Saturday, February 7, 2015

Indie Brand Scandals

GOOD NEWS!!!! I am currently writing a book on handmade mineral makeup, should be done in a year! I wont be blogging as much, but once the book is done you can expect lots of free recipes that didn't make it in the book!

My latest creation...

Heavens, I wasn't a huge part of the indie cosmetic scene in 2011, and part of me is glad. I have read so many blogs, comments, even wikipedia pages about other indie brands (about 10, some that are still in business) who have had quite bad reputations. Some of the negative reviews seem to be warranted (namely when cosmetic brands use NOT eye approved neon soap dyes in their eyeshadows) some seem personal. I dont think it is fair to talk about any of the other brands, I hate drama, and would hate to drag down any brands even more, seriously some of the posts seem brutal (but I can understand, I have read horror stories of eye infections, mold growing in eyeliners, and death threats.) I would be mad as a customer too. I thought a blog post on the topic might be helpful to shoppers out there. I have never bought from another indie brand (as I make my own makeup, don't see the need, although there are some really pretty brands out there, if I didn't make my own makeup I would definitely buy from), I never had such horrific experiences, so I feel I am not biased to one side.

So first I must say, don't let the negativity get to you (UNLESS a HEALTH ISSUE!!!) Give a makeup company the benefit of the doubt. Most of the times I think people are trying to do their best, and one bad review shouldn't ruin a company. I mean if all you see are negative reviews, I would keep that in mind, and be aware of that. But just be kind! As a small business owner I feel for companies that get negative reviews, when you work so hard on a product, and it is dashed to pieces it hurts, before leaving a bad review always contact the owner, see if they can fix the problem! : )

OK. There are a few brands I read about, there are some very insightful blog posts on the topic. but really there were a few issues most brands had that created a "scandal". If you are unsure of a brand you can easily google search their name with the words scandal, avoid, drama, ect to find any negative posts (if there are any)

What to look for:
* Using soap dyes (are not eye approved) Usually bright neon colors
* "Repackaging Micas" (without adding any fillers to make it a actual eyeshadow)
* Repackaging wholesale items (and saying they are handmade, paint pots, ect)
* Bad customer service (threatening legal action, deleting/ blocking questions)
* Copying images, text, ideas
*Sanitation issues
* Claiming organic

So let me explain my thoughts on some of the negative points.

Soap Dyes:
A few years back quite a few indie brands used soap dyes (which are unsafe for the eye area, some FDC dyes are safe for the eye area, but not all are) in their eyeshadows. Soap dyes are usually BRIGHT neon, and create intense (yet unsafe) eyeshadow colors. I don't think most of the brands were doing this to hurt their customers, I think they were unaware of what they were doing (not familiar with the FDA regulations. Which is no excuse. The FDA doesn't have much control over cosmetics on the market, so you have to be VERY careful with what you buy and use. The FDA lists what ingredients are not permitted for eye use, but it is up to the makeup brand to make and sell SAFE cosmetics. With any business endeavor you need to know what you are getting into, you need to know what is safe and what is not safe, especially when you are dealing with peoples health and sight. To me this was the scariest, because people can and have had allergic reactions, rashes, and health issues, even blindness (not from soap dyes, atleast not that I know of) from unsafe eye products. I haven't heard of this happening recently, but keep an eye out for ingredients, and if you are buying neon colors, make sure you know what the colorant is (you should be able to ask the seller this, they should be able to provide you with information) From there you can check to see if the colorant is listed as eye safe on

Repackaging Micas:
Although this is not illegal, alot of people find issue with brands who resell products. As a person who makes cosmetics I can break down the process, and explain it in a way that hopefully helps. When making eyeshadows you need a few ingredients, I use a few different ingredients, such as Zinc Oxide, Titanium dioxide, kaolin clay, serecite, iron oxides, ect. Along with what I would call my "fillers" my white base listed above, I use Iron oxides, ultramarines, and manganese violet ALONG with micas to color my eyeshadows. Mica is actually clear in its natural form, but manufacturers can add a sheet of color to them (usually Iron oxides, ultamarine, and other natiral colorants, or even FDC dyes) this creates a sparkly colored powder you can use in cosemtics to add small hints of color.

Mica, even colored mica, is technically just a pigment not a finished product. SO some brands instead of adding ingredients (fillers, white bases which help increase coverage, adhesion, slip, ect) just sold the plain pigment mica. So they would go online pick out a pigment color they liked, opened the bag, and just poured it into a container and sold it. Which customers dislike because they could basically do it themselves and save the markup price.

Some people also seem to use the term "repackaging" when a pigment mica color is not changed. So if a brand buys a pigment and doesn't add another pigment to it to change the color, even if they do add other ingredients to it, people find that dishonest. Many brands use pigments and don't alter the color, but do make it into a eyeshadow product.I don't find that dishonest at all, as you are taking a raw ingredient and turning it into a finished cosmetic. The mica is treated as a colorant, and along with other pigments, and base ingredients you create a unique color. I can see how if a company NEVER made a original color, that would be a problem. Again this is my opinion, and others may disagree.

Repackaging Wholesale items:
Some sellers buy products wholesale and sell them as their own. I know this is a common practce for spas, makeup artist, and other small businesses. I personally don't do this, I don't know if it is illegal but I just don't see the point. As long as a brand is not LYING and saying they are personally making the makeup, and they aren't (which has happened). Again most people don't want to buy something they could have made themselves for cheaper.

Bad customer service:
Well, there is so much on this topic, I cannot even cover everything... But basically there have been brands that have done shady things to their customers. Again I would read reviews, just be aware of how a brand answers questions, does business, and fixes problems.

Copying Images, text, ideas:
I am actually surprised at how often this goes on. I try to make sure I avoid this at all costs, it is one thing to be inspired by something, another to blatantly copy a image and use it for advertising.

Sanitation issues:
Wheew running out of steam. Again I have heard horror stories of people buying eyeliner that grew mold (had water and no preservatives), brands making makeup in unsanitary conditions, (around food, pets, without gloves, without masks, without hair pulled back) Again, rememeber ANYONE can sell makeup, makeup does not have to be tested for safety, so you have to be careful. Always ask before you buy, how they make it, what precautions are taken to ensure the safety of the consumer (some brands might be offended at this question) But personally I am proud to explain how I make sure my eyeshadows are safe, and any other brand that goes out of there way to ensure safety, will be happy to explain their procedures. Its your health, and they should understand and respect that!

Claiming Organic:
This is a often misunderstood topic. NO MINERAL MAKEUP is organic, it is not mined from the earth, as they would be unpure and unsafe. Ingredients are created in a lab to ensure there are no heavy metals and minerals that could harm users. So really you cannot claim your makeup is organic if you are using minerals.

Last notes:
I guess in ending, I just want to remind everyone we are all human, and sometimes we might make mistakes due to accidents, stupidity, or plain ignorance. Don't give up on indie brands, there are so many pretty awesome brands out there that would love for you to give them a chance. Hope this helped and let me know if you have any questions/ comments! Thanks for reading : )

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Why is mineral makeup better than regular makeup?

me wearing my DIY mineral makeup

“Why is mineral makeup better than regular makeup”
This is a tricky question as regular makeup is a broad term. Depending on what makeup you are comparing to mineral makeup the reasons may vary slightly. Generally speaking there are a few main reasons why mineral makeup is better for your skin.

Basically what makes mineral makeup different from other commercial cosmetics is the ingredients, mineral makeup has less ingredients, no “bad” ingredients, and ingredients are beneficial to the skin. Commercial makeup contains quite a few ingredients most of which are synthetic, chemicals, fragrances, oils, waxes, parabens, irritants, and preservatives. Where as mineral makeup keeps it simple from 2 to 8 ingredients, most recipes are very basic. Less ingredients mean less chance of irritation, as well as less stress on the skin. Also, most of the ingredients used in mineral makeup are benefitual to the skin in some way, whether it is providing SPF, soothing irritated skin, healing acne and broken skin, or promoting cell growth, most ingredients have a purpose besides just looking pretty.

Foundation & concealer tutorial

                                                 and then hilight, blush, and bronzer!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

How to make your own nailpolish

Here's how you can make your own nailpolish using pigments from Glitter Unique! Thanks Nikki for the instruction and help!!!

" I usually add a small amount of pigment(color changer) to a bottle filled with base and 2 stainless steel mixing balls, then add a tiny bit of black base. It’s better to add a little bit of base at a time because if you add too much black you won’t be able to see the pigment well.  I am sorry I can’t give better instructions but I never measure so it’s hard to say."

Thursday, August 7, 2014

quick lesson in layering eyeshadows!

How to layer eyeshadows....

Kohl + Iridescent blue = metallic frosty deep blue.....How to layer eyeshadows for a iridescent/ frosted metallic look..... Start with a dark base (using my Kohl black color.) Layer a light highlight/ iridescent/ frosty color (using my iridescent blue color) creates a icy metallic blue!......

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Lipbalm series: Kool-aid & fruit drinks

Ok. So I love kool-aid. Love to drink it, and I remember when I was a kid, buying some koolaid lipbalm from a friend. I figured starting with one of the cheapest, and easiest DIY lipbalms would be a good start.

Kool-aid packets (or any flavored drink mix)
Petroleum Jelly

Ok, so it is pretty simple. I don't measure, you pretty much can guess with this recipe.

1. All you need to do is get about a spoonful of Vaseline (you can measure it out it you know how much your lipbalm jars hold, I did about 1 tablespoon, then melt it down, stove top, or in the microwave, melt slowly until the Vaseline is liquid.

2. After the Vaseline is a liquid, simply pour a packet of kool-aid into the cup, until the vaseline is colored, and all the grains of koolaid have dissolved. Mix well.

3. Pour the warm liquid into your clean lipbalm jars, and let sit for 1 hour, or until set.

Ok. so thats it! Very simple! I did notice a few colors worked a little bit better than other, and ALSO some mixes never fully dissolved (I will list my notes along with some pictures of the colors below, alot of the flavors ended up looking the exact same. But some were unique and fun.) These lipbalms make great summer gifts, especially for tweens, and kids, as the flavors are fun, the colors in the jars can be pretty crazy (but don't leave any color on your lips at all.)

This project would be great for kids, babysitting, sleepover, ect. I had fun, and would use this lipgloss for days where I basically just want a clear base, with some yummy flavor!

STAY AWAY from sugar free or "invisible" flavors, as the sugar free splenda, DOESNT dissolve, and the clear colors, will obviously be clear (unless you want a clear color, with flavor I guess)

ALSO, consider trying out single serving koolaid mixes, they already have sugar added, so a bit sweeter, and fun for small projects! There is even the liquid flavor drinks, that I played around with (which was super hard to mix, but turned out leaving a stained berry look, LOVE!

OK, here are the colors up close, and my thoughts on each color!

OK! So by far these were my favorite looks! Really pretty pastel colors! Perfect for summer.... We have..
*Orange- Created a pretty pastel pink (with hints of peach) blended perfect, and smells and taste yummy!
*Peach Mango-Gorgeous peach color, again gorgeous, and yummy would definitely use again!
Lemonaid- not a huge lemonaid fan, but this looks cute with the others, and is a refreshing flavor
Blue-raspberry lemonaid- really yummy flavor, and barely there blue tint
Pink lemonaid- very light purple color, blended well

Strawberry Kiwi- pretty pale purple, blended well
*Watermelon- looks just like strawberry kiwi, but blended even better!
Sharkleberry Fin- Didn't blend well, grainy, looks like the first too.
Cherry Limeade- Blended well, medium purple color
Cherry- EH. ugly color and didn't blend well...

Mixed Berry- Eh. not loving the color, and it didn't blend well, ended up grainy
Grape- Again the color is kindof a ugly blue purple, and it didn't blend well.
Tropical punch- eh. bit grainy and a bit ugly. Not impressed.
*Strawberry- Blended perfect, ended up a deep dark purple, pretty, but not really a kid color.
Black cherry- Dark pretty purple, blended pretty good, but I prefer strawberry

COMING SOON>....... DIY lipbalm/ lipstain....