Saturday, November 24, 2012

Portland Black Lipstick Company!!!

I am constantly scouring the cobwebbed corners of the interwebz in my never ending quest to find natural beauty products that are also befitting my darker tastes. You know the drill. Late night leads popping up from some random google search. A rumor. Something in a barely viewed YouTube vid.
Recently in my questing I stumbled upon one of the greatest discoveries of my organigoth career! Imagine a company that makes a pure white cream foundation, a myriad of dark and fun colored lipsticks, and lovely mineral eyeshadows, all without junk ingredients! Well it's not a dream friends! It's Portland Black Lipstick Company!

The name mostly says it all, but there's even more to this boutique than you would expect! Kim and her minions at PBLC concoct all kinds of dark goodies for those of us who want to look gorgeously lifeless. I have been searching high and low for a pure white natural foundation to perfect my pallor. I've tried a host of liquids and powders, but I just haven't been able to make any work satisfactorily coverage wise. I don't usually wear foundation, but sometimes special occasions call for more effort. Every so often you just want to look extra UNDEAD! UNDEAD! UNDEAD! I needed something with more oomph! Enter "Vegan Corpse Paint".

"Vegan Corpse Paint is a pancake makeup-style theater white, made with all natural ingredients. Matte white and unscented, this product can be applied lightly for a pale and powdery finish, blended with skin-toned foundation, or applied opaquely like a traditional greasepaint. Our formula contains mango butter and jojoba oil to help keep your skin soft and ensure comfortable wear while provided excellent coverage." After reading this on their Etsy page I emailed Kim and asked if I could try a sample. I was delighted to find her reply that she would love to send me samples of the corpse paint and some of her other products as well. When my package arrived I was very surprised to find so many goodies inside! A FULL sized corpse paint, pewter cauldron lipstick, and blue natural glitz! Little baggies with green glitz and "darkly sparkly". I also received samples of the lipsticks in black, this corrosion (yay!), coffee black, irony, difficult island, the purple cloud, indigo bridge, chlorosis, good-bye little yellow bird, perfect foil, snow queen, bad penny, undead red, blood red, and bugs blood.

Vegan Corpse Paint $12

Strange is good, except when it comes to how your skin looks. Making a foundations texture on my skin appear somewhat natural, i.e. not cakey, flaky, or streaky has been a real issue for me. I do not understand how some achieve an 'airbrushed" look without the use of an actual airbrush. I want to be flawless, like a sheet of pure white paper, porcelain, or marble. As unrealistic as these expectations are, I at least expect to see my skins natural texture with a foundation. I HATE how they usually look on me. I have tried puffs, sponges and brushes galore! When I apply liquid foundations they always go on streaky or show up around my nose in patchy, unflattering ways. I literally gave up on a foundation ever looking decent. Because of this I usually only wear an spf lotion or oil, and a primer. The hours spent on getting hair and eyeliner just so leave no room for things that don't work. That being said I always suspected that a cream consistency would serve my purposes much better than anything I had attempted before.
My first priority with products are good ingredients, and VCP definitely meets my strict criteria!. The ingredients are listed as only titanium oxide, jojoba oil, mango butter and candelilla wax! It also has no scent, which is something I have unfortunately become very aware of as of late. I have applied VCP with a wet "beauty blender" type sponge and also a taklon foundation brush. Both have given me much better results than I ever had with a liquid or powder. I am definitely still playing with just how to get the flawless marble finish I so desire, but it's a marked improvement! This definitely reflects my still underdeveloped make-up skills and certainly has nothing to do with the wearability of VCP. It's made it through all night dancing when I have worn it and when set with a little powder hasn't "burned" off on my naturally oily/combo skin. It's extremely buildable coverage makes it versatile too! I have applied it sheer and I am very pleased with how it looked in daylight. *HISS*

The Lipsticks $9

My lips are very dry most of the time. I have a very hard time finding lip products I like. I have a box full of lipsticks that haven't made the cut. Yes, I am aware that I am picky. A lipstick that is natural, moisturizing and has good color pay with staying power is pretty much unheard of. I usually slather on a natural lip balm and save the pain and hassle of wearing anything else for very special occasions.
I'm sure you all have experience with how black lipstick wears. It's nearly impossible to find one that meets these criteria. I was shocked when I first applied PBLCs namesake product! It goes on like a creamy balm, but doesn't end up all over the place like others I have tried. It's highly pigmented and didn't make my lips feel dried out or flaky. They were left with a pleasant feeling of homeostasis. I did have to reapply a few times throughout the day, but that is usually a given with a very dark lip color and I certainly didn't mind. PBLCs lipsticks come in so many colors you are bound to find one to match your outfit and fall in love with. They all have a subtle minty flavor and aroma, which I really enjoy. Ingredients vary based on color, but all of them contain sunflower, castor, and coconut oils as well as beeswax, lanolin, candelilla wax, cocoa butter, vitamin e, and natural peppermint flavoring. Kim is also working on a new vegan formulation for those of you who are so inclined. There are swatches up on their site, so I'll give a brief (hopefully) description of all of the other colors I received.
  • Pewter Cauldron: Just as is suggested, a medium to dark pewter gray with a subtle sheen. I liked this one very much. Nice when you want to give a more subtle corpse look.
  • Indigo Bridge: Deep shimmering blue! I like this one layered over the black.
  • Snow Queen: Frosty white. I'll admit I haven't worn this on my lips, but it does make an excellent highlighter!
  • Difficult Island: Shimmering aqua, like a mermaids tail! Have not worn this one out yet. I'd like to try it as an eyeshadow, but I'm not sure if the peppermint in it would be good for that.
  • Coffee, black: 20s flapper realness right here! cocoa brown with a little tiny bit of sparkle. This one looks very nice on me, and I usually hate browns.
  • Good-bye little yellow bird: Although I am definitely a fan of Elton John, thank you Kim for not naming this the obvious! Creamy egg yolk yellow. Have not worn this out yet either.
  • Chlorosis: I love the name! Poison Ivy would like this pistachio'd sheen.
  • Perfect foil: Very sparkly silver! I used this as a cheek glitter and also over the top of...
  • The Purple Cloud: A very nice light lavender shade. I'm fond of purples on my lips because they look like I haven't been breathing for awhile.
  • Bad Penny: Shiny copper. Looks wonderful over coffee, black!
  • Irony: Like bad penny, but with a little more red. 
  • Undead Red: LOVE THIS! Very brown toned red.
  • Blood Red: Love this even more! Undead red with a little more red.
  • Bug's Blood: More of a pinkish burgundy red. I fancy my reds more orangey brown based with my skin tone.
  • This Corrosion: My absolute favorite out of them all! (No not just because it's named after a Sisters song!) The perfect neutral brownish matte pin-up red. Before going organigoth I wore a shade like this as my everyday color. Now I have a new and improved version that won't wreck my lips!
 The Shadows!  $8

PBLCs frosty duochrome shimmers remind me of opals. They come in blue, red, green, purple, copper, gold, white and then darkly sparkly. I received a full sized blue and a sample baggy of green and darkly sparkly. I love these because they are fine powders and are so versatile. I am still undecided about all the ingredients. Calcium aluminum borosilicate, titanium dioxide, silica, tin oxide and depending on the color, other FDA approved mineral pigments are listed as ingredients. Have to research those some more...They didn't make my eyes or the skin around them itch, which is a good sign.
Darkly sparkly is a wonderful matte black with silver sparkles. I love the name and using this as a smokey eyeliner or in my crease. They are working on a dark blue shade next and I can't wait!!

Overall I am beyond pleased with my discovery of Portland Black Lipstick Company and their lovely products. You can find them on Etsy here, or their main website here. Thank you again Kim for your generosity and hard work in making such enchanting cosmetics!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Continuing on the Organigoth journey....

It has been a very long while since I have posted anything. I kind of gave up on this page because it doesn't seem like anyone else has both an affinity for darker things and living healthy. I have been researching away, as usual, and I have made some very positive changes to my life in terms of food, supplements and beauty products. I figured I'd share them with the air, and the interwebz. I was also wondering if I should start posting about food and supplements instead of just beauty/skincare. We'll see how it goes.

Anyhow, I have come across some new products that I absolutely love and want to discuss. First is a new daily moisturizer with spf!

 Badger SPF 16 Sunscreen Lotion Aloe Vera
  • Price: $17.99 for a 2.9 oz. tube
  • Can be found at, various health food stores
  • First impressions: Felt very light, no scent!
  • Cons: I haven't been able to find any except the fact that it's a tad pricey?
  • Pros: Light, non sticky, doesn't leave skin greasy.

I suspect you are noticing the level of spf on the tube. Yes, it is only spf 16! Why on earth would someone like me only use spf 16?? This will not improve my ability to pale! Well, in my research I have been learning more and more about vitamin D, that most important of vitamins that your body makes from exposure to *gasp* sunlight. It wasn't too much of a surprise when I discovered that my vitamin D levels were alarmingly low. I avoid the sun at almost all costs. It was,  however, a big surprise to find out how many wonderful things vitamin D does, and how terrible a person can feel with a deficiency. Rickets anyone?? I won't go into all that vitamin D does for the body, you can learn about that here: But knowing what I know now I have decided to embrace a lower level of sun protection when I go out.

If you have read prior posts you know I have been on the hunt for the perfect daily moisturizer for FOR EV ER. I was sad to see my SUPER by Perricone moisturizer go because of unhealthy ingredients. I loved how it felt and the level of spf was high, plus it smelled divine! Almost every truly natural moisturizer with spf I have tried has been disgustingly sticky and thick, or left my face shiny and greasy. I found out that Badger was introducing a new sunscreen LOTION! I love my Badger products! They are committed to being truly natural, use organic ingredients whenever possible, and are easy to find at my local health food store. Although their regular sunscreens didn't work for my face, they do work nicely on my body. I went to my nearest Whole Foods to pick up the lotion as soon as it came out. Having been burned by so many other products, I tried a little on the back of my hand while I shopped. I wanted to check to see if the lotion was going to give me trouble before I spent the money on it and it ended up in my FAIL bin. The first things I noticed when I applied the lotion were how light it felt and how it didn't have that odd odor sunscreens usually have. It seemed to soak into my skin with very minimal effort. I went about doing the rest of my shopping, every so often feeling the back of my hand for tackiness. By the time I was ready to check out I couldn't tell I had applied anything to my hand beyond it feeling softer, so I bought it and rushed home to try it out on my face.

It's been months since I purchased it and I have to say I love love love this stuff! It's very light and soaks in easily. It doesn't have a scent, which I have been having issues with lately, and best of all it doesn't leave me greasy or sticky. When I wear powder it acts as a very nice base and goes over my Vapour Organic primer splendidly.

Next we have Tsi La Natural Perfumery and Organics Fiori D'Arancio Perfume!

  • Price: Eau de parfum $95 for 50ml Eau de parfum oil $44 for 4ml
  • Can be found at,
  • First impressions: Oh yum!!
  • Cons: Expensive!!!! Scent doesn't last terribly long on me.
  • Pros: Smells delicious! Totally organic and free of phthalates!
Unfortunately, my body seems to be becoming more sensitive. Almost everything I smell lately gives me a headache or makes me feel ill. Even scents on other people seem to make me feel sick. I have also become much more strict about ingredients in the products I use. All of this has led me to begin searching for new perfumes.
I prefer gourmand, or citrus scents for every day wear. They have become very popular, and although that is a plus for those who use conventional phthalate ridden scents, it didn't really help me. Natural perfumes are of course harder to come by, and organic perfumes harder still. Most of them are cliched granola hippy patchouli stink bombs. I stumbled upon Tsi-La (pronounced chee-la) on the glamorganic goddesses site and was immediately intrigued. I ordered a sample which came with a few other scents, but by far Fiori was my favorite! It smells like an orange creamsicle!! I was happy to find that it doesn't make me sneeze or give me a headache. Most natural perfumes have issues with staying power, and this one is no different. I have tried layering it, first the oil then the spray, and it lasts a little longer than the two alone. I have yet to purchase the full size of either because they are pricey. Since I'm working with samples this is another "special occasion" scent, but it's a definite favorite and may possibly become my new signature scent.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

a proper goth doesn't stink...

Perhaps you are like me and have had your senses offended by some less than careful black clad monster on the dance floor. They twist and twirl, all the while kicking up a stink that can only be described as "barnyard". Everyone knows a good and proper goth does shower regularly and makes an effort to smell good, or at least, non-offensive.

One of the more daunting challenges to my beauty regimen was finding a good deodorant. Keep in mind that deodorant and antiperspirant are two very different things that are usually combined in most conventional formulations, but not in naturals. You will still sweat with natural deodorant, but a good one will keep the stink at bay. I am going to list most of the deos I have tested for your benefit because unfortunately many did not hold up to an all night dance party...


  • Price: $3-7 at various healthfood stores
  • First impression: Very clean smelling. Has propylene glycol :/
  • Lasting impressions: I was absolutely horrified at how I smelled after a few hours.
Yes, yes anyone who has switched from conventional deo/antiperspirant will tell you that there is always a "detox" period the body undergoes where it leeches out toxins while it adjusts to the healthier you. This can make you smell a million times worse than you normally would using something natural. Not the case for me! I had already suffered through the "stink week" with another blah deodorant, and was still amazed at how I could reek like a football players lucky socks with this concoction. Kiss my face? More like kiss my ass!

  • Price: $3-7 at various drug and health food stores.
  • First impression: Wow this smells really, really good! Has propylene glycol :/
  • Lasting impressions: Oh dear God I am willing to possibly get cancer to avoid smelling like this ever again!!
Tom's of Maine is one of those "healthy" brands that can be found easily for the neophyte. They have marketed themselves very well in the last several years and are thus fairly popular among better for you brands. Greenwashed or not I used this during the first week of my healthy deo challenge. I showered and shaved and put this on. It sort of burned after shaving. Never-the-less I forged on. It smelled very nice at first, then morphed into some cloying mix of peach jolly ranchers and onions. BAD BAD BAD! It's also very sticky under your arm. Because I initially liked the scent, I decided to give this another go after my "stink week" had passed. SAME results. Ew, ick, bleh.

  • Price: $9.85 from 
  • First Impression: Geranium Lime? No propylene glycol? Awesome!
  • Lasting Impression: A crumbly mess!
Oh Stephanie, I really wanted to like your pit putty! After doing a ton of research I came across your site and was so excited about all the great reviews. This stuff comes in many different scents and has ingredients that totally make sense, and some that even work to wick sweat away! Sadly this was just too unwieldy for me. It's very crumbly and balls up under your arm. Lots of it falls off and gets onto your clothes. Since I happen to wear mostly black and dark colors, this was truly unacceptable. You simply cannot have deo stains under a black light can you? I even went back to the site and read the FAQ recommendations on how to use this best and still had issues with crumbles and the like. Stay tuned for there is redemption for Steph and Bubble and Bee coming later...

The Good:

  • Price: $3-7 at most health food stores.
  • First Impression: Yay it's not sticky! Has propylene glycol. :/
  • Lasting Impression: Next day go to deo!
Desert essence is one of those faker green washed organic companies. Although I am very opposed to this and stopped buying their products, I am still using up what I have left of this one. This has no scent but works like crazy. If you have been working up a bit of a stink just swipe this on and the smell is gone!

  • Price: $10.85-$11.85
  • First Impression: Wow this really works! No propylene glycol!
  • Lasting Impression: Fabulous!
Bubble and bee redeemed themselves with these "design a spray" deodorants. There are tons of scents you can mix and match and all are highly effective due to the quadruple distilled organic grain spirits. You can also pick from ready made scents which are available. I use this before putting on anything else and sometimes as a body spray.

Next we come to one of the greatest discoveries on my hunt for healthy...ETSY! There are a myriad amount of people making their own formulations on this site. I can't go through all of them, so I will just speak about the ones that I have tried and think deserve a try from you as well.

  • Price: $7-14
  • First impressions: WOW! So many pretty scents!
  • Lasting impressions: A texture more like conventionals, and it works!
Sobe botanicals is a fabulous storefront that makes one of the best deos I have found among other things. They are creamy and with just the right amount of scent. They are free of propylene glycol and come in yummy flavors like aquolina's pink sugar, so you don't have to smell like a hemp factory or patchouli wagon.

  • Price: $7-14
  • First impressions: I SMELL LIKE CAKE!
  • Lasting impressions: I STILL SMELL LIKE CAKE!
 LuckyGirlBoutique has even more awesome scents to choose from and the same creamy formula that is free of propylene glycol. I use bubble and bees spray first and then one of these deos rubbed in. I can personally attest to the fact that this combo holds up to a full night of dancing and anything that might happen to you afterwards. ;)


  • Price: $9.95
  • First impressions: It's like frosting for your pits!
  • Lasting impressions: My absolute favorite!

Bubble and bee recently created the absolute best deodorant I have used and have thus ended my crusade against stink. "Pit putty creams" are everything I was looking for: easy to use, no white marks on your clothing, fantastically scented, healthy ingredients, and above all insanely effective! They have a base of organic shea butter, arrowroot powder, coconut oil, sunflower oil, and aluminum-free baking soda. With scents like geranium lime, lemon clove (my particular favorite), "jasmint", lemongrass, spearmint tea tree, and "super pit putty" which is a blend of lemon clove and patchouli, there is something for almost everyone.


Bubble and bee have recently come out with a new scent of pit putty cream! Orange vanilla!! It smells amazing and I can't wait to try it out on the dance floor and let you know how it works!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

fundamentals...a primer.

Primer helps your make-up to last longer, smooths fine lines, and fills in pores, giving you a seemingly marble visage. This is very important if you like to sport a perfect deadly pale look as I do. Primer has been by far one of the hardest components of my make-up kit to find a healthy version of. I have tried almost every one Sephora has to offer. My favorite product was Smashboxes Photo Finish, but it's filled with all sorts of beasty ingredients. I loved how it made my skin feel though, and it filled every little crack and crevice like spackle! Here are some of the products I tried on my pilgrimage to primer perfection...

Bare Escentuals Prime Time Oil Control Foundation Primer
  • Price: $21 for 1oz.
  • Can be found at or
  • First impressions: Yay it doesn't have silicone!
  • Cons: Pricey for just an ounce. Isn't as silky or smooth as products with silicones.
  • Pros: It has witch hazel and other anti acneic ingredients.
Prime time worked fairly well. I could still see some imperfections after I applied my powder however.

    Korres Vitamin E/Silicone Free Face Primer
    • Price: $28 for 1.01oz.
    • Can be found at and
    • First impression: I like the minimalist packaging.
    • Cons: Takes a long time to rub in. Felt almost soapy.
    • Pros: Is silicone free.
    Overall this primer took some getting used to. It seemed to froth up on my skin almost like soap and took a good while to rub in completely. I gave it several tries. but it didn't manage to impress.

     Korres Quercetin and Oak Age Reversing Primer

    • Price: $33 for 1.01 oz.
    • Can be found at and
    • First impression: Felt a little silkier than the regular primer.
    • Cons: Didn't help foundation glide on.
    • Pros: Is silicone free.
    The texture of this primer made me hope it would be better than Korres original formula. Once I put it on and got it all rubbed in it went sticky and my foundation wouldn't glide on how I like. I tried it on another occasion and got a little better result. Still not worth the price for such mediocre performance.

     Vapour Organic Beauty Stratus Soft Focus Instant Skin Perfector

    • Price: $54
    • Can be found at
    • First impression: Pricey!
    • Cons: The price.
    • Pros: Feels just like Photo Finish!! Comes in a few different shades.
    This primer is so silky! It smooths without feeling as heavy as my beloved Photo Finish. This was an unexpected bonus, especially when layering so many products as I do to get my palest pale when going out. So pleased to have found something just as good as, if not better than, Smashbox and without all the crap!

    Vapour Organic Beauty Stratus Instant Skin Perfector

    • Price: $44
    • Can be found at
    • First Impression: A convenient stick form!
    • Cons: A little harder to blend than the cream form.
    • Pros: Can apply stick directly to face.
    Haven't much negative to say about the stick form of this primer other than I have a little more trouble blending it on my nose. I'm sure some practice will eliminate any issues.

      Wednesday, March 9, 2011


      Let's visit another one of the fundamentals shall we? Moisturizers. A good moisturizer is going to set the stage for make-up magic. Your skin will be ready for whatever you want to slather on it, as long as it's healthy, after it has been properly fed. Remember, you want to look dead, not actually be dead. Moisturizers come in so many forms it can be absolutely daunting trying to find one that you like which works best with your skin type. I can't possibly speak on them all, so I'll just go through some of what I've tried for my specific needs as I test them.

      I have oily to combination skin that can become sensitive if fooled with too much, especially around my nose, and unfortunate occasional blemishes. Pretty standard I suppose. I am fair with more neutral undertones. I abhor the sun. I realize this is a goth cliche, but if I could somehow develop albinism or vitiligo and live out the remainder of my life by moonlight, I would do so gladly. So you can expect that I value a day moisturizer which includes good sun protection! A good one helps you protect your pale without all the nasties like:
      • 4-Methyl-Benzylidencamphor (4-MBC)
      • Oxybenzone Benzophenone-3
      • Octyl-methoyl-cinnamates (OMC)
      • Octyl-Dimethyl-Para-Amino-Benzoic Acid (OD-PABA)
      • Homosalate(HMS)

      Josie Maran Protect Daily Sun Protection SPF 40+
      • Price: $14 for .5 oz or $34 for 2oz
      • Can be found at and
      • First impressions: I love the glass bottle! 
      • Cons: Is somewhat thick, you need to really rub this in to avoid a coated in zinc oxide look.
      • Pros: High SPF. No discernible fragrance that I could detect.
      Redundant name aside, I found this product to be fine. It was thick and took some work to get it all absorbed, but it helped my powder stick nicely. I would continue to use this in a pinch, as it has a high level of spf and is reasonably healthful when compared to other facial sunscreens. I am fairly light, so it's possible "chalkiness" doesn't bother me, in fact I find it to be a plus when making myself up to go out.

       Josie Maran Argan Sun Protection for Body Spf 30+

      • Price: $24 for 4 oz.
      • Can be found at and
      • First impressions: Alright, it's for the body, but lets try it on my face.
      • Cons: Only spf 30.
      • Pros: More product for the $.
       On my continued quest for the perfect combination of high spf, non greasiness, and value I came across another Josie Maran product. The formulation is designed for the body, but I figured I would give it a try since it's a much better value than the other from her line. I found it to be slightly too greasy for my face and so back to the spf 40...

      Super by Dr. Nicholas Perricone Daylight Savings Spf 25 Moisturizer
      • Price: $38 for 1 oz.
      • Found at
      • First impressions: Smells like lemonade!!!
      • Cons: Ingredients could be a little better.
      • Pros: Very sheer texture. 

      I wanted this one to work out so badly! I loved almost everything about it! It was perfectly light on the skin, no greasiness or chalkiness, and it smelled of lemonade. I could certainly deal with the slight lack of spf for all these other benefits...Then I did more research on cosmetic ingredients and the magic was ruined. Oh the curse of knowledge! I discovered new beasties like phenoxyethanol, ethoxylated compounds, and dimethyl MEA. All of which were in what I thought was the perfect daytime moisturizer.