10.30.2014

ASOS: A Rant


Warning: This is a rant. And may be dramatic.

Online shopping. Many of us do it, many of us fear it. I frequently shop online and have had minimal bad experiences when it comes to items and shipping. All good things must come to an end, and I unfortunately had to add a recent purchase to my list of 'baddies'. Let me explain.

A few weeks ago I had a Halloween Party coming up (To which I dressed up as a Demon), and I decided to order a dress from ASOS. I have ordered from ASOS many times before. One time wasn't so good. I ordered an expensive pair of boots and they came thrown in a dirty box with no tags, no labels, and looked worn on the bottom. I had to argue for an hour to get anywhere. I decided to look past that and continue ordering, with general success, rainbows and happiness. This time, I knew I needed the order fairly soon so I selected Express Shipping. When I went to the check out page, it had estimated for the package to arrive before the weekend. Awesome. I bought the dress (see below. I'm kind of bitter about it now even though I shouldn't feel angry about the dress). 



What followed next?

1. The order did not ship for a few days, which made me start to wonder how on earth it was going to make it here on time when it was coming from the UK, even though I had ordered it from the US site.

2. It finally shipped and I received an email from SkyNet. I had never heard of this company or this process before, but basically it demanded money or else it was essentially going to keep my package hostage in customs. I don't mind paying for customs, I expect it and it isn't the company's fault. But who the heck works with a shipping brokerage company that demands money through email, online (other companies will ask for custom payments at your door upon delivery) and then threaten to add $1 for each day you do not pay. Not only that, but the email came off as fraudulent.

3. I wasn't sure if this email was legit, as it was asking for me to pay via credit card. There's no good way to get in touch with ASOS so I turned to their help Twitter. They replied within about an hour and things seemed like they were going good. They were personable, and I told them what was up. They told me they would call SkyNet to see if the email was real and didn't indicate they had ever heard of such a thing before.

4. A couple hours pass and they come back to me with a super generic response copy pasted from the website about how they aren't responsible for customs. I KNOW but you also are responsible for who you choose to work with in terms of shipping brokerage!? They also completely disregarded telling me whether the email was fake or not, even after I asked again.

5. I called SkyNet Miami, which seemed to be this company's main office. They told me the email was fake. WTF.

6. I told this to ASOS, again no response or help. At this point I was raging mad and just wanted to send the package back, but wasn't sure which charges I would still incur. 

7. I did some more research and found someone on reddit who had received the same email, paid, and got their package 2 days later. After calling the number supplied in the email and the customs office at the airport, I was convinced it was real. They didn't know why Miami SkyNet said it was fake. I paid and hoped for the best.

The package arrived about 3 days later, of course way late for the party. The one silver lining: ASOS did refund me the Express Shipping. My main problem with this is the customer service. I'm not sure why they ignored my requests to know if they were indeed working with this company. I'm not sure why they would tell people paying Express Shipping that a package would be here on a certain day, when the brokerage they are working with has a policy about holding packages (what if I just didn't check my email?). I'm not sure why ASOS has no phone options where I could maybe have a chance at not receiving a copy/pasted response after hours of back and forth.

I will likely still shop at ASOS, but beware before you pay for express shipping and count on an item to arrive. I also think they need to disclose what their shipping brokerage's policy is on the shipping page. What has been your worst online shopping experience? 

PS. The dress fits.

10.29.2014

Obiqo Product Review // Made in New Zealand Skin Care


Today I am review Obiqo, a skin care line made in New Zealand that is now available to Canadians through Amazon. The sea-inspired products are made from rich New Zealand sea kelp and other essential elements. I chose to receive the Obiqo Gentle Face Wash With Marine Extracts and the Obiqo Radiant Day Cream. My skin type is very dry with a few oily patches, minimal breakouts. 


I wasn't expecting any surprises with shipping since it came through Amazon, and  the package came quickly in the signature brown box. The packaging of the products is clean, professional and simple.



First up: Radiant day cream. The first pro I noted with this product is the pump bottle. Definitely less messy (and less bacterial?) from products you have to dip your fingers in. The cream is light weight and has a nice clean scent to it. At $30 it is around the same price as any high quality moisturizer you might find at Sephora.

The con? While this product gave me initial moisture, I did not find that it lasted or repaired my skin in any way. I used this for about 2 weeks and still noticed my skin was very dry every day, regardless of using it day and night. For that reason my final score on this is 6/10.



The second product, Obiqo Gentle Face Wash, fared much better with my skin. I hate doing makeup removal before washing my face - who has time for that!? This face wash takes off everything effortlessly and never left my face feeling tight or dry. It has a similar smell to the lotion and you don't need much. The price on this one is $20 and I would say is just right for the quality. 

My final score for this product is 9/10 (could be better if it magically got rid of my blemishes...Just doesn't seem right to give a 10 unless it's a magic product). 


10.26.2014

Demon Costume, Hollow Horn Tutorial // Halloween!



You sit on the cold ground as your eyes flutter open. Like in a dream, you don't remember how you got here. Delirium coupled with fear leaves you paralyzed, when out of the corner of your eye, you see it. It stand so still, you can't be sure if it's real. Yet it watches, silent, as leaves fall to the ground. Your vision blurs, and everything is dark.

This year for Halloween, I decided I wanted to try something scary. My idea slowly changed from devil to demon, and I wanted to bring a natural, blair witch vibe to the costume.

First things first, I needed horns. After doing some demon research, I realized that most demons are depicted with hollow horns. 


I cut strips of paper in slowly decreasing size. I used brown envelope paper but anything that has heavier stock will do. You won't want to go too heavy, since you want them to easily stay on your forehead with liquid latex.

Tape the strips into tubes. 



Start putting them together, angling each piece slightly so that it can start to curve. Use hot glue to secure the pieces together, and to also create the horn's ridges. 


I'm not very good with a glue gun, but it doesn't need to be perfect. 


For the last pointed piece, I used this shape and rolled it into a cone. About half way through, I started straightening out the pieces more rather than angling them because I didn't want them to curve right back around.


Tada! Another thing to note here is that I cut one side of the bottom piece so that it would sit against my forehead at an angle, rather than being flat.


The last step is to paint your horns. I used acrylic paint.


Nails! I found these long nails from a brand called Nailene at a pharmacy/drug store. I shaped them into claws and painted them black. Super easy.


I used some cord from a thrift store for part of my belt. 


My other accessories included a black tribal type of necklace that I had from Romwe, a necklace made out of a bull skull ornament, a pentagram made out of twigs from my yard, and an upside down cross made of sticks. I also added some twine to my belt. 


To make my fingers look even creepier, I shadowed in some black eye shadow for a decaying look.


My pitchfork/staff was made out of a piece of wood I found at my friend's cabin during the summer. For some reason my boyfriend decided to keep it and suggested I use it for my costume. It really was the perfect pitchfork for what I was going for, and it's funny how things we collect often come into use later. I suppose that's how hoarder tendencies start, haha.

My dad helped me secure the piece of wood to an old wooden cane that he had from a garage sale. He shaved down the pieces so that they fit perfectly together and secured it with wood glue. I hot glued some leaves to the staff and added some twine to where the two pieces attached.


To secure the horns, I used liquid latex. I had never used it before and watched this tutorial before getting started. For makeup, I used a ton of black eyeshadow and fake eyelashes. I could have done a better job on this part but was very rushed to get everything together before sundown! I put concealer over my lips and some black eyeshadow on the inner part.



I wore a long black dress from H&M with some shorts since it was very short. I had been waiting on a package from ASOS (bad experience, will be writing a blog post about that later) with a dress that I was going to rip up, but when it didn't arrive on time I used this dress that I already had but wasn't willing to shred it. 




Hope everyone has a spooky Halloween! Tell me what you're being in the comments!