Sunday, April 17, 2011

MARSHMALLOW

New Marshmallow Sugar Lip Scrub is available! Flavored with natural marshmallow root extract, with softening mango seed butter and macadamia oil. Only $5! http://www.etsy.com/listing/72278718/marshmallow-sugar-lip-scrub-with-mango

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Ingredients Series: Mica


Mica is a common main ingredient in mineral eyeshadows. The term actually refers to a group of silicate minerals with very uniform cleavage (that's how it breaks, you guys) caused by the uniform hexagonal structure. This makes it useful for mineral cosmetics because it forms uniformly-sized granules which usually appear glittery or shimmery, like sand, but without a scratchy or gritty texture. The amount of sparkle increases with the increased size of the particles -- conversely, low-sheen or matte micas have a smaller particle size. The opacity of mica powder decreases with the increased size of the particles, so sparkly micas will tend to be sheer. The opacity can also be altered using metal oxides, particularly titanium dioxide, which is very white and opaque. Micas are also used in mineral foundations and finishing powders and veils, although the latter are often made with lighter mineral powders such as silica and talc.

Micas are composed of various metals bonded with silicates (silicon+oxygen), oxygen, hydroxides (OH, oxygen+hydrogen), and sometimes flourides. For example, one kind of mica is called aluminoceladonite, or potassium aluminum magnesium iron silicate hydroxide. There are many unique chemical structures that fall in this category, so it's much easier to just call them micas. They are defined by their tetrahedral structure and form layers or sheets which can be sheered or flaked into large flat pieces. Thin, translucent sheets of mica are known as isinglass. Because micas have stable structures, the material is not reactive and is useful in many applications such as electronics. This chemical stability also makes the ingredient non-irritating for cosmetic use. Most allergic reactions to mineral cosmetics are caused by another mineral, bismuth oxychloride, which is losing popularity as a cosmetic ingredient for that reason.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Urban Decay Quinceanera Bag

This glittery purple makeup bag is available from www.urbandecay.com for $26 and is the second limited-edition 15th anniversary product released this year, out of four total. People have already noticed that this is not comparable to the amazing value of the 15th Anniversary 24/7 liner set (16 full-size liners and sharpener for $92) and might not be worth the price. Now that I can inspect the bag more closely...

Cosette says it smells funny, kind of like plastic pool toys or water wings.

*Kitteh not included. Only for scale.
The lining is pretty except the print quality is lacking...

But it IS quite glittery. And purple. There is no denying it.
When it comes down to it, the bag is made in China, the hardware is plastic, it smells strongly of vinyl and won't hold the proper shape even though it's brand new, and the special 15th Anniversary print lining is badly pixelated. This needed to either cost less or be higher-quality, especially with the high expectations for these limited edition specials. If you're not utterly IN LOVE with the design, you should probably pass on this bag. There are going to be a lot of complaints from Urban Decay fans out there.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

50 Facebook Fans!

As promised, there is a coupon code for 20% off your order! You can use this until April 20th (two weeks from now). Make sure you like the facebook fan page if you haven't already, because there will be a giveaway prize when we get to 100 fans.

Review at Let me review that!

Here's a review from Jeannette at Let me review that! It includes more swatches of the Cosmic Collection, including swatches over black and white eyeshadow bases -- must see! It really brings out the color shift.

Jeannette, Cosette says O HAI!

Review at The Raven and the Rose

Thanks for the review at The Raven and the Rose! There are lots of lovely swatches from the Cosmic Collection for those who are interested. I see lots of reviews of indie and mineral makeup! <3

Monday, April 4, 2011

Ingredients Series: Cocoa Butter


Cocoa butter is a lovely solid vegetable fat derived from cocoa beans. It's a significant component of white and milk chocolate and has a chocolatey aroma. The low melting point of cocoa butter allows it to melt onto skin at body temperature, so it is useful for making solid balms intended to be used as spreadable emollients. Cocoa butter is useful for treating dry skin, itching, and uneven skintone and stretch marks.

The cocoa tree, theobroma cacao, is native to South and Central America, but is cultivated all over the world. A large portion of cocoa plants are grown in African countries. Cocoa butter and cocoa solids are extracted from the fatty seed which grows inside the fruit known as a cocoa pod.

Cocoa butter is a favorite ingredient of mine. I use it to make lipsticks, lip balms and butters, lip scrubs, and soaps, both for its skin-softening properties and amazing smell. I'm also planning to use it in body moisturizers and lip gloss.

Fun fact: Cocoa butter does not contain caffeine or theobromine, the chemical that adversely affects dogs when ingested (they are not fat soluble). It's ok for dogs to eat white chocolate, and the danger from eating chocolate increases with the amount of cocoa in the chocolate (as in dark chocolate), and the amount eaten relative to the size of the dog.

Small Business Love

I adore this blog post written by Kaila at TKB Trading, an excellent supply company for cosmetics and soaps. It's about not letting naysayers discourage you from starting your own business. You should check it out!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Ingredients Series

I'm thinking of writing a series of posts about individual ingredients I like to use. For those of you who are nerdy and like to read ahead, here are some things we might cover:

MINERALS
Mica -- A sheet silicate mineral that easily sheers to uniform particle, and makes up the bulk of most mineral eyeshadows.
Titanium Dioxide -- A metal oxide that whitens and adds opacity. UVA/UVB protective.
Iron Oxides -- There are many, ranging from yellow to red to black. Rust, basically.
Chromium Oxide -- A green metal oxide. Not lip safe.
Calcium Aluminum Borosilicate and Calcium Sodium Borosilicate -- Glass-like particles act as natural glitter with less gritty feel.
Zinc Oxide -- A white metal oxide, not as opaque as titanium dioxide. UVA/UVB protective.
Tin Oxide -- Blue-black or red metal oxide.
Copper -- Reddish orange metal, makes intensely metallic pigments.
Ultramarines -- Blue mineralized limestone. Not lip safe.
Silica -- The mineral that forms sand, quartz, and glass. It is light-diffusing and oil-absorbing, and much less dense than mica or most other minerals used in cosmetics.
Talc -- A soft and low-density mineral which is a large component of soapstone. It is commonly used as a bulking agent in eyeshadows, but I use it only in body powder.

PLANTS
Cocoa Butter -- Vegetable fat extracted from the cocoa bean. Smells like chocolate (the expensive kind). Possibly my favorite ingredient.
Shea Butter -- Vegetable fat extracted from African Shea nuts.
Jojoba Oil -- Liquid wax extracted from Jojoba seeds native to Southwest US/northern Mexico.
Apricot Kernel Oil -- Vegetable fat extracted from Apricot kernels.
Coffee Butter -- Vegetable fat extracted from roasted coffee beans, blended with hydrogenated vegetable oil.
Macadamia Oil -- Vegetable fat extracted from Macadamia nuts native to Australia.
Mango Seed Butter -- Vegetable fat extracted from Mango seeds.
Argan Oil -- Vegetable fat extracted from the Argan tree which grows only in Morocco. High in squalene, vitamin E, and other good stuff.
Grapeseed Oil -- Vegetable fat extracted from grape seeds of many varieties. An excellent moisturizer.
Candelilla Wax -- Wax extracted from leaves of the Candelilla shrub native to Southwest US/northern Mexico. Harder than beeswax and used in smaller quantities to solidify softer oils and waxes.
Vitamin E -- Lipid-soluble antioxidant derived from a variety of plants such as corn, soybean, wheat germ, sunflower, etc.
Olive Squalane -- A hydrogenated, stabilized version of squalene, a hydrocarbon derived from olives. Squalane/squalene can also come from shark liver. A component of human sebum.
Soy Lecithin -- A phosopholipid with surfuctant properties, derived from soybeans, used to emulsify and lubricate. Lecithin is also in egg yolks and contributes to emulsions such as mayonnaise.
Sugar -- Crystalized sucrose extracted from Sugarcane.
Fractionated Coconut Oil (Capric/Caprylic Triglyceride) -- A highly stable fraction of whole coconut oil composed of 8 and 10 Carbon triglycerides.
Maple Syrup -- Syrup condensed from the sap of Maple trees of many varieties.
Lavender essential oil -- A flower in the mint family frequently used in herbal remedies and aromatherapy for its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties and calming fragrance.
Tangerine essential oil -- I love the bright and cheery citrus fragrance of tangerine, which smells sweeter than Sweet Orange.
Peppermint essential oil -- I'm surprised to learn that peppermint is a hybrid of wintermint and spearmint, and that it aids memory!
Vanilla essential oil -- Widespread flavoring and a base note in many perfumes, vanilla adds a creamy and intoxicating aroma.

ANIMALS, ARTIFICIAL CHEMICALS
None.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Influences

Here are a few other brands I admire, that have helped shape my approach to making cosmetics. If you're a fan of these guys, I'm betting you'll like my products as well. Note: I have no affiliation with any of these brands -- I'm just a fan.

Urban Decay -- www.urbandecay.com
(143,249 people like this on facebook)

I think I can safely say that Urban Decay is hands-down my favorite "high-end" brand. The vivid and creative shades of eyeshadow and eyeliner, as well as the quality and staying power, are hard to match. I also love the edgy and glam feel of the packaging and presentation (in fact, this is what drew me in).

This brand has a bit of a cult following, with fans ranging from very enthusiastic to downright crazy obsessive. More than any other brand, I see fan comments saying, "I only wear Urban Decay." Personally, I wouldn't go THAT far. There are a few things to dislike about the brand.

One common complaint is the frequent repeat colors in the highly sought-after UD eyeshadow palettes, especially the annual Book of Shadows. Because of this marketing tactic, collectors are enticed to buy colors they already have in order to get a few new exclusive colors. Lots of people also hate the large pieces of glitter in some of the colors (Midnight Cowboy, Midnight Cowboy Rides Again, Uzi, Maui Wowie, etc.), and some of the lip products have odd tastes or smells, although this seems to have improved with the new Lip Junkie lip gloss. Overall, their most universally popular products are the 24/7 Glide-On eyeliners and the eye shadows with fine glitter or without glitter, and of course, the famed eye shadow primer potions.

TheBalm -- www.thebalm.com
(3,477 people like this on facebook)


I love TheBalm because it usually provides high-quality products for a very reasonable price. I also love its simple and retro-styled packaging, and consider it to be an underappreciated brand. I think it's best known for the Shady Lady eye shadows and the Plump Your Pucker lip glosses. Other popular products include Mary Lou-manizer (a luminizing powder) and powder blushes. My favorite product from TheBalm is the Read My Lips lipstick. If I had to complain about TheBalm, I would say that they should have more colors and more variety. Also, their website doesn't seem to list ingredients, although most are listed on Sephora.com.

LUSH fresh handmade cosmetics -- www.lush.com
(157,105 people like this on facebook)
LUSH makes amazing products. I love their prominent use of essential oils, absolutes, and infusions from fruits, flowers, and herbs. I also love their reduced use of packaging. Many products that traditionally require packaging, such as shampoo, conditioner, hand cream, massage oil, and bubble bath, are sold in solid form from LUSH and packed only in a plastic wrapper. Rather than putting the product in pretty packaging, they make the product itself pretty. They sell reusable tins and cloth giftwraps, and use their outdated newspaper-style catalogues as packing material. Every product comes with an illustrated ingredient list that links to a whole glossary of ingredients!

However, LUSH Cosmetics only makes bath & body products, skincare, and perfumes. They have a few lip tints and a few shades of foundation they call Colour Supplements, but they are not a make-up line. I would love to see the philosophy behind LUSH extended into more make-up products.

Shiro Cosmetics -- www.shirocosmetics.com
(637 people like this on facebook)

Shiro Cosmetics is an independent brand which started within the last year and skyrocketed in popularity. Although the owner is developing her own website, at the moment she still sells all her products through etsy. This is not isolated by any means -- it is quite possible to grow a business quickly mainly using internet tools. I also love the vegan ingredients, which are all carefully labeled. (Urban Decay and LUSH helpfully point out which of their products are vegan. TheBalm has a charity vegan lip balm to benefit pug rescue. But Shiro is the only one that uses only vegan ingredients.) I love Shiro's quirky and nerdy personality and nostalgic themes, and I can't wait to see new products.

Of course, I have many other influences besides these brands, but these ones stuck out to me. I'm hoping to incorporate the elements I like while developing a unique style.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Stuff in the Shop

I make and sell cosmetics and bath & body products. All of my products are vegan-friendly (no beeswax, honey, silk or pearl powder, etc.) and I'm keeping it that way. So far, all of my products are 100% natural as well. I don't use artificial dyes or preservatives -- I only use mineral pigments like iron oxides and natural antioxidant preservatives like vitamin E. I ALWAYS list ALL of the ingredients used in every product, because I think that's important! I also use only natural essential oils rather than artificial fragrances or flavors. That is my preference, so if you like natural scents and flavors too, this is a good shop for you! Lots of shops on etsy use artificial scents/flavors and many of them fail to list ingredients and these are two things you will never see in my shop. Let's look at a few things I have for sale at the moment.

Stuff available now:
  • Shimmer Powder for Body -- Custom Scent
    • Moisturizing Lipstick (King Crimson)
    • Lots of Eyeshadows! (Cosmic Collection):
    • Kitty Glycerin Soaps with Cocoa Butter:
    • Peppermint Sugar Lip Scrub:
    • Coffee Luxe Lip Butter in a pot or a tube:
    And there's much more! I add stuff all the time, unless I'm playing catch-up with existing orders. It's just so much fun!

    Stuff That's Coming Soon:
    • New eyeshadow collection: Mushroom Collection
    • Vanilla Sugar Lip Scrub
    • Tangereamsicle Sugar Lip Scrub (Tangerine and Vanilla)
    • Lavender Body Whip
    • Tangereamsicle Body Whip
    • Peppermint Kitty Glycerin Soap
    • Custom Pressed Eye Shadow Palette
    Stuff That's Coming Not Quite as Soon:
    • Lip Glosses!
    • Cream Blush
    • Even More Eye Shadow Collections
    So check it out and I hope you love everything! Please give feedback either way.

    What's With the Cat?


    I haven't written anything about Cosette yet, and when I started Cosette's Cosmetics a few months ago, I wasn't really sure why I picked that name. (For the record, Cosette does not help me make cosmetics. Actually she doesn't help me do anything else either.)

    I think it's just because she's so special. Yes, I know everyone thinks their pets are special, but she just has a winning personality that charms the pants off everyone. I've heard my friends say things like, "I would trade lives with that cat," or non-cat-lovers say, "I would take that cat home with me." This cat is destined for greatness. She should do commercials. Or be my business mascot!

    Confident and fearless, Cosette loves everyone and everyone loves Cosette. I envy that. So i keep her around to give me confidence when I need it, because starting a business is not so easy. She never lets me down. Besides, vegan products and animal lovers go hand-in-hand. If you have a very special pet, tell us about him or her in the comments!

    Awkward First Post

    Obvious first sentence about how I am starting a blog. By the way, this is a blog about Cosette's Cosmetics, my little cosmetics shop now on etsy, and the link to the shop will always be ^^up there^^. Visit me here for more info and swatches, coupons, giveaways, crazed rantings, and even more photos of Cosette the famous Cat.