Saturday, January 29, 2011

Refund Process-Followup

I received a response to my email to Glittersniffer Cosmetics. I will summarize it as I am sticking to my pledge not to repost full communications with them without express permission. It was not granted in the email and I now have no way of obtaining it, as explained below.

GlitterSniffer Cosmetics states that had it not been for the blog and the Facebook page that people would have approached them for a solution. They have also disclosed that their Paypal accounts are, indeed, closed. They state that the second Paypal account was reported unnecessarily, possibly out of spite. GS had the money to continue giving refunds, but now that the accounts are closed it will take 180 days for Paypal to return any money left in both accounts and a decision on how to proceed will be made at that time. The time frame for refunds is now 6 months due to the course of action chosen by some people.

I have been asked to cease communications with GlitterSniffer Cosmetics and am complying with that request, though I do feel that GS has been given a very open forum in regards to this situation, so their reticence to continue a free flow of communication is troubling to say the least.

This response does leave me with more questions than answers, however. Prior to the blog and FB page creation there was not a set recall policy. Some people were told to send photographic evidence of their purchases, others to make a Paypal claim, still others to send the products back. The recall list of pigments had to be asked for time and again. It's still, to this day, listed as being provided "as requested". Only after an extensive Q&A conducted on the GlitterSniffer Complaints Facebook page were many questions answered and an official recall policy posted to the GlitterSniffer Cosmetics website.

People were told to file with Paypal. They did, providing all necessary information in the process. It was only when refunds were not issued, or flat out denied, that people began making phone calls to Paypal. Paypal had every right to know when their TOS was violated and to act accordingly to ensure their consumers' protection. It's what good businesses do. And if the funds were in hand to make the refunds (whether provided by a private investor or by selling more products), why were claims still being denied? Why were only selective refunds issued? Why were some of those refunds, mine included, not issued according to the official policy?

The plain fact of the matter is that had GS Cosmetics simply followed every rule and guideline when they started business, from using  FDA approved ingredients, FDA approved  labeling, shipping the exact products that were ordered, shipping in a timely manner, respecting Paypal TOS, and meeting all commitments to their consumers in good faith NONE of this would have happened.

It is, quite simply, not the consumers fault for any action taken to recover their funds, and the onus of the situation and its attending fallout lies with GlitterSniffer Cosmetics, and GlitterSniffer Cosmetics alone. To suggest otherwise is disingenuous. Why now is the fault being laid at the feet of the people who purchased in good faith and did not get what they were sold? Where is the personal responsibility here?

These questions must remain rhetorical as I do not expect an answer to any of them anytime soon, as GS Cosmetics no longer wishes to respond to anything I have to say. It is, as always, my hope that they will turn this around. I will be watching in anticipation of a good outcome for everyone involved.

Refund Process

There has been much speculation as to how the Recall/Refund process would work going forward as GlitterSniffer Cosmetics no longer has access to their Paypal accounts.


As it stands now the official FAQ for the recall still instructs people wanting a refund to invoice through Paypal.

I have contacted GlitterSniffer Cosmetics via email and am currently awaiting their reply. I am sure they will want this information out as soon as possible and will be forthcoming with the information.

A commenter on Facebook states she was told the following by Paypal:
"...when people file a claim with a seller and paypal rules in favor of the buyer they will refund that amount to the buyer and tack the amount onto the sellers account. If the seller does not get their account in good standing meaning without a negative balance then paypal will personally take legal action against the seller. If there are people who have not filed their claim they need to do so and the same applies for those claims as well. They also stated if there are any questions not to hesitate in calling them that they are more than happy to try to help everyone."
 Here is Paypal's contact information:
1-402-935-2050(a U.S. telephone number)

4:00 AM PST to 10:00 PM Pacific Time Monday through Friday
6:00 AM PST to 8:00 PM Pacific Time Saturday and Sunday
Please note that hours of operation may vary on holidays
 I will update as soon as I hear back from GlitterSniffer Cosmetics on what course of action they plan on taking for the Recall/Refund process.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Michigan Radio

I was contacted via email today by a reporter for Michigan Radio. Michigan Radio is an NPR station serving Ann Arbor, Detroit, Flint, and Grand Rapids Michigan.

The email asked that I contact the reporter to discuss my experience with GlitterSniffer Cosmetics as she had independently run across the blog.

I called the reporter and recorded a brief interview outlining my experience, others experiences, and the facts surrounding how the recall is being handled and publicized.

She thanked me for my time and stated she would contact me if any further information was needed. There was no indication when, if ever, the report would be filed, but I will update as soon as I know more.

It is my hope that the report will be filed so that more people can make a safe, informed decision.

Consumer Product Safety Commission

I filed a report with the Consumer Product Safety Commission, a federal agency charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of serious injury or death from thousands of types of consumer products under their jurisdiction.

I filled out the form and provided my personally identifying information, specifics of my personal incident, details of the recall, and contact information for GlitterSniffer Cosmetics.

I received several confirmation emails and an assurance that GlitterSniffer Cosmetics would be contacted to issue a statement regarding the report. The report will be reviewed and posted should the CPSC find that it is of value to consumers.

Paypal

There has been much discussion as of late about Paypal and GlitterSniffer Cosmetics use of the service. Several people contacted Paypal to followup on their claims/disputes/money requests, and were told that the GS account was under investigation. I contacted Paypal as well to report that multiple accounts were being utilized and was told at that time that the matter would be looked into.

On January 23 Lela Warren, proprietor of GlitterSniffer Cosmetics, had this to say regarding Paypal:

A recording of that conversation was briefly posted to the GlitterSniffer Complaints Facebook page by Lela Warren, but was removed as it was unclear as to whether or not permission to record the conversation had been obtained.

This was posted today:


GlitterSniffer Cosmetics no longer has access to their Paypal accounts as the newest account was flagged by numerous people. It would seem that despite GlitterSniffer Cosmetics statement to the contrary on January 23 that by GS own admission today there was an investigation by Paypal that resulted in the accounts no longer being able to be utilized.

GlitterSniffer Cosmetics is now using Google Checkout as their means to continue business. It should be noted that use of Google Checkout provides very little consumer protection. Per their Terms of Service:
GPC will provide various tools to assist Customers in communicating with each other to resolve a dispute that may arise between Buyers and Sellers with respect to their transaction. If Customers are unable to resolve a dispute, we can mediate disputes between buyers and sellers if either party requests assistance. If this occurs, we will review the dispute and propose a non-binding solution, if appropriate.
Unlike Paypal the use of Google Checkout is at the buyer's own risk, and any attempts by Google to settle any disputes do not have to be honored by GlitterSniffer Cosmetics.

Artfire, Again-Followup

After this posting the Artfire listings were edited to add ingredients. It should be noted, however, that the ingredients listing for Suess Gold, which was originally (and still is) described as 100% cosmetic glitter now has the same exact ingredients listed as the Carnival Collection, and has the "may contain" statement. In addition to the fact that the listing description and the ingredients listed are diametrically opposed to one another, the fullsize pigment must meet FDA requirements for ingredients listing:
The ingredients must be listed in descending order of predominance.
 "May contain" does not appear to meet these guidelines.

Screenshot of Seuss' ingredients:

 Screenshot of Carnival Collection ingredients:

 Screenshot of the Unicorn Collection ingredients, now available at GlitterSniffer Cosmetics website:

All are exactly the same.


It was understood that GS committed going forward to write down the exact ingredients in all pigments and posting them so that consumers would be aware of what they were purchasing. One catch all listing of ingredients that might have been used does not meet that commitment.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Representative John Dingell

I emailed Rep. John D. Dingell, Congressman for the 15th District of Michigan, about the recall this evening. He sponsors a bill that is calling for reforms in the way the FDA handles many matters, including cosmetics.

I provided my personally identifying information, GlitterSniffer Cosmetics contact information, an overview of the situation, and links to both the recall and the blog.

I wanted to alert the Congressman as this is the exact type of issue his bill addresses, in addition to being an FDA unregulated recall in a portion of a district he represents, Dearborn Heights.

Consumer Reports Followup

I received an email today from Consumer Reports, a consumer reporting organization and magazine that I contacted previously about the recall. The email contained a confidentiality disclaimer so I will not reprint it in full.

In summary they thanked me for contacting them and have forwarded on my overview of the situation for review and possible inclusion in an upcoming article about cosmetic safety, with a focus on products marketed for children.

They also provided information on other places to file complaints, most of which I have already contacted: Consumer Product Safety Commission, the Better Business Bureau (1-703-276-0100, Main Office, which would direct me to my local office), and my own States Attorney General (information for contact located in the blue section of the telephone book).

It is my hope that more people will be informed about this recall through this possible national exposure and be able to make a safe, informed decision.

Gift Certificates- Michigan Attorney General Consumer Protection Office

There are a lot of questions regarding redeeming gift certificates or gift cards for GlitterSniffer Cosmetics. Here is the company's official stance:
The Michigan Attorney General has pretty stringent laws regarding gift cards/certificates, which can be reviewed here.

As many people received their gift cards/certificates without purchasing them I decided to followup to see what recourse, if any, the people in possession of them  had.

I called the Michigan Attorney General Office Consumer Protection Division at both 517-373-1140 and 877-765-8388. I called both numbers as the toll free number was busy. I spoke with Cleo, an agent in the Michigan AG Consumer Protection Division. She was unsure what the process would be for handling the free cards/certificates but set up a call back with me so she could speak with the Legal Department.

I received a  call back later this afternoon but was unable to answer. Cleo left me a message and provided the following information:

Any gift card/certificate that was purchased is governed by the Michigan Gift Card Law and must be honored. Failure to honor any purchased gift card/certificate may be in violation of the Gift Card Law.

The free gift cards/certificates are not covered under the Gift Card Law as no money changed hands. However the AG Office is willing to listen to any complaints filed and mediate on behalf of the consumer to reach a resolution. She directed me to this form should a complaint need to be filed.

It seems that GlitterSniffer Cosmetics is well within their rights regarding the free gift cards/certificates, but may see some issues if they are not honoring any purchased gift cards/certificates.

Artfire, Again


Despite the commitment that GlitterSniffer Cosmetics made in their statement in late December to only sell their products through their official website the company once again is selling on Artfire.


Additionally, despite what they state in their official FAQ about the recall on their site there are no specific  ingredients listed for either The Carnival Collection or Seuss Gold.






While Seuss Gold is listed as 100% glitter it is standard to add a base to help with adhesion. As there are no definitive ingredients listed there is no way of knowing what, exactly, is in the pigment.

It should also be noted that Artfie does provide a place to list ingredients, in a section titled "Materials Used", shown here in an unrelated listing (posted for demonstration purposes only).



This shows that the commitments to change that GlitterSniffer Cosmetics pledged to turn the company around are only selectively being met, if at all.

The Big Cartel site posted about earlier for GlitterSniffer Cosmetics is also still up and stocked with recalled pigments.

Womens Health/Cosmetic Safety

I spent last night contacting numerous women's health and cosmetic safety sites in hopes that they would help publicize the recall. I have heard back from one who is considering a story on the entire situation.

I have a couple of posts to publish tonight, then I'm moving on to contacting children's health and protection groups to inform them of the recall of the Little Girls Collection.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Detroit Urban Craft Fair

I contacted the Detroit Urban Craft Fair. GlitterSniffer Cosmetics had participated in the fair in the past few years.

I emailed them and provided a brief outline of the recall, a link to the recall information, and asked that they help publicize it so that people who may have bought recalled products could be made aware.

2/1/11 ETA: Here is the text now posted to Handmade Detroit alerting people to the recall:

It’s come to our attention that Glittersniffer Cosmetics, a past participant in the Detroit Urban Craft Fair 2008 and 2009 and Maker Faire Detroit in 2010, has issued a recall as of Dec. 24th, 2010, for some of the company’s products, due to FDA regulations. Handmade Detroit’s only affiliation with Glittersniffer Cosmetics is that of a vendor – Handmade Detroit has never received any profit from this vendor’s sales. As a courtesy to our event shoppers, we wanted to share this information with the community.
If you’ve purchased some of these products between 2006-2010, you can find a list of recalled products and information on how to request a refund here. If you need any assistance contacting Glittersniffer Cosmetics or have additional questions, please e-mail the Handmade Detroit team at media [at] handmadedetroit [dot]com.

Others Experiences- Fundraiser

I was contacted today by Christie Brooks. I am posting her story regarding the fundraiser for her father in full. The screenshots are only edited to remove personally identifying information.
I am sorry it has taken me so long to get my story to you.This has been a very emotional situation for me for many reasons but I feel it needs to be put out there for people to know the truth. Feel free to post all or parts of this email. If you want to include my email address you can do that as well. I'm sure people will have questions about this and I am happy to answer any of them I can.
On Dec.3,2010 I was told I needed to get to my parents home right away that there had been a fire. I rushed there not knowing what I was going to find. When I arrived I found my dad standing outside with the fire department. The house was still standing but had major damage. It became a sad reality when entering the house that everything in it was lost the only things that were salvageable were the clothes on my dads back. There was no insurance to cover the fire because they had canceled the home owners just 2 weeks before due to the roof being half refinished. With my dad being a disabled veteran his only income is his disability check and his wallet that had all his money burned in the fire. I brought my dad here to stay with me and my kids. So many emotions were going on sadness, fear, and hopelessness. I had no idea what to do or where we would get the money to have food let alone try to replace clothing that was lost. 


On the morning of Dec. 4th Lela contacted me via facebook IM and told me how sorry she was to hear of the fire and told me she wanted to do something to help. She said she had $100 of her own money to donate but wanted to do a fundraiser through the GS fan page to raise even more. I was overwhelmed and humbled by the offer of help since I had only made one order with her. Lela posted on her fan page about the fundraiser offering a pot of pigment and a bar of soap for $6 plus $2 to ship. She also stated even if people couldn't afford that to send what they could and she would make up the rest, this offer ran for 3 days. I could not believe the generosity of people who didn't even know me. 


On Dec. 7th my dad had a heart attack and was admitted to the ICU. During his hospital stay we were informed that his kidneys were barely functioning and because of this he could not have the surgery needed to fix the heart issues, he had to begin taking insulin shots 4 to 5 times a day. On Dec7 she posted on the fan page a gift card would be sent out the following day. I began receiving messages from several people asking if I had received the donation money and on Dec. 15th I sent Lela an email about this. She responded by asking if she could call me I gave her the number and waited for hours for her call and ended up calling and leaving a voice mail for her to call me. She did call back a little later and assured me the gift card would be sent the following day. A week later I had not received it. Another call to Lela she assured me it would be sent the following day and still nothing. On Dec.22 I again called Lela she told me that her paypal account had been frozen but that she had the money and was going that night to get the gift card to send the following day. She also stated that she and one of her workers had put together a huge basket with at least one of everything she had in stock to send I could use them as I wanted to either sell, raffle off or anything. Then again on Dec23 she called me to assure me the gift card was being sent. Through all of this time I kept receiving messages from people telling me they had not received their items from their donations and wanting to know if I had received the gift card yet. I had watched the fan page and saw the mess GS was becoming and honestly had lost hope in anyone including my family getting the things promised.

On Dec 23 I voiced in a secret group my concerns and feelings apologizing to anyone who had donated. I then received an email from Lela telling me that she would not be giving me the money she had promised but would send the money others donated because she had seen my posts and it was not cool of me. To date I still have received nothing from the fundraiser or the huge basket of items to raffle off from her. It has taken me so long to come out with this info because of how hurt I was. I have had so many emotions over this. I am mostly embarrassed and sad that someone would use my families tragedy to take money from good people and not turn that money over to be used how it was suppose to be. Instead that money has been used to pay for refunds for her recalled unsafe products. How can me voicing my feelings in a private group of friends make it ok to say she wont donate what was promised? 
We have started work on the house and it has gone well so far. The entire house has to be gutted and everything replaced from the roof to the wiring. We are unsure of how long it will take to do as we have to try to raise money to be able to buy the supplies and pay professionals to do the things we can not. My dad is doing better he has lost alot of weight and he does not need as many insulin shots. The doctors are suggesting that he may have to start doing dialysis because his kidneys are still not functioning well. 
Thank you for taking the time to read this and I am attaching the emails between Lela and I and also screen shots of the fundraiser posting.
If you have any further questions Christie may be contacted here  

PETA

I contacted PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) a few days ago. I wanted to see if they could help publicize GlitterSniffer Cosmetics recall as they had heavily marketed themselves as a 100% Vegan company and, if the email that I have been receiving is any indication, there are many people who bought based on this fact.

I went to their site and filled out the contact form. I provided my personally identifying information, a brief outline of the recall and the links to the posts on this blog detailing that GS was not a 100% Vegan company.

Today I received this response, which reads in part:
Thank you for contacting PETA and for taking the time to share this information with us; it has been passed on to the appropriate staff members here.

Please know that this company is not on PETA’s cruelty-free list nor do we promote it in any way.
 I do hope that soon there will be information about the recall disseminated by PETA so that more people can make an informed decision.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Others Experiences

I have been contacted by numerous people over the last few weeks to share their experiences with GlitterSniffer Cosmetics. I have been very busy with the Facebook page and have not had a chance to get these stories out there in as timely a manner as I had hoped. I apologize wholeheartedly, and post them now so as to educate others about what they may experience through the use of GlitterSniffer Cosmetics. I have been given permission to publish all these stories, but some wish to remain anonymous. In an effort to streamline this process all personally identifying information has been removed from all the stories.

...went to a hospital the first week it began happening. I was prescribed medication and then the next week eye drops when we tracked down the root cause. she took some of the makeup to send to have tested. I'll live. But I have medical bills now, and missed a week of work.it's been about 3 weeks since I've used it, still have lingering issues but getting better. Dr said I am lucky, but it could take months for my eye to recover fully. just glad it happened to me before i gave gs to my family members as gifts & something bad happen to them. I wrote a lengthy letter on dec 22nd to GS, never got a response. I finally resent it today (Jan 17). It detailed the problems I've had with the makeup, my multiple doctor visits, medications & missed work due to the use of GS makeup. Also stated I wanted to find out how to get a refund for the $150 in GS i bought for gifts that I could not give to family since it was obviously dangerous. This was the rather cavalier response I received. I am less than pleased with how this was handled, to say the least.
 _________________________________________________________________________


 This is a company that caused me to miss a WEEK of work due to pinkeye from their Matte Pink Collection; later in December I used Elizabeth's collection which is NOT on the recall list; three colors the green/grey and a blue to which I also had re-occurring pinkeye; thus so, I don't consider *any* of this companies products SAFE. I ordered all of these from a "deal", personally discounted to me by Lela Warren (owner, GlitterSnifferCosmetics) around Black Friday.
___________________________________________________________________________

*Here's the Glittersniffer debaucle from a year or so ago: I bought a bunch of colors from her shop, including a peachy pink color. I don't like pink, but I like matte peachy pinks on my lids. When I got my order, it wasn't there, but there was a barbie pink and a matte hot pink instead. I messaged her and said I figured there must be some mistake, but she said no, she just didn't have the one I ordered, and sent those instead.  
Now to this I replied that I wish she had simply told me, since I don't enjoy pinks and would gladly wait for her to make the requested pigment again, or just get a refund. As it stood, I now had TWO colors I didn't want instead of the one I paid for.

She outright refused to make more of the color I wanted, and said she wouldn't refund me since she sent the other two colors. This did not sit well with me. I told you what I wanted, paid for it, you sent me something else. Fix it or give me my money back, right? Well, I told her my opinion in a far more polite but no less firm manner. It went like this (verbatim c&p):

Me: 
Yeah, I would like you to send the color I selected. It may have seemed a kindness at the time, but I would have preferred to be notified that the color I wanted wasn't available. I would rather have waited than receive two pinks I am totally uninterested in. I do like the new jars, btw.

She basically said that she didn't have Skyla at the moment, and that the two pinks she sent should more than make up for it.
Whatever, I put negative feedback on the order. Not of out spite, but out of honesty, citing that the pigments were great, but the seller did not communicate well, to which she sent, no lie, just... "Huh?!" Because I had put my negative feedback up.

Her: I will not ship you a new Skyla until you fix that negative feedback. That is unfair.

Me: "Huh?!" Nothing. What a cute joke. You are being immature. I will fix the negative feedback when I receive the item. I am not going to put positive feedback on something I don't have, and apparently wasn't going to get until I complained. You need to work on your customer service. If you had simply sent me a note, like you are now, that Skyla wasn't available, this wouldn't happen. As it is, all you need to do at this point is send me what I paid *money* for. At that point the transaction is settled and you will receive better feedback, although at this rate it won't be better than neutral if you don't fix your attitude. Negative feedback means your customer service isn't 100%, you aren't perfect. That's business. Twisting my arm won't get you what you want.
If you went to a restaurant, ordered a salad and then were given pasta with no explanation, you would assume a mistake had been made. Once you told the waiter to bring your salad, what would you say if he said "I'll bring you your salad, but only if you promise never to say anything to anyone, or give me a good tip. THEN I'll bring you your salad" I hope you'd laugh in his face and call the manager, because that's a steaming load.
I'm a nice person but you are handling this very, very poorly. Please send me the eyeshadow I selected and paid you for. Thank you.

The reply I got? ...
Nothing but negative feedback on my 3 purchases, along with this remark: Buyer got free product and still had the nerve to complain. Pretty uncouth in my opinion.

To her merit, she sent me a Kiss and Make Up like a month and more later, but I had moved on and didn't care to accept. The only reason I went through the bother of even posting this was to warn people that she might not be the best seller in the customer service dept. Then I noticed that her makeup shop on etsy is straight up gone, but it does look like she has a new site up. I wish her all the best. Link

____________________________________________________________________________


   

A few years ago, I gave up all my worldly possessions and traveled the country for a while. I threw out all of my make up, gave my jewelry to Goodwill, and said fairway to things I, at the time, deemed frivolous and superficial. I spent this time contemplating the meaning of beauty and it's place in my life. Eventually, I rejoined the real world and settled down, got a job, met a man, and had a baby. But I had a hard time letting go of my personal feelings towards cosmetics. Most of them are harmful to humans and animals alike.
After my pregnancy, I really let myself go. My life was all baby all the time. I stopped getting my hair cut. I gained weight. My skin broke out with acne. And I did nothing about it. Last March I looked in the mirror and hardly recognized myself. I sunk into a deep depression. I didn't feel like myself any more. I didn't want to leave the house- the girl who once ran around the country freely couldn't leave the house.

Then I met redacted. redacted is an activist full of love and joy for the world around her. She inspired me to enjoy the artistry of make-up. She encouraged me to explore my options and enlightened me to the world of mineral make up. She taught me that I could take time for myself without harming the world arond me. One of the first companies she recommended was GlitterSniffer.

I joined the fan page at her urging and, just my luck, there was a contest. What an awesome way to introduce myself to something new- I could work on a project from my home, enter a photograph, and get some free product. If I liked it, I could buy more. Not only did I enter, but I won! My flower-pots were picked as the "Most Creative" in the storage contest. My prize was supposed to be 10 pots of free pigments. I contacted Lela right away with the colors I was interested in trying then waited by my mail box for a package that would never come.

After e-mailing her twice with no response, I figured it was my fault. It was unfair of me to collect winnings from a company that I had never purchased from.

I watched the fan page and was, initially, very impressed. The girls seemed supportive of each other and constantly complimented one another. I got the sense that this wasn't just a make-up company. This was a community.

I e-mailed her again regarding the safety of her product (specifically pinks and blacks) and their use on children. This is where the screen cap I posted on the complaints page fits in to my time line (see above). My daughter was going to a fairy party and I had a great out fit for her. I asked redacted if I could borrow some GS to dust redacted's cheeks with. I was actually a little surprised that Lela stated they were safe for a 2 year old. Since children's skin is more sensitive than adults, very few cosmetic products are considered safe for kids that young. Thank goodness I decided against using it.

Even though I've had the opportunity to ask her about this specific incident via the complaints page, I still don't feel like the issue was resolved. She dodged the question or ignored the heart of the issue issue. It's not just that she felt what she was selling was safe. She actually stated that all her colors INCLUDING pinks were "natural minerals" when, in fact, they were not. If she lied about pinks to me then, how do I know she's not lying about other colors now? How am I supposed to feel sure that there aren't other colors in my collection that aren't natural mineral pigments?

Of course, hindsight is always 20/20. In June there was a sale. At that time she had started offering priority shipping options. I made my first order that I had intended to ship it priority, but there was no priority option listed. I made my order without adding priority shipping and e-mailed her directly after the order. I asked if she could re-list priority shipping and I could purchase it separately for this order. She said that would be fine. I waited for the re-list that never came. I e-mailed her back with in 24 hours asking why it hadn't happened yet, only to be told I couldn't get priority shipping because my order had been processed. I was also told that I should have contacted her prior to making the order. If you were around the GS page this summer, you know how quickly her sales frequently went. Sometimes hundreds of items would be gone in minutes. Asking to make contact before ordering a sale item was pretty much asking customers to do the impossible. Especially when I considered how many times I had e-mailed her in the past and gotten no response.

Still, I blamed myself. My shipment arrived and I was content for the time being. Over the next few months, I spent close to $200 trying new colors. While I was enjoying my new color palette, I began to notice some issues in this "community" I was once proud to have found. Anyone who said something negative, even if it was just constructive criticism, was immediately bullied, bashed, or banned by the GlitterSniffer in-crowd. There was very obviously a clique and I was clearly not a member. If a member of the clique posted pictures, people would rave. If someone new posted pictures, they were largely ignored.

I had a few issues with my orders over the coming months. A missing pigment here, a pack of randoms missing there. These issues were usually resolved quickly and without issue- as long as I e-mailed frequently and persistently. By August, I began to suspect that what she claimed was issues with her e-mail address was actually her selective responses to customer issues.

My last straw with GS was this. On July 22 I placed an order for a random pack. I got a call from redacted asking if I could order one for her too. I made a second order within a few hours of my first. I paid for shipping for both orders and assumed that they would be packaged separately since that's what I paid for. They were not. She charged me full-price shipping on two separate orders but shipped them together for less than what I paid in shipping.

I figured it wasn't worth the hassle of e-mailing her over $2 shipping. Not, when I considered, how many times I'd have to e-mail her in order to get a response.

After watching drama on the fan page for another month, I gave up on GS all together and walked away. I figured it was pointless to say anything about my issues, as I was sure I'd just be attacked.

My hopes of finding a positive community to help me learn about MMU were dashed and I went back to my life. I continue to look for quality mineral cosmetics, but I'm terrified to try anything after my horrific experience with GS. How do I know I can trust a company? How do I know other companies aren't telling lies just to pacify their customers?

____________________________________________________________________________

This is only for chrome serum, not for pigments. After reading the reviews about chrome serum, I decided to test mine on my arm before trying it on my eyes in hopes I wouldn't have an adverse. I had to quickly remove it because it began to create a burning sensation on my skin within minutes. It's been 24 hours since I did this test, and I still have marks from it. I have thrown it out because if it was that painful on my arm, what in the world would it do to my eyes?

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In October of 2010, I received my first official Glittersniffer order - 6 random pigments. I had received No Nonsense, Profanity, Brass Knuckles, Flickr, Miniature Animal Parade, and one other pink (which I can't recall the name of) . I didn't like most of the pigments, so I traded a majority of them away, including the pink I can't seem to remember. However, I did keep Profanity. I am now aware that this pigment has been filed on the recall list.

The first time I used Profanity, I used it with 2 other GS colors. Half way through the day, I noticed that it was becoming really painful to blink, or look in any direction other than straight ahead. I took a quick trip to the restroom, to find that my right eye had become pretty red. I looked closely at my eye, noticing that something looked "off" about my cornea. I poked at my lower lid, and watched as the pressure from my lid SLID my cornea around on my eye; wrinkling, folding, and moving my cornea. My cornea had become loose! I felt like a freak of nature. In a panic, I ran back to my computer and researched everything I could find. I quickly found out that this is a form of an allergic reaction. The condition lasted about a day after use, then subsided. Thinking GS was safe, I blamed myself, thinking that I was allergic to a pollen, or something. A few weeks later, I attempted to dupe the look I had done the day of my reaction. The same thing happened, once again. My cornea became loose, wrinkled, and folded. Since then, I have not used these three GS colors, and have not had a problem. It could have been any of the three colors, but I only remember Profanity in particular.

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I ordered many times from Glittersniffer over almost a year. None of the orders I made with the company ever arrived to me correct, if they arrived at all. Four orders, totaling over $140.00 never arrived. With each issue, incorrect or missing, I contacted Lela. I explained, in each email I explained the issue, provided my information (I would often screenshot the Etsy purchase into the email) and provide line by line feedback. One of the following responses always occurred: my email was ignored for multiple weeks, I received an email asking for my paypal address (after about a week,) I received an email saying "it was shipped" (despite that my original contact explained that the shipping info hadn't updated in weeks.) Usually I would get a promise that it would be fixed, but as I said, four of my packages never arrived and none of my orders (even when a replacement was sent) were correct. 

I had used Glittersniffer products exclusively for about a year. The last purchase of items I received was the Charity collections. I purchased all three, to donate to charity. Personally I have literally several hundred pots of Glittersniffer products and only purchased this product because of its charitable association. When I used colors from the collections for the first time I immediately noticed issues. My eyes burned and became sore, my vision became blurry. This was directly related to the charity collection pigments. I took the makeup off, but continued to have issues with my eyes. The intense pain and blurred vision lasted for nine (9) days total. I was diagnosed as having corneal abrasions (scratches on the cornea) due to the texture of the pigments and their glitter. The glitter in the product was large enough to see its shape with the naked eye. I do not feel that the glitter in these colors is cosmetic safe. It has been over a month since my injury and I continue to have issues with my eyes. They are now more sensitive to irritation whenever I wear makeup, no matter the kind. I believe that I may be permanently injured from these products. I'm afraid I will have to give up wearing makeup permanently.

In the past I had encountered similar issues from Glittersniffer products (I used them exclusively for almost a year.) Many other pigments from Glittersniffer would cause blurry vision and watery eyes. Although I own them, I rarely used pinks or most of the colors listed on the recall list, so I believe that there are more unsafe pigments than the recall list contained.  I never associated my reactions to the makeup, but I can now say with certainty that all eye issues and vision problems I have encountered in the past 12 months can be directly attributed to my use of Glittersniffer eye makeup. Until the use of these products I did not have any issues with my eyes or eye sensitivity. My eyes were very healthy, they no longer are.

I wanted to share my experience in hopes that those people who are still wearing the product might learn that these pigments are not safe, and the true danger they pose. I was afraid of mentioning any issues I had on the fan page, as I saw that Lela would direct fans to bully anyone who did so on the fan page. Attempts to share my request for a refund after Lela posted that she would be giving refunds resulted in intense harassment by current fans and a full ban with my comment deleted.  I feel that since the fan page is so stringently censored to remove any negative information about the products, there needs to publicity elsewhere about personal experiences.



At the time of publication the majority of people in this post are still waiting on refunds.

Thank you to all who shared.

Others Experiences

I was contacted today by Vanessa Barfield, an independent clothing and accessories designer who had previously designed cosmetic pouches for sale via GlitterSniffer Cosmetics. I present her story here as I received it, unedited, with her permission.

My name is Vanessa Barfield and I have been following the whole Glittersniffer debacle, not as a jilted customer, but as a jilted business owner.  I own and operate Mean Look.  It's been very difficult for me to keep quiet during this whole thing, but I think I've been quiet long enough.  Lela has seen fit to ignore me the last two times she was contacted, so it's time for everyone to hear my story now.  Please feel free to post this on the blog and on the Facebook page, which I will be joining after I send this email.  

If you paid attention to my shop/Lela's shop/Facebook several months ago, you would know that Lela/Glittersniffer was selling my cosmetic bags in her shop.

It started out with her asking if I did wholesale. She had bought a bag from me and I guess she liked it. I told her sure, we could work something out. It was actually the first time someone had asked me if I did wholesale. Then she came back and said actually she wanted to do better than wholesale. She would sell my pouches on a consignment type basis. But she would only take $1 per pouch to cover fees/whatever. And she would return whatever didn't sell. I thought this was so amazing and wonderful of her.

Here is her message:

“Hey Vanessa, I actually think I may have a better idea and one that you make you more money. I really like your stuff and have a proposition for you that will further benefit you. Instead of me buying wholesale from you (and potentionally bring you less money for your hard work) how do you feel about a consignment of sorts. When I sell "kits" or collections, they generally sell out within the week. This is without packaging. With my experience, I can nearly gurantee that if I offered one of your cosmetic pouches in one of the kits, they will sell even faster. If you were wanting to sell them for 8$, I would include that in the price (minus 1$ for each sale to cover Etsy & Paypal fees). I would prefer to pay you once per week instead of with each sale. I've never offered this to another seller, it's kind of like giving them a piece of my pie with my high traffic stats, loyal customers, etc...but you have been loyal to me an I would love to help you at the same time as myself. I would say that 3-5 different types would be appropriate, my shop is known for unique, punkish, type items. If you're interested, we could discuss styles further. I am proposing this to you instead of wholesale because I'd like to see you succeed. I would include a link to your shop and everything. This doesn't make me any money and I would hope that given my seller status, you know I'm good for it. Let me know ?”

I showed her all the fabric I HAD in my possession and she chose several that she liked, so I made all the pouches I could with the fabric I had. I sent them to her, and when she listed them, 14 sold in the first 2 weeks. The sales got to be less and less until the listing expired [I guess]. 

She wanted me to pick a day of the week for her to pay me. I chose Tuesday. It was fine at first, until she started having to be reminded, and then she told me to just invoice her every Tuesday. 

I asked her if she'd want me to make any more. She told me that she wanted to do tattoo ones because the others didn't fit the image she wanted to convey with her shop. Well, whatever....I mean it was fine but she DID choose the fabric....that's the only reason that comment irked me a bit.

“I am going to send the old pouches back, I just don't think they're GS style, ya know? It is important to keep a certain image, I'm sure you understand.”

She sent me a link to a page of tattoo fabrics. I asked her which ones she liked best, or if there were any she did NOT want me to use, and she never answered me. I asked her twice, and got no response, so I had to just guess which ones... Just to note, she's one of those people who answers only part of messages, never the whole thing.

She sent me $60 to buy the fabric with. She told me she wanted 6 different prints with 10 pouches of each print. I estimated the cost of fabric [because she asked me], so she sent me the money. I asked her how it would work now because normally I would've paid for the fabric. She said it would still be the same, $7 a pouch, because she wanted to help me. I was so happy that she would do that. I couldn't believe she would...after things going so not great lately.

Part of her message:

“I will buy it for you and we can still sell it at the same price, I want to help you out :).”

It ended up costing $60 for only 4 yards of fabric since I could only FIND 4 of the ones she wanted, and they were all at least $8 plus shipping. I had a tattoo print of my own that she said would be fine. I told her I couldn't find any more, so she said 5 different prints was okay. So anyway, the fabric came and I made 50 pouches. I shipped them.

She got them, and she posted on her Facebook that she would be listing them later that day. People commented saying what they wanted and liked and so forth... The pouches never went up. I finally had to message her....two weeks went by before they were listed, and she NEVER promoted them once.

Just to be completely detailed, I shipped the pouches on June 11.  On June 30th, she said she’d try to get them up that day.

In July, she told me she was going to do a "big" craft show and she wanted to know if I'd like to send her some more pouches to sell, "maybe at a lower price" of course. :/ She actually said I should sell my smaller ones for $3 each. I thought about sending her some, but then I realized it wasn't worth my time. Not to mention she said it was "at the end of July." She didn't ever give me a date, even when I asked. But she had all the tattoo bags anyway to take with her.

I also moved in July. She told me she was going to send me back the old pouches that didn't sell. So before I moved, I told her I was moving, so if she wasn't going to send them soon, I would need to give her my new address. This was in June.

July passed by and I never heard a word from her, so again, I messaged her and asked how the show went. She said not well, and they left early.

In August or September, Lela all but closed her Etsy shop and opened her own web site. When I saw that my pouches weren't listed on the web site [I hadn't expected them to be, but of course I had no idea what she was planning on doing with them]. At this point, she had sold 6 of the 50 pouches.

I was getting rather annoyed at the whole thing, so I sent her a message with my new address and asked what was the plan with the tattoo pouches. Her full response: "I still have them and will send them back to you." This was on September 15th.

I messaged her again, and when I got no response, I noticed she'd deleted her Facebook page [*Please note: At the time, I thought she had deleted her page because I couldn’t find her on Facebook anymore.  I didn’t learn until later that she had actually just deleted and blocked ME]. Her personal page was the one we'd been messaging through. So I emailed her on October 15th. I said it's been a month, where are my pouches? She said she mailed them. I asked when, and she said "last week." Again with the lack of details. I emailed her again on the 25th and the 27th, with absolutely no response from her.

I gave her a deadline of November 8th to either have my pouches returned to me or to pay for them.  I heard nothing back, so on the 8th, I sent her a Paypal invoice, which she promptly canceled.  She told me to “stop trying to get your pouches and my money.  Not happening.”

In a moment of anger after she canceled three money requests in a row, I said she was lying about sending the pouches back.  She responded by saying that she would have sent me half the money if I hadn’t been so “inappropriate.”  I found this confusing….if she sent the pouches, why would she say she would’ve paid me half the money?  

Not long after this, I began hearing from people that Lela had been giving away my pouches in the “make-up” orders to people.

We emailed her again at the end of December stating our cases and that we would take legal action if necessary.  I figured up every little detail including how many pouches she never returned or paid for, and exactly how much money she owes me.  That sum is $448.  She responded right away saying for me to send her a Paypal request and she would pay as soon as she could.

She has been emailed two times since then, but she did not respond to either.  I just want my money back.  The pouches would have been gladly accepted, as that was the original agreement, but she's given some or all of them away, so this is where I'm left.

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