epically epic: awesomely awesome – part deux

Sunday, February 13, 2011 6:22

Finally, we’re on to Part Two of my Epically Epic review – here’s product scrutiny, and my conclusion! :) Part Une/One can be found right here.

If you thought the service was good, the products are even more mind-blowing (in a good way.) I’ve found a fair few HG’s/go-to products just from this shop alone.

A reminder of what I bought:

Read the rest of this entry »

epically epic: awesomely awesome (alliteration) – part une

Sunday, February 13, 2011 6:00
Posted in category Etsymania, Haul-o-matic, Reviews

Hokai! This is the first time I’ve ever written a review of a company/product, and I’m not quite sure how to go about it. But meh, best to stick my feet in and go with the flow!

I’ll still do my life-and-such blurbs, but hey ho, having something new for me to blog about can’t be a bad thing. YM really does need a bit more literary love, to be frank.

This review is exceptionally longish and is in two parts, for a few reasons – I like my reviews in-depth, yes; but this one contains quite a bit of “in-context” stuff. Simply put, I mention how the goods compare to what I was using previously, because I know where indie-product-virgins are coming from (it’s nice to be able to refer to a more familiar product/situation and see how much better the handmade goods are.) ;)

Epically Epic Soap Co. (or EE for short), run by Allison, is a New Mexico-based Etsy company that has been around since 2008. I chanced upon it when I had my accidental lucky stumble into the world of indie/handmade goodies (thanks to Google + Sirvinya, Ana, Phyrra and Grey among others.)

The shop is chock full of vegan bath and personal care goodies – it sells a variety of soaps, solid lotions, roll-on perfume oils, lip balms and hydrating hair + body mists. That’s not all they’re chock full of…I’ve heard many a glowing review about them, so they ended up being on the top of my “to-try” list.

Now I’ve long been a sucker for nice-smelling not-so-synthetic body stuff (I swear it’s a girl thing!), and I’m lucky enough to be studying at a boarding school where a Lush outlet is about what, a 15 minute walk into town? However, Lush’s prices are a bit much and I’ll admit there are some times where I’ve come out from a browsing session at their shop with a bit of a headache, even if their stuff is lovely. Ditto The Body Shop: close to “home”, but also grossly overpriced. Thankfully the headaches when I visit there are nonexistent.

Also, I do quite like the idea that I’m buying from a person instead from an impersonal name/logo, which is where buying indie stuff excels. You just know that the genuinely good sellers are not all out to maximize profit and short-change others. I love my people, I’m not a misanthrope!

There’s not much I can say about the site organization because it’s on Etsy, but product images and listing descriptions are comprehensive and will ease the most nervous of Etsy newbies. And if you’re still unsure, there’s always a good Etsy convo to set things right.

Prior to placing my order, I’d convo’ed Allison to find out which of the solid lotions were her personal picks/customer faves. I got a prompt and friendly response back, which pretty much sealed the deal – it was just a matter of getting on that proverbial shopping cart and whizzing all the way to the checkout line. ;)

Here’s what I chose for my first order – clicking on the links will take you to the respective Etsy listings:

  • I Love Lychee Roll On Perfume Oil – this one got shedloads of raves, and being full-blown Chinese, I *do* love my lychees. It’s been a while since I’ve had a fresh batch of them though.
  • Sampler Set of 5 Mini Solid Lotions – I chose Caribbean Sea, Midnight (Jasmine), Margarita, Green Tea and I Love Lychee.
  • Lip Balm Trio - Picked Vanilla Coke, Fuji Apple and asked Allison to surprise me with the last pick because I was tossing-up between Mango Lychee, Mint Choc Espresso and Coconut Lemongrass.

Read the rest of this entry »

explain yourself, missy.

Saturday, February 12, 2011 6:28

So I have my first review drafted whilst I quickly write this explanatory blurb about my decision to start going indie.

Alright, Ari…what brought about this whole new aforementioned crush on indie sellers and such? You can thank the internet (and don’t listen to Avenue Q – it isn’t for pr0n :P) I think I must’ve been doing some stalking I MEAN RESEARCH on Urban Decay some time ago (wondering what the hype for the 24/7s amongst some of my schoolmates was about), and somehow stumbled upon a few MU blogs either singing its praises or going “er…” – a few of which I’ve linked to earlier.

Yes, I’m a sucker for being in the know when it comes to all sorts of companies (not just makeup) and the unique things about their produce, even if I may never buy it – because someone else may always find it interesting, non?

But no, it didn’t end there. I soon noted that some of these bloggers are also advocates of indie makeup/cosmetics, which was brilliant because one of my 2011 resolutions was to shift away from the mass market (partly for price, but for other reasons too.) Being a chem geek (albeit not as cool as this other male chemist I’ll maybe talk about later), I know my nasties. Bismuth? Nope. Parabens? Preferably not. SLS (Laureth and Lauryl)? No thanks – which is why my tube of Veet has been given the boot, and I got a cut-price Braun epilator. I’ve also ditched my L’Oreal shampoos with some other healthier (and waaaaaaaaaaaaay cheaper) alternatives. Go me!

And because there’s a bit of cancer history in my family (grandma had a relapse, ick :()…parabens can get out, too. So yes, because of my health I’m also trying to stay away from the synthetics that I can do without (not saying I can be plastic-junk-free in my life, but the less I have of it, the better, ja?)

I’ve heard of mineral makeup and indie produce before, anyway, but decided that 2011 would be a good time to get stuck in. A few orders + packets from Epically Epic, Fyrinnae and Shiro later, and I think I quite like this. I haven’t quite gone cold turkey yet, though; most of my (minuscule in comparison) makeup stash is drugstore stuff that isn’t too bad. The bodycare, however, I pretty much have. ^^

So there’s that. Speaking about bodycare, hang tight for my gushings on Epically Epic Soap Co soon!