Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Aromaleigh Store-Wide Sale = 33% Off Everything!

Aromaleigh is having a store-wide sale, until June 30, in which everything is 33% off, and there is only a $15 minimum purchase! I think it's the largest sale they have had since reopening as Aromaleigh v.2. 

I'm hoping to split some jars with Helen of BBFF* blog :-) Here are the shades I am thinking of (the ones I'm particularly attracted to are bolded below):

Moulin Rouge
Frou Frou
Can Can
Pantone Spring
Spring Leaf
Lunaire (yes, a blue!)
Bete Noir
Sybilla (I'm really curious about this one for the outer lid corners!)
What are you thinking of getting from the sale?

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Review: Silk Naturals

Company name: Silk Naturals
Web site
:  http://host.silknaturals.com/creb/

The Web Site Itself
: 5 of 5 Stars
Silk Naturals (SN) has one of the best, most user-friendly, meticulously organized indie cosmetic sites I have ever purchased from! The storefront is a bit bland, but it more than makes up for that in specific bells and whistles. First, aside from having the usual indie Web site features, the SN site lets you search for eyeshadow colors by numerous categories: all colors, color family, finish, and vegan. I can’t tell you how incredibly helpful that feature has been for me. I mainly like very shimmery/metallic products, and on this site I can search for them specifically instead of having to search through 273 color descriptions (really!) to find what I want.

The color descriptions you get when you click on a particular shade are very detailed with assessments of such qualities as main description, color family, finish, depth, shimmer scale, opacity, vegan, tone, and gluten free. Almost every color description page has three tabs: description, reviews, and related products (I would like to see this be consistent throughout the site). You can click on the product photo to enlarge it, and the photos often have several swatches of different but similarly colored shadows so you can compare them. I didn’t see anywhere where it’s said what base is used for swatching, and I think that would be a helpful improvement. If you are searching by “see the product comparison page” at the top left of the “all [colors]” page, you get a really helpful list of colors with all of the pertinent information summarized. 

Second, you can create an account and save colors to a wish list, which is something I find sorely lacking on most indie company Web sites. This feature saves me time and annoying Post-It notes with lists of eyeshadow colors I want to try. It makes shopping much easier, particularly if there is a sale.

Third, SN has a reward point program. For every $1 you spend (not including tax or shipping), you receive 1 point. $100 product value = 100 points, with 100 points having a value of $5.00. The points value is clearly stated on each product description page. So, you can earn free products if you shop at SN a lot. This is a good marketing technique to promote customer loyalty. SN has a referral program, too. For each friend you refer to SN, you get 10 points. The referral code to give to your friends is the email address that you used when you registered with SN. When your friends check out, they need to enter that referral code, and your points account will be credited with 10 points. This is also great for customer loyalty. Savvy businesswoman that Karen is :-)

Fourth, SN makes some “clones” of popular MAC, Bare Escentuals, and Urban Decay colors. I bought some of the UD Naked clones though a blog sale and have been very happy with them.

Pricing: 5 of 5 Stars
As I’ve said many times before, I’m mainly an eyeshadow user, so that’s what I’ll assess here. The price of SN’s eyeshadows is only $4.00, which in my experience places them at the lower end of the pricing spectrum for indie eyeshadow prices. The only thing I couldn’t find on the product description page is the amount of product you get for the price. However, from my decanting experience (I put all of my shadows into sample baggies for easier storage), you get the usually amount of shadow, approximately a half teaspoon. I do think it would be an improvement to have the amount of product stated clearly on each product page though.

It should be noted that SN does not sell samples. However, they accept returns and will credit you for a replacement purchase. I had to take advantage of this feature once, and it worked exactly like the owner said it would work. I wasn’t too keen on losing so much on shipping, but I’m assuming that not selling samples and having a return program makes for running a “tight ship,” i.e., keeping prices low. My experiences with SN, through on-site purchases, a blog sale purchase (with Cait of Swatch Storm), and a swap (Wendi of Makeup Zombie)—especially given the excellent search and description features—have been positive enough that I trust I’ll get what I wanted and will not have to return much, if anything, at all.

TAT and Shipping: 5 of 5 Stars
Because all of the colors I’m reviewing here we obtained through a swap and/or a blog sale, I won’t be commenting on the TAT and shipping details. However, regarding the one occasion on which I did order from SN, the TAT was very reasonable, and that exchange I mentioned earlier was handled flawlessly!

Colors Received: All swatches are shown in the order below (from left to right, top to bottom) and were swatched over Fyrinnae Pixie Epoxy. Also, the color descriptions on the SN site are extremely accurate due to the details offered! (My favorites are bolded.)

I won’t comment separately for these colors. Obviously I love them because they are in my final collection of tested shades! SN is my “go-to” store for neutrals (and I have more where these came from)! These colors were obtained through a swap as well as a blog sale.

SN swatches under natural light no. 1
SN swatches under natural light no. 2
Loaded: Warmish tan shimmer with hints of pink (clone of Urban Decay Toasted)

Range: Matte black with gold, silver, and copper shimmer. Example of details mentioned earlier:  Color family: silvers and grays; finish: glimmer; depth: 5 [1 = white, 6 = black]; shimmer scale: 5 [0 = matte 6 = glitter]; opacity: 4 [0 = sheer 5 = opaque]; vegan: yes; tone: silver with warm sparkles; original collection: Holiday 2010 Collection; gluten free: yes

Dig It: Deep brown shimmer with copper and silver sparkles

SN swatches under incandescent light no. 1

SN swatches under incandescent light no. 2
• Sorbet: Deep, cool-toned raspberry red This color might be a little too cool-toned for me, and I might Franken it with something else. Otherwise, it’s lovely!

Watermelon: Bright coral pearl with hints of golden shimmer
• Wildcat: Deep charcoal brown satin finish with lots of champagne colored sparkle Example of details mentioned earlier: Color family: browns; finish: shimmer; depth: 6 (1 = white, 6 = black), shimmer scale: 5 (0 = matte 6 = glitter), opacity: 4 (0 = sheer, 5 = opaque), vegan: yes; tone: charcoal brown; original collection: Valentine's 2009 Collection; gluten free: yes)

Jelly-Or under natural light
Jelly-Or under incandescent light no. 2
Jelly-Or: My franken of SM Jellybean (medium pink shade with a satiny suede finish and red highlights) and SM Meteor (warm golden brown color with a fair amount of shimmer, more pearlescent than chunky), neither of which worked for me. I think my Franken will work better, and I hope you enjoyed seeing it :-) And here's a final video swatch for you taken under incandescent light (the sunshine disappeared pretty quickly after I took these photos). Just look at how gleam-y these colors are!

Would I Buy Again?
Yes, yes, and . . . oh . . . YES (damn, that sounds orgasmic, heh-heh)! “Prowl” is currently on my SN wish list

Overall Rating: 5 of 5 Stars!