Saturday, February 12, 2011

Spectrum Cosmetics: Swatches and First Thoughts

So the one thing about Twitter is not only is it a great way for stalking your favorite celebrities, beauty gurus and friends. It is a great way to network and find out about other companies that you might not have heard of before.
Yes, I know I know pretty similiar to YouTube. However with twitter you have the capablilty of having more ways to converse with a person, either @'ing them or sending them the Direct Message (DM).

As it worked out, I was actually following someone else on Twitter when I saw them mention Spectrum Cosmetics. Not hearing of that particular line before, I looked them up on YouTube and saw a few tutorials using their products as well as some reviews. I continued my research and went to the website to see the various products that this line offered.

Spectrum Cosmetics is owned and ran by Amber Rose, a Californian Licensed ESTHETICIAN.
After checking out the website I decided to apply for a review of the products...cause you guys know that I am a sucker for mineral products. And what better way to force myself to take the time to play with minerals but to be able to do a review on a company. Thus Spectrum has a semi lengthy application to fill out, please keep in mind, that when it comes to the application process of reviews you always need to include all your current and up to date information..whether its your tube channel, blog, twitter, etc. The more networking sites that you have that you are active on...and people are interested in reading, watching or interacting with you. In MY OPINION, looks better for companies who are looking for reviews.
**I need to point out something that was and has been tweeted several times in particular this past week by Spectrum.

Thus I am personally pretty lucky to be able to do this review of the line...however please don't allow the change in their policies to effect whether or not to contact them in the future in regards to your interest in their products.

Keeping all this in mind I filled out the application for the review of this line on December 25,2010 (yup matter time than to take advantage of my time off from work). The one thing that I did have to pay for when it came to reviewing this line was the Shipping and Handling for the products.
I was charged $5.95 for shipping and handling and an additional $.57 for taxes thus costing me overall $6.52.
Now I don't necessarily see a problem with paying for shipping for a product, however in regards to reviewing a line this was the first time I was required to do so.

I received an email from Paypal informing me of my purchase, however it would take about two days before I decided to @ Spectrum on Twitter in regards to their process. As I did NOT receive any emails, if I had been accepted to do the review. I honestly figured, if I was required to pay a shipping and handling fee then I would be able to do a review on the line.
I did received a replay on Twitter from Spectrum letting me know that it would take about three days for the order/review to process through and then the items should be shipped.

I waited patiently for the products to appear in my PO Box as during the holiday season it took our post office on base longer to process packages. However after more than two weeks went by I decided to question Spectrum normally I would email a company. However I did notice on my Twitter feed that Spectrum regularly posted, thus I decided this was the fast means to contact them.

On January 14, 2011 I @ Spectrum and inquired to my products for review. At that time frame Spectrum told me due to weather conditions there was a delay in their mailing system, but that they would be getting the package out to me within that week or so. That they had decided to have me review some products from the Valentine's collection.

Again, I continued on my back and forth checking of my PO Box so when the 28th of January rolled around I was @ing them again. This time I was told that the package had been placed in the mail on that Tuesday of the week and to keep them updated of when I received it (the 25th was the said Tuesday).

Now this is just my own opinion in regards to situations like this, as again this is a first time I had to constantly contact a company in regards to a package of product that I was going to review. I have received products from other companies and they are normally the ones to email me to let me know of the status of the package, or if there have been any changes to an order. I did feel a little frustrated that I was having to go back and check on whether or not the items that I was reviewing were shipped out.

**I am NOT trying to sound like I'm all about getting FREE things...not not at all. However I did have to pay a bit for the products, so I just felt that even if I am doing a review. My money is like any other paying customer...that my order or package is just as important to get shipped out. If this was a REAL order where I paid for every piece of product that was being shipped to me...and I hadn't received it in a month...there would be a HUGE ISSUE.
Keep in mind, I'm not saying there isn't an issue with it taking as long as it did for me to finally find out the package got sent to me. I'm just merely stating an opinion...if any customer has to pay from their pocket for something...they should be informed of the status of an item. They shouldn't have to check on well as the products should be shipped out in a timely manner.

I finally received my package in my PO Box on February 8, 2011.
I received a total of 8 pigments and a handful of business cards. The box in which they were shipped in was a small flat rate shipping box, that costs to mail $4.95 regularly. (I only know this because of my constantly mailing of items back to the states on a regular basis). Keep in mind I paid $6.52.

Another interesting thing I do want to point out...not again saying it's a bad thing...but it is note worthy as I try to be as honest and unbiased of a company, product and brand.
Is the actual date that was printed on the shipping label of the box.
Yup, the proper three day turn around date that I was originally told when I first questioned Spectrum about their review process. Again, I'm not suggesting anything...I just thought it was interesting that the shipping label was printed out on the 28th of December and the actual item wasn't shipped until over a month later.

Something else that I didn't take a physical documentation of but note worthy is the package did have a USPS tracking number on it so that it would be able to be tracked while in transit. Now when I looked up the package number myself on the 8th of February I noticed the date in which it was processed through a Californian post office as February 1st...not January 25th as I was informed.
Even if the item was dropped off at the post office...January was a longer month (with 31 days) I personally do not think it would take the post office a full work week to go through processing packages.
At the time frame when I checked on the status of the package, the USPS had not been updated with me having received the package.

The package came from Elk Grove, CA...and for you those know me know that I'm a Californian myself. Growing up in so cal but living most of my college career and early adult life in northern CA...thus I know that Elk Grove isn't that far from Sacramento (capital of CA).
And I only bring this up because I keep in contact with friends and family in both so cal and nor cal...and I know that the weather wasn't necessarily terrible nor was it ideal during the month of January. So to be told that it was weather conditions that caused the delay the first time when I inquired about my package....makes me wonder.

Anyways...enough about the mailing/package situation...I personally don't know how I feel about it all. I just wanted it to be known...because I think everyone is entitled to this knowledge. Just as I have the right to express my concern and opinions about it.

I keep track of dates and conversations, whether its via Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, phone or email when it comes to dealing with companies. Because I like to refer to it later on for review purposes...or especially if I am being told one thing by one person..and something completely different by someone else of the same said company (this happens more so when dealing with phone companies, tv..etc).


As I stated I received a total of 8 pigments...I had hoped to be able to not only try their eye products but a lip product as well.

The pigments were in 15 gram jars with a simple sticker on the top...each contain a shifter with a sticker top that could be removed. According to the website you get 10.5 grams of product.
Of the 8 pigments, 2 of the 8 stickers had become loose or fallen off in transit..thus just a small amount of product was loose.

When it comes to swatches of these products, I used ELF Mineral Eyeshadow Primer on the Dry swatch, while Using MAC's Refreshing Water to get the pigments Wet. I used natural lighting for the pictures...and have NOT altered any of the pictures in any form.
An * will be the official description of the color of the item found on the website.

Circus Cookie

Circus Cookie- Frosty, icy pale/baby pink with Shimmer

When you get this color wet the shimmer is lot more noticeable. It seems to have pink and purple shimmer...a bit more purple than it a slight purplely undertone.

This color would be a really pretty lid color or even a very girly lip shade

*Circus Cookie- Silky pink with silver sparkles and blue iridescent undertone

Fairy lady

A matte medium purple.

Of all the colors that I received I was most disappointed with the formulation and pigmentation of this color.
I literally attempted to swatch this color dry about 5 times and if you look carefully at the picture in the middle of the swatch it appears to fade.
I have used various mineral products...and I do know that mattes are tougher colors to work with to get the payout just right. However the only way to get the proper pay out was to get this color wet..and even then I started to lightly run my finger over the wet, yet dried swatch and it still attempted to blend out and fade.
Perhaps it was just this batch of Fairy Lady...but I overall really disliked it. I was sad too because this was the only matte color I received in my review package as well.

*Fairy lady- Intense blue purple matte

Spaceships don't have Rearview Mirrors

beautiful metalic silver with green undertones that has multi colored shimmer

This was an interesting color because it didn't really want to adhere much to the the basic eyeprimer...though I wouldn't doubt if a stickier base (ie Jumbo Eye Pencil from NYX) were used I would've gotten a better swatch. Yet, the color is unique. And getting the shadow wet, OMG it was an instant disco ball on my can definitely see the green/blue tones and shimmer all throughout the shadow. It foiled beautifully and I think this was one of my 3 favorites from those that I received.

I believe this would be a great lid color, crease color and even liner...just because you don't see many shadows of this complexity.

*Spaceships don't have Rearview Mirrors- Polished silver with traveling blue to purple to green undertone

Blue My Mind

Light sky blue with pink and purple shimmer
This was one of the few pigments that swatched amazing dry such a pretty color...I love me some blues! When wet this color has more of an aqua blue with a slight pink undertone. Perhaps I'm mixing the undertone with all the pink and purple shimmer that seemed to pop when this was wet!

Pretty lid color or even turn it into a pretty nail polish color for the spring season

* Blue My Mind- Soft blue with pink iridescent undertone and pink sparkles

Alien Can Blend
Mossy green with blue shimmers
This was an interesting green due to the blueish shimmer that it seemed to have in it. I think the fact that I'm also am Warm toned person...thus my veins have more of a green hue to them makes the colors swatch different on me.
When this color was applied wet it had more of a metallic finish and the blue shimmers really POPPED!

This color would be a pretty lid or crease color.

*Alien Can Blend- Duochrome Blue/Green with bright violet sparkles

Take Off Your Cool
Pretty blue/green with blue and green shimmers
Another gorgeous blue...which happened to be another one of my top 3 favorites from the shadows that I received. When wet the blue has more of metallic texture and looks more of a sea green color (reminding me of the ocean). All the shimmer really sparkles when it's foiled...and it's just hard to look away!

Another pretty lid color...I would also use this as a fun colorful liner...especially for brown eyes. Since I have always noticed blue makes brown eyes pop!

*Take off Your Cool- Aqua blue with turquoise and blue iridescent undertone

The final two colors are from the Valentine's 2011 Collection

Pink Monkey
Pink duo chrome with green undertones and multi colored shimmer
This color is totally perfect for being part of the valentine's collection as it is a very pretty shimmery pink that just demands attention. When it is wet you can see more of the Duo Chrome effect, to where you see that green shimmer more...reminding me of the scales of the lizard and how the sun or light reflect off of it.

it is a very pretty color that would be great for the lid or to highlight and brighten the eye...either being in the inner tear duct or brow highlight.

*Pink Monday- Duo Chromo Pink/Blue pigment with reflective violet to blue iridescent sparkles

Pink Pocketbook
Dusty rose pink with slight shimmer
Again another great color that embodies Valentine's day...and also another product that swatched rather easily dry. When this color was applied wet it seemed to have a darker mauve pink payout and you could really see the golden shimmer that was all throughout the product.

I think this would be a pretty crease color or again lip color..especially if you were trying to achieve a soft and girly look.

*Pink Pocketbook- Creamy mauve with pink and white sparkle

Final Thoughts:
Overall I'm looking forward to play with these products...though since most of these products are loaded with shimmer. I will have to attempt to find a good basic matte to go along with the that they don't get too overpowdered by the shimmer. Because as nice as it is to have shimmer....if you put too ends up taking away!!

Currently Spectrum Cosmetic's is running a promotion with their shadows being $1.00. Check out the website for more information.

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