This Blog Is Going Cruelty Free!

This has been on my mind for a long time. My longstanding policy is “no cosmetics will be featured here that test their products on animals.” But as many in the makeup world know, in some international countries, there is a requirement that any cosmetics sold there be tested in such a way. Many companies also want a piece of the lucrative Chinese cosmetics industry profits, and so many of the brands that I like and have used made the decision to start selling in China. As such, their cosmetics are no longer cruelty free, as I would personally define it.

That makes me so sad, as that essentially nixes brands I’ve loved for a very long time. Bye bye, Stila. No more of your wonderful liquid liners for me. Ciao Revlon, though I adore your lip products. Later, Clinique, even though I have been SERIOUSLY tempted by your blushes.

What is lucky for me is that since I love indie cosmetics as well as more mainstream brands, I don’t have to make a ton of changes. It’s more about being mindful about new purchases. I will use up what I have from those brands, but I won’t buy anything new from them until their policy changes. L’Oreal is currently working on creating synthetic human skin to erase the need for animal testing, and that is awesome. Hopefully, if it’s cost effective enough, there will be no more need for cosmetic animal testing anywhere in the world.

The one point of contention that I hear a lot in cruelty-free blogging is this: what if a company is cruelty free, but their parent company is not? Isn’t the money all going the same place in the end? And I agree, it’s a very complex question. But my feeling is that I want to spend money where they are making the decision to not test on animals, and if a parent company sees that people will spend the money on cruelty-free products and not shop at companies that test, then hopefully change will come quicker. Vote with your dollars however works for you. This is just my decision.

If you’re interested in which of your brands are cruelty free and which don’t make the cut, I encourage you to visit Cruelty Free Kitty. It’s going to be a part of my blogroll, so I can better familiarize myself with the wonderful world of cruelty free products!

Inaugural Order with Notoriously Morbid, Featuring the Daoine Sidhe Collection!

Ugh, you guys. YOU GUYS. I am so sick right now. I thought I had dodged the horrible cold my husband had last week, but it is not to be. I look and feel TERRIBLE right now. I can’t work on commissions for other people, so I decided to drag myself out of bed to do a few swatches. (I hate being bed- or couch-ridden. I get so stir-crazy!)

Considering my order from Notoriously Morbid came on Saturday, I decided to swatch their new collection, Daoine Sidhe, based on faerie lore. My favorite! I got the entire collection in sample sizes (though they bumped me up to a full size for one of them), as well as a smattering of other shades and a Coffin Kisser lip balm. They also included a freebie from an upcoming collection.

Customer service-wise, I was pleased. They were moving offices during my TAT, and they sent me an email to ask if it would be okay if they could extend the TAT by two days due to some snafus. Totally okay with me. I have no issue waiting as long as there’s good communication. (Said the woman whose own TAT is being mildly affected by a mega-cold.) Everything arrived promptly and was nicely packaged, along with a coupon code as a thank you for patience. Woot.

Daoine Sidhe Collection

Daoine Sidhe Collection

On with the swatches. SI = swatched over Too Faced Shadow Insurance. PE = swatched over Fyrinnae Pixie Epoxy. If you really want to see the sparkle, expand the photos to full size!

Love Reigns

Love Reigns

Love Reigns

Love Reigns

Love Reigns:  A salmon pink with cool blue sheen.

Love reigns was a petal pink with a nice blue shimmer. It darkens a bit over the Pixie Epoxy, but the shimmer was evident in both swatches. Continue reading

Quickie Review: Blooddrop Bath & Body Luxuries

Blooddrop Order

Hey everybody! I’m in the middle of a swatchapalooza right now because I haven’t really been able to wear much makeup for the last few weeks. A combination of allergies and an allergic reaction to Tarte’s Lights, Camera, Lashes mascara that left my eyes a sore red mess has meant I have only used eye makeup sparingly for a bit, which means I’ve been slow to work on face makeup swatches where I usually take full-face pics.

In the meanwhile, I’ve been working on bath and body stuff, but that tends to take longer to review, because oftentimes it takes longer to tell if a product really works for you or not. So in that vein, I have some products from Blooddrop to share!

Isn’t the packaging just lovely? I have a major jones for anything Belle Epoque or Art Nouveau-inspired. I placed an order for the Honey Dust and the Pink Grapefruit & Ginger Body Flutter. The generous sample of Langourous Linen & Chamber Spray and the Roman Chamomile Petite Remedy Salve were gifts from Astrid.

So, where to start?

I’ll get my least-glowing review out of the way first. I was pretty ‘meh’ about the Honey Dust Deodorant Dusting Powder. It smells mostly like cornstarch, a little bit like Fritos, but sweeter. I don’t know if that’s a just my body chemistry thing, but I saw another poster make a comment about it on IMAM an it was spot-on. THAT SAID, the product DOES work. I tested it as an underarm powder, and it both kept wetness to a minimum AND kept me stink-free for about eight hours– not as long as my commercial deodorant, but impressive nonetheless in a muggy DC summer! So yeah, my main issue is that it’s not the scent that I expect from a perfume house like Blooddrop, but all things considered, I’ll use my bottle as an after-showering powder.

Next up is the Langourous Linen & Chamber Spray, which the vial says was a Convergence Exclusive. The site lists the scent as “peach, white tea, black tea, bitter orange, blood orange, ginger, sandalwood and dark patchouli.” To me, it’s a fruity scent that has a nice sophistication to it– it’s not at all sugary or cloying. It’s bright and youthful without smelling immature. The peach and the blood orange are the predominant notes, backed by some tea. I don’t at all smell anything bitter or dark in this scent. It’s quite refreshing.

The Pink Grapefruit & Ginger Flutter Body Cream is my second experience with the Flutter formula, and I like it much more than my first. It’s an equal mix of ginger and citrus– not too tart, not too biting. It’s important to read the directions with this product– you want to scoop out a little bit and rub it between your hands before rubbing it on yourself. Though it looks like a cream, it actually melts quite instantly to an oil, probably owing to the coconut oil in it. Use too much, and it won’t sink into your skin. This may be a bit heavy for me for summer, but I love the scent, so I use it on my legs fresh out of the shower.

ETA: do not leave your Flutter out on your desk on a sunny day while you are writing a review. It will straight-up melt. Popping it into the fridge to see if I can salvage it.

Pink Grapefruit & Ginger Flutter Body Cream

Pink Grapefruit & Ginger Flutter Body Cream

My favorite product was one I least expected: the Petite Remedy Salve in Roman Chamomile. Formulated to help soothe and heal the skin, I found this particularly helpful because after Spoutwood, my hands were A MESS. My cuticles were dry and ragged, and the skin on my knuckles was chafed and peeling. EW! This stuff, though, was a godsend. It does feel a little greasy at first, but it sinks in beautifully. I took to applying this twice daily, and now my hands are in great shape. It has a subtle chamomile scent, and I really love the packaging. I keep my tin on my desk for application after a long day of wirework.

Thank you, Astrid!

Fae Look #1

I think it was the first time I ever saw Merlin (the 1998 miniseries) that I became enchanted with faery folklore. While not technically fae in this version (I don’t think), Queen Mab had all the hallmarks of Unseelie royalty. And I was obsessed, OBSESSED, with her makeup. It’s pretty darn hard to find decent screengrabs that show the finer points of iridescent makeup in an older show, but she was all smoky eyes and shimmering blue glitter. It was amazing.

Obsessssssssssssed.

Obsessssssssssssed.

Queen Mab: way ahead of the purple lipstick trend.

Queen Mab: way ahead of the purple lipstick trend.

I just got back from vending and performing at the Spoutwood Faerie Festival. I wasn’t able to do full-on fae makeup, since I was performing bellydance all weekend, and so when it came time for me to shoot promo shots of a few pieces I’m about to list on my site, I decided to hell with it, bring on the glitter. I think there’s going to be a learning curve with me as far as the photographing goes– I am practically COATED in glitter, and yet very little of it showed up on camera. Also, I’ll have to remember to go darker next time with the eye shadow, since it appears significantly lighter than it does IRL. You live and you learn. Fae Look #1

Here’s the product list: Continue reading