Monday, January 17, 2011

Etsy makeup: Hall of Shame

This is somewhat ranty, fyi. Last night I was browsing makeup on Etsy, even though I'm pretty sure I know 99% of the non-repackaging companies who sell through Etsy. One of the first places I found was Caustic Cadet Cosmetics... womp womp. I'm sure a lot of you have experienced that phenomenon of googling a product to find a review or swatches, seeing a picture of just an eye or a lip, and recognizing which blogger that eye or lip belongs to. So I was surprised when this listing had a picture of a beautiful eye I recognized as Chloe's from The Makeuptress. This shop seemed like your typical shitty Etsy makeup store, so I had a feeling that the owner had just stolen the picture and used it as their product photo without asking. I emailed Chloe and, surprise surprise, that was indeed the case. As if that wasn't bad enough, I looked at some more listings, including this one for liquid liner. What an odd coincidence that all the colors in the product photo happen to look exactly like all the colors of Milani's Infinite eyeliner! Maybe it's because the picture was stolen from Karen's blog... from her post about Milani Infinite eyeliners. At this point, repackaging fails to surprise me. Etsy makes it really easy for lazy jerks to make a quick buck. But stealing pictures, especially of another product to pretend is your own, is pretty pathetic. Lest your face not be :/ enough already, let's look at Bad Bitch Cosmetics! First of all, and this is just me, but I hate that name. I hate the word bitch and find it extremely rude and demeaning. I cuss a fucking lot irl, but that is a word I do not say. So I would already never order from them just because of the name (which also violates Etsy's ToS by having vulgarity in a username). But even if they were called Delightfully Elegant Pony Cosmetics, I'd still have a problem with a statement they make in their profile. "Our products - like ALL mineral makeup - is all-natural. Which also means it's vegan. There is no mineral makeup out there that isn't. Just sayin'. " Snort. It doesn't take a vast knowledge of MMU to know that there can very easily be makeup that isn't vegan. Obviously they have never heard of carmine or beeswax, or any other animal by-products. So they're either knowingly lying to customers, or they're very ignorant about the nature of their own business. And of course, there was the recent crash and burn of Glittersniffer. Here is a link you might be interested in. In case you're feeling as disappointed as I am right now, I decided to link to some great Etsy makeup shops that ARE unique, original and awesome. I haven't shopped from all of these companies, so I put asterisks by the ones that I can personally vouch for. Brazen Cosmetics Concrete Minerals* Hi-Fi Cosmetics* Persephone Minerals RockABetty Beauty Scaredy Cat Cosmetics Shiro Cosmetics* ETA: Bad Bitch Cosmetics changed their profile statement a few hours after this was posted.


  1. I'm noticing more and more stolen pictures on that Caustic Cadet Cosmetics etsy page. I want to report them but I've no idea how to do so!

    This sort of thing really annoys me, I mean come on way to pollute mineral makeup by selling their crappy and probably non-eye safe cosmetics! They are the ones that give mineral makeup companies a bad rep

  2. Wow what a hot mess. I don't really see the point in repackaging. Where's the fun in that? Also, you've gotta be pretty damn stupid to steal pictures and put them in Etsy listings..I hate shops like that that makes Etsy as a whole look bad. Meh. What can you do?
    BTW, I can vouch for Persephone Minerals. There's no way in hell that lady repackages. Her stuff is awesome.

  3. Yes!! FINALLY someone else noticed the bs lies of BBC!!! I couldnt believe it when i read that!! I did a rant of my own about that one!! (O ya, you saw it, I remember you said yay for texas! lol) ...They look like they are selling that same glittersniffercrap! The pink "blush" used to be listed as an eyeshadow actually. What's worse is one of the BBC girls has a soap store on etsy in which she was a featured seller!! She KNOWS what ingredients are vegan and not began, they are just full of sh**!!! And reporting them apparently does no gooD! Also, one of them, on her other profile for another one of the 6 stores they have, says she left her job as a lawyer to do etsy full time!! ROFLMFAO!!! BS!!

    As for caustic, ya she has those damn flourescents and tkb night glow powders too selling as shadows! I saw the shop recently and thought oh cool she is expanding other stuff, maybe she'll phase out the repackages but OMG I didn't recognize the photos as stolen. WOW.

    Omg I was ranting so much I didnt realize you had me on your bad @$$ list down there at the bottom!! Thank you!!

    HAve you seen Scardey Cats trial vials?? too cute!! All of those are on my to try list except I have finally tried & loved HI FI.

  4. It's bad enough that there is so much plagerism and repacking going on, but to blatantly add it to an Etsy shop? Really? That takes some big old balls. I would never ever purchase from this company.

    Glittersniffer turned me off even before she was proven to be a repackager because of the picture of the owner "sniffing" glitter like cocaine. Totally NOT what I'd be interested in.

    It sucks, because there are so many great companies out there. It's so unfair to them.

  5. Ugh, that company irritates the hell out of me! I did a review on them and everything I got was gross. I can't believe they are stealing bloggers picture, how stupid!

  6. I'm going through the shop, reporting listings. Doesn't mean Etsy will do anything, they've been really good about ignoring policy violations (it took CNN blasting them for those hate speech policies to be changed last week). But at least my conscience is clear.

  7. Okay, this Caustic shop is disgusting. She has glow eyeliner up with this disclaimer:

    "There has been some stipulation as to whether or not this product is appropriate for use on your eyes. This liner includes zinc sulfide, which by FDA standards is approved for general cosmetic use sparingly.. but it is deemed eye safe when the ZS is less than 10% of the formula and suspended in a liquid base."

    The FDA still says it's not approved for eye use. What a lying, dishonest cow.

  8. Ugh. This is why I need to read at least 3 positive reviews before I order from an online company!

  9. Heather, this one just keeps getting worse. The shop on Etsy isn't her only one, and I've found that she's selling UV eyeshadows, too...and I wouldn't be shocked if she has those neon soap dyes in the formulations. Then she's lying about the safety of those, too.

    "Regarding Synthetic Pigments - Every single one of the synthetic pigments/dyes we use are FDA approved for general cosmetic use. ALL of them are approved for your face and lips, but some are not approved for use on your eyes. Any cosmetic junkie knows that some colors are absolutely impossible to achieve without these pigments. That being said, as FDA protical states, these pigments must be less than 30% present in products to be considered 'eye safe'. We use far less than 30%, there-for you can scoop these babies up without a worry in the world!"

  10. @Mai: There are so many companies who use images they find off of google that are all over the internet, but stealing from someone's personal blog is worse...

    @Annamax: I have been wanting to try Persephone for sooo long, some of the colors look absolutely amazing.

    @Persephone: lol yeah, at first I was just going to rant about the Caustic Cadet place, but then I remembered your post and decided to throw that out there too :P I agree, the Scaredy Cat packaging is so cute!

    @Makeup Zombie: Hmm, not sure how I feel about the idea of that... it doesn't offend ME but I do feel it's in poor taste.

    @Kimberly Marquez: Aw, I'm sorry you wasted your money :(

    @Shattered: OMG that horrible shop FINALLY got taken down? I read an article on Jezebel about it a few weeks ago, and I signed a petition to make them take it down, but I didn't realize they finally did. That shop fucking disgusted me.
    Oh no! What are her other shops? That statement can't be true, can it? I admit I don't know more than the basics about most makeup ingredients, but that doesn't seem right at all...

    @Jade Carver: I'll go with just one good review if it's from someone who knows what they're talking about.

  11. Yeah, they FINALLY got rid of it, not even a week ago. I saw that the petition was up to 15k signatures, and like I said, CNN blasted them on the 7th for it. Then they had all these people bowing down to them and kissing their butts when they announced the policy update, and it was like, why the heck should anyone applaud you?

    The other shop is at I'm archiving proof of this crap right now, adding it to my Avoid list, but I am so ticked that I want to make a YouTube rant in the next day or two.

  12. I can't believe people are still that stupid. Everyone knows that even though the internets beauty world is vast, it's also kind of small - everyone talks to someone and these things always get discovered.

    Was Glittersniffer the one who did that drunken youtube video? If so, ewwwwwwww.

  13. I actually just got 5 samples from Bad Bitch Cosmetics, while they aren't highly obvious repack (pop micas) there was defiantly one that got a raised eyebrow from me that I will have to see if I can find the one in my collection it looks like. I am pretty sure the one in my collection is a repack so that would be pretty decent proof.

  14. I'm willing to bet Bad Bitch is repacking at least some of their stuff. B Kiddo looks like Taurus Orion, Belacqua looks like Capricorn Sea, Lil Kim looks like plain old manganese violet, Gogo looks like Lemon Drop, The Nut Cutter looks like Hot Mama....

    Okay, stopping now.

  15. I detest companies that blatantly lie, especially when they use half-lies like that piece of shit up there. Zinc Sulfide isn't approved for use around eyes ever, in any amount or solution, the 10% she's quoting is for general cosmetic use.

    And then, AND THEN, after she pulls a line about it needing to be suspended in liquid out of her ass, she lists the pigment itself as an eyeshadow. Make your fucking mind up, love, that's a powder, is that safe, too?

    Argh. I'll use non-eye safe things and I don't care much about my own safety in that regard, but I strongly believe customers need to be informed and not fucking lied to about it. Rant. I'm writing a blacklist of all these assholes and, with permission, will include a few off your list and link here as reasoning.

  16. What a bunch of crap. Etsy is really pissing me off with all the BS. I know they have tons of sellers to babysit but there should be a person dedicated to just makeup listings or just food listings, anything that CAN harm a person if sold bad.
    And it looks like Bad Bitch read this because I didn't see their original vegan-y statement worded like this.

    And a big FUCK YOU to people who steal blogger images to sell their shit. If I spend MY MONEY and use MY FACE and take MY TIME to take the picture, just for them to yoink it and plop it on a listing to make a buck, HELLZ NO YOU DON'T!

    How can they not see that is WRONG? Get off your own lazy fucking asses and do your own work, don't steal ours. That and stealing Milani liner images as your own, well obviously whoever orders that shit is gonne be upset it's not like those liners at all unless you are somehow repacking Milani liners lmao. In which case, you are still a douche.

    I'm getting to angry.

  17. Whoa...that is not cool. Why would you steal a picture from a well-known beauty blogger? Aren't they part of the target market you're trying to sell to?

    Seems like a ridiculously stupid move to make.

  18. Urgh God it's all so frustrating! It's horrible for all the good indie sellers out there, this gives them all such a bad name. And like you said, repackaging is one thing, but selling unsafe products and then lying or implying that they're fine is just beyong the pale!
    And stealing photos? Nice. :/
    Agh. Really helpful post though Heather, mind if i link to it?

  19. EW I so agree with Lillian up above. By stealing pictures and making half-assed statements like that, it turns young girls who are just starting out in makeup away from indie makeup. I know that if i were a lot younger and less experienced in makeup, I would be like "UHM never buying from indie companies ever again."

  20. Great post! If you start a MMC, please name it Delightfully Elegant Pony Cosmetics, 'cause that is awesome! XD

    Yeah, I kinda hurt my eyes by rolling them too much when I read the 'all mineral makeup is vegan.' It's so unfortunate. And it kinds sickens me that people looking to make a quick buck are cropping up all over the damn place.

  21. I love your post! Wow, there are some really awful companies out there :( And I'm in agreement with you, I hated Bitchslap cosmetics because of the name and I don't like Bad Bitch, either.

  22. @Dee: Drunk youtube video? I don't know, I haven't heard anything about that...

    @Kira: Wow, I'm interested in that review!

    @Shattered: Oh my god, the fact that they have a shade call The Nut Cutter makes me sick. That's not funny.

    @Anastasia: It would be an honor to be namedropped in your rant ;)

    @Mindy: Yeah! >:D But also, LMAO that they changed their profile. Wish I'd have screencapped it.

    @Lady In A Top Hat: I think people are just really, really lazy.

    @Lillian Funny Face: Of course :)

    @Y: I agree. When I first started figuring out repackaging, I was so pissed off that all my colors were sold to me by lying and with marked up prices. I got really disheartened about the whole indie MMU scene.

    @femputer: You have my word! haha. It is so frustrating how many lame companies there are on etsy, and how it's not even against their rules to repackage. I'm sure they have "more important" things to worry about than repackaging, but at least pay attention to the shops that lie about FDA regulations to sell products.

    @Phyrra: Thanks! I think putting cuss words in your company name probably eliminates a huge customer base...

  23. You'd think that some how these newbies would have heard something about this type of conduct before attempting to start their own makeup company...and then follow in the previous no talent ass clowns footsteps by making the same mistakes. But it seems not everyone knows or even gets why it is so upsetting to the people who buy and wear makeup.
    It's really simple. All we ask for is honesty. If you repackage, say so and have the decency to be truthful about the ingredients and their intended uses.
    I'm a huge potty mouth too, but I don't think I'd want to purchase from a company that has nasty words in their business name. I can be completely vulgar and unprofessional in my daily personal life, but it's rude for a company to assume that all are OK with the word "bitch" in their company name. It's a total turn off.

    Thanks for posting!

  24. Wow, she changed the profile? I gotta see that! LOL, great work! I guess my post on it didn't circulate I can understand Bad Bitch pushing the envelope with the names and everything I mean honestly I don't find much of anything to be shocking or appaling nowadays. I can see how that would attract sales but the lying & shit omg that's just malicious. I do have to admit the glittersniffing photo sounds funny though I havent seen it. I mean, in a metaphorical sense of course I can see how the photo would represent makeup being an addiction...

  25. Excellent post, Heather! Thanks for the info <3

  26. Wow, thanks a lot for this post Heather! I was already reluctant to buy makeup from Etsy, but your post is very useful. I'm definitely checking out those stores. Thanks!

  27. Thanks for the post.

    I really can't comprehend how companies can be okay with repackaging, nevermind selling junk as eyeshadows when they know it could cause health problems! That really drives me nuts. There's another girl on etsy, I can't remember her name right now, Madd something? She used to work with GS and she is still selling repacks & UV dyes as well as shadows.

    It really scares me because although some of us may know what is/isn't safe for eyeuse, the average person, or someone trying makeup online for the first time, just browsing etsy will believe the sellers when they say it's eyesafe... I don't know how etsy can allow that ;\

  28. Thanks for the posts! I usually read a lot of reviews (or at least a few reviews from blogger I trust) before buying makeup, especially in Etsy stores. But it's sad that some people still fall for those stores, and that there are store owners greedy enough to pull this kind of shenanigans . I hope posts like this help people to became more informed about MMU.


    What the hell? I for one don't personally care what people call their company, how they choose to market it, blah blah blah - it's their call and if I don't like it, I won't buy it. But I do care about them being lying sacks of shit! I'm not vegan and the whole FDA-neon thing doesn't personally bother me (in the UK, as far as I'm aware neons are eye safe) but when companies lie about it, that is disgusting and illegal.

    Bravo on the post, Heather, I hope it does someone some good!

  30. I like how BBC changed the ingredients list on Lil' Kim. It used to just say manganese violet (because that's all it is lol). I wish I hadn't cropped the company name out of the screen shot I took...

  31. Caustic Cadets also steals almost all its artwork.
    actually belongs to and was used without permission.

  32. All you people raising awareness of dodgy conduct - thank you!

    (As to mineral makeup/vegan thing: they could've meant that pure minerals are vegan, since carmine and beeswax aren't minerals, of course.

    Nah, I don't believe they did mean it like that, unfortunately :/ .)

  33. Hey sweetie! Thanks for the awareness of these companies! I'm in totally agree with companies and naming themselves with offensive language. I just couldn't bring myself (as a respectable women) to buy from a company with the word b*tch i it.

    You'd figure if you were starting a company you would research things essential to said business.

    Oh BTW I too have come across pics from prominent Bloggers on other blogspot or Etsy shops.. so disrespectful...

    Thanks again for the post!

  34. Oh wow. Glad I found this. I ordered a sample pack from Caustic Cosmetics a while back, and I WANTED to be impressed, but I was just kind of creeped out that none of her pictures or descriptions matched up on Etsy. I saw she changed all her pictures and added some shiny new shades tonight, and I was thinking of placing an order, but I'm not so sure, now. If they are repacks, someone investigate so I can buy the original shades. I'm kind of new at this. I really liked the eyeliner I got in sample pack, but it looks like she's taken all eyeliners out of her shop... so there is a good chance that they were repacks.

    BBC is another company I wanted to like. I kept thinking about ordering from them... but... well. They don't seem to be selling anything that great. All of their colors are pretty generic looking to me, and overpriced. The name doesn't really bother me though. I think it's a little cute. I mean, it's a word I only use as a term of endearment. I wouldn't mind if they rolled out some more inspirational bitches though. Like a Rosa Parks, or a Princess Di, or a Mother Teresa... You know? Joan of Arc maybe? Sacajawea? somebody that's actually in a history book? Are my expectations too high again?

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