Wednesday, 29 December 2010


I'm super late to this so the majority of you will probably have read this info somewhere else, but I still thought it was very important to post so the information is available to as many people as possible.
Glittersniffer Cosmetics is a (seemingly freakishly popular) indie mineral makeup company that has been going for a couple of years. I first heard of the company from a blog post of Phyrras where she suspected that some of the colours she had bought were repackaged so rolled my eyes and decided not to buy any pigments from the company. However I did check back on the company now and then as some of their other products (foiling mediums, toilletries etc) intrigued me. Luckilly I never bought anything.

Anyway I didn't hear anything about them and didn't look at their site for a while, until a few days ago when I saw a post on my dashboard and was absolutely horrified by what I found out from subsequent posts:

I probably can't say anything more than the bloggers I've linked to have already said but here's a breief synopsis of what this company has been up to:
  • Repackaging
  • Selling non-vegan products while claiming to be an all vegan company
  • Taking months to ship orders and not replying to emails
  • using money raised for charity to pay her own expenses
  • possibly packing and handling products in unsanitary conditions
  • and selling items that are not safe for cosmetic use and not disclosing it.

The whole thing is just appalling. Everytime I thought it couldn't get worse something even more terrible would come up!

The are complaints left and right of orders taking months to arrive, or not arriving at all. Or of people having half their order replaced substitutions without notice. Of pigments arriving with chunks where it hasn't been mixed properly, or their lids coming off in transit  making the product spill everywhere.
There are photos on face book of the owner and her employees cutting soap and handling jars of pigment on what appears to just be a kitchen table, without gloves or masks.

The owner Lela admits that she was given money for charity but is spending it on refunds and will have to re-raise the money (I certainly hope she means that the money will be raised from her own pockets, not that she will hold more raffles or drives to get others to contribute the money but i suspect with disgust that she means the latter). This is utterly despicable. If you have been given money for a charity, no matter what the situation is, it is NOT YOURS to spend. It belongs either to the charity or the people who donated it. I can only imagine my fury if I donated money and then discovered it was funding refunds for shoddy, unsafe products, instead of helping the cause it was meant for.

The vegan thing is not cut-and-dry as I have seen comments from her saying (though only when asked directly) that some red shades contain carmine, the ingredients were not disclosed on the site and Glittersniffer claimed to be an entirely vegan friendly company, so many people could have been duped into using non-vegan products because they did not specifically enquire whether they contained carmine.

There's a list as long as my arm of products that are being recalled because they contaim unsafe ingredients. Lela has said that every pigment that was unsafe for eyes was labelled as such, but you can see from the screenshot here that that was not the case. Her the Neon 80s collection, which was not only unsafe for eyes but not suitable for any cosmetic use as it contains soap dyes, not only fails to mention that it shouldn't be used in cosmetic applications but actually suggests using it as as eyeliner, shadow or lipgloss. Also the times Lela did admit that the item she was selling was not safe for use on the eyes and to use it as shadow would be at your own risk she would always follow it up by saying that she and others had used it many times with no harm. While that may be true she should not have said it as it implication is that the product almost definately will do no harm, and could be seen as suggestive that others should follow her example and ignore the silly safety rules.
Finally Lela made a statement about all the problems her company has been having. While it's good that she admitted fault it doesn't excuse anything. Her 'taking a chance' by using soap dyes in cosmetic products appears to have caused several people to develop eye and skin problems. And there's a weird undercurrent of her seeming to blame her customers, people were asking for neons so she was FORCED to sell unsafe items, it's not her fault!

Everyone makes mistakes. But mistake after mistake after mistake? And withholding information about products that could cause people harm is not a trivial matter in the slightest. At best it was an incredible piece of stupidity and at worst it was a deliberate effort to fool people into buying products they would not have if they had known they weren't safe.

Lela's fans are loyal to a frightening degree, to me it's rather upsetting seeing these women who, while probably having all the best intentions, will defend Glittersniffer to the death. 'I've only received 2 out of my 5 orders, and those were full of substitutions, but Glittersniffer is the best makeup brand ever! I don't care about all the money i've lost. Lela knows what she's doing, of COURSE she'd wear gloves at all times. There are photos saying otherwise? Well then Lela MUST have washed her hands, that's as good as wearing sterilised gloves anyway! The products aren't safe for eyes? Well I've used them with no problems, you people who say you've developed pinkeye are talking nonsense, it couldn't have been the makeups fault even though it's not safe? Selling products that aren't meant for cosmetic use at all without a warning? Well Lela admitted it and that took guts so she's a saint!'. It's just weird.

I've also heard that Lela attacked Dominique from but haven't seen it anywhere, I assume comments were deleted. If anyone has any details I'd love to know.

Anyway if anyone has any of the listed unsafe Glittersniffer pigments then I urge you to contact Lela  straight away for a refund, though you might be a while getting one. Apparently when they relaunch all their products will be reformulated to be completely vegan and safe but frankly I would really worry about anyone who could trust them after all that.

Depressingly I have another drama post coming straight up. Boo urns :(

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Dermalogica Clean Start Starter Kit review

(I was sent this to review but all thoughts are my own)

A long time ago now I was sent Clean Start by Dermalogica's starter kit to review (also sent their lip balm/gloss which I previously reviewed here ) and am finally getting round to it. My excuse is that I needed a long time to test it out to see how it worked with my skin. And well that's partly truthful, but also I am just rubbish at posting recently :P

Anyway while I am definately still able to review the products I have realised that I was not their demographic at all. It's aimed for teenagers and young adults, which i guess i still am but in the loosest possible sense of the word, but a lot of the products seem designed to counteract oily, acne prone skin. My skin is very dry, never greasy and I get spots now and then but it's so rarely that I really have no need for special skincare.  My point is that while I will review the products the best I can I can't say how well some of these actually work on the problems they are designed for as i do not have these problems.

I was sent the Clean Start Starter Kit, which contains 5 products and the basis of a proper skincare regime. The products are mini sized, each one is 15ml, however I found that they all lasted a long time. Oddly the exfoliator was the first to go because, even though i used it the fewest times a week, I found I had to use a lot to cover my face. That lasted about for about 10 uses, the cleanser I used for about 2 months and it's still going strong as you need so little.

The kit arrived packaged in a half clear half foil resealable pouch and also included 2 leaflets about the brand. I also recieved a lot of little sample sachets, I'm not sure if this is because it was sent to me for review or if everyone gets them. I really like the products packaging, with it's bold colours on a stark white background it's sort of pop-art-ish.

The Starter Kit costs £22.50 which I think is a fair price for the amount you get. It lasted me for at least 2 months, which seems good for a starter kit, you can easily see if the products are right for you. Though of course if you don't like the products then £22.50 is very pricey.

Wash Off cleanser

I really liked this cleanser. It's quite a thick gel and you only need a tiny bit, it lathers up beautifully. The gel smells slightly medicinal but not horrible. It's herbal, I can definately get lemongrass but not sure what the rest of the smell is. It's quite nice but not my favourite scent. Anyway it doesn't linger at all after I wash it off. I found it removed makeup well, though not all of my mascara. It left my skin feeling clean and refreshed and ever so slightly tingly, but it did not make my skin feel dry or tight and did not at all sting my very sensitive eyes. Very nice face wash, but it doesn't quite beat my holy grail Body Shop Passionfruit cleanser.
The full size is £14.30 for 180ml

All Over Clear toner

I really can't give a long review for this because I can't for any toner. I sometimes use toner (when I'm being good with my skincare routine anyway) and find it refreshing and, perhaps psychologically, feel it makes my skin feel more clean than if i used cleanser alone. However I have never found a toner that really makes any difference to my skin. I like the feel of it but it doesn't do anything to me. And this toner is no different. The smell is not exactly the same as the cleanser but very similar, herbal and slightly clinical and 'clean' smelling. The smell really does make it feel more refreshing. It comes in a spray bottle, which is nice for spritzing all over your face, however I prefer to wipe my toner over my face to remove the last bits of my makeup. The formula itself is no better or worse than any other toner I've tried, but I prefer my (sadly discontinued) Boots Original Formula Rose toner purely because I like the rose smell better and it has gorgeous vintage style packagaing. If you prefer a more medicinal scent and like a spray bottle then this is a damn fine toner.
The full size is £12.30 for 120ml

Ready Set Scrub exfoliator

This is an interesting product as you can use it as both a masque and a regular exfoliator. Or at least in theory it's both. I have very sensitive skin in that lots of products cause my face to have what I can only assume is a very mild allergic reaction. It starts to tingle and then it gets worse and worse until it is stinging and horribly painful. This exfoliator set off this reaction but only mildly. Basically if i use it as just an exfoliator, i.e. I put it on, massage it a bit and then wash it off, it's fine, it does tingle a bit, but no pain. But if I leave it on to use as a masque it started to sting and become painful. So I can't tell you how effective it is as a masque. As an exfoliator however it is fine. Again it has the same lemongrassy smell. It has the consistency of a clay masque but with tiny tiny grains. Because of this slightly dry, clayish consistency I had to apply quite a lot in order to cover my face. I found it quite gentle as an actual exfoliator, probably because it is meant to be kept on your face for extended periods as a masque. It left my skin feeling very cool and tingly and I don't know if that's due to my sensitive skin or if it does that for everyone. However it made my skin feel cleaner and got rid of dry, flaky patches of skin i had without making my face feel dry or tight. If you have very sensitive skin I'd avoid this just in case you have the same reaction as I did, if not then I think this is a good product anyway and would be even better if you could use it as a masque too.
One thing I did find odd was the the tube suggests you use this 3-5 times a week, which seems very excessive for an exfoliator to me. I generally use a scrub 2-3 times a week, and as this one irritated my skin I definately would not have used it more. People without my sensitivity might not have the problem but I still think there is no need to use a scrub 5 times a week.
Full size is £14.30 for 75ml

Bedtime for Breakouts nighttime treatment

I used this every night for about a week and then gave up on it. I didn't notice any difference at all. But then I wouldn't as I don't tend to get breakouts anyway. So I really can't review this at all, it didn't do anything for me but it's not designed for me. It's a quite runny gel with the same sort of herbal, medicinal smell as the other products, but it's not noticable once it's on the face. I found I had to use quite a bit of this to cover my whole face as it seemed to 'set' on my skin quite quickly.
Full size is £14.30 for 60ml

Welcome Matte Spf 15 moisturiser

This is the one product I haven't used very much. I tried it a couple of times but didn't like it. It made my face feel a little tight, not terrible but not pleasant. Other than that I didn't get anything out of this, it didn't feel moisturising or hydrating to me. However as I have dry skin I am used to rich moisturisers and I have no need to mattify my skin. I actually was excited about this when I first heard about it, but I was being stupid. I love a matte look to my foundation (I don't understand why anyone would want to look dewy) and somehow managed to confuse myself that this would sort of give me the same look. But of course it doesn't as this is just a moisturiser, but one that meant to help combat oily skin.
The full size moisturiser costs £15.35 for 60ml

So as you can see I had a mixed bag with these products. I liked the cleanser and toner a lot, although they are not my favourites, but the moisturiser and nightime treatment did absolutely nothing for me. However I cannot say at all that this is because they are bad products simply because they are designed for a completely different skin type from me. Overall I would say that if you have oily or spotprone skin these are definatley worth a try but if not, while most of the products are still good, you would not get the best out of them and could do better. I also would not say the products are overpriced but they are expensive, especially when they're aimed at teenagers who obviously do not have as much disposable income.

I've just seen this post at British Beauty Blogger which brings up some slightly questionable tactics of the company. I don't know enough about it to comment, if true it's slightly dodgy. But I must say the people who contacted me were very nice and personable so I'm not going to complain about something I don't know anything about.

Saturday, 4 December 2010

A couple of bath and body reviews

First i just want to apologise to anyone who has sent me an email in the last couple of months. Since I put my email on my blog for all to see i am getting a lot more spam than i used to, and because of that my spam filter has gone crazy and basically any email address that has not sent something to me a few times before will be designated as spam. I've tried my best to go through my junk filter as often as possible to check their aren't real emails in there but some may have been missed and got deleted. And umm... the ones i have saved... yeah i haven't replied to them. As i've been away from my blog and generally a bit frazzled and weird these last few months, I've kept meaning to reply but have been putting it off. Because I SUCK. So i am really, really sorry. Over the next week I will be replying to all the emails i saved from the junk filter. So if you wrote something important or just really wanted a reply and don't get one soon send me another one, or a tweet or whatever. Just smack me into gear basically! :P
I really cannot stress strongly enough how bad i feel and how sorry i am for having let those of you who took the time to write to me down. It means so much to me that people read my blog and am interested in what i have to say and i am very ashamed of myself.

Anyway onto some reviews!

Lush I should Coco soap

I can't actually give you details for this as it seems to have been discontinued. And good riddance I say!
To me, while i love Lush as a company, their products are very hit or miss. When they get it right they get it REALLY right, but when they get it wrong well...This is probably the worst soap I've ever tried, it's just plain rubbish! Ok it has one positive thing in that it smells delicious, like a real slab of coconut ice. However smelling great is a useless trait when you can't actually use the soap! The problem with this is that, while on first appearances it just seems like a bar of soap with a nice decorative layer of coloured dessicated coconut, in actual fact the entire bar is absolutely filled with it. At first I thought maybe this would add some sort of exfoliating effect, but no, the coconut shreds just get soggy, flake away from the bar, clung to parts of my body (especially a certain patch of hair, which was deeply unpleasant let me tell you!) and eventually clogged up my plughole. After a while I actually had to give up using this soap because it seemed like their was no soap actually left and i was just rubbing my body with a big clump of shredded coconut, no lather, no cleansing, nothing. Also when there actually was some soap at the beginning not only did it leave my skin feeling rather dry, it left a horrible whitish scum on the surface of my bath water. Just yuck!

Lush Amandopando Bubble Bar:

I really like Lush Bubble Bars. You just crumble them into your running bath water and you get tonnes of lovely, fragrant bubbles that last for absolutely ages. This one is no exception. As it's white it doesn't colour your bath, personally i like a coloured bath but it's fine to have a clear one too and I know some people really hate bathing in coloured water, so this is good for them! I love the scent, it's supposed to be lemon and rose but to me i didn't get any of the lemon, just pure, delicious rose. The rose scent is perfect to me, smells just like i'd grabbed a bloom and given it a huge sniff (which i love to do in rose-season. I get lots of funny looks from people!). The bar has a little dried rose bud embedded in the centre which is a nice touch. Each bar is £2.95 and you can get at least 2 uses out of it (I got 3 and still had a bath tub full of bubbles) so while it's not cheap it's great for an occaisional treat! Lovely stuff.

Lush So White Bubbling Bath Ballistic:

Hmm I've said before that i find Lush products hit-or-miss but this one is sort of 'blah' for me. I love the scent, a lovely soft, candyish green apple scent but otherwise it doesn't really work for me. It's meant to be a mix of a bath ballistic and a bubble bar, so a fizzing ball that also creates bubbles, however to me it's like the worst of both worlds. It doesn't fizz as much as a normal ballistic, so it isn't as fun in that sense, and while it does make some bubbles, they're nowhere near as big or plentiful as those from a normal bubble bar. It's not a bad product at all, but not amazing. Not sure if i'd buy this again as while i really like the smell i just felt the effects weren't as good as a normal Lush bathtime treat. They're £1.80 each, which seems alright pricing.

Soap and Glory Clean On Me shower gel

I got this as part of a Soap and Glory gift set last year. I don't really know how much I can say about a shower gel, but it's really very good in my opinion! It's a creamy white gel which lathers really nicely (works very well with exfoliating gloves) and smells lovely. I don't really know how to describe the smell, it's similar to their classic pink scent (which i adore) but not the same, it's sort of fruity and floral at the same time, and definately has bergamot, it's yummy. Now it says it comes with 'built in body lotion' which is a bit of an exaggeration however after use my skin is a lot softer! Not the same as using a separate moisturiser, but it really is noticeably softer. You get 500ml for about a fiver (though Soap and Glory is often on 3 for 2 at Boots) and this stuff lasts forever, I've been using it for at least a year and still have about half the bottle left!

The Body Shop Passion Fruit Cleanser

Oh boy i adore this stuff. It is just amazing. Firstly it cleanses brilliantly, it removes all my makeup easily, even mascara. Also i have very sensitive eyes and this doesn't hurt them at all (well it might if i were to wipe it directly onto my open eyes, but i'm not quite that stupid). It leaves my skin feeling clean and refreshed, not tight at all, though not overly moisturised. And the smell, oh god it's so amazing! It smells exactly like a real passionfruit, tropical and delectable and fresh and just lovely. You get 250ml for £3.99 and again it lasts for ever. I started using it around the beginning of the year and am barely a third of the way through the bottle. This is because you only need to use a tiny blob of it, it lathers brilliantly and easily cleanses the whole face. My Holy Grail cleanser, I'm happy to try others but it would be absolutely amazing to be better than this to me.

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Tangle Teezer Review

 (apologies for my absence, back to normal hopefully now :) )

I bought the Tangle Teezer on a whim one day when they was some sort of promotion in Boots where you got extra Advantage points if you bought a certain amount (i love me them points! Will i ever use them?).  I'd heard the claims it makes before but had laughed it off, especially after i got it out of the pack and saw it for myself. Not only does the ergonomic design look more like something used to groom horses than a human hair brush (though a horses hair is probably in better condition to mine...) but the bristles don't look special at all! It's hard to get a picture that will really show it (so i haven't even bothered to try and show you) but it just looks like a regular set of plastic bristles with a shorter set in between each row, really nothing special. So while i needed a new hairbrush and was sure it would work well I didn't believe it would be all that spectacular or different from a regular brush.

Oh how wrong i was! This probably will sound like I'm being paid by Tangle Teezer (I am not, bought it myself and have never been in contact with anyone vaguely related to the company as far as i know) but i can honestly say it is head and shoulders above any hairbrush or comb i have ever used.

If you can't tell from photos, my hair is a sort of straw-like, Scarecrow-esque, brittly, frizzy lump on my head (though going ginger has calmed it a little) and that's the way i like it... most of the time. I abuse it quite a bit, backcombing and hairspraying it to death and of course it had previously been bleached to almost white. Anyway because of this combing or brushing my hair was to be avoided at all costs if i didn't want to be reduced to tears and possibly break the comb. My hair was so full of tangles it could take me a good 1/4 of an hour to just comb out the tangles, which of course damaged my hair more. But this thing, this miraculous lump of plastic is a complete Godsend.

As i said before i wasn't really expecting much from it when i first used it. And to be honest the first try i wasn't that impressed, it got through all the knots and tangles well, but i had actually forgotten how hard it was to usually comb my hair. The next time i used a regular comb and after a while of pulling and wincing i decided to give the Tangle Teezer another go. To my amazement it just glided through my hair, somehow detangling effortlessly and leaving my hair all sleek and knot-free! Usually when i combed my hair i would end up actually pulling out a big knot of hair, but this thing actually seems to be able to detangle it completely, so i end up losing a lot less hair.

As a result of this my hair is sleeker and a lot easier to style. It also claims to help with split ends and to encourage growth, i haven't really seen any evidence of this yet but i haven't been using it for long enough to really see any benefits yet (if there are any). To be honest I think any powers it might have on a normal scalp will be negated by my zombie hair. But still i am so so happy that i can finally brush my hair easily and with little to no pain. It just makes life easier!
Tangle Teezer costs around a tenner and you can get it online, at Asos or at Boots and possibly other places. Personally while at first I was a little dubious that a hairbrush could be worth 10 quid (i know you can get much more expensive hairbrushes, but to me that's just crazy) but now i think it's a fine price to pay and I couldn't really cope without one. In fact I'm going to buy a back-up because i tend to lose things so often :P
If you don't have any problems with your hair tangling then I can't say if it's worth it, but if you have any tangles or knots then i think it's well worth it!