Thursday, February 5, 2015

2015 Valentine's Day/Spring Collection, "In Just-"

Time for official introductions. ^_^ As stated in my last post, this Valentine's Day/Spring 2015 collection was inspired by the beautiful poetry of e.e. cummings. Edward Estlin Cummings was an American poet who lived 1894-1962. He is known for his writing style, instantly recognizable for its unconventional structure and wild punctuation. His work is still immensely popular. Cummings often referenced flowers in his poetry, and many of his poems alluded to spring, so it only seemed natural to name the components of this collection after spring flowers, and to look for inspiration in his poems. This collection embodies first loves and fresh experiences, youth and innocence. So without further delay, follow me down the garden path and I'll introduce you to the flowers...

First, we have the eye shadows, there are 6 in this collection, starting with #156 Daffodil. Daffodils are the heralds of spring, I always look forward to seeing their sunny faces in the garden. I knew they were the natural springboard for this collection, and are beloved by poets, Cummings being no exception. In time of daffodils sums it up beautifully with its opening lines:

"in time of daffodils(who know
the goal of living is to grow)
forgetting why,remember how..."

The link above takes you to the full poem, which references 2 of our other flowers. ^_^ (I will link the rest of the poems for each item, just click on the titles to go to the full text).

Daffodil is a cool toned pale yellow shadow with a beautiful purple iridescence. This shadow goes on semi-opaque, and can be either built up to an opaque soft yellow, or sheered down to a soft milky lavender. Like all of our shadows, it wears best over a primer. This is the very first truly yellow eye shadow for The Chequered Lily Apothecary.

When I was a young girl, my grandmother planted a strip of spring flowers in her front yard. There were clouds of sweet Alyssum, and purple stock, and some feathery pink and blue flowers, but my favorites were the snapdragons! There were loads of them, in all shades of yellow and orange, pink, coral, and white. This eye shadow is a sweet tangerine orange pastel, with loads of pink shimmer and sparkle. It builds up beautifully to opaque and will transition perfectly into summer. The accompanying poem is i have found what you are like

Cannas are one of my favorite flowers. They rise up in spring and their flowers unfurl like bright banners in shades of coral, orange, red, and yellow. They send up more and more, all through spring and into summer. I have one in my garden that is the color of this eye shadow, bright pastel coral against dark leaves, it just glows in the shade like a still life of flame. I never get tired of looking at it, so the poem your little voice seemed the perfect partner for this shade.

Once upon a time, we had an azalea bush. It was neon magenta and when in full bloom, you could barely see any of the green leaves among the riot of hot pink flowers. Azaleas are such sexy flowers; I imagine it is because they seem to be in overdrive. The colors are amped up, the flower production is sky high, and they just seem to scream, "Pollinate me!" ...ahem. This shadow exudes flirtatious femininity. Vibrant magenta with copper iridescence and sparkle. The accompanying poem is  just as racy, i like my body when it is with your. This shadow is not vegan.

And now that we've got the blood flowing, we'll relax a bit. There is nothing quite so heady and sweet as the scent of lilacs. They don't grow here; wrong climate, but they occasionally show up at florists' and when they do, I always buy a bunch. It doesn't take much to perfume an entire room and the scent is so beautiful, full and somnolent, and so perfectly spring - like napping in the sun on a warm afternoon. I felt that love is a place sums it up perfectly. This shadow is a soft pink-toned lavender with silver-pink pearl.This shadow is not lip safe.

Since we are asleep and dreaming, shaded by lilacs and blanketed by blue wisteria petals fallen in the spring breeze, I can introduce you to our last eye shadow, named for those long blue flower chains and their light, cool scent. Wisteria is the color of spring twilight, as the moon ascends - that color between blue and violet, neither and both, the color of dreams. you are tired (i think) is the perfect playful prelude to dreaming, and I felt that it suited this color well. Wisteria is a pastel blue-violet with violet iridescence. This shadow is not lip safe.

There are two glitter blends for this collection, the first is #G14 Bleeding Heart, named for the gracefully arcing shoots of pink and white heart-shaped flowers on this Japanese native, introduced to England in the 1840's. I have always been fond of their old-fashioned charm. This glitter is a bright, warm fuchsia color in the bottle, with pops of red and a pink afterglow of iridescence. And to pair to it, the poem: since feeling it first... (VII) Like all our glitters, it is best used with a sticky base or glitter fixative. This glitter is not vegan.

Our second glitter in this collection is #G15 Forget Me Not, named for the diminutive golden-eyed flowers in shades of soft lavender-pink to clear periwinkle blue. A symbol of remembrance and the endurance of love, I could not help finding inspiration from the lamenting tone of it may not always be so. This glitter is a beautiful silvery cornflower blue with copper, violet, and pink-gold iridescence. It is very reflective, and best used with a glitter fixative or sticky base.This glitter mix is not lip safe.

And lastly, in this collection is our blush, #B08 Damask Rose. Damask roses are an ancient hybrid valued for their heady scent, used in perfumery. They have a soft, disheveled elegance and the whorls of petals resemble layers of petticoats or voluminous ballgowns. Roses being such an enduring symbol of love, I chose my favorite poem to accompany it, somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond. This blusher is a sheer, rosy-hued wash of pink with gold pearl. This blush is not vegan, nor is it approved for use around the eyes, but it is lip-safe.
 This concludes our garden tour. You can find all of these products in our Etsy shop Friday February 5th! ^_^ -Kim

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Well, it's been almost a year since the last post, I guess it's time to dust this thing off and get it ready for regular use again. I will try to keep this post brief, since I have a tendency to be long-winded when it comes to these things (sorry!).

So you may or may not have noticed the changes on facebook recently concerning fan pages. Here's the quick version if you missed it: Over the past year or so, the facebook algorithm has made it harder and harder for businesses to reach their audience (people who already 'like' the business's page). This year, facebook decided to charge businesses advertising fees to reach their audiences. Basically what it amounts to is that if I want my audience to see a post, I have to pay for it to show up in people's news feeds, including people who already like the page. Since I cannot afford to pay the advertising costs (it would be too expensive to reach even half of my audience), I'm moving most of my advertising off facebook and into other social media, like my trusty old blog. :) So here's the quick rundown of where to find us:
official blog:
twitter: @ChequeredLily
pinterest: coming soon! You can follow my personal account if you want, it's here: or just the beauty board:
the shop is still here:

Okay, business is outta the way - now for something completely different.^_~ If you've been following me on instagram, facebook, or twitter, you might have seen the teaser shots of the new spring collection. I'm almost done with all the formulating, so I thought I'd take a moment to announce the collection, or at least part of it, before I start the work of taking and editing photos.

For this collection, I started with a poem (much like the 2012 Valentine's collection, which was in part inspired by poetry from Kenneth Patchen and Pablo Neruda) by e. e. cummings that is, to me, the absolute embodiment of spring:

in Just-

by E. E. Cummings

in Just-

spring when the world is mud-

luscious the little lame baloonman

whistles far and wee

and eddyandbill come

running from marbles and

piracies and it's


when the world is puddle-wonderful

the queer

old baloonman whistles

far and wee

and bettyandisbel come dancing

from hop-scotch and jump-rope and






baloonMan whistles




I adore this poem, and so I decided to build a collection that felt like spring flowers and first love; of awakenings and dreams, smiles and the nostalgia of growing up in innocence and bliss. This collection is comprised of 6 eye shadows, 2 glitter blends, and a blush; there may be more products released separately, if time allows. Here are some descriptions, since I don't have photos yet. I promise to do a more detailed post when I have photos! ^_^

#156 Daffodil - pale, semi-opaque yellow with violet shimmer
#157 Snapdragon - soft tangerine with pink sparkle
#158 Canna - coral red with orange shimmer (pending final formulation)
#159 Azalea - vivid magenta with copper sparkle
#160 Lilac - cool lavender with soft pink pearl
#161 Wisteria - periwinkle blue with violet pearl

#G14 Bleeding Heart - Intense magenta, red, and fuchsia glitters with hot pink iridescence
#G15 Forget Me Not - Soft blue- violet with pink, gold, and purple iridescence

#B08 Damask Rose - warm blushing rose with soft golden-coral iridescence (pending final formulation)

Here's a couple of quick snapshots, this one is a bokeh shot of #G15 Forget Me Not:

 And this one is a process pic of #160 Lilac, in the grinder:

That's all for now, more coming soon! 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Why I hate the Post Office, and other greivances...

So today I went to the post office to mail 2 letters (actually sample sets), and 1 small package. While I was there, I also decided to purchase more stamps, as I am getting low on my $.65 cent stamps that I use for sample orders. The total was a jaw-dropping $29.00. I looked over my receipt when I got home and compared it to all of February's other postal receipts and found out that I have been losing money. It's not a matter of "not making money," or "losing a few cents here or there," but actually hemorrhaging money on shipping costs since the increase a couple weeks ago.

For those not aware (and I know I have many, many, wonderful international clients), the united states postal service raised their rates at the beginning of the month. I knew vaguely that they had increased their international rates, and I knew that domestic letters went up a penny for first class mail, but I thought I would simply absorb the costs of the increase, as I had done in the past. Unfortunately, after reviewing my receipts, I realized I cannot absorb this increase. The total sale of the items I took to mail today was $32.30, and the shipping alone cost me $16.65. Looking through my other receipts, I realized that a couple other international orders cost more to ship than the total dollar amount I collected for the sale and shipping combined. I am deeply sorry for this abrupt change, but I feel I have been put into a difficult position, so as of today (02/13/2013), I have adjusted the shipping rates for domestic and international shipping.

I want you all to understand that I tried to keep the new shipping prices as fair as possible. The biggest change is the international shipping on the sample sets. International shipping on a set of 10 is now $7.00, where it used to be $1.20. This is in direct review of my receipts, all of which for the month of February charged me $6.55 for international postage on a rigid letter, instead of $1.30 like I had expected. The remaining $.45 cents I charge helps cover the cost of the shipping box, tissue, labels, ink, paper, etc. The sample sets of 7 are still $1.00 for now, as I'm basing this price off the ability to send the samples first class without a customs form/tracking and the total thickness being less than 1/4 inch. If I find I am unable to maintain these standards for the 7 sample sets, I will have to adjust the shipping or possibly scale back to a smaller set of samples, we'll see how it pans out.

To help offset the change in shipping cost for sets larger than 7 samples, I'm now upgrading every order of more than 10 samples to a padded mailer, which will help keep samples safe in transit and provide ample space for customs forms and tracking numbers.

The other really noticeable change in shipping cost occurs in the "ship with another item" section of Etsy. I increased this cost for domestic and international customers to more accurately calculate the actual shipping cost. For domestic customers, this was something I had been meaning to adjust for months because I kept noticing that the totals were always much lower than they should have been (I was simply absorbing the extra shipping costs). These should work out a little better, but please note that I will continue to refund excess shipping charges, as that is only fair.

Lastly (because it is late, and I am drunk on excellent beer), I feel really guilty about increasing shipping costs without opening a dialogue first with my beloved customers, so as a peace offering, I have put the entire shop on sale until Sunday, February 17th at midnight. You can score a 15% discount on anything in the shop until then, no coupon code required.

So in summary: Shipping costs went up, international shipping costs went up drastically. I am very, VERY sorry about the increase. Please take advantage of my feelings of guilt and get really good stuff on sale. I absolutely love you all, and i hope you all have a brilliant and beautiful Valentine's Day and a wonderful weekend, and thank you all for your continued support and understanding. <3

Sunday, January 27, 2013

New Things For A New Year.

Just a few quick things, since it's been awhile...

If you missed it, there's a coupon code on Facebook (FB200) that is good for 20% off your order, it expires 01/27/2013 at midnight, so just a few hours left to take advantage of it.

I have decided that 2013 is going to be a HUGE year for The Chequered Lily Apothecary. To get us started, I've decided to host a monthly giveaway on Facebook and here on the blog. January's giveaway is a beautiful stack of golden and gold green shades (Neverwhere, Oakmoss, and Trolled), as shown left. For more information, and to enter, please visit the  facebook fanpage .

In addition to monthly free stuff, I've decided to host a set of monthly coordinating eye shadow colors. January's selections are The 13th, Snowdrift, and Moonless Night. Each CotM (Color of the Month) eye shadow is discounted to $5.00 for the entire month it is featured. These colors will show up at the top of my shop listings, so they are easier to find.

I'm also releasing a line of blush. The first is available now and is part of the Valentine's Day 2013 collection (also available now in the Etsy shop. I have 2 more that I'm working on now and will list in February, possibly earlier if I'm able. I've also got a couple more new eye shadow colors due out next week (just working on editing the photos for the listings).

I am hoping to be able to invest in nice labels for the tops of my containers very soon, and am aiming to start selling offline (in addition to Etsy) by March of this year. I want to thank everyone who has purchased from me since I got started, I really appreciate your enthusiasm and feedback, you have all been wonderful! Here's to a beautiful 2013! ^_^

Monday, October 15, 2012

All that glitters is not approved for cosmetic use. :(

It's no secret that I love glitter. I think I got my first set of glitter makeup around 1984, from Senshu Eyes, for Halloween. I still have them, or what's left of them - it was a very chunky type of glitter, but I wore them as often as I could. I still gravitate towards glittery makeup, from eye liners and mascaras, to sparkly lip glosses, I love the added sparkle that glitter provides. One of the reasons i got into formulating was to create some of the most dazzling products possible. To this end, I use many different kinds of "glitter" in my formulations. Some of these products are derived from glass, others are synthetic mica, and still others are made of PET (plastic water bottles), and all act very differently in formulations.

So imagine my surprise a couple months ago when I found out that PET glitter, often referred to as "cosmetic glitter," is not an approved color additive for cosmetics. *insert Chris Griffin "Whuuuuuuuuuuttt?" here* I started doing some digging and poking around, trying to find out how it could be illegal to include glitter in cosmetics when so many companies (and most of them major cosmetics companies) were still releasing products containing glitter. Unfortunately, the FDA has chosen to be rather vague concerning their stance, citing that they are currently not enforcing a ban on glitter during this grace period. They don't say how long this grace period is in effect or when it began, only that the issue is "active." So then I got started digging into the ingredients that make up glitter and the manufacturing process of glitters to see what I could find. According to all the data available to me, I've come to the conclusion that there doesn't seem to be any reason for glitter to not be approved as a color additive for cosmetic formulations. That said, I think there needs to be some restrictions (specific usage, particle sizes, and ingredient safety) to keep everybody safe. Anyway, I'm rambling; I've created a petition on to ask the FDA to revisit their decision on glitter. I'm asking them to approve glitter as a cosmetic color additive and to set up standards for formulation. You can read all the details on the petition page by following the link below. Please sign if you love glitter makeup, and please pass along to any makeup loving friends and family members as well. Thanks!

Petition to approve glitter for cosmetic use

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Halloween Collection, and a Breast Cancer Awareness Month Contest!

Is it October already?! o_O Wow, I guess this year got away from me a little bit. So I'm sure everyone's a little curious about the Halloween collection for this year (which I had totally planned to have released 2 days ago). The good news is that I'm almost done, but I still have 3 colors left to finish up and I have still got to upload videos and write listings. I'm hoping that I can have both collections listed this weekend. *crosses fingers* So yeah... 2 collections, how did that happen? Let me explain. No, that will take too long, let me sum up...

 Every year I have a Halloween party and it always has a theme. Last year's theme was Witchcraft and I decided to make an eye shadow collection for the shop in the colors I was using for the party, and so Invocation, Her Familiar, and Samhain were made. Then I decided I wanted a couple of contrasting colors to use myself for the party and added Grimoire and Moonless Night to the set. It all came together so beautifully and effortlessly that I thought, "I should just do this every year." So this year's party theme is a sort of dark carnivale. From the very beginning I've been struggling with 2 different color palettes for the party, and I have been totally unable to reconcile them for the collections, so I decided to make both. The first collection is inspired by the circus and all the seedy things that go along with a turn-of-the-century operation: circus stripes, boozy carnies, scary clowns, fly-by-night troupes, pickpockets, grinders, lion tamers, shiny coins, and the promise of the greatest show on earth. This collection is collectively called The Big Top Collection and is made up of the following colors:

130 - The Ringmaster

131 - For Amusement Only
132 - Under The Stars
133 - The Penny Arcade

There's also a multipurpose glitter blend that is part of this collection that I just realized I need to edit pictures of (doh! >_<), and it is #G04 Charivari and is a blend of gold micro and borosilicate glitters with pops of scarlet and crimson. It is VERY SPARKLY. *_* And then there's the other color palette, which was always inspired by the darkest part of those wonderful carnivales, the sideshow. The sideshow collection is the one I'm finishing up this week, so I only have pictures of one of the colors edited:
137 - Midnight Show
I wanted this collection to reflect the more basic emotions that the audience experiences at a good sideshow: horror, shock, awe, curiosity, fear, lust, and most of all, excitement. Sorry I don't have more pictures to show you, but I hope these will whet your appetites and give you an idea of the kind of work that goes into producing these colors. ^_^ I'll post the listings on facebook when they go live, and that brings me to the next bit of business...

I think it's time for another contest! ^_~ One of my customers made a gorgeous treasury on Etsy featuring my samples set of the Breast Cancer Charity Collection. You can see the treasury here: Fight Like A Girl And that got me thinking that I really want to ramp up my donations for October, especially since October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. So here's how to enter:

1. Create a treasury on Etsy for Breast Cancer Awareness and include my breast cancer awareness charity samples set, full size breast cancer charity stacker, or any of the single breast cancer charity colors (97, 98, 99, G03). Please choose only 1 listing for your treasury and then fill up the spaces with other wonderful Breast Cancer Awareness items from other Etsy sellers. Post the treasury link on this blog entry in the comments section, or on my facebook fanpage. Good for 1 entry, regardless of the number of treasuries you create.


2. If you have a pinterest account, make a Breast Cancer Awareness Board and pin at least one of the Breast Cancer Charity items from my shop to your board. Your Breast Cancer Awareness pinboard must contain at least 10 different pins for this to qualify as an entry. Be creative with your pins and have fun! ^_^ When you have at least 10 pins, post a link to your pinboard in the comments here, or on the facebook fanpage. Good for 1 entry, regardless of the number of boards you create.


3. Make a wonderful Breast Cancer Awareness post on your personal blog or Youtube channel and post the link in the comments here or on the facebook fanpage. If you need ideas, you can post a look, a tutorial, swatch a bunch of pink makeup or nail polish, talk about your own experiences with Breast Cancer, or practically anything else that raises awareness. You do not have to use my products for this, but you do need to mention this contest and link my Etsy shop somewhere in the post/comments section of your video. And of course, provide a link here or on the facebook fanpage. Good for 1 entry for each method (ie: if you have a blog and a youtube account, you may earn up to 2 entries; one entry for your blog post, and one for your youtube video). 1 entry per method, per person.

There will be two prizes awarded by random drawing: Grand prize will be a full sized stacker set of the breast cancer charity collection colors (#97-99 +G03), retail value $20. Runner up will receive a set of the breast cancer charity collection samples (#97-99 +G03), retail value $4.50. I will be making a donation of $12.00 to Susan G. Komen for these 2 sets. ^_^

This contest will run through October 16th. I will draw winners on the 17th. Good luck! And of course, promote, promote, promote! I really want to top my donations from last year, let's work together to make a positive impact. Thank You!!! ^_^

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Pointsettia is back, kinda. ^_^

This is going to be a quickie tonight because I need to make dinner and get back to editing photos of the Halloween collection. Just wanted to let you all know that #106 Pointsettia is back! Yay! But wait, there's a catch... You can't buy it. ^_^ Meh? Say again? That's right, you can't buy it because I'm giving it away, in a manner of speaking. Let me explain...

The reformulation of Pointsettia has been a long time coming. I've tried a lot of different formulas and none really worked without using Red #40. A lot of you probably know that to legally sell products containing Red #40 (and several other lake dyes), the seller must obtain the color with a batch certification intact from the manufacturer. My suppliers carry these colorants in smaller quantities for private use. When they receive the shipment, it is batch certified and they can legally sell it to their customers. Unfortunately, batch certifications are non-transferable, so the quantity I buy from them does not have batch certification, and while still perfectly safe to use, I cannot legally sell products containing the colorant. That means purchasing the colorant in bulk. Really bulk. Direct-from-the-manufacturer-bulk. The smallest quantity I could find was a kilo and it was still around $100. o_0 Well, I thought I'd just save up and get it and then make... a metric ton of lipstick? What the hell am I going to do with all that colorant?! There's no way I could use it all up. :(

So then I figured out something BRILLIANT. The FDA doesn't care if I give away these products, only if I SELL these products. Well, I have a loyalty program and I give away free samples with practically every purchase, why not give my customers the option of choosing this color as a freebie until I can afford the giant order of colorant? Perfect! So yes, here's how to get this great color: 1. You may purchase a set of samples (7 or 10) and request this color as one of your freebies. 2. You may choose this color as your free eye shadow through the customer loyalty program (for every $50 you spend on merchandise, you get a free full sized shadow). 3. If you win a contest of mine for a "winner's choice" eye shadow, you may request this color. ^_^

Okay, for those of you still going, "WTF?! What is Pointsettia?" Pointsettia was part of my first Holiday collection, along with Vanilla Lace and Haute Cocoa. This eye shadow has a semi-matte, bricky red base with scarlet and crimson microglitters and this new version has a soft violet sheen. It may stain, though I haven't had any trouble with this new formula. The coverage is good, and buildable. Here's a video of the color in action: and below are some photos...

Swatched on bare skin:
 On white paper:
 "Streak" shown on Black paper:
 Shown on Black Paper:
 And shown in indirect sunlight: