Tuesday, December 30, 2008
A gentleman named Mark Horvath works with the homeless people of Los Angeles - he's trying to buy them raincoats, which for many homeless, is all the shelter they may have. Watch some of the videos he has posted on his invisiblepeople.tv blog - it is truly heartwarming what this man does for those less fortunate.
Michael Buckingham of Holy Cow Creative is collecting donations to send Mark money for those raincoats. His post, I'm Dreaming of a Dry Christmas, has a link to donate (he's collecting through January 1st). On his post, his goal of 100 coats has been reached. There are far many more homeless in LA than the 100, and I challenge everyone to make that 500 coats. $4.29 is all that it costs to buy a raincoat. I bought 5. Will you buy 5 as well?
Friday, December 26, 2008
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
My blog is listed in Alltop! I now proudly wear the badge of confirmation that I kick ass in Alltop's beauty section. Either that, or they're letting the riff-raff in. What is Alltop? Alltop scours all the top feeds all over the internet, and groups them into categories - not only beauty, but hundreds of categories from as generic as "shopping" to esoteric like "World of Warcraft". Select your interest (it may be a sport, a country, an event - it's a section in Alltop), and scan the headlines in that section. See something that catches your interest? Just mouse over the link and you'll get a popout of a brief summary of the post so you can decide if you want to read further or not. Check it out: visit http://beauty.alltop.com/ and see if you can find me (hint: keep scrolling down).
DECEMBER 24TH EDIT: We're now not only listed in Alltop's beauty section, but they've also added us to the hugely popular shopping section! Find us here as well: http://shopping.alltop.com/. Go me :)
Saturday, December 20, 2008
This 10 brush set, with a snap leatherette case, retails for $60.00. Brushes included are:
- Powder Brush (first cut goat hair);
- Blush Brush (first cut goat hair);
- Eye Shadow Brush (first cut pony hair);
- Concealer Brush (first cut pony hair);
- Angle Shadow Brush (first cut pony hair);
- Angle Lip Brush (Taklon);
- Fan Brush (Taklon);
- Lip Brush (first cut pony hair);
- Eyeliner Brush (first cut pony hair);
- Sponge Shadow Brush
No purchase is necessary. So how do you get it? Visit our website, select any product you've ordered, and leave a review on the website for that product. Then come back here and leave a comment where you left the review. You can only leave one comment per individual item, but you can leave multiple comments for different products. Each comment counts as a seperate entry. The winner will be selected randomly from the entries on Jan 7th. This might become a regular quarterly thing!
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
If you're reading this blog post, you're likely to be one of my pals on Twitter - or you came from my website. For the handful of you who came from the website and haven't a clue what Twitter is, it's sort of like AIM meets Facebook with some LinkedIn thrown in for good measure. It's like blogging in 140 characters or less. Like Facebook, your network grows often by "following" people who have common interests or following the people your friends are following. I "tweet" far too much - according to Tweetwasters, my little 140 character blurbs have taken a full 1.18 days to type. Rather amazing that I enjoy it since I can't seem to do anything in 140 characters or less - which I'm sure you've noticed.
One way of gaining followers, or even finding people to tweet to is to have an alert set up for certain words. Obviously, I have an alert set up for the word PurelyCosmetics and the phrase "Purely Cosmetics". Apparently, ToysRUs has one set up to auto follow anyone who mentions their name, or at least who mentions it a set amount of times.
On Black Friday, I had made several references to the shooting at the ToysRUs store in Palm Desert, Calif, followed by a ton more the next day when I found out that my in-laws were in the store at the time of the shootings (gak!). Suddenly, I got an email notification that I was now being followed by a Tweeter named Toysrusonline. I didn't think much of it; the Dow500 and Barak Obama follow me as well. Trust me, our President-Elect does not read my 20 odd tweets a day. So I figured that ToysRUs had a robot type twitter account who's sole purpose is to monitor what's being said about them. WRONG.
A week ago, I tweeted this: "Off to brave Toys R Us. Wish me luck". Toysrusonline wished me "Happy Shopping" within minutes of my tweet. I was pretty shocked, as I was sure that this was a robot! So I tested them: I'd been on a quest for knowledge of what the "cool" toys for 5 year old boys was for my nephew's gift, and wasn't getting much in the way of answers from the Twitterverse. I sent a post via text message from my cell phone while in the parking lot of the store. Before I was in the store very long, I already received a message back with a link to some suggestions. Unfortunately, the ToysRUs in my neighborhood had a wide selection of "out of stock", but that wasn't her fault. If you look through her posts, toysrusonline let's you know that they've just gotten in more Wii Fits, listens to irate people who expect their online credit card charges to be reversed even before they've finished their transaction, and lets you know about deals and steals. She's truly amazing. There are quite a few brand names on Twitter: CNN, for example has 14,820 people following them, but follows back only 6. That's a robot posting the latest news (which comes in handy, but it's not the personal interaction that makes Twitter so fun). If you look at toysrusonline's tweets, a significant portion of them begin with @someone's name - meaning they are replying directly to that person about something. In the height of the holiday season, where one would think that anyone who is even remotely associated with Toys R Us is about to pull their hair out, she remains cheerful, personable, helpful, and even tempered.
@Toysrusonline's boss: you need to give this gal a raise. And have her train the rest of your muckity-mucks how to use social media. For those of you who came to this blog from the website, join Twitter and follow me!
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
I've been in awe of Elke since the day I started in this business, and cannot possibly tell you how flattered and honored I am. Read her full review here.
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
Friday, November 28, 2008
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Monday, November 24, 2008
We are now offering all of our eye shadows in pressed powder versions. There is absolutely no way to successfully press these puppies (that I've found, at least) without using a non-natural binder. I tried using just jojoba, but the powders never dried and they didn't ship very well. All of the base ingredients are still natural minerals, however, a small amount of dimethicone is sprayed to bind the pigments together. The pressed shadows are offered in 2 slot compacts and 10 shade palettes. The tins on the 10 shade palette are removeable and interchangeable, and measure 1 3/8" (35mm) across - which is a larger diameter than MAC pans.
Also added to the eye color line is Waterproof Eye Liner. This eye liner will not come off no matter what until you take it off. I actually talked my daughter into wearing it during her swim meet (shocker!), and it remained in place despite taking her swim goggles on and off all day long (by the way, just in case anyone cares, she did really, really well at that meet!). The waterproof liner is offered in 3 shades: Black Cherry (a black with deep red highlights), Black Out (self descriptive), and Chocolate Mousse (a medium-dark brown).
Are you ready for the holiday shopping season?
Once again, we will be participating in the December My Pretty Pink Box, which will go on sale December 9th. Last month's box sold out in less than 2 hours, so make sure you sign up for an email reminder and are online at 7:00am PST so that you don't miss out! I promise, only good stuff from me!
I will also be offering a "Cyber Monday" promotion for those who subscribe to my newsletter. If you want to be kept abreast of what's going on on Cyber Monday (the Monday following Thanksgiving - Dec 1st, this year), make sure that you subscribe to my newsletter. I barely have time to post on this blog; I assure you, you'll never receive spam as a newsletter!
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Thursday, November 13, 2008
I told you these were akin to Woot's Bag of Crap! If you missed out, I'll be in the December box as well. This time, make sure to sign up for a reminder notice here. Then be on Linda's website ready to hit the buy button immediately the day they gone on sale at 7:00am PST!
The word is spreading about my products - YIPPEE! Joi from BeautyBlvd reviewed my Cream to Powder Eye Shadow Palettes today! Oy - if I only knew I've been filling the pans too full (don't look at the inside of the lid on her photo of the palette, LOL). She also likes the flexibility of being able to control exactly how much color you really want - add one layer, and you have a very sublte look. Want a more bold, intensive color? They're very buildable and blendable, so just add another layer or shade to create just the look you want. Follow Joi's blog here: http://www.beautyblvd.net/.
It's up and available for sale! The November edition of MyPrettyPinkBox is now selling. This month's box is only $11.99 plus shipping - a true steal given that if I'm in your box, you've already come out ahead of the game. Now that they're available, I can clue you in on what you could receive. Although my products won't be in every box (no one is in every box - that's what makes half the fun), it's all about eyes for those who get a goodie from PurelyCosmetics: either 2 full sized eye shadows and a detail shadow brush, or a Cream to Powder Duo, either of which retails for over the $11.99 cost of the box - PLUS the other items you'd get. Each box has 8-9 different companies participating, and you're guaranteed at least one gift certificate - one of which could be the reknown celebrity makeup artist Elke Von Freudenberg's certificate for $25 for her Model Brow products! :)
So quit reading me and go buy your box!
Thursday, November 06, 2008
Some of you know I'm a huge fan of Woot, and there's nothing more coveted than their Bag of Crap. Like Woot, My Pretty Pink Box is a mystery purchase, but instead of a 2005 calendar or a telephone handset (missing the base), it's filled with all sorts of girly girl items. It's a great way to try new and different things, besides being just plain fun to see what you get! Most of the items in the box will be sample sizes, but there's usually a couple of full sized items in there as well. Just like the Woot's holy grail Bandolier of Carrots selling out before you can bat an eyelash, MyPrettyPinkBox.com's box sold out last month in under a week. November's will be released on November 13th. If you want a reminder email the evening before to purchase a box, click here. I can guarantee you some good stuff in there! Maybe even some full sized stuff from PurelyCosmetics (wink, wink) :-)
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Just released! We've sold out of the First Edition of the 10 slot Cream to Powder palettes (though most of the shades from that collection are still available in limited quantities in Duo Compacts. The 2nd Limited Edition shades have just been released. The new colors include (starting from the top row, left of the palette):
- 24 Karat (lots of gold sparkles)
- Soft Russet Brown
- Truly Turquoise
- Evening Plum (mysterious highlights of green when it catches the light)
- Golden Coral (pink, orange, and gold highlights)
- Garnet (red/bronze shade)
- Beige Frost (moderate shimmer in a neutral tone)
- Pewter (light shade of antiqued silver)
- Snowflake (high white shimmer - great for highlighting)
No matter how I try to photograph these, they just don't do them justice. Many have hidden undertones when catching the light - hence the descriptions next to the shade names. My personal favorites are the Mauve and the Golden Coral, with Garnet running a close 2nd.
These Cream to Powder shadows, in addition to being nearly waterproof (they'll stay on until YOU decide to remove them), are very buildable. Instead of getting highly pigmented colors on your first swipe, you'll get a soft look, suitable for the workplace or more "mature" women. For those who prefer a highly pigmented look, just add another layer or two! These shadows can give you unlimited possibilities when used as a base shade and layered with a loose powdered shadow in a differing color.
The 2nd Edition set also has a few combinations in the Duo Compact: Snowflake/Pewter, Golden Coral/Mauve (how could I not put my favorites into a Duo?), and Garnet/24 Karat.
These Cream to Powder Shadows make great gifts or stocking stuffers for the holidays, but get them while you can!
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
On the other hand, we've just introduced our version of a travel jar for your mineral makeup. This handy-dandy jar will hold about 3 grams of foundation, has a locking mechanism that you twist to open or close, and an attached puff to touch up your makeup. Oh - and also with a mirror, though it's on the top of the jar and much smaller. Simply fill the base with your favorite touch up: foundation, blush, etc, screw on the top and snap on the lid cover. When you want to use it, turn the dial from "closed" to "open", invert the jar and tap a few times to get the product onto the sponge applicator, lift the protective cover, and voila! Touch up, up and away! Once you're done, snap the sturdy, protective cap back over the sponge, dial to "close", throw in purse.
So let's recap these purse options: bulky Bare Escentuals®, Beauty on the Go, $28. Purely Cosmetics Puff Travel Jar, $7.50. Hmmmm.... $28.00 or $7.50 - does this take thought?
Saturday, October 11, 2008
Shelly sent me an unexpected email on Wednesday after receiving her samples:
I just had to tell you how happy I am with your products! I've never written in like this before, but I guess I've never had a reason to... I've used the one of the "original" mineral make-ups for years now, and recently my face started itcing every day. I found an article comparing ingredients in mineral foundations, and realized that bismuth was my problem. I convinced my mom to try it with me and we ordered some samples last week. I love them! We just placed our first regular order, and I'm already planning on what else I'm going to try. I just wish I didn't have to wait 3-5 days and could buy your products in a store! My face does not itch any more, and the color is perfect. I've even noticed that my dry patches look better, and I am not oily late in the day.Great products! I am going to tell everyone I know to order from your website!Thank you so much for what you do!
Linda wrote the very next day:
I recently purchased eye makeup from your site and am very happy with the
Do you carry a mauve eye shadow (or something very close to it)?
(after receiving my recommendations, she writes back):
You have awesome products that I will gladly recommend to others!
Linda has been a longtime customer, writes me today out of the blue:
I am 54 years old and have combination/still sometimes problematic skin (How can you have wrinkles and pimples at the same time - it isn't fair!!.) I just wanted to say I love your products. I use the Oil Absorb, the silk powder, the loose powder base and your incredible eye shadows. My skin has never been more clear, less shiny with no patchy dry spots. Not too long ago, I ran out and impatiently went to get Bare Minerals locally. MY SKIN HATED IT!!
Anyway, thank you for providing a product that is truly wonderful!
To have such wonderful comments sent to me on consecutive days really made my week! I can tell you 'till I'm blue in the face that I make a good product, but I'm absolutely tickled pink to have my customers tell me that!
Monday, October 06, 2008
A Cream to Powder Eye Shadow is a semi-solid shadow. It's like a firm cream (you could dig a fingernail into it) in it's palette, but once applied to the skin, it instantly becomes a powder. Applied with a foiling brush, sponge applicator (included), or even your fingers, you control how much pigmentation you want, as it's very buildable. I had my daughter "road test" these shadows by wearing them to her daily 2 hour swim practice, and she came home with the colors still fully intact.
These shadows are available in Duo Mirrored Compacts with 2 applicators, or in 10 Tin Palettes. The wells on the palettes are larger than your MAC tins, measuring 1 3/8" in diameter. The Duos come in the following color combinations: Cherry Marmalade/Copper, Forged Gold/Plum, Gunmetal/Slate Blue, and Bronzed Brown/Grape, and retail for $15.95 each.
The 10 tin palettes include Slate Blue, Gunmetal, Copper, Cherry Marmalade, Forged Gold, Pink, Grape, Plum, Bronzed Brown and Jeweled Emerald, and retail for $34.99. For those of you who like to press your own shadows, the 10 tin palettes are also available empty (the case and 10 tins) for $12.95. The wells are larger than the MAC tins, measuring 1 3/8" (36mm) in diameter.
Saturday, September 27, 2008
At the end of the report, they mention a list of commonly used ingredients that are used as preservatives or fragances that many will have sensitivites to. The ingredients that they list are as follows:
Stearic Acid, Sorbitol, Glycerin, C-12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Sodium Borate -- TEA, Cetyl Alcohol, Dimethicone, Aloe Vera, Phenoxyethanol, Propylene Glycol, Quince Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate, Potassium Sorbate, EDTA, Allantoin, Methyl Paraben, Propyl Paraben, Butyl Paraben, Menthol.Personally, I have no idea why allantoin and aloe vera are on the list, but hey, I didn't write the article!
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
I've nearly narrowed down my shades, but would love your feedback. Here's a little slide show of the colors I've developed so far (I've discovered that I am NOT good at photography like many of the beauty bloggers out there)! I've shown the shades both photographed with sunlight and without so that you can better see the subtlies. Click here for the slideshow; I can't get the darn thing to work right :(
I'm just waiting for the palettes to arrive before these go up for sale. They will be available in a 10 shade palette (shown in the Pressing Mineral Eye Shadows post) as well as a dual shade compact. Please give me some honest feedback on these shades. Good, no good? Which do you like best? Any that I should dump? I'm still working on colors; a bright purple will most likely be added to the line. Are there other colors that you feel are "must haves" that I'm missing? This is your chance to help form a product line!
Thursday, September 11, 2008
What if I end up with a whole bunch of these, and nobody buys the new shadows? It's not too likely though, as they are very cool! I started thinking about pressing shadows as an option for you guys, since everyone seems to be in search of a way to do it - or offering the palettes and tins empty so you can do your own. If you read Vanessa's post, you'll see she made a huge mess! Not being able to use alcohol, and trying to avoid using any dimethicone, I played around with her idea using Jojoba oil. OMG, my thumb hurt so bad putting the pressure on it!
I thought to myself there HAD to be a better way. I'd have arthritis before finishing even one palette! I wandered through Lowe's looking for something round I could use to press into the tins, but to no avail. And the guy who worked there looked at me like I was nuts when he asked if he could help me, and I told him I wander around hardware stores looking for things not for their intended purpose (didja know Slurpee straws make excellent scoops for those 22 Eye Shadow packs?). I could just hear him muttering "women" under his breath. Today, I found myself next to an OSH hardware store, so decided to give it another stab. Up and down every aisle of the store holding my lone sample tin against anything round and flat. 3/4 of the way through the store, a woman employee asked if she could help me. Laughing, I showed her the tin and told her what I was hoping to accomplish. We were on a mission! She was determined to help me find something that would do the trick and not cause arthritis or tendinitis in the meantime. Dowels for closet rods? Nope, didn't fit. The little round thingies with nails that you put on the bottom of chairs? Ugh - close in size, but no cigar. Then we hit aisle 17B, and Eureka! Cork! Found a perfect diameter!
I'm not sure whether I'm going to be doing pressed shadows, but I am fairly certain I'll be offering the palettes and tins empty for those who want to do their own. Don't ask me how much I'll be selling them for - I'm not mentally there yet, but most likely it will be under $10 for the empty palette and 10 tins. Whether you use a dimethicone based binder (I'm opposed to dimethicone is cosmetics in general, but it isn't so bad for the eyes - kinda hard to clog those pores), alcohol on your overpriced MAC pigments (sorry, couldn't resist the stab), or jojoba oil, here's how I pressed mine.
What you'll need:
Empty eye shadow tins (the one's I'll be getting are 35mm)
Hand clamp (this one is a cheap, lightweight plastic one that doesn't take any strength to open and locks closed)
Cork (1 3/8")
Mix your shadows with whatever you're using to bind them together. For me, I used 1 tsp of eye shadow with 1-2 drops of jojoba oil. Mix them up in a small ziploc bag by squishing in between the palms of both hands until all the powder has been coated:
Cut a corner of the baggie, and pour the contents into the tin (I didn't use all of it because it looked like it would be too much; I was wrong). Then wrap the cork in plastic wrap and place on top of the tin:
Insert into the hand clamp, and let sit for a few minutes, and voila!
Monday, September 08, 2008
Friday, August 29, 2008
That's where you come in. Tell me what colors you want for the fall/holiday season. Want more blues? Dark or light? Blues that change to black, or blues that change to purple? I probably have a blue that changes to stark white in here somewhere! Can I interest you in a mauve or wine shade or three? Tell me what you have a hankering for, and I'll make it. I'm feeling an eye shadow binge coming up. Just don't ask me to match a MAC shade - I'm color wheel retarded, remember?
The only thing I dread about doing shadows is not making them - it's the photographing, then adding to the site. I don't just add it to the eye shadow pages, I have to add every option to each of the kits as well.
And for those of you who got some of the samples of the "nameless" magic eye shadow formulation, how do you like it? Want more in that texture, or more in loose powder?
I refuse to buy any more colors. Just because I got a deal doesn't make it a necessity. I can understand why I have 400 pairs of jeans: you need light, dark, medium, and comfy in small, medium, and large sizes. With different leg widths for each, of course. My daughter needs 35 white shirts, all either tank tops or camis - I'm not altogether sure why, but who am I to comment when I have 81 different colors of micas???
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
But that's not the purpose of this post. I'm not whining, I'm celebrating! August 27th, and August 27th only, enter the code HappyBirthday in the "redeem code" box on checkout, and FREE SHIPPING FOR EVERYONE! Now it gets a little tricky; I'm not altogether certain what time my server is on, but it should run from 12:01am PST to midnight on the 27th. To be safe, avoid ordering in the middle of the night - figure 1:00am PST to 11pm PST.
Cream-to-Powder is a soft solid in the container (you could stick your fingernail in it and make a mark), but once you apply it, it's looks and feels like a super soft powder. It's very cool, but I can't get the consistency right. So... I've started playing around with the ingredients (which are very expensive, and I don't want to just toss them) and Eureka! I think I've just developed a new, unique eye shadow. I'm drive testing it today, and it goes on so smoothly, and wears very well so far. When applied to my hand, it wouldn't wash off under running water without some effort rubbing it off - I'll have to have my daughter wear it to swim practice, but it just may very well be waterproof eye shadow as well. Depending on what the texture looks/feels like tomorrow (my foundation experiments tended to have a different texture 24 hours after making them), you may see a new product on the horizon! Now what to call it.... Magic Powder Shadows? No Mess Eye Pots? I dunno... look for some odd sounding name under "Eyes" on the website, and you'll know I came up with a winner. In the meantime, I may be randomly sending out samples for customers to test and give me their feedback.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
I understand the colors are highly pigmented. For you 20-somethings, this is good. For us who's lives are nearly half over (shudder), highly pigmented makes us look like clowns! That's why most of my eye shadows are not so pigmented - they give you the flexibility to wear them dry and carry it off, or foil them for that dramatic look. There was a woman shopping there at the same time, and I asked her what it was about MAC that makes her drool. "Everything lasts so long!", she replied. Yeah, well, so does mine! I just don't have the beaucoup bucks for slick packaging and a huge marketing department with an endless budget.
I noticed that Vanessa always uses a paint pot under her shadows as a primer, so I thought, maybe I'll check those out. I don't have any primers in my line. There was only one shade that I could conceiveably use on a daily basis - Painterly - but even that was kinda pink if you're wearing a neutral shade. BUT... all is not lost. I did buy the shadow paint in Bare Canvass, and so far, so good. It will probably go in the drawer with my Borghese shadow primer within another few days though. I just don't wear shadow primers!
At least now I don't feel left out. I officially own a MAC product.
Monday, August 18, 2008
The 3 pack sample Econo Packs are now an option for ordering foundation samples. The Econo Packs are smaller tester sizes of our foundations, with each containing about 0.4 grams (the jar sized samples contain a full gram), packed in heavy-duty ziploc baggies for $5/3 samples. Because much more of the powder will stick to the baggie than our sample jars, in addition to being smaller in net weight, you will not get as many applications as you will from the 3 pack jars. Each baggie is enough for 3-4 applications; a jar could last as long as a month. BUT, there's a big price savings - 3 baggies are $5; 3 sample jars is $12.
Unfortunately, we can only offer our foundations in the Econo Packs. All of our other items available for sampling (Oil Absorb, Silk Powder, Silk & Pearl Primer, etc) have too much adhesion to effectively sample from a baggie - waaay too much would stick to the bag!
Friday, August 15, 2008
Monday, August 11, 2008
We did just the opposite. We've created a new primer that is actally beneficial for you. Made of only the finest and highest end ingredients, our primer is composed of pure silk powder, natural pearl powder, and allantoin. Pearl powder has long been an ancient Chinese skin care use. Not only does it contain essential amino acids and calcium, it acts as an anti-inflammatory and aids in reducing redness, helps reduce hyperpigmentation and evens out skin tones, and smooths the texture of your skin while moisturizing it as well. The allantoin, extracted from the comfrey root, stimulates growth of healty tissue, has soothing and healing properties, and is an anti-irritant. Pure silk powder also has essential amino acids, and like pearl powder, absorbs excess oils while moisturizing at the same time (perfect for combination skin). Silk reflects UVA and UVB rays, providing additional protection from sun damage.
Our Silk & Pearl Powder primer reduces the visibility of pores and fine lines, leaves your skin feeling as smooth as a baby's bottom. It is available in two formulas: Normal-Dry skin, and Normal-Oily skin. If you are unsure which skin type you are, it is recommended to use the Normal-Oily skin with our Skin Smoothing foundation formula (otherwise, it may feel a bit too heavy), and the Normal-Dry skin with our regular formula. Either can be used with the regular formula with Pure Silk added.
Not only does this Silk & Pearl primer acheive the visible results for which you're using a primer to begin with, but it is so nourishing and good for your skin that I've taken to wearing a layer to bed. After one week, I already notice a significant difference in how smooth the texture of my skin is!
Tuesday, August 05, 2008
Please read the Petition Against the FDA Globalization Act of 2008 and sign it. This isn't just about those of us who craft these products. It's about supporting small businesses and your freedom to choose as well.
Thursday, July 31, 2008
I've been meaning to write this article for days, and just haven't gotten around to it. But just emailing with Vanessa, got me to start writing about this gizmo. OK, it's not the article I was intending to write (and still will, eventually), but where better to start than my own blog that is in serious need of updating anyway?
I've been hearing about the Beauty Blender for quite awhile, but couldn't imagine spending so much on a sponge! Especially given that I really love brushes. Lots and lots of brushes! But my curiousity got the better of me, and I hopped down the street to plunk down my $20 for a pink egg after reading nothing but rave reviews on it. People weren't joking! The Beauty Blender is great for all sorts of people:
- For those who find natural hair brushes too harsh, or are allergic to animal hair, this is a great alternative to a synthetic brush - and so soft!
- Klutz's like me, or anyone who finds that loose powder is messy can appreciate how neatly it picks up the powders without flying everywhere.
- It's eco-friendly. Enclosed with every blender is a mailing address to mail back your old sponge to be used for recycling.
- It's latex-free, hypo-allergenic, and easy to clean and care for.
How does this thing work? Use the bottom side of the egg to apply foundation or blush. Dip into your powder or liquid foundation, and "bounce" the egg all over your face. Some of you might better recognize the concept as stippling. The smaller tip of the egg is perfect for concealers, under eye applications, around the side of the nose - areas that easily can look caked on if not properly applied. I've even heard people use it to apply eye shadow - though I don't think I have the talent to venture that far. Unlike many sponge applicators, your makeup sits on top of the sponge and isn't soaked into it, so you don't lose a whole lot of product that will never see your face. It's so easy to use, it's almost idiot-proof, and you get a flawless application every time. I say "almost idiot-proof" because it took me several attempts before discovering the you really only want to use the top or bottom of the blender; I had difficulties using the side. Why I even chose to try using the side, I couldn't tell you. It's far more comfortable to hold by the sides!
You can use the Beauty Blender sponge either wet or dry. If you choose to do a wet application, soak the blender under water (and watch it double in size!), gently squeeze out the excess water (rub it in a towel), dip into your liquid or powdered makeup/blush/concealer/bronzer, etc and stipple on. To wash, run it under water, add just a tiny bit of the cleaner (a sample comes with the blender, but any natural soap will work just as well) to the soiled areas, rub ever so gently, and poof! One clean egg, all ready to sit on it's throne (also included).
You can buy the Beauty Blender for $19.99 directly from Purely Cosmetics by clicking here.
So tell me what your experiences are with the Beauty Blender!
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Check out this latest interview that was posted on WordsofaBrokenMirror about me:
I’ve met Robyn Bloom on LinkedIn, after answering one of her questions about getting beauty bloggers and journalists to write about her business, Purely Cosmetics and the line of natural mineral products she created. While talking to her, I wanted to know more about how life as a one-woman-show was in the beauty field. I had only read her LinkedIn profile and some information on her website before sending these questions. I am extremely glad they’ve lead to a great story about following your dreams and doing what you love.
You went from selling prescription medications to selling ad space in the Yellow Pages to then owning your own mineral make up company. Tell me how it all happened!
Most of my life is an accident. When I first went to college, my intention was to become a doctor – I’ve always been intrigued by science. After my first inorganic chemistry class, I nixed that idea. I started out in the fashion industry as a menswear buyer while I was in graduate school (worked in retail all through high school), intending to open up my own clothing store. My MBA was emphasizing entrepreneurship, and after going through the program, I decided I’d rather start new products with someone else’s money rather than mine. Straight out of graduate school, I worked many years launching new products for large corporations. One of these was for GTE Yellow Pages. My boss at the time had suggested that my personality would be a great match for sales (I couldn’t see the similarities of selling new product ideas to the corporate honchos and selling a product to the end user when I was in my 20 somethings). I found that I loved it – if it’s a product I truly believe in, my excitement about the product can be contageous. I moved over to pharmaceutical sales, which combined my interest in science and my sales skills, when there was some geographical issues with continuing with GTE. It’s hard to get passionate about standard cardiac meds, and even harder to get a physician’s attention for something other than your free pens, so I went back to yellow pages and remained there until I developed back problems from carrying so many phone books! When I stopped working, I promised myself that I was going to give my face 2 weeks off from makeup to allow it to breathe for the first time in eons.
5 years later…. I still wasn’t wearing foundation because I hated the heavy feel of it. I was talking to a girlfriend about the crappy care I took of my skin, and how much I hated wearing foundation. She’s the one who first got me interested in mineral makeup. After wearing it and seeing the difference, I was hooked! It goes on quickly, it feels like you’re wearing nothing, and even my 14 year old can apply it without that visible line around her chin. I didn’t like the products that were out there – they were overpriced and carried ingredients I preferred not to have on my skin, so I decided to do it myself!
How’s life as a one-woman-show entrepreneur?
Hard! I work far longer hours now than I ever did working for another company. My day begins at 6am, and rarely ends before midnight. No days off for me – I’m online 7 days a week. I take pride on my customer service, and will bend over backwards to meet the needs of my customers, answer their questions, and ship over 90% of my orders same day. When I’m not filling orders, I’m formulating new products. Or reading blogs to see what others are doing and/or wanting in a product. Or trying to promote my own product line. There’s always something that needs to be done.
I know you have a sales and pharmaceutical background. How do you handle Marketing and PR when you’re not a specialist?
I do have a marketing background; working as a Product Manager in new product development for many larger corporations. But that was a lifetime ago, and it is vastly different when your advertising budget doesn’t have any comma’s in it and you’re used to someone else’s wallet paying the promotional bills. As for PR – I’m winging my way through! I did an event for our local Domestic Violence Center making over women who deserved some pampering – got my photograph on the front page of our local paper – above the fold even! Wouldn’t you know, they put my own name in the paper, but not the name of my company:(
Up until now, I’ve been relying mostly on word of mouth from existing customers. My company will be a year old in August, and I’m only just now starting to focus on PR. I have a friend who always manages to be chosen to do giveaway bags for events like Miss America, the Oscars, etc. I want to be her when I grow up, and be able to do the bags for the Oscars.
How did you come up with your company’s name? Did anyone help?
Nope – that was all my own doing, combined with domain names that were available. I wanted a name that was descriptive of my business. My focus is on pure and natural ingredients, so I spent a few hours coming up with ideas for names, then started a domain search. Most of my initial names were taken, but I just started combining words trying to come up with something easy to type (wouldn’t want anyone to spell the name wrong and get someone else’s site!) and descriptive until I finally landed on Purely Cosmetics.
Tell me about the Purely Cosmetic site: did you hire a web design and development consultant? If not, who helped you build it?
I have no artistic abilities whatsoever. I can’t even draw stick people with a ruler. I outsourced the design to a firm in the Phillipines. I can’t start with a blank canvas, but once someone gives me a few design ideas, I can alter it until it has become something that I like. My programming skills are somewhat limited – html is about as far as I can get!
When it comes to promoting your business online, what has worked for you and what hasn’t?
Surprisingly, advertising on search engines didn’t help me one bit. I received a lot of hits, but a terrible conversion rate, not to mention the expense. It took me almost 6 months to bail on the idea; I was afraid no one would know I was there if I weren’t advertising. I never saw a drop in sales when I dropped the pay-per-click. I have written several articles that were related to mineral makeup – from types of ingredients used in many brands, to how to buy brushes. Those articles have brought me in more business than anything else to date.
I noticed you are active on LinkedIn. Has that helped you to grow your business?
I’ve actually been on LinkedIn for years, with a whole 1 contact. I’d totally forgotten about it until I received another contact request just a couple of weeks ago. It’s amazing how much LinkedIn has helped me so far – not necessarily directly translated into sales, but I’m getting some wonderful advice about promoting my business. I’m making some great contacts – from not only people directly in my industry, but generous souls such as you who are taking me under their wing to help direct me. I’ve even received interest from someone who is interested in carrying my line in the UK! For only 2 weeks of being active, I couldn’t be more tickled about the feedback and results I’m getting.
Purely Cosmetics has a Facebook profile. What kind of traffic does it generate?
Not as much as I had hoped for, but probably again, because I don’t know what I’m doing. Socal networking sites are new to me, and I really haven’t much of an idea how to best navigate them or promote myself on them.
What kind of women are more likely to buy natural cosmetics?
All types! I think that women as a whole have become more health conscious, and more aware of what they’re putting both in and on their bodies. They don’t want products that have been tested on animals, and are becoming more environmentally aware as well. We all want to protect ourselves from sun damage as much as possible, and products that contain zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide provide a natural sunscreen without clogging pores, feeling heavy, or stinging your eyes. When I was a teenager, we used to sit in the sun wearing baby oil and using aluminum foil to reflect the sun to our faces! It’s taken this long for the damages to start really hitting home – my husband suffers skin cancer from not having sun protection nearly 40 years ago.
One of the great things about mineral makeup is that it can appeal to all age groups. Depending on the ingredients used (and their particle size), you can have a quick way to makeup yourself and have a ”dewey”glow for those with younger skin, or a more matte finish that can hide fine lines for the more mature woman. Because mica has light reflecting properties, eye shadows can range from high sparkle to those made with iron oxides and are completely matte – with everything in between.
Who’s tougher to compete with: other mineral make up producers or high-profile, trendy brands that we see in ads everywhere?
Tough question. Overall, I’d say the household name companies that you see on QVC or even drug store brands. The quality is far lower than other small companies such as myself, but those are the names people know, so they naturally assume that they are the best. It’s hard to compete with those big advertising budgets, though I’m not sure how much I really would want to – I’d lose touch with my customers, and it’s meeting their needs that makes this fun.
You’ve been running your company for a year now. What would you recommend to someone thinking to take a similar path?
Be prepared to put in long hours and waste a lot of ingredients! I don’t even want to think about how much I’ve spent on ingredients that end up in the trash when developing formulas. It took me several months just to get the basic structure of my foundation base the way I wanted it. If you’re doing it because it’s something you enjoy, it’s very rewarding. But as of yet, it’s not paying for the food on the table!
Any major plans for your future and that of your company?
I’m ever-evolving. Maybe I have ADD, and can’t stand to see things just stay the same! I’m always trying out new things – some may make it to reality, some get ditched along the way. Mineral makeup is still in it’s infancy, so there is lots of room to grow and change.