Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Guide To Buying Indie

Guide To Buying Indie Makeup

As you may have noticed I buy a lot of indie cosmetics, and since a couple of people have asked about where I find them and such, I thought maybe a guide to purchasing indies would be helpful. I know all the choice and the unknown aspect of buying online can be daunting and overwhelming.

  1. Do your research! Find a new indie brand on Etsy? Google the heck out of them. Make sure there aren't any big dramas surrounding the company (I've seen possible toxic ingredients and dangerous sized glitter, products that grew mold, and people never getting their orders among others) and if it's something that bothers you look out for whether they're repackaging (which is basically buying the eyeshadow micas, putting them in a nice pot and reselling them – not mixing their own shades. Whether you take issue with this is personal preference). Read the reviews and make up your own mind. Some places I shop from have had bad reviews (Geek Chic would be one) but I personally have never had any real issues, still I am aware I am buying at my own risk. Don't let this scare you, there are many amazing indie companies out there selling some truly fantastic and unique products, but it's always wise to know what you're getting into. A quick google for “company name” and drama or unsafe or other such keywords should give you a good overview. Other good places to look for info are the Makeup Monstrosity group on facebook and the indiemakeupandmore subreddit (also a good place to look for swatches) who have a massive database of indie brand experiences neatly categorised here
  2. Look at ingredients and if you have sensitive eyes patch test shadows and be ready to remove as soon as anything happens if you need to. Indie pigments are often made with minerals and sometimes can contain metals or other ingredients which can irritate sensitive eyes, the same as any commercial brand. Be aware that neon pigments are not FDA approved (ie, classed as safe for sale in the states) so it's worth being wary with them and doing extra research into brands in the US which claim to sell those, but they are legally sold here in the UK and I believe in other EU countries so they're not exactly lethal. I believe they have a higher potential to irritate, my main concern about them being sold by US indies would be that they're not supposed to, though I'm aware of a few very reputable US brands that sell neon shadows so as before just do your research and learn a little about the brand/person you're buying from.

  3. Look for swatches (Phyrra, Indie Know and Dark Side of Beauty are my go-to places, but google is your friend). Aside from the whole 'monitor resolution affecting colour' thing, some companies aren't the greatest at taking accurate swatch photos, and it's worth seeing how shadows and blushes would look on your skin tone with the base you own (for example some look very different on primer compared to a sticky base like Pixie Epoxy). They can't always guarantee a perfect result, and some newer or smaller brands might be difficult to find swatches for (for some reason I struggle finding Geek Chic swatches for example) but it's worth a shot.
  4. TAT is important! Remember these are usually single-person businesses, often run in their spare time outside of work and other commitments. Make note of the TAT, this is the 'turn around time' and is the number of working days it'll take for your order to be shipped out – not how long it'll take for it to arrive – and seven days is pretty fast for an indie company. Also please be mindful of things such as shipping time and possible customs charges, especially if you're from the UK as most indie companies are based overseas.
  5. Samples are brilliant. They allow you to try multiple shades for really cheap, can lower shipping costs and they do last a while as they're loose powders. I've not fully used up more than a handful, though I admittedly have over 100 (I have a problem). You can press them if you're not great with loose shadow, there are loads of tutorials on the internet which can guide you through this as it's not something I've ever tried.
  6. Sticky bases are worth the investment if you like sparkly shadows. Okay, this is more a personal opinion but I really believe sticky bases can be game changers. It has a steep learning curve but I do love my Pixie Epoxy for really bringing out the sparkles in my shadows and holding them in place all day. It may have cost $7, but it's lasted me over a year and it transforms my shadows. There's also Darling Girl's Glitter Glue, which I plan to try soon, and a few others. You can usually get samples and see what works best for you.

There are literally hundreds of indie companies out there now, both big established ones like Sugarpill and Fyrinnae, and the tiny startups on Etsy (and I'm dying to try out some of those when I've whittled down my collection a little/my willpower totally caves). The brands I have purchased from with no real issues are:

You can see all my indie swatches listed here (or browse through my swatches tag )

Would anyone be interested in a continuation of this series focusing on brands I have bought from and my favourite products and pros/cons of them?

1 comment:

Thank you for taking the time to read and comment, I really appreciate everything you guys have to say and I shall endeavour to reply as soon as I can! If you need a swifter reply please feel free to email ohtofeelpretty@gmail.com or contact me on twitter @katiefrank_x