Saturday, January 15, 2011

Gift Giving B&B the Handmade Way!

Well, well, well, finally we're dusting off the blog after the Holidays, and starting the New Year (Happy New Year!!) but I'm doing so with a post related to the Holidays, and all the gift giving that goes on.

I have a pretty good stock of B&B products, cause I usually either buy some extra stuff to have handy in case I need to put a gift together, or buy it with an intended person on mind, or use the extras I get sometimes on packages to give as gifts!

This Holidays, I realized it would be a good idea to put together a lil gift for my older nephew's girlfriend, something for my sis-in-law and while I was at it, I realized I needed something for my friends Irene and Gema too... So, I started thinking, and decided to grab a few of the B&B goodies I have around, and get them in assorted into gift baskets. Since I had no baskets around the house, I got some plastic/poly containers (the ones you get with food/fruit) and some nice wrapping paper, and voilá! I got three lovely gift sets!

This is the one I made for Laura, my nephew's girlfriend:

A Spa Therapy body lotion, a Right As Rain Lavender Happy Feet cream, a soy candle from Mrs Tattooed Geek (Etsy shop closed), a cupcake bath fizzy from My Other Princess (she's closed shop too, I'm gonna be hoarding my stash from now on!), one of Sweet Petula's mini soaps and a Spa Therapy lip balm!

This is the one I made for my friend Irene:

A Spa Therapy body mist, the must have Lavender Happy Feet cream from Right As Rain (her Peppermint cream is brilliant too!), the Pink Champagne soap from Two Rivers Soaps, a Spa Therapy bath melt, a cupcake bath fizzy from My Other Princess, a soy candle from Mrs Tattooed Geek and a Body Language Soaps lip balm!

And here you can see my sis-in-law opening her package and my friend Gema's face of surprise and delight when she saw hers!

Proof that giving handmade is always the right answer!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Madd Style Cosmetics NEW PRODUCT LAUNCH!

We are really excited about this launch, for obvious reasons. Mo from Madd Style already rocked out lip bombs and other goodies and when I reviewed them, I loved them, and had a lot of faith in Mo, and her company. So when I learned that Mo was going to expand her line, and make a full like of cosmetics, I thought there would be no better plan, then to help her launch her newest line!

Well folks, today is the day! Tonight, Madd Style Cosmetics pigments will be available in the Etsy shop! Mo sent me some samples of the pigments in advance, so I could do a review on them for you all. You all know that I love mineral makeup, and since I have tried so many in the past, I figured it would be just another "eh" and tell you all that it is just about the same as all of the others that I have tried, and said they were amazing! (because in general, mineral makeup IS amazing! LOL!) This is not the case at all, I can happily report! Not only are these pigments amazing, and highly pigmented, but after completing 3 looks, I can for the first time say........ these pigments are VERSATILE! Yep, there I said it. Not only are the colors wild enough to be used for some tricked-out wild color on your face, but pretty much any of them can be softened for a daytime of office look. Not many companies can pull that off. You either get a very matte, light colored pigment for a soft, more neutral look, or a high pigment color that is almost impossible to tone down! Which is fine if you know what you are looking for, and have a lot of practice in the makeup applying front! But most girls out there need to switch it up, and a lot do not have the means to own two complete sets of makeup. Here is your solution.

All of the pigments I received are highly pigments, and have a huge WOW factor. The color is amazing, and really pops. Blending was amazingly easy (sometimes with other products, I get sticky drag with my brush, which drives me BATTY!) and the color lasted on my eyes all day.

Mo also is offering collections, like a Halloween collection, which marries a pigment with some of her amazing lip products, and a Jem collection where every color is chalk FULL of holographic glitter! Her pigments range in colors, from bright teal, to deep blue, purple/brown, to chalk-full-o-glitter highlighters!

Now, here is a Two Girls FIRST! Not only did I review the amazing pigments for you all, but I also got a chance to interview Ms. Mo Love, the creator and owner! She is not only an amazing business owner with some of the best customer service that I have come upon, but she ALSO is an amazing makeup artist, and has her own You Tube Channel full of makeup tutorials showing how she gets HER flawless application! So without further adieu......

1) Who are you, and tell us what you do.
I am Mo... and I am basically awesome. Lol. Let's see...well, when Im not working full time at the "day job", I am running Madd Style... bustin out kick ass vegan cosmetics for your face.

2) What inspired you to create a complete cosmetics line?
It's funny, I originally started an Etsy shop (sewing) to help fund my absurd makeup addiciton... and also to help pay for my wedding. I've always been a "do-it-yourself-er" and after spending months trying to find the perfect vegan lip balms, to no avail, I decided to make my own! Needless to say, they were an instant hit and from there the business grew rapidly! Ive always wanted my own makeup line ever since I was a kid, so, it only seemed logical to head in that direction. So, basically, my inspiration for a complete cosmetics line is... brains. It's just made sense for me to do it... oh, and then there's that "passion" thing. lol

3) Why is it so important to you to keep your products vegan?
I myself am a pescatarian, however I definitely took the cruelty free pledge well over a decade ago and will never go back on that. I strive to ensure my products are vegan because of my morals. I didn't get into this business to make money, I got into it to provide safe, cruelty free products at a very reasonable price to help give people like myself more options. Veg Head's need love too.

4) What is your favorite product in the current line? What color would you say is a "must have"? It all started with lip bombs... that will forever be my first love of my brand. lol. Right now I am rockin these pigments... hard. I love them all. My favs tight now are Glitter and Doom and Aja from my new Jem and the Holograms collection. A "must have" is definitely XRay Spex... no matter how subtle or bold you like your look, this will be perfect for everyone. I am anticipating it to be one of my best sellers. As well as Mr. Roboto... but daaaaamn, he's like BANG! on your face!

5) Where do you hope to see your company in 5 years?

Sitting on top of the world, hopefully. Im an "all-in" kind of gal and plan on doing this for the rest of my life... 5 years from now I hope to be a household name... at least in homes where awesome things take place.

6) What are some tips for ladies (or gentlemen) that are a bit apprehensive about makeup application? What helped you when you were first starting out?

YOUTUBE! YOUTUBE holds the key. Tutorials galore. It is a great place to start checking technique, application, products, brushes... you name it. If you don't have access to a computer (the how are you reading this?!) I would recommend going to you local makeup counter or beauty school and get a free overview (plus makeover!) with a worker/student. For me, my painting skills definitely kick in to high gear when Im doing my makeup. Also, I've always been bold and experimental so having the confidence to pull off certain looks is just ingrained in me. But I definitely think confidence is the key to making any makeup look go from "meh" to "wow"....

7) Any last words?
Whatever you are... be a good one.
We totally love Mo, and 110% stand behind Madd Style Cosmetics. Run over to her Etsy shop, and toss her a heart (and order some amazingness while you are there) then head on over to her Facebook page for all updates, sales, specials, giveaways, and an amazing group of fans that will make you feel right at home!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Review Zombify by Zoe Zombie!

Since the beginning of our friendship, both Pili and I have been fans of a little shop on Etsy called Gothcupcake Creations, run by the awesomely talented Marycakes (whom we both adore as a friend, as well!). She makes rad accessories, is vegan (and likes to share her awesome recipes with us!), and is our go-to girl when it comes to things gothic! So when we found out that Mary was going to be launching her mineral makeup line, we knew that we were just gonna have to let all our readers know what we thought of her pigments!

Mary's collection is small, but is in the process of growing. One of the major issues that I have with other makeup companies that are handmade, is the lack of quality control when it comes to recipes. The color that you fall in love with may never be able to be duplicated again, because a lot of creators do not write down exact recipes for the amount of each pigment base color they put in each finished product. I have been assured this is NOT the case here, as Mary is also irked by this, and has made it her goal to create the best pigments she can offer, while upholding the amazing customer service that all of her customers have been receiving for years on Etsy.

When I finally got a glimpse of The Zombify line, the first thing that came to mind was the old line of Coffin Colors. Coffin Colors was a highly successful gothic-based pigment line on Etsy a few years ago. The only downside to the colors that they carried, is that all of them were mattes, and none of them were very highly pigmented (which is rad if that is what you are into, but there was not a lot of variety). Zombify broke that barrier with the collection that she currently has. I purchased Wasabi and Carbonite as testers, so I could do this review.

First, and foremost, Mary's customer service was STELLAR. Her shipping was fast, accurate, and the pigments arrived well packaged. You have an option to get a sifter in your pots, or if you prefer, they can come without a sifter. I went without, because sifters sometimes drive me batty, but that is a personal preference, and I like that she has the option for her customers to choose! I immediately swatched the colors on my hand, and was actually surprised at the vibrant colors that they were, without being overpowering, which was a fresh change for me! You can go pretty neutral with either of these color, or by adding more pigment onto your brush, it can become more vibrant! Wasabi has actually become one of my staples, as I love the sick green color that it is. It is not quite lime, but not a dark green either. It is perfect with my skin tone, and I have seen a lot of other customers post pics with it on, and it looks AMAZING on all skin colors.

My sensitive eyes had no issues with the pigments, and they lasted all day, with no creasing when I wore it over a primer! Better yet, the consistancy of the actual pigments themselves was amazing. A lot of the time, pigments become clumpy, and have chunks in them. My Zombify pigments have no clumps or lumps in them. They blend amazingly well, and the pigmentation in the actual powder is really good.

The thing I love more then everything about the Zombify by Zoe Zombie line is that I think there is something for everyone. She has a bright fuchia called BRAINS!, a dark violet/blue called Concertina, and more neutral colors like Jareth (a smoky purple) and Pikachu, which is a soft yellow. She also rocks reds and oranges (Hellfire and o-Positive) like no one's business (which if you shop vegan, you know is VERY hard to do, as mostly all reds cannot be vegan, because of the presence of carmine).

So head on over to Gothcupcake's shop, show her some love, and while you are at it, stop by her Facebook page for the latest updates, and to get the scoop on new color and collection releases!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Dead Sea Clay Whipped Facial Cleanser by Spa Therapy Works!

Hello everyone!

As I promised last week, here I am again, with another review!

This time, I'm reviewing something that unfortunately is no longer available at the shop, or at least, not for now.

You all know about my love affair with Spa Therapy Works' facial care line, and how her facial soaps, velvet cream, night repair and antioxidant toner are my staples every day. Well, last year I asked Jus for another set of samples of them all for my travels, and I also asked to include a sample of a new product she had back then, the Dead Sea Clay with Meadowfoam oil whipped facial cleanser. I got it and tried it once, but then for some reason it got placed into another cosmetic bag, and I forgot about it completely.

Well, a few weeks ago, I happened upon it again, and tried it, and completely fell in love with it! It's amazing! Lathers greatly and leaves the skin so clean and soft! It's not just like a cleanser, it's also like a quick mask! Since I only have a sample size, I don't use it daily, but only when I want to add a lil boost to my routine. I have dry skin and it cleanses up, but doesn't dry up my skin at all, and I just love how silky it feels after wards!

So, I spent a few good minutes going thru Spa Therapy's sold items, till I found one of the original listing for it, and here's what Jus said about this cleanser:

"Combined with Dead Sea Mud, Natural Sea Clay, Meadowfoam Oil and Lavender Essential Oil, this face cleanser cleans, revitalizes, clarifies, protects your skin and removes excess oil and dead cells from your skin's surface. It also leaves your face feeling soft and silky, giving you a fresh, healthy appearance."

I intend to ask Jus if she plans to bring it back to her shop any time soon, cause I'd love to have some more once my small sample jar runs off. Luckily a lil goes a long way, and it'll still last me for a while... I'll keep you posted!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Lip Tints, handmade lipstick, by Body Language Soaps!

Finally back to the blogging routine!

It's been a while since I've shared some of my new discoveries in the bath & beauty handmade world, but I'm finally here, and with plans for more! I'll be attempting at least a weekly post from now on!

Any of you readers, already know that I've made the switch to handmade mineral make up, and I'm really glad I did! But once thing remained that I still was using that was not handmade, what was that? Lipstick of course! I hadn't found any lipstick out there on Etsy (always my go-to place to buy handmade) that enticed me to buy it, that is, till Lindsay from Body Language Soaps got her lip tints out!

At first, she started offering them in a pot, and then started offering them also in an even more lipstick-y way, in a roll-up tube! I decided I really needed to give it a try, so I ordered myself some Sweet Venom in a pot, and loved it! It adds some colour, but it still doesn't look too artificial, which is great for me, since I've long lost the will to use bright and bold lipstick colours, though now Lindsay have loads of bold colours available too.

I liked it so much, that I ended up ordering two more, but this time in roll-up tube format, that is very convenient! I love how easily it glides on the lips, and since you apply it directly, it can look a lil darker and more full of colour than if you apply it with your fingers. I got First Kiss, Bitten and Andromeda, and I absolutely love all three!

These aren't ultra-permanent lipstick (I always wonder what those are made with, to stick around like that!) so they'll wear out if you eat, drink or kiss, but that also happens with any regular lipstick. And I'm more comfortable knowing what I put on my lips, since Body Language Soaps is a member of the EGCG, so she always lists her ingredients. Just note, they're not vegan.

In short, I've found my perfect replacement for lipstick, so from now on, all my make up is handmade! And if you want to go the handmade route for all your make up, or just like trying new things, you better give them a try too!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Quick update! The Safe Cosmetics Act and EGCG.

Hey everyone! Brooke here, and just thought I would pop by to say hi! We both have been really busy, me with the shop (what else is new) and Pili had her love come to visit her for a while (she lives and Spain, and he in India! Talk about long distance love!) So needless to say, now that school is back in session we should be getting more reviews in the next week or so.

I did however, want to take a minute to bring up two things that I felt we should let our readers know. The first, is in regards to H.R. 5786, the Safe Cosmetics Act, a new bill that was recently introduced here in the US. If it is passed as it is currently written, most if not all of the shops you see featured here will be forced to close their doors. Which for us, and the handmade industry, would be devastating. This link will explain a little better what the bill would mean to the industry.

We would love it if our awesome readers would join us in signing the petition protesting this bill. You can do so here. We love the shops we feature here, and are excited to try new ones, so the thought of this bill being passed makes me really sad, and worried for the future of handmade products.

On a bit of a lighter note, I also wanted to shed some light on an amazing Etsy guild that both Pili and I love deeply. They are the Etsy Green and Clean guild. Their focus is truth in advertising, and full ingredient disclosure. The guild consists of Etsy shops that specialize in soap, perfume, cosmetics, and herbal products. I feel pretty confident to say that any shop that is a member of EGCG is a good bet to get amazing products, with amazing customer service. If you check out their blog, you will see that their roster consists of a good majority of out tried and true favorites! They usually have some amazing sales, scavenger huints, and swag packs during the holidays, as well, so keep your eyes peeled.

The reason I bring this up, is because people are always asking me "Hey Brooke, what is a good _________ *fill in the blank*" Nine times out of ten, I refer them to do a search using the term EGCG on Etsy. So say I am looking for shampoo bars, I would type in "EGCG shampoo bars" Or for cupcake lotion I would do a search for "EGCG cupcake lotion". I have a dear friend who is SEVERELY allergic to milk, and anything containing dairy protein. This comes in useful should you have allergies, or sensitivities. Some Etsy sellers omit ingredients or will just not list them at all. This is a tried-and-true way to find what you need, and be confident that you know what is in your product!

Until next post,

May all of your days be filled with delicious bubbles!

Friday, July 30, 2010

MADD STYLE UBER BOSS LIP GLOSS~ Bringing you One Step Closer to AWESOME!

I admit it. I have a bit of a lip gloss/balm addiction. I will be up front about it, it is true. I cannot leave the house WITHOUT a tube of lip stuff in my pocket or bag. So when Mo from Madd Style offered for me to do a test run on some of her shop goodies, I totally jumped at the chance. Wanna know why? (Well, besides the lip product addiction..) Mo is customer of Glittersniffer, and LITERALLY her makeup application is quite possibly the most flawless, amazing thing I have EVER laid eyes on. So much so, the Glittersniffer fans like to call her "Miss Awesome". SO someone that is THAT passionate about face products has GOT to make some killer lip balms!

So Mo was so kind to send me a press pack, which she is using to help get the Madd Style word out. I was SO excited when it got here, I ripped right into that sucker! She sent me so much product, that I actually am going to split this review into 3 parts, as there are three separate products that I would like to cover individually.

The first product that I tried, actually, out of the bunch, is the Uber Boss Lip Gloss. Now, do not be fooled, This is NOT only a lip gloss, but she offers then in a ton of different flavors, and most of them are actually TINTED! I have them in Spanish Fly (a SUPER glittery clear gloss flavored like Margarita) Paradise (coconut peach non-glitter berry stain) S Berry Lemonade (super glittery clear in...... Strawberry Lemonade) and Pink Poison (light pink watermelon). Now....the samples I got are in pots but she also does them in want tubes, which actually, are more sanitary, so I am gonna need to snag some of those ASAP.

Now, down to the product......I LOVE the fact that she offers so many different choices. There are glosses that are tinted, not tinted, glittery, not glittery....SO there is something for everyone. My personal favorite is the Spanish Fly, but last night, I went out with my girls, and wore the Paradise, and it was amazing as a night out gloss. I could have even layered some Spanish Fly over it for some glitter, so really, you could mix and match, and make your own MADD STYLE! They stay on fairly well, but I carried my pot with me for reapplication after eating or drinking. The BIGGEST thing I love about the gloss, is that it is not all sticky, and weird. It goes on smooth, and is not all gloppy. It stays ON your lips, and does not drip down your chin, which is the WORST, and this literally is the first gloss I have found that can pack THIS much shine and glitter, that is not a sloppy mess. And believe me, I have tried them all!
Now, here is something that is almost as rad as Mo and her lip gloss! She is running specials now in her whole shop, and a bunch of her listings have 100% of the proceeds going to the Cancer Fund of America! How SWEET is that! So run on over to her shop, and toss her a heart, then keep your eyes peeled for specials being listed all month! Or you can fan her on Facebook to be the first to know about specials, and sales!!!!!