Monday, October 31, 2011

My Beauty Addiction Swatches + Review

Packaging: My order arrived in a bubble mailer just four days after I made my purchase, so shipping was super-fast.  My full-size colors came in cute stacking jars that were wrapped in additional bubble wrap, and I got a sample of Crushed Diamonds in a separate baggie.  My package also included a printed invoice with a handwritten note from Sherrie, the owner.  The stacker has a sticker on the top, and and each individual color has a sticker on the bottom with the color name, ingredients, company name, and address.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Shiro Cosmetics Death Note Collection Swatches

My package from Caitlin came yesterday, but for some reason my desktop compy wouldn't recognize my SD card after I took the pictures, so I had to E-mail them to myself from my netbook in order to add text on my desktop.  As usual, colors in the top row are swatched on bare skin with a foiled stripe down the center and colors in the bottom row are swatched over My Beauty Addiction's Shadow Poxy.  Top photos for each pairing were taken under normal indoor lighting, bottom photos were taken under HD fluorescent lighting.  So without further adieu, the Shiro Cosmetics Death Note Collection!  Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Cosmetic Psychiatry is on Kickstarter!

I was just checking out Kickstarter, and I found this awesome project!  The idea is a lipstick line to fill the color gaps in current lipstick offerings.  The company is Cosmetic Psychiatry, in reference to a) seeing makeup as an alternative to cosmetic surgery and b) the feeling you get when you use your favorite lippie.  It's headed by a professional makeup artist, and there are to be 13 colors in a core line, but you'll be able to request your own custom colors.  Another great thing is that the lipsticks will contain SPF 15 to keep your pout safe from the sun's harsh rays (and if you're prone to cold sores like I am, using lip products that contain sunscreen is a great preventative measure.)  He's still got a long way to go before he makes his goal, and this is something that I think is a great idea.  I mean, how many times have you been searching for a new lipstick, and everything you found was just not quite right?  I'm not sure about you guys, but that happens to me ALL the time!  If I'm looking for orange, one color will be too yellow and another will be too red.  If I'm looking for Pink, one color will be too mauve and another will be too coral.  Head over to the Kickstarter page and pledge if you think this is as amazing as I do.  Pledges will be forfeited if the goal is not met, and if it is met, you can get a custom lipstick (or a variety of other thank-you gifts) for your contribution.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Battle of the Primers!

First of all, let me just explain a little bit about what a primer is and why it's useful for those of you who may not know.  A primer provides a base for your eyeshadow to adhere to, making your colors more true to what they appear in their containers and keeping creasing to a minimum.  They are especially useful for ladies (and gents) who experience excessive creasing due to oily eyelids.  Usually you apply a thin layer of primer to your lids and wait for it to dry before applying your shadow, then apply your shadows as usual.  Patting shadows on over a primer instead of sweeping usually yields the best results with color payoff and minimum fallout.  I should mention that your own results may vary, as these are my own personal findings based on my skin type and my results using these products.

So here's the lineup:

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Coming Up!

Okay, guys, I know you're getting antsy about the Death Note collection, but it hasn't arrived yet.  It's only been a few days, so we will all just have to be patient.  I DO, however, have the huge primer post slated for Monday.  So those of you who have been excited about that will get to read all about the different primers I tried (and see before and after pictures!)  Stay tuned for the new Shiro, though, because they'll be swatched and posted as soon as they are in my clutches!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

New Stuff

I noticed that a lot of people have been finding my blog in search of Shiro Cosmetics swatches, so I placed an order today for samples of Caitlin's new Death Note collection!  So if you're a Shiro fan or a Death note fan, stay tuned because I'll be swatching these colors and they look amazing on the website.  Can't wait!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Lancôme Swatches + Reviews

Yesterday at work, I stopped at the Lancome counter because they are in the middle of their gift with purchase promotion. I got a Color Design lipstick in Studded ($22) and a Color Fever Gloss in Metallic Sunburst ($26). I've looked at high-end cosmetic brands before, but never really purchased any; I don't think I've ever paid more than, I don't know, $12 for a lipstick before. But now that I'm writing a weekly blog about makeup, I feel like I owe it to myself and to my readers to broaden my horizons. Initially I had been considering buying their eyeshadow base, but I happened to see these lip colors and once I saw the tester tubes swatched I really didn't have a choice. I've mentioned my quest for the perfect orange lipstick here before, and I thought Studded was absolutely gorgeous.  I had a Maybelline Wetshine Diamonds shade about six years ago that I really liked, and more recently took a shining to Palladio's Toasted Orange lipstick (link to swatches above, or you can search for "Palladio".) I walk by the Lancome counter pretty much every day at work, but haven't really stopped and taken a good look at the products. I can't believe with as many times as I've walked by those lipsticks that I never noticed that pretty golden-orange! The gift with purchase at our counter right now is your choice of six trial-size products (out of a pre-selected assortment) with your choice of a pink of black bag. I picked the black bag, a Blush Subtil compact in Aplum, two Hypnôse Drama mascaras in Excessive Black, a Black Coffee eyeliner pencil, a Juicy Tubes lipgloss in Beach Plum, and a Rénergie Lift Volumetry moisturizer.  I also got a free sample of the Cils Booster XL, because my representative is awesome.  So here are some swatches of everything except the moisturizer!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Moi Minerals Swatches + Review

The Shop: Moi Minerals

What I ordered: A set of the new MOI Minerals Dazzlers
Packaging: I placed this order 9/12/11, and I believe it took a little over two weeks to arrive.  Not bad considering that MOI is based out of Canada.  It came via air mail wrapped in paper and some sort of sticky stuff keeping it all tightly bound together, sealed with a custom MOI sticker.  I've never encountered shipping materials quite like this, but it wasn't off-putting at all.  Inside the package was a business card with a handwritten note, and a baggie containing all of my sparkly pigments.  I received a complimentary shade because of a printer malfunction that resulted in a shipping delay.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Update: Fantastic Faces Cosmetics

Hi, readers! So it's been awhile since we all heard about the antics going on over at Fantastic Faces Cosmetics. Ms. Stephanie said she was discontinuing the neon pigments, and then said she was shutting down completely to take a short break. However, as anybody who has been following this company knows, Ms. Stephanie is about as trustworthy as you can expect somebody to be when they continue to sell harmful dyes as eyeshadow after repeated warnings that they are not intended for cosmetic use.  So she's still selling and she still has the soap dyes listed in her store as eyeshadows. No surprise there, but there have been a few new developments.
Since our last encounter with FFC, Ms. Stephanie appears to have purchased a domain name, and has posted an ingredient list which you can find here.  She has, once again, listed mica as an ingredient and we all know that's not an ingredient according to INCI standards.  The only other additives she lists are titanium dioxide, iron oxide, ferric ferrocyanide, and tin oxide.  Titanium dioxide is a white colorant approved for eyes, lips, nails, and face.  Iron oxide can be red, orange, yellow or black in color (although the only color I saw when I searched for it on TKB was red,) and it is approved for eyes, lips, nails, and face.  Ferric Ferrocyanide is a blue pigment that is approved for eyes, nails, and face, but not lips.  Nothing came up when I searched for tin oxide on TKB, and from a quick Google search, I found out that it is an abrasive that can be absorbed through the skin.  Sounds totally safe to me.  So all in all, Ms. Stephanie's ingredient list includes a white colorant approved for all areas, a red/orange/yellow/black colorant that is safe for all areas, an eye-safe blue colorant that is not lip-safe, and an opacifying skin irritant.  No carmine, which is found in many brighter red-toned pigments, and no chromium oxide green, which is found in many green-toned pigments.  Nothing that would act as a base for a lip product, and certainly nothing that would be a UV-reactive, so we know she's still not disclosing all of her ingredients.  Wonderful.  Now I'm not saying a skilled formulator couldn't mix a yellow pigment with a blue pigment and make a green pigment; that's plausible.  It's already been established, though, that her supplier purchases from TKB, where the only iron oxide available is red.  As most children in preschool would be happy to point out to you, having only a red pigment and a blue pigment limits the colors she is able to produce to reds, blues, and purples.

On a slightly related note, remember up there how I said ferric ferrocyanide is approved for eye use but not for lip use?  Do you also remember the green pigment I mentioned up there, chromium oxide green?  That colorant is also considered safe for eye use but not for lips (it is not considered eye OR lip safe in the state of California.)  Ms. Stephanie has formulated several lip glosses that happen to be blue and green in hue.  If her disclosed ingredients are correct, the blue lip jellies contain an unsafe blue pigment, and the greens contain the same blue mixed with a safe yellow pigment.   So either way they aren't safe, but I speculate that the blues were formulated with ferric ferrocyanide and the greens were actually formulated with chromium oxide green.  If evidence is provided that these are not the colorants used in these lip glosses, I will happily retract that statement (although that would still mean her ingredients list is incomplete.)  There ARE lip-safe blue and green colorants out there, but you do have to look for them; TKB has conveniently placed lip-safe items in a lipstick section, and there are no green or blue micas in that section that match the jelly colors.  I'm certain that reputable companies producing green and blue lippies are doing their homework and using safe colorants, but since Ms. Stephanie has been caught selling soap dyes as eyeshadow and falsifying ingredient lists, I wouldn't put it past her.

Lastly, for those who haven't seen the "micas" being used in the neon set, which is now conveniently being referred to as the bright set, I want to provide links for the neons available from TKB, (all of which have a clear disclaimer stating that they are soap dyes and not approved for cosmetic use,) and cite which FFC colors they match. - color match to the sold out FFC yellow, which I believe was called Sunnyshine - color match to Phizzle - color match to Baybee - color match to Outrageous

I sent Ms. Stephanie an E-mail on 10/3/11 with the above links to the neon pigments and also informed her of the possibility that she may unwittingly be using unsafe pigments in her lip glosses.  I think it's safe to assume that she has nothing to say to me, given that her website states that all E-mails will be answered "with in 24 to 48 hours " [sic].  She has threatened and harassed both bloggers and potential customers just for asking about her ingredients, she posted a horrendously incomplete ingredients list, and is claiming her "bright" pigments are "100% safe" with the disclaimers "if you do not feel comfortable with these products please do not purchase them." and "if you feel you may have an allergies to any of the listed ingredients use at your own risk" [sic].  If you are claiming a product is safe, while at the same time telling your customers to use at their own risk, chances are that said product is not safe.  The moral of the story is: do your homework and go with your gut.  If a company seems suspicious, it's very likely there is a reason you feel uneasy with them.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Giveaway Winners

Drumroll, please!

And the winners are...

Sara, Alicia, and Caitie!  Congratulations, ladies, and thanks to everybody who entered!  I will be contacting each of you in the order I just listed to arrange delivery of your prize packs.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Facebomb Cosmetics Swatches + Review

What I ordered: A Random Grab Bag (not available to link at the time of this post)

Packaging: I placed this order 9/12/11, and it arrived 9/17/11 in a bubble mailer.  Inside the bubble mailer was a cute little cellophane bag tied with ribbon, and a copy of my invoice with an ingredients list stapled to it.  I got two colors in jars and three samples in baggies.

Today's Swatches:


These swatches were done on bare skin (top row,) and skin prepped with primer (bottom row.  It's UD Primer Potion or MBA Shadow Poxy, but I prepared these weeks ago so I honestly don't remember which one I used.)  I made an additional swatch of Electric Avenue over primer with Fyrinnae's Pixie Epoxy.  Here's a few shots of a quick look I did with them.

Overall: These shadows adhered pretty well to my bare skin, which is a plus, but the primer set them off exponentially.  And my order shipped really quickly, to boot!  The look I did was pretty soft, but overall these colors are pretty intense with a good deal of sparkle.  Link is a sparkly deep, olive-forest green.  Powder Keg is a sparkly bright blue.  Electric Avenue is a sparkly, glittery medium purple.  P.S. I Love You is a sparkly frosty pink that reminds me of cupcakes.  Lollipop Chainsaw is a shimmery white with blue glitter.  The only thing that I didn't like was the generic ingredients list stapled to my invoice; I would prefer to have individual lists on my jars so I know exactly what's in each pigment.  Shipping was fast, the colors are interesting, and they blend quite well. 

Would I recommend them?:  Absolutely.
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