Thursday, December 22, 2011

(Insert a witty title here)

Not unlike many this time of year, I was reflecting over what 2011 has brought for me, my business, my family. My initial reaction was that yes, I had quite a lot to be proud of on a personal level (I sent my only child off to college 3000 miles from me, I quit smoking, and am simultaneously determined to lose weight), but as far as my business goes, nothing earth shaking happened this past year.

But wait, that's not right. This was a huge year for me! This is the year that Camera Ready Cosmetics started carrying Diamond Perfect Finish. It was this year that I found out that people know me and my products. People in the business. People with klout. People I've never met. People I idolize. All sorts of people! I'd have to call 2011 the Year of Unexpected Flattery:
  • Celebrity makeup artist Victoria Stiles groomed Joe Biden in my products for an article that appeared in People Magazine;
  • Emmy award winning makeup artist Kevin James Bennett has Diamond Perfect Finish listed on his "go to" list for industry professionals, In My Kit;
  • I met the always entertaining Maxi at The Makeup Show, ran into him at IMATS a few months later, where he insisted on buying more Diamond Perfect Finish;
  • I was approached by people left and right during IMATS asking where my booth was (although I wasn't exhibiting) because they wanted to buy my products;
  • Though it may not seem big to you, even little things like James Vincent tweeting it's odd to see me without Koren was incredibly flattering. I always thought he faked that he knew me!

This stuff sneaks up on you, ya know? Looking back, this has really been a pretty dang spectaculous year!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Cyber Monday 2011 Sale

Need I say more? Click the graphic to go to the website. Shadows will be automatically added to your order during shipping - the $5 discount code is case sensitive. Think that pretty much sums it up :)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

It's Sale time at Purely Cosmetics!

Usually, I do a sale once a year in September for our anniversary. This year, I had to skip it because I simply could not handle the extra business while trying to keep my daughter tethered in Boston. So... better late than never!

Beginning Friday, Oct 14th through midnight on Sunday the 16th (CST), we're having a Friends & Family Sale. What's the deal for the sale?
  • 15% off the entire store, no minimum purchase required (code: FF2011);
  • FREE shipping within the US lowered to purchases of $25 or more; and
  • FREE Minerals Mate application tray for any order over $75 (includes international orders)

Little things to know:

  • The sale code is case sensitive;
  • You must complete the entire payment page before clicking the "redeem code" - it's the only way the code gets applied. Don't ask me why because I have no clue, lol.
  • Do not add the Minerals Mate tray into your qualifying order unless you want two. We will add the free tray during order processing.

Ready, set... GO SHOPPING!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Actifirm: First Impressions

Recently, my good friend Felicia from ThisThatBeauty gave my name to the folks at Actifirm as being someone who may have some interest in trying their products. Felicia is all about skin care, and she knows that although I'm a kid at heart, my face is certainly not going along with the plan. I'm one of those who just can't bring themselves to do Botox (besides the fact that I'd need so much no single part of my face would move), and although I'm probably a good candidate for a face lift, I always think of those who opt for that method are well into their 60's or more.

Sandra took pity on my poor face and sent me several products to try: their Firming Mask, Renovation Eye Cream, and Decollete Firm. Comprised primarily of botanical extracts and natural ingredients, Actifirm has over 50 different products that have primarily been marketed to physicians and spas/estheticians, as well as being available on their website, www.actifirm.com.

Although I immediately dug into all 3 products, today I'm writing about my initial impressions of their Firming Mask. Sandra, the ever helpful Marketing Director told me that one can expect to see the benefits after applying this mask for a couple of days. Similar in texture to pale green slime as it comes out of the bottle, it dries clear in 10 minutes or so. According to the product information, "ActiLift Firming Mask lifts, tightens and firms while also protecting, hydrating & nourishing your skin. A host of antioxidants help to protect & brighten your skin."

I completely misjudged just how little one needs to cover their entire face (think slightly larger than a pea), but that's ok, because I just used the excess on my neck. It has a very pleasant citrus smell, but not one that's overpowering at all. Once dried, it washes off very easily with warm water, and my face felt as smooth as a baby's bottom. I actually had a much easier time applying my makeup because my skin really was firmer. Because the application routine is so quick, and when dry it doesn't feel like your whole face will crack like a clay mask does, applying it every couple of days before I shower is no biggie at all. Which says a lot since I tend to procrastinate on those things that either a) take awhile to complete the entire routine; or b) turns my face green/gray/white/orange while drying, inevitably during when the UPS man comes.

ActFirm's ActiLift Firming Mask is available on their website here. A 4 ounce bottle normally is $58, but it's currently on sale for $49.30.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Hey, Remember Me?

OK, I've never been the best at blogging frequently, but this has to be the longest hiatus I've ever taken. Faced with my daughter moving to start college in Boston, we spent most of our summer doing a "bucket list" of things she wanted to do before she left for school - from favorite restaurants to just going for a hike.

Always an independent kid, we expected her move to Boston to not be a biggie - to her, not to us - but we were waaaay off base. The same kid who went to sleepaway camp at nine years old knowing no one was texting me that she wanted to come home less than 24 hours from our arrival. So... expecting that when I returned as an empty nester I'd have too much time on my hands, I found instead my heart breaking and spending hours a day trying to glue my most precious daughter back together. She's now been gone just shy of a month, and starting to get into the swing of things. Not that it's all smooth sailing now, but she's finally having more good days than bad. So that kind of explains why I've been MIA for so long - not only on the blog, but Twitter, Facebook (don't like the last round of changes, & dreading the next, btw) - you name it.

I did make a video for Jamie though. Something to remind her that she's silly & goofy, fun loving, easily makes friends, and even though she's 3,000 miles from home, we're right there with her every moment.



I don't know how people can put up videos on YouTube several times a week - that 3 minute slide show took me 9 hours!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Urban Decay Friends & Family Sale

Urban Decay's Friends and Family sale (25% off) begins today, and is going on through July 10th. For me, it comes in handy since UD wasn't at IMATS, and I'm all about discounts right now!

I picked up another 24/7 eyeliner - I think there's probably only one color I don't already have. I absolutely love their liners - they go on nice and smooth, and last forever. I have to work to get them off when I take off my makeup at night. If you're new to the 24/7 liners, go for the Jackpot kit - for under $30 after the 25% savings, you'll get a good cross section of colors, and a full sized pencil in Zero (their most popular, black shade). I also picked up some more Primer Potion, this time in Eden - yay for squeeze tubes now in regular size - and a matte bronzer.

The code for the Friends and Family sale is FFSUMMER11 (it's case sensitive). Important to note: their ever popular Naked palette is excluded from the 25% discount. Shop before Sunday at Urban Decay's website!

Monday, June 20, 2011

IMATS 2011 Bucket List

IMATS is almost here! I really regret not exhibiting this year, but potential scheduling problems kept me from being able to renew my booth a year in advance. Now it turns out that I would have had the dates free - bummer. On the positive side, at least this year I'll be able to shop the floor - last year, we were lucky to be able to squeeze in potty breaks. I try to justify missing the opportunity by wanting to see what the New York IMATS debut did to traffic in LA. I'm guessing not much. Even though the New York show sold out, I believe that the LA show only has a handful of tickets left for Sunday, and Saturday is full, so there certainly won't be a reduction in attendance!

Since I plan to take full advantage of shopping the completely full show floor (there isn't a single unsold booth left!), I've made my "bucket list" of must haves - many of which can only be seen and touched "live and in person" at shows unless I want to schlep 35 miles to the nearest pro makeup store. Here's my bucket list - what's on yours?



  • Parian Spirit - I absolutely LOVE their brush cleaner, and wash my shadow brushes daily in their glass container, and buy their wipes by the 100 since they're only at IMATS (see both in action here).

  • Cover FX - Heavy duty concealers that really cover my strawberry marks like no other product can. I plan to get their FX primer as I've been wanting to try it, and my local Sephora doesn't carry Cover FX (boo).

  • Glamcour - I've had my eye on their light kit ever since they debuted at the LA Makeup Show. Justification for my wallet for something I don't need: product photography, lol. I love their LED makeup studios, but I'm waiting for them to introduce just the LED countertop mirror.

  • Inglot - I practically lived at their booth during The Makeup Show trying to decide on shadow colors - too many to choose from! Now I want to check out their preset matte palettes.

  • Yaby - Another 40 pan palette I must see. Many of the Inglot shadows I did buy seem to not like to stay on my lids very long, regardless of what type of primer I use. Yaby is primarily a pro MUA company used for photography. Hopefully, that translates to not too much sparkle, meaning this old hag could probably wear them. And I'm really curious to see their pearl paints.

  • Myrabelle - Manufacturer of the most handy gizmo: a plastic wand/shield thingie you put between your lashes and eyes so that when you apply mascara, it stays only on your lashes and not on your lids. Perfect for klutzes like me!

  • Embryolisse - They're in the same booth I was in last year :) Though their Lait Creme (aka 24 Hour Miracle Creme) is their best selling product, it's a bit too heavy for me to use twice a day. But I do use it as my night cream, and love their lip balm. Their Essential Dry Skin balm is going into my hot little hands as well.

  • Miss Adoro - How can you pass up lashes for $1.50?

  • Beauty So Clean - Just because I'm not a pro makeup artist doesn't mean sanitizing your makeup isn't important. You can cross-contaminate just on yourself.

Actually, my shopping list is a wee bit longer, but I figured I've made a long enough list here. And I'm stealing my friend Crystal's idea of bringing wipes with me - you can walk out of there painted up and down both arms from swatching colors!


Will you be at IMATS? If so, look for me: I'll be there both days :)

Monday, June 06, 2011

Vacation Hours

I can't believe that it's almost time to send my beautiful baby off to college 3,000 miles away from home! For those of you who have missed all my "proud momma" posts on Facebook or Twitter throughout the ardous college application process, my daughter has been accepted into a very elite program at Boston University. She will be enrolled in a 6 year combined program from which she will emerge with both her B.S. in Athletic Training and her Doctorate in Physical Therapy. I couldn't be prouder if I tried!
In preparation for the next chapter of Jamie's life, we'll be attending BU orientation this week. The office will be closed from Tuesday, June 7th for the rest of the week. We will resume shipping again Monday, June 13th. I'll stop at the post office on the way to the airport, so all orders placed today will ship before we leave. If you order tomorrow or later, please have a little patience as we try to catch up on the incoming orders when I return.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Exciting News!!!!!!!

Recognize this logo? Chances are if you're a professional makeup artist, you'll recognize it as belonging to the well known pro makeup artist store, Camera Ready Cosmetics. CRC, located in the San Diego area (as well as online), carries all the best pro brands like Ben Nye, Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics, Cinema Secrets, Graftobian, Kett, Eve Pearl, Mehron.... and now, ME!!!!

Recognizing the need for a finishing powder with no flashback, I've been starting to market Diamond Perfect Finish towards professional makeup artists as well as consumers, and Camera Ready Cosmetics is the first to carry it. I'm so excited! For those of you who live for The Makeup Show or IMATS to do your spending, CRC is a great place to buy all the various brands all under one roof, just like the shows, but without the gas - and all year long :)


I want Mary to sell the Diamond Perfect Finish well, so....

SPREAD THE WORD!!!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

We're in People Magazine!!!

Do you recognize this VIP? Yes, that is the one and only Vice-President of the United States. Why am I so excited about an article on Joe Biden? Because the grooming for the photo shoot was done by makeup artist Victoria Stiles, who used our Skin Smoothing Foundation (he's a blend of Calif Blonde and Neutral Medium, if you were wondering) and Diamond Perfect Finish. Purely Cosmetics, worn on one of the most important people in the country, in one of the most read magazines in the country. Squeeeeeeeeee! If you haven't bought the March 21st issue of People, you can read the article online here.

In other exciting news...

  • I won a Bag of Crap off Woot yesterday. The last time I won one, my $8 bought me a picnic basket (the "bag"), poker chips, Barbie headphones, a Fact or Crap game, a refurbished MP3 player, and a car navigation system. Not a bad return for a $3 purchase plus the mandatory $5 shipping.
  • Today, my daughter was accepted to the University of Calgary - her current top choice for college. A couple of hours ago, she also found out that the University of British Columbia offered her a $5,000 scholarship.

Given the way today has gone, I just bought 5 lottery tickets :)

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Theme Song for The Makeup Show LA: ♫ I Had The Time of My Life ♫

For years, I've been attending The Makeup Show, and after returning from this weekend's festivities, I really have to say that this year was the best one ever. I think I even came home on a bigger high than I did from exhibiting at IMATS, lol.

Though the show has always billed itself as more of a boutique pro-only show (imagine this: the line to pay at MUFE was no longer than 5 minutes), this year had a whole different, down to earth feel. The Powder Group hosted a pre-launch party the evening before the show to present an achievement award to Maurice Stein - not an "invite only" party, but a party for vendors, presenters, and anyone who purchased a show ticket. It gave me a chance to talk to vendors like Nancy and Pam from Beauty So Clean on a personal level (I gave quick Twitter tips, they gave me Canada tips for my daughter who is anxiously awaiting to hear from University of Calgary), and to talk to reknown artists. A little bit of wine in me, and I was talking to Victoria Stiles without blubbering as if I'm anywhere close to her level!

That same "all one happy family" approach was rampant even throughout both days of the show. No matter how busy people were, everyone was very approachable. Vendors (read: brand creators/owners) were more than happy to talk you about their lines, their reasons for creating, what's coming up - all like they've known you forever. Woijtek Inglot was asking my opinion of different malls in LA (contrary to popular opinion, they are not raising their prices in the US). David Klasfeld from OCC treated me like I was his BFF. I joked with Levi from TemptuPro about his stealing my Mayorship on Foursquare. My hat goes off to James Vincent & Michael DeVellis for putting on one heck of a show.

I of course, shopped til I dropped. Then I shopped some more. Enabler that I am, I convinced Crystal Stayer that she needed to buy an Inglot palette (I bought 2 palettes the first day, went back and bought another the second). I bought an airbrush system from OCC despite Koren and Pursebuzz's specific instructions that I am not allowed to leave the show as an owner of an airbrush. I can't wait to finish this post so that I can practice airbrushing on paper towels before I attempt to do my face. Then I can practice putting on false eye lashes since I bought those too after Koren applied individual lashes to me and it didn't look so weird on an old hag. Of course, they'll end up on my nose, knowing me ha ha. Oh - and here's Michael from jeune d’├óge after getting his head airbrushed by Dina of Dinair:

I think the biggest highlights of the show wasn't even during show hours. We had an awesome dinner Saturday night with the Creme de la Creme in the beauty industry: Koren (EnkoreMakeup), Elessa (Pursebuzz), Victoria Stiles, Kat Aragon (she even offered up her hotel room for me to stay in if I didn't want to drive home!), Michael McRill (TheSublimeAgent), Elizabeth from Lash Royalty (she's gorgeous), and Grace Chun, just to name a few. I'll leave you with pics. I have some airbrushing to attempt!

(clockwise from left: Michael Lamb, me, Michael McRill, Koren Zander, Victoria Stiles)

(Victoria Stiles, Grace Chun, Elizabeth, Dave, Tracy, Kathy Aragon, Pursebuzz)






Monday, February 21, 2011

Coming This Weekend: 3 Days of Makeup Porn!

It's coming, it's coming! I can't wait for the end of the week, when The Makeup Show will be in LA. I love this show. Because it's a pro-only event, it's not the mob scene that IMATS can be. Billed as more of a boutique show, one really gets an opportunity to meet and talk to key makeup artists, brand creators.

In additon to the regular show days (Saturday and Sunday), there will be a pre-show launch and networking party held on Friday night for all those who have pre-purchased their tickets by today. Maurice Stein, founder of the makeup mecca Cinema Secrets and Academy Award winning makeup artist (he not only is known for his work on Planet of the Apes, but also has done the makeup of 3 US presidents!) will be presented an award for his Excellence & Appreciation. If you haven't already done so, purchase your tickets here. You'll save $10 for a one-day ticket, and $15 for both days if you purchase them before Thursday, and have the opportunity to attend the pre-show launch party if you buy them by today.

My goals for the show? I'd love to meet some of the makeup artists I've always been in awe of: James Vincent, Victoria Stiles, Kathy Aragon, and Ve Neil, just to name a few. Hopefully, I'll get to interview some great brands like David Klassfield from Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics. We'll see how successful I am at that, lol. And of course, I can't wait to spend some time with my pals Grace Chun, Melissa Street, Heather Wilson, Elessa of Pursebuzz, Koren of Enkore Makeup, Felicia of This That Beauty - the list is almost endless!

Shopping - this is the chance to see, feel, buy and touch things that aren't available to me in Hicksville, CA. First stop: Inglot, of course. Famous for their Freedom System magnetized palettes where you pick and choose exactly what you want from a gazillion shadows, blushes, etc, they debuted at last year's show, and the booth was so crowded that I never got a chance to really peruse the selection. This time, it's going to be my first stop to make sure I have ample time to really select exactly what I want. Other musts: Beauty So Clean, Embryolisse, OCC, and Temptu Pro (I really, really want to buy an airbrush system, but not sure I really, really want to spend the dinero, lol).


Of course, I'll have a pocket-full of these:


If you're going to the show, and have been curious about my Diamond Perfect Finish, hunt me down. Whether or not you're going to the show, cross your fingers for me that I can get some into the hands of some of those influential artists I'm hoping to meet!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Out of the Beauty Box - An Insider's View

Last weekend, I had the opportunity to help Koren (aka Enkore Makeup) and Elessa (aka Pursebuzz) with their first Out Of The Beauty Box tour in Los Angeles. I had a lot of fun, even if my sole purpose was to be the demonstration model for applying makeup to "Old Lady" skin, lol.

I spent a good deal of time tweeting about the class and sending lots of pictures to TwitPic, and was suprised at how many people were either unfamiliar with the Tour, or wondering whether the cost of the classes were worth it. Although I was only there for the Pro Class on bridal & editorial makeup, I can definately tell you that, yes, it is well worth the cost!

Let's back up a little, and let me tell you what the heck the Out of the Beauty Box tour is. Koren and Elessa have put together this two day tour across America that is unlike any other makeup classes you can take. A total of 4 different classes, the first day is devoted to us lay consumers who pretty much wing it when we apply our makeup, while the second day is geared towards a more professional makeup artist. Each day is divided into two independent sessions - you can choose to attend only one or either. For full descriptions of what's covered on what days, click here to be taken to the website.

Learning the color wheel

How does this differ from other classes offered by well known makeup artists, or at trade shows? Most importantly, to put this in school terms, think of this more like a lab, not a lecture. The classes are intimate, and limited in size. Unlike most classes, you're not sitting in a room with some guy and his model a gazillion feet away making her look gorgeous while you take notes and hope to remember 20% of the tricks by the time you get home. Koren & Elessa demonstrate and educate, then turn the class over to you to repeat what they just taught you on your partner.


Not only do you practice what has just been preached, but you're provided with all the tools necessary. These kits are mondo kits, alone worth the cost of the class. Each kit is class-specific. To see what's included in each kit, it's detailed on the O2B2 website here. I'm personally dying to take the airbrush class. Not only do I think airbrushing is cool, but it's really hard to properly learn how to apply makeup this way. Koren and I wandered into a Sephora, where they airbrushed me, and you could tell she was just spraying away without really knowing what she was doing. Dang, it was loaded on me! If I'm going to invest in one of these puppies, I need to learn to do it right. But wait, there's more!!! Completion of the O2B2 classes gets you coveted certification for companies such as Make Up Forever, MAC-Pro, Temptu Pro and on, and on... Not to mention that it's the golden card to get your into Pro only events like The Makeup Show.

The next class will be the first weekend of February in San Francisco. I'm hoping they need some old lady skin again up there, ha ha. The Chicago class will be hosted by my good friend Kathy from Fusion of Color, and yours truly will be hosting one in the Pasadena/Burbank area right around IMATS. I need to sell out on that one, so be sure to buy a ticket if you either live in the LA/Orange County area, or are coming out this way for IMATS.

For more information, see the tour schedule, or to buy tickets, visit the Out Of The Beauty Box website.

Monday, January 03, 2011

Hacker Update & Other Things of Note

Yay! Most programming is fixed! I can log in, the payment modules work a-ok, and everything is once again secure. I still have the international shipping problem though...


My programmer fixed the hacking problem, and I was even able to briefly log into the administrative end to view orders. They are tightening all of my security parameters, so once again, I can't log in. Hopefully, this should be fixed within an hour or so (it is currently 6:30am PST). In the meantime, I'm working off of email notifications, which is why some of you may have hinky looking invoices - aka email printouts. If you are paying via Paypal, please make sure you click the "return to Purely Cosmetics website" button after entering your payment information. If you don't, I get a Paypal notification, but not an order confirmation, and have no idea what you ordered.

Now, another additional problem has arisen. Postal rates were raised today, and it has affected the international shipping module. If you are an international customer, it is displaying an error for the shipping rates. I notified the programmers, and they are working on that now too, while also fixing my security issues.

Hopefully, with a little luck, this post will be outdated before you even read it, and all will be fixed!

"If it's not one thing...it's another" ~ Roseanne Rosana Dana.


On a brighter note, check out the weather we had here yesterday. Who says it doesn't snow in Los Angeles?


Sunday, January 02, 2011

Hacked!

It appears that the website has been hacked. I can't log in to the administrative end to view or process orders. I've notified my programmer, and am speaking with my hosting provider as I type to figure out what is going on. The last time my site was hacked, there were suddenly a bunch of drug urls appearing in Google - which I have had removed. To the best of my knowledge, I don't sell Viagra, Cialis, or AMC movie theater tickets (yes, even movie tickets appeared).

VERY IMPORTANT: If you're placing an order and know what you want, please be careful. An additional payment option is appearing for credit cards that says "Not for production use". Do not select this option - it is not taking you to the secure server at Authorize.net. Better to either choose PayPal (you can still pay with any credit card and do not need a PayPal account), or be sure you have selected the first radio button for credit cards.

To be safe, better not to order until things have been fixed, or place your order choosing "money order" as a payment option, then call me to give your credit card info at (866) 373-9808 . I can input the credit card information directly through Authorize.net, and securely do so. I will update here as soon as things are fixed and safe once again. I am soooooo sorry!

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Giveaway Winner Announced

I hate picking winners from random.org - it's so.... blah. Much more fun to let Twitter pick the winner!

SteeInPurple was the first to respond to my request, with the number 24. Who did that equate to? Drum roll please......


WindyCindy!

Congrats Cindi! SkinCareRx will be contacting you at the email you provided with your code for your $25 gift certificate to be used at SkinCareRx, SkinBotanica, or Apothica.

What'cha gonna buy?



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