Monday, November 14, 2011

Followup: Crush Cosmetics

Last week, I reviewed an Etsy shop called Crush Cosmetics.  In that review, I noted suspicions of certain colors not being original, i.e. repackaged.  So I placed an order with TKB, and I feel my suspicions have been verified.  While I did not find a match for every color, I still wanted to put my results out there.

First off is Crush, which looks an awful lot like TKB's Capricorn Sea.  Here is the description from Crush Cosmetics: 
"Pure, all natural mineral mica eye shadow is hand blended by the girls at Crush.We are always mixing up new colours and sharing with our friends. Crush is our signature colour a high sparkle high lustre mica, like Peacock it also looks like peacock feathers, but more indigo and turquoise with a gold under tone, Stunning! goes on smooth and stays all-day, we know we tested it."
And here it is next to TKB's Capricorn Sea on my fingertips (top), swatched over NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in Milk under normal indoor lighting conditions (middle), and HD fluorescent lighting (bottom).  Bet you can't guess which one is which!

Next, we have Poison, which bears a striking resemblance to TKB's Cyprus Green.  Here's what Crush Cosmetics has to say about Poison:
"Pure, all natural mineral mica eye shadow is hand blended by the girls at Crush.We are always mixing up new colours and sharing with our friends. Poison is low sparkle medium lustre mica, a classic leafy green with a gold olive under tone, excellent for smokey eye application. Sultry! goes on smooth and stays all-day, we know we tested it."
And here it is next to TKB's Cyprus Green on my fingertips (top), swatched over NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in Milk under normal indoor lighting conditions (middle), and HD fluorescent lighting (bottom).

Now here are the colors I didn't match.

TKB's Blackstar Red (top) looks like it was the base for XXX (bottom); they appear to be the same hue with different saturation levels, and they share the same golden undertones.

TKB's Artisan Coral is really similar to Vixen, but not close enough to be a dupe.  Vixen has more of a pink color, and significantly more sparkle.

TKB's Virgo looks a lot like Honey, but again I found slight differences.  While the color is similar, Honey has much more sparkle.

While I can't say conclusively that Crush Cosmetics repackages their "shadows," Crush and Poison appear by all accounts to be repackaged micas.  And to be clear, I have absolutely no problem whatsoever with repackaging if a company is upfront and honest about it.  BFTE's Primary Pigments, for example, are listed as unblended pigments, or "pure color" that they "do not custom make."  If all you are doing is adding a base to a mica, you don't have any right to call it your "signature" color and say that you "hand blended" it.  And it's worth mentioning that Crush Cosmetics' samples contain 1/2 teaspoon of product for $1.00 (Canadian), and a TKB sample is a full teaspoon for $1.50, so you get double the product from TKB for about fifty cents more.  I did contact Kym with a photo of Crush next to Capricorn Sea, and she has yet to respond.  If irrefutable proof is provided that Poison and Crush are hand blended colors formulated by Crush Cosmetics,  I will gladly retract my statements.  Until then, I think the pictures speak for themselves.

11/15/2011 9:49 p.m. ETA: This is the exchange that took place between Kym and myself (italics added for differentiation):

Me: Hi, Kym
I was wondering if you could tell me why Crush looks so similar to TKB's Capricorn Sea mica (see attached image.) Any help would be much appreciated!
Kym: Hi there, i have no idea, as we grind our own colours, blue , green and gold is a common formulation, i'm sure mine is different, of course i don't have the one your referring to to compare.
Are you unhappy with your samples?
cheers Kym:)
Me: I also have what appears to be an exact dupe of Poison, TKB's Cyprus green. I can understand something being similar, but they have exactly the same hue, undertones, and duochrome. I've attached an image showing your shadows next to the TKB micas, and they appear to be exactly the same.
Kym: So what is the problem, if you are unhappy with you samples please just say so. i buy my minerals for a supplier in Montreal, Canada has a very high taxation on in coming cosmetic materials. Many of the same formulations are used by a lot of different people i sometimes use formulation offered by my supplier as TkB probably does. I really should not have to explain this to you like i said if you are unhappy let me know. Why did you buy colour simimlar to what you have already?
I looked at TkB, they offer large amounts, pounds of the stuff is offered for sale, sounds like they are a wholesaler, so what would that tell you.
Me: Kym,
I am not unhappy with the samples; they are very pretty. I simply noticed that they appear identical to wholesale micas. I purchased the TKB micas specifically for comparison. I contacted you because I was genuinely curious as to whether or not you had any insight as to why they appear so similar to your formulations. Thank you for your input.

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.


  1. Wow, another one? Why not just say that they are simply mica with a base added for easy application and longevity--it's more honest and I'm sure such a seller would be able to build a customer base of folks who don't want to go to the trouble of researching bases/micas, ordering them (and mixing tools, and masks/gloves, and containers) in "bulk," and mixing up their cosmetic collection themselves. Sheesh.

  2. I just updated the post with her response. She says she has no idea what I'm talking about because they blend all of their colors by hand. Probably just that green with gold undertones and blue/green duochromes are such popular colors, you're bound to run into some similar shades. Yeah, that's gotta be it.

  3. another repacker to stay away from...

  4. Thanks so much for posting this review. I saw that this company is coming up on Heartsy (an Etsy daily deal site) and the colors looked very pretty.. but I always search for reviews/info before I decide to purchase from any indie mineral makeup companies! I noticed they are going for $7 a piece right now, and that to me is pretty pricey.. especially for a company with little to no information/reviews. My searches came back with another company called Crush Cosmetics, and yours was the only review I could find. I def. will not be purchasing from this company, and I am really hoping others do their research before they decide to purchase :/

  5. The colors are pretty; unfortunately, they don't appear to be unique. I believe the full-size jars are 10g, which explains the higher price, I just wouldn't pay that much for something that I could get elsewhere for so much cheaper. I didn't realize Crush was coming up on Heartsy. Hopefully people will do their homework before buying!

  6. Thank you for doing this review, it is very helpful :)

    Today I saw that Crush cosmetics is featured on Heartsy, and although I haven't had the intention to buy anything, I was intrigued. Colors of the eyeshadows on their Etsy page look amazing, but if they are repackaging TKB than shame on them.

    I really can't understand repackagers who claim they custom blended their product. They should use their imagination and skill, making money is not the only thing that matters.

  7. I caught sight of their shop on heartsy and was curious. Grind to me looks like Taurus Orion and the ingredients of their shades don't include any base in them. I can't possibly think that they would stay all day and not crease being just repackaged pure mica

  8. Right, Porcelaine! Without a base added, there is no way these shadows will stay put all day. The ingredient lists for both of the colors I matched were most likely falsified as well, because they do not include ferric ferrocyanide (found in Cyprus Green) or ferric ammonium ferrocyanide (found in Capricorn Sea.)

  9. Thanks for this review. I'd seen the shop around, saw their deal on Hearsty, and was going to buy. Seeing your review and this entire thread, I think I'll pass and am glad I researched.


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