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:

Friday, August 24, 2012

Contest! News! Pictures! and exclamation points!!!

I'm feeling really proud of myself at the moment, since it has been a very strange last 2 weeks. o_0 *insert flashback sequence here* I was contacted by a PR firm representing Matt Bernson and his beautiful shoes. Matt is based in Tribeca, and it looks like there's going to be a grand opening/soiree/party/OMGSHOES!!1 at his place during NY Fashion Week. Long story short, I've sent 100 mini-sized eye shadows to the shop to be included in goody-bags. I took pictures of the whole process, which you can see below. I broke the order into 5 colors that I felt were both seasonally appropriate and complimentary to my favorite pairs of shoes from the Matt Bernson website. The colors were #04 Fragile, #05 Naive, #24 Tahiti, #31 Mr. Wednesday, and #103 December. I was really surprised to see how well these 5 colors harmonized (more on this later), as I probably wouldn't have picked them for a palette. They are actually very beautiful together; not that you can tell from my awesome pictures...

These are the minis bound for New York, being wrapped in tissue paper and stickered with homemade labels.

These are the minis bound for New York, wrapped & stickered, stuffed in organza and branded with mini business cards.

These are the minis bound for New York, wrapped & stickered, stuffed in organza and branded with cards, tied up with ribbon and waiting to go.
These are the minis bound for New York, wrapped & stickered, stuffed in organza and branded with cards, tied up with ribbon and waiting to go, now snuggled together in nice tidy rows.
These are the minis bound for New York, wrapped & stickered, stuffed in organza and branded with cards, tied up with ribbon and waiting to go, now snuggled together in nice tidy rows and wrapped in tissue and bubbles, with a card to say "thanks."
These are the minis bound for New York, wrapped & stickered, stuffed in organza and branded with cards, tied up with ribbon and waiting to go, now snuggled together in nice tidy rows and wrapped in tissue and bubbles, with a card to say "thanks," all bound up in tissue flowers to keep them all safe. 
And they are sent and should be arriving today or Saturday at the latest. The really strange thing is, my girlfriends and I were supposed to be in New York this week for a vacation, but it was postponed due to scheduling conflicts. I find it quite serendipitous that because I had to reschedule my trip, I was able to work on an order that was sent to the place I was supposed to go myself. So it's kind of like I get to go anyway. What? What was that? ...Oh, that's right! I mentioned a CONTEST! Yes. ^_^
These colors are so great together and so perfect for fall that I'm going to give away a stacker set of all 5 colors. :) Here's how it's going to work, because I want this to be fun and easy:

Since I didn't get to go have fun adventures in NY, I'm just going to pretend I did and you're all going to help me! Friday afternoon (08/24/12), I'll be posting the opening sentences of a story on my facebook fanpage. All you have to do is add 1 sentence to the story. Keep it fun and keep it clean (inappropriate or nonsensical posts will be deleted and will not count as an entry into the contest). You may only post 1 sentence at a time and you must let someone else post before you can post again (please be reasonable and let others add to the story, the more people participate, the more fun it will be and the more prizes I'll add to the contest). The contest will close August 28th, possibly earlier if activity dies down or stagnates. I will select winners by a random number generator after the contest closes. The amount and value of prizes available will increase with the number of people (not the number of posts) contributing, so please spread the word and invite friends to play along so I can add more prizes. ^_~

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Hello! ^_^ We are open for business once more and I want to sincerely thank everyone who has been so supportive and patient with me and this company over the last 7 months. Now for some of the good news...

We are having a sale on the Etsy page: ( until the end of the month. To get the sale prices, you need a coupon code that is posted on my facebook page, located here: It's a really good code, REALLY good, for 35% off your total. Please like the fanpage if you have a facebook account and spread the word, because that would really help me out. And if that weren't enough, all full sized orders come with double the amount of bonus samples till July 31st. Lastly, today (Sunday) is the last day to score a FREE full size jar of eye shadow with your order, no coupon code necessary. This special deal applies to all orders containing $8.00 or more of full sized products.

And I want to talk a little about the new rewards program I'm rolling out. All orders from here out will include a business card for The Chequered Lily Apothecary. Please turn the card over and view the back, you'll notice your name and an issue date, as well as a band of purple butterflies at the bottom of the card. These cards will work like frequent buyer punch cards. For every $50 spent at The Chequered Lily Apothecary, you get 1 free full size eye shadow of your choice. I will keep track of your orders through the customer database that I keep and let you know when you've earned a reward. Sound good?

I have so many good things planned, and I will keep you updated as they unfold. Thank you all again and hope to see you soon. ^_^

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

So here's a quick and craptastic preview of just one good thing coming down the pipeline. I'm upgrading my branding and this is the first bit of it and they are looooong over due: business cards! ^_^ The reverse of these is even more stunning, since it involves a rewards program that I'll be implementing later this summer. I'm getting ever closer to a re-launch on Etsy, it's down to filling the last few jars and checking all my listings for accuracy. Samples are also nearly done, and I only have a handful of colors to remake before opening. I was scheduled to be out of town this week and next, but that fell through, so to make the best use of this time, I'll be trying to tie up all of these loose ends and push forward with this last bit of work. There will be a hell of a sale on the Etsy site (and I will give you all plenty of notice before it starts), but many quantities will be limited. I'll be listing some odds and ends that I'll not be using as well, mostly containers for anyone interested, and they will be deeply discounted. I'll post more about this later, when I have time and photos of the inventory. See you all soon! ^_~

Sunday, April 1, 2012

A message in a bottle, of sorts...

Hello everyone,

First I'd like to offer my deepest apologies for not keeping my word. I am so sorry for not keeping everything updated, and not getting the shop open on time, I am sorry for the continued delays and the long periods of silence. I want you all to know that I have not been ignoring you, I simply haven't had any time to myself. I'm taking 10 minutes to type this out to all of you so you know that this company has not been abandoned and that I am still here, and plan to be here for a long time. There have been several obstacles that I've had to overcome the last 5 months that have cut into my business drastically; some were planned, others came out of left field, but all had a serious impact on me personally and on The Chequered Lily Apothecary.

I have never had a problem dreaming big, and I had a million plans for this year. I was going to expand the business to artfire and possibly a dedicated website; I had planned to bring out a ton of new products this year and finish bringing out the core collection of eye shadows. I had 3-4 special collections that I had planned to release over the course of the year. I had also planned to expand the business out to craft shows and home demos. Unfortunately, my schedule outside of The Chequered Lily has gotten so full that I don't even have time to do dishes or laundry, which means that I haven't been able to work on anything for the business like I had hoped. Since my stress level has been through the roof for almost 5 months, my fibro myalgia (or whatever the hell is wrong with me) has been out of control and I have been in a lot of pain. Last month I kind of reached a breaking point and realized that something had to change and I needed to figure out what and do it fast. A week ago I made some very difficult decisions that I felt were best for me given my current and projected workload and what I was willing to concede in terms of my business. I am still trying to make adjustments and iron out wrinkles, but here's the plan as it stands thus far...

The Etsy shop will re-open when my work schedule slows down. I am expecting this to be in May. I still have a complete inventory to finish and a lot of cleaning and re-arranging to do before I begin formulating again. I will not be accepting requests for custom colors until further notice. I will not be releasing a spring or summer collection this year in hopes of focusing all my energies on the halloween/fall collection and and an unnamed collection due out late in the fall or early winter. I will not release any more charity collections this year, but I will continue to manufacture and sell the Domestic Violence collection and Breast Cancer Awareness collection, making donations at the end of the month to Futures Without Violence and Susan G Komen. I will have a few new products to release this year, but I still need to formulate them, so those will be announced later. I will also be bringing back a mini size for the eye shadows, but I still have to get labels made, so they will not be available until further notice. I will continue to work on the core collection of eye shadows, but only as time permits, I will give you lots of notice when new colors debut and hopefully I can work out a decent schedule on them.

I am sorry for any inconvenience that I may have caused any of you, but I am confident that things will be smoother going forward, and I thank you for your patience and support. <3

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Internet Censorship (SOPA) and what it means to small business...

I've censored the following, in protest of a bill that gives any corporation and the US government the power to censor the internet--a bill that could pass THIS WEEK. To see the uncensored text, and to stop internet censorship, visit:

████ ████ ██████ you? It ███████ me. ████ if all of our █████ ███████████ ██████████ ███████ we ██████ to a ███████████ █████ or bit of █████? ████ if you got ██████ up for 5 █████ for ███████ an ████████ ████? ████ if our ██████████ (my ████████, ████ ████████, ████ mom's ████████) ████ ████ ████ ███████ a ███████████ ███████ we ██████ a █████████ law? ████ if ████████, ██████, ███████, █████████, █████, and ███████ ███████████ ███████ due to █████████ ████████████ ████████? ██████ ████ ████ ███████, █████████-████████ bit of ███████, █████'t it? It's not, it's ████, and ██████ we do █████████ █████ it, it ████ ████ in 12 ████ and ████ █████ ██████ our ███████. ████ me in █████ █████████ █████ it by ████████ ██████████████████.org and ██████ ████ in as ████ ██████ as you can. █████ you in ███████ for ██████████ ███████ and ██████████ the █████ █████████. ^_^

All that looks a fright, doesn't it? We could be in for a lot worse if this bill passes. Please go to and help stop this bill from passing. And please pass this info along, we need all the help we can get. Simply put, this bill puts ALL small business in extreme danger, especially creative businesses. For the love of Etsy, Artfire, Youtube, the entire Blogosphere, Google, Facebook, and any other site in danger of disappearing, please help us fight this.

To learn more, please visit:

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Ladies & Gentlemen, we have a Blog...

Now what to do with it? I started thinking about a blog months ago, but never really got around to making decisions about hosts or content. Anyone who knows me can attest to my long and terrible struggle with decision-making, and this was really no exception. Since I have a google account already set up for the business side of things, it made the most sense to me to go with Blogger. It's not perfect, but it's a start. And more importantly, now that we have a blog, I have a place to put things that are too long-winded or photo-tastic for facebook. Also, now we have a place to house contests and giveaways and announce new things and changes. ^_^ I don't promise any regularity to the updates or posts here; I'm not good at committing to that sort of crazy-making scheduling, but I'll do my best to make sure each and every post is worth your time and mine. ^_~ So without any further delay, on with the show...

There are going to be LOTS of changes this year, and lots of new things too. Let me begin with the bad news, which is that prices are going to increase a little. After looking at the time it takes me to develop each color and each product, evaluate each product, and package each product (not to mention the cost of each listing and percentage of each sale), I've noticed that I'm not being very fair to myself in terms of my pricing. Also, I want to bring out a lot more products this year and to get everything developed, I am going to need more time for formulating, evaluating, and packaging all those new things. This means working less hours at my day job, so I need to make sure I'm bringing in enough to offset those lost hours. And lastly, I've been bringing in lots of new inventory for this year and there's still more to come. All that said, I still feel bad about raising my prices, so I've decided to bring out more size options for you, like 3 gram mini jars, which will be available beginning of February. We'll also be re-opening with a sale towards the end of January, so be on the lookout for that. ^_~

I'm not going to announce all the good stuff in one post, but I do want to say one last awesome thing before closing up this first post. Remember all those luscious reds and pinks on the discontinued list? They're coming back! ^_^ The only one I'm holding back is Pointsettia, but all the others will return quite soon, I should have them all back up by March. Yay!

Okay, that's it for tonight. My work schedule is crazy this month, so when I get all the inventory done and all the formulating and sorting and sampling and everything else done that needs to happen before re-opening, I'll let you know. In the meantime, if you need to get a hold of me, you can send me an Etsy convo or email me: thechequeredlily{at} Thank you all for making my first year as a business owner so awesome! Happy 2012 everyone! ^_^