the excess polish off and press the blank stamp into it so you can transfer it onto your nail.



Tate got a very pretty butterfly. I got a french manicure tip with a scrolly sort of design over it (see below).


And I have to say, it was simple and the results are fabulous!

So, suckers that we are...we bought a set. Now I realize you may be asking yourself some questions now. The basic set we bought comes with a plate of 7 designs, a small white nail polish, the blank stamp and the scraper you use to squeegee off the excess polish.


No, not just ANY nail polish can be used. I've read that if you cannot get the Konad special polish, then there are thick "china glaze" polishes that do well.

The set we bought was kinda steep, $30. I've seen the same set on eBay for around $17-$20. There are many imitators, so be aware of that. The biggest difference I can tell about the imitators is that the design plates are not as intricate and the designs aren't as sharp and clean as the Konad set.

BUT to try it out, I would recommend getting the set they have on Ulta.com for $2.99. The only thing it doesn't include is the polish. From there you could decide if you liked it and could invest in more design plates from Konad...I firmly do think they are the best. And they have new plates that have designs that cover the entire nail in one stamp!

When it comes to the special polishes, I think the two "must have" colors are black and white. You can work with any base color if you have those and they look great on your natural nail.

Now, let me tell you this. The key to being successful with this product is SPEED. I cannot stress that enough. If you don't get the polish scraped fast enough, it will not transfer to the stamp. If you do not get it from the stamp to the nail fast enough, the design will not transfer to the nail. I found that my first time out with my daughter, I had about a 50% success rate. While it was frustrating, I know the more I do it, the better I'll get.

I just need to keep an eye on eBay for some reasonably priced polishes...this small bottle isn't going to last too long while I'm working by trial and error!

The bottom line is that once you get it mastered, it's fun and relatively easy. I like that the designs are so intricate and precise. You can't get that with airbrush or hand painting.





Monday, July 12, 2010

Twilight Beauty - Hip or Hype?

Posted by iamglamourpuss at 2:02 AM
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For Mother's Day, I decided I wanted some pieces from the Twilight Beauty collection (http://www.twilightbeauty.com). Instead of hitting them up for products to review, I had my husband place an order the old-fashioned way.

Sure, I like the Twilight series alright...but I'm not one of these crazed fans that must have everything associated with the franchise. What stuck out about this collection were the mini palettes and the lip stains. I really like sheer lip colors and mini palettes always rock.

I ordered the "Bella Beauty Set" that had a mini palette of nude shades called "Bella", a glittery, fragrance spray that smells like vanilla and one of the infamous Lip Venom's by DuWop (but with a new twist, a splash of glittery red color). It's a really good deal because you save over a third of what these items would cost if ordered individually. I also ordered a reddish staining balm called "Just Bitten".




Well, the order was placed on May 3rd. I didn't figure I'd get it in time for Mother's Day, but that's really no big deal to me. On May 5th, I got an email explaining that the palette I ordered was out of stock. I could either wait a week or so for the new stock to arrive or substitute another palette. I decided a week or so isn't so bad, so I'd wait.

I waited and I waited. I finally emailed on June 2nd to find out what was up. I explained I've been a make-up artist for 18 years and dealt with many cosmetics companies, but this really takes the cake for poor service. I also explained that I write reviews about products straight from the box. The response I got explained the delay as a mix-up with the manufacturer and that my package would be mailed out the next week. My last email correspondence was on June 10th.

This was good news, I recently moved and was reassured the package would show up before I actually left the address they had.

The bad news is they shipped it to my husband's house, which was the billing address...not to my place, which was the shipping address. This was bad because when it arrived, he was at my place helping me get packed up. So, my goodies sat out in the NC heat for 2 days. I got the package way beyond a month after I placed the order.


The lipstick was a tad soft from being in the heat and had indentations from the tube on the sides of the bullet. That made me pretty unhappy. I get really anal retentive when it comes to my make-up.

As for the products, I really like the staining balm. It's a great, wearable red that anyone could wear. The palette is very neutral, which is foolproof for people who are afraid of make-up. There's not a lot of color to the eyeshadows, the lip glosses have almost no color, but the blush is quite nice.

I can remember when DuWop's Lip Venom was the latest and greatest in make-up. They were the trailblazers with the whole lip-plumping product trend. But, somehow, I managed to never try it. I have quite a full lower lip, but my upper lip is challenged, so I was definitely curious to see what it would do. The consistency is very thin, almost like an oil. But it's not slick or oily. It dries and leaves just the stain of color, which is not too different from Benefit's Benetint. I personally do not like those kind of stains. The color tends to be uneven and you have to work with them very fast because once they set, they are impossible to blend. There was a little burning which I suppose is to make my lips feel fuller, but they weren't. I even had to apply the staining balm over it because it's just not sufficient to wear by itself.

I really struggled with writing this review because I hate having a bad experience with something. I really hung in there hoping for some sort of redeeming factor to pop up, yet while the staining balm is cool, it's not cool enough to counterbalance everything else. The bottom line is that overall, the products are fair, the customer service is poor and if I had to do it all again, I would've canceled my order and gotten something else.


**My next review will be of Konad's nail stamping products!**

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A Quick Tip...

Posted by iamglamourpuss at 1:25 PM
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What do you do when you're at a make-up counter and are facing dozens of lipsticks? What urges do you feel? I'm willing to bet that you mark up the back of your hand with tons of little color swatches...no?

Well, the most accurate way to test a lipstick without actually putting it on your mouth is to put the color on your fingertips! It's messier, yes, but will give you a better representation of what the color will look like on your mouth, with your skin tone!

So carry a pack of purse-sized wipes with you (but any good counter will have supplies for you to clean up) and have fun!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Hard Candy's "Hot Smudge" - Hot or Not?

Posted by iamglamourpuss at 3:29 PM
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The latest product I've picked up is Hard Candy's "Hot Smudge" cream eyeliner. Sounds sexy doesn't it? It's in a sleek case that's about 1" x 4". The hinge is on the short side.

I'm not sure if many of you know this, but a couple of years ago, the cosmetics part of the Hard Candy brand was sold. While the fragrance part was not sold off, the cosmetics are no longer part of the same company as Urban Decay. You can now find Hard Candy at (get ready for this) Walmart...GASP!!

The change isn't necessarily bad. Some of the packaging has remained the same. The nail polishes still come with a plastic ring. There are more products with glitter than you could imagine! Glitter eyeliners, eyeshadows, mascaras, glitter pencils, body glitter, etc. The colors are trendy and fun. The packaging on the new products is pretty nifty! The lipstick tubes have old school-style tattoo flash art on them! And the line is expanded beyond what Hard Candy had available when it was sold in department stores. See more at www.HardCandy.com.

But back to the item at hand. The duo I got is called "misfit" and is number 291. The first thing I noticed when I opened the case is the brush. It's double-ended with a sponge for smudging on one end and a PINK flat, angled, nylon liner brush on the other end. BUT what I noticed was odd...the pink end of the brush was seriously OILY. I've tried to think of a reason to justify this, but have failed to come up with one. I immediately grabbed a paper towel and cleaned that off.

The colors seemed pretty safe, one is gray and the other is an olive green. But how wrong was I!! Once I started using the brush in them and working down the top layer, the colors are quite sparkly and metallic! I only tested them on my hands today because I am not feeling so well and did not feel like doing my make-up.

The colors applied smoothly and the nylon brush did a great job creating nice sharp lines. Unfortunately, I hate to report that unlike other gel liners by Bobbi Brown, Stila, MAC, etc., this liner doesn't set to an indelible finish. I left the lines on my hand for a few minutes and when I went back to see if they would smudge or not, I was disappointed to find that they totally wiped away!!

So, my final verdict is this: I like the idea of this product. I don't think it's fully there yet. I would recommend using this as a base to apply shadow on top of...but I have a feeling it is going to crease, just because the product is so creamy. Therefore, I would say use it to accentuate your regular eyeliner. Use a black or a black/brown eyeliner and use this to smudge it out for a smoky look with a pop of color. These eyeliners are available in a wide variety of colors, the most interesting being a royal blue with a clear, glittery counterpart. I'm sure that would make for a very cool look.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

More From Sleek Make-Up...

Posted by iamglamourpuss at 5:05 PM
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When I was in London, I wrote a blog about some fabulous deals I found. The products I was most excited by were from Sleek Make-Up. They have intense colors that are packed full of pigments and perfect for all skin tones! And their prices are out of this world!

So upon my return, I was showing my Mom my purchases and she commented on really liking the iDivine Eye Shadow Palette called Storm. I figured I would order her one and a lipstick or two for Mother's Day.

The site is pretty much the same, but with prices for the US market which are slightly higher than the British prices....even after you take the monetary conversion into consideration. While I was slightly peeved by that, the products are just SO good that they are worth the extra couple of bucks.

I ended up ordering the Storm Palette for my Mom and the Chaos palette for myself. It has a lot of bright colors, but they are all matte. This is unusual for me, because I don't usually use a lot of matte products. I also ordered 3 of Sleek's Sheer Cover lipsticks in the colors: Cashmere, Organza and Calico.

Let the review begin:

First of all, I placed the order on April 27th. It didn't get shipped until May 5th. I received it today, May 13th. Shipping was just over $13, which I consider reasonable, because I know that mailing parcels via the Royal Mail is quite pricey. I am finding more and more companies have a longer processing time. I can understand if it's a small, grass roots company. But I suppose I'm just spoiled from shopping other companies with faster turnaround times, the best being Amazon Japan who always gets me my goods in 3 days with their standard shipping. (On a sidenote, my Mother's Day presents were ordered from DuWop cosmetics the weekend before Mother's Day and while I knew they wouldn't arrive in time, I was disappointed to get an email on May 5th informing me that something was backordered. Really? It took half a week to notify me? And they still had the product listed as in stock on their site. That's just NO BUENO in my book.)

But I digress. Because I like Sleek's products so much, I am willing to overlook the extended time it took to get the product to me. This is also not totally uncommon, you can read quite a few shipping inquiries on their Facebook fan page. I just know not to order with any time constraints. I would also recommend waiting and placing a large order or going in with friends to place a large order, so that way the shipping is not as much of a sting.

So, what is so great about Sleek? Why am I willing to look past this and that? The colors are fabulous. The prices are beyond the deals I get with various industry discounts. Sleek seems to have a very loyal following worldwide. They ARE doing something right. They are staying cutting edge, winning over new fans with limited edition items. They have products that rival the great cosmetic companies out there...and in some instances exceed the rivals. For example, I picked up Sleek's tinted lip balm and I love it so much more than MAC's. I've tried to like MAC's over and over again, but the flavor is just off. Sleek's is sweet and tastes like dessert and the colors are very wearable. Win win!!

When I opened the box, I have to tell you, I was most impressed. Sleek does something that NO other make-up company I've dealt with does. They reuse the boxes product is shipped to them in. So instead of the way MAC does it, where they put the products loose in a box with lots of black tissue paper, Sleek put the 3 lipsticks I ordered into a box that they receive lipsticks in. The 2 palettes were placed in a box that usually holds 3, so they put some bubble wrap in to take up space. That's very smart. More companies should take note.

My only other gripe, which is common when ordering and NOT being able to test something before hand...the color representations of the lipsticks online is far from accurate. The site shows Calico as being darker than Cashmere. Not so. Cashmere is darker and Calico is the color of cafe au lait (see photo above of Calico). I know my Mom loves browns, so I took a chance and figured I would wear the one she thought was too light. Now the online swatch for Organza was pretty much spot on. I had not tested these when I was in London, because I didn't see them when I was out and about.

And did I mention you get a FREEBIE? Yep, you can choose a color of their teeny, tiny, mini lipgloss!

My final verdict is...ORDER from Sleek. Remember the processing time and shipping may not be as fast as some other companies, but it in the end the cool products are worth it. I cannot see how any fashionista will be disappointed with these products.



**Photos by Glamourpuss**

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Congratulations!

Posted by iamglamourpuss at 1:41 PM
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Congratulations are in order for @ByHandGiveaways!!

Danelle, you won the Mother's Day Giveaway! Here's a screenshot of the random name picker I used (I found the cutest one that looked like a slot machine!):


Thank you so much for following my blog, my tweets and spreading the word about my promotion! I will be in touch with you shortly to get your information so I can get the necklace out in the mail to you ASAP.

And thank you to all who participated, I really appreciate your feedback about my shop!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Splurge vs. Steal

Posted by iamglamourpuss at 3:43 PM
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You know how the fashion magazines have their "Splurge vs. Steal" sections? Well, I've got one for you today!

When it comes to eyebrows, I am follicly-challenged. My dad has sparse eyebrows and my mom MAY have a couple of hairs framing each eye. Being a redhead, I am further challenged because what little brows I have are blonde.

So, over the years I've always had to pencil them in. I've hated using cream pencils because it just looks too ridiculous...too cartoony. So, I can remember when I came across Le Crayon Poudre for brows, by Lancôme, I was smitten. The pencil was a soft powder that could be blended easily and didn't look too harsh or cartoony. The downside was that the powder pencil lead broke frequently and at $24 a pop, I simply couldn't afford to keep using it.



Than I came across N.Y.C.'s Browblender Brow and Liner pencil and decided to give it a try. It is also a powder pencil, so it has all the benefits of Le Crayon Poudre. AND I find that it doesn't break as often...occasionally the tip breaks off after it is sharpened, but that's it. And seeing how I can pick it up at Walmart for around $3...you can't beat it.



My trick for making the brows look nice is to apply the pencil, then powder over it with loose or pressed powder. After that, go back and fill in any areas that need extra defining with the pencil.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Mother's Day Giveaway

Posted by iamglamourpuss at 12:57 PM
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With Mother's Day rapidly approaching, here in the US, I decided it was time to do my very first giveaway. Here's a little bit about the piece I am giving away:

The necklace is an organza ribbon necklace with some silver and stone accents. The vesuvianite (idocrase) drop and the lemon quartz rondelle are both beautifully faceted.

The necklace measures 16" and has a 1 1/2" extender chain.

**Please note: The findings on the organza necklace (the lobster claw clasp, extender chain)are NOT sterling silver.**

But all other metal work on the necklace IS sterling silver.


NOW...what do you have to do?

1.) Subscribe to my blog and refer 1 friend. (Have them leave a comment that you referred them. You can refer more and you will be entered again, for each person referred.)

2.) Follow me on Twitter: Glamourpuss15 and tweet/retweet about the giveaway.

3.) Check out my Etsy shop and tell me which piece of jewelry is your favorite and why.

The contest will end on April 30th to ensure I can get the piece to you or your mom in time for the big day.

Thanks so much! Spread the word!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Fun UK Finds!

Posted by iamglamourpuss at 5:52 PM
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Okay, so whenever I visit my in-laws in England, I know they all think I am totally insane because I always go and waste lots of time and money in the local drugstores. Boots used to be my favorite, but over the years, I have found Superdrug to be far more interesting. It's less pretentious and their brand of products are pretty good. (Tate only uses their sparkly strawberry and tutti frutti toothpastes! And their kids shampoos and bath products have scratch and sniff labels with cute illustrations of monsters on them!) This trip, after each trip to the shop, I have been given these cool vouchers to complete a survey online and get 25% off Superdrug brand items and 10% off everything else. I'm saving like CRAZY!

So far I've been to three locations of Superdrug...Loughton, Marble Arch and The Strand. The Strand location has been my favorite. I found some fabulous eyeshadow palettes. And despite dropping a tester and getting a death stare from the cosmetics sales associate who thought I was a weirdo looking at make-up for people with darker skin tones than mine, I found and purchased some cool things! (Take note, if you have a lighter complexion you should not rule out make-up designed for darker skin tones. The eyeshadows, blushes and lipsticks usually have more pigments in them than what you would get from Maybelline or some other drugstore brand.)

What I like about the drugstore cosmetics here is that it is risky...there are bright colors and lots of sparkles. I mean, just look at the gorgeous colors in the eyeshadow palettes by Sleek MakeUP! (Although I am not-so-secretly lusting for a grayscale palette they had called "Graphite", but it was limited edition, last year.) And while you run the risk of TONS of fashion "faux pas", it's really fun! Sure, I've seen plenty of people who could use a visit from the fashion police, but at least they are taking the chance. I find that many Americans are afraid of color. But the fact of the matter is that you can wear any color you like, it is all in how it is applied.

Anyway, here are some photos for you to feast your eyes upon! Sometimes the packaging is really fun too!







(Photos by Glamourpuss)
 

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