Saturday, May 19, 2012

Horror in the lipstick drawer!

There I was, going through all my makeups . Cleaning everything up. Sorting everything out. It was a grand ol' time. Until I met up with something that I honestly never ever in all of ever expected to see. A Geek Chic lipstick. Not just any lipstick, oh no, this one was special. This one... was alive.

Okay! It may be stretching it to say "alive" but when you look at it... squint a you see that... the little face and eyes and TEETH?!? No? Well then, maybe it's just an over reaction due to the fur I found on it. Yes, fur. Like that on a peach. A uniformly flocked tube of lipstick. *shudder*

Alrighty, we need a little information don't we, we do. I picked this up From Geek Chic In the first or second time I ever shopped with them. I can't find the info (I'm still looking) on exactly when I picked it up- but it was during the sale a few months ago when they were changing the tubes or some such thing, and had discounted a few colors to get rid of them and make room for the new stuffs. This color is Toxic Unicorn. No pun intended.

I took this out. Love it. It's green. LOVE. I tried it on and didn't really care for the formula. It was fine. The formula had some little pigment bits in it but I thought it was fine. It just didn't work for what I wanted it for. After I tried it, I put it away in a drawer and forgot all about ever having owned it... like you do.

SO! Yesterday morning I came across it. I love to look at my makeup, it's a weird little thing I think most of us do. Sit and look at sparkly pigments and smell all the smells... try on all the lipsticks. It was like Christmas! I had forgotten all about it. I was so excited! I opened it and ... saw the fur. There are no words for how completely freaked out I was... how freaked out I am. What in the actual fuck could have done this?

I do not know what the brown part is. But when I scratched out that little cross section, I started from the bottom and scraped up so it wouldn't get any of the brown bits in it.... but it already had the brown bits in there- so there's that.

I'm leaving these pictures here for you to see. I'd love to hear your thoughts on this. Has anyone had anything like this ever happen in all of ever? I have quite a few things from Geek Chic that are great.... but this really scares me. If I had been putting this on my lips, more than the one time, whatever the fuck is making this fuzz would be ON MY LIPS. So I'm feeling a little over whelmed.

Okay, so I've contacted Geek Chick about this and will update this post when they get back to me. If you have any questions for me about my tube - or for them - please leave them in the comments. Maybe this is something that happens? Have you ever seen this? I'd love to know. Thanks.

Also, it might not be a bad idea to check your lipsticks just to see if they are growing.



Here is the email from Geek Chic cosmetics about the dreaded fuzz:

Hey Robin,
We've never seen anything like that before. Your order was 9 months ago so there has been some time for things to go awry. We use vitamin e and grapeseed oil for their preservative properties. In JoySticks, the wax that they are mostly made of is not generally conducive to bacteria or mold. The discoloration looks to be on the surface that made lip contact, so our guess is bacteria transfer and subsequent incubation in a sympathetic environment over the course of many months. We sanitize our mold between pours and wear gloves/masks throughout the process so it's highly unlikely the product was received already contaminated.
You also have the old style tube that we upgraded from about 6 months ago, which allowed much more air in and around the stick (and were just generally a nuisance!) I'd imagine the new tubes do a much better job of insulating the product from the elements. When the lipstick is exposed to oxygen (which happens everytime you pull the cap off), bacteria can feed and grow. That's what caused the discoloration. Once bacteria has begun to grow you can become sick from it. It is recomened that you keep JoySticks no longer than 6-8 months (and this is true of other brands' as well: (
So, your JoyStick has naturally run its life cycle. We will consider adding a "best used by" indicator to our lip products if this continues to be an issue. Given this is the first time we've heard of this and never want anyone to walk away unhappy we'd be happy to refund or replace your tube. Please let us know which you'd prefer. If you have any future questions or concerns, please email us.

The GCC Team"

Click here for a screen cap of email- for better viewing if the green is completely blinding you.

In the interest of time I will sum up.
I put my dirty mouth all over their clean product and ruined all the makeups. I am responsible for knowing the shelf life of this product without their having to tell me. I should just go ahead and take full responsibility for my part in the fuzz, being that I purchased this lipstick and - the horror - put it on, of all places, my (apparently dirty whore) mouth. This fuzz is clearly what having ALL THE COOTIES does to lipstick. The fact is, Vitamin E and Grapeseed oil get old. We can't be bothered to educate you about how to use our products, and for how long. I'm annoyed having to even let you know that this lipstick fuzz is your fault, here's a yahoo link to let you know that you must be the only one in all of ever to keep a lipstick for over six months. You stupid dirty idiot. Seeing as you are so dumb we would like to give you your money back, better yet why don't you let us send you another one in our new and improved packaging... maybe you wont be so disgusting with the new one now that I have taken you to lipstick school. If I, and random people on yahoo, have not explained why this is your fault and not ours feel free to send me the questions you think of with your small brain. Don't hurt yourself.

xoxo Team Blameshift

Now let me go ahead and tell you what I think. I am a makeup artist. I bought this originally for my kit. I was going to USE THIS SHIT ON MY CLIENTS. If/When one of my clients became ill after using your fucking product whose fault would that have been? That a company would attempt to shift the blame onto a customer for not knowing what they CLEARLY DON'T FEEL OBLIGATED to put on the site and LABEL is INSANE."We will consider adding a "best used by" indicator to our lip products if this continues to be an issue." What do you mean "if"? If you run into any other morons like me? Anyone whose precognitive skills are as primitive and undisciplined as mine? Zero mention of the fact that the ENTIRE LIPSTICK had mold on it in ADDITION TO THE BROWN MOLD at the apparent lip contact point. For those of you who are counting, that's TWO new and exciting things to add to your nightmare bank! ALSO, in the scraped picture you can CLEARLY see that the brown mold is also evident INSIDE the shaft of the lipstick- not the tube mind you- the LIPSTICK.

At this point I am considering sending this out to a lab to see what exactly this fuzz is. It's the only way I can see of getting any real information about why this has happened... because clearly, this is disturbing.

This goes on your mouth. Think about that. Now read that email again. Let them know what you think. Email them here:



I see your "info" link and raise you this one.

"Some experts say 1-2 years. Others say up to 4 years. What everyone agrees on is that if it smells rancid, throw it out, it's spoiled. Extra tip: If you store lipstick in the refrigerator, it will last longer. Bonus tip: Want your lipstick to last longer..."


  1. I have NEVER had a lipstick do that. I'm kinda freaked out now. :(

  2. It's really gross. And when you like, rub or "pet" the fur it doesn't come off. It's like a very gross, possibly harmful little friend... or something.

  3. I'm interested to see what happens to mine now. D= You dirty, dirty whore!

  4. Yeahh...I've never had a lipstick do that. Their response is balls. This is disgusting.

  5. I guess I can cross GCC off my "to try" list... I'd get the refund they offered and pit that towards a lab test...

  6. How is it that I have lipsticks that are over 9 months old in similar packaging that have no nasty microbial growths on them? When you look at the Joysticks online, not only is there no mention of vitamin e/tocopherol or grapeseed oil on the ingredient label, there doesn't seem to be any broad-spectrum preservative ingredient listed there either! Just a bunch of fats and oils! Seems like it was only a matter of time...

    It's sickening to see it actually growing through the lipstick too. So gross (and not just because of the lipstick...)!

  7. Why would your dirty whore mouth make brown bits appear INSIDE the bullet? That doesn't make any sense. At all.

    A refund is a kind offer, but it's not enough. That entire batch needs to be recalled.

  8. I have had CHEAP lipsticks for YEARS (when I was younger I like never wore lipstick so my mom would buy me wet n wild shit when I was a youngin and claire's makeup, haah). ANYWAYS. Recently I was unpacking old boxes of childhood toys, and came across makeup that was OVER a decade old, probably closer to 15 years old, had been in storage, a flooded basement, etc. Relevance? Melted a little, BUT NO FREAKING MOLD, AT ALL. WTF.

  9. From one that has stumbled onto this post and seeing the evidence there are a few things to point out.

    First Geek Chic states that they are vegan/organic/no chemicals. This would say to me little to no preservatives and stabilizers that you would find with your run of the mill cosmetic company.

    Second, although the article gave standard shelf life time periods for cosmetics, there was no mention if this counted as well for organic or no preservative cosmetics as well. Per this site at the bottom of the page there is a section concerning organic cosmetic shelf life:

    "Please note that natural and organic cosmetics, which do not include preservatives, can be stored up to 6 months after opening. Reason: absence of preservatives leads to a proliferation of bacteria."

    Now, while this is in no way point blame at you or GCC about the shelf life issue, the fact that they did attempt to offer you a new product to replace this with no cost to you seems fair. Please remember when dealing with items that have little to no preservatives, they will act, age and become contaminated differently than the standard fare.

    1. My lipstick had fuzz on it. They said it's never happened before so it must be your dirty moist mouth. Why oh why would I want more lipstick which formula grows mold/my mouth can contaminate. Have you ever seen creepshow? I don't wanna die like Stephen King did in that movie.

      And I'll also toss out there that they are the ones who compared themselves to (other brands)- Include all of your product information. Simple. If you know there is a possibility of people getting sick because they don't know the information you have not given them- there should be no "if" about it when it comes to labeling. Because it is admittedly dangerous not to know this stuff. I think everyone can agree on that point.

      The ONLY good thing about this was the offer of a refund/replacement. But if you don't admit that there is a problem/potential problem with your product how are you going to make sure someone doesn't get ill? All the free stuff and refunds in the world wont make that simple fix for you. Bigger picture.

    2. I have a serious problem with Geek Chic saying that they will consider adding a 'best by' date if this is a continuing problem. If a company knows that a product risks going bad within a certain amount of time due to the ingredients in it, wouldn't it be more prudent (and honest) to just state that one the product's description? It's not difficult. It's not even a whole sentence! "Shelf life 6 months" I know it's not a big deal to implement since I routinely buy skin care products from another indie company who has a shelf life listed on anything that could lose its potency or have its oils go rancid in one year or less. It's not listed on the packaging, but the information is there when you buy. So, they can only be bothered to add what I bet most customers would consider very useful information if more people complain? Come on.

      I have no experience running an operation like GCC. I do, however, understand how customer service works. It's a whole lot of gritting your teeth and apologizing. They don't think they're wrong. They think Robin should have known the shelf life of the ingredients in their products. Fine. I've dealt with plenty of customers who were angry for unfounded reasons. Know what you do? Apologize. Make it right if you can. All GCC had to do was respond with the last part of their email (the part about not wanting unhappy customers), add a "we're very sorry", and STOP THERE. If they wanted to do the full explanation, it wouldn't have been difficult to just say that it looked like the preservatives had gone bad, and oh, we really should have listed the shelf life. Even if they were rolling their eyes while they typed it.

      GCC just went through a similar customer service fail with Tentacle Grape. "We're sorry you were offended. We'll consider changing it if more people complain." I'm just waiting for this to be turned into a big deal on Facebook to get attention.

      No one expects GCC to cater to the lowest common denominator. Not everyone is going to like every decision they make, and that's true with any business. A little honesty about a product goes a long way.

      Lastly, Dr. Gonzo just happened upon this post after creating the account this month and happens to type exactly like the email? Suuure. Hi Phil. That thing I said about honesty? Yeah.

    3. @MT - I understand the point you are presenting, and yes getting taken over by a moss monster from outer space would be a bad way to die. The only thing I was pointing out is that some products that have no additive to increase shelf life do have a shorter PAO. Also, I would have to ask since I noticed that you have purchased other products from GCC and reviewed them in a positive light, was this the first time this occurred? For a "home grown" company to have one product that has had this kind of failure in the two years that the site has been up (and depending on how much product they move) the percentage of failure is below most least at first look.

      Now, as far as labeling is concerned, yes there should be a "best if used by" date on the product and to be honest any product that has organic material within it. Its just the law of nature that anything that has any kind of organic matter in it will decay, except for brownies at 7/11. I am quite sure that after this was pointed out GCC will be updating their packaging.

      And @eight No, this is not Phil. If you want to know my name its Morgan. I just happened across this posting on my many ventures out to the internet and found some information that looked incomplete. I don't troll or post to instigate, only to inform others what I see as an observer.

      Now, if others were posting stating they were having the same issue with the same lipstick from the same company, then I would say that GCC was not following up on a health concern. But the fact is this seems to have been an isolated matter with one product that was purchased some time ago with a lot of variables involved(packaging, shipping, storage, creation, usage, where it was stored after usage, ambient temp, humidity......the list can go on for some time).

      We, the internet culture, have become so rushed to crucify anyone who even states the wrong wording, or misspells a few words on a post that we have lost the insight that everyone who posts on the new are still people. Just another person on the street or next door that may have a different viewpoint on something that you care about. In this case GCC pointed out the issues that could have caused this matter to occur post purchase and didn't reflect any issues that could have caused it pre. Pretty much, this is a case of the blind men and an elephant.

      But that is enough for me here, thanks to all who listened and good luck on your endeavours.

      - Dr. Gonzo

    4. Thanks again Phil. Stay Classy.

  10. It's the manufacturer's responsibility to educate their consumers if their products are different or special or need special handling. If Geek Chic's lipsticks have a much shorter shelf life than your average lipstick (one year is more standard, I have organic/natural lipsticks with a PAO of 12 months) then it is their responsibility to label that properly.

    The Geek Chic home page (and subsequent pages) makes no mention of being "organic" or even "natural." Stating that they are vegan in no way automatically conflates to being a natural brand or organic brand, and no mention is made that their products do not contain preservatives. So your statement that Robin should have known better is patently incorrect.

    Nice try though. Geek Chic's refusal to take responsibility for their product says more about their ethics and customer service than Robin's blog post ever could. A simple "we're really sorry this happened" would have gone a long way.

  11. For what it's worth, I just checked all of my indie lipsticks. I own some old (OLD!) Morgana Cryptoria lipsticks, which are also vegan, and...they're perfectly fine. A little drier, but no growth/fuzz/life-forms.

    This isn't a problem of vegan/organic/indie lipsticks. It's a problem of GCC lipsticks. Interestingly, my Sobe Botanicals, Darling Girl Cosmetics, and Shiro Cosmetics lipsticks are also all usable, most of which are well over 6 months old. So...

  12. Still, there is no real reason why they are just considering to mention the best used date. You know what I also miss? An apology like "We're sorry this happened"

    I have never seen a lipstick with fur by the way.

    1. It's hard to give an apology when you don't admit that anything is wrong... other than my having contaminated their pristine product with my mouth, which I obviously coat with chapstick that has been up a hobo's butt.

    2. Chapstick up a hobo's butt! :') I love the way you say things.

      Anyway, fur on a lipstick is a no-go. So is refering to a fucking Yahoo question to provide infos. Come on, at least make some efforts to give a better source!

  13. EFF WHY EYE My Morgana lippies I bought from Black Friday sales 2 yrs ago (1.5ish whatever) still look like they did when I first got them. My Aromaleigh lip stash is even older and are also just as good to use still. I don't think indie means "use me faster because I will fail on you at 6 months" :/

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  16. Ok I realize this post is old, but let me just say I've had this happen to a MAC lipstick and to an ELF lipstick. Both were only a few months old (since I'd opened and used them). I've also had expensive lipglosses separate. I think this just happens sometimes and it would be sad if you blamed this company. They were willing to replace the item, which I think is commendable. I highly doubt this is the last time you'll see this happen to a lipstick if you're a collector like me :)