Friday, August 22, 2014

Notoriously Morbid : Swatches and Review

I had a sunny day this week when I didn't have anything else going on, so it was finally time to swatch some more indies! Today I'm going to be talking about Notoriously Morbid which is based out of West Virginia. I had seen the company name pop up quite a bit on Reddit, so I decided to check them out and noticed that they had a blogger pack option. It wasn't available, so I asked on Notoriously Morbid's Facebook if they were planning to make it available again and they did it that same day (excellent CS!). They were also running a free shipping with orders $10+ and a GWP, so I decided to place my order and got what is pictured above.

In my blogger pack, I got to choose one full sized shadow and 5 samples, so I chose: Ladder to Hell (full size), Quiet in the Dark, Sometimes my Arms Bend Back, It's Not Raining in Here, Evil Eye, and Cry Wolf Cry. I also ordered four additional samples of Boe, Give Me $20!, Young Merlin, and Neno.

And I got 7 Years Shattered and Bad Juju as free samples. I also got Tea Tosh as my GWP, but I seem to have misplaced it which is why there is no photo of it.... 

The TAT for Notoriously Morbid is 10-14 business days and I ordered during a bit of a sale, but they still managed to get my order out in 11 business days. Shipping was pretty fast and it got to me in Kansas in 3 days, which made me very happy. The only thing that I have a small complaint with isn't even actually a real complaint, I just couldn't think of any other word for it. For my GWP, there were two options, Tea Tosh and Pale Rider, and I put in my order notes that I would like Pale Rider. However, when the invoice printed on their end, it cut off the portion of the notes with my Pale Rider request. I've run into this issue before with printers cutting off extra info in the notes, but since it was a GWP, I really don't care and it certainly isn't something that I'm going to bother them with. Just be aware that if you are placing an order and need to write a lot in the notes, you might also want to email to make sure that it is seen.

Now, onto the shadows! (all swatches done over Fyrinnae Pixie Epoxy)

7 Years Shattered was one of my freebies and isn't something that I would have ordered on my own. It's a fairly opaque, glittery, white shadow that applies really, really nicely. I can definitely see me using this in the inner corner or on the brow bone for some awesome highlighting!

Bad Juju was the other one of my freebies and again, probably not something that I would have picked up on my own. On my skin, it shows up as a very orange based red with a purple shift to it and isn't the most flattering shadow for me. It makes my eye color look fantastic, but something about the orangey red doesn't look great on me. This shadow was a bit harder to apply and took a bit of work to make it look nice. I'm not sure if it has something to do with the red base, but the other red shadow that I got also proved to be a bit difficult.

Boe is a orangey brown copper shade with golden sparkles in it. This applied very easily and was opaque with no difficulty at all.

Cry Wolf Cry is a cool purple toned taupe with silver sparkles in it (heyo, love Taupe!) and was incredibly easy to apply. Taupe shadows are my most favorite thing in the world and this one is gorgeous.

Evil Eye is a pink with a golden shift and shimmer to it. I absolutely love anything that can fall on the rose gold spectrum and this does just that! It was also very easy to apply and easy to make opaque. I need to test this one out over a white base to see if it makes it pop even more!

Give me $20! is a minty green shadow that shifts between a gold and a pink shimmer. I often shy away from colors like this because I don't think that they look that good on my green eyes, but after seeing The Maquillage Magpie use it numerous times, I decided to pick it up. It applies like a dream and it really is a totally unique shadow; so glad I got it!

It's Not Raining in Here is a periwinkle blue shade with a beautiful light golden shift. Notoriously Morbid describs this as lilac, but on my skin is shows up blue which is just one of those skin tone things and it's gorgeous either way, so who cares? Don't let the swatch above fool you, this applied very well, I just screwed up the swatch a bit by trying to rush the pixie epoxy... :(

Ladder to Hell is another taupey shade that is a bit warmer and more brown with a purpley pink shift and sparkles! I got this as my full sized shadow because, well, look at it. Conservative enough to be worn most places, but still unique as hell. This applied SO easily and was opaque in one go round.

Neno is a darker gray brown shade with a lot of sheen and what appears to be some rainbow sparkles in there. I... can definitely see myself buying a full size of this as well, because if Ladder to Hell applied amazingly, then this applied whatever the next step above amazing is. I am in love with this shade.

Quiet in the Dark is a slightly cool toned red shade with golden sparkles. As gorgeous as this is (and it looks like blood, so I find it amazing), it has a slightly different texture than all of the other shadows... almost a bit gritty, and it was a bit difficult to apply. I tried swiping and patting and while patting produced better results, it still was patchier than everything else. This is lip safe however, so I may resort to using it as a lip color.

Sometimes my Arms Bend Back is a warm toned brownish copper with a cool shift to it. On the Notoriously Morbid site, it says that it has a blue shift, but it might be my skin tone making it pull non-descript cool shade. Regardless, it applied well and was opaque very quickly and a very pretty shade.

Tea Tosh is a slightly sheer beige tone with a reddish shift to it. When it isn't in direct sunlight, it blends in with my arm skin fairly well, so I had a bit of difficulty shooting the natural light swatch! This is one of those fun shades since it looks like a neutral and shifts to red. This is a bit more on the sheer side, so I would definitely layer this over a base to help it show up a bit more or just use it all over the lid as a wash of color.

Young Merlin is a cooler dark brown with a whole crap load of rainbow sparkles in it! This is another one of my favorites out of the group and this was literally opaque in one swipe; applies like a dream and is just magical all around (hardy har, Merlin = wizard = magic). I honestly don't know how to describer as anything other than gorgeous, so there you go; it's fucking gorgeous.

All in all, I'm extremely pleased and happy with the quality of the eye shadows that I got from Notoriously Morbid. Even better than their awesome shadows is that they have great customer service too and shipped everything out within their stated TAT. I'm loving these and once I get my eyebrows waxed this weeked, I will throw some looks up so that you can see these shadows in action!

Any questions or comments? Leave them for me below!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

My Julep Debacle

I apologize for the lack of posts recently, but either the weather hasn't been good for photographing indies (i.e. no sunshine) or if it has been good, I've been off doing something else. Between an incredibly weird busy time at work and a busy period in my personal life, I just haven't had a ton of time to devote to the blog. I'm headed out of town this weekend, but when I return, everything should be back to normal and I can finish up with the remaining brands that I want to discuss for indies! (I actually shot for a new blog post earlier this afternoon, so there should be a new one before the end of this week.) In the mean time, I thought it would be really easy to do this post since it's all text. I want to preface this post and say that I am not writing this with malicious intent, but rather to inform you all about a company that I feel does not deserve my business and really, anyone's business. I'm also writing this because I have advertised their services in the past and I want to let you know my change in heart toward them.

What company am I talking about? Julep. If I haven't mentioned it enough, I am a pretty avid Redditor and I belong to about one million and one beauty subs there. One of them is called /r/BeautyBoxes and it's completely devoted to subscription services. I discovered that sub shortly after I had started my subscription to Julep and to my dismay, the sub was littered with horrible reviews of Julep; not because of their products (there's mixed reviews on their polishes anyway - I happen to like them aside from the horrible stench) but because of their customer service. If you're curious, all you have to do is go to /r/BeautyBoxes and type "Julep" in the search option; you'll see the chaos. I, however, already had my subscription to Julep and since, at the time, you could only cancel your subscription over the phone, I just hung on to it. I did eventually attempt to cancel my subscription over the phone, but I could never get a customer service representative on the phone. I eventually gave up and just continued to skip every month of the subscription. Then the month of June happened...

You have to skip your box during a certain window of time on their site; it's "open" for something like a week. All you have to do is log in, go to the Maven section and go through a few more screens and you will eventually be presented you with the skipping option. I did this at the end of June, meaning that I would be skipping my July box, and carried on my merry way. Well, merry until I looked at credit card statement and noticed a charge from Julep. I attempted to call them since I had skipped the box, but I was unable to get a hold of anyone (shocking), so I emailed them. It took them a week to get back in touch with me; an entire week. At this point, my box had already shipped and there was nothing that they could do for me. Along with that, the customer service rep obviously didn't read the email I had sent and simply copied and pasted a response back to me.

Here's the thing with me; I worked in customer service for over seven years and I have no patience for people who don't do it well. I understand that Julep is probably completely understaffed or I at least hope that they are since they never seem to be able to answer the phone, but that's no excuse for not reading an email that is time sensitive and then sending back a canned response. I responded back to the CS agent in a very frank and matter of fact way and she got back to me immediately and cancelled my subscription (I requested that this happen) and said she would send me a prepaid label to return the box once I received it. The label, however, would take about two to three business days to show up, so I had to wait for it. Well, those business days passed and then a few more passed and I received nothing. At this point, I took to their Facebook wall which got fairly prompt attention and after a few more business days, I received my return shipping label.

I returned the box of nail polish that I didn't want and it was received by Julep on the 21st of July. In one of my previous emails, the CS agent stated that it would take 5-10 business days for a refund to show up on my card. I patiently waited those 5-10 business days and on the tenth day, when there was still no refund on my card, I called the customer service line. Amazingly, I got a hold of an agent on the phone (this was literally the first time ever out of dozens of calls) who proceeded to tell me that no refund had even been processed yet and that we would go ahead and it get it processed while I was on the phone. He did so and then told me that it would be another 2-10 business days before I got my refund on my card. Here I am on August 19th and I have finally received my refund. This is the ninth business day since that phone call. My bank is not the hold up here since every other refund I've ever received has shown in 24-48 hours but rather Julep's refund procedure.

It took almost an entire month from the date that they received my package to give me a refund and if I hadn't called them to check, who knows how long it would have taken. I have emails and Facebook posts to show how many times I had to contact them regarding this ONE charge. The amount isn't even that much, it's the fact that they are so irresponsible when it comes to everything. Take one look at their Facebook page and you can see complaints from a slew of people. Look at the Reddit sub that I linked earlier and you will find tons of people who have had slight issues like me and others have had huge issues with $70-$100 orders.

I am not writing this out of spite to bash the company but rather to warn all of you readers about the potential of getting screwed over. Since I recommended this company in the past, I feel that I needed to do this follow up. Honestly, aside from this, I never had any issues with Julep and I kind of though that people were blowing it out of proportion; guess I was wrong, huh? If you do want to subscribe to Julep, please, tread with caution.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Glamour Doll Eyes : Swatches & Review

Back on track and ready for more indies! This week I'm going to be talking about Glamour Doll Eyes, who I've actually had experience with in the past. Many moons ago, I used to be subscribed to their OTM service, where they would send you an exclusive color each month for a set price. I didn't know much about indies back then and I definitely didn't know how to apply them, so I got those few months of colors and had no idea what to do with them. So, when I saw on Reddit that the owner, Vee, was offering shadows for review, I snapped up the opportunity. After a few emails back and forth (and a few days), I got a little bubble mailer filled with my eye shadow choices. As always, this review is my honest opinion and I received no compensation for my opinions on these shadows!

The shadows I chose were Vulnerable, Bittersweet, Oddity, Mushroom, Just Bitten, and Brown Eyed Girl. Glamour Doll Eyes sells unblended eye shadows, which means that they aren't unique to GDE, but I chose six shadows that are unique to GDE. I swatched all of these shadows of NYX Milk Jumbo Eye Pencil (just to switch things up) and they all stuck to it very well.

All of the shades were accurate to what I saw in the pot and the only color that wasn't at full opacity immediately was Vulnerable, but it was still fairly opaque. Applying the colors to swatch was a breeze, but they are also really easy to apply to the eye. Perhaps I was just more careful this time, but I didn't feel like there was a massive amount of fall out with these shadows while applying, but there was definitely some (just like with most loose shadow). Having worn these shadows for the past few days, I can say that they do last all day with a primer underneath and can last through an entire soccer game. The only negative thing that I have to say about them, and it's hardly a negative, is that you must absolutely use a sticky base for these to adhere to. Like I said, that's hardly a negative, especially with loose shadow, but it is necessary with these to get decent pigmentation.

Vulnerable is a warm, peachy champagne shade that works really well as a brow and inner corner highlight. If you also wanted a very neutral, subtle eyeshadow, you could just sweep this over the lid.

Bittersweet is a warm toned taupe that would work well as an all over lid color.

Oddity is a bright acid green with loads of golden sparkle.

Mushroom is a cooler toned, grayish taupe shade.

Brown Eyed Girl is a really complex, wonderful shades that bounces between a slightly reddish purple to an almost brown shade. This shade makes me think of my best friend who happens to have brown eyes.

Just Bitten is a purple tinged burgundy shade.

And a few looks...

Oddity all over the lid with Vulnerable in the inner corner and on the brow bone (Illamasqua Heroine in the crease).

Brown Eyed girl on the lid with Just Bitten in the outer corner and brought through the crease.

Also! Sorry about the insane brows; I'm growing them out until the end of August and then getting them shaped. Only 22 more days of this nonsense...

And I'll send you off with a gif of the shadows! Let me know if you have any questions of comments!