Friday, December 31, 2010

Please stand by: 2011 is Loading... ██████████████ 99% complete

I saw this status on Twitter - it was so funny, I had to use it as my title.

2010 has been an epic year for me. I watched my baby get ready to spread her wings and apply to colleges all over North America. I took a long overdue vacation with the fam to Costa Rica (if you want to read a really funny account of the trip, my husband wrote about the journey here), and I put on my "Big Girl Underpants" and exhibited at IMATS. It's been a year filled with joy, as well as a year with heartbreak. I've watch friends lose their parents or other loved ones, some lose themselves (temporarily, thank heavens), and many of us hit some pretty bumpy roads. But hey, isn't that what life's about?

While most of you get dressed all sparkly and pretty for the evening's festivities, my husband and I will do our usual couch potato thing. We like it that way. But I can't let the year pass without expressing my gratitude and appreciation for some very special people who have touched me with their magic over the year, lent me their ear, or provided me a shoulder when needed.

As always, the first and foremost person to whom I owe so much goes to my husband of 20-something years, Marc. His wit and staunch support of me through thick and thin keeps me grounded, focused, and happy.

From a business standpoint, the list is almost endless. I'll do my best to list everyone, so you might want to go get a drink first.

  • I would be NO WHERE without the support and help of two of my favorite You Tubers, Pursebuzz and EnKore. It was Koren's brilliant idea that I should show at IMATS, and both he and Elessa helped make sure everyone else knew of my presence while I soiled those big girl unnerpants in fear - only to end up doing better than my wildest dreams and selling out of product!
  • There are also no words to express my gratitude to Grace Chun, who has been my rock throughout the bulk of the year. She kept me tethered whenever I started to fly off into space from anxiety both while preparing and exhibiting at IMATS with that immutable calm she possess, spent endless hours reading 8,794,179 college essays for Jamie, and no matter what, always had a big smile on her face.
  • To my vendors, mainly Katie, Kaila, Dee and Jessica - thank you for putting up with me, my emergency shipments, and my special orders. One day, I hope to just have a traditional, normal order. But don't hold your breath waiting for it.
  • For the makeup artists who have supported my products and my business, a big kiss:
  • Melissa Street
  • Kevin James Bennett
  • Felicia Walker-Benson
  • Heather Wilson
  • Crystal Sawyer
  • Ren (aka MakeupbyRenRen)
  • Julie G (aka JulieG713)

  • There's almost too many bloggers to mention, but several that have become some of my best supporters, best customers, and best friends while each of us went through life's trials and tribulations over the year. I'd be remiss if I didn't give an extra special shout out to:
  • Jami (Bionic-Beauty)
  • Mo (A Year with Flat Daddy, Mythbuster Beauty)
  • Elke (Beauty Blog Network, The Model Brow)
  • Anastasia (Lipsticks & Lightsabers)
  • Alyson (Gloss Menagerie)
  • Nessa (Nessasary Makeup)
  • Stephanie (Aquaheart's Obsession)

  • I can't go without wishing a happy, healthy 2011 to the people who never cease to crack me up on Twitter: Paula, Dustin, Michael, Hillary, Vicki, Michelle, SparkleCrackHQ ... and on, and on... Easier to just check out who I follow on Twitter.
  • Finally, wishing a wonderful, prosperous and healthy New Year to my partners in crime: Kathy, Val, Michael Lamb, Donna, and Melissa.

I know I've missed a whole bunch of people, so please don't be offended if you're not listed here. Enjoy your evening, make the best of your New Year, be happy, and to approrpriately quote Dustin Hunter, "Drive Safe".

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Back2Basics: Mineral Foundation Application Tips

Enkore Makeup does a demonstration video on applying mineral foundation. Well worth watching!

By the way, if you like the Beauty Blender, we carry it here for one stop shopping!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Giveaway Alert! (closed)

A little while ago, I won a $25 gift certificate from Crystal for Apothica er, no, make that Apothica, SkinCareRx and 3 different sites, all one shopping cart. Very cool site where I can buy hard to find things and don't have to order from several places. You can buy the standards like Clarisonic, Bobbi Brown, or NARS, but also harder to find things like my favorite moisturizer, Pevonia Botanica, Philip B Leave In Conditioner (I had to hunt to buy this online), and high end brands like Keratase, Jan Marini, Jurlique, and La Roche-Posay. Even better, they ship free to the US on purchases over $49, and for those of you who frequently hit the international wall, they ship internationally!

Since I thought it was such a cool 3-in1 beauty experience, I cajoled SkinCareRx's PR department into helping me (which translates to YOU) out.

Here's a chance for you to win $25 to spend any way you want on,, and/or You're in the middle of spending all your hard earned bucks on others for the holidays; go buy yourself a treat. Or use it for something practical that you never remember to do - like change the head on your Clarisonic (you don't remember to deep clean your brushes regularly, I betcha $1.00 you haven't changed your brush head in months).

Here's the deets on how to win (each option below counts as additional entries):

  • "Like" SkinCareRx on Facebook;

  • Follow them on Twitter;

  • Retweet about this contest for another 2 entries (@PurelyCosmetics is having a #beauty #giveaway sponsored by @SkinCareRx1;

  • Opt-in for SkinCareRx's newsletter (very bottom of their home page) for 2 more entries;

  • Write your own blog post of a minimum of 100 words including a link to Clarisonic for a whopping 7 additional entries.

Contest ends 12/31/10

Monday, December 13, 2010


I went to log in this morning to pull today's orders and marked yesterday's as shipped. Waaahhhh - I'm getting an invalid log in error! And of course, I have a programmer in India. He closed for the day about an hour before I discovered the problem. Now he won't see my Red Alert! message until I'm in bed tonight :( I keep telling myself I need to pay the big bucks and hire a local programmer. It's times like this that I remember why.

I think I can still pull and ship orders from the email notifications that I receive, but things will look a little wonky until this is fixed. Obviously, if I can't get into my own system, I can't mark your order as shipped, nor can I print invoices. So you might be getting printouts of emails for invoices, and emails telling you your order has been shipped when the system will still say "processing" (you can log in and check your order status, but I can't). I'll keep you posted...

Monday, December 06, 2010


Have you seen this? Watch the whole thing for how to get a free gift :)

You can also see Pursebuzz's full review of the Diamond Perfect Finish here.

A couple of things of note:
  • You must ask for the buki (and specify which type of hair) in the notes section of the order. It will automatically be included in your order - there's no need to add it to your cart.
  • Offer valid through Friday, 12/10/10, or while supplies last.
  • The discount code in Pursebuzz's original review is an old code; it has long since expired. This promotion is for the buki, not the percentage off.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Just for Fun (and because I haven't posted in so long)

My husband sent me these attorney jokes in an email. It was too long to put on Twitter, and since I haven't blogged in a million years, thought I'd give everyone a reason to chuckle on a cold Monday before Thanksgiving. Enjoy :)

ATTORNEY: What was the first thing your husband said to you that morning?
WITNESS: He said , 'Where am I, Cathy?'
ATTORNEY: And why did that upset you?
WITNESS: My name is Susan!

ATTORNEY: What gear were you in at the moment of the impact?
WITNESS: Gucci sweats and Reeboks.

ATTORNEY: Are you sexually active?
WITNESS: No , I just lie there.

ATTORNEY: This myasthenia gravis, does it affect your memory at all?
ATTORNEY: And in what ways does it affect your memory?
WITNESS: I forget.
ATTORNEY: You forget? Can you give us an example of something you forgot?

ATTORNEY: Now doctor , isn't it true that when a person dies in his sleep, he doesn't know about it until the next morning?
WITNESS: Did you actually pass the bar exam?

ATTORNEY: The youngest son, the 20-year-old, how old is he?
WITNESS: He's 20, much like your IQ.

ATTORNEY: Were you present when your picture was taken?
WITNESS: Are you shitting me?

ATTORNEY: So the date of conception(of the baby)was August 8th?
ATTORNEY: And what were you doing at that time?
WITNESS: Getting laid.

ATTORNEY: She had three children , right?
ATTORNEY: How many were boys?
ATTORNEY: Were there any girls?
WITNESS: Your Honor, I think I need a different attorney. Can I get a new attorney?

ATTORNEY: How was your first marriage terminated?
WITNESS: By death.
ATTORNEY: And by whose death was it terminated?
WITNESS: Take a guess.

ATTORNEY: Can you describe the individual?
WITNESS: He was about medium height and had a beard.
ATTORNEY: Was this a male or a female?
WITNESS: Unless the Circus was in town I'm going with male.

ATTORNEY: Doctor, how many of your autopsies have you performed
on dead people?
WITNESS: All of them. The live ones put up too much of a fight.

ATTORNEY: ALL your responses MUST be oral , OK? What school did you go to?
WITNESS: Oral...

ATTORNEY: Do you recall the time that you examined the body?
WITNESS: The autopsy started around 8:30pm.
ATTORNEY: And Mr. Denton was dead at the time?
WITNESS: If not, he was by the time I finished.

ATTORNEY: Are you qualified to give a urine sample?
WITNESS: Are you qualified to ask that question?

ATTORNEY: Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you check for a pulse?
ATTORNEY: Did you check for blood pressure?
ATTORNEY: Did you check for breathing?
ATTORNEY: So, then it is possible that the patient was alive when you began the autopsy?
ATTORNEY: How can you be so sure, Doctor?
WITNESS: Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar.
ATTORNEY: I see, but could the patient have still been alive, nevertheless?
WITNESS: Yes, it is possible that he could have been alive and practicing law.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

What's in YOUR Sephora Cart?

It's no secret that Sephora's Friends & Family sale begins tomorrow. Starting tomorrow (newly updated: it's working) NOW through November 3rd, you can receive 20% off your entire order with the code FF2010. Spend over $50, and get it shipped to you for free as well.

So many of my beauty friends find that visiting Sephora does for them what chocolate does for me - it can cure even the worst ailments. Alas, I have no Sephora near me (though they've been building one for nearly a year and promise to open next month), so chocolate it is. Which is also why I look forward to the Friends & Family sale - a great time to buy stuff I can't easily get, or really don't want to pay full retail price. And getting to the $50 isn't all that hard. Sephora's site is one that you can log in and fill up your cart in advance, then scoot on over there tomorrow morning to finalize your purchase. So far, here's what's in my cart:

  • Urban Decay's Primer Potion in the professional size. My favorite shadow primer (along with most of the free world), now available in a squeezable tube. I'm not fond of their doe foot applicator - especially since you have to de-pot it to get it all out. Then it dries out if it's not in an airtight container. The tube version is more expensive: $29 vs the $18 Genie bottle, but you also get 1.5 times more product; even more if you include the fact that you can actually use it all as well.

  • Philosphy's Exfoliating Lip Scrub. I need a lip scrub, but I really don't know much about who's got the best one. I'm not looking for a plumper, lip gloss, or lip conditioner. Just something to help get off leftover, glumpy lip color - or to even out these tired ol' lips. Has anyone tried this one, or have a recommendation for another?

  • Phyto's Phytojoba Intense Hydrating Shampoo. Every time I order something from Sephora, I get a sample of one of Phyto's shampoos. I really like them, but for some reason, never ordered a full size. For a little over $19 after the FF discount, I just gave myself a reason.

Other things I'd recommend getting if you don't have already:

  • A Clarisonic brush, of course. Honestly, I don't know that the MIA is any better or worse than the regular one. I have the Pro version, and truth be told, I only use one speed anyway. If you buy the full sized one, get the pink version and support breast cancer awareness.

  • While you're looking at gadgets, seriously consider Clarisonic's new Opal. I bought one at an esthetics show just a month or two ago, and was really afraid I had gottten caught up in the buying frenzy and would regret this purchase. It's a sonic infusion system that dispenses unit doses of anti-aging serum that you then apply beneath your eyes with the use of ultrasound. Fortunately for me and my wallet, I've already begun to see results, and haven't regretted the purchase for a minute. Now I'm also trying it "off label use", and using it every evening to my upper lip line in hopes of reducing those lines as well. At $245, it's a little spendy, but the $49 discount helps take the some of the bite out.

  • Urban Decay's Naked palette. If you're planning to take advantage of the 20% savings, get this sucker in your cart and checkout at 12:01am or you won't get it. 11,000 different brands and palettes out there, and this flies off the shelves. I'm willing to bet that this has become one of Urban Decay's bestsellers after their Primer Potion.

So tell me, what's in your cart? And what should be in mine?

Friday, September 17, 2010

Anniversary Sale!!

Yay, the time is here! On Sept 18th, we're celebrating our 3rd year anniversary. The response on what kind of a sale you'd like best was pretty much split right down the middle between free shipping worldwide and a percentage off across the board. I couldn't decide, you couldn't decide, so I did both.

For those who want Free Shipping Worldwide, I had to set a small minimum order size of $15. Otherwise, with the shipping of those little sample zips halfway across the world, I'd end up losing money. Free shipping is for First Class Mail only. If you select another shipping method, it will still ship first class. For the free shipping option, enter "ANNIVSHIPFREE" (case sensitive) in the "redeem code" box upon checkout.

Maybe you're already spending $60, and would be getting free shipping anyway to anywhere in the US. Or you'd rather not have to meet a minimum order size. Want to take 15% off your whole order instead? That code is "ANNIV15OFF".

Important stuff you need to know:
Even though you enter your coupon code in the "redeem code" box, you must complete the rest of the information on the page before clicking the "redeem code" button. I don't know why, it's just the way it works.

You can choose only one discount or the other, not both. If you use both, your order will be voided and you'll have to place a new order.

Sale ends at midnight, Central Standard Time (GMT -5, for those who are international) on September 18, 2010.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Sale Announcement Coming...

Many of you may have seen the tweets about our anniversary sale. Though the announcement is up on our YouTube channel, I'm leaving some of the mystery since the sale doesn't happen just yet anyway.

Check back tomorrow night for the blog post announcement, or make sure you're signed up for our newsletter, which will be sent tomorrow morning. It's only a one day sale, so make sure you subscribe to this blog and/or are signed up for the newsletter!

Hint: you're choosing how you want to celebrate our 3rd year anniversary :)

Monday, September 13, 2010

Kitchen Cosmetics: OCC Lip Tars

I freely admit it: I'm a lipstick klutz. I rarely wear lipstick of any sort because I tend to talk it off faster than it took to apply it, so it's not even worth the effort. People frequently ask me why I don't have any lip products on my website, to which my usual response is something to the effect of "how can I sell something I don't wear?" I know too little about the stuff to make anything worthwhile, and anything that requires melting and pouring pretty is way out of my league. I can melt, I can pour, I can't do it neatly.

A little over a year ago, I found the solution to my personal lipstick problem: Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetic's (aka OCC) lip tars. These puppies had to be where the phrase "lip stain" originated - the color will last on your lips all day long, through food, drink, and yapping. I have 7 or 8 colors, and just bought 3 more that were just released last Friday. There's only one problem: I can't wear them. They are so highly pigmented, you can't use the applicator tip. You have to apply them with a lip brush or something similar. OK, that's not an issue; I can do that. The pigmented part is the issue for me. They're extremely opaque, and a pin drop's worth will give you plenty of bold color. Two of my favorite colors, NSFW (pictured above, and stands for Not Suitable For Work -it's a bright red) and Grandma still have too much color for someone who's not young by anyone's standards other than my mother's. I always have to mix them with a more neutral color like Hush or Complex to tone down some of the color. Plus, I find them a bit drying, and have to use some lip balm before applying.

Enter my bright idea: what would happen if I took some premade lip balm base and added some lip tars to it? WTF; may as well try it. A $12.50 tube of a lip tar would last longer than you, your daughter, and her daughter could ever use up. So what if I try it and it doesn't work? There's still plenty for me to toss the project and still have a lifetime supply. OMG, it worked! I have a wearable, easy to apply, don't look like an old lady clown lip tar!

Here's what I did. It's completely unscientific, so be prepared if you try this on your own that you may be diddling a bit. No worries; all the ingredients come in an abundant supply that you can toss and start all over again without using much of anything at all. I used the Glossy Glaze base from Coastal Scents, but you can use any premade base available from them, TKB Trading, Essential Wholesale, and a zillion other places.
  • Scoop a little base into a microwave-safe container (I'm partial to the plastic Solo cups like you get ketchup or salad dressing from a take-out restaurant).
  • I added a few drops of jojoba oil because I find the Glossy Glaze a little too hard, and want the extra moisturizing benefits from the additional jojoba. It soaks into your lips/skin quickly, so I figured it would be less likely that the finished product would end up creeping into my fine lines. I'm too lazy to wear lip liner to cover that problem.
  • Melt in the microwave. You don't want it to get too hot, or you'll looking at a potential fire hazard. I zapped it in 15 second increments until all was melted.
  • Add several drops of your chosen OCC Lip Tar shade(s) and mix with a popsicle stick or mini spatula until it's all blended. My experiment was mostly NSFW with a drop or two of Hush just in case it was still going to be too red. STIR FAST - it will start to harden as you're blending. If it starts to get lumpy before you're all stirred up, zap it another 10-15 seconds.
  • Pour into a chapstick style tube. Again, I don't use lipstick molds. Those require coordination. I'm not selling this stuff; a chapstick tube is just fine for me, and they're cheap.
  • Place into the freezer for just a minute or two, then remove. You'll notice that the mixture has started to sink down, and there's a hole in the center where the rod to dial up the bottom is.
  • Zap the leftover mixture that didn't make it into the tube the first time until it's runny again. Top off the tube, and replace in the freezer. Bye-bye hole, bye-bye sunken in center. Let it stay there for 30 min or so, and you're done.

End result? OCC Lip Tars that don't dry your lips, don't creep into your lip lines, and suitable for even old ladies!

Monday, August 30, 2010

August: The Good, The Bad, and the UGLY

Boy, has this been a tumultous month! I've been so flattered to have my products selected as monthly favorites, but the website is still not functioning. Starting with the good stuff...

Professional makeup artist and blogger Crystal Strayer (who I personally feel is one of the prettiest people on the planet) lists her Favorite August Beauty Products today, and our Diamond Perfect Finish is the very first product listed!

The You Tuber Guru with the most beautiful skin, The Sublime Agent (aka Michael) likes to be a little different. He did a mid-month favorite:

Michael's review of our brush protectors has prompted us to carry an additional sized protector - a medium+, for lack of a better word. This size is perfect for those "tweener" sized brushes, and what we use when we ship our Duo-Fiber brushes. They're in stock; I just have to photograph and get them up on the website.

Which brings me to the UGLY... Remember the post below where I said the website is screwed up in Internet Explorer, and all the categories are missing across the top? It gets worse! Apparently, when you see multiple products on a page and click the "order" button, it takes you to a blank page. *cries and cries* No wonder sales are slow! Until Mr. Programmer fixes this darn issue, click on the product name instead of the order button. This will take you to the product page, where the "add to cart" link does work. 9/1/10 Update: IT'S FIXED, IT'S FIXED - WOOT!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Just a little programming problem....

I've just now discovered that my site has become wonky. If you're using Firefox or Google Chrome as your browser, you're probably have no idea what I'm talking about. If you're using Internet Explorer, you may well be visiting my blog because you can't figure out how to navigate the site, and the only category showing is the link to this blog. Waaaahhhh....

I've just emailed my programmer to see if he can fix it. I didn't make a single change that would have done this.
So... here's a temporary fix. If you click here, it will take you to the Samples Page.
Look to the far left: all the categories are listed there (and on every page but the home page). From that page, you can navigate to any other section of the website.

Hopefully, this will be fixed lickety split. Like before I wake up tomorrow. The one good thing? I just got a wake up call that I haven't backed up the site since late July. Guess what I'm doing the minute this is back to normal?

Thursday, August 12, 2010

5 Hour Sale!

Since it's the first day of school for my daughter, I'm doing a 5 hour sale (which coincidentally ends the time she gets home from school). Now you guys know that I rarely do sales, and there will be a bigger one coming for our 3rd anniversary in September (see post below), but I just threw this one together at the last minute.

From now until 6:00pm EST, order a full sized foundation, and your entire order will ship free! Little things you need to know:
  • Enter the code SHIPIT in the "redeem code" box at checkout (case sensitive);
  • Though you can purchase anything else you want, you must purchase at least one fullsized foundation - any formula, any shade;
  • You must select your payment method, then click the redeem code box or you'll get an error message;
  • Applies to all customers WORLDWIDE;
  • Free shipping is for First Class Mail only. If you select another option, it will be sent first class anyway.

Happy shopping!

Friday, August 06, 2010

Long Time, No Post

Boy, talk about the ultimate in procrastination - it's been over a month since I've posted even a peep! Not only have I been a busy bee, but more importantly, I can sum it up in two words: Writer's Block. I've got so much going on, I really haven't stopped to think about what to post. How do bloggers who post new content do this every single day? Even now, I logged on to write this post, and ended up redesigning the blog instead. So this is just a quick little post to update you on things.

We've added some new eye shadows to the line - they're Limited Editions created specifically for IMATS. Translation: the display I used held more shades than I carried, so I made new colors. For the most part, these shades are more bold than my usual shades, just from the very nature of the type of people who attend IMATS. Once they sell out, they're probably going to be gone. Mint was the biggest seller at the show, and as of the time I write this post, there are only two left.

Also on the "short list" is our Cream to Powder shadows. I've always hated making these, but they're cool. They're also time consuming to make, and I can only make 2-3 at a time. I've always had in the back of my mind that these will be goners, but just started running out of the ingredients to make them, so what's made is made, and what's sold out is gone forever. If you've ever been curious about these shadows, now is the time to pick one up.

I bought some little flat top baby bukis to use for application demonstrations at IMATS, with no intention of ever doing anything else with them. Everyone liked them so much, I've brought them in as a permanent item. They're a very soft, yet dense synthetic taklon hair, and are great for throwing in your purse, your desk, or for use with samples, and you won't break your bank to own one. Another new brush added: a duo-fiber full sized kabuki.

Finally, our anniversary is coming up! September 18th will mark the 3rd anniversary of our first day in business. Each year has exponentially grown over the previous, and it's all thanks to you guys. So I need some ideas on how to celebrate. I can't do another Woot-Off style sale like I did for my 50th 21st birthday like I did last year. As fun as it was, it was completely nuts! So what would YOU like to see? A percentage off? Free shipping? A deeply discounted price on a particular item or category that changes each day? A random giveaway? Something I haven't even thought of? Let me know in the comments what would you would most appreciate as my thank you to you.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

IMATS 2010 Recap

We survived! Oh my, was that an experience to never be forgotten. I've been to IMATS before as an attendee, and I've never seen it (or any other makeup show) so dang crowded! The line to get in on Saturday for those who had already bought their tickets in advance was out the door, and from what I understand, it took hours to get through the line and into the show. The staff even had to shut the doors until sufficient people had left that they could let more bodies in.

I had a fear that I would fall flat on my face, and was wound so tight in the days prior to the show that those who knew me knew to stay far, far away. Even my husband offered to do the laundry, lol. I thought we'd be picking lint out of our navels looking stupid. I mean let's face it: there were companies such as MAC, Make Up Forever, NYX, Urban Decay, and Eve Pearl exhibiting... and lil' ol' Robyn. OMG, from the minute the doors opened, we were non-stop! Can you believe that people were actually seeking us out? Even better - by the end of the first day, I had SOLD OUT of Diamond Perfect Finish! I had to go back and fill some more jars after standing on my feet and drinking my dinner (vodka and cranberry juice covers many major food groups, you know).

I put together a little YouTube video of the show - not that we had any opportunity to take some pics. I didn't even get ones with my friends - I got to see Vanessa (Nessasary Makeup) whom I haven't seen in eons, met and hob nobbed with Kevin-James Bennett (OMG OMG OMG - he loved the Diamond Perfect Finish), James Vincent, of course Enkore Makeup and Pursebuzz, This That Beauty, met Queen of Blending, Julieg713, I could go on and on.... Of course none of this is in the video, lol. Took me 4 hours for this minute and a half video. How people do this on a weekly basis, I have no clue.

Hope you enjoy!

Friday, June 25, 2010

OMG, D-Day is here!

I've been prepping for nearly 3 months for this weekend. IMATS is finally here! I cannot even begin to describe how I've been feeling the last 48 hours. I sway from extremely excited to petrified and near meltdown almost minute by minute. The car is loaded, and I'm as ready as I'm ever going to get. For those of you who are attending this show (which, by the way, is the largest attended IMATS show in the world, and is even bigger this year than last), please be sure to see me over at Booth 117 and say hi. I'll be the one with the wild, crazed look in my eyes.

It's certainly going to be a fun-filled weekend. There are parties every night after both setup and the show, and I'll be hob nobbing with the Big Boys like a "real vendor", lol. I wanted to take this time to say thanks to some very special people, for whom I am very grateful and could not hope to survive this show without.
  • I owe what remains of my sanity to Alyson of Gloss Menagerie, Stephanie of Aquaheart's Obsession, and makeup artists Grace Chun and Klare Vue, all who are helping me work my booth and are determined to keep me grounded and calm. Without you guys, there would be no IMATS.
  • I am extremely grateful to Pursebuzz and Enkore Makeup who have both done a series of YouTube videos and reviews of "IMATS Must See's", and have included our Diamond Perfect Finish on the top of each of their lists. Between the two of them, they've created such a buzz that I'm actually afraid that I may sell out! Wouldn't that be cool??

For my regular customers, or those of you not attending IMATS, just a few words of note. Shipping will be a tad slow for the next few days. I'm leaving in just a matter of a few hours, so no orders will be shipped before Monday at the earliest when I return from the show. Add in the exhaustion factor and the need to reassemble everything back into it's proper place, and it may even be an additional day or two. I'll make it up to you. I'm not quite sure how yet, but I will be offering some sort of special after IMATS for those of you not local enough to attend the show (or no desire). I guess it will also depend on whether I have lots left from the show, or nothing left from the show, ha ha.

I'm off to put on my "Big Girl pants". Wish me luck!

Monday, June 07, 2010

MIA Updates

Wow, it's been an awful long time since I last posted - even for me! I've been consumed with "all IMATS, all the time", ha ha. I haven't done a post in months not because I couldn't think of what to write (well, yeah, that too), but because I've been a very busy little bee. I'm afraid to count, but I've packed somewhere in the neighborhood of 2,000 jars of product in prep for this internationally renown beauty show. A few minor mishaps here and there - like I'm still missing my black lids on my 30 gram jars - but otherwise, I do believe I'm finally ready! Now comes the hardest part - trying to find comfortable shoes that don't look dorky and that I won't have to take a second mortgage to pay for them. So who's coming to IMATS?

On an even more exciting note....

Recognize this website? Pursebuzz is not only a huge YouTube guru, but her website, has to be one of the most read beauty sites in Internet-land. Look carefully in the upper left corner: our Diamond Perfect Finish is a "Must Have Monday"!!!! I'm qvelling all over. A huge thank you to Elessa of Pursebuzz :)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

'Nuff Said

OK, it's a little blurry, but you get the idea. Need I say more? Click on the picture to be taken to the full exhibitor list. Hope to see you there!

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Putting On Our "Big Girl" Pants

Everyone who reads this blog knows I attend every type of makeup and suppliers show I can possibly find. I've attended The Makeup Show, Cosmoprof, IMATS, and countless supplier's conventions.

Lawd, have mercy. I'm doing more than attending a show.

I'm going to be exhibiting at IMATS in Los Angeles! For those of you unfamiliar with IMATS, it stands for the International Make-up Artist Show, and is only held once a year in 5 places worldwide: London, Toronto, Vancouver, Sydney, and Los Angeles. You can tell by the limited shows that this is some big humdinger event, bringing attendees from near and far. Not only is it attended by thousands of make-up artists, but also people who just have an interest in beauty (this means yes, you can go). This lil' Indie company is gonna be right up alongside industry giants, such as MAC, NYX, Obessive Compulsive Cosmetics, and Make Up Forever, just to name a few.

So mark your calendars, plan for a little mini-vacation in California this summer if you live elsewhere, and come visit us in Booth 117 and say "Hiya"! Just be forewarned: I may lasso you and pull you behind the booth to help me out :)

Friday, March 12, 2010

The Case of the Missing Jars Continues...

My MIA new packaging has been found! China. Apparently, several hundred boxes didn't make it to the boat in time before the Chinese New Year. Is anyone like me, and visualizes boxes literally running after a departing boat like one would for a bus, saying "WAIT! Wait for us!!"?

So... I have no idea when they'll get here. I did get my hands on some 20 gram black lidded jars and had my artwork printed here, so at least I can offer both sizes with the new twisty sifters - so much for matchy-matchy though.

Another announcement: The Silk & Pearl Powder Primer, by popular request, is now offered in two sizes: the original size in a 10 gram jar (net weight 1.5 grams), and in a jumbo size of twice the amount: 3 grams net weight in the new 20 gram twisty sifter jars for only an additional $7.50.

Happy Shopping!

Sunday, March 07, 2010

New Packaging :)

LOOK - twisty sifters! My new packaging finally arrived - WOO HOO :)

Too bad it's only part of what I ordered. I've been working on this project for the better part of 6 months, and was soo excited when I heard that they had finally made it from the slowest boat from China. Only one leeetle problem: I ordered the salt & pepper style sifters for both my 20 gram and 30 gram jars, both with the black lids and the gold.

All I got is what you see: gold lids, 30 gram jars.

Woah - what happened to the rest of my stuff? Nooo.... I don't want to wait another 6 months trying to get the full packaging (insert a round of frustrated tears here).

Oh well. I'm so excited to have something that I'll have to have a bit of funky packaging until the missing 3/4 of my order is tracked down. I'm hoping and praying the delivery driver just forgot to deliver the entire order, and not that it's still in China somewhere, but I'm not particularly hopeful about it.

Until I can get the full packaging, expect some wonky looking orders. All foundations are going to have the gold lids, regardless of which formula they are. Unfortunately, anything packed in a 20 gram jar (Diamond Perfect Finish, Silk Powder, Oil Absorb) will still have the old sifters for an undertermined period of time.

You likey? I hope so, 'cuz I sure do :)

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

The Makeup Show 2010: There's a Theme Here...

I went to this year's Makeup Show with 4 goals in mind: Learn. Talk. See. Try.

Ok, make that 5 things in mind: Learn, Talk, See, Try, BUY.

I realize that the combination of both my ancient age and having my own line, I have tunnel vision. I went to learn what's hot in the industry, learn what's new and upcoming, learn what the pros are looking for, and learn new techniques and applicataions. The Makeup Show is unlike IMATS or Cosmoprof in that it's a boutique show. It's relatively small (you must be a pro in the beauty industry to attend), but chocked full of vendors and artists that are more makeup driven than say, special effects driven.

Both during the Blogger preview the day prior to opening the show, as well as during the show, you get the chance to talk to the respected and well known artists and creators themselves. Award winning artists such as Jon Hennessey, Kat Aragon, James Vincent and Michael DeVellis. I talked and met the people behind the brands, like Eve Pearl, Lori Taylor of Smashbox, David Klasfeld from Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics (aka OCC), Kevin James Bennett of Make Up For Ever, and Wojtek Inglot of Inglot Cosmetics.

I saw all sort of new products that launched at the show: new shades of lip tars from OCC, the HD Microfinish blushes from Make Up For Ever, brand-spanking new products not yet on the market including Smashbox's Hyperlash Mascara and Halo Hydrating Bronzer, and Inglot - a cosmetic company that is huge in Europe, and just opened it's first US store in New York.

I was determined to go outside my comfort zone for once. I talked and learned from Eve Pearl and Koren Zander on how to best apply makeup to this tired ol' mug, and getting a makeover from these creme de la creme artists:

I saw all sorts of old friends and new, including Elessa (Pursebuzz), Koren (EnKore Makeup), Felicia (This That Beauty), Melissa (Epic Makeup), Michael (Jeune d' Age Organics) and Grace (Grace Chun MUA). Way more, but those are who are popping into my head at the moment.

And, of course, I bought. Oy, did I buy. But I was proud of myself: I bought things I never would normally use, determined to be more hip and not so "50". Where to begin? This year, it's all about the pigment. Intense pigment. "Don't screw up because you'll never get it off" intensity. So, of course, I tried to go with some of the more neutral stuff, knowing that yes, as a second generation klutz who only knows one way to wear her makeup, I will screw it up.

Make Up For Ever HD Blushes:

Perhaps I should have talked about lip tars first, as these brand, spanking newly introduced HD blushes are like lip tars for cheeks. They give a whole new meaning to "a little dab will do you"!

This gems come in a small pump bottle that you could never, ever conceiveably use up. At the blogger preview, one small, not even a 1/4 pump was put on my hand. I rubbed it in, and rubbed, and rubbed... covered the entire back of my hand in so much pigment I looked bruised. Traces of it were still there the next morning even after using a salt scrub trying to remove it! Uh... go for the light colors, Robyn. The bright pale pink (#13) is actually pretty easy - it rubs on much more sheer than the rest of their colors, and great for giving just a touch of all over color. I'm still working on how to best apply the bright apricot (#12). This morning, I used a drop not much bigger than the size of a pinhead, blending it into my fingertips before applying. Still too much and had to use a bit of foundation to blend it in. This one is going to take practice - perhaps with a sponge. As of right now, the HD blushes are only available at, coming to stores soon.

OCC Lip Tars:

I'm generally not a fan of lipstick. I tend to talk it off within 32 seconds of applying, so what's the point? OMG, I couldn't talk these lip tars off if I tried. Again, another "don't put too much on" product (a theme here?) - these are swatched using just the itty bitty bead on the hole of the applicator tip (Hoochie, Vapid and Complex are all new colors, not yet available):

They're like paints as well - although I like the idea of a bright red like NSFW (Not Suitable For Work), I'm afraid to pull it off without looking like a Real Housewife of New Jersey. But look what happens when you mix it with Complex:

I put my lip tar on this morning at 6:00am. I've been eating, drinking, talking and all things inbetween non-stop since then. It's been nearly 9 hours, and my lips still have plenty of color. Maybe lipstick isn't just for weddings and pictures anymore? Worth noting: I find them drying on the lips, but not an issue if you wear a lip balm beneath.


Because Inglot has only one retail store in the US, and though you can see all 2,000+ colors of makeup, their website is not yet ready for online shopping, The Makeup Show was my one and only chance to see them. I'm a huge fan of gel liners, and was immediately drawn to their 20 colors of matte gel liners. I ended up with 3 shades, with the ice blue (#88) becoming a new personal fave after only one day. It looks great on my waterline and flatlined to make my eyes look bigger and brighter. These liners go on soooo smoothly, and really, really last. I swatched them on my arm last night, and had a hard time removing them (hmmm... that theme again). We'll see tonight just how hard it may be to remove from my eyes. Unfortunately, I didn't get a chance to really check out their shadows. The booth was nuts (understandably, as all knew this was a one shot deal), and since all their pressed products can be purchased either alone, or in a palette that you create with the colors you want, I would have needed hours just at the one booth.

These were just my "go outside your box" purchases. I still have all the stuff I've been wanting to try that isn't so scary!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Perricone Winner!

To keep things nice and fair, I didn't pick the winner for the Perricone MD High Potency Eye Lift. Twitter did. Everybody's names went on a list, those that had multiple entries for tweeting about the giveaway or posting on our Facebook Fan Page had their names listed again after everyone's first entry was listed. Then I asked on Twitter for anyone who wasn't entered in the drawing to give me a number between 1 and 40.

I didn't have to wait long for someone to pick the winner. The first number chosen for me was 22. Any guesses who had that number assigned to them?

Congratulations to....

Lutefisk (aka Adrian)!

Adrian, I'll need you to email me at robyn(at) with your full name and mailing address so that Perricone can send you your goodies. Then come back and let us know how well you liked them! Congratulations!

If I haven't heard back from Adrian by the end of the day on Monday, March 1st, I'll use the next number picked by Twitter: 12

Monday, February 22, 2010

Giveaway Ends This Week - Enter to Win Perricone MD High Potency Eye Lift Cream!

Wouldn't you love to have an eye serum that really works well? How about one worth $95 for FREE?

Well then, what are you waiting for? Enter the drawing for a free bottle of Perricone MD's High Potency Eye Lift Cream before time runs out.

The rules are simple:

  • Comment on my post "My Peepers Love This" about what eye serums you've tried;
  • Get an extra entry for posting a link to the Peepers post on Twitter (please include @PurelyCosmetics in the tweet so I see it; extra tweets do not get you extra entires)

  • Comment on our Facebook Fan Page for yet another additional entry.
That's it! Pretty simple for getting pretty great, don'tcha think?

This giveaway is open to residents of the US and Canada only.
Contest ends Friday, 2/26/10 at 10:00pm Pacific Standard Time.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Countdown To: The Makeup Show LA 2010

There's only less than two weeks left until The Makeup Show begins in LA! I'm really looking forward to this year's show - more so than last year, where I was deathly afraid of speaking on the blogger's panel and sounding like a complete and utter idiot (which fortunately, I pulled off ok - check out how it went last year on this post).

I'll be attending a special blogger's preview the day prior to the official opening, where I'll have the opportunity to get a sneak preview of the show and meet the players behind the brands. I'm looking forward to seeing the trends and what's new for Spring so that I can stay on my toes. There are some new vendors that I'd really like to check out, such as Inglot - EnKore raves about them - and plan to sit in on John Hennessey's (of Inglot) seminar for Achieving Editorial Beauty. There are so many seminars I want to sit in on (you can see the whole schedule here), when am I going to shop???

The show is run by The Powder Group, and open to everyone in the makeup industry: bloggers, makeup artists, students - anyone in the business of makeup or beauty, and runs Sunday, Feb 28th and Monday, March 1st. Advance tickets are $35 for a single day's attendance, and $50 to attend both days. Students get a 10% discount, and ticket prices go up at the door. You can purchase your tickets in advance through Feb 25th. I highly encourage everyone who can possibly make it to attend; it's a fabulous show without being too overwhelming.

I even seriously pondered attending the show as a vendor instead of an attendee, but I'm still waiting on my new packaging to arrive (latest ETA is the end of this month), and wouldn't have the manpower to pull it all together in time. Who knows? Maybe next year I can be like the Big Boys and have my OWN booth :)

If you do plan on attending, I've put together a "Tweet Up" after Saturday's show so that I can finally meet "live and in person" so many of the great people I've met only online. I'm finally going to meet Koren of EnKore Makeup, Elessa from Pursebuzz, catch up with old friends like Michael (Jeune d'Age Organics), makeup artists Melissa Street and Heather Wilson, and get starstruck meeting BIG names like Eve Pearl and Tricia Sawyer - just to name a few. If you're going to the show and can make the Tweet-Up, just click the image on the left and RSVP.

If you plan on attending, hunt me down -
LOVE to meet everyone!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

What's YOUR Valentine Tradition?

When I was single, there were two holidays I dreaded: New Year's Eve and Valentine's Day. Those just always seemed to me to be the two days that you were meant to spend the evening with someone you were deeply in love with, and it seemed that was exactly what everyone but me did. The New Year's Eve problem was one easily solved: I flew to Vegas about 7pm (it's less than an hour's flight for me), gambled until about 2am, and flew back home. No one at the blackjack table knew nor cared that you were there by yourself. And since I talk to people in elevators, I never had any problem yapping the night away with the others at the tables.

Now Valentine's Day was a whole 'nother problem: who would bring me chocolates, roses, and profess their undying love for me?

More than 20 years later, here I am happily married, get the roses usually somewhat unceremoniously dumped onto the counter, and still no romantic gestures of undying love. I know my husband loves me; but I long ago learned to accept that he's not a demonstrative man, and I no longer wait for those romantic candlelit dinners for two followed by champagne and bubble baths together. So how do we celebrate Valentine's Day?
Yes, you're reading the right logo. For 20 years, Marc and I have gone to dinner every Valentine's Day at IHOP. Told ya I wasn't married to the romantic type, lol. Actually, it's not as bad as it seems, and is kind of romantic is a warped way.

It all started on one of our first Valentine's Days together as a couple. As some of you may know, my husband is a CPA. If you know your calendar well enough, you know that February 14th falls dead in the height of tax season - where Marc is working 7 days a week, 12-16 hours a day (wait, don't I always do that year-round?), and this is one of the only nights before April 15th that I can even count of him for dinner at all. When we first moved into the area in which we currently live, the town was small, and the need for reservations for dinner on a Saturday night unnecessary. We didn't think too much about picking out a restaurant in advance, and insuring that we could celebrate by making a dinner reservation. We just figured we'd go to our favorite steakhouse, and given that it was a holiday, would probably have to wait 20-30 minutes for a table.

Wrong. 2+ hour wait at the restaurant of our choice. Ixnay on that idea, move on to our 2nd choice. No better there either. After checking a few restaurants and finding hellacious waits everywhere, tired and hungry, we decided to chuck the notion of a nice dinner and just grab a bite to eat at Denny's. As we walked up to the front door, there was actually a sign taped to the door that they were out of meat. Denny's? Out of meat? Who'd have thunk you couldn't even get a burger on Valentine's Day!!!

Since our dinner options were rapidly becoming cereal at home, we decided to hop across the street to IHOP. Surely no one went to IHOP, and how likely would it be that they'd run out of pancake batter? Fortunately for us, the only souls inside looked like they were on a field trip from the closest retirement home, and there was still plenty of food available with no wait. We laughed about how "romantic" our night was, and it was so off the wall that it had to become a tradition. So it was, and so it shall remain.

What's your favorite Valentine's story?

Monday, February 08, 2010

My Peepers Love This: High Potency Eye Lift

There are two things about my body that I really, really don't like. Everything below my waist (if I could walk behind a counter for the rest of my life, I'd be one happy camper), and my eyes that are in serious need of plastic surgery. I've always struggled with hooded eyelids, but after several anniversaries of my 21st birthday, I've learned to live with those. I just drool at the gals who can wear dramatic colors while I stick with my neutrals, using only my eye liner for a splash of color. It wasn't until I was taking some pictures of my eyes for the website that I realized the mirror doubles the distance, and my face resembles the lines on an elephant's skin. My new skin care passion became every anti-aging product I could find, and every eye cream I could get my hot little hands on.

Enter Perricone Cosmeceuticals. I've been wearing their High Potency Eye Lift morning and evening religiously since I received it nearly a month ago, and really noticed a difference in the appearance of my fine lines right off the bat. Although they have eye preparations to help correct the first signs of aging, their High Potency Eye Lift is geared for those of us who's "first signs of aging" is way the heck back there in the rearview mirror. And it truly does what it claims. This Perricone Cream uses DMAE and phosolipids to help firm up your skin, reduce fine lines, and hydrate the fragile, sensitive skin surrounding your eyes. To quote directly from the Perricone MD website:

High Potency Eye Lift actually lifts skin for a visibly transformed appearance while minimizing deep lines, wrinkles and bags under eyes with Dr. Perricone's patented anti-aging ingredients: DMAE and Phospholipids. Also formulated with Pycnogenol to address loss of elasticity and help brighten skin's appearance.

In addition to it's efficacy (as if that wasn't enough), I find that this eye treatment is especially great as part of my morning routine since it's quickly absorbed into my skin. I'm not waiting forever after applying before I can finish getting dressed.

But wait, there's more! Perricone has been kind enough to sponsor a giveaway of their High Potency Eye Lift for one lucky reader (that's a $95 value). Don't take my word for it; enter to win a bottle of this miracle cream for yourself and tell us what your opinion is. Here's the skinny on the details:

  • Post a comment below about what you've tried previously & why you'd like to try Perricone MD's High Potency Eye Lift (make sure that you are either logged in, or that I have your email);
  • Get a second entry by commenting on our Facebook page;
  • Extra entry points for anyone who shares this post on Twitter (include @PurelyCosmetics in the tweet so that I will be sure to see it - extra tweets do NOT mean extra entries)
  • Giveaway is open to residents of the US and Canada only

Contest ends on Friday, February 26th at 10:00pm PST.

* Disclaimer: this product was provided to me for the purposes of review.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Spin-off on Book Of Colors (aka Tower of Terror)

I love watching Koren of EnKore Makeup's videos on YouTube. Not only for his makeup applications, but he comes up with some great do-it-yourself projects (where was he when I was a Girl Scout leader in need of ideas??). The last few days, he's done a series of videos on how to make your own Book of Colors (inspired by Urban Decay's Book of Shadows). While watching them (you can see them on EnKorinne's channel here and here), it got me to thinking. Those would be cute gifts, but more importantly, though I could live without the pop ups (and knowing I wouldn't have the dexterity to make them anyway), what if I made something similar, but made it into stackable drawers to hold all of my crap? I mean why get one of these --> for $8 when I can make something myself for $10 and spend hours doing it?

What I really liked about his (her?) Book of Colors was the idea of the Styrofoam holding everything into place. Sure, I could run to the local Target and get one of these Sterilite Drawers, but if I use them to store my makeup, they'll end up no more organized than my makeup drawer is currently (which looks a lot like most people's "junk drawers" in their kitchens). Besides, Koren makes it look so quick and easy!

So off I run to Michael's for a quick run to pick up some Styrofoam, and a couple of sheets of scrapbook paper. I couldn't decide between several different scrapbook papers, and finally came home with 1 sheet of Styrofoam big enough to cut for 4 shelves/drawers and a handful of sheets of paper. Total cost: $7.21. Time spent: 1.5 hours.

As "Korinne" did, I planned to use the Priority Mail small boxes as my basic frame. Having thoroughly read all over the boxes that they are only to be used for USPS purposes only, let me state that I used, uhhh... unshippable boxes. Yeah, that's right; I had some that were just lying around here that I couldn't use, and wouldn't want to kill any extra trees! I cut out the inside rectangle of the box, traced it on the Styrofoam, and got my trusty serrated knife. Koren cuts his Styrofoam in like 2 swipes, all nice and neat. He must have magic serrated knives. I can't cut through 1" thick Styrofoam and cut in a straight line down. I'm wider at the top than the bottom, or vice-versa. Now time to bring out the Dustbuster to clean up all the styro-dust while watching my dog try to attack it.

I decided to do several trays: one with my face powders (foundations, primers, finishing powders and blushes), one for just my gel liners, and a third for my pots of shadows. I may or may not do a 4th drawer with pressed shadows, but at least those for now are in palettes and not taking up much space. Lesson number two: it's a lot harder to press a well for a 30 gram jar than for a lip pencil! Made my initial hole using the jar, then tried to dig it deeper using the end of a Sharpie. That wasn't getting me very far very fast, nor the slightest bit evenly. Take the cut knife, make tons of cross-hatches, then dig those out with the Sharpie. Muuuuch better. You can really get all of your aggressions out trying to get those wells deep enough that you can slide it in and out of the assembled box without them getting stuck on the top of the box!

Having finished creating wells in 2 drawers (time spent: 3 hours), I decided perhaps I should test this whole idea out before I spend even more time only to find out that the whole idea isn't going to work. I started to paint the two Styrofoam trays, only to find that the brown craft paint leftover from Girl Scouts is pretty darn thick. No worries, no one really sees more than just the edges anyway, right? Sponge paint a little blue over it, and I have a half-painted totally amateur looking gizmo.

Morning arrives, and I'm back to tackling the balance of this project. Start to make the 3rd drawer with some of the loose shadows I never got around to pressing, my mascara and lash primer. Break the whole tray trying to make the depth of the hole for my primer (a wee bit too close to the edge), so my decision to make 3 or 4 trays has now been made for me, as I only have enough Styrofoam left for one last tray.

Once I finish the shadow tray, I'm just left with the exterior decorating. I'm still pondering which papers to use to wrap the outer sides, select the print for the sides, and the blue for the top. Cut one sheet, go outside to spray the adhesive and plop on the paper. Oh, wait. I'm using fixative, not adhesive. Nothing's sticking. Having invested several hours, do I really want to go buy some spray adhesive for $7 a can? I will have doubled the cost of my Tower of Terror. I double check the paint cabinet in the garage, hoping perhaps there's still some in there from some other project. Nope. But wait! I have brown spray paint!!! Problem with the too thick brown craft paint is now solved. Spray paint is my friend. I go back and spray all the trays so that they look all nice an puuurty instead just the edges, and spray the entire 3 box tower. I dare the USPS to prove I'm using their boxes now, lol. Add a little blue sponge painting (not my forte, but heck, this is an amateur project, right?), spray over with some gold, and let dry.

Below is the final product. Let's backtrack a bit here. I spent an hour and a half and $7.21 at Michaels. What did I end up using from that purchase? 3 itty bitty cuts of ribbon and the Styrofoam. I could have spent the $4.99 (even less, had I waited for Sunday's 40% off coupon in the paper) and saved myself a lot of time. Oh well, such is life. Granted, Koren is far more talented than I am, and his Book of Colors looks a whole lot better than my Tower of Terror. But does it give you an idea to run with? Go grab some Styrofoam, old boxes laying around (or unusable Priority Mail boxes), and let me know what you design!



Related Posts Widget for Blogs by LinkWithin