Tuesday, January 31, 2012

RagDoll's Bath & Beauty: Conversation Hearts collection

Soul Mate, Too Cute, and XoXo

Ragdoll's Bath & Beauty has done it again. Another gorgeous, unique and totally fun holiday collection!

The Conversation Hearts collection is a sweet candy-themed collection consisting of 6 pastel colors. They match the color of the real candy conversation hearts perfectly. These colors are as always very bright and vibrant! While a few of them look pretty matte, they indeed have a very subtle shimmer. I would say these are less matte than the Halloween collection, but I do like their soft shimmer. In my opinion these are SLIGHTLY less blendable than some of RDBB's past collections but these still all apply very smoothly. I really really like these when applied over NYX white eyeshadow base. The base tends to really grab onto the pigments and keep them super bright all day long. These colors stayed on me very well with minimal fading or creasing as the day wore on. For a softer pastel look simple use them dry over a good primer and blend away.

The Conversation Hearts Collection includes six of the following shades:

Soul Mate: A gorgeous soft lavender with subtle shimmer.
XoXo: A bright sunny yellow with subtle shimmer.
Too Cute: A minty seafoam green with subtle shimmer.
True Love: A pure white with very subtle shimmer.
Kiss Me: A vibrant sherbert orange with subtle shimmer.
Be Mine: A bright rose pink with very subtle shimmer.

Dry no primer natural lighting

I would try to narrow it down to my favorite shade, but honestly I love them all. Kiss Me is probably the most unique of the bunch (I so do not have an pastel orange like this in my collection). These aren't your typical everyday colors but they are all surprisingly wearable. This collection is great for those who love pastel or brighter colors.

Xoxo, Be mine, Kiss me

Soul Mate, Xoxo, Too cute

AS ALWAYS her packaging is amazingly cute. The sample set comes wrapped up like the cutest little love letter. I think these extra touches really add something to the whole purchase experience. The care put into putting together every single order is evident. This is one of my favorite things about RDBB! Not to mention every ingredient is listed on every single jar-even samples. It's very professional. I feel very confident in saying that this is a shop that will never ever disappoint you. You'll definitely want to snag this collection for either yourself or your valentine. As always sample sets are available as well as full sized collections at her shop HERE. Also be sure to visit Rag Doll's Bath & Beauty on their facebook fan page HERE to see upcoming collections first!

The Conversation Hearts collection is available for purchase later on today :)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Jujubead's Jewelry Review

I fell in love with Jujubead's Jewelry's ear cuffs, and other whimsical jewelry designs when I first discovered the shop last year. Since then she has also released her own line of mineral cosmetics which includes mineral eyeshadow, primer, lip products and mineral foundation. As you may know I also recently became a promoter for her shop.

I don't know if I have said it before on here or not, but I'd just like to say that I would never promote or encourage anyone to buy anything I do not love (and use) myself. I think it's important to really believe in whatever you are promoting.

And Jujubead's Jewelry is definitely something I believe in!

Let's start by talking about the jewelry. The thing I love the most about this shop is that they have a very distinctive style. You can look at a piece and know right away who made it. I think it can be difficult to find unique jewelry even among independent shops. I see copycats of the same jewelry constantly on Etsy.

 Jujubead's Jewelry designs are very clean, and meticulously crafted. They offer a wide range of different ear cuffs and earrings, and are now starting to make a lot of gorgeous new necklace designs. Now I know you're thinking of some big gaudy metal thing from the early 90's when i'm saying "ear cuff". These are soo not gaudy or outdated I promise. Ear cuffs are actually coming back into style here in America and they are already popular in Japan. I personally think they look quite stylish ;) These ear cuffs are also much more comfortable than you would guess they would be. She offers a traditional cuff, or a handmade wire wrapped cuff for those who do not have cartilage piercings in their ears. Don't fret if you do have cartilage piercings though.. as she will gladly swap out the cuff for a stud! I forsee these being a big trend in the near future.

If you are less daring, and just want something girly that's dripping with crystals Jujubead's has that covered as well. They offer many beautiful sparkly things for less than $10!

Moonlight Serenade necklace

Shimmering Night Sky ear cuff

so sparkly in the light!

Next up is their mineral makeup which is fairly new.

Jujubead's colors L-R: Sugar Daddy, In Da Nude, Defeated, Hazelnut, and Midnight Rain

I have only had the chance to try 6 colors of her eyeshadow so far (and one tinted lip balm that I am OBSESSED with) and I really liked all of them. They blend really well, and last a long time when used with a primer. I really like that they have a finely blended powdery texture. Most shades are very shimmery and sparkly while still being really smooth, and never gritty. As I said before this company is very new at selling mineral makeup so she doesn't have a million shades yet, but there definitely is a good variety so far. I do not  have any of her bright shades yet, but I do plan on ordering a bunch and reviewing those soon. From what I have seen though her pinks and purples are amazing! (and I'm missing out lol)

As for other things of interest.. her shipping is super fast!! Everything is packaged really securely to protect your little trinkets. I love all the special touches she puts in all her wrapping and packaging. She even provides you with instructions on how to care for your crystal jewelry, and also how to use her mineral makeup. In addition to everything else Jujubead's has some amazing customer service. That is the main thing that attracted me to this particular business in the first place, and it's also the reason i'll always be a customer. I am pretty sure anyone else who has made a purchase from Jujubead's Jewelry or even just interacted on Juli's facebook fan page will agree with me.

I think the only "con's" for me about the makeup would be that I would like to see shrink wrapped jars in the future to prevent accidental glitter explosions lol. I also like to see jars with ingredients on the back, but she does provide you with a list of all the ingredients and is always happy to answer any questions about them. So for me neither of these things are a big deal.

Sugar Daddy- A sparkly money green

Hazelnut- A medium tan brown filled with glitter and shimmer

Midnight Rain- A true navy blue filled with silver glitter 

In Da Nude- A peachy light bronze with a golden shift. Very shimmery.

Defeated- A shimmering sparkly eggshell white

Dry no primer- natural light

Midnight Rain, Hazelnut and Defeated

Hazelnut, In Da Nude and Defeated (with toki doki ninja dog)

All in all I think this is a wonderful business you should check out for yourself. Keep an eye on Jujubead's Jewelry's facebook fan page HERE to keep updated on the latest styles of jewelry and makeup products. She often has sales, ear cuff of the week, color of the week and just recently dropped the prices of all her makeup! Get your very own ear cuffs HERE and HERE. 

What is your favorite item in Jujubead's Jewelry's shop?

Sunday, January 22, 2012

5 tips to help you when shopping for indie mineral makeup

 I have been asked many times since starting my blog about how I determine which independent mineral makeup companies to buy from and which ones to avoid. I had never used very many indie brands before starting this blog so it has been a process of trial and error for me. While there is no exact science to picking a perfect indie company to support there are several things that you can look out for while shopping online.

1. Look at their reviews!

This is kind of a no-brainer I know. The first thing I usually do when deciding if I want to buy from an indie company is to google their name + review. Usually there will be at least a few blog reviews for you to look at even if it's a newer company. Be wary if you can't find a review or if you find multiple well-written negative reviews. Also check out Youtube to see if anyone has done a video review. This should give you a pretty good idea of what kind of customer service and product you are going to get. Checking out color swatches from other customers can be helpful in not only determining if you want to purchase from that company, but it can also help you decide which colors you'd like to buy.

2. Check out their Facebook fan page!

Many indie mineral makeup businesses have turned to facebook to help promote their products. This is an excellent tool if you're looking to find out more about how that particular business operates. Watch the interactions on their fan pages. Are they courteous and friendly to customers? Do they frequently respond to feedback and questions about their shop? Do they respond respectfully to negative feedback/customer complaints? These fan pages can be a great way to gauge how reputable these businesses are. Do be cautious when ordering if: they are rude or disrespectful to their customers, have a closed wall, frequently erase comments, or you notice otherwise unprofessional behavior. Many business reward their facebook fans with great flash sales and giveaways so it's always good to support them on facebook anyways.

3. Do they sell repackaged makeup? Are they honest about it?

Now let me be clear before anyone gets their panties in a twist. I have no problem with people who sell repackaged makeup if they are 100% honest about it. In fact a lot of makeup companies do this for certain eyeshadow shades (in example: Beauty from the Earth). Some companies are not forth coming about this information and will pretend they formulated the makeup themselves in their "lab" (in example: Lime Crime).
There's nothing wrong with this makeup, in fact many shades are quite pretty. A business that respects your patronage will always be honest about what things are handmade and what isn't.

The topic of repackaged makeup is something that is coming up quite frequently lately. I do plan to do a more in-depth post on specifically this subject in the near future. Repackaged makeup is not just limited to mineral makeup by any means. In the mean time, here are a few blog posts that I feel are excellent sources to find out a little bit more about this: Little Pink Blog, Painted Ladies, Lipstick and Lightsabers, PopChampagne

4. Are they upfront about their ingredients?

This biggest factor in deciding to purchase from a company for me really depends on what is in the actual makeup itself. Do they list all the ingredients on their website? Do they follow all FDA labeling guidelines? This is something you should always ask about if you are unsure of. A professional business will tell you upfront what is in their makeup. If they won't tell you it's probably safe to say that you don't want to buy it.

Now if you aren't an expert at mineral makeup that's okay (I'm not either!) just keep in mind to avoid the following ingredients:

-Bismuth Oxychloride- An inexpensive filler that can cause skin irritation and itching.

-Parabens-  (Methylparaben, Butylparaben, Propylparaben,.) - Increases risk of breast cancer.

-Talc- A cheap filler that can cause severe respiratory irritation.

-FDC Lakes and Dyes-  Studies have shown that dyes/lakes can have a neuro-toxic effect on the brain.

-Propylene Glycol- Permanently damages cells, linked to contact dermatitis, auto toxicity, kidney damage,
and liver abnormalities, may cause gastro-intestinal disturbances, nausea, headache, vomiting, and central nervous system depression.

-Sodium Lauryl Sulfate- A harsh detergent used to break down the surface tension of water. It may damage the outer layer of skin.

For more information regarding FDA guidelines for cosmetic labeling please see: Cosmetic Labeling Manual 

And for more information regarding FDA approved color additives please see:  Color Additives Permitted for Cosmetic Use

5. Talk to people!

Here's another easy step you can take towards making an informed purchase: just talk to people! Talk to other people who have purchased from that particular business. The internet has a host of makeup-related social networking sites/forums where makeup artists and aficionados converge on their favorite (and sometimes not-so-favorite) brands. Use that to your advantage. Are your friends really into makeup? Maybe  they have tried a few of the brands you are interested in and can give your their opinion. Again, check out Youtube to see if anyone is mentioning this brand in their videos. It never hurts to ask around if you are unsure.

If none of these methods are useful to you, or if a business is super new and there just isn't a lot of info yet -BUY SAMPLES! It never hurts to try a sample or 2 before you make a large purchase. Many of these businesses even offer special deals on sample packs of multiples. It'll give you a good idea of what you're going to get and it'll show some support for a small business just starting out. Everybody wins.

Hopefully you found this somewhat helpful. Please leave your own tips for finding a great indie company in the comments below.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Abigail's Boutique Designs: Pitt Pals & Winter Solstice collection reviews

I haven't blogged much over the holidays just due to being busy and overly stressed. I figured to make up for some lost time I would just combine these two short reviews into one post. I think Pitt Pals and Winter solstice are particularly cool collections to compare anyways because they have a few similar colors that are done in totally different ways. You guys already know that I am a promoter for ABD and have heard all about their quality product and service. I mainly will just be reviewing the colors for you here.

The Pitt Pals collection consists of six soft shimmery shades. The texture of these eye shadows is sooo smooth that it is almost creamy. It blends beautifully. All the colors are a little shimmery and some contain just a small amount of sparkle. I think the soft subtle colors are so nice for every day wear. This is a collection that would be great for someone who doesn't like very bright or loud colors.

Blue Suede- Is a pale shimmery light blue-grey. It is exactly the color of blue suede. It has subtle sparkles and a super creamy texture. This is my favorite color in this collection.

Red Almighty- Is a brown toned peachy pink that is filled with gold glitter. Again it's pretty subtle but at the same time it is packed with shimmery goodness. I really love this color used in combo with wine/brown/mauve/burgundy colors.

Socialized- Is a soft mustard-y golden shimmery yellow. It looks very pale in the jar but applies slightly darker than you would think. I really like how muted this gold is while still being pretty flashy.

Brindle Beauty- Is a soft medium tawny brown with cream and black colored sparkles. This is another one of those great sparkly browns I've been liking for winter 2012.

Fawn- is a very pale shimmery fawn brown highlight shade. This one I think looks slightly more pale than it appears in the jar when applied. I like to mix this one with Brindle Beauty for a super natural neutral look.

Bully this- Is a very light, sparkly pastel spring green. This is definitely the most sparkly one in the bunch. It's very shimmery, smooth and creamy textured like the rest of the colors.

The Verdict:

I love this collection as it's very different than what I usually purchase. I think the best thing about this particular Abby-girl creation is that you can tell Robyn put a lot of her heart in it. Pitt Bulls are not born bad. It's us human beings who exploit them into fighting, over breed them until their genetics are terrible, and dump them at shelters who won't adopt out bully breeds. Anything that brings awareness to these sweet dog's plight is an amazing deed.

I promise I will never ever take pics against a red background again. I dunno what I was thinking.

Bully This! super sparkles

Red almighty, brindle beauty, fawn, and also non-collection shade eggplant

Bully this, fawn, socialized, brindle beauty

Tutorial using Pitt Pals

The Winter Solstice collection was like no other holiday collection this winter. It contains no boring traditional shades but instead ampted up versions of winter favorites. Each shade is packed with shimmer and glittery goodness. This collection is definitely not subtle haha.

Holidazzle- Is a magenta hot pink shade filled with pink shimmer and glitter. It looks similar to ABD color 'Tantrum' in some photos but actually Holidazzle is the brighter of the two.

Glitz- Is a bright gold shade that is SO shimmery it was almost impossible to photograph. I found it to be very pigmented  for a lighter shade of gold.

Tuxedo- Is the most amazing Gunmental grey-black you will ever see. It is filled with deep blue and silver glitter. It can be worn very dark (almost black) or it can be blended to be a softer shade of steel silver. If you like sparkly blacks you will want this color.

Chillax- Is a bright medium blue filled with shimmer and glitter. It can be toned down quite a bit but a little bit of this color goes a long way. It surprised me with how bright it actually is.

Pucker Up- Is a medium evergreen shade. Like the others it is shimmery and fairly sparkly, but it's not too over the top.

Glam- Is the best silver ever. Period. This is so so so so so SPARKLY! Be mindful of fallout when applying this one. As with all glittery shadows you do not want them in your eye.

The Verdict:

Buy it if you're like me and love vibrant glittery shades. If you do NOT love glitter you're better off going with something more like the Pitt Pals collection. Personally I think Tuxedo and Glam make a very glamorous smokey eye.

Tuxedo and Glitz

Chillax and Pucker Up

Holidazzle and Glam
Blue Suede, chillax , tuxedo, and smoothie

Holidazzle and Chillax

As always feel free to ask me about either collection if you would like to know more. Both are currently available from Abigail's Boutique Designs . Are you a blogger/makeup artist/active youtube reviewer?? Abigail's Boutique Designs is currently looking for promoters. Go to her facebook fan page HERE to find out more info or just watch this video : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9thD-dcOuC8&feature=share