Monday, December 13, 2010

Falling In And Out Of Love (Denouncing Glittersniffer Cosmetics)

The following post was original written for my personal facebook profile yesterday.  However, since that profile is not public and I have several blog readers who also follow my hair and makeup recommendations, I am reposting it here.

Falling in and out of love (or, "dude, it's only make-up")
by Krissi Sandvik on Sunday, December 12, 2010 at 3:58pm

You know that awesome feeling you get when you find something special that you really love and you want to tell EVERYONE you know about it? I have; you know I have. You've even seen it if you follow any of my blogs, videos or even just my facebook status. Just a few things that you may have seen me fall in love with over the past 5 years include Hina's Tea (oh how sad I was when they closed their doors!), Golden brand's acrylic gel medium and fluid acrylic paints, Special Effects hair color, driving, wood burning, Moleskine journals... and Glittersniffer Cosmetics.

Three different formulations of Glittersniffer's pigment "A.D.D."
Notice the unblended chunks of pigment in the far right swatch,
typical of almost all of the pots I received in the last 3 or 4 months.
I have fallen out of love with only one of the above brands/items, Glittersniffer Cosmetics, and I am sad to say that it is not because I found something better, different or that I lost interest in all similar products. It is due, very simply, to the company losing sight of who and what made it so wonderful in the first place. I was quietly retreating, but when several of my friends sent me messages saying they purchased from Glittersniffer because I used her product, I decided to speak my mind. And so, dear friends and fans, I will no longer recommend Glittersniffer Cosmetics to you.

Specifically, I experienced a growing number of the following problems as Glittersniffer grew over the last six months:
Two jars in my "mattes" collection (too chalky to use) arrived
completely open; sifter was improperly inserted, preventing
lid from being secured. My final three orders (which were incorrect)
arrived with open jars and pigment spilled all over the box/envelope.
  • incorrect orders / incorrect "replacement" orders
  • substituted items without notice or option for refund
  • items never sent / "lost" packages
  • accepting payment for items out of stock offering only store credit (not refund); credit required to be used in conjunction with another order
  • inconsistency in formulations (visibly noticeable from batch to batch)
  • poorly mixed or unmixed pigments (aka "chunks" of color and chalky pigments)
  • multiple attempts at communications ignored
  • broken / open / unsecured jar lids
  • blaming others for errors and lost packages
I personally experienced all of these issues on multiple occasions and even brought these issues to the owner's attention, again on multiple occasions. I understand that running a small business is difficult and that mistakes happen. I run a small business and of course, I have made mistakes. However, I do my best to ensure that they never happen twice. I have turned away work if I feel overwhelmed or am unable to fulfill obligations to existing customers. In the case of Glittersniffer, I would receive an apology, sometimes a product I did not need or want and then it was back to business as usual on the next order. After my last 8 or 10 orders, I started to suspect that maybe this was a pattern.

I am not qualified to say that every experience was like mine (though I can assure you that this issue is quite wide-spread throughout at least 25 of her very long-term customers), nor am I telling you to boycott her items. However, I will say that if you do purchase, I hope that you do it of your own accord and not based on any recommendation I may have made in the past.

There are MANY cosmetics companies out there - some which are also 'cottage industry' businesses - from whom you might wish to purchase. Here is a very small list of companies from whom I have purchased in the past and with whom I continue to be happy (just type the names into Google - you can find them very easily):
  • Madd Style Cosmetics (new company this year)
  • Hi-Fi Cosmetics
  • Medusa's Make Up
  • Alima
  • Aromaleigh Cosmetics (no longer in business)
And I added another to my "faves" list in March 2011:
  • Brazen Cosmetics

Other companies from whom I have not personally purchased, but about whom I have heard good things:
  • Pure Luxe Cosmetics Fell prey to Glittersniffer Syndrome and is selling glow in the dark pigments (updated 3/28/2011)
  • Beauty From The Earth
  • Detrivoire Cosmetics
  • The All Natural Facekept her shop open during a 4-week absence, selling items not in stock (3/28/2011)
  • Shiro Cosmetics
  • Sugar Pill Cosmetics
  • Elohi Cosmetics - noted here for good product, but mixed reviews on customer service admitted to allowing people to smoke in enclosed space with product ingredients and packaging (3/29/2011)
    and, of course, there's
  • TKB Trading for bulk purchases and supplies
The 2-5 week turnaround time is the only reason Fyrinnae is not on this list. I understand why the production time is so long, but it's tough to recommend a company who takes that long to ship.

One final note: This is a description of my experiences only, and you are free to disagree. However, please keep your comments here civil and to the point. I know I may lose "friends" over this, but frankly, if I do, my response will be "it's only makeup and they clearly weren't my friends."


Update (12/13/2010 - 2:20pm):  Yesterday, I set out to write a simple, clear post with the single purpose of letting my friends know that I had experienced ongoing and unaddressed problems with a company and was removing my recommendation.  I assure everyone that I had no idea the issue was so widespread or ran so deep.  While I did NOT set out to defame anyone or to bring anyone down, I cannot apologize for the avalanche this first post started since all I did was state a few facts about my personal experiences.  I cannot control that others had similar experiences as well.

With that said, while I empathize with everyone's anger and disappointment, I also request that you keep your comments constructive and restrain the urge to name-call others on this post (you can call me whatever names you like).  I'm not asking you to edit yourselves, just to post those more "subjective" expressions elsewhere so the point of this post stays on topic: the removal of my endorsement.

Thanks everyone.