Saturday, August 20, 2011

August 20, 2011: Tag! Your'e It!

I was tagged for the Top 10 Award by Susan Woodall of the yummy Darling Girl Cosmetics! Considering that I haven't formally launched this new blog yet, this was a very sweet gesture by a very sweet woman :-) Here's my award:

Susan wanted to know what my top 10 favorite cosmetics items are, so here are my answers :-)

1. Everyday Minerals Pick Me Up Pink Color Correcter: I just tried to find this product on EDM's Web site, but appears that it's been discontinued :-( I found it far better than a green color corrector for diminishing the ruddiness on my cheeks. Luckily I have an extra full-size jar stashed away. If anyone know of any other brands of good pink color correctors, would you please let me know?

2. Everyday Minerals All Spice eyeshadow (soft neutral pink champagne laced with delicate white shimmer): OK, this product is still being sold; whew! Although the description says "pink," to me it looks more like a lightly-browned biscuit with a little shimmer -- the perfect neutral brow-bone highlighter.

3. Just about ANY eyeshadow by Aromaleigh: I hated mineral shadows at first, but I became a MMU convert, and Aromaleigh aficionado, several years ago. Don't ask me to name a favorite because I can't. And don't get me started on what I'm going to do when I run out of my three AL foundation back-ups :-(

4. Visine (regular formula): Yep. I never apply my makeup without first getting redness out of my eyes. I don't go whole-hog with it because that can cause rebound redness. Just a drop in each eye after I show and before I do my "face."

5. Fyrinnae Pixie Epoxy: I never apply a shimmery shadow without first revving it up with this primer, which amps up the shimmer/glitter/sparkle factor. I hear DG's own Glitter Glue is very good, too, so that will be on my shopping list soon (especially if Fyrinnae keeps pulling their disappearing acts).

6. Not cosmetics, but just about ANY Shower Smoothie from Sugarcandie Beauty Bar: Aside from having the absolute yummiest scents ever, as well as really excellent customer service, I really like that this whipped shower soap doesn't contain sodium laureth/lauryl sufate, which is harsh on human skin and even worse for little fishies, frogs, salamanders, and so forth. I go SLS-free whenever I can.

7. MAC 239 eyeshadow brush: Desert-island Holy Grail item. Before I found this, I was applying eyeshadow with my fingers. Messy for me and unsanitary for the shadows.

8. Tweezerman metal lash comb: Yes, it looks like a miniature instrument of torture, but it tames clumpy mascara into submission. Just use it very carefully, or you'll look like a lopsided cyclops, LOL.

9. Sephora Eye Makeup Remover Pen: Catches any glob or blob I somehow manage to leave behind (usually mascara, but I've used it to eradicate other things, too).

10. Cover Girl NatureLuxe Foundation in Alabaster: Because it's a great match for my fair and cool-toned complexion; it really does feel like light silk on my face; and it gives nice medium but buildable coverage.
....and here are the next 10 tagged. :D

**Rules of the Top 10 Award**
1.  Thank the person who tagged you and link to their blog.
2.  Put the Top 10 Award logo on your blog.
3.  List your Top 10 cosmetics.
4.  Choose 10 bloggers to tag, link to their blogs, and let them know.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Earn Pre-Entries Before My Giveway Starts!

First, I'd like to say "thanks" to the 38 followers (most of them from the RAT Pack Facebook page) who have taken a chance on following my new blog, some of them before I had actually published anything yet! I'm now offering the rest of you a chance to pre-enter, too.  

Here's what you have to do to earn two pre-entries before the contest starts. When the giveaway begins, the opportunity to earn pre-entries will disappear.
1. Follow my blog.

2. Leave one comment on one of my posts. Sorry, multiple comments, although enjoyable, won't earn you extra entries! (If you comment, please tell me in the comment what name you are following me under so I can match you up for your two entries).

Here's how to prepare for the actual entry (I'll announce the contest when it starts):

1. Think of three BFFS, two of whom do not already follow my blog. That's all I'm going to tell you right now :-)

For a look at the prizes so far, just look under the "Contest!" tab above.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

My Guest Review of Tick:Tock Cosmetics on Glitters and Bubbles

This guest beauty-blogger review was first posted on the Glitters and Bubbles blog on Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Company name: Tick:Tock Cosmetics

The Web Site Itself: 5 of 5 Stars

I had high hopes for this small indie company just based on the Web site, which is gorgeous. Things I liked include:
• Great font for the company name and tag line
• Fun tag line (“For Colors That Are Rockin’ Around the Clock”)
• Great storefront layout
• Excellent (huge) product shots
• Color names tie in with the overall theme
• Ingredients listed on each separate product page
• Great clickable (enlargeable) labeled “collage” product photo for each shadow.

of collage photo (reprinted with permission of Tick:Tock Cosmetics)

Things I didn’t like or that confused me:

• No mention of whether or not colors are vegan-friendly (although they do state approved for eye and/or lip use)

• At the top of each individual product page are the links “eye shadow pigment” “handmade,” “Makeup,” “make up,” and “cosmetics.” These clickable links take you to a Storenvy page that list many items from different shops, with her shadows scattered among them. IMHO, she’s giving free advertising to the other companies listed on those pages! Plus it’s just confusing.

Pricing: 5 of 5 Stars

Fair and actually better than average in terms of full-size jars: $5.50 for a 5-g jar (“packed” into 5-g sifter-capped jars) and only $.70 for samples in the dreaded longer baggies (2” x 3”) (sample size not stated, but it looked like an 1/8-teaspoon to me). No minimum order is stated. No free samples were included in my package, just a bottle-cap necklace (see below). Maybe this “extra would appeal to a 14-year-old girl, but not to me. I would have preferred an extra sample, which would also have been a better marketing tool. She must be marketing to a younger set =)

Bottle-cap necklace
TAT and Shipping: 4 of 5 Stars

Ordered: 06/11/11
Shipped: 06/14/11
TAT: 3 days (good)
Shipping: $2.00
Actual shipping: $2.51 (plus the cost of DC, so she actually lost money on mailing)
Personal shipping email: Yes
DC/tracking: Yes
Invoice: No
Packaging/presentation: Small padded mailing envelope; sample baggies enclosed in slightly larger baggie
Sample packaging: The dreaded longer baggies (2” x 3”; they make it hard to get shadow on just the brush and not the ferrule, too)
Extras: Yes (bottle-cap necklace)

Product: 3 of 5 Stars

At present, Tick:Tock has only a small number of shadows and shadows only: 14 to be exact. However, they do show a preview of a new collection called “Tea Time,” which includes 6 new colors. They also state that an eyeshadow base is coming soon (see notice of their upcoming sale below). The product photographs are huge and beautiful; extremely nice presentation. The collage photos on each product page show how the shadows look with different applications; again, a very useful tool for choosing colors! All of the colors are fairly simple and contain shimmer or sparkles in approximately the same color family. I would like to them mix it up a bit with unexpected color pairings.

Colors Ordered (my take in italics)

Hourglass (far left in photos; also shown close-up): Orange with gold shimmer and orange glitter (TT description) This description was accurate. Hourglass is a pretty but fairly one-dimensional shadow despite the addition of shimmer and glitter. It’s close to a Creamsicle shade. A little bit of pink duochrome would have made it more wearable for me. UNFORTUNATELY NOT A REBUY =(

Tick:Tock under flash conditions
Hourglass close-up
High Noon (second from left in photo): Light brown with a hint of shimmer (TT description) I liked this shade and was hoping it would be a dupe for Aromaleigh’s discontinued Infernal Chaos (third from left in photos). It came pretty close but was actually darker and more pigmented. It doesn’t have much shimmer, and I see it being quite a good staple bare neutral for school, work, or church/synagogue. POSSIBLE REBUY =)

Tick:Tock under natural lighting
Alarm Clock (far right in photos; also shown close-up): Light pink with red shimmer and pink glitter (TT description) There wasn’t anything special enough about this color to make me want more of it. It looks like a lot of the other pink shades I have. However, if you’re looking for a pink, or if pinks scare you (LOL), this one is pretty neutral-toned: not too cool and not too warm. Again, it was pretty but fairly one-dimensional. UNFORTUNATELY NOT A REBUY =(

Alarm Clock close-up
Would I Buy Again?

Yes, I would like to give this shop a second chance with some of the deeper colors: Salvador Dali (very cool “time/clock” reference, I’m assuming, to Dali’s melting timepieces), Times Square, and Grandfather Clock are colors I’d like to try. And I’ll probably get some more High Noon. Luckily they are having a big sale, with the release of the new primer and new eyeshadow colors, this weekend, August 13 and 14. This time, however, I’ll pass on the bottle-cap necklace :-)

Please note that I purchased all of these products for my own use.

I hope you enjoyed my review, and I’m looking forward to your comments! Look for
more reviews to come on my new beauty blog,

Monday, August 1, 2011

My Guest Blogger Review of La Coquette Cosmetics on Xtreme Makeup Addict

This guest beauty-blogger review was first posted on the Xtreme Makeup Addict blog on Tuesday, July 26, 2011:


The Web Site Itself: 4 of 5 stars        

La Coquette Cosmetics has a sweet little etsy shop. They are also on Artfire and have an independent Web site, but this review is on the etsy shop only. The owner sells loose mineral eyeshadows, pressed mineral eyeshadows (rare for a MMU company!), nail polish (also rare!), and an adorable Antoinette-themed palette (magnetized four-pan). The eyeshadow colors are contained on three swatch charts for a total of 32 shades, which each have both a number and a name. Because the shop is so small, the site is easy to navigate; this might change if they continue to offer a wider range of products. They do say on the site that lip balms and lip gloss will be added in the “next few weeks” (although this message is not dated).

White Antoinette-themed palette

The owner states clearly on the shop banner that products are made to order unless otherwise noted and are made by hand and not rebranded. They will also do custom orders. On the page for the loose eyeshadows, the ingredients are clearly listed by color number. The owner should put this on the page for the pressed eyeshadows, too :) There is also a link to the color charts on the loose-eyeshadow page, which should also be placed on the pressed eyeshadow page. Eyeshadow and nail-polish colors that are not vegan-friendly are listed at I think these carmine-containing shades should be on the etsy site so you don’t have to go to another site to find them! The nail polishes do not contain toluene, formaldehyde, or dibutyl phthalate. The pressed-shadow page says that you’ll receive a 10%-off coupon for your next purchase, but this is not stated on any of the other pages I looked at. Three of the newest colors (Lamia, Persephone, and Titiana) are on the ingredient listing but not on the color chart, but I have photos and descriptions of them below.

Pricing: 5 of 5 stars (updated 08/09/11)

Excellent prices, probably the lowest I’ve seen for handcrafted MMU, plus there is a discount code for readers (LISAROCKS20) for 20% off, which is good for 3 months from this posting:-)
  • Samples: As of this writing, there is no sample listing on etsy, although it is stated on the company Web site that “samples are $0.25 each and the cost includes shipping. Samples are .30 of loose powder packaged in 2x2 sample bag.” If you don't see a sample listing when you shop, just convo the owner.
  • One jar of loose eyeshadow (1.5 g of product) with a sifter cap (although you must request the sifter [no extra charge]): $3.50/4 jars for $11.50
  • Pressed pan (26 mm): $2.50
  • Two “baby” bottles (5 mL) of nail polish (w/ free bottle of top coat): 2 bottles for $5/4 bottles for $10
  • White Antoinette-Themed Palette w/ 4 pressed eyeshadows: $17 (this is shown in pink, too, but I couldn’t find a listing for it, so just convo the owner if you'd like one).
TAT, Shipping, and Packaging: 4.5 of 5 stars (updated 08/09/11)
Ordered: 06/19/11
Shipped: 06/19/11
TAT: Less than 1 day! (excellent!)
Shipping: $1.75
Actual shipping: $.64 (this discrepancy in shipping is explained on most of the product pages)
Confirmation email: Yes
Personal shipping email: No
DC/Tracking: No
Invoice: No, but an extensive ingredient list was included with my order
Packaging/presentation: Eyeshadow samples (numbered, not named) in individual baggies, which were then wrapped in tissue paper (not re-bagged together in another larger baggie) (this will change in the near future)
Extras: Yes (because I told her I had started guest blogging; I don’t know if she usually includes them)
Packaging: Business-size envelope

Product: 5 of 5 stars

Colors Ordered/Received

All colors were smooth and pigmented over Urban Decay Primer Potion and (in some cases) Fyrinnae Pixie Epoxy. I rarely had to build the colors up, they were that pigmented. I would describe most of the colors, with some exceptions as noted, to be a satin finish. The shadows are listed in appearance on my hand (first four)/arm (remaining seven) from left to right, top to bottom. My favorite colors are bolded below.

Natural lighting: colors 5 through11

Natural lighting: colors 1 through 4

  1. Titiana [NEW]: glittery silver packed with sparkles (accurate description)
  2. Silk Stockings: shimmery taupe (more peachy-pink than taupe but pretty   nonetheless)
  3. Strawberries and Champagne: pale pink w/ gold undertones (accurate description and my third favorite of the bunch)
  4. Lamia [NEW]: spring pink w/ hints of silver sparkle (more raspberry pink and one of the prettiest shades in the bunch)
  5. Nefertiti: smoky olive gold (accurate description)
  6. Boudoir: shimmery champagne (accurate description)
  7. Chocolate au Lait: rich milk chocolate w/ gold undertones (lighter than milk chocolate but still quite pretty)
  8. Lillith: autumn-leaf brown w/ chocolate shimmer (pretty accurate description, although I saw some green in it)
  9. Persephone [NEW]: deep brown w/ pomegranate shift (i.e., duochrome) and hints of green and gold (accurate description)
  10. Port Royale: vibrant jewel-toned purple (accurate description and another favorite in the bunch)
  11. Absinthe: vibrant apple green w/ gold undertones (accurate description) 
Indoor lighting: colors 5 through 11

Indoor lighting: colors 1 through 4

Customer Service/Communication: 5 of 5 stars

I was really impressed with the owner’s responsible and thorough communication about my purchase! Just a few hours after I ordered, she emailed me to clarify something I had written in the PayPal.

• Handcrafted, not rebranded cosmetics
• Will do custom orders
• Excellent TAT
• Low prices plus reader discount (see Pricing section above)
• Accurate color descriptions
• Smooth, pigmented shades
• Excellent communication and customer service!

• Some inconsistencies between product pages on Web site
• Sample baggies labeled with number, no color name
• Sample baggies not enclosed in a larger baggie and kept falling out of envelope during storage 

Overall Rating: 4.875 of 5 stars!


Rakhshanda said...
Such pretty shades!!!!
Aggie602 said...
I like the packaging, that really caught my eye.
galgotspirit said...
Yes, they are very pretty colors, especially in the lower flash photos, which actually show them truer to life. Very pigmented, too :-)

My Guest Blogger Review of Dawn Eyes Cosmetics on (Not) Making It Up

This guest beauty-blogger review was first posted on the (Not) Making It Up blog on Wednesday, July 6, 2011:

Company name: Dawn Eyes Cosmetics
Web site:

The Web Site Itself
: 4 of 5 Stars

Although the Dawn Eyes Cosmetics (DEC) Web site doesn’t have a lot of bells and whistles and sophisticated styling, it showcases something most essential: good swatches of beautifully crafted eyeshadows that have excellent depth, pigmentation, and loads of sparkle. I have not yet met one DEC shadow that I did not respect let alone fall wildly in love with! Not all of the shades I ordered worked for me, but that wasn’t for lack of color-matching opportunity on the DEC site. It has a couple of really good things going for it above and beyond other cosmetic sites. The things I really like are:

  • The “raw” photos (at a link under each respective color swatch), which are actually numerous photos of the product in different lights and different angles so you can get an excellent feel for the color, texture, pigmentation, and sparkle/sheen level of the shadow.
  • The fact that some of the raw photos are blurred on purpose, which better allows you to see the sparkles and their color before buying. I think it’s a stellar way to present swatches and makes purchasing less of the guessing game that can happen on other cosmetic Web sites. For these two facts alone, I give the site 4/5 stars; if those two features weren’t there, it would be a score of 3/5 stars. The only thing lacking in my opinion is a better way of showcasing the initial swatches, but that’s just “packaging.” So, order without hesitation (although getting samples first is always a good idea) because what you see is almost definitely what you get on the DEC site!
The top navigation bar has the following clickable links: “All About Ingredients,” “All About Us,” “Eye Shadow Colors,” “Gallery,” “Blog,” and “Contact Us.” DEC carries only eyeshadows right now, but I’m sure that more products will come as her reputation grows. The only thing she doesn’t communicate that I would like to see is her average TAT. However, Dawn has stated on the DEC Facebook page that if you submit an order by 2:00 pm, it will mail out the same day, which is the best TAT I’ve ever seen. That will probably change, though, as the company grows, and I just hope that she’ll keep the current TAT updated on the home page.

Pricing: 5 of 5 Stars

Fair and actually a little better than average in terms of FS jars: $6.00 for a 5-g jar (1.2- to 1.5-g net weight) and $1 for 1/8-t samples in the smaller (easier-to-handle) 1.5” x 1.5” baggies. There is no minimum order, and as of this writing, shipping within the United States is free! One sample of your choice is included with every $10 of product purchased, and you can note your color choice in PayPal’s “note to seller” section. It’s a nice touch than you can choose your extra sample color rather than randomly getting something you know won’t work for you (which is a waste of this marketing technique IMHO).

TAT and Shipping: 5 of 5 Stars

: NA for this particular batch of samples; I received these colors for review
Shipped: Again, NA, but when I do order, I receive my package in <5 days total
TAT: If you get your order in by 2:00 pm, TAT is 1 day; otherwise it might be 2 days (excellent TAT)
Shipping: Free (for now)
Actual shipping: It really IS free :-)
Order confirmation: Yes
Shipping confirmation: Yes
Separate personal shipping email: No
DC/tracking: Yes
Package invoice: Yes
Packaging/presentation: Extremely well wrapped, almost too much so (lots of tape)
Extras: Yes (1 with each $10 ordered)

Product: 5 of 5 Stars

This is where the really fun part comes in. First, you should know my method of applying DEC shadows: I always pat them over Fyrinnae Pixie Epoxy, which is applied over Urban Decay or E.L.F. Primer Potion. I achieve the best sparkle adherence and “show” when I use this method. I don’t go to all that trouble for most shadows, but DEC colors are extra sparkly and so deserve this special treatment! I have had a fair amount of fall-out with DEC shadows, so I just do my foundation after I’ve applied them instead of the other way around, which is my usual way. It’s no biggie for the amount of eye beautification you get.

Applied in this manner, DEC shadows take on a spectacular smooth metallic gleam, which happens to be my favorite finish. I’ve even likened them to Laura Mercier Metallic Crème Eye Colour. If you don’t care for a metallic finish, just apply them over a matte “dry” primer, i.e., E.L.F. Mineral primer or UDPP. Because of the high amount of sparkle, I definitely recommend some type of primer!

Colors Ordered/Received (My Take in Italics)

Conch (top row left; unreleased color [no DEC color description yet]): To my eye, Conch applied evenly peach as pink, but if foiled with Fyrinnae PE, it definitely takes on a lovely pale peach sheen. I plan to use this shade as a gorgeous neutral brow-bone highlight. I can’t wear such a light color on my lids (I’m very pale), but if you can, I definitely recommend trying it that way or as a highlighter. For those who are more adventurous than I am, it might even work as an all-over face highlighter, too. DEFINITE REPURCHASE!

Crème Brulee (top row right; unreleased color [no DEC color description yet]): This color name is the only misnomer in the bunch. It applied with a thick, rich texture and had definite yellow-gold/subtle green tones, like you would find in a color with “Old World” or “antique” in the name. I tempted to rename it “Gilded Moss” or “Tortoise,” although the original name did make me drool a little, LOL

Glacier (bottom row left): “Pearly white with a subtle green/blue shift and sparkling with tiny blue glimmers” (DEC description): Very accurate and more pigmented than I had expected; can be sheered out though. DEFINITE REPURCHASE!

Wild Strawberry (bottom row middle): Strawberry pink with strong green highlight and loaded with seed-sparks of pink and green (DEC description): Very accurate, although I would have liked the green seed-sparks to be more evident; this was a little too pale and matte satin-finish for me, even over Fyrinnae PE, so I won’t rebuy.

Fresh Earth: “A goldish and slightly greenish medium brown, which takes on a frosty sheen over primer, accented with tiny sparks of blue, green, and silver” (DEC description): More neutral than it sounds; very accurate; actually reminds me of Aromaleigh Concrete Jungle but just a bit darker (see last photo for a better look at it). DEFINITE REPURCHASE!

Would I Buy Again?

Um, do bears crap in the woods, LOL?
Please note that all  of these samples were provided to me prerelease by the company owner to obtain my opinions of the colors and for eventual review purposes.

Comments (8)

Cassie's avatar
Cassie · 3 weeks ago
Nice review, Lisa! I don't follow any "makeup blogs," so I wasn't sure of some of the abbreviations (e.g., TAT and some of the product abbreviations). But I think your review is descriptive and genuine and would definitely help guide a potential buyer.

Cassie, I'm really glad you liked this guest review!That gives me the idea to do a post about common makeup abbreviations that we use!

Lisa's avatar
Lisa · 3 weeks ago
Shelby, I think an abbreviations list would be very helpful! @Cassie: Thanks for reading and commenting on my first review! I had fun writing it, appreciate your comments

Phyllys's avatar
Phyllys · 3 weeks ago
Wow, Lisa, that's a very good, comprehensive review! I don't ever follow ANY blogs, but yours is well thought out, well organized, and very descriptive (I, also, don't know what TAT means, though). Great job!!!!
TAT is an abbreviation for "turn around time".Basically, the time between when you ordered, and when your order was shipped.I'm glad you enjoyed Lisa's review!
Lisa's avatar
Lisa · 3 weeks ago
Thanks everyone for reading and commenting

Thea's avatar
Thea · 2 weeks ago
Lisa, this was VERY informative. I'm proud to say I figured out what TAT meant after you used it the second time in the review (context clues, I guess!). Dawn should be thrilled that you gave her such a stellar recommendation. As a writer, I liked your use of descriptive words and phrases. I don't think you needed to have the disclaimers about your lack of camera experience & the "boring" life. Your photos were clear & vivid, and since I know you outside of the blog, I maintain that your life is interesting and varied. So there! Keep up the great work!

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.

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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!

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Awesome review, I've been wanting to try out Venomous Cosmetics for a long time!