Saturday, February 5, 2011

Glittersniffer Cosmetics Mascara- NOT APPROVED FOR EYE USE

I have been made aware that at least one of the mascaras sold by GlitterSniffer Cosmetics is not approved for eye use. Specifically, it is the neon pink included in this sample listing.

An email was sent to GlitterSniffer Cosmetics today regarding the neon pink sold in the listing. The response from GlitterSniffer Cosmetics was that the mascara that was purchased is cosmetically approved, but not eye approved. It is not clear if this applies to all the mascaras in the sample listing or just the pink.

There are no mascaras on the recall list. Here is what GlitterSniffer Cosmetics had to say about nonrecalled product safety:

The email sent to GlitterSniffer Cosmetics today requested ingredients for the mascara but none were provided. 

This discovery calls into question GlitterSniffer Cosmetics assertion that nonrecalled products are safe. There has been no effort on the part of the company to publicize the mascara as not approved for eye use, and the issue is only now coming to light because someone asked. People should not have to double check if what they were sold for use on the eyes is indeed meant for use on the eyes. At this point, unless there is an announcement about all ingredients specific to each product (for pigments by shade or color) and uses for every product sold by GlitterSniffer Cosmetics from 2006-Present, it might be safer to assume that none of them can be used as they were originally intended.

I contacted a cosmetics maker with 12 years formulating experience and was advised of the following in regards to mascara:
Because of the water content and preservative issue, it is a product I don't even make because of the potential for bacteria. You have to add a preservative and do testing to ensure no bacteria/molds growing...The open clamshell containers present a HUGE potential for contamination. Aside from the bacterial safety issue...the pink color looks quite similar to the reaction of the neon pink when added to a silicone gel.
Here is a test done in a clean lab. It shows a non eye approved neon pink added to a silicone gel with no preservative, which looks strikingly similar to the pink in the listing.

Without specific ingredients it is not known if there was a preservative added to inhibit bacterial growth in any of GlitterSniffer Cosmetics mascaras.

I present the information here so that anyone who purchased these products can make an informed decision about using the non eye approved pink mascara, and about the possibility of product safety issues with GS mascaras in general.

Old Stock and the Vegan Question

There has been much speculation as to what happened to all the old stock that GlitterSniffer Cosmetics committed to disposing of on December 23, 2010.

This lot was sold by GlitterSniffer Cosmetics 7 days after making that commitment. It was originally listed on December 25, 2010, TWO DAYS after GS promised it would dispose of their old stock. 

The listing contains 106 reds/pinks. All pink products were recalled by Glittersniffer Cosmetics two days previous to this listing as being possibly unsafe for eye use. There is no mention of the recall nor the possibility that any of the items may be unsafe. Here is all the information it provides:

The listing clearly states that although this is not eyeshadow per se it can be used on the eyes.

Though we know this lot was bought by someone who was well aware of the issues surrounding the use of these products this lot was listed on a publicly available website with absolutely no information in regards to the safety of the products. Anyone could have bought this listing. It was just luck that it went to someone who was fully informed. Once again, GlitterSniffer Cosmetics leaves out vital information for the purchasing public at large and fails to meet one of their many commitments.

This piece of the listing is also of interest:
Not all are vegan, most reds and pinks contain carmine.
This, despite the assertion that the only 3 pigments ever sold by GlitterSniffer Cosmetics that were not vegan/contained carmine were Ariel, Seuss Red, and Ruby Red Slippers. GlitterSniffer Cosmetics has never stated that ANY pink contained carmine. *Note that the official answer contained in the screenshot below was changed after a post to this blog that the company had overlooked Ruby Red Slippers as being nonvegan and links showing that although the official answer stated all nonvegan reds were specifically noted that way in the Etsy listings there was, in fact, no such information listed. That original post with screenshots of GS original answers can be found here.

If we go by the Ebay listing then the majority of the reds/pinks sold by GlitterSniffer Cosmetics were not vegan despite the company's many claims to the contrary. GlitterSniffer Cosmetics has refused to recall any nonvegan items as they state they have always released that information "at some point in time".

Emphasis mine.
Perhaps GlitterSniffer Cosmetics is confused by what exactly "vegan" means. By definition a vegan is:
a strict vegetarian who consumes no animal food or dairy products; also : one who abstains from using animal products (as leather) 
Then why was a "100% vegan" company selling items that contained beeswax?  After further investigation it becomes clear:
Solid perfume made with "vegan beeswax"
There is no such thing as vegan beeswax. It's an animal derived product and by definition cannot be vegan.

The solid perfumes were also sold on the official GlitterSniffer Cosmetics website, though the company continues to state that all items sold on that site were vegan. It is speculation at this point as to whether or not the solid perfume sold on the site was vegan as there are no ingredients listed.

There is also this:

This listing, purchased November 24, 2010, is for lip balm base containing beeswax. While I have found no evidence GlitterSniffer Cosmetics sold lip balms this base could have easily been used for other products. As there were no ingredients listed by the company on any of their products it is hard to know for certain.

Perhaps it was purchased for personal use, although with proprietor Lela Warren's commitment to living cruelty free, it's doubtful.

Unfortunately, these Ebay listings raise more questions than they answer. Why was the public not informed in the listing of the exact nature of the products being sold (IE: Some of the ingredients had been recalled as being unsafe)? Why are there pigments in this listing that the company states were being sold on that are not vegan despite their claims that they are a 100% vegan company and all products sold through the site were vegan? Why was it sold at all when the company committed to disposing of it?

These questions again must remain rhetorical, as GlitterSniffer Cosmetics refuses to answer any further questions posed by this blog, though the answers to those questions are well within every consumers right to know.

2/8/11 ETA:
It has been brought to my attention via the comments that there is a vegan beeswax. It is called Microcrystalline Wax and is a synthetic made with crude oil. It is vegan.

Although I researched this information over the course of a few hours I was unable to locate it when I published this post originally. I regret the error.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Promises, Promises

Posted October 23, 2010:

Posted exactly 2 months later, December 23, 2010:
Emphasis is not mine.
 Let's take this point by point.

I promise to treat you how I would like to be treated.
Currently GlitterSniffer Cosmetics is refusing to refund anyone for a period of at least 6 months. It can be surmised from this promise that GlitterSniffer Cosmetics new policy is to send out product to all of their customers but not expect payment for 6 months. After all, they want to treat everyone the way they would like to be treated. But we also know that they are currently billing their customers upfront, expecting payment before remitting product. If we go by this promise, treating people as they want to be treated, then GlitterSniffer Cosmetics will immediately refund everyone that is owed money via company check or bank issued money order sent via certified mail or start delaying billing for all current customers for 6 months. As waiting 6 months to receive payment makes absolutely no business sense, it also makes absolutely no logical sense that GS would refuse anyone a timely refund that they rightfully deserve

I will answer all emails within 24 hours.  
From GlitterSniffer Cosmetics Recall FAQ

Here is the reality of the situation:
And this is not the only complaint of emails not being answered, just the most recent.
I promise you the highest quality cosmetics money can buy.
See here (where you can also see one of Vanessa Barfields Tattoo Bags that she was never paid for), here, here, and here. This latest review, while better, still shows evidence of improper packaging and a less than hoped for texture to some of the products.

I promise quality control that all color will remain consistent.
For GlitterSniffer Cosmetics definition of slight variations see here.

I promise to grow at my own speed and keep my priorities straight.
This is where GS priorities lie.
GlitterSniffer Cosmetics is not issuing refunds, but is instead giving away free samples.

From this point forward, we will only be selling through our official GlitterSniffer Cosmetics website.
Here is GS Artfire and their (possibly unused but still active) Big Cartel.

We are discarding all of our old stock...
The old stock was not discarded, but was instead sold off in a lot (see here). And here are purported photos of the actual pigments received by the buyer, posted to the Glittersniffer Complaints Facebook.

All ingredients that could be found in our products will be listed on the GS website.
And further, agreeing to provide specific ingredients:

Here is a current listing for the Harajuku Collection on Artfire.No specific ingredients, just a vague "may contain..."
This ingredients list differs from the one posted on the official site for the full collection, but matches the ingredients for the sample sizes.
Do you know what you are putting on your eyes?
Does GlitterSniffer Cosmetics know what you are putting on your eyes?
We have applied for a business license in the state of Michigan.
No, GlitterSniffer Cosmetics. No you haven't.

Out of the nine promises and commitments made by GlitterSniffer Cosmetics since October 23 none of them have been honored.

2/9/11 ETA: Corrected a link to a blog post showing the tattoo bags and product packaging.

Gift Exchange

On November 20, 2010 GlitterSniffer Cosmetics posted to their Facebook Fan Page a question regarding  "Secret Santa" or a gift exchange for the holidays.

There was some discussion as to whether this gift exchange would be between Lela and any interested parties or between the GlitterSniffer fans themselves. Finally it was decided it would be a gift exchange with GS.

GlitterSniffer Cosmetics organized the exchange, ensuring everyone would receive a gift. Except not everyone received one.
im not sure if you knew that last year Lela was doing a secret santa type thing in which i took part in the thing is i sent my gift off to her along with emails saying when and what time they left my hands. now i sent her a total of maybe 14 emails between the 10th of december and yesterday and have had replies to maybe 4 of them.
 At the time of publication the gift still has not arrived and the emails have not had any further reply, despite almost nightly assurances on the Facebook fan page that all emails have been answered.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Recall/Refund Process- New Information

According to the email I received from Glittersniffer Cosmeticson on January 29 the Refund/Recall process is currently at a standstill as the company can no longer access their Paypal accounts and has to wait 180 days for any funds from those accounts to be released to them.

This was posted to the Glittersniffer Complaints Facebook page by an Admin who spoke with Paypal this morning regarding her refund:
I just spoke with PayPal regarding my outstanding claims against GlitterSniffer. I explained that a statement was posted that PayPal had frozen her accounts and, despite her having money to issue refunds, PayPal wouldn't let her with the frozen account. PayPal's official response: "That is not true. If a seller's account is suspended, for whatever reason, and they have money in the account to issue refunds, they can still issue refunds by calling PayPal and authorizing PayPal to issue the refunds. The seller has up to 180 days to issue these refunds on a suspended account."

This means that if Lela has money to refund, she would only have 180 days to issue the refunds, not that she can't issue refunds for 180 days. I'm not sure what happens if she waits past the 180 days.
According to PayPal, if a seller's account is frozen by PayPal, for whatever reason... if there isn't money in the PayPal account refunds can't be issued, but they can still add funds to the PayPal account & issue refunds.
Perhaps Glittersniffer Cosmetics has misunderstood what the process is. It might behoove them to contact Paypal again to ensure complete understanding, as I'm certain they want to refund everyone in a timely manner.

That does beg the question, though, as to why there is a six month turnaround time for refunds. Even if Paypal does not issue GlitterSniffer Cosmetics the funds from their accounts they are still in business and bringing in money, so there is nothing to stop them from issuing further refunds. A company check or bank issued money order delivered via certified mail would suffice.

Even after the 180 days is up and the Paypal funds are returned (providing this is indeed the case) this appears to be the route that GlitterSniffer Cosmetics would have to take to issue refunds anyway as they would be unable to use Paypal at that point either. So why is there a hold up? If the company has the funds (and they do, as they are continuing to sell products and proprietor Lela Warren has stated numerous times that she has taken on a second job to pay off the refunds) they should be remitted immediately to all affected parties. Using the Paypal issue as an excuse, once again, not to provide refunds shows the company's unwillingness to be proactive in this matter.

Issuing company checks or bank issued money orders via certified mail may be a bit more work on the company's part, but it would demonstrate their commitment to moving forward with better business practices. Their reticence to do so simply shows that not much, if anything at all, has changed.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Michigan Radio- Your Story

If you have had an adverse reaction possibly due to use of GlitterSniffer Cosmetics please contact me at Michigan Radio would like to followup with you. Your anonymity is assured by both myself and Michigan Radio. Thank you so much for your time.

Sunday, January 30, 2011


GlitterSniffer Cosmetics made a commitment to their customers that all specific ingredients used would be posted in their product listings to earn back people's trust after the recall. As outlined here specific ingredients are still not being provided. "May contain" on fullsize individual products is simply not meeting the standard that GS set for itself, nor does it appear to be meeting FDA guidelines.

Even on the products where they made a good faith attempt to provide specific ingredients the information is still not correct.

Here is the listing for the Harajuku Collection, fullsize:

Here is the listing for the Harajuku Collection, sample size:

Same product, different ingredients. How is the consumer supposed to make an informed decision when the company making the products is demonstrably unsure of what they themselves put in them?

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