Saffire Blue: What are your worst online shopping “horror stories”?

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

As you all know, I’m not one to complain… very much. When I run into problems behind the scenes at theNotice, 95% of the time, you never hear about it — whether that’s a PR firm who’s upset over a product getting a bad review, or a rep for the company who could stand to learn a few things from Emily Post.

Over the past few months, though, I’ve been going through one of the most upsetting interactions I’ve ever had with a company. I don’t have any other form of recourse for their behaviour (you can’t Yelp an online store, after all — can you?), so here’s a warning for any of you in Canada who are thinking about buying cosmetic ingredients and packaging.

saffire blue - fraud vs bad business

I made an order at Saffire Blue this January (just shy of $100), and it arrived in early February. When I opened up the box, however, I found that a number of the items I bought were missing — seven of them, to be precise.

I contacted the company immediately, and contacted them again a week later when I hadn’t heard back from them. We exchanged a handful of emails, and then, after about a week, they suddenly stopped responding.

saffireblueinc

I called them out on it on Twitter to help speed things up (PayPal’s insurance is time-limited) because the squeaky wheel gets the grease, right? But instead of saying “oops, sorry, we’ll get right on that,”, they instead made public claims saying I had never contacted them, even though their customer service rep had replied to many of my emails, and I have a record of all of them.

I had paid for the order through PayPal, so I opened up a dispute about the items. Throughout the course of this interaction, their CEO repeatedly stated that they had offered to send me the missing items – a request which I had been making for weeks, and which they had repeatedly denied. Each time I offered to take them up on it, they immediately backtracked and said that they would only reimburse me for the cost of the missing items, and refused to send them out or refund me the cost of shipping for the missing items — a cost which was worth 4x the value of the items, which made up over half of what they charged me for shipping, and which they never had to pass forward to the shipping carrier.

saffire blue false claims - mission statement

Sure, I’m raving — but probably not in the way you wanted, guys.

PayPal has now said that my only form of recourse is to file against them for fraud. I don’t intend to do this–because I don’t think it was fraud, I think it was just spectacularly bad business–but I did want to get a post on their company out there in the open.

If you need to buy raw ingredients or packaging materials in Canada, I encourage you to avoid Saffire Blue at all costs. They have a wonderful selection and website, but their customer service is unhelpful, humiliating, and quite frankly, full of lies. I’m not saying you should avoid all small retailers (this is the only time I’ve had anything but gold-star service from any online store, big or small!), but remember: even in the business world, you can’t count on everyone to be honest or professional.

What have your worst experiences with online shopping been? Is there anyone that you’d like to warn us about?

Je Joue MiMi Soft Silicone Vibrator review, photos | A Valentine’s Day review, from me to you

Friday, February 14, 2014

Je Joue MiMi Soft box

The product: Je Joue MiMi Soft Waterproof Rechargeable Silicone Vibrator in Fuchsia

My dearest, darlingest readers: over 180 of you requested this review in a gift guide last December, and because I was so incredibly overwhelmed by the gesture, consider this my Valentine’s Day gift to all of you. 

Try as I might, I can’t really do anything with theNotice without your support, so thank you. I have a super embarrassing brain crush on all of you beautiful creatures right now, and I really hope that some of you will love the MiMi Soft as much as I do.

Je Joue MiMi Soft

The execution

Packaged in the sturdiest, most luxurious box I’ve ever received anything in, the MiMi Soft is luxury inside and out. With a very cool magnetic charging mechanism and a soft, plush silicone finish, it appeals to both my lady-parts and my inner geek.

Like the original MiMi ($88.99 USD), the MiMi Soft is entirely waterproof, with five vibration levels and five vibration patterns (controlled separately), and comes in four colours: black, lilac, fuchsia (featured here), and Je Joue’s classic purple. Both deliver two hours of use on a two hour charge, and feature metal intensity buttons on their back end that double as points of charge. The buttons are very hard to push, one of the MiMi’s only faults (the only other is its slight noisiness), but I personally think it’s a worthwhile tradeoff — yes, even with my arthritic fingers.

Je Joue MiMi Soft details

Je Joue MiMi Soft review controls hard

Je Joue MiMi Soft intensity buttons/charging ports, & pattern switch (between)

Je Joue MiMi Soft magnetic charger

Je Joue MiMi Soft, with its magnetic charging “port”

The experience

The silicone finish: Unlike the original MiMi, or any other toy I’ve owned before, the Soft version features a thick layer of silicone overtop the ABS plastic. It’s squishy without being too squishy, holding its shape but delivering a very unique, incredibly comfortable experience. Silicone is the safest material to use in any type of sex toy, but it usually feels like a thin, fixed layer of protection overtop a harder material. With the MiMi Soft, however, the silicone layer feels plush and somehow realistic (without being creepy-realistic), and lifts slightly off the inner body of the toy if squished just right. For me, it’s like the difference between bare hands and latex on a stick: which is to say, a huge one.

Somehow, though, the soft finish of this vibrator isn’t even its main selling point. Instead, may I please introduce you to the Je Joue MiMi motor: a little rattly, a little loud, and yet exponentially better than anything else I’ve ever tried. 

Je Joue MiMi review

Keep reading to find out what makes the MiMi a must-have »

A little Osmia Organics love… for you! | theNotice’s first Valentine’s Day giveaway

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Valentine's Day giveaway with theNotice and Osmia Organics

What’s that, you say? It’s not Valentine’s Day yet?

Well, yes, alright. But in two weeks’ time, when this giveaway closes, it will be — and one lucky reader will be receiving not only kissably, shiny lips, but two super-sexy scents, too.

Osmia favourites, best products

If you missed these postsOsmia Organics is an independently-owned, all-natural skincare company located in the mountains of Colorado. Focused on scents and founded by an ex-emergency room doctor with an incredible story, all of their products are made in-house with love — I literally think that Osmia girls exude love into their products as they’re making them (that’s why they’re all so good!)

This giveaway features three of my favourite Osmia products (spoiler alert: all Osmia products are my favourite Osmia products), plus one that I haven’t tried, to keep our Valentine’s theme going.

Enter the giveaway…

…with the form below. To choose the Osmia Organics Lip Gloss that best fits your skintone (or, perhaps more importantly, personality), click here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

What’s in it (literally) for me?

You guys have responded so well to the recent Osmia features on theNotice that they offered to share the love with one lucky reader. Here’s your chance to win: a full-sized Honey-Myrrh Lip Repair, a sample of Juniper Fire, a sample of the Sunset body oil, and a full-sized tube of the lip gloss of your choice.

This giveaway is open internationally, and will close at midnight leading to February 14th. A winner will be announced that day — I like to think of it as a Valentine’s Day gift from us to you ;)


Osmia Organics giveaway

Thank you again to Sarah, Taja, and the rest of the Osmia Organics team for setting this up! 

‘Tis the season… to give away two tubes of Annabelle TwistUp Lipstick in Cherry!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Annabelle Cherry swatch TwistUp Retractable Lipstick

Annabelle Cosmetics TwistUp Retractable Lipstick in Cherry, swatched

For all of our wonderful, supportive readers who didn’t hit the jackpot and win a set of Annabelle Cosmetics TwistUp Retractable Lipsticks this past October, I have a surprise for you: with the help of the beautiful folks over at Annabelle, I have another two TwistUps in Cherry to give away!

If you weren’t following the TwistUp craze that took the Canadian blogosphere by storm earlier in the year, Cherry is the one shade that completely took my breath away. The creamy, high-pigment TwistUp formula, paired with the ridiculously vibrant berry-red tones of Cherry, made for one of the most opulent red lipsticks I will likely ever own. Scentless and undeniably gorgeous, it radiates sex appeal — and it’s a shade that I think every bold lipstick lover should have in their stash.

» Don’t miss theNotice’s Annabelle TwistUp review & swatches of all 24 shades!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Like our last Annabelle giveaway, one of these TwistUps will go to a reader in the US/Canada, and one to an international reader. (This is to make sure at least one winner will be from a country where you can’t get Annabelle products!) The giveaway will open today, December 12th, and will close at 11:59 PM (MST) on Christmas Eve. Winners will be announced on the 25th of December, and will have three days to get back to me before I will re-draw for their prize.

Good luck, dear readers! I hope you’re having a warm, festive holiday season so far.

A guide to Black Friday/Cyber Monday in the beauty world

Friday, November 29, 2013

(To disclaim: some, but not all, of these sites are affiliate links. I’ve chosen the deals I think you’ll find the most useful, not the ones that’ll generate the most revenue. If you don’t want to click, by all means, feel free not to!)

BECCA Cosmetics Ultimate Colour Gloss Berry Twist

Becca Cosmetics: 20% off + free shipping over $50, runs until 12/2 at midnight PST. Use code FAMILY13. (I’m lemming their Ultimate Color Gloss in Berry Twist, seen above. Plus, a quick PSA: their liquid Shimmering Skin Perfector smells alarmingly like MAC wipes, if you’re a fan of those.)

(What? Some people are! I think it’s weird, but hey, I regularly pull out my Clarins Face and Blush Powders just to sniff. I definitely don’t get to judge.)

Biotherm Canada: 25% off + free shipping on everything. Use code BLACKFRIDAY.

The Body Shop Canada: 3 for $30 sitewide, 11/26 to 11/30. But, more importantly: 50% off sitewide 12/01 to 12/03!

Butter London: 20% off regular price & 50% off “last orders” items, runs 11/29 through 12/2. Use code CYBER13.

Clinique Makeup Minis

Clinique: free shipping on all orders + 4 free makeup minis with orders $25+, 11/29 to 11/30. Use code PRETTY. Pick 5 free minis with orders 35+ from 12/1 through 12/5. (I recommend Chubby everything, obviously.)

Diptyque: free Feu de Bois and Oranger 35g candle duo + free US shipping, now until 12/02. Use code HOLIDAY2013. (Never have I ever wished I lived in the US more.)

Indigo/Chapters: 40% off a lot of really great candles. Plus a bunch of other things, like, you know, books, but their candles are where it’s at. (I recommend Illume Woodfire for the bedroom, particularly in its demi boxed size, and Voluspa Lichen & Vetiver for the office or living room.)

Kate Somerville: 50% off, 11/29 through 12/01 – unconfirmed info from the brand; it doesn’t appear to be live as I write this. Otherwise, it’s 30% off 11/25 through 12/2. Use code HOLIDAY2013. (If you’ve been meaning to try the cult-favourite ExfoliKate, now’s the perfect time!)

Lancôme Canada: 15% off + free shipping, 11/28 to 11/29. Use code BLACKFRIDAY. I would recommend their eyeshadows, Bi-Facial (if you’re not sensitive to ‘cones), and Artliners (both new and old), and this holiday’s illuminator, if you have a particularly strong affinity for pink and shimmer.

MIYU Holiday 2013

MIYU Beauty: 25% off, 11/29 through 12/2. Use code BFCMMIYU5. (These Canadian beauty teas and beauty essences (serums in the form of facial sprays) are pretty brilliant — and pretty gorgeous).

Sephora: $10 USD/$12 CAD deals, 11/29.

Plus, the freebies: 12 free samples + free makeup bag on orders over $25 USD/$35 CAD, use code FIXIT (BI only). US orders over $25, 11/30 to 12/9: free makeup bag + 5 mystery samples with code SUSPENSE, free with SHIPNOWCanada orders over $35: free Fresh Sugar Lemon mini with SUGARLEMON, 8 free samples + free makeup bag with BLITZ, free Fresh Rose Face Mask deluxe sample with ROSEMASK, free BareMinerals trio including the foundation shade of your choice with BAREGIRL (original formula) or MATTEGIRL (matte).

Tarte Cosmetics: 25% off all orders + free shipping over $40, 11/28 through 12/1. Use code TURKEY. (This code is my favourite).   

Nordstrom: 33% off+ on all Black Friday deals, plus special beauty value sets + over 80 beauty GWPs, 11/29 only. Thanksgiving deals at 25% off+ through to 12/1. Free US shipping & returns on all orders.

PS: don’t forget about Ebates! (US/Canada)

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