Friday, August 5, 2011

You've Got Glittermail!

I posted the other day that the store credit packages from GlitterSniffer Cosmetics had been given Delivery Confirmation numbers. Those packages began arriving yesterday. In all I have almost 150 pictures of packages. It would be overwhelming to post them all so I'll post a select few here.
All of the packages that I have seen arrived well packaged with only one leak. They were bagged together according to product type: Pigment or Soap. Included in each was a sheet which listed ingredients for all products. This sheet also had a manufacturers/distributor statement, but no listing of net weight or uses. There were individual labels on some, but not all, the products. Most pigments came unlabeled individually, with no indication of the names.

It is important to note that since the products were all packaged in plastic bags together by product type that the sheet included appears to meet FDA requirements for labeling, as long as everything that needs to be on a label is present. The missing net weight information and, especially, the uses are troubling as these items are required for labels. Since GS uses ingredients such as Ferric Ferrocyanide and Chromium Oxide Green in some of their pigments it is important that it be noted these shades are not approved for lip use in the US. This was not indicated on the sheet, in the packages, nor is this information available on the site.

The store credit packages were given for those that either asked for the credit in lieu of a refund, were only eligible for store credit, or, in one case, as a gesture of good faith. Those with store credit sent their requests, with color families and preferred products, though as far as can be determined no one was able to make specific requests.

What follows are photos of the packages. They will be separated according to package and, when the information is available to me, how much the store credit was for. In all I have been sent photos of four packages and I am publishing photos from each.

Package 1,  around $50.00 in store credit. There were no issues with this package. None of the colors were named.

Package 2,  $40.00 in store credit. The package came with $.85 postage due, there is what appears to be hair embedded in one of the soaps, an unidentified 'toothpicklike' foreign object packaged in another, unidentified black spots on another. This customer had requested no soap be included in her package.

Something resembling a hair embedded in the soap

'Toothpicklike' object in the packaging

Black spots
Black spots

Postage Due
Package 3, around $30.00 in store credit. There were no names on any of the pigments, something had leaked in the bag containing the perfume items, the massage bar arrived melted, and the solid perfume had no discernible scent except wax.


A Leak

A Leak

Melted Massage Bar

Solid Perfume with No Scent

Package 4. This package arrived with $3.28 postage due, a melted massage bar with a brown lump in it, a half full glitter vial, and both a fullsize and sample of the pigment Rings of Saturn. Rings of Saturn was swatched for comparison purposes. After opening and swatching the pigment the customers eyes became irritated and puffy. Previous to this the customer had never had a reaction to any GS pigments.

Melted Massage Bar

Unidentified Brown 'Lump" in the Melted Massage Bar

Unidentified Brown 'Lump" in the Melted Massage Bar

This Collection was originally released in February

Rings of Saturn. Swatched dry on bare skin, 2 swipes each. Left swatch is the sample, right is the fullsize.

I want to thank everyone for sharing.

**8/5/11 ETA** Moved a photo from Package 1 to Package 3 as it uploaded incorrectly.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

GlitterSniffer Cosmetics and Amazon Payments- A Quick Update

As of right now it is impossible to make a purchase from the GlitterSniffer Cosmetics site using Amazon Payments. Amazon Payments is currently the only payment option listed but an error message appears when you attempt to place the order.

Perhaps GS is currently switching over to their new payment processor, or there are errors with integration. It wouldn't be the first time. We will see in the coming hours or days what comes to pass with Amazon Payments.

As an aside, confirmation emails have begun arriving in the inboxes of those that either chose or were told they only qualified for store credit by GlitterSniffer Cosmetics. Entitled "Your pretty's are on the way!" it contains a DC number and an expected ship date of 8/3/11. If the ship date is correct then people should be reciving the first products shipped out by the company in months within 1-3 days.

GlitterSniffer Cosmetics and Amazon Payments

I received two emails regarding the Amazon Payments post from July 30, 2011.

The first was from GlitterSniffer Cosmetics President Lela Warren asking for a retraction or correction of the post. She stated that the information contained in the post was false. She also asked that I remind people that should anyone email Amazon and get the GS account shut down refunds would not be able to commence. She is also very disappointed in me.

I emailed her in response and asked for supporting documentation that anything posted was incorrect and committed to correcting or retracting anything that was in error, as has always been my policy. I have received no response.

The other email I received was from a seller who uses Amazon Payments. This seller informed me that they have never had to confirm shipment prior to receiving funds.

A commenter on the Complaints Facebook page, however, had a different experience, and was required to confirm shipment.

The Amazon Payments issue appears to still be up in the air as to what expectations Amazon has in terms of using them as a payment processor. I contacted Amazon Payments with questions about their policies (without mentioning GS, but as an interested potential client), but have yet to hear back from them. Should the post need to be amended I will do so willingly and as quickly as possible, though from the looks of it Amazons terms may be a moot point, as GS is planning on moving to their third payment processor in less than a week.

It should also be noted that Lela Warren visited the Complaints Facebook page and posted a comment that left no doubt as to her intentions.

A couple of things in regard to this comment: The post about Amazon Payments, as written, serves as an examination of GS' business practices, showing that despite the commitment to taking things slow and doing them correctly the company jumped back in without having a complete understanding of what they agreed to or how to implement it. At no point was it intimated that I had contacted Amazon about shutting down the account, nor did I incite anyone to to do any such thing. This is one of the aspects of this situation that puzzles me, the thought that anyone has the power over others to compel them to do anything. If that were the case I'd have used my incredible Svengali-like mind powers to make Lela give people refunds months ago.  Brass tacks, people will do what they want to do; it's a matter of free will and I don't think that's something that Lela quite understands.

The other piece of this is the fact that Lela was able to comment at all. Lela Warren was banned from the Complaints Page for repeated violations of the posting guidelines. As a matter of fact, during the discussions about the refund process she asked for her posting rights to be restored. I declined and considered the matter settled. So how was she able to comment despite the ban on her account? Simple. She has two accounts.

I have posted previously regarding Lela Warren's Facebook account. She opened her current Lela GlitterSniffer Warren account after having her original Facebook account deactivated by Facebook for advertising. Not only did the original account violate Facebook terms for advertising, but the second account violates the terms in its very existence. Once Facebook shuts down your account you do not simply open another. The terms of use are very clear on this. Also very clear is the policy on having more than one account.
You will not create more than one personal profile.
The plain fact of the matter is this: When the owner of a company commits to doing things the right way they must follow through on that commitment at every turn, up to and including the use of a social networking site. It stands to reason that people would still have questions about intent when even the simplest of rules are not being followed.

It's a very simple process. If you don't want people to question what it is you are doing make every effort to do it correctly, or when there is an issue be upfront, honest, take ownership, and fix it. The existence of the dual Facebook accounts is just an example of the behavior that got GS where it is today. Another is the release of customer information, including names and addresses, posted to the company Facebook page for a period of 12 hours. Though the photo was removed there was absolutely no acknowledgement of the issue by the company, nor was at least one of the affected customers contacted to make them aware of the issue. Things do not simply go away or not happen because they are ignored. There is a basic truth to all of this. If you do not wish for these things to be posted about don't engage in any behaviors that would warrant the posts.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, if all I had to post about was people receiving refunds nothing would make me happier. But I made a commitment when I started this blog and it was to post things as factually as possible. Issues cannot be overlooked simply because there is a refund carrot being dangled at the end of a stick. To do so would be unethical and negate the very purpose of the blog, which was to examine these business decisions so that people could make safe, informed decisions. To expect that it would change course because Lela wants it to is ludicrous.

And so I will continue to post about all aspects of GS business. The outcome of that business does not rest on me but on the decisions and actions of the company. Accepting that and fixing the issues instead of deflecting culpability onto others is the first, and most needed, step for the company to remain viable. It's a step the company will have to take itself.

Others Experiences-Issanna Followup

I received an email today from former GlitterSniffer Cosmetics Vice President Issanna. This post is a followup to her initial story and where she stands now in terms of GS. I am posting it as I received it, unedited and in full.

I can’t begin writing this without first thanking everyone who was so supportive of my last post on here. I can’t tell you how terrifying it was to retell the story of what happened to me while I worked for Glittersniffer Cosmetics. I am a very private person and it was opening myself up in a way I am not use to doing. I received many emails from people offering their support, I also received many from people who also had negative experiences with Lela, but who were too scared to share them and come forward. I never realized how many people would take the time to read what I wrote, let alone care as much as they have. To affect to many people and help along the way of their own personal healing processes from this ordeal made me know I did the right thing in posting my story. So, again I sincerely thank each of you, even those you simply made comments on the blog, or who just read it and said nothing.

I have been asked many times what has happened since I posted on this blog. Well, I can tell you I did start my own company and it has been the most amazing experience of my life. Basically, for me, my life right now is a dream come true. As painful as everything that happened with Lela was, the fact that I can today state that I have my own company, is something I still have to pinch myself some mornings to remind myself it is all real. I do not do much else besides work these days and I wouldn’t change that for the world- my company and my clients are my number 1 priority.

However, sadly, Lela still has not had to face a single repercussion from her mistreatment of me. What I have learned about our government and their laws is that you can do almost anything to someone as long as they live in a different state from you, except for murder, and almost all but get away with it. Nothing will happen to Lela, unless she for some reason she comes to the state of California, where she will then be arrested and have a court proceeding for the crimes she has committed. The only way to force her to California is to have the FBI literally go and pick her up and for as much damage she has caused in my life and others, and as many laws she has broken, something like that would cost the government more money than they could wish to spend. at least for now. With Glittersniffer Cosmetics in the midst of trying to reopen my detective has referred to it as a “waiting game” for Lela to simply slip up once, badly enough, and it could be that extra little bit to make things move forward.
It hurts me, I won’t lie, to basically have her walk all over me and feel so defenseless. I am not the type of person who can go and do something in retaliation. At the end of the day I am not Lela, I do not conduct myself in the same ways she does and I still feel it is wrong to do things like this to another person.

What is more important to me than receiving the money I am owed, are two things. The most important would be that no one else is hurt by Lela. I support the complaints blog and their decisions as I just want there to be a continued supportive forum for those who want to seek the truthful information about her and her products. The second thing, I would love is to have my emails back. I know it will probably never happen, but so many sentimental and important things were taken from me that I can never replace. All I can do is be honest as it has left a chip in heart.

It is important to know that Lela has tried to contact me, and recently. It was all very inappropriate, but I will touch on that in a moment.

When I heard Lela was trying to reopen Glittersniffer Cosmetics I felt sick to my stomach. At some point you have to say enough is enough and know when to quit. Lela was closed for approximately 2 months… and from the looks of it did nothing except bide her time before trying to reopen.  It felt wrong when I was told she was only planning on refunding people once she had orders coming in. I was in that place of having no money, when she didn’t pay me. So to open my own company I worked about 8 months at a crappy job where I only made around minimum wage and I worked as much as I could to put funds aside every week in order to have the money I needed to open. I do not understand why Lela has chosen the route she has other than she just doesn’t care to put the effort into working hard somewhere to really fix the problems she has created.  I feel as though this whole time she could have saved money so that she could have paid everyone back up front and then buy her supplies and have money to ship her first sets of orders on time. Again, these are my opinions and they prout from my deepest dear which is having to hear she is hurting more people.

Here are some facts I can write about, that I feel are important to share.
 I did thank the complaints page as they were successful in having my image removed off of the Glittersniffer Cosmetics facebook page. I had asked for a long time for it to be removed and it was still in the profile pictures folder with a caption of me being “vice president.” It is now deleted thank goodness, however there are now pictures of other models who have asked to have their images removed because they do not want their face associated with Glittersniffer. Their requests are still being ignored. These are models who were in the Rocker Chic photo shoot I art directed and I hope that their requests are looked upon soon as neither myself nor them ever signed a model release form, therefore giving us the complete decision over whether or not our images would or would not be used and for what purposes. Lela not adhering to such requests is against the law and can receive Cease and Desist orders for.
After this informative conversation, I received an email from one of the admins on my own companies Facebook page. Lela had “liked” the Facebook page and was commenting on the wall for me to get a hold of her. I found this to be completely inappropriate and had it immediately deleted. She is the only person “banned” from my company’s facebook page.  I was told she had emailed me so I looked into my personal and my company email accounts. She is blocked on both accounts which means that if she emails me it goes right into the trash folder can so I never have to see it. Now bare with me in telling you what I found because it was literal insanity. I still can barely wrap my head around the craziness of it.
(Please note all emails between Lela and myself were forwarded in there entirety to both the detective assigned to the criminal side of my legal case and to the Glittersniffer Complaints blog to serve as documentation on the matter and to support the entry I am posting.)

In my companies email account there was 1 email from Lela dated a week before I found it. The email was short, rude and about 4 sentences long. The email asked me flat out why I was using the same pigment names as her company and that she was looking into legal action because of it.
Anyone who has read my first blog post on here, in its entirety knows how crushed I was in reading that. In fact, you would also know why I did use the same names, as I am sure Lela herself fully is aware of by now.
 As a recap, I wasn’t paid in full. I wasn’t paid thousands of dollars and in branding my own line of cosmetics I decided to use names for my makeup and ideas for the line as long as they were originally my own ideas. For example, I can list five colors I have named (though some are not yet released in my store even though they are already physically ready,)  Lower East Side, Tear Drop, Misshapes, Deliciously Haunted and Omnidimensionals. Respectively these names were chosen because I use to live in Lower East Side Manhatten on Clinton and Rivington St, my favorite band Portishead had a song entitled “Tear Drops,” I use to party at a club in New York called Misshapes and danced with Madonna there, Deliciously Haunted is from my favorite episode of Jem during season 3 and she is dressed like a witch, and Omnidimenstionals is the name my best friend of almost 10 years as her email address so it is basically a tribute to her. Everything I am using or will be using that I originally used for Glittersniffer there is a meaning behind, something that has significant value to me as an individual. I branded that whole long from a personal place, which is why it was so painful when everything went down the way it did. It was taking a part of what makes me… well me, and using it to make money without ever properly compensating me for it as we had agreed upon. The email from Lela, it is unforgivable in my eyes. Those are the first words she has tried to communicate with me in almost a year. Legally I have every right to use these names and will continue to use them for as long as I am alive and my company is operational.
It gets worse.
I did not respond to this email, but then looked at the trash folder in my personal email account. There were two emails from Lela and they were from the very same day. It was a true shed of light to her unstable life and how she conducts herself. Both emails begged me, literally begged me to call her. Still no apologies, but she called me “Izzy” and sent me pictures of the two of us together while she was in California. She said she wanted me to hear the sincerity in her voice and to call her right away and she missed me…
So what happened in 1 weeks time to make Lela go from threatening my company to begging me to call and forgive her? I can only speculate that it was because in her attempts to reopen she has been asked about her intentions with fixing things with me and realized she could not sweep it under the rug.

I wrote Lela back and was very short and direct in stating to her as I have done on here, as to why I was using some of the same makeup names and it would have been thoughtful of her to realize that and perhaps brand her own line of cosmetics without someone else doing all the work for her. I told her I would not call her, at all. I told her we have nothing to ever talk about. What she has done to everyone is very, very morally wrong, in my opinion. What she did to me, was in fact, a federal and civil crime. She and I will never speak on the phone. It can never be fixed to be like “old times” as the only times I remember was her making me feel, everyday, that I was not good enough at my job.  That is something I never wish to revisit. I told her that sending me an image of us together only reminds me of how hurt I was when she put me through all that she has.
I ended the email stating that unless she was going to email me to tell me she was sending me the money she owes me or to give me back my emails than there is just nothing to say. Though I did redirect her to speak to my detective and said how he would be happy to assist her in this situation.  After I emailed her I went back to work. I barely have time to take a break long enough to watch a movie for fun let alone check my emails for personal reasons these days.
While I was working Lela wrote me back asking to again call her. She claimed she would not “yell” at me. When I did not respond she wrote me a second time saying to forget the whole thing. She wrote that her family all of a sudden discovered she was trying to speak with me and they were upset with her so as much as she wanted things fixed she could not keep trying.
In other words I refused to speak to her and she did not want a paper trail of our conversation and since I would not play by her rules, she gave up.
I wrote her a final email telling her I do not have time for playing games and any further communication could be done through my detective of the Complaints Blog. I re-blocked her and moved on. I refuse to let this person affect another day of my life the way that she has. She completely broke me as a person,. I was not physically okay, a part of me really was broken and I couldn’t physically talk to anyone and had no money or really anything and I have worked so very hard to put myself back together and make a better life for myself.
I will add that at the end of Lela’s emails there is an automatic attachment at the end saying everything is confidential and not to be shared with anyone because she is the president of the company, etc, etc.
That would be like me stating at the end of this blog post that I am queen of cupcake land which can be found at the end of a rainbow and have a ranch of pink ponies in my backyard so I commend all who read this never to drive a car again. Lela does not have a business license, she is not a legit business. She sells too many items to be considered a “hobbyist.” Even if Lela had made Glittersniffer Cosmetics a Sole Proprietorship, she still wouldn’t be President, that is a title reserved for heads of LLC’s and Corporations. She would simply be the “owner,” that is how a lawyer or a court would view her as, at least here in California. Again, however she is not a legally run business and as such I feel no need to keep what she has said to me a secret. I will not be her doormat anymore.
That sadly is not where this update ends either.
I received a phone call from one of the admins of the Glittersniffer Complaints Facebook page, she called me to be a good friend and tell me that Lela made a comment on her personal page. It was made about my company and another girls company. Well you have all seen it as the comment was posted here on the Complaints Blog. She did name my company in this and I was dumbfounded. Just days after all the emails I just wrote about and then this? I will take this opportunity now to state that the only thing that ever happened with my company is before I was open or had a DBA or a seller’s permit- I was at home formulating and creating my cosmetic line. I found out that one of my four suppliers sent me two micas that were labeled wrong. They told me that they were vegan (literally on the phone, I always call to double check something is vegan before I purchase it for the first time,) the micas had been labeled on the website as vegan and a sticker label  on the bags of mica stated they did not have any non-vegan products in them. However, it turns out that they both had carmine in them- a crushed up bug and so I did not continue using those 2 micas. I had only created 4 loose eye shadow colors using them and so I reformulated them before launching. How she would know anything about that I do not know, but I was very lucky to find out about this before I opened so that I could fix the issue. Nothing was ever, not eye safe or unapproved. Here’s the thing, there are indie companies who were already opened and I commend each and every one of them, including the other company named by Lela, for doing a proper recall on the products. It is not a formulators fault if they are told by suppliers the wrong ingredients for a product. It is only their responsibility to be honest and tell their clients and recall the products, reformulate them if they need to switch the ingredients used in the issue of something being not safe, and just well… be honest and fix it. Stuff like that happens, it’s what we do to fix it that is important. These other companies did not purposefully use anything that was unsafe and the moment they found out, they were not embarrassed, they were compassionate. For all the bad things Lela has done, it is equally as important to acknowledge those who do things the right way.
And here we are again friends. Currently up to date and me feeling very exposed in sharing my story. I wanted to continue in sharing with you as I know many of you have felt frustrated in Lela’s attempts to reopen. All I can say is to stay strong; voice’s are louder when there are more of them. Continue to appropriately share your stories so that hopefully those who have never heard about her can make the well thought out decision over whether or not they wish to purchase items from her. And they still might in fact buy from her even with all that is out there, but at least you know you used your voice and you offered them the truth instead of them walking in blind.

Lela does not have much else going on- she has the internet and the interactions it brings her. She uses this, in my opinion, as an outlet in an unhealthy way. When people have asked me advice on how to handle their personal issues with her, I have asked them to simply remember at the end of their day they have so much more than she does and to just “unlike” her company online, delete her or whatever you need to do to cut that tie and move on knowing that you tried to help others. She thrives on the drama it creates for her, giving her more reasons to probe further and push buttons. I know of so many people who still “like” her company page, only for the purpose of seeing the train wreck ensue, but I advocate to like the Complaints page instead, giving them the support as they are very on top of sharing with us what is going on without onlookers aiding in her making any more money.

There are so many, literally soooo many amazing indie makeup companies out there. I feel lucky to have talked to most of the owners who all work so hard to offer people safe and quality products. Lela has made it very difficult to own an indie cosmetics company; she has made it hard not to cringe at glitter and to have hope in the United States legal system. I do not know if everyone will receive their refunds, I hope so, but in my heart of hearts I know that even those getting them are not receiving the full amount they should be and they will always be left with a bitter taste in their mouths.
I can tell you that I am being very active in having there be a way to let those who care know, which indie companies follow FDA guidelines. Please look for another post about that very soon.
Thank you again for taking the time to read what I have to say and I hope this post can help those of you to heal who still have not been able to.
**8/2/11 ETA**
For those using Blogger you'll note that there have been posting issues for a few weeks. For some reason the second paragraph and the end I wrote did not publish. I am adding them here now.

I can confirm I do have in my possession the email exchanges between Issanna and Lela, that Issanna's company was one being referenced by Lela in regards to using unapproved ingredients, and that the shade reformulation prior to launch due to a supplier issue did happen and was posted about at the time the issue occured, though I did not name Issanna's company specifically in the post.

I'd like to thank Issanna for taking the time to share her story and her thoughts, as well as for her continued support.

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