Monday, August 1, 2011

My Guest Blogger Review of Venemous Cosmetics on KimmieKarmaLove

This guest beauty-blogger review was first posted on the KimmieKarmaLove blog on Tuesday 26, 2011:

Hi there! My name is Lisa Neff, and this is my first-ever review, so please be gentle with me! I met Kimberly on the RAT Pack Facebook page, and she took me up on my offer to do freelance guest blogger reviews. I love color, and cosmetics are my chosen medium. I buy, collect, and review cosmetics; I consider it my “hobby.” I’m a long-time member of Makeup Alley (screen name “hp11989”) and have been voted a Top Reviewer there. I prefer shimmery and sparkly eyeshadow colors, both bright and not-so-bright, and my latest bit of cosmetic growth is becoming comfortable trying and wearing blues and greens on my eyelids 

I have short, warm-toned, medium brown hair; hazel green eyes; a pale, cool, pink-toned complexion; and pigmented lips. I usually look best in colors with warm to neutral undertones, but I believe in my ability to detach from my preferences so that I can review any item fairly.

The only caveats I add to my budding experience with beauty blogging is (1) I lack camera skills; (2) I live a pretty simple life (read boring [plus I work from home]), so I don’t do crease colors or eye lining (just lid and brow bone highlight), meaning you probably won’t ever see any funky looks or read any reviews of those products from me, LOL; and (3) I will almost always be doing eyeshadow reviews since that’s what I wear the most often. So, on with the review: Today’s topic is Venomous Cosmetics.

Venomous Cosmetics

The Web Site Itself: 3.5 of 5 stars

I consider the e-tailer’s Web site to be a storefront, so it’s an important piece of marketing IMHO. If I land on a Web site that is messy, scattered, unclear, or boring, I may just possibly not buy anything even if the company has been recommended. That being said, I like the theme (deadly creatures) and main color (hot pink) of Venomous Cosmetics. The site is well laid out and easy to navigate. The owner is clear in labeling colors that aren’t lip safe (with a cute logo) so they are easy to identify. The product photos/colors are bright and clear. The TAT is clearly stated at the top of the home page.

However, the site has some inconsistencies and design drawbacks: First, there is a lot of space between collections, meaning there’s a fair amount of (pink) “dead space.” In terms of a “window-shop layout,” I’d like to see the entire eyeshadow section tightened up with more emphasis on larger product photos, perhaps framing each collection in some way (and making each frame clickable) to make the collections stand out. Also, the colors have written descriptions on some pages and not on other pages. The font is so small that I actually didn’t even see the descriptions when I made my fist purchase, so I bought blindly on color alone. For me, it helps to have a written description to detail finish and size/color of sparkle, interference, or shift. I did see the descriptions on my second visit to take notes for this review, so they are there; you just have to hunt for them.

The eyeshadow section is divided into the following categories on the drop-down list: loose powder (descriptions), loose samples (no descriptions), pressed shadows (!; much better [larger] descriptions and link to unlabeled swatches [very annoying]), pressed samples (no descriptions), swatches (pretty good labeled swatches but not of the entire family of collections), looks, and sale (under construction). I didn’t like that the swatch link was separate from the product colors and that some of the swatches were unlabeled. Last, from what I could tell, not all of the colors are available as both loose and pressed samples.

Pricing: 5 of 5 stars

I thought the pricing was fair and average for the field: $6.50 for 5-g sifter jar of loose pigment, $1 for 1/8-t sample of loose pigment in a baggie, $6.50 for full-size pressed shadows, and $2.00 for a 15-mm mini pressed shadow. The feature of offering pressed shadows in both full and mini sizes is really cool! I don’t know of any other indie company that offers them, so in that way she has one up on the competition.

Communication: 3 of 5 stars

Communication was very good and clear on the Web site. However, the owner never replied to an email I sent asking if a certain color was offered as a loose powder sample  I will re-send just to be sure there wasn’t a communication boondoggle.

TAT and Shipping: 5 of 5 stars

Ordered: 06/12/11
Shipped: 06/15/11
TAT: 3 days (very good)
Shipping: $2.00
Actual shipping: $1.71 (good estimate)
Order confirmation: Yes
Shipping confirmation: Yes
Separate personal shipping email: Yes (nice touch)
DC/tracking: Yes
Package invoice: Yes
Packaging/presentation: Extremely well wrapped
Extras: Yes (x 2)

The Product Itself: 5 of 5 stars

Eventually, it all comes down to the product itself. I was pleasantly surprised, especially, since I ordered my colors “blind,” that the product was so excellent! First off, the pans of mini-cuteness made me say “awwwwwww” when I opened the package. I don’t know where the heck she got such tiny pans, but the shadows were perfectly and tightly pressed (I’ve pressed my own shadows, so I know what a laborious process pressing is). However, they were pressed so well and so hard that it was difficult to load up my brush (MAC 139) with product, making the shadow apply more sheerly than I think it would have if it had been loose: It took a few coats to get the saturation I prefer. I’m actually going to break up/crush the product and put it into baggies. The samples I got as extras came in the dreaded “long” baggies (2” 3”), so I know I will have to decant samples into my preferred square bags (2” x 2”). The shadows are so good, though, that I can deal.

Almost all of the colors on the site are extremely bright and well-saturated; gals who love bright colors will have a blast! The finish (at least of the four colors I bought) is satin matte. Not my favorite finish, but maybe it was best considering the brightness of the shades. Shimmer and glitter might have been overkill. However, if she could recreate all of her bright shades in shimmer/glitter versions, I think she’d corner the market and be a more-than-viable competitor for Sugarpill (although I've not yet tried them)!

Here’s what I bought:


1. Sea Urchin (Main Collection): Pinkish purple with iridescence (spot on but much deeper in person)

2. Centipede (Main Collection): Medium aqua with subtle blue sparks (spot on but deeper and brighter in person)

3. Tazelwurm (Legendary Collection): Deep pink with pink and purple iridescence (spot on but WAY deeper and brighter in person)

4. The Last Unicorn (Legendary Collection): Shimmering white with gold hints (spot on; not too much gold [which looks like crap on my coloring])

Finish for all colors: Satin matte

Pigmentation for all colors: Good although might have been better in loose-powder form

Application for all colors: Smooth but hard to load brush

Flash: Left to right (over UDPP and PE): Tazelwurm, The Last Unicorn, Sea Urchin, Centipede.

Mini pans in natural light (already swatched [left to right and top to bottom]): Tazelwurm, Sea Urchin, The Last Unicorn, Centipede. 

Natural light: Left to right (over UDPP and PE): Tazelwurm, The Last Unicorn, Sea Urchin, Centipede. 

Extras in natural light: Left to right (over UDPP only): Locked in a Tower and Enchanted Forest (see how matte they are over just UDPP?).

Would I Buy Again?

Hell, yes! Colors I want to try next are Box Jelly (satiny white), Venice Love Affair (white-pink shimmer), Mermaid (deep sea green with subtle gold hints), Light Year (medium green with white sheen), and In Orbit (taupe brown w/ very subtle violet hints). However, I’ll skip paying extra for the cute pressed mini pans and just get loose samples instead.

Overall rating: 5 of 5 stars!
Please note that all of these products were purchased by me for my personal use.

's avatar - Go to profile
Oooh, guest reviews are a great idea! Lovely swatches - I keep hearing good things about Venomous :)
Venomous is pretty awesome stuff! Love their shadows and lippies!

Lisa's avatar
Lisa · 4 days ago
I will totally buy from them again. Thanks for commenting!

's avatar - Go to profile
Awesome review, I've been wanting to try out Venomous Cosmetics for a long time!


  1. I seriously love the wee little pans, I imagine that I'd feel like a giant holding them. It's so interesting to see a company do mini pressed pans as samples!

  2. This is/following as Rachael Sleighter from RAT Pack ;). As you might know I loooooove bright colors. I have been dying to try Venomous forever. Locked in a Tower looks amazing. This definitely didn't help my craving to try them! :)

  3. LOL, Rachael, Locked in a Tower will be among the prizes :-)

  4. Venomous cosmetics was my first mineral makeup company! I love Tracy's products! My favorite color is the pressed Sydney Harbor At Night! Gorgeous! Love your blog Lisa!