Monday, June 27, 2011

Rock A Betty Beauty Swatches + Review

My Order: A mini Lid Luster jar in Kink, one in Pandora, and The Wet Spot Eye Lining and Foiling Serum

Packaging: Everything was neatly packaged inside of a bubble mailer, with  a handwritten note from Ber, the owner, and the actual products inside of a cute retro popcorn bag.  Ber also included a business card, a sticker, and a small double-sided brush.  The shadows were in sweet little 3g jars, as described, and they had plastic seals around the outside to prevent leakage.  The products did not have ingredients lists on the them, but they can be found online.

 Today's Swatches: Left to right: Pandora, Kink

Without Flash
 With Flash

These swatches were applied to bare skin (top row,) and skin prepped with Shadow Poxy from My Beauty Addiction (bottom row.)  The foiled stripes next to the swatches are done with The Wet Spot foiling medium and the foiled stripes in the center of the swatches are just done with water.  Pandora was darker and smokier than I expected, but still gorgeous.  Kink is a bright, vivid pinkish purple, just as I had hoped.  These shadows apply exceptionally well without primer; almost as well without as with!  They are both very pigmented and have a nice shimmer, but not overboard and crazy-glittery.

Overall: I was very impressed with the packaging, the little personal touches and extras, and the pigmentation and application of the colors.  I really have nothing bad to say about Rock A Betty Beauty, and I'm definitely pleased with my products and the overall experience.  She's recently started selling  grab bags of five random 3g lid lusters for $10, and I have to say I'm already looking forward to snagging one of those!  I suggest you do the same.


Any statements made on this blog are my own opinion; my intent is to provide an honest and thorough review of my personal experiences for the benefit of my readers.  All products are purchased by me, with no monetary or other compensation provided.  Any product given to me as a gift will be accepted, but not  treated with favor over products I have purchased.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Random Look!

This design features some new colors I have received this week, which I will be swatching and reviewing in the weeks to come.  So here it is!

I used Temple of Time from Shiro Cometics as a highlighter in the corners of my eyes and under my brows.  I then applied Lanky from Linnaeus Cosmetics on the inner half of my eyelids, and Kink from Rock A Betty Beauty on the outer half, overlapping the colors and blending at the center.  Next, I used Cavort from Linnaeus Cosmetics on the outer portion of my crease, and Mondo From Linnaeus Cosmetics on the inner portion, blending the shades together just outside the center.  I then foiled black pressed liner and applied mascara to my upper and lower lashes (I usually skip the lowers, but I showed them some love tonight.)  When I finished this, it reminded me of a less intricate version of Snarky P.'s nearly-neon eyes, but the color scheme was sheer coincidence.  Kink was the color that really got me excited about doing a look tonight (it reminds me of a nail polish I had in junior high called "Barney",) and I wanted it to be bright and fun, so this is what I came up with...

New Stuff!

This one's just a quickie, more for my reference than anything...  I received packages from Shiro Cosmetics And Rock A Betty Beauty on Monday, and a package from La Coquette Cosmetics yesterday.  I'll be reviewing my new haul in the order I receive them, so keep your eyes peeled for Shiro Cosmetics on Monday.  And I might have a new look to put up tonight if I'm feeling ambitious...

Monday, June 20, 2011

Gudonyatoo Review

The Shop: Gudonyatoo
My Order: I ordered a 4 oz. jar of Salty Dawg Creme Shampoo in Original Citrus Blast, and a set of three Baby Legs Glycerin Shaving Soap Sticks in Coco Lime.  I placed my order on 6/5 and it arrived 6/14, so the shipping was timely.
Packaging:   My order was shipped in a bubble mailer with a copy of my invoice.  There was a handwritten note on the invoice and my products were individually wrapped and labeled appropriately.  The shaving soap sticks had sort of smooshed together a tiny bit, but the weather is quite warm here and they weren't broken or anything.  I have a picture of the packaging and when I can track down my camera I will edit the post to include it. 

Overall:  I have to admit, I discovered this shop years ago on my old Etsy account when it was still just Gudonya.  I instantly fell in love with their Lip Smoothies (which, sadly, appear to be discontinued) and Whipped Clean body wash.  Most of their products are vegan, and although I don't  personally make that a requirement it's nice for those that do.  The company was sold and, since Etsy guidelines prohibit the sale of a shopfront, it was opened under new management with the same familiar recipes as Gudonyatoo. I have had nothing but prompt and friendly service from Gudonya and Gudonyatoo.  As I stated above, this particular order arrived in just over a week from the date it was ordered, and I can't recall anything that ever took a long time to arrive in my previous experiences.  Now on to the product...  I selected items I've never used before; the idea of a handmade creme shampoo has appealed to me for quite some time, but I never worked up the nerve to actually try it.  I'm not exactly sure why, but I figured now was a good time to do it so I could share my experiences with all of you, my lovely readers.  The shampoo has a gritty consistency straight out of the jar, as I expected.  The amount of lather it created surprised me, and my hair did feel squeaky clean after using it.  The scent was not quite what I thought it would be from the description; I definitely smelled the yuzu, but it was much more minty than I expected and I had assumed it would be more of a light fruity scent.  It was a nice refreshing scent, but I was definitely thinking it would be fruitier.  I used it twice before doing the review because I have long, naturally wavy hair that knots really easily.  So the first time I used it I didn't use a conditioner just to see how clean my hair looked and felt, and I was really impressed.  The formula made my hair feel really clean, and the fruity-minty smell was refreshing and lasted a LONG time even when I wore my hair down.  My hair was shiny and it felt clean, and it smelled fantastic right up until I needed another shower; I did notice that without a conditioner it did not have the smooth and silky feeling and it did get quite tangled.  When I followed washing with conditioner, it was perfect: clean, shiny, and tangle-free.  I wouldn't recommend it as a two-in-one, but it's not advertised as one and the shop does offer conditioner in coordinating scents.  The shaving bar did not have the yellow glaze shown in the listing image, but that's a minor detail.  They have a fine layer of what I'll refer to as "awesome scrubby stuff" on top, which makes for a gentle scrub to remove the dead skin cells from your legs while you shave.  (Go read any Summer magazine with tips for the perfect tan, and the number one tip is exfoliating 99 percent of the time.)  The scent, again, was not quite what I expected.  More coconut than lime and I had hoped that this would be really similar to the Coconut Lime Verbena scent I love so much from Bath & Body Works.  But just like the citrus blast, it's still a refreshing scent; unlike many coconut scents, it does not remind me of suntan lotion in the slightest, which to me is a big plus.  It didn't bubble up as much as the shampoo; it was a richer, creamier lather that was indeed great for shaving.  My legs felt silky smooth afterward and I didn't notice any dry patches, which can be an issue for me.  I was really pleased overall with these products.  The shampoo worked great with a conditioner, and I really just think that it's my frizzy out-of-control hair that made it not work out better by itself.  The shaving bar had a perfect lather for shaving, the exfoliant layer is nice, and  my legs were still moisturized after I dried off.  Mission accomplished, Gudonyatoo!  I would definitely recommend this company to anybody and everybody who is looking for fantastic indie bath and body products.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

TONS Of New Stuff Coming!

I just placed orders with Lost In Makeup Land, Shiro Cosmetics, La Coquette Cosmetics, and Rock A Betty Beauty!  And my Gudonya Too order came today, so that review will be going up on Monday!  Woo!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Double Look Day!

For my first look, I primed my lids with Shadow Poxy from My Beauty Addiction, then did a rainbow consisting of Show Off, Bombastico, Flutter, Hold Fast, Mondo, Matriarch, and Kitsch from Linnaeus Cosmetics.  I did thick black liner to add drama and finished with mascara.  This look was somewhat time-consuming based on the number of colors used, but I didn't spend too much time evening things out and making them look super-smooth because it was just kind of a fun look that I did for fun and not to wear anywhere (but it WAS inspired by the fact that pride was this weekend in my town.)  It would have taken a really long time if I had taken the time to make everything really perfect and awesome, but I was really just playing around with the colors.


My next look, also primed with Shadow Poxy, uses Bouffant from Linnaeus Cosmetics as a highlight on the inner corners and under the brows.  I used a little bit of Mondo (also from LC) on my lashline, blended upward into Caged Canary from Scaredy Cat Cosmetics (I'll edit the link later, but for now the link will go to her Etsy profile because her shop is in vacation mode.)  I applied Chartreuse from The Starshine Company in the crease, blending thoroughly.  Lastly, I lined with a thin stripe of black, and finished with mascara.


Sunday, June 12, 2011

Regarding Neon Pigments

I'm sure by now that most of you have already read about this elsewhere from more prominent bloggers, but I wanted to put another post out there for anybody who is looking for answers and unable to find them elsewhere.  Fantastic Faces Cosmetics is a company that was started fairly recently, headed by a woman who calls herself Ms. Stephanie.  She recently released a collection of neon pigments that had heads turning and eyebrows raised in the beauty blogger community.

Above: pigments sold by an E-bay seller as cosmetic-safe, Below: Ms. Stephanie's neon "shadows."  She has asked that her pictures not be used by others and some have respected that request.  However, I feel that she has completely disrespected a number of people by attacking them and/or banning them, so I have decided to show her exactly as much respect as she has shown me and my peers.  TKB lists all of their neons as not eye safe, and the FDA does not approve any neon pigments for eye use.  Before I started blogging, I had done an extensive amount of research on a couple of shady companies I had heard of lately; it actually is what inspired me to start a makeup blog.  I wanted to do what I could to sing the praises of cosmetic companies that run their businesses correctly and warn others of companies who don't.  The fact of the matter here is that no neon is FDA-approved for use on the eyes, but here Ms. Stephanie has somehow magically found a way around that and created neon pigments?  People wanted to know more, so they started asking questions.  Some already knew that there was no way the pigments could be safe, so they addressed the issue accordingly and were promptly removed and/or banned from the Fabulous Faces facebook fan page.  I would post a link, but I've been blocked.  For the record, I posted this in response to Ms. Stephanie saying that her customers could believe what they wanted, but she wasn't going to stop doing what she is good at: "Nobody is asking you to stop making cosmetics; they are only asking questions for their own safety and the safety of others. Not labeling full-size cosmetics with ingredients is against FDA regulations, and being an indie brand does not make you exempt from following them. It would not be acceptable just to put 'mica' on a label either, as every mica actually has many different ingredients in it; for example, a mica called "Cosmetic Fluorescent Strong Pink" on contains red 28 and polyester-3, and is not approved for eye use. A pigment being labeled as cosmetic grade does not mean that it is approved for all cosmetic uses. It may mean that it is acceptable for use on lips, but not eyes, or vice versa, or that it should not be used directly on the skin but you can use it in small amounts in soaps."  My subsequent banning took about ten minutes, and there was no response from Ms. Stephanie.

There's no way for me to tell for sure, but I'd wager money that it's not up anymore if you visit the fan page.  She has responded to inquiries about the content of her neon shadows and the lack of labeling and ingredients disclosure with statements that her pigments are 100% eye-safe, the only ingredient she uses is mica, and she is getting labels soon.  It is obvious she has previously had no idea what FDA regulations are for labeling and safe ingredients, or has blatantly disregarded them.  I myself, and several other bloggers, have tried to help her understand that she is in direct violation of these regulations and she obviously has no interest in becoming compliant.  I hope that she comes to her senses and pulls these products before somebody suffers a serious injury and she has a much bigger issue on her hands than a couple of curious customers and some blog posts.

You can read more about the debacle in these posts:

Cupcake's Quirky Corner made a post about the safety of neons, and then wrote a follow-up including her own experiences and some detective work, and another follow-up.

And the Snarky Princess made a post regarding her ingredient inquiries and the response she received.

*EDIT* 6/12/11 5:48 p.m.  Ms. Stephanie posted on the facebook page at approximately 2:30 p.m. that she is discontinuing the neon shadows, but made no statement about the safety issues.  She should definitely have made a statement about the shadows and the fact that they are not eye-safe, but at least she pulled them from her line.  One follower responded that she was glad she got two sets before she stopped distributing them.  I hope that this customer does not run into any issues with the  shadows, and I am glad that Ms. Stephanie (sort of) did the right thing.  I can say now that I will never place an order from this company, but I truly hope she turns things around.

*EDIT* 6/15/11 2:23 p.m.  I will say that I didn't trust her further than I can throw her, but lo and behold, Ms Stephanie has gone against her word and is still offering the neons in sample packs offered through a shop add-on on her facebook fanpage.  Her other store, where the neon "shadows" were still listed as a "last chance" item after she made her flimsy statement, appears to be closed at the moment.  The shadows in the sample packs are chosen at random, and oops there are totally neon shadows in the picture she used to illustrate what they might look like.  After pleas and attempts from bloggers and concerned members of the indie beauty company, she has chosen to continue selling these dangerous pigments.  If she will sell them straight, who's to say she wouldn't mix them with other colors?  I can only hope that she will pull the pigments and bow out gracefully, but I just don't see that happening.  I implore you not to purchase from this seller, and to spread the word about unsafe pigments.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Random Look!

This is a similar look to yesterday, but with more blending and different colors.  All of the colors are from Scaredy Cat Cosmetics, with the exception of Lumpy Space Princess (which comes from Bokeh Face Cosmetics.)  I started by priming with Shadow Poxy from My Beauty Addiction, then used Metamorphosis as a highlighter on the inner corners of my eyes and under my brows.  Next, I applied Lumpy Space Princess to my eyelids and Mythic in my crease.  I used Insomnia above my crease and on the outer half of my lower lashline.  I lined with Mythic.  I can't seem to take a decent picture from the front that doesn't look catty; I guess it's the shape of my face that does it because it doesn't look is like that in real life... *sigh*

Anyway, here it is.


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Random Look!

Woo!  Hello, lovely readers.  Like I said, I was super excited about my shadow samples from The Starshine Company.  So I decided to make a look with them, and here it is...


Without Flash

With Flash

For starters, I primed my eyelids with Shadow Poxy from MBA.  Then I applied foundation to my whole face (I used Bare Minerals in Golden Medium.)  I used a very small amount of Bouffant from Linnaeus Cosmetics for a highlighter beneath my brows and in the corners of my eyes, but the other colors are all from Starshine.  I applied Chartreuse  on my lids and attempted a cut crease using Mermaid, adding a tiny bit of Envy directly on the crease and the outer corners of my eyes, and proceeded to blend, blend, blend.  I lined using Rain and applied Chartreuse and Mermaid to the lower lashline to bring it all together.  Lastly, I applied mascara.  To me, this looks really similar to some of my other looks, but I swear they are not all the same, you guys!  I hadn't intended this one to be so catty around the outside corners, but I ended up liking it that way.  I want to do something in pinks and purples next...  Keep your eyes peeled, and thanks for reading.

Monday, June 6, 2011

The Starshine Company Swatches + Review

My Order: I ordered samples in Chartreuse, Envy, Rain, Mermaid, Skywalker, and Tornado.  I couldn't find individual listings for all of the colors I ordered, but you can view the master color chart here.
Packaging:   My order was shipped quickly in a bubble mailer with a copy of my invoice.  My samples came in adorable little jars with plenty of powder for several uses.

And here's what the powders look like inside of the jars.

Today's Swatches
Left to right: Tornado, Rain, Skywalker, Mermaid, Envy, and Chartreuse
 With Flash
Without Flash

These swatches were applied to bare skin, and skin prepped with Shadow Poxy primer from My Beauty Addiction.  Sorry I forgot the foiled stripes this time!
Overall:  I was really impressed with the dry application of these colors.  The first thing I noticed is that they are quite a bit brighter  applied dry than  many of the other mineral shadows I've tried.  They have a pretty good amount of hold without a primer, too, so that's a definite plus.  I ran my finger over them and they didn't just wipe off like you'll see in certain other brands *cough cough* (see 6:10 in this video.)  So they have nice pigment and staying powder applied dry.  Tornado was a nice dark greyish-purplish-blue with a bit of shimmer; it would work really well as a  smokey liner.  Rain was similar, but without the purple tint.  Skywalker was a beautiful sky blue with some shimmer to it.  Mermaid has a little more sparkle to it, and it's a gorgeous teal color.  Envy is a deep forest green with a little bit of shimmer.  And Chartreuse is an awesome shade of yellow-green; it would be a great highlighter for a bright look!  I am super-pleased with these colors.  I'll probably put a look together with them sometime this week and show you.  I'd definitely recommend The Starshine Company.  Nice colors, nice pigmentation, nice staying powder.  Good stuff!
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