Companies I Avoid

I’ve been debating making this post for a little while, but my need to be upfront about why I do not support particular companies won out.

  1. Archetype Cosmetics: While people rave that Archetype’s eyeshadows are amazing, the company is known for having the worst customer service in indie makeup. You’re lucky if you receive your order within a month; typically people wait about 3 months to receive their order, but I have heard of it taking even longer. When you do receive your order, if you do actually receive it, often things are missing from it. Any efforts to contact Holly, the owner, are completely ignored, including PayPal disputes, unless you are able to hunt down the phone number to the antique mall she works at, in which case you might be able to get ahold of her.

  2. Caustic Cadets Cosmetics: It’s a Glittersniffer clone. Glow-in-the-dark eyeliner, against FDA regulations? Check. UV eyeshadows, against FDA regulations? Check. UV eyeshadows, made with soap dyes? Check. Lying about FDA regulations and the safety of the products? Check. Save your money guys, this one isn’t worth it.

  3. Evil Shades Cosmetics: My first order was missing something. I contacted Andrea, the owner, about the problem and she assured me I would get the missing item with my next order. My next order arrived, and once again it was missing something. Both were small orders, and both orders I placed with the company being messed up is enough for me to not go back. Please see my review here.

  4. Glittersniffer: I’ve avoided this Etsy shop because other bloggers have posted tons of photos indicating they repack. However, I just found out that they have sold non-cosmetic dyes and pigments as – you guessed it – cosmetics. Please see Mika Chan’s blog.

  5. I Touch Roses: Originally I was okay with my semi-endorsement of this company, but unfortunately I have to change my position on it. Turns out that Ahna 1) lacks any kind of consistency (see the reviews by Lisa Kate and Heather, compared to mine), and 2) lacks customer service skills. You do not respond with “contact the post office” when someone inquires about their order, and you do not blame your lack of website updates on your “unexpected divorce” when you were blogging about said divorce a year ago!

  6. Kupcake Kutie Cosmetics: Pamela, the owner, is related to the owners of Ruthless Cosmetics; she’s the mother of one, and the aunt of the other. This should come as no surprise if you look at the two companies, as their branding and product lines are nearly identical.

    The problem, however, is that with my taking steps to keep Ruthless from harassing me, she has jumped in and harassed me as well, repeatedly, on their behalf. Please see my posts about Ruthless here.

  7. Lime Crime: Every single one of her eyeshadows has been matched to a TKB mica with the exception of Lime Criminal, which matches a 50/50 blend of Lemon Drop and Green Apple Pop! micas. She denies all claims of being a repacker, and has accused TKB of copying her. Denying it is one thing, but accusing a long-standing a well-known mineral makeup supply company of copying you, when they’ve sold the colors for years longer than your company has even been around? That’s just silly.

    Doe Deere/Xenia/Limey has also been known for harassing people who say anything negative about her company or products, including, but not limited to, making bogus legal threats in order to force bloggers to remove their reviews, one of the more well-known recepients of such being Grey of LeGothique.com.

  8. Madd Style Cosmetics: Grey had a bad experience last October, which was echoed by numerous reader comments left on her blog. While Phyrra recently had a better experience, Mo, the owner of Madd Style, took it upon herself to bash Grey in comments left on Phyrra’s review, and had a bunch of her fanatic customers do the same. Trash-talking does not change the fact that someone did not have a good time dealing with your company; it does, however, make you look like a horrible person and drive away business.

    More recently, Eplefe put some question to Mo’s claim of running a vegan company; looking at her Etsy feedback shows purchases of carmine micas, and beeswax lip balm and solid perfume bases. What happened in result? Once again, Mo’s followers showed up to trashtalk and insult Eplefe. You can see for yourself what happened here.

  9. Morgana Minerals: If someone posts a less-than-stellar review of your company or products, the professional thing to do is to contact them privately to discuss their concerns, or leave a comment with your contact info, inviting them to contact you. Completely inappropriate? Making an angry-sounding public comment chewing the person out and embarrassing them.

  10. Orglamix: This one’s real ugly. I’ll sum it up as some people figured out that their purchases were repack/private label by peeling the Orglamix stickers off and finding the manufacturer stickers. Consequently, they found out that Orglamix has been lying about the ingredients and FDA approved use of the products, while the owner of Orglamix is still insisting her products are handmade on the Facebook page – and deleting comments she doesn’t like left and right (including my own, which I have screencapped).

    Oh, and she got busted sharing private information in regards to a particular customer with other people (screencap is located here, and a screencap of the customer’s now deleted self-defense is located here).

    If you’d like to read about it, other bloggers have made wonderful posts here, here, here, here….

  11. Pretty Addictive Cosmetics: Run by the same person who used to run Ruthless Cosmetics. Please see my posts on Ruthless here.

  12. Pure Luxe: Last year, the Mineral Makeup Mutiny made a blog post about how TKB’s Pop! collection tends to get repacked pretty often by mineral makeup companies. In that post, Pure Luxe’s Bubblegum Ballz collection photo was used. No identifying information was included, so you would have to know it belonged to Pure Luxe already to know that’s where the photo came from.

    Christina, the owner of Pure Luxe, wanted the image removed, so instead of contacting the Mutiny privately, she made a very nasty and very public comment that contained bogus legal threats. The image was removed, but in all of the drama, Christina never denied being a repacker. Just as well, because the Bubblegum Ballz are not the only thing she appears to repack. Please see my post here.

  13. Ruthless Cosmetics: First, it’s all Lady Burd; nothing original here. Second, they’re selling makeup not approved for eye use as, you guessed it, eyeshadow, and deny any and all wrongdoing in this. Third, they think it’s appropriate to behave like hormone-driven teenagers and cuss people out and insult them for outing their company for the first two points. Fourth, they think it’s okay to send more insulting messages via Facebook…to the wrong person.

    However, the final nail in the coffin is the extent to which they’ve harassed me personally. They’ve called me all manner of names and insults, threatened to send their “legal team” after me, left public comments that were libelous towards me, and even gone so far as to create at least one fake facebook profile as me in attempt to frame me for harassment. Please see my posts here.

  14. Sephora: Yes, I have had that bad of an experience with them. Please see my first, second, and third updates.

  15. Sleek MakeUP: In November 2010, Sleek held a sale that, while they heavily promoted, they were woefully unprepared for. Among the ruckus, many customers, including Grey and Anastasia, had their cards and banks charged, while Sleek’s system ate the orders, or duplicated the orders, or tried to remove items from the orders. Sleek then ignored emails and requests for help, instead tweeting about how they thought they deserved pizza and cheesecake. Over a month later, Sleek finally told Ana that her order never came though…except she still didn’t have her money back.

    Fast forward to February 2011, and not only are tons of people still waiting for their order or their money back (yes, 2 1/2 months later people are waiting for refunds), but Ana reported that Sleek has taken to deleting complaints left on their Facebook page.

  16. Taylor Made: I have made probable matches between most of their eyeshadow line and TKB micas and pigments. Anything I am able to get my hands on usually gets confirmed as a dupe once I swatch it. In spite of this, Taylor continues to claim her company is not a repacker. Please see my posts here and here.

  17. TheSheSpace/About Face: Heather’s customer service has apparently completely gone to pot, especially since she announced she would be closing in order to do a new project. More and more people seem to be having problems with their orders, with pigments missing, full-size pigments being replaced with sample sizes, et cetera. Emails about problems are ignored, PMs on her forums are disabled, and so when someone resorts to trying to post in a contact thread that Heather specifically set up so that people could get ahold of her, she chews them out for doing so, and lets a group of her die-hard “Heather can do no wrong” fans call the person a troll (I wish I were kidding, but I’ve seen it myself). She claims emails have been working perfectly, and then she makes announcements saying emails are fixed, contradicting her earlier claim that they were working fine. She “plays dumb” when people do finally get ahold of her for order problems, and her solution is to PayPal a couple dollars, letting PayPal take their fees of course, instead of actually trying to satisfy the customer.

    Not only that, but I’m hearing stories of other people getting duplicate colors. If you recall my review (here), Heather blamed one of her employees for puting the wrong pigment in the bag. Now the theory is that she actually recycles colors in the limited edition collections. Clearance prices or not, ordering from her is not worth the hassle

    Update March 21 2010: now people are reporting half-full jars and 3 gram sample jars instead of the full size 5 gram jars TSS used to use. See this update.

Last updated April 28, 2011.

~ by shatteredshards on March 5, 2010.

17 Responses to “Companies I Avoid”

  1. Great informative post, imo. I really liked The She Space, but with the issues popping up with that company I stopped buying into the bargain sales. All the “full size” eyeshadows I bought except one are housed in those false-bottomed jars (like the ones Fyrinnae uses for samples). So compared to the amount I get in a regular 5-gram jar, I got jipped a little bit of product. I dunno, just bugs me I guess.

  2. 1. Totally agreed. The eyeshadows are really pretty but not worth the 4 month wait and they also don’t stay on very well. I think there is no base added or something, they sort of just fall right off!

    2. I’ve had pretty good experiences with ES, but I totally understand your point of view as well!

    3. Haha totally agreed! Have you seen this: http://encyclopediadramatica.com/Doe_Deere? Hilarious XD

    4. Yep.

    5. That whole thing totally pissed me off! It was just so beyond rude, without even DENYING the fact that stuff was repacked! Plus, ordering from them sucks anyways…there is no way to track your order at all and you can wait anywhere from a week to 2 months for an order without any communication. Boo!

    6. I didn’t even hear about this! But, see? I wish company owners would play nice and realize that they alienate not only the ONE person, but many more when they do this sort of thing!

    7. Haha agreed *rubs sneaky hands together*

    8. Okay, so I was a really true TSS fan for a long time. Honestly, I’m really upset that they are closing especially because everyone’s $25 “special customer savings program” basically doesn’t work anymore. I *know* that a new smaller shop will open but thats wayyy in the future. Plus, I saw that whole thing on the messageboard and I actually thought that what the commenter wrote was pretty on spot to how a lot of people felt. I didn’t think the rudeness and craziness that ensued was worth it.

    Yep, so I totally agree with you on all of these! There are a few more Etsy repackers I also won’t shop with anymore.

    I basically just wrote a post haha!

    • 3. I don’t normally read ED, but that made me laugh pretty hard, especially since I’ve been loosely following her since the Sky Salt days, and, even though it is for lolz, there is quite a bit of scary truth in it.

      5. They must’ve gotten worse in the past years; back when I was a customer, it maybe took a couple weeks.

      6. Oh yeah, it was absolutely rediculous how that one unfolded. Happened just last month, too.

      8. I do find it fishy that negative reviews started to come out, naming TSS as a suspected repacker, and she suddenly decided to close up shop, even though it was so immensely successful, according to her.

  3. Great post! Most of the drama I’d heard about, but I hadnt heard about the Morgana stuff or The She Space CS debacle. Just wondering – where was this Morgana comment left? I love me a good fight ;]

  4. Hmm, I agree with most of these. Evil Shades though, I love, my orders have always been great and included free stuff. But I see how you’d be upset! And hearing about the Morgana Minerals thing strikes me as odd. When I was commenting about a lip sample of theirs I wanted on someone’s blog, Melissa emailed me and told me she would send me the sample for free. So that seems out of character I guess? And TSS, I used to love, but not anymore.

    • I really haven’t heard anything bad about Evil Shades from anyone else, and if my second order hadn’t been messed up, I would be a repeat customer. I don’t want to waste my time making a third order, though, and run the risk of not getting something again. My first order only contained 11 items. My second order had 11 items, if you count the Wonderland sample set as 7 individual samples. It shouldn’t have been so hard, IMO, to doublecheck the invoice and make sure everything was there.

      Not only that, but I discovered that my sample of Acolyte is a lighter shade than the full-size jar – not good!

      As for Morgana, yes, it is very out of character for what I have heard about her customer service in the past, but I saw the review and comment with my own eyes. I also heard that said blogger got completely flamed by Morgana on another blogger’s blog, which is just completely out of line, I don’t care what time of the month it is.

  5. Thanks for the review list. I haven’t had experience with most of the companies you listed, but have to remind myself that you DID post a review of TSS before I ever ordered. Had I been smart, I would have listened!

    • At the time I ordered, I don’t think anyone really expected the company to take such a turn for the worse, and there are certainly still people having positive experiences, but I’m hearing a lot more complaints.

  6. I agree with the most. Regarding morgana, I think you meant in that M-cosmetics related post? Well, I don’t blame neither though. Both came off a bit out-of-normal state (okay, rude is the word) It doesn’t stop me from ordering from her though because the service I’ve gotten from her is great. But she doesn’t act normally like that though.

    • Which post?

      And as I said in an above comment, while that blogger getting that response on their own blog is one thing, the owner of Morgana also trash-talked them on another blogger’s blog. That is something that, in my opinion, is inexcusable.

      • probably we’re not thinking the same, but I thought we did. if that makes sense LOL

        I’m talking about Grey’s post? Is that it? BTW, I heard taht Archetyp estarted acting better, but do you think they really are? maybe few months from now, who knows?

        • Nope, I’m not referring to Grey’s post; I’m not really alarmed by what happened there, and Grey continues to buy from Morgana so there couldn’t be that much upset.

          And yes, I have been hearing things on Archetype possibly shaping up. I’ll be making a devoted post about it soon. :)

  7. I won’t want to order from Aromaleigh the first time since I became a customer 1 and half years ago. It started like this. A person on her forum asked for alternatives for her lip balm which is to be disconted, so I suggested a MMU name brand. Then, all h*** broke loose. First she made a post on her forum, and I knew it implied me, but I thought it was resonable until I got a live dialog from her.

    In it, she’s angry sounding and spiteful. Told me that was totally rude, and that “Have some respect for God’s sake”. I then wrote that I apologize for what I’ve done and I should know better, but her tone is unpleasant and hurt me. I also said taht people make mistakes and now she seems to be lashing out at me for something I did not do it on purpose. She has yet to reply. I hate her. Hate is a strong word, but that’s how she made me feel. I’m just going to buy from Fyrinnae, Morgana or Sassy.

    • Vi – That was around the same time the whole Livecloud debacle happened and people were already sending rather strong hatemail about the lippie discontinuation anyways, so I know she was getting really stressed out. I was one of the first responders to the lip balm thread as I was curious too but both myself and the original poster agreed that we shouldn’t start putting out names until the lippies were gone and we had permission from Kristen (it IS her company and forums, discussing other brands is inappropriate, especially in that context as she still has physical product to sell), Miss K herself posted that she would give her recs AFTER the lippies were gone and to please refrain from doing so beforehand, which was totally fine.

      I wasn’t following the thread because the whole Livecloud switch thing was making it hard to find stuff I was previously reading so I don’t know what you posted and can’t comment on particulars but everyone had already agreed not to post other brands and she was getting some really vicious hate mail (actual vitriolic hate mail) about the lippies and the stupid Livecloud post notifications accidental spam thing, plus she was trying to get ready to close the shop soon as well.

      I saw the reaction post and it WAS upsetting, I could see that she was really stressed out and reacting harshly but again, we had already agreed previously to wait until AFTER the lippies were gone to discuss it out of respect to Kristen and her company, so while I sympathise with you over her overreaction (she DID overreact, but she had already asked nicely a couple of times too), you also broke forum rules after it was pretty clearly laid out how we were going to handle it.

      I’m not minimising your feelings, I have not personally seen the correspondence she sent you and I KNOW she was dealing with a LOT of bs and wasn’t handling it all with her usual grace (seriously, she spent one whole day dealing exclusively with the Livecloud hate mail, which by all account sounded AWFUL) so I am sorry if you were dealt with in an unduly harsh manner, she is currently taking a much-needed break and will hopefully return in a much better state without all the raw nerves that were becoming evident before she left due to the various changes causing such nastiness against her. I urge you to message her again and calmly and rationally (I know, hard when you feel like the wronged party!) express your feelings over her treatment of you, people were emailing her some really vicious stuff and she could have spent the whole day dealing with them before you and unfortunately took it out on you. As a long time AL user I’ve seen her post passionately before and it IS upsetting because it’s usually after every other avenue of reconciliation has been attempted and failed so she’s at her wit’s end and it shows, plus I know this has been a tough year with a lot of changes and criticisms leveled against her because of that, but I wouldn’t continue to purchase her products and participate in her forums if I didn’t feel she wasn’t a good person worth supporting. I’ve had a small business, some days everything seems to go wrong and it is utterly infuriating so I know how she feels, but you also do not deserve to be treated spitefully if you did not behave in kind (yeah, misposting in the forum will get you a terse response, I’ve personally received one but it was like, “hey this is a customer service thing, don’t post this in the forums because it will only attract drama, not constructive help” and she was right, AL Steve fixed the problem asap and no more was necessary)

      Sorry this was so long but I just wanted to try and add a little perspective, not saying you don’t have a valid complaint but AL is an excellent company and Miss K is really trying to move towards a better, more positive outlook, both business-wise and personally, and I know if you came to her with a valid complaint and not just groundless hate (like some other people have been doing) she would try and reconcile the situation, not leave you hanging. (honestly, maybe the reason she didn’t get back to you is she didn’t have a chance to before she left or your email got lost in the stack. I’d give her another chance before giving up on her entirely. It couldn’t hurt, and if it simply confirms your feelings then there’s no need to look back.)

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