Thursday, July 28, 2011

e.l.f. Swatch Fest! (new eyeliner, cream shadows, etc.)

I know that I had my issues with e.l.f., but I still wanted to show you guys what I got and what it all looked like! I have to admit that the stuff I got is lovely. I don't really NOT like anything, except for one of the matte lip pencils and that's just because it's too dark for me (and now it's Priscilla's, haha).

Obviously, I can't really endorse buying from this company. If you have their products at your local Target, I would suggest purchasing them that way instead of online... but you won't get the sales that the website throws, unfortunately. Either way, you have to make your own decision about whether you'll buy from them. For the purposes of this post, let's just enjoy the pretties, shall we?

Pretty sure all of this cost me around $14 for the 70% off sale.

First up, eyeliners. I got 3 Cream Eyeshadows in Bronzed, Pewter, and Teal Party, 3 Shimmer Eyeliners in Precious Pink, Grassy Green and Teal Twinkle, and a Cream Eyeliner in Teal Tease.

Precious Pink, Grassy Green, and Teal Twinkle Shimmer Eyeliners. How pretty are these?! I can't believe how soft they are for $1! They felt a bit like a Mac Pearlglide, to be honest, and if they came out with a purple... I'd be all over it.

Cream Eyeliner in Teal Tease, Cream Eyeshadows in Pewter, Bronzed and Teal Party. These are so nice as well! I wasn't expecting the Cream Eyeliner to be quite so pigmented. I'm wearing it today and so far it's wearing really well. Pewter is gorgeous -- nearly taupe but would be great for a smokey eye.

These are the cream shadows blended out to give you a better idea of what the color will look like when applied to the eye!

Eyeshadow Quads in Butternut, Ethereal and Luxe. Butternut and Ethereal are Robyn's fault =P.




I was seriously surprised at the red in Luxe. It looks pink in the pan and on the website... but no, it's totally a beautiful metallic red. LOVE. All 3 of the little palettes were pretty decently pigmented. All of those swatches are on bare skin, by the way!

Lipsticks in Posh, Gypsy, Sociable and Captivating, and Mineral Lipstick in Beautiful Berry.

Beautiful Berry, Captivating, Sociable, Gypsy and Posh. Beautiful Berry is darker than I thought but I really like it for a fall plummy lipstick... they are surprisingly hard to come by. BUT, my lipstick was broken! I always twist my lipsticks up to make sure that they work properly, and this one snapped right off when I did (and nearly stained my carpet!). I'm gonna melt the bottom and hopefully be able to reshape it to the tube :(. Anyway, Sociable is less orange than in the picture but you know how my camera eats oranges... Sociable is frakking gorgeous (metallic pink) and so is Gypsy. Gypsy is almost like a lip stain, sort of that just-eaten-a-popsicle look. Posh is also really nice, sort of a dark vintagey red. I'm doing a Veronica Lake look this weekend and this will be spot on!

Matte Lip Color in Tea Rose and Coral, Lip Stain in Red Carpet, Luscious Lipstick in Ruby Slippers, Pout Perfecter, and Glitter Gloss in Jeweled Jam

Tea Rose, Coral, Red Carpet, Ruby Slippers, Pout Perfecter and Jeweled Jam. Tea Rose is the one that I think is a little dark for me, so I swatched it and put it into the little pile I am accumulating for my dear friend Priscilla! Coral is really nice, not sure if it will suit me but it reminds me of a lip pencil that Robyn got from Inglot a little. The lip stain is amazeballs red (and stains, for sure). Ruby Slippers is a bit of a let down as it looks so dark in the tube, but it will still be good over red lipsticks. The Pout Perfecter is glittery goodness, and so is Jeweled Jam! 

Regular prices are as follows:
Mineral Lipstick: $5 (ouch)
Cream eyeshadow: $3
Brightening Eye Quad: $1
Lipstick: $1
Matte Lip Color: $3
Glitter Gloss: $3
Pout Perfecter: $3
Shimmer Pencil: $1
Lip Stain: $3
Luscious Liquid Lipstick: $1
Cream Eyeliner: $3

So, as you can tell, I pretty much love everything. I know I probably will never order from them ever again, but I will enjoy what I did get and be sure to do plenty of FOTDs for you. Speaking of which, any requests?

Requested: 'Healthy' Cheeseburger Mac Recipe

Can you picture it? That moment when you're on a diet and you offer to make something for someone, and they want the fattiest, most unhealthy thing from your recipe box?

*cue slasher noises*

Pretty scary, eh? That's what I was faced with last night! One of the recipes I'm known for is my cheeseburger macaroni. Since changing my eating habits, I haven't been eating that type of food at all and I had never stopped to consider if I could make it healthier than how I used to make it. After posting about this on Facebook, I got a lot of people who were interested in the recipe, so here we go!

First off, let's start with the hamburger aspect. I used to use 85% lean hamburger meat in this recipe. Let's compare some nutritional facts:

85% Lean Ground Hamburger (Raw)(100g)
Calories: 215
Protein: 18.5g
Fat: 15g
Carbs: 0g

I changed to Lean Ground Turkey to make a huge difference:
Lean Ground Turkey (Jennie-O brand)(112g)
Calories: 120
Protein: 26g
Fat: 1.5g
Carbs: 0g

So, you're getting less calories for a bigger serving size, more protein, and much less fat. Pretty amazing, huh? The ground turkey doesn't have quite the same taste but if you season it, you'll get a good flavor from it!

Let's move onto the recipe, and then I will breakdown the calories for you and why I choose what I did!

Wendy's Nearly Healthy Cheeseburger Mac
Serves 4-6

15-16oz of Whole Wheat Pasta
Just over 1/2lb of extra lean ground turkey (around 290g)
2 tablespoons of light margarine
2 tablespoons of flour
2 cups of skim milk (wouldn't recommend nonfat)
2 cups of Cabot Reduced Fat Cheddar, shredded
3/4 cup of grated Parmesan-Romano blend
2 tablespoons of Worcheshire sauce
4 tablespoons of yellow mustard
1/4 cup of ketchup (make sure there's no corn syrup, that pushes up calories)
Garlic powder, to taste
Onion powder, to taste
Italian seasoning, to taste
Black pepper, to taste
Salt, to taste
Chili powder, if desired
*Edit: This was suggested by my godsister: Use Montreal Steak seasoning to season the ground turkey while cooking it!*

Begin a rue over medium heat in a saute pan of the flour and butter (equal parts flour and butter) until you have a creamy paste. Add the milk and bring to a low boil. Slowly stir in the parmesan and shredded cheddar, and keep stirring until visibly melted. Reduce heat to below medium. Keep stirring every minute or so to keep the sauce moving. Do not allow the sauce to boil. After 5-10 minutes, add the worcheshire, half of the mustard, garlic powder, black pepper, salt and italian seasoning. Continue to simmer for an additional 5 minutes. If the sauce is to your taste, add the rest of the mustard, ketchup and onion powder. Once the sauce is smooth and evenly melted, reduce heat to low and let sit. The sauce should be a light burnt orange color.

Begin your pot for the pasta and cook according to package instructions. In the mean time, lightly spray a pan with cooking spray and cook the ground turkey on just under medium heat. Keep the meat moving; it's very lean so it will burn if it sits too long. Season with salt and pepper and a little chili powder, if desired. Once the meat is fully cooked, reduce the heat.

Drain the pasta, put into a serving bowl and slowly pour the cheese mixture over top. Mix. Then add the cooked ground turkey and stir again. Serve, and enjoy!

Here is what I did to make the meal healthier:
- Whole wheat pasta for lower calories and more healthy carbs, and the increase in fiber and nutrients
- Skim milk for lower fat and calories
- Ground turkey for lower fat, more protein, and less calories
- Reduced fat cheddar for lower fat and less calories
- Light margarine for less fat

Let's do a breakdown of calories now! This is for the entire meal.
Whole wheat pasta: 1470
Ground turkey: 312.5
Margarine: 90
Flour: 56
Skim milk: 180
Cheddar: 300 (estimated)
Parmesan: 240
Worcheshire: 10
Mustard: 0
Ketchup: 80
TOTAL: 2,738.50

That sounds like a lot right? Except there's approximately 6 servings in the lot... so what are your total calories per serving (approximately 3oz servings)?
Calories: 456
Fat: Roughly 9g (!!!!! in macaroni and cheese?!)
Protein: Roughly 20g

I think that's pretty awesome considering how unhealthy my old version was! If you're interested in comparing, keep reading:

These are estimates, but I want to see how many calories I saved.
2 boxes of Kraft Deluxe Macaroni and Cheese: 2560
1 lb. of ground hamburger: 860
Parmesan (added): 240
Ketchup: 180

I'm just gonna stop there because that's already a total of 3,840 calories, without the milk you have to add! Per serving that would be 640 calories. By doing this, I have reduced the serving size by 184 calories, and a lot of fat! Bear in mind that my old recipe made more, but I would eat more of it so my serving size was probably more like 800-900 calories, and a ton of fat... we're not going to even talk about the sodium content in the prepared mac and cheese dinners!

Anyway, I really hope you enjoy this and try out the recipe yourself! Take your time with the cheese sauce and let it develop it's flavors. Add more seasoning if you need to, there's no calories in pepper!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Morgana Cryptoria Lip Balms Review + Swatches

I know ya'll are excited about these, at least I hope you are, because I nearly burst at the seams when the package arrived. Without further ado and chatting from me, onto the review!

I paid for my PayPal invoice on July 18, 2011. My items shipped on July 23, 2011, and arrived on July 25, 2011. Can you say fantastic? Definitely impressed by the turn around time! I did this a little differently and told Melissa on Twitter that I wanted Heliotrope, but couldn't decide on a 2nd balm color and gave her a list of a few I liked. I ended up with Heliotrope and Diabolical Drusilla.

They arrived in little lip balm tubes and both twisted up and down with no difficulties. There is a silver sticker on each with the company name, color name and an ingredients list, which is much appreciated.
The ingredients for Heliotrope are: Ricinus Communis Castor Seed Oil, Persea Gratissima Oil, Elaeis Guineensis Butter, Cucurbita Pepo Seed Oil, Astrocaryum Tucuma Seed Butter, Caprylic/Capric/Stearic Glycerides, Theobroma Grandiflorum Seed Butter, Shorea Robusta Seed Butter, Elaeis Guineensis Oil, Hydrogenated Soy Bean Oil, Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil, Cocos Nucifera Oil, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Glycine Soja Oil, Limnanthes Alba Seed Oil, Cerifera Wax, Glycine Soja Wax, Euphorbia Cerifera Wax, Copernicia Olea Europaea Fruit Oil, Orbignya Oleifera Seed Oil, Hydrogenated Jojoba Oil, Tocopherol, Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxide, Manganese Violet

The ingredients for Diabolical Drusilla are: Ricinus Communis Castor Seed Oil, Persea Gratissima Oil, Elaeis Guineensis Butter, Cucurbita Pepo Seed Oil, Astrocaryum Tucuma Seed Butter, Caprylic/Capric/Stearic Glycerides, Theobroma Grandiflorum Seed Butter, Shorea Robusta Seed Butter, Elaeis Guineensis Oil, Hydrogenated Soy Bean Oil, Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil, Cocos Nucifera Oil, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Glycine Soja Oil, Limnanthes Alba Seed Oil, Cerifera Wax, Glycine Soja Wax, Euphorbia Cerifera Wax, Copernicia Olea Europaea Fruit Oil, Orbignya Oleifera Seed Oil, Hydrogenated Jojoba Oil, Tocopherol, Calcium Sodium Borosilicate, Tin Oxide, Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxide,
Red 7 Lake

The current price of the balms are $7, with a few of the 'sheer' colors being $5. I paid $5 per balm as Melissa was having a sale, and my total with shipping and delivery confirmation was $14.00. You get 4g of product for $7.


Top is natural light, bottom is flash. Heliotrope on the left and Diabolical Drusilla on the right.

Heliotrope is described on the Morgana website as a 'violet with pink tint'. I would say that this description and the swatch photo on the website are accurate. This color is a lighter version of Mac Up the Amp, and is very flattering on my cool skin tone. In some ways, it's what I wanted Mac Go For It to be, instead of it being so bluey and patchy!

Diabolical Drusilla is described as a 'hot pink with a violet sheen and hints of turquoise twinkles'. I would again say that this and the swatch photo on her site are accurate. The turquoise twinkles are hard to pick up, but they are there. This color is simply gorgeous. I don't own anything like it. You'd think it would be like Mac Violetta or the other semi common magenta-with-fuchsia-flash lipsticks, but it's not. It's more like a metallic raspberry!

Applying the balm feels a lot like applying a lipstick. I like that it feels moisturizing but doesn't have the usual waxiness and slip of a lip balm. This allows for better color payoff. They didn't feel drying at all, even with a high shimmer shade like Diabolical Drusilla, and applied smoothly and evenly. As it is in the shape of a lip balm, I found it to be a little difficult to get a completely perfect line around the edges of my mouth. I was able to get a pretty accurate application, and I would imagine a lip brush would be necessary if you wanted it to be just so. I found that using the edge of the balm for the cupid's bow and outer edges of the lips was the best method.

Heliotrope in natural light.

Diabolical Druscilla in natural light in the top photo, flash in the middle photo and natural light in the full face shot.
You can see my rough edges with the application of Drusilla. It wasn't such a big deal on Heliotrope but as Drusilla is SO pigmented, it's much more noticeable. I don't mind needing a lip brush because the colors are simply amazing.

As for wear time, I applied Drusilla to bare lips around 6PM and ate dinner around 7:30. I had a drink through a straw. When I was done eating, the color was still nicely intact; I had some fading and some of the shimmer and glossiness had left the lips... but for a balm, it looked fantastic. My lips never felt dried out and I kept the product on until around 11PM, when I removed it with a makeup wipe. I had some slight pink staining, but that's to be expected with such a pigmented pink lip product.
Overall, I think Melissa did a fantastic job on these balms! My lips didn't feel uncomfortable while wearing them and I didn't have the urge to apply another more waxy lip balm. I think these would be a great product for someone with dry lips.

So, what are you waiting for? Run, don't walk, and order some of these! I'm currently lusting after Amaranth, Galaxy, Solar Flare, Luminous Lava, Countess Bathory and Vampire's Vineyard. How about you?

Let's give a round of applause for e.l.f.! (Conclusion of issues!)

After my last post when things still had not been resolved, I received an email from Barbara Margolis, the Customer Relations Manager for e.l.f. US. Barbara was much more courteous than other representatives I spoke to from the company. You can read her email here:

Text of the email:
"Hi Wendy,
I am the customer relations manager at e.l.f. and was forwarded your email by my team. I am very sorry for the confusion and would like to clear up this issue. This appears to have been simple human error at our warehouse regarding not properly crediting you for which items were not shipped with your order, not a matter for federal agencies. We were overwhelmed with orders during our recent sale and receive thousands of emails every day. We do strive to give the highest level of customer service to each customer, however we do sign each email "the e.l.f. team." We are sorry that this was offensive to you - we certainly do not mean it to be!
Our company policy for the 70% off sale was to refund for any item that was not in stock at the time of shipment. My team has evidently already issued a refund on your credit card for the products. When I return to my office on Monday, I am going to personally see if we have those products in our showroom and see if I have them to send you, free of charge, since you your order was mismanaged.
Please feel free to contact me personally at any time.
Barbara Margolis
Customer Relations Manager
e.l.f. Cosmetics

Wow, we have a human being here!  I responded with the following:

"Thank you for your response, Barbara. You seem a lot more eloquent than the person who last responded :)
Can I ask when the refund was issued? My bank doesn't have anything and have even checked with Visa to see if anything is pending, and they have nothing. They did tell me it can sometimes take up to 2 weeks to show properly, though. I will keep an eye on it and let you know if nothing develops next week.
Sorry if I seemed abrasive in my second email, I felt as thought my concerns had not been addressed and when there's an issue of charging someone for items that were not provided, it becomes a potential fraud situation. I run a beauty blog and I intended to do a large giveaway with most of the items, and I felt uncomfortable hosting a giveaway if I felt that your company was not being savvy in its practices.
I initially understood that items were supposed to be refunded at the time of shipment (that is a common practice, nothing unusual) but when I checked my bank account and did some math, I realized something was wrong. I wasn't necessarily content with just getting a refund, as my original email stated; I wanted the items (specifically the Radiance Enhancers) as I had offered to send them to some friends that were unable to make a purchase during the sale. As you can understand, I felt like I was letting them down if I just accepted the refund, especially when the items appeared to be in stock.
Again, thank you for your email and I will keep you abreast of the situation. I will also post your response on my blog and be sure to let everyone know that you've made the move to solve the issues at hand. I would like to inform you that I received a number of responses on my original post with people that had issues with your company not issuing refunds and with never receiving products that they paid for. I'm not sure if they attempted to contact you, however, but I thought I would make you aware of some other issues that may be lurking here as well.
Wendy Dunlap"

Her response again:
"I totally understand, Wendy, it can be frustrating dealing with a canned response from customer service.
I am not at the office today, but I think the refund was issued yesterday or today so it may not have posted yet.
If you would ask anyone on your blog to contact me directly, I would really appreciate it, I will see that they are taken care of. If we have the item(s) in stock, I can ship them (some are out of stock). Unfortunately our inventory system and warehouse just could not keep up with the insane amount of orders we got on our 70% off sale. It was not our intention to short-ship or not credit properly, just warehouse errors, and my  elves are doing the best they can to keep up with customer issues while fighting the heat wave in NYC at the same time. We are also in the process of moving to a larger warehouse so this is exacerbating the problems.  :(
Thank you for your understanding!!! Have a great weekend. I will definitely check for those enhancers on Monday and send them to you from our showroom, if I have them.
Barbara Margolis
Customer Relations Manager
e.l.f. Cosmetics

Wow, a manager working on her day off? Interesting. Just to save having to put more images up, she contacted me this past Monday and said that the Radiance Enhancers were on their way to me. I will let you guys know when they arrive. As of today's date, I still do not have a refund for the items, but considering Visa told me that it can take up to 14 business days for the refund to show in my account, I am not surprised.

As an overview, Barbara acknowledged that there were issues in the company's order processing and customer service system. I will probably write her an in-depth email on some things that I feel need to be corrected; but for now, I feel satisfied with their response. However, I shouldn't have had to go through all of that to get my items. She made herself available to me, but not every customer is afforded that luxury. No customer should fall through the cracks.

That being said, I will probably never order from e.l.f. again. The items I ordered are lovely and swatches will be up soon, and I will still host a giveaway with the items I purchased for that, but I don't feel comfortable giving my money to a company with poor service. I know that my issue got corrected but there are a lot of people who did not have the same outcome.

If you are reading this, and had problems with your order at any time, Barbara instructed me to have you contact her directly at Be sure to include your order number. If you are international, I'm sure she can refer you to someone from the appropriate branch for your country. I urge you to get these issues solved while the company is willing to help you!

I am glad that my issues were resolved and that the products I received have been good thus far. I hope you enjoy the swatches when they go up, but I would caution anyone before ordering from this company!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

FOTD: Goin' Blonde

No no no, don't get excited, I'm not bleaching my hair blonde. I did use 2 eyeshadows that were named just so, and I was able to combine them and get such a clever name for you. Not really.

My camera photographed this so well, especially in comparison to my last FOTD (curses!). I attempted to do a slightly different shape with this look. I was inspired by how Lorraine/Martian Delights does her eye shape, and I really wanted to not do winged liner. It was SO hard to not thicken up the liner and make it all Wendyfied, but I did it! Hope you enjoy this. (BTW: didn't mean to use all Mac products, it just happened! There's tons of cheaper dupes out there though.)

- Cover Girl Tinted Moisturizer in Fair to Light
- Mac MSF Natural in Light Medium
- Maybelline Superstay Concealer in Cream
- Mac blush in Prim and Proper

- Too Faced Shadow Insurance
- Ulta eyeliner in Halo (off white, as an eyeshadow base)
- Mac eyeshadow in Goin' Bananas
- Mac eyeshadow in Sun Blonde
- Mac eyeshadow in Lucky Green
- Mac eyeshadow in Sassy Grass
- Mac eyeshadow in Surf USA
- Revlon eyeshadow in Vintage Lace
- Ben Nye eyeshadow in Ice
- Mac Pearlglide eyeliner in Undercurrent
- Maybelline One by One Mascara (black)

- Revlon Colorburst lipstick in Lilac
- Revlon Super Lustrous lipgloss in Lilac Pastelle

Sunday, July 24, 2011

FOTD: Camera, You SUCK

Yeah, as the title states, I couldn't get pictures of this at all! In the photos, the Inglot shade looks like a rusty brown when in actuality, it's a peachy pink duochrome. Suck camera sucks.

Oh well, I still post my 'fails' for you guys anyway! It wasn't so much a fail in person, I actually thought it was quite pretty. The farther away, full face shots are more color accurate. I also wasn't a fan of the lip stain I used, it got returned :(. I'm sorry, NYC, but that isn't coral!

- Revlon Photo Ready in 01 Ivory
- Mac MSF Natural in Light Medium
- Maybelline Superstay Concealer in Cream
- Mac MSF in Semi Precious Crystal Pink

- Too Faced Shadow Insurance
- Fyrinnae Pixie Epoxy
-Fyrinnae Electro-Koi (all over lid)
- Inglot eyeshadow in 15AS (crease)
- 88 Palette dark plummy brown eyeshadow (outer V)
- Inglot eyeshadow in 395P (inner tear duct)
- Revlon eyeshadow in Vintage Lace (brow)
- Essence eyeliner in Touch of Glam (upper lashline, purple)
- MUA eyeliner in Bright Orange (lower waterline)
- Maybelline The Colossal mascara (waterproof)

- NYC Lip Stain in Coral Reef

Thursday, July 21, 2011

VERY Quick e.l.f. Update

Just thought I'd post this in all of it's glory for you guys to see. Brittany is my godsister, by the way.

More lies from the company.

It was refunded, eh? Really? That's funny. I never got any money back. And also, the girl who first commented... they'll send it to me? Really? That's funny too.

I sent the following email to customer service about an hour ago:

It reads:
"Dear whoever sent me this email that doesn't have the courtesy to sign off on it,

You have NOT refunded my credit card. You CHARGED my credit card for items that were not sent to me. That is fraud and illegal under not just Visa's laws, but also the FTC Trade Laws. I was charged $45.65, and the only items I was not charged for were the nail polishes.

Another correction to your email: They ARE NOT out of stock. Customers are able to order the Radiance Enhancers right now on the website. If that is incorrect, you need to adjust your system to reflect that as allowing someone to pay for something you don't have in stock is also fraudulent.

I would like my 2 Sunrise Radiance Enhancers and my Spotlight Radiance Enhancers shipped by your company to me by the end of business on Friday, July 22, 2011.

I would also like a refund on the 2 Gunmetal Shimmer Eyeliners that I ordered that you do not have in stock. That means another refund of $0.60 is due to my account.

If this problem is not solved to my satisfaction, I WILL be filing a report with Visa fraud protection, the FTC and the Better Business Bureau. What you have done is illegal. You cannot legally charge someone for items that you never had any intention on sending. They were out of stock when you charged my card, and therefore I should have never been charged. Now that I have been, I want what I paid for

Wendy Dunlap
Also, please see the blog post I have done about your company and it's questionable business practices. I will take this to the news if I have to."

Oh man... this is getting interesting.

You know what? Just e.l.f. off (negative e.l.f. experience)

During e.l.f.'s 70% off sale, I placed a rather large order including items for myself, a giveaway and 2 other lady bloggers that I'm friends with. I had quite a hard time accessing the site for the initial 90 minute sale, but then e.l.f. so kindly extended the sale as so many people were having problems. I was able to use the website easily after that point, sans a few shopping cart glitches from items that were added when the server was failing. No big deal. I placed the order on July 7, 2011.

I placed an order for 62 items with an order total of $39.60, plus $6.95 for shipping, which brought the order to $46.55. I received an order confirmation right away with all 62 items on the invoice.

I received a shipping confirmation on July 15, 2011. Now, that is a relatively long order processing time but I knew there was a sale so I didn't worry myself with it.

I received my package on July 19, 2011. I received no other correspondence from e.l.f. other than the order confirmation and the shipping confirmation, nor did I receive any phone calls from the company.

The box arrived in a rather large white box and my order was inside of two large shopping bags... with no bubble wrap. Yes, I ordered 62 items of various shapes, sizes and densities and they couldn't put any bubble wrap inside of my box. LUCKILY, nothing broke, but as I saw from their Facebook page... others weren't so lucky.

Anyway, I opened my box and my mom and I began to sort through the pile to make sure everything was there. I actually received 55 items and not 62. Panicked, I looked at the shipping invoice inside of my box and sure enough, it said 62 items at the bottom of the invoice. No order total, no sign off for who packaged it, nothing else... just a list of the items. I noticed that the items missing had circled SKU numbers. In tiny font (we're talking size 4 at max) at the bottom of the invoice states "If an item is circled, it may indicate that it is out of stock at this time. Please call customer service for more information."

Okay... what about the nail polish that is on the invoice but not circled? What is going on? I looked over the invoice for a customer service number. None. 


I got onto my mom's laptop and checked my bank account, here is the entry for e.l.f.:

If you can read that, it says $45.95, which is a $0.60 price difference from my original order. I was totally confused by this point and began ranting to my husband about it. He said to calm down and call them in the morning... but the issue stood that I had items missing, my order total was off, and I possibly was not sent out of stock items that were certainly in stock when I ordered them.

At this point, I felt e.l.f. was in violation of FTC Trade Laws as they never notified me of a change in my order. E.l.f. had a duty to send me my full and desired order, not part of it. What if I didn't want the order once they were unable to produce the "out of stock" items?

I got home, brooded, and got some advice from other people on Twitter. I resolved to call them the following day.

I waited until their customer service opened at 9AM, and around 9:15AM, placed a phone call to their customer service line. I got a fax tone. This continued to happen until around 10AM, where I began getting "your call cannot be completed as dialed" over and over. Now, you're telling me that a company this popular doesn't have a hold line? Come on. 

I sent them an email through the website. I received a response within an hour. I am putting that email here (my original email is on the bottom, their response on top)

You can blow that up, or read my transcription here:
"Name: Wendy Order#: 2949933-S-S I received my order yesterday and have some items that are circled on my invoice and also an item that is not circled but not with my order. The item not in my order is 1570 Metal Madness, and I ordered 2. I would like to be shipped these items immediately. 
As for the items circled on your invoice, it is my understanding that this means the item was out of stock when you packaged my order. I never received any notification prior to shipping, or even in my shipping invoice, that there were items that were unavailable from my order. I should have been given the option to cancel my entire order but instead you decided to ship it without items without my consent. I also take issue with the fact that I never received an updated invoice so I have no idea what I was charged for and what was not included in the charge to my account. This is very unprofessional behavior. 
The FTC guidelines state that a customer has the right to receive their full and entire intended order, and if the company is unable to fulfill that entire order, the customer is to be given notice and an option to cancel. You violated one of the steps in our business transaction -- notification of option to cancel. I would like to speak with a supervisor about this issue immediately as I am unable to reorder the items at the offered sale price, and also I would have to pay shipping once again. The items that went out of stock were gifts for someone. Simply offering the option to reorder at full price and with shipping is unacceptable."

The response I received:
"Thanks for your interest in e.l.f. cosmetics .We aplogize for any inconveninece,however the missing products from your order are currently out of stock. We have refunded your credit card since our systems are not set up to keep items on backorder."

First off, thanks for the signature or some kind of acknowledgement of speaking to me, such as, "Hello Wendy". Wow. I feel really special.

Second, thanks for completely not acknowledging my concerns. Apparently e.l.f. feels they are above the law and don't need to comply with the FTC, nor respond to direct statements that say they are in violation. They also don't feel the need to satisfy a customer. Cool.

Third, learn to spell.

I called their customer service line a few minutes later and after not being able to get through by hitting the button for customer service, I got through by hitting '0' for reception. (Pro tip: always hit 0 if you can't get through the automated system any other way, almost always works) The woman who picked up claimed she was customer service... funny, I thought I was calling "reception". Sounds to me like they're trying to make it seem like customer service is unavailable through the options menu on the phone.

While on the phone, I got a tweet from Emily (inmywindow) asking if they charged me for the out of stock items. At the same time, the woman was asking me what items were missing from the order. So, you don't know what items you sent? Seriously? You can't look at my invoice and know what you didn't give me? YOU, ma'am, need a new system because your current one is a joke. I stated that I was missing the following: 2 Radiance Enhancers in Sunrise, 1 Radiance Enhancer in Spotlight, 2 Metal Madness nail polishes and 2 Shimmer Eyeliners in Gunmetal. She stated that the nail polishes are discontinued for the moment at I was refunded $0.30 per nail polish... which, if you recall the order total discrepancy, is correct. $45.95 is in fact $0.60 less than $46.55.

She said she was very sorry but those items are currently out of stock and she would be happy to refund me the difference. After a moment of thinking, I realized...

They -charged- me for items they never sent.

I quickly made an excuse that I didn't have the items with me and needed to double check my order, and I would call back. I hung up. The anger was bubbling over at this point.

Not only can a company NOT charge you until they ship an order (think Zoya, if you've ever ordered from them, they are very strict about how they charge), they have to charge you for items that are contained in your package. This is why they aren't supposed to take payment UNTIL they ship it; in the event that something catastrophic occurs with your item (say it's the last vintage vase in stock and a worker drops it and it shatters all over the floor), the customer is not charged until it is safely inside the shipping box and put out for mailing. The FTC Trade Laws govern the mail order and online ordering rules... and they are clear.

According to e.l.f., when you order with them, it's a crapshoot as to whether you'll get your items or not. They may have them in stock, they may not, but you'll get charged. This is illegal, plain, pure and simple. I'll go even further and state that e.l.f. is running a scam... a classic credit card fraud scam. Why? Because they're hoping that people don't notice that $2 or $3 difference in their order total. Let's say they got 5,000 orders and we'll say 500 of them have missing items (I'm sure it was much more, but I'm being nice). At an average of $3 worth of missing items, e.l.f. have made $1,500 just in order discrepancies. 

Sure, they'll refund you. If you call and battle their joke of a customer service telephone line and know exactly what they did wrong... oh, and don't forget to tell them what's gone wrong because they sure cannot be held liable for what they sent you.

I am in utter shock that a company thinks this is okay. The woman didn't even pause to apologize to me for the error and I am even more appalled that she had no updated shipping invoice or information on what was sent to me. How do you run a business like this?

These people automatically got credits and I saw posts where people received e-gift cards. Why was I not offered that option? Did I not spend enough money with them? Notice the justification from the person 3rd up from the bottom. Apparently it's okay to take someone's money and not AUTOMATICALLY do your duty of refunding YOUR mistake. I also noticed a trend on their Facebook page: If someone stated they got their order, glowed about their happiness in the items, but then had a short statement about missing something... e.l.f. would respond "Glad you liked your order!" and completely disregard any negativity. I am sensing a Sleek attitude here (If you don't know what happened, much too long of a story to get into!)

Now comes the next part of my argument:

Does that look out of stock to you? No, in fact, all 3 colors are able to be added to the cart on the website. So, I was not only charged wrongly, but I was lied to when told that the items were out of stock. They appear to be in stock to me. If someone adds them to their cart right now, will they be charged and then get their items, only to notice they are missing? Who knows. Again, how can you run an online business where your system "doesn't update" your inventory? It's a lie, that's how.

What actually more than likely happened is that they began filling orders out of order, and people's orders after mine (for example) were being packaged first... so the inventory has been out of wack for however long! It was in stock when I ordered!

Oh, your computer system is bad and doesn't update properly? Not my problem. Put me on a waiting list. I want my items. ESPECIALLY since you have my money. 

Now I have the task of deciding what to do. I have gotten no response when I mention FTC or BBB, and no expression of apology or remorse for what's been done. In fact, the woman sounded totally casual when she asked IF I wanted a refund for the missing items. Uh... what are my other options? I've contacted my bank and they've authorized a credit card dispute through Visa. I would have a fair amount of documentation to provide, however, as I would need to show current price + sale price and what I actually paid. That will be difficult as I never received an invoice with each item's total after the sale discount; just an invoice with a bulk discount at the bottom. 

Some of the items were for a giveaway and I would feel awful to give items to someone from such an awful company with absolutely dismal customer service. In fact... service? WHAT service? I could return them but then I feel like I'm returning items I intended on giving to someone! I'm really in a moral bind here.

I could just ask for the missing items, but I am worried that they will just issue a refund instead and I have no leg to stand on. I feel that this is an issue of principal... how can you charge someone for items you didn't provide?

Let's add up some facts:
- E.l.f. sends you a regular invoice with everything you ordered on it
- Said invoice has no individual prices, just a bulk total at the bottom
- You receive the same invoice when you get your package and nothing indicating that anything is different
- You are charged for items that they never had any intention on sending to you
- You have to call them to figure out exactly what they've done to your order
- You are not offered to receive those items at the promised sale price, even if they are in stock
- Customer service number is nowhere to be found on the invoice

A bit of math... and what do we have? 


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Gem of Roses Giveaway Winner Announced and a Small Update

I finally got around to tallying the entries for my Gem of Roses giveaway and I'm proud to announce the winner is...

Sunday, July 17, 2011

FOTD: Intense Smokey Eye w/ Mac Smoked Ruby

I didn't so much intend for this to be Arabesque but it just turned out that way! Smoked Ruby is very intense and over Rust Jumbo Pencil (NYX), it intensified it further. The look was quite dark so I ran with it... and added the hit of orange underneath for some interest. I really like how this turned out, especially with how my camera freaks out over reds and oranges! Could have done with some falsies, but my parents were coming over for dinner ;-)

As a side note, I finally watched Inception (late, eh?). Holy what the hell, Batman! It certainly sparked an interesting discussion afterward and I'll have even more interesting dreams (or will I? Haha!)

- Cover Girl Aqua Smoothers Tinted Moisturizer in Fair to Light
- Mac MSF Natural in Light Medium
- Maybelline Dream Mousse Concealer in Light
- Maybelline Superstay Concealer in Cream
- Mac MSF in Semi Precious Crystal Pink

- Too Faced Shadow Insurance
- NYX Jumbo Pencil in Rust
- Mac eyeshadow in Smoked Ruby (used wet all over lid)
- Mac eyeshadow in Cranberry (crease)
- Mac eyeshadow in Firespot (to blend out crease)
- Mac eyeshadow in Coppering (lower lash line)
- Ben Nye eyeshadow in Ice (inner tear duct)
- Revlon eyeshadow in Vintage Lace (brow)
- e.l.f. Liquid Liner in Black (upper lashline)
- Smashbox Limitless liner in Black (both waterlines)
- Matte black from WetnWild Blue Had Me at Hello over liners 
- Maybelline The Falsies mascara

- Mac lipstick inThrills (sheered out)
- Mac Lipgelee in Now in Season