Saturday, January 28, 2012

Saturday Shout-Out! to Christie B.

Yep, I'm starting a new weekly feature . . . giving a shout-out to all new followers who joined my site during the previous week. I'm starting with this past week only, so first I have to say "WELCOME" to my past "subscribers." Without you, I'd just be a gal playing with makeup by myself. Now I get to play along with you all :-) So, thanks so much for "following" my blog! 

I'm going to ask new followers to tell a bit about themselves by answering some standard questions: (1) describe yourself in three words: (2) name three foods you like best; and (3) name three "desert-island" cosmetic products.

This weeks shout-out goes to Christie B., who joined on January 26th, and here are her answers:

1. "I would say I am very family oriented. For me I feel that family is not just about blood relation, so my friends are as much my family as my blood relatives. I think I am a strong person. This is something I am doing my best to instill in my daughters as well. I want my girls to know that with a little hard work they can accomplish anything they set their minds to. I think I am a very open-minded person. I like to think of every person, place, and situation as a way to learn something new and grow as a person."

2. "This one is very hard for me to answer with just 3 answers. I love to cook and to bake: It is one of the things that makes me the happiest. Cupcakes make me happy: baking them, icing them, eating them, pictures, anything cupcake! I even have a cupcake tattoo. Chocolate: I am the biggest chocolate lover EVER! And chicken and dumplin's, made from scratch, rolled, not the drop kind, are one of my favorite meals ever since I was young. I think part of it is the memories of standing in a chair helping my mom make them and now teaching my girls how to make them. I love anything grilled or BBQ'd, I prefer charcoal over a gas grill, just something about the flavor it gives is so much better. [LOL :-) Chicken chocolate cupcakes, anyone?]

3. "Nail polish; I can't live without it; flavored lip balms, they can be used for moisturizing all over the body as well; and soap; I hate to stink!"

And here's cute, family-oriented, strong, open-minded Christie chillaxin' in the pool on her floatie after enjoying a meal of chicken and dumplin's and chocolate cupcakes! Christie's blog, Cupcake's Quirky Corner, can be found here.

Welcome, Christie!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Woo to the Hoo!

The owner of Lucky 107 Cosmetics, Rebecca Masters, asked me to do a review of her shop because I "was so thorough"! Glad what I'm aiming for is coming to pass. Anyway, I am just beside myself with excitement. I've swatched all the colors on the back of my hand so far, and the results were scrumpdillyicious! Stand by for a new review as soon as I get some good light here for photographing. I can show you the wrapping and containers and such, but what sort of fun would that be without swatches? There will be a Lucky 107 giveaway, too :-)
Luck 107 Cosmetics Harkness

After that comes Dawn Eyes Cosmetics Valentine's Day 2012 LE Collection review and another giveaway! Stay tuned to this station!

DEC Valentine's Day 2012 LE Collection

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Pollen Review and Flash-Sale Code

Company name: Pollen {fresh handmade bath and beauty}
Web site:
Flash sale code for 30% off entire order: flash30

The Web Site Itself: 5 of 5 Stars
I like the Web site a lot, including the minimalist shop banner :-) It’s quite navigable, and easy to find what you’re looking for. • Product selection: Despite the tag line stating “bath products,” the only thing carries at this point is eyeshadow, which comes in a very good color selection ranging from light to dark and muted to very bright. Under “Shop Info,” there is a link to click if you want to request a custom color. The shadows are very clearly marked in the opening description text if they are not vegan. • Product photos and info: The way in which the products are imaged are the very best possible in my humble opinion: One shot shows the jarred product up close; then there’s a shot of the product swatched; and last there is a shot showing the bottom of the jar/sample baggie with the company name and product list. Also, I‘m just about at the point where I will not buy anything unswatched unless I have read numerous good reviews of it, so this step is crucial to me. The photos also look very professional with good use of a close-up lens. The product list is also on each product’s main page. The descriptions are more than adequate and often even describe the opacity of the product, which is very helpful. Products to come soon: Finishing powders, foundations, and bath bombs :-)
FS jar of Rare Find
Rare Find swatch
Bottom of Rare Find showing product labeling
Pollen samples showing product labeling
Pricing: 4 of 5 Stars
Prices are as follows: $1.25 for a 1/8-teaspoon sample; 10 samples for $8.50; 6 samples for $5.00; $5.50 for full-size, 3 FS jars for $15.00, and 5 FS jars for $23.00. I think the samples are priced a bit high compared with those of other indie cosmetic companies, but it still works for me. You actually get a more reasonable deal with the sample sets, which knocks the individual sample prices down a bit. The FS jar prices are quite reasonable, especially when purchased in “bulk.” Current sales include a flash sale now through Friday (1/20/12) for 30% off your entire order (code: flash30), and the winter holiday collections are on sale, too!

TAT and Shipping: 5 of 5 Stars
Ordered: 10/02/11
Shipped: 10/03/11
TAT: 1 day!
Shipping: Free (for individual samples) and $1.50 for six samples (I did not price out the 10-sample option). I find this odd because it does not cost $1.50 to send 6 small samples in a standard mailing envelope; you can mail that for $.44. Perhaps she sends them in a bubble mailer. Otherwise, it almost begs one to order 6 individual samples and save on shipping J
Actual shipping: $.44
Shipping email: Yes
Personal shipping email: No
DC/tracking: No (sent in standard mailing envelope; however, my FS order, which was sent in a bubble mailer, did have this feature)
Invoice: Yes
Packaging/presentation: Standard mailing envelope, no business card
Sample packaging: Small 2” x 2” baggies in slightly larger baggie (my preferred scenario)
Extras: Yes (x 4 [I offered to review them; I received one sample when I placed another FS order later])
Product: 5 of 5 Stars
Colors Ordered (my take in italics) [swatches shown in order of descriptions, right to left and top to bottom]
Pollen swatches under direct sunlight
Pollen swatches under incandescent lighting
• Future Sunrise (extra for review): Soft sheer pink with strong golden reflect I love almost anything composed of gold and pink, but this shade had too much gold in it for my coloring. I would have definitely bought a full size if those two components had been more evenly balanced or if the light pink had been slightly stronger than the gold. ALAS, NOT A REBUY :-(

• Jenna Anne Marie (extra for review): Sweet peachy tan with medium sheen and medium opacity “Jena Marie” is the name of my eldest niece, so I was prepared to like this color, LOL, and I did. It truly is a sweet color without being saccharine, and it has a smooth sheen to it. Very nice non-ordinary neutral: Not completely brown, but not completely peach either. POSSIBLE REBUY :-)

• Rare Find: Grey taupe with smoky undertones and plum highlights I melted a little when I first applied this color. You know the feeling when you first put on a shade, and before you even get to covering your entire eyelid, you think, “This one’s a keeper!”? Well, this one was, so I bought an FS jar! ALREADY REBOUGHT :-)

• Violet Me Go (extra for review): Bright true, clear purple with low sheen and medium/high opacity As you probably know from past reviews, I don’t do very well with bright mattes. Maybe it’s my age (51 yo), but it’s more likely my coloring: very pale porcelain with pink undertones. They end up just looking harsh on me. I need brights to have at least a touch of shimmer, if not full-on sparkle, to pull them off. Women of color would probably wear this shade very well. I would have ADORED this if it had had a strong satin sheen or even a slight shimmer. UNFORTUNATELY NOT A REBUY :-(

• Forever Green (extra for review): Bright, true green with low sheen and medium/high opacity Oh, dear. I can’t pull off greens very well at all, especially the lucky-clover shade and a low-sheen finish to boot. It’s a very bright color, so if you can pull those off, I say go for it! NOT A REBUY :-(

• Scouts Honor (extra for review): Deep blackened forest green with flecks of turquoise green and medium/high opacity This is more my shade of green: deep, shadowy, and moody. The turquoise flecks keep it from being an ordinary dark green. Plus I’ve always had a soft spot for men in uniform! POSSIBLE REBUY :-(

Customer Service
I didn't have any issues with either of my Pollen orders, but I did email Lindsey several questions both before and after buying my two orders as well as in preparation to write this review. Every single time, she answered me promptly and in a friendly, helpful manner. I'm inclined to believe, just from these experiences, that she would quickly and fairly resolve any disputes about her products :-) 

Would I Buy Again?
Yup, and I already have! I particularly want to try some of the muted pink, tan, and cream shades, and I’m considering asking her to make a custom variation of Future Sunrise :-) Check it out now while the 30% sale is on (through 1/20/12)!
Overall Rating: 4.75 of 5 Stars!
Please note that I purchased Rare Find, and the other samples were provided to me by the company owner for review purposes.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Dawn Eyes Chrome Collection With Video Swatches

I owe Dawn an apology for taking so long to write this review. I've had the product for several weeks but had a really hard time photographing it. I finally decided to do videos (yes, it's the dreaded "stump hand" plus background noises), which meant I had to learn how to use my camera's video feature and upload videos for the first time on YouTube. Please be gentle with me, y'all :-)

Company name: Dawn Eyes Cosmetics
Web site: 

The Web Site Itself: 5 of 5 Stars
So as not to reiterate, you can see my review of the Dawn Eyes Cosmetics Web site here. As far as I can tell, the only thing different is that raw photos of LE collections are grouped together in one pop-up window so you don’t have to open a window for each color. I like this feature, and I still use it to select which colors I plan to buy. It’s invaluable!

Pricing: 5 of 5 Stars
Again, nothing has changed from my initial review except there is a now a paltry $2.00 shipping charge (for orders <$10.00) after having had free shipping since DEC opened. Shipping rates for international orders have increased by $1.00 for all categories. Orders >$10 (USD) will continue to be shipped for free in the United States. This does not apply to priority mail shipping or international shipping. However, the site does not say if there is free or reduced shipping on orders >$10 going overseas. Can’t complain about anything here! It’s about time Dawn started charging shipping to deliver her lovely goodies to our doorsteps:-)

TAT and Shipping: 5 of 5 Stars
Ordered: NA since it was sent to me free of charge for review purposes
Shipped: NA (ibid)
TAT: NA (ibid)
Shipping: $2.00 (for orders <$10.00)
Actual shipping: Not shown on package (but I know from shipping my own 2-oz. US packages that PayPal shipping with DC is $1.75, so Dawn’s price is entirely reasonable)
Shipping email:  Yes
DC/tracking: Yes
Invoice: Yes
Packaging/presentation: My samples were all contained in a slightly larger zip-lock sample baggie, which was wrapped in pretty tissue paper (marbled pattern in red, orange, and gold shades)
Sample packaging: Very small (cute!) zip-lock sample baggies
Extras: Yes (x 3)

Product: 5 of 5 Stars
Colors Received/Ordered (my take in italics with favorites bolded) (the Chrome Collection was sent to me free of charge for review purposes, but – as Dawn already knows – all opinions are my own!)

GENERAL CAVEAT FOR THE CHROME COLLECTION: All of the shades in this collection are dramatic and complex and thus defied my capacity for description. Unfortunately, in most cases, the shades were (1) either too pale or too bright for my pale alabaster/pink coloring and/or (2) way too pigmented for me to use as a brow-bone highlight. I did not have the vision, the lighting, and/or the camera finesse to see (or capture) the trichrome nature of the shadows as descried below per the Dawn Eyes Cosmetics Web site. Pity for me because they are truly stunning. Depending on your skin tone, your mileage may vary wildly (I hope).

Chrome no. 01: Blue to gold to green I generally can’t pull off any blue shades (with very few exceptions), and this color was not the exception unfortunately. It’s brightly chameleon-colored though, if you can wear those shades. NOT A REBUY :-(

• Chrome no. 02: Pink to lavender to blue to green I loved this color so much I ordered more of it despite my current no-buy! It’s pale, but it was in my range of color preferences/suitability. ALREADY REBOUGHT :-)

Chrome no. 03: Green to pink to lavender Way too light and/or bright for me. Just showed up bright light green without the pink and lavender (to my eye anyway). NOT A REBUY :-(
Chrome no. 04: Coral to lavender to bright green I couldn’t see the coral at all in this shade (and I was hoping it would work for me because I adore corals) plus it was way too bright for me. I even tried it two times over different bases, and I still couldn’t get it to work with my coloring. NOT A REBUY :-(

Chrome no. 05: Lavender to pale orange to blue I would have thought this one would work for me given the particular trichrome color range, but alas, it didn’t.  It mainly showed up light bright blue on my lids. NOT A REBUY :-(

Chrome no. 06: Light blue with traces of lavender Way too light (that darn blue again) and/or bright for me. NOT A REBUY :-(

• Chrome no. 07: Medium blue undertone, purple mid-tone, pink/gold overtone Now we’re talking, Dawn! This is the exact saturation level I need. These (nos. 7 through 9) were the only mid-tones in the bunch (too bad for me, huh?) If I had my druthers, Dawn would remake all of the other shades to be in this range. ALREADY REBOUGHT :-)

• Chrome no. 08: Bright pink overtone, deep fuchsia undertone I don’t know how I missed ordering more of this scrumptious shade on my first go ‘round (perhaps the word “fuchsia” in the description scared me off [I usually can’t wear anything with cool undertones]), so I just ordered more during the current sale (which has been extended to 01/06/1012 BTW). It’s neutral enough that I can pull it off. ALREADY REBOUGHT :-)

• Chrome no. 09: Bright copper with a rose overtone and a green/gold undertone Love, love, love this shade. It’s right up my alley with lots of warm pink/copper tones. ALREADY REBOUGHT :-)

Chrome no. 10: Fawn undertone with brilliant blue/teal overtone Again, this shade pulled mainly blue on me. I’m starting to wonder if it has something to do with skin pH or other chemistry? I’m also not entirely sure that the fawn counts as part of the duochrome description because I couldn’t see if in the applied color at all (just in the baggie). NOT A REBUY :-(

Chrome no. 11: Fawn undertone with brilliant green overtone If you want a dominant bright grass green duochrome, this color is for you! Unfortunately, it made my fair/pink skin look sallow. NOT A REBUY :-(

• Chrome no. 12: Medium blue undertone with golden overtone (ordered more) This color worked on me despite the fact that I can’t usually wear blues shades. I think it was the generous helping of gold shimmer. So, of course, I promptly ordered more(no-by be damned)! ALREADY REBOUGHT :-)

Chrome no. 13: Light blue to lavender to bright pink I wanted to like this shade so much because of the description, but it showed up mostly blue on me, so I nixed it. NOT A REBUY :-(

• Chrome no. 14: Light bright pink/lavender to copper/orange to coral Oddly enough, this was the one shade in the collection I can wear as a brow-bone highlight if I really sheer it out. ALREADY REBOUGHT :-)

Would I Buy Again? 
Heck, yeah, as I stated above ;-) I don’t just willy-nilly break a no-buy for just any old cosmetics company. I’m trying to convince Dawn to keep this collection in the permanent lineup, so if you’ve tried it and want it to be permanent, too, don’t hesitate to leave a comment here, and I’ll pass it on to Dawn.
Overall Rating: 5 of 5 Stars
Please note that all of these samples were provided to me by the company owner for review purposes.