Saturday, December 29, 2012

Oy Chihuahua - Lympnoma Strikes Again!

You'll pardon me, as I have a headache from trying to follow the shenanigans and tomfoolery I'm about to lay down on you. Brace yourselves, readers - it's time for a tale of scamming, free stuff, and (fake) cancer. Lympnoma strikes again!

So a little background: about a year or so ago, a few product formulators and company owners started receiving emails from a woman inquiring about free products for her daughter, a young woman suffering from "non-Hodgekins lymphnoma" (her spelling). The emails were all strikingly similar, along these lines:

"Amanda's Wish
I am writing on behalf of my daugher, her name is Amanda and she
is 17 and she has cancer, non hodgkins lymphnoma, she loves your products and I was
wondering if there was anything you could send to her, anything would
be cherished and appreciated,Thanks her address is Amanda Neil"

Amanda Neil was the young woman's name, and the email requests for free products always came from the same source, her "mother." About 10 months ago, one of the formulators who received this email posted about it in the Regretsy forums, because something seemed off about the whole thing. Lo and behold, several other company owners and formulators stepped forward with copies of their own emails from "Amanda Neil," all asking for free product because of "lymphnoma." Please enjoy reading some of the back story on "Amanda Neil" here: Regretsy.

You might ask, "well, Soctopus, what's the big deal? Why not give the cancer patient a few free things to brighten her day?" Because when enough people became involved, some of them started searching for "Amanda Neil" on the interwebs, and *boy* did they ever find her. A list of Amanda's outlets:!!

There's a lot of info in those links! Whew, am I ever BEAT from all that reading. I learned about Amanda's blog, her make-up favorites, her music, her love for "BooBoo" Stewart (I can't even, with that name). You know what I didn't read or learn about? Lymphnoma. Because it's not part of her life. It's not even a real disease. Lymphoma, however, is - a debilitating and scary dyscrasia. People with lymphoma deserve support and respect. People who fake having *lymphnoma* in order to receive free stuff deserve to rot in a special hell. Thankfully, the ladies and gentlemen of Regretsy swiftly went to town on "Amanda Neil," leading to the deletion of her prior blogs/FB profiles/internet presence. Because she was caught red-handed. So what brought on this blog post, since all of this is circa 10+ months ago?

"Amanda" surfaced again, with the same scam, asking for free products from Solstice Scents, one of my favorite indie fragrance/B&B companies. Same exact email. Same exact request. Oy. So this blog post is for you, "Amanda Neil," to remind you that the interwebs never forget. Never. Not ever. Not when someone scams small businesses, and not when they scam in a small, tight-knit community. Although you were right about one thing, "Amanda" - Solstice Scents *is* awesome. Too bad you won't get some free products to try them. Better luck next time, and good luck with your lymphnoma treatments!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

"Holly Jolly Holidays" Tag - You're It!


Merry Christmas, err'body! I got tagged in a post by the lovely BeautyInfinitum for the Holly Jolly Holiday tag, so here is my Christmas post! 

1. Do you start your Christmas shopping on Black Friday or wait until last minute?
I start shopping early, around Black Friday, and keep shopping right up until the last minute. I tend not to plan my gifts, but rather shop serendipitously.
2. If you could be in any Christmas movie what would it be?
Probably "Elf." Or "Black Christmas." I'm not one for super-sappy Christmas movies, so a horror movie feels right!

3. Which do you like better: Christmas Eve or Christmas Day?
 I like both! Christmas Eve means the anticipation of Christmas morning is around the corner. I still get that sense of excitement when I go to bed on Christmas Eve, and the feeling of Christmas morning is incredible! 
4. When does your family put up your Christmas tree and who decorates it?
We don't put up a tree or decorations. The only holiday that gets pride of place in our house is Halloween. We do hang stockings and display our Christmas cards, however.

5. White lights or colored lights?
Colored lights! We decorated the unit at work, and everybody's favorites are the colored string lights around the census board. Night shift turns the hallway lights off, and the unit is lit by the flickering colored lights. It's amazing how much difference a few cheap lights can make.
6. Are you guilty of peeking at your presents or do you like surprise?
Never. I want to be surprised.
7. Would you rather live in a gingerbread house or Santa's Workshop?
Gingerbread houses for the MFW. I would LOVE to live in a gingerbread house. The smell alone would be amazing.
8. Tell us your Christmas Eve traditions!
We don't really have any traditions, per se. We usually have a late-night hot chocolate and promise to get up early and open presents. When we're in California, with our families, we go to the in-laws' house for Christmas Eve dinner, and celebrate Christmas Day at my family's house.
9. If you could be under the mistletoe with anyone, who would it be?
My husband, Snuggle Bunny. 
10. What tops your tree?
No tree, so no tree topper. :(

Now, for a few Christmas traditions and memories that weren't mentioned:
What was your favorite present?
When I was 4, I got a Snuffles Bear (by Gund). He's since been re-christened "Mr. Bear," now known as "Mr. OG Bear," since he was the first, and he still sleeps with me every night. He's not white or fluffy anymore, his eyes are cracked, and he has a new nose, but he's the best thing Santa ever brought me. 33 years later, he's still OG Bear.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Small Business Saturday... almost over! Where did you shop? I bought a bunch of (secret gifty) things from OrangeThyme, most of which are gifts for the parents and the husband. I'm also shopping from Innocent+Twisted Alchemy on Tuesday, for the release of the new Battle Royale-inspired collection. Lastly, I purchased a few things from Haus of Gloi. Meanwhile, here's a list of a few indie/small-businesses that offer great products at a great price:

Epically Epic Soap Company
One Hand Washes The Other
Detrivore Cosmetics
Femme Fatale Cosmetics
Fyrinnae Cosmetics
Innocent+Twisted Alchemy
Black Rose Minerals
Shiro Cosmetics
Haunt Bath and Body
Haus of Gloi
Darling Clandestine

Each of these companies makes great products and offers friendly, prompt customer service. 1 out of 1 RNs agree!

*as always, all products purchased by me, for me*

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


No, it's not Friday yet. But it is the day before Thanksgiving! And I will be posting a review of indie chocolates on Friday! Happy Thanksgiving, err'body!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Lip Balm Roulette

I think I may have a problem - a lip-balm problem. You see, I love lip-balm, and can't say no when a new/interesting flavor is introduced. Because even though I have Lemon Cheesecake lip balm, the Meyer Lemon Cupcake lip-balm *may* be different. Or better! Which means, naturally, I have to have both. Let me show you a small part of my collection:
What you're seeing: The Morbid The Merrier, Epically Epic Soap Company, OrangeThyme, Madd Style Cosmetix, Ophelia's Apothecary, and, last but not least, Haunt Soap Company. Each company makes lip-balms, a few places specialize in balms, and a few just have balms as an afterthought. So let's break it down, balm-style!
First up is Ophelia's Apothecary. This picture is Lemon Cheesecake, hands down my favorite lip-balm flavor of all time. It doesn't smell like lemons, or lemonade, it smells exactly like lemon cheesecake - creamy, tart, lemony. It's got a lovely slip to it, so your lips feel moisturized, but not overly slick, and it lasts. I have three balms from OA left, the Lemon Cheesecake balm, Butter Toffee Crunch, and Margarita Lime. All three are lovely. Now for the bad: Ophelia's Apothecary is notoriously unreliable. It took well over two months for me to receive my order. At the time of the order, turn-around time was around 14 days. No notice was sent, no explanation was given. However, I really liked my products, so I didn't really think anything of it. I've since learned of several other customers experiencing months-long waits, or orders that never arrived, and now OA is threatening to close up shop. Oy. So, despite their excellent performance, I can't recommend this shop. Let's move on to a shop I can whole-heartedly recommend...
OrangeThyme! This is one of the companies that specialized in lip-balms, and it shows. These balms have avocado oil and shea butter, which seem to lend a thickness to the balm formula. They glide on heavier, and melt into the lips. Each of these balms is scented very true to life. The Honeycrisp Apple balm really does smell like crisp apple slices, for example, and you can smell a true blueberry scent in the Blueberry Lemon balm. These balms are heavy, and not suitable for under lipstick or gloss, however. I tend to wear these to bed to moisturize overnight. But, really, you can't go wrong with any flavor combination from OrangeThyme. Next up...
Madd Style Cosmetix! MSC is a great company, primarily known for their eyeshadows. (Which are fabulous. Get some. GO!) I happen to have two different formulas: mango butter and sugar lips. I notice a bit more slip with the sugar lips formula, while the mango butter formula is slightly thicker. These two smell lovely, but carry an artificial scent. The Carrot Cake Bomb smells more like sugared walnuts than anything else, which is not a bad thing...unless your husband is allergic to walnuts and HATES the smell. The Marshmallow Peep Bomb smells like burnt sugar. Of note: MSC doesn't make a lot of balms, and when they do, they're often limited-edition. So keep your eyes open, and GO BUY EYESHADOW!
Haunt Soap Co. makes quite a few lip-balms, which they call "Lusts." The two flavors I own, Milk & Nectar and Strawberry-Lime are excellent. Milk & Nectar is a strange scent, which really grew on me. It's floral and fruity at the same time, and very different from any other balm scent I've tried (which is a lot). These are the two slipperiest balms I own. They slide onto the lips and sit on the surface, without sinking in, and tend not to last on me. The saving grace is those lovely scents that don't smell like anything from any other company.
Last, but certainly not least, Epically Epic Soap Co. The current line up includes balms with spice, like Cardamom Vanilla or Pineapple Sage (both of which are on their way to me...). Epically Epic is known for unusual and savory balms. In the past, the store has offered Thai Lemongrass balm, as well as Passionfruit Rose. These combinations don't always work, but when they do, they're (dare I say) epic. EESC balms are soft and moisturizing. They coat the lips and sink into the natural folds. These tend to last on me, which is why I wear the shimmer balms at work (12-13 hour shifts). EESC balms are on the heavier side, but light enough to wear lipstick over.

So who do I recommend? I suppose it depends on what you look for in a balm. I tend to buy based on flavor/smell first, and once I like a formula, I'll go back to that company. The lightest balm in this group is the Haunt formula, which is noticeably slick. The heaviest balms are the OrangeThyme balms. Epically Epic balms lie on the heavier side, but are more wearable during the day. OrangeThyme and Epically Epic make the most interesting flavors, while Haunt makes fewer balms with more unusual flavors. I would buy from each company again, but Epically Epic Soap Company has the balms I keep going back for.

**all products purchased by me**

Monday, September 10, 2012

In It To Win It!

Hey, err'body! It's time for a contest! Because, really, who doesn't want to win free stuff? (I know *I* do!) Femme Fatale Cosmetics, an indie cosmetics company based in Australia, is hosting a 1-year anniversary contest. Oh, you haven't heard of Femme Fatale Cosmetics, you say? Well, let me tell you more! Femme Fatale Cosmetics makes lovely eye-shadows, blushes, and other products, including gorgeous nail polishes that are sadly available to Australian customers only. One of the things Femme Fatale is known for is outstanding, unusual duochrome shades. A few recommendations: my favorite favorite favorite duochrome, Frozen Flame; Shooting Stars; and Space Cow (buy it for the name, keep it for the color).

Basically, you can't go wrong with Femme Fatale. So how do you go about getting your hands on some? Simple: go to the FFC website and buy yourself some amazing make-up. Oh, and while you're there, enter her 1-year anniversary contest. Here's the link:

CLICK IT! DO IT NOW! (Then come back later and tell me how much you love your new Femme Fatale products. Go ahead, I'll wait here.)

Friday, September 7, 2012

The Saddest of Sad-Faces...

UPDATE: I received my package from Lost In Makeupland. The products are gorgeous and wearable. I also received a partial refund from the owner. I would consider trying the company again in the future, if the TAT was lessened/straightened out.

So. It's with a heavy heart that I write this blog. It's going to be a short one, because it's basically an update on my last post (45 Days To Decide). I've finally heard from the owner of the company in question, and it was handled in a way that I consider unprofessional and wrong. My order was shipped on Wednesday, according to the company owner, but I wasn't emailed or informed of this until I posted in a Facebook group about my frustrations with this order. The only way I got any response to my questions was via members of that same Facebook group PM'ing the owner to get a response. That shouldn't have happened.

Now, going back, remember: I emailed the company's contact email, and eventually sent a PM to the owner's personal FB page. The company owner was on FB *after* I had sent my PM asking about my order, and did not respond in any way, shape, or form to either message, neither PM nor email. Initially, I was offered a partial refund OR a refund of shipping, with an increase in product sent. Color me dubious. Later, I was sent something (I won't say what here) to show me that a refund would not be coming anytime soon, partial or otherwise. I am particularly saddened because this company, by all accounts, makes excellent product. I'll let you know, if and when I get mine. Until then, I can say without hesitation that I cannot recommend Lost In Makeupland.

The owner has stated that she is unable to fulfill any further orders, and is shutting the shop down, but the site is still active, and I was able to add items to my cart today, when I tested. So I am naming the shop in question as a warning to other indie shoppers out there: beware of Lost In Makeupland. I'm sorry it's come to this, I truly wanted to love this shop and recommend it to everyone, but I can't in good conscience stay silent, not when the shop is still operational, waiting for someone else to fall into the same hole.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

45 Days to Decide

So. Today I'm in a not-unfamiliar position: waiting for an order to arrive that is now more than double the stated turn-around-time (TAT). I won't name the company, because there are still emails/etc. that need to be answered. I'd like to give the company a chance to ship my order OR refund my product before going gonzo on my blog. However, I need to vent because it's frustrating as hell!

My indie-shopping readers will be familiar with this dilemma: the TAT has come and gone, no products have arrived, what do I do now? What are your choices? Well, you can do a few things. The first (and surely most obvious) is to contact the business/business owner to inquire about the state of your package. The right way to do this is to contact the company through their business page's contact information. If (and ONLY if this garners no response), it might be worth making an inquiry on the businesses Facebook page.

At this point, if you've gotten no response to your emails, you need to start thinking about filing a PayPal claim (or a bank claim). However, PayPal limits claims to within 45 days of the order, which effectively negates many indie companies, since TATs can be much longer than this time frame. However, PayPal has been know to open claims after the fact under certain circumstances. After the 45 day period has elapsed, your best bet may be to call your bank and attempt to get a refund or charge-back this way.

Being in this situation sucks. You ordered and paid for a product you were excited to try/see/use, and as the days go by without results, you start to feel like you've been stolen from. Perhaps the *worst* part of this situation is the guilty feeling so many of us get when we have to email a company owner about missing products/orders. Why do we feel guilty about asking a legitimate question? When you've paid for a product, and you're out both money and products, it is your right as a consumer to ask about your order. You, the consumer, should in no way feel guilty about emailing a business owner over this issue.

I've done what I can about my missing order. I emailed a week ago, and have yet to hear back. At this point, I just hope to open my mailbox and see a package waiting for me. We'll see. I'm over the 45 day PayPal limit, so I will have to contact my bank soon. At the end of the day, I just *really* want my products. 

Friday, June 15, 2012

One Hand Washes The Other...Hand. Or Something.

Whelp, I finally got my (two) cameras working, which means the time has come: the time to share my One Hand Washes The Other (heretofore known as OHWTO) review. Full disclosure: this post has some pictures. Even more disclosure: I <3 OHWTO. With that said, let us begin...

The reason you may have heard of OHWTO: Black Magic soap. Black Magic is exactly that - *magic*. It is a combination of "a unique blend of traditional essential oils and botanical ingredients combined with modern cleansing technology," if I may quote the magician who created this magical soap. Black Magic is a dark, grey/black color, with a noticeable botanical smell. I find the smell pleasant, and have been know to open the jar of soap while I bathe, just to have the smell in the air around me. The soap itself is creamy, requiring a dollop about the size of a dime to lather my face and neck. It rinses cleanly and leaves no residue. But, most important of all is what the soap does to your skin (well, MY skin, but still...still...). When I started using Black Magic soap, I had dry, flaky patches on either cheek and in the middle of my forehead. Foundation and powder both magnified the patchiness, and I was at my wit's end, having tried eleventy-million different soap/moisturizer combinations, to no avail. When I finally tried Black Magic soap, it was with little hope of any change. Lemme tell you - my dry patches were gone after (no joke) one use of Black Magic. ONE. Needless to say, I'm somewhat of a zealot about this product. I now use both the cream soap and the scrub (also cramazing), as well as a tiny travel bar that a friend gifted me. I will never use another soap, and you can take my Black Magic away from me when you pry it from my cold, dead hands. (Even then, good luck!)

In addition to Black Magic soap, OHWTO also makes an oil spray called Snake Oil (or Snayk Oyl). This oil is soft, light-weight, and just sinks into your skin, especially when used after the bath, on damp skin. I haven't used it on my hair, since I have thick hair that is prone to oiliness, but I've heard it's a lovely conditioner/detangler. The oil can also be scented, as you'll notice mine is. Which brings me to the next amazing product(s): the perfumes.

OHWTO makes some of the most amazing, unique perfumes I've ever had the good fortune of wearing. (I'm wearing one right now: Oakmoss & Sandalwood.) As you can see, I own quite a few of these scents, both in solid and oil forms. The oils are, from L to R, clockwise: Festivus, Burning Times, Hivemind, Coven, and Be Mine. Of these, Festivus is a limited-edition scent from the Winter collection, while Burning Times and Coven are LE Halloween scents. Be Mine is a Valentine's Day LE scent, while Hivemind is available year-round. The solid scents are as follows: L row: Be Mine, Waes Hail, Frankincense and Mirth, Dude, Festivus, I Smell Like A Witch, and Aravine; R row: The Cake Is A Lie, Oakmoss & Sandalwood, Oceanside, Anael, Watch You Disappear, Violette, and Exhume. Whew. That's *alot* of fragrance. Before you ask, no, I don't have a favorite. Although I do have periodic obsessions, like my current obsession with Hivemind. What's that? What do they smell like, you ask? Well, let me describe a few for you!

Hivemind is described as "The scent of a thousand apiaries in Spring, all the inhabitants functioning with a singular focus. Creamed honey, laced with a buttery vanilla, its sticky sweetness tempered by white musk and a touch of dark patchouli." This is pretty accurate. Hivemind is a visceral fragrance, heavy and sweet, with an undertone of dark, sticky musk. This fragrance is carnal, like the scent of sex in the summer. If anyone reading this remembers MAC Africanimal, this is its long-lost, less inhibited older sister. Sticky, sweet, and oh so dark.

Burning Times is spicy. SPICY! The first two scents to hit you out of the bottle are cinnamon and smoke. On the skin, it dries down to a warmer, spicy blend, with the smoke fading into the background (but never gone). Burning Times smells like a dance by firelight, with a gypsy caravan parked just out of reach of the fire. Exotic and rare, but with an underlying danger. If it returns this Halloween, it is a must-buy. 

Those are my two current favorites, although you can no doubt tell by my back-ups that Festivus and Be Mine are also worn frequently. But there is not a bad scent in the bunch. Blended to perfection, no single note stands out or jars the senses. OHWTO has succeeded in leading me out of my fragrance cave (spicy/woody/oriental) to try new things. Several of these fragrances are nothing that I would have bought, or thought I'd like, based on the scent descriptions, but OHWTO has such a steady hand in blending that I trust I will like every scent I try. So far, so good. 

I cannot recommend OHWTO highly enough. Fabulous skincare, combined with a top-notch selection of fragrances. There is literally something for everyone, male and female, at this site. If you purchase one product, make it Black Magic soap, in any of its forms. You won't be sorry.

***everything mentioned here was purchased by me, all opinions are my own, I do not review anything for compensation***

Monday, June 4, 2012

Darling Clandestine-ly In Love

Today, I will be reviewing Darling Clandestine, a perfume shop run by the lovely Evonne. (Click the shop name for the link...CLICK IT.) I received Cloudswing solid perfume and a scent to be released soon, Harpy. Darling Clandestine sells both solid scents and perfume oils, and her solid scents are a generous 0.5 oz in a lovely tin, each scent with its own signature picture. The solid scents retail for between $9-10, while oils retail for between $12-17. Turn-around time is quick - each time I've ordered, I've had the scents in my hands within 1-1.5 weeks, which is more than quick enough. OK, enough boring details! Now for the goods: the scents!

Cloudswing is described as "a bright, crisp, golden-green scent with notes of warm hay and vanilla and mowed clover and marigolds and intense lemongrass." I find the lemongrass and hay to be the most intense scents when smelled from the tin, but on the skin, the lemongrass and vanilla really move to the forefront, with the lemongrass taking the lead. However, it isn't overwhelming, and you won't smell like Thai food. Cloudswing is a lovely, bright, green fragrance. It isn't a "type" of fragrance I would have gravitated towards, but, like many of Darling Clandestine's scents, it is quickly becoming a favorite.

Harpy isn't for sale yet, though I'm told it will be for sale in a matter of weeks. Harpy...Harpy is a combination of coconut, lime, salt, and other scents. It is tropical, but dark, all at the same time. It has an absolutely lovely dry-down, and it mellows into a gorgeous, sandy, beach scent. It smells like margaritas at night, and an ocean breeze on a rainy day. I love it!

I also own several other Darling Clandestine scents: Falchion (sexy sex in a sexy tin), Mortardeille Kelah (creamy strawberry sex), Maudlin & Bedlam, Carny Wedding, Big Top Train, Inked (subtle, musky sex on the skin), Summer's Cauldron, Mad As Birds (minty, bright, lovely), and Circassian (coffee sex). So, yeah. I recommend Darling Clandestine fragrances. You'll smell unique, and lovely, and trust me, people will ask you, "what's that amazing scent you're wearing?" They'll ask you that A LOT.

 ***everything mentioned here was purchased by me or provided as a gift, all opinions are my own, I do not review anything for compensation***

Thursday, May 31, 2012

All The Sexy Things. ALL OF THEM.

So. Today was non-make up shopping day. OK, there *may* be a few Dawn Eyes Cosmetics in the photo, but...mostly lingerie. One thing I have learned after 30-some odd years on this Earth: bras are not where you want to skimp on money. No sirree. Which means that, due to a combination of having large boobs and expensive tastes, I shop once or twice a year, when Nordstrom has a sale.

I've learned that a few brands are go-to's for me, and today was no exception. Freya, Chantelle, Panache, and Le Mystere all make gorgeous, non-dowdy large-cup bras (thank god for that...), and today was an embarrassment of riches. In addition to the two push-ups in the pics, there *may* be a mint-and-white polka dot push-up bra in the mail... I will say that it is worth the time and effort to get fitted at Nordstrom. The fitting is free, and it is FAR more accurate than a Victoria's Secret fitting. My actual bra size was WAAAAY off from what I'd been wearing. Embarrassingly off. Like, 40D to 38E/F off. The difference in comfort levels since I've started wearing the correct size is remarkable.

In addition to the bra and cosmetics, I picked up cologne. Viktor & Rolf Spicebomb. Yes, it's a men's fragrance. Yes, it's for me. It is spicy heaven! I don't buy mainstream perfume often, but this was love at first smell. It is spicy, with cardamom and cinnamon the most obvious top notes, then it mellows with leather and tobacco. It is a seriously sexy smell. (I will be hiding this one from my husband.)

Lastly, the cosmetics. Oh, Dawn Eyes, how I love you. I've ordered from Dawn Eyes twice, and each time my order shipped within 3-4 days of my order. That is some fast service! The eye shadows are gorgeous and pigmented, and, most importantly, complex. Three of these are from her Winnie the Pooh collection, all of which are duochromes with more sheen than sparkle. The other four are soon-to-be retired colors, two of which are also duochromes. I've yet to be disappointed by Dawn Eyes, and would highly recommend them to anyone who likes beautiful things.

All in all, not a bad shopping day. <3

***edited to remove picture***

 ***everything mentioned here was purchased by me, all opinions are my own, I do not review anything for compensation***

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Things That Are Awesome, Pt. 2...

...or another post in which I describe more things that are awesome on my face.

Being an indie-shopper, most of my purchases will be from indie/small business. I don't need to go into the whys and wherefores, but I will: small businesses need support, and are awesome. Just sayin'. So here is my list of places I shop from, and what I buy:

1. One Hand Washes The Other: I can't recommend this shop highly enough. Fragrance and bath/body products. So. Good. Holy grail product alert*: Black Magic soap. My skin is suddenly even, with no dry patches, which was not the case prior to Black Magic. Also the many perfumes. My favorites: Festivus, Coven, Burning Times, Oceanside, Frankincense and Mirth. Just perfect. Add top-notch customer service, and it is WIN.

2. Darling Clandestine: Another indie fragrance shop, run by a lovely woman, who makes some amazing, OOAK scents. Soft, long-lasting solids and amazing oils. My favorites: Falchion, ...Kelah, Inked. Inked smells like your skin, if you were made of magic. *cramazing*

3. Sweet Anthem: Yet another indie fragrance shop, located on Etsy and in my neighborhood. Reasonable prices and complex smells, and her brick and mortar shop sells other small/independent perfumers. My favorites: Elliott and Rebecca. Both spicy, both deep. Elliott smells like pine, musk, and sex. Good sex. Sexy sex.

Honorable mention: The Morbid The Merrier. Unfortunately, no longer in business, but decants and bottles are available through various websites. If you get the chance, pick something up. Anything. Because they were all keepers.

There are many reasons to "support indie," but the best reason is simply that the product you purchase works for you, and you like it. Each of these businesses offer stellar customer service and unique products.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Things That Are Awesome, Pt. 1

Or, a post in which I list places I buy from. Part 1 - the Make-Up

- Black Rose Minerals
-- gorgeous colors, duochromes, a lovely formula, and now blush! BLUSH! Highly recommended.

- Darling Girl Cosmetics
-- eyeshadow, blush, and lipsticks/glosses! All gorgeous, plus a 16 Candles eyeshadow collection, which may or may not have been my brainchild...

- Fyrinnae Cosmetics
-- CAN. NOT. RAVE. ENOUGH. Buy Damn Paladins. And everything else. And Pixie Epoxy.

- Morgana Cryptoria
-- some of the best lipsticks/glosses ever made, and lovely, underrated eyeshadows

- Shiro Cosmetics
-- again, underrated. Gorgeous colors, and superb lip products. Three Wolf Moon. Buy it.

- Madd Style Cosmetics
-- glitter bombs! Amazing glitter bombs!

- Sobe Botanicals
-- Sweet 'N' Sour may be the best eyeshadow by anyone, ever. And the lipsticks are to die.

This is just a start, but each of these companies makes beautiful, unique products backed with excellent customer service. I can't <3 each of them enough! 

The Soctopus has spoken.

What's Wrong With You, Indie?

The Soctopus is angry. ANGRY! My favorite playground, indie make-up, is overrun with bullies lately. Make-up should be a lovely, sparkley, happy thing. Make-up should soothe and comfort. Make-up should bring joy and beauty. Make-up should NOT make you want to throw things around in a rage.

Right now, there are a few indie make-up sellers giving a bad name to the entire indie make-up community. This world is small, insular, and everyone knows/knows of everyone else. So there isn't a lot of room to fuck-up without the entire community knowing/hearing about it. The main issue most customers have with any company is poor customer service. It is no different in the indie make-up community, but it's much smaller, so CS concerns tend to make the rounds and reverberate, particularly when they are handled badly.

Today's issue lies with two companies, both of which have faulty or defective products, both of which have handled concerns about their products the wrong way. The first company has out and out lied to customers about the product in question, and recently has taken to banning customers from the company fan page, deleting unfavorable comments. This particular situation has gone beyond bad CS and become very ugly due to a rift between some of the people bringing to light issues with the product and the company owner. Company "A" has decided that any issue with the product in question is clearly either: (1) a malicious lie created by jealous "haters," or (2) "you're doin it wrongz!"

Company "B" recently had a customer publish pictures of a moldy lipstick, with clear growth all over the surface. When shown the pictures, the company owner responded that the lipstick was contaminated by the wearer, it *must* have been her fault, and also, vegan/organic don't need/use preservatives, so it was clearly past its shelf life. While they did offer the customer a refund, they also made a point of deflecting blame, essentially claiming "operator error." It's a lipstick. You put it on your lips. Not much room for error, is there?

Both Company "A" and Company "B" have had customers bring to light defective/faulty product issues. Both companies have chosen to blame the customer, rather than address the issues with the products. This attitude reflects poorly on ALL indie companies, unfortunately, and creates a culture of mistrust and fear, prompting people to stay away from indie make-up. Which is a damn shame, because the vast majority of indie formulators are talented, creative, honest men and women with excellent customer service.

How could these issues have been resolved? A simple "I'm sorry, let me look into the issue" would have been an excellent start.