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ZOYA: Worst. Customer Service. EVER.

21 Jul

I have been ordering from Zoya since 2012, and have spent hundreds of dollars on their polishes. I have gotten kind of shady customer service from them before (taking weeks to ship, answering my email regarding when they will ship in a very curt way), but have remained loyal, blogging about them, recommending them to friends, giving their polish as gifts, and encouraging my favorite nail salon to carry them.

That ends today.

I have tried a couple times recently to order from them and not gotten my order or any email saying it had shipped. When I’d log on to their site to see what the status was, the orders were not showing up under either shipped or unshipped. Since I have a 6-week-old baby, I chalked it up to my error – I forgot to hit send, I used a bad credit card (we’ve had to cancel TWO due to fraud recently), something on my end. The last time, I made sure to save the order number, but when I went online to check, again, it had vanished. I emailed them to ask what was up, and this is the response I received this morning:

Good Morning,
Thank you for your inquiry. It appears your order was automatically canceled by our system because you disputed payment on a previous order. I apologize-we are not able to process order after payment is disputed. Please let me know if you have additional questions. Have a nice day.
Thank you,
Shelle Wesolowski
Inside Sales/Customer Service Supervisor
Art of Beauty, Inc.
800-659-6909 ext 109
Shellew@artofbeauty.com
follow us on TWITTER: zoya_nailpolish
youtube: zoyanailpolish

Uhh… for real? I read this at like 7am after a night up feeding my infant, so my initial reply wasn’t all it should have been:

I never disputed a payment. I did have a card canceled due to fraud but I never disputed a payment to you – it must have been a cancellation on the bank’s part. Is there any way to reverse this or should I just plan to change brands? Kate J

I then followed up with this:

Sorry, what I mean to say is, am I never permitted to order from the website again? If you look at my order history, you’ll see I’ve been a regular, repeat client – there would be no reason for me to “dispute” a payment with you. I suspect that when my card was canceled due to fraudulent charges, the bank canceled a number of charges on the same day to be safe.

 

Additionally, when this is the case, it would be helpful if you contacted the customer involved to inform her of the situation – I thought I was losing my mind as I was sure I had tried to place numerous orders with you and they all seemed to vanish into thin air.

 

Best regards,

Kate J

I received this in reply, from a Brian Tucker (Brian Tucker <Brian.Tucker@artofbeauty.com>):

Hi

Please contact a salon in your area if you want Zoya product. 

Brian

This message was ironically marked “high priority.” Pity they didn’t find the situation a high enough priority to contact me before simply canceling my orders repeatedly.

So yeah. That’s it. I Tweeted and FBed it, but they deleted them from their feeds of course. Please help me spread the word – when companies mistreat their customers, they ought to feel it:

Zoya doesn’t care if you are a long-term client. They do not care about their customers. They have zero customer service and while their polish may be decent, their company is not.

Recommendations for new polishes? I’ll never wear Zoya again.

Alterna Kills Animals (or Why I’m Not Buying Any More Alterna Products Indefinitely)

5 Sep

So, first, read this.

Since I posted that, I have not heard another word from Alterna. I tried posing the question to them via Facebook and Twitter. They have chosen not to reply.

I’m not sure what pisses me off most about this situation, but I think I can narrow it to two things. One, the initial robo-response from customer service:

Our products are made ethically and cruelty-free so no animals are ever harmed during the process.

Well, that’s a lie, isn’t it? Because as a general rule, fish are killed to source caviar, and your shampoo and conditioner list caviar in the damned ingredient list. Which brings me to two, the absolute non-response thereafter. I have contacted them THREE different ways and they haven’t seen fit to reply at all regarding HOW THEY SOURCE THEIR CAVIAR. Just say you kill fish to get the caviar. Or buy from a supplier who does. That’s all I want. I am not militant. I am not an animal rights activist. I have used your other lines and just avoided your caviar line in the past, which is what I would continue to do if I didn’t suddenly get the vibe that you’re complete and total hypocrites, preaching one thing and practicing the opposite.

So then I have to ask: What else are you lying about, Alterna? You issued a blanket statement in response to my question about your practices for sourcing caviar without any further information to back it up. I can only assume there are other “truths” you are glossing over or manufacturing to support your healthy, natural, eco-conscious image, when in fact you’re just another corporation preying on consumers who want to live a healthier, kinder lifestyle.

Until I hear otherwise, I will assume Alterna is a deceptive, manipulative company. I am boycotting them henceforth – not because they kill fish (honestly, to each their own – vegetarianism is my own choice, not something I force on others), but because I don’t trust them at all.

Ooh La, Rue La!

26 Jun

Ah the subscription model of shopping. I am a sucker, and I LOOOOVE getting packages. Plus it’s a great way to try out new products without having to invest in full sizes.

So far, I am a member both of  BeautyBar Sample Society and Birchbox. And then, cause you know, I like to share the wealth, I also signed up for BarkBox. FOR MY DOG.

sample society

If you decide to sign up for BeautyBar Sample Society after seeing this, please consider using my referral code – kate78 – so I can get credit!

birchboxbarkbox

Then my friend Cait mentioned Glossybox to me. I have been meaning to look into it but not had a chance yet.

WELL.

Today, Rue La La is offering a DEAL on Glossybox – $40 for a $100 membership. WHAT! So yeah. I signed up. And maybe, if you’re anything like me, you should too.

rue la la glossybox

If you’re a member of a similar program, please share the details and your referral code below, or tweet it to me @kate78, #lipglosslife!

Oh the weather outside is frightful….

28 Nov

…but Zulily is having a sunglasses sale – Tom Ford, Chloé, Emilio Pucci, and Ray-Ban! Go, see, buy! I love some cheap end of season designer sunglasses!

Naked Princess/theBalm Mary-Lou Manizer/October’s Birchbox

19 Nov

I kinda love Birchbox. And by that I mean I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with them. I am always excited to get my surprise box of samples in the mail. I am always excited to open it. But I am only sometimes excited by the samples inside. I have to stay faithful to them, because they did introduce me to my favorite hair product ever, Orofluido. And I have NEVER been faithful to a hair product as long as I have to Orofluido. It’s truly the best. But sometimes their boxes are just meh. However, they can’t have a home run every month, I guess, so I try to be patient.

Well last month’s box was not just a home run, but a straight up grand slam. TWO products I love AND a product so ridiculous that it’s blog worthy. How much more can a girl ask for?!?

First the good – theBalm cosmetics Mary-Lou Manizer. Super cute “luminizer” you’re meant to be able to use all over your face. I have mentioned before that I am not a fan of anything that makes my face look shiny – it’s not a good look on me. Or, I think, on most women who are not either at a photo shoot or on a runway. But that’s just personal opinion, so take it with a grain of salt. That said, I DID use it as an eyeshadow and it is DARLING! A lovely, shiny gold color, just enough to be noticeable without being overbearing or too fancy. A perfect every day shadow. My main issue with this one is the cartoon woman on the front of the packaging, who looks just like this girl I used to know and hate. I might scribble her face out or something to make it easier for me to use it. Otherwise, a great product.

Next, the even better – Naked Princess Naked Shine Lip Gloss. Okay, again, main issue is very superficial – the name. “Naked Princess?” Are you effing serious? What…. I don’t… Okay moving on. The color I received was called Barely Nude and it is SO fabulous! It really is very nude, but shiny shiny, soft, not sticky, and smells like white chocolate! I can’t say enough good things about this gloss. If you’re looking for a sweet, pretty, simple, every day gloss, you found it. I went on Amazon and bought several more in different colors and I don’t regret a one. I am, however, embarrassed to tell people the name. Naked Princess… Jesus.

And finally, the most hilarious – tili Bags Small. Ahhahahaha, ahhhhahahahahaha, hahahaha, haha, ha – you’re kidding, right? Because I see you calling it a “Lifestyle extra” and a “stylish reusable bag” but it’s actually a crappy Ziploc, not even as heavyweight as the Hefty Zip bags I use, and it’s kinda ugly, and you’re trying to sell me 12 of them for $8.50, when I can get 22 heavier weight and more see-through Hefty quart-size bags for $2.68. (Let me break that down for you – that’s 12¢ for a Hefty bag, or 71¢ for a “tili” fashion bag. Made of plastic. Exactly like the Hefty bag. But not as heavyweight.) I just couldn’t let this one go, Birchbox. Super silly. Nice try, though.

Anyhow, all that said, last month was a real coup for the Birchbox! Two awesome items, one HEElarious item, and one happy shopper. Well done!

 

Winners, Backlog, & Other Jazz

8 Oct

WOW I am way behind. I have so many reviews to share and just no time lately to do it! Baby is coming in 10 weeks (!) now, so the heat is really on. I’m going to try to cover some ground this week – thanks for bearing with me!

First up, the BUXOM contest closed, but the winner never replied to my emailed request for a mailing address. I gave her a week, but have now announced a new winner – Erina B! Erina, I sent you an email – please reply with your mailing address within the next week, and I’ll get your set out to you. Otherwise, I will draw a new winner next Monday and keep going until I can get a response.

Second, I’ll be posting another blog with a NEW contest (only a week late) – this month the winner will receive a Tarte Statement Lips 5-piece LipSurgence Collector’s Set! I LOOOVE the Tarte Lip Crayons and I think you will too. Another of Kate’s favorite things! Sorry I can’t give you a car like Oprah, but it’s a close second, right?

Finally, reviews. Hoo boy, I have some reviews! Before bed lip gloss, bath bombs, a certain subscription sale site that begins with a Z, and pregnancy in general. Is there something you’d specifically like me to test and review? Please let me know! You can comment, Tweet, or email me with ideas. I know I owe Shari a liquid eyeliner review, and I will work on that tout suite.

Okay, next up – contest blog! Thanks again for your patience, lovelies!

It’s not Bath Salts, for God’s sake…

21 Jul

 

Have you heard about bath salts? I just heard about them, somehow, for the first time this weekend. If you haven’t heard, do yourself a favor and Google (or Bing) them. FASCINATING. As a brief summary, they seem to be an organically occurring compound that people are smoking. They give the same sort of speed high as cocaine or meth, but are currently legal because they are marketed in head shops as – you guessed it – “bath salts.” Here’s where it becomes TRULY interesting – they cause people to turn into zombies. Not in the literal walking dead sense, of course – in the “Man I am starved and you know what sounds really good? My neighbor’s face,” sense. I kid you not – there are MULTIPLE instances of this drug causing people to turn cannibalistic and eat people’s faces (or, in this case, the family dog). When I learned about bath salts this weekend, everyone I asked seemed to already know all about them, making me wonder how the hell I have missed this sensational development in the world of narcotics. I assure you, I know more about hard drugs, hard drug users, and the effects of hard drugs than nearly anyone you know – especially amazing since I have never actually partaken of any hard drugs. It has been a lifelong fascination for me, so it’s especially bizarre that somehow I missed the popularization of a drug that causes people to turn into horror shows, quite literally.

Anyhow I digress. The point of this post is not actually bath salts or hard drugs. It’s Ambien.

I have had insomnia pretty much since I got my depression resolved (with medication) at the age of 19. I used to use sleep as a crutch, sleeping as much as possible to avoid dealing with reality. When I got medicated for depression, my sleep cycle first became normal, then I developed insomnia. I have two different types of insomnia – slow sleep (the inability to fall asleep once I am in bed) and premature waking (waking up at all hours and then being unable to fall back asleep again). For years, I have taken Trazodone, an anti-depressant with sedative qualities, to help me sleep. It works great, but when I got pregnant, I had to stop taking it, and didn’t sleep for pretty much three days straight – not good.

My doctor then put me on Ambien. I guess Ambien is safe(r) to take during pregnancy. I take it “as needed,” meaning I mostly just take melatonin at bedtime unless I know for some reason I am not going to sleep (like jet lag) or if I have taken the melatonin and have still been lying awake for hours.

Google (or Bing) Ambien and you will find ALL SORTS of horror stories. I have heard more about how awful Ambien is than bath salts. Sleep eating, sleep driving, sleep murderizing entire towns (okay, I am exaggerating on that last one) – people are terrified of Ambien. I read an entire article in a women’s fashion magazine demonizing Ambien and its effects. The author, you see, instead of taking the Ambien and going immediately to bed, as prescribed, was taking it and then staying up and compulsively eating and shopping. But that’s the drug’s fault. Not hers. Yes, the doctor told her to take it and go straight to bed. Yes, she asked for it. Yes, the prescription bottle also advised going straight to bed. Yes, she is a fully grown woman. BUT IT’S ALL THE FAULT OF THAT HORRIBLE DRUG! (Ugh, sorry, sorry, I have issues with people refusing to take personal responsibility.)

These articles even freaked me out. I read all about Ambien. I doubted the wisdom of my doctor in prescribing it. I worried about the side effects and long-term problems. But you know what? I haven’t really had any. So now finally I am going to get to what this blog is actually about – What It’s Like To Be On Ambien. By Kate.

Yes I have taken Ambien and then stayed up. Not because of any desire to “see” what it would be like or to consciously disobey doctor’s orders. More because my typical nighttime routine consisted of taking Trazodone and then goofing off online until it kicked in, at which time I’d go to bed. The “problem” with Ambien is that it doesn’t kick in in the same way. You don’t become suddenly super sleepy – you feel a little drunk. Not in the fun, party way, but in a slightly dizzy, disoriented way. So I’d take Ambien, start goofing off online, do that for an hour or so, think, “I should try to get some sleep,” and then pretty much immediately fall asleep.

Did I order things online while on Ambien? Yes. I definitely did. I ordered things I only vaguely remembered ordering, and things I didn’t really need. Ambien definitely causes me to become looser and more apt to make purchases online.

Did I post things on Facebook/send texts while on Ambien? Oh yes. And I would see them the next morning and think, “What the eff?” They were JUST the sort of weird, off-the-wall things I’d post while drunk, and some of them I only BARELY remembered. But again, Ambien doesn’t really make you FEEL drunk – you’re not all laughy happy silly emotional. You’re just – weirdly relaxed. (And yes, I am saying “you” and should be saying “I,” because my experience could be vastly different from everyone else’s, but I am not going to go through and change all the pronouns now. Sorry.)

Did I drive, walk, talk, eat, or murderize while asleep on Ambien? NO. The only thing Ambien made me do after I closed my eyes was sleep.

So here’s the deal: Ambien is a drug. In my personal experience, it’s no more a drug than alcohol – maybe even less of one. But treat it like a prescription drug. Follow the directions. Take it and close your eyes. Don’t try to take it and then go on about your life – that’s not what it’s prescribed for. It’s prescribed to let you sleep, so use it for that. If you have a bad effect, stop taking it. If you can’t control yourself and feel the need to abuse it, stop taking it (and definitely talk to your health care provider). But don’t use it contrary to the directions and then blame the drug for what you do. Ultimately what you make of it is in your hands. Or on your nightstand.

 

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