The Truth About Orglamix?

I found something I think you all should read.

I’m just curious, what do you all think about this situation?  If you’re a business owner, what is your advice for Orglamix,?  Would you care to share and please feel free to post anonymously.  I think this is a great way for other fledgling companies to learn from other’s mistakes!

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57 Responses to “The Truth About Orglamix?”

  1. I’m just happy I never bought a single thing because I hated the stock photos! Same with never buying GS for hating her photo…. Now if only my damn gut hated something about LC before I bought that freakin glitter. I shall continue to google before buying or at least buy small so I’m not completely dissapointed when a company turns into a big huge fail.

    • I totally feel you… if only I hated something about LC before spending my whole Kid’s Day savings x.x

      Overall, I feel happy I never bought from them and sad for those who did. I still think the glittersniffer situation is too bad to be able to be beaten, but Orglamix was quite dishonest.
      I have no problems with private label if it is stated, but not stating and pretending stock photos are actually models using your products is wrong.

      I hope all this is the end of the dishonest companies.
      I’ll keep buying from the ones I trust and keep asking about the ones I don’t know.

    • Honestly, I was referred by another Etsy user- and I figured anyone with a lightbox and Photoshop/GIMP could create photos like that, right?

      Should have read reviews here first. Ugh.

  2. I think it is ok to sell private label or unblended products, provided they are clearly marked as private label or unblended, and the ingredients listing is accurate.

    I think it’s perfectly fine to use stock photos provided you tell people ‘these are stock photos’ and don’t say ‘the model is wearing my makeup.

    I don’t think it’s ok to claim a specific SPF rating unless you pay to get the testing done. If they say that their product does have titanium dioxide or zinc oxide, which offers barrier protection, but that they can’t indicate a specific level of SPF, that is fine.;

    • People rely on SPF claim to protect them from CANCER. Ug.

      • That’s why I don’t like it when a company claims SPF 15, yet they’ve not had the testing done.

        Of course, I also wear SPF 30 under my makeup, and then I have that protection, plus whatever my makeup adds, to keep my skin from frying.

      • Some people are also on medications that make their skin photosensitive. Their skin burns as soon as they are in sunlight and they are therefore even more prone to skin cancer….sobering thought for those who relied on the fact that there was some kind of SPF…

  3. How about: Don’t lie.

  4. In a nut shell if you’re just reselling/branding private label say so and it’s certainly ok and sometimes safer to do so. But you don’t belong on Etsy or Artfire for being “handcrafted”, you’re misbranding yourself if you are. Out side of MM there’s a similar activities in B&B with people buying pre-made bases/repackaging and saying handmade and made from scratch.

    • I don’t agree that a company should have to say “This is private label, I’m reselling!!” or mark which of their items are resold; but I do agree that if a company is only reselling items, they should not on Etsy or Artfire…both of which are marketplaces intended for artists and handicraft vendors to sell their products.

      (What’s B&B?)

  5. I think that having multiple brands is fine. Lots of companies do that, to try and reach a different marketplace / appeal to a different demographic. I’ve done this for the various services I offer, because while lumping them all together makes sense for ME, it doesn’t necessarily make sense for the buyers. People looking for technical writing may be looking for document production, but they’re probably not interested in CMS development – and may not even know what that is.

    Just…if you do have multiple brands, keep them straight. Don’t offer product X through Brand 1 and Brand 2 unless it’s such a very basic product that it makes sense to offer it through both brands. And if you do that, in the name of all that is holy and much that is not, do not price them differently!! People will find out, and they will be kind of peeved.

    …and don’t lie. A company has to reveal everything about which products are resold, which products are close-to-repackaged, and which are items that you worked with a chemist or lab to create or customize, to get my business; but don’t imply that all of your products are vegan if they aren’t, don’t imply that you created all of your products if you didn’t, don’t say anything that you know is not 100% true thinking that no one will find out about it, or that no one will care.

    From an entrepreneurial standpoint, Cheri looks like she had a good plan: she had multiple sites, multiple potential revenue streams, appeals to multiple market segments. But – it looks like she didn’t do due diligence on product safety, and then she outright lied to customers about a) safety of ingredients; and b) product representation (both the “handcrafted” and the “these are photos of our products on models” aspects). Two great big whanging pieces of idiocy. TSS actually did the same thing, in having a stock photo on the front of their site for the longest time – but when someone asked which colors were used in that look, she straightforwardly said, “That’s a stock photo, that doesn’t use any of my colors, but you could approximate it with X and Y.” Photography isn’t easy, it’s expensive, and unless an owner knows a photographer and a makeup artist, their choices are to use stock photos to make the web site attractive and get customers to come and buy, or only have photos of the products themselves – which, again, if one doesn’t know a good photographer, this can result in a site that isn’t very visually appealing. When selling, visual appeal goes a long way toward encouraging customers to browse, let alone buy. And when selling something to enhance or alter visual appearance, like makeup or clothing, that factor is even more crucial. It’s possible to have the visual attractiveness without lying and claiming that those are models wearing your products…but for whatever reason or series of reasons, Cheri felt that she couldn’t be straight with people about where the photos came from. (She could have also made different photo choices. And the crap about “but the designer chose the photos” – which a lot of people use – is a childish dodge. If one hires a designer, one is responsible for laying out the scope of the project and for giving final approval on the project.

    When Aromaleigh closed, I had idly toyed with the idea of learning to create good quality eyeshadows and blushes, and opening a makeup business. I had ideas about working with people in Europe and Asia and Australia to redistribute the products locally, so that folks in those countries could buy in their local currency and get faster turnaround times (and not get slapped by customs fees.) But then I thought about all the crap that surrounds MMU companies and said…no, no thanks. I’d rather rub my fingertips briskly against a cheese grater, dip them in salt, and then punch out a novel on a manual typewriter. Either you make all handmade and don’t resell anything at all, or you’ll be pretty much shunned and denigrated by the indie community – which means that you’re by default competing with NYX and Wet n Wild and Milani and the drugstore brands (selling to the same market) but you don’t have access to their distribution channels (or their ginormous corporate backing, because many of the drugstore makeup brands are owned and operated by companies…that also market prestige and high-end brands.)

  6. Straight up, if Cheri comes out right now and says “oh, yeah, I was repackaging/selling private label cosmetics I designed in partnership with a lab, sorry about that you guys”, she *might* be able to save Orglamix. It’ll be tough, but people hate liars WAY more than they hate repackaged makeup. If she doesn’t, the glitter police will be after her until she closes up shop. I see only one good choice for her- here’s hoping she makes the right decision and stops lying to her adoring customers.

    • I think that Cheri’s going to just have to write off Orgalmix and Candy Glam, and back out of this market entirely. She’s pissed people off, she’s lied, she’s endangered peoples’ health, she’s going to have a very hard time getting back in. Unless of course she just waits a decade, then tries again. This time without lying.

      She might potentially be able to keep doing business through her Beautyofasite and other places she’s set up, where she’s not trying to sell “handcrafted” anything. But since those are mostly or all resold / private label products, I have no idea what the profit margins would be like, since people can find the same or highly similar items through other online stores.

      • Really loved your long post above – all excellent points and well said.

        I have a fear that she’s going to just keep deleting anything questioning that appears on her fan page and ignoring emails, which means the majority of her fan base will just keep on blindly believing in her and buying. It was fortunate that she was MIA for the last few days so that people had an opportunity to see some of the links and questions being posted on her fan page, but unless people are really diligent in their research and follow the makeup blogging world, the sad reality seems to be that this will effectively get swept under the rug and ignored and will not significantly impact her business. Sure, many of us are angry and sad and feel betrayed and lied to – but she has 16,663 fans on facebook right now! The majority of those people will never even notice what is going on and being discussed right now.

        I hope I’m wrong. I REALLY hope I’m wrong.

        • All anyone can do is do their best to put information out where others will find it – both old customers, and new customers. That’s all that product recalls can do. And this is effectively a consumer-driven product recall on the entire Orgalmix brand. Just like recalls of pet food, children’s toys, flammable clothing, electronics, et cetera.

          Hopefully there are lots of other outlets reproducing this information (with permission), linking and crosslinking, and (when they have it) posting photographic evidence, like the labels listing the soap ingredients on “eye-safe” cosmetics. The Glittersniffer controversy got airplay on a Michigan radio station. Perhaps this can, as well.

          Hopefully Cheri will learn what does and doesn’t work, as far as running a business; and that short-term monetary gains can and will be washed away if she lies.

          (Or maybe it’s the size of the lies. She didn’t lie big enough. She lied little, and people found out about it, and have corroborating evidence. Lie big enough and no one will question it.)

          (I have been watching far too much politics lately. I’m getting [more] cynical.)

          • Thank you for your awesome essay above, and continued comments…

            As the author of the post, I made sure I had facts… Not hearsay before I continued on and published the article. I’m really disappointed in the fact that Cheri has lied about the cosmetics. The makeup itself, I love. I’ll continue to use my rather large collection personally…

            Most of us who use her cosmetics pretty much have come to the consensus that this isn’t about money, this isn’t about the quality of the makeup… It’s about the quality and enormity of the lie. And now, to cover it up, she’s deleting posts made by customers and fans, in addition to banning them from her FB page, that are asking her simple questions: Why the stock photos? Why did you claim they were your models? Are your cosmetics safe? Handmade? Where’s your lab? Can we see?

            Selling private label? So what! No big deal!! I’ll still buy! Claim it’s yours, and handmade… Labels, stickers, corresponding to other private label sites… MMmmmm…. The internet cache doesn’t lie. And personally, I don’t like liars.

            • Precisely. If an item is resold, if you’re not charging a disgusting markup w/out adding any value, and your customers want the product, and you honestly feel that the product is a good value…then yay, go for it. Just don’t try to claim that it’s your original creation.

              And…yep, it can get very confusing when you run multiple brands or multiple lines. And it’s possible to make errors and mix up text, products, et cetera. But part of your job as a business owner is to set up your system so that it minimizes errors like this. Otherwise – if there are these mistakes, things that people can find out about, what others might there be? Et cetera, et cetera.

              Just like we all (presumably) learned as kids: don’t lie. Treat your customers like you’d want to be treated – even in the parts of the business that they can’t see. That means don’t sell them junk (either cheap or unsafe), don’t be unsanitary, don’t charge them as much as you can get away with just because you can, don’t treat them like idiots or burdens, and…oh yeah. Don’t lie.

              …some peoples’ children. Yeesh.

      • Loved your long post 🙂

        I think Cheri still has enough of a fan base she won’t have to close, but it seems like she’s back to threatening people with lawyers again.

        • There are a whole lot of legal threats being made by this and that company against bloggers, and not a whole lot of follow-up.

          If one is going to make a threat and not follow through, that’s bluster and bluffing and we’re not going to listen any more because nothing will ever come of it.

  7. There are people out there with what seems to be pretty conclusive proof of these allegations. To just say “no.. its not true” isn’t going to be enough.The owners reaction almost exudes guilt in itself.

    Fact: If she wanted to keep her “good name” and reassure her customers and defend the integrity of her company. She would have given proof to back her OWN statements up & not just denied everything and suggested everyone email her regarding their questions on her practices. (going private to sweep up negative responses under the rug.. shame shame) This is just my opinion, but if she had just been honest from the get-go about what she has been doing, there wouldn’t be any question. As consumers, we should have the right to all the information. We don’t like to feel “duped” and deserve the right to honesty so we can make informed decisions on what we purchase.

    There’s nothing saying that people wouldnt have or would have purchased from her company without any ruse or fudging truths. Thats the bottom line. We never had a choice to know the truth or not.

  8. I run a small small shop on Etsy, and I’m appalled at this information… it saddens me knowing that companies like these exist. I personally think if you’re not going to start an honest owner of a business than don’t start up at all.. I mean I blend my own colors, and Its not that hard so I don’t see why anyone would cheat their buyers… it just disgusts me..

    Thanks for this!

  9. It saddens me that people are still in denial about this, with all the proof being given. I’d like to ask them, how do you think Cheri finds time to make enough product to have a 2-day TAT for all her hundreds of orders? How does she never run out of ingredients, or have them discontinued by the supplier? How does a company like Fyrinnae, with so many incoming orders they have to close every few weeks to process and create them all, with only two employees very well-known high quality, do LESS than Cheri does “all by herself” – while simultaneously having her fingers in all those other pies (Beauty of a Site, Haute Tub, Urban Apothecary)? It’s physically impossible. I know she’s offered to do walk-in tours of her “lab” in response to this, and I can’t wait to LOL at the results.

  10. I don’t care if you sell and re-lable private label products because that’s kind of the point… However, DON’T SELL IT ON ETSY! It’s not handmade so don’t claim it is and sweet merciful crap, don’t lie about ingredients! That includes lying about what’s in the product and making bogus health claims. It’s so annoying when companies do that!

    Orglamix was already dead to me when they started sending all those cease-and-desist letters to bloggers so I really don’t care what happens to that company. Plus the whole “mom-made” shtick was annoying, yeah I really don’t want to put makeup on my face that was made next to some boogery kid flinging play-doh (no offense to her kid but that’s just not sanitary).

  11. This. http://www.flickr.com/photos/50390067@N03/5500739259/ That’s all I have to say here. I was actually helping another customer pick colours while investigating her shop more (having finally read the comments on Grey’s original post about her), and noticed the funny ingredient lists. Honestly, I hadn’t really thought to check before, with all that good feedback! And then “OMG ASKING ABOUT INGREDIENTS IS SO NEGATIVE WAAAHHHHHHH I’LL REMOVE YOU FROM MY SITE!” Bitch, please. I’ll remove myself, thanks.

    • OMG, I just laughed out loud at your post. Brilliant 🙂
      Her response was beyond rediculous.

  12. I admit that I spent far more money than I should have on Orglamix when she first opened her shop. Up until then, I didn’t even know there were other indie makeup companies. I’d only ever purchased B.E. and Everyday Minerals.

    It didn’t take long for Cheri’s actions to start rubbing me the wrong way, but I dismissed it as me being “prickly” (which I am) and overlooked it.

    One of the things that always bothered me was her method of leaving customer feedback. She’d leave you positive feedback, but it was all about HER. No “thanks for your purchase,” no appreciation for her customer, just another sales plug for Orglamix.

    In fact, it was the lack of customer appreciation and using her customer’s feedback space as another self-promotion vehicle that finally led me to decide that she was not getting another penny from me and to start digging past all the “Yay, Orglamix!” blog posts that turn up in a Google search to find someone, somewhere who wasn’t completely ga-ga over Orglamix. That led me to Phyrra’s and Grey’s blogs, and through them I got quite an education. I thank you two lovely ladies for being willing to put yourselves out there, even in the face of all the bullcrap you get from less-than-upright company owners.

  13. After watching my own comments get deleted from the Facebook page…yeah. I have little to say except I’m prepping all of my screencaps of the comments I watched get deleted over the last hour or so and will be posting them for archival.

    • I’m glad someone ‘capped them. Let me know if you post them so I can link back to you.

      • Feel free to repost mine, although the full thread got deleted before I screencapped that part. I just felt internet drama coming on as soon as I said anything.

    • My comments were deleted as well, which I feel is even more unprofessional of her.

      My biggest concern, is that she is selling non-handmade items on etsy. She brings in a lot of money for etsy, so etsy is of course hesitant to actually do anything about this situation. But, the average etsy user, seeing a bronzer for sale and a tacky photo of a girl wearing bronzer, is going to assume that is a photo of the product being used. Makeup buyers are becoming more inclined to check the ingredient list, but again, the average person or first time makeup buyer isn’t going to even think they’re repackaged. I think Cheri knew this, and did indeed take advantage of many people for quite some time.

      Plus, REALLY? She repackaged private label cosmetics by just simply placing her own label over top?? and it took this long for someone to figure that out?? So lame & lazy, Orglamix.

      • Well, anything I left yesterday/last night is now gone, too, and I’ve been banned.

        I tried to be adult when commenting, being friendly, not calling names, etc, but I’m gone, and her screaming-in-all-caps rude and insulting fans are still there.

        I see how she runs her business. It’s cute.

  14. Jules Noctambule March 6, 2011 at 1:29 pm

    It would be extremely simple for her to prove her makeup is handmade like she claims by posting photos of her work area, like the article suggests, but given her track record I suspect she’d mock up those as well. I once considered buying Orglamix makeup despite her Photoshoptastic pictures, but first I did a little Google search because I know Etsy isn’t keen on enforcing their rules about resellers and I like to check. The downside? Another repacker on Etsy, claiming to do the same hard work as the genuinely creative. The upside? I found this site!

    My business advice for Miss Cheri is ‘Stop lying.’
    Just tell the truth. Don’t keep opening business after business, thinking you can run and hide, because the internet doesn’t forget and anyone can do a simple search. If people don’t trust your product, in the end you’re unlikely to have any business to manage at all.

  15. Stop treating customers as if they are beneath you. The internet isn’t some magic wall to hide behind so you can be the hateful lazy coward you really are on the inside. Just because you don’t deal with your customers on a face-to-face basis, does not mean they are faceless order numbers. They are people. People that deserve respect, if not at the very least, your appreciation. People that wanted to have fun, experiment or just look pretty and you stole not only their money with your lies but you stole their trust in indie businesses. Because of that, some genuine hard-working people will lose money in an economy that cannot afford to lose anymore; because your greed means they won’t get a chance. Because you caused actual, physical harm to your customers, good businesses like the ones Grey reviews might not get a chance to make a first impression.

    You have to put on your big girl panties and own up to what you did. Publicly. In either a blog post, or a video, whatever. And not just to your customers and fans, but to the indie business community. To the people you stole artwork from for free business promotion. To people suffering from genuine mental illnesses for exploiting them and using their disease as an excuse to be terrible. Then do whatever you legally have to do to make things right. And give the people that have legitimate reasons for wanting their money back just that. Their money. Will people hate you for that? Some. Will others refuse to forgive you? Yes. But it’ll give you a chance to start over, maybe not a fresh start, but an honest start.

    Then maybe, you know, you can start on the no-brainers. Like either actually making the products yourself like you claim to, or being upfront about repackaging private label goods. Oh, and washing your hands, wearing gloves and working in a sterile environment!

    If all of that is too complicated for you, I see a great future for you in Amway.

  16. I just received an email from MarketMommies, today the daily deal is with you guessed it, Orglamix. I emailed them back & told them briefly whats been going on.

    And yes – if you want to repackage, use stock pics, & non vegan makeup GO FOR IT. But at least be honest to about what you are doing. You know deep in your heart something is wrong with it though & nobody will buy from you unless you have this “I make it all by myself & look how successful I am” shtick. It disgusts me not only as a shop owner who struggles but as a person who hates liars!

  17. Cheri is claiming she has “NEVER had a SINGLE COMPLAINT.”

    My advice to businesses? Never say never.

  18. Oh, as of 5 mins ago she’s on FB and is picking another fight with someone questioning her claims! Oh the entertainment. This poor girl is about to be banned.

  19. Cheri’s lawyers sent me a C&D BEFORE I had posted anything, saying that they have the right to take pre-emptive action. I called them out on it and I actually have an e-mail that sort of admits that they have no base for C&D because I hadn’t written anything. Also, I told them to have a good luck sueing me because as I’m a Finnish citizen, they’d have to organize any legal proceedings here. And this whole thing started when I had bought a “custom colour” and noticed it was identical to a colour she was already selling in her Etsy store.
    I have only utter disgust and contempt for Orglamix and its owner. I wish I could say that I was surprised by the recent turn of events but.. I’m honestly not. I just wish that no one got seriously hurt by her products.

  20. And when I say “her products!, I obviously mean the products she created by labelling existing products with her stickers.

  21. I got another one!

    LOOSE THE DAMN EGO.

    I don’t give a crap if you sold 20 products or 22000 products. I don’t give a crap if you are the most purchased etsy mineral blabbity blah, or the slowest growing company.

    Floating you own boat doesn’t make me want to buy your products.

    Lawsuit threats aren’t going to make me want to buy your products. God forbid I hate what I got and actually speak my mind about it.

    I had more but I’m hungry and don’t wanna waste any more time thinking about this woman.

  22. Normally I stay completely out of these things but I’m making an exception this time.

    As an Indie Cosmetic company owner/creator, I am so disgusted by any company that portrays themselves as an Indie company or makes claims of creating their products when they know that they are purchasing made product, slapping a label on it and tripling the fair market value. And I’m sickened by any human being that would knowingly or even by ignorance sell cosmetics that can harm other humans. How much is the vison of another person valued at these days? Sick, just sick!

    I started my company with next to nothing financially. I researched for nearly a year before I ever began making any products for sale to the public. I continue to research and learn, not so I can rape peoples wallets but so I can ensure that what I send to each person is the highest quality and completely safe. Sure I want to make a profit, it’s my families livelihood, but I would absolutely die inside if one of my products caused anyone harm!

    I don’t personally have issue with private label being sold but only if it is sold as manufactured products and not falsely called Indie or Artisan. I do not feel it is appropriate to sell those products on an artisan or handcrafters site nor should the seller lie and claim to have “created”, mixed, blended or made those private label products.

    As for re-packagers….they should be strung up and beaten….just kidding. I personally put this in the same pile as private label. If you did not personally create the products that you sell then you are a reseller aka retailer and your products should be sold only as such.

    These money grubbing, lying, makeup monsters are damaging the Indie Cosmetics companies that really do deserve to be called “Indie”, “Artisans”, or “crafters”! We work very hard on our products, our companies and for these people to take food out of our children’s mouths by destroying the good name of Indie Cosmetics is just more proof that they have no soul…it has been replaced with money, greed and disregard for all who are not them.

    I hope that the example of these “bad companies” will deture others from further damaging the Indie Industry.

  23. I discovered Phyrra and Grey only a few months ago and I am so glad I did! I always check these blogs before I order stuff and am currently anxiously awaiting my first orders from Evil Shades and Fyrinnae (yay!). Anywhooo, speaking of Etsy, have you all seen the blog Regretsy? It’s hilarious and showcases ppl who repackage, not makeup, but other stuff. highly recommend. These ppl are a.disgrace to the real artisans on Etsy.

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  1. Orglamix, Y U NO TELL TRUTH?! - July 26, 2011

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