Friday, December 9, 2011

After Black Friday 50% off Sale Information

The store:

The code will be released tonight (December 9th) via Facebook here: and Twitter here:

Sale features:

50% off Shipping
50% off Store Wide (The only exception is the Dark Heart's club, and gift cards)
Free gift wrapping upon request
Free print of Kiara (the girl in our banner)
Free Random gift with every order over $10

Sale Details:

Please finish your purchase once you start filling your cart.

The storefront that we're currently using is Storenvy. Right now they only support PayPal, but if you would like to use another payment method, please send me an email.

Since I only stock items in my store that are ready to ship, stock is somewhat limited for this sale. As a heads up, lip gloss stock is the most limited product due to our supplier being out of tubes. Eye shadows are the second most limited product, as I'm only stocking jars in limited quantities, and some of them have not arrived yet. My end goal is to switch to a new style jar, and I don't want to end up with too many of the regular 5 gram jars. Gel liners are limited, but I can make more if needed.

I've tried to stock more products from the new collection, so that more people will have a chance to order them. If there is something that you want, but it's not in stock, *please* email me. I'll be happy to let you know if I can include it with your order, or if I can restock it at a later time for the same price. I'm going to do my best to make sure that everyone gets what they want from the sale, so please email me at for any questions, comments, suggestions, etc. that you might have. If I have a lot of emails, please give me a little while to answer.

If you're worrying about items going out of stock while you're waiting for me to answer, go ahead and make your purchase containing the products that are in stock, make note of your order number, and include it in the email. I'll do my best to get you all of the products that you'd like to have.

Getting your package in time for Christmas:

The USPS has a calender here: for you to determine what sort of shipping you should choose. Please keep in mind that our turn around time is 1-4 days, depending on the amount of orders. If your order does contain a Christmas gift, please let me know in the notes section of checkout (Also, please specify if you would like your package gift wrapped).

If you have any other questions, please email me at

Monday, October 10, 2011

Win a sample set of the new good witch/bad witch Halloween collection!


Contest will start 10/10/11 and run through 10/16/11. Winners will be announced on the following Monday.


The winner will receive one sample set of our new good witch/bad witch Halloween duochrome sparkle collection, which includes four good witch inspired colors, and four bad witch inspired colors.


Follow @DarkHeartDesign on twitter.
Tweet the following: “ I entered to win a good witch/bad witch shadow sample set!  Follow @DarkHeartDesign & retweet to enter. Rules: #winDHD   ”


This contest is open to all participants.
Winner will be picked randomly.
Your tweet must include the @reply of @darkheartdesign, and #winDHD hash tag in order to be entered
One entry per person.
Do not create another account to enter.
Do not retweet the contest tweet more than once.
We reserve the right to disqualify any entry.

This contest is not endorsed, or associated with twitter.

Dark Heart is Back!

It’s been a long while, but I’m finally back on my feet enough to make things better. I’m sorry to everyone that was upset and/or disappointed during the Heartsy sale, for any reason. I now aim to use that experience, and never, ever make the same mistake again. Here’s how I’m going to change that.



We will no longer take “orders”. If the items are not already made, labeled, and sealed, they will not be in the shop. You will not have to wait for anything to be prepared for you order, unless it is a custom order. For those arrangements, we will not accept payment until the order is completed, and ready to send (if it is a large or special order, we may ask for partial payment to replace supplies, should you decide to cancel your order before completion).



Turn around time & shipping:

In order to stay on top of orders, and have a reasonable amount of time between the date of your order, and the date of its shipment, we’re implementing a new policy. From now on, any order that is placed will ship within four business days of it’s purchase date. If your order does not ship within four days, you will receive a full refund, and you order will still be shipped within a reasonable time.  The only time that this policy will not be in effect, is during events that are beyond our control, such as natural disasters, a death in the family, or a health problem that is severe enough to stop me from being able to run my business. In any of theses instances, I will do whatever I can to close the shop before, or directly after they occur.



Customer Service:

I will still be handling some customer service communication, such as how to order, when an item will be back in stock, if a custom item or order can be made, etc. All other communications will be answered by our new customer service rep so that all conversations will remain professional.




In other news, we’ve finally opened the new shop! We’re working on stocking all of our items for order, so that they may be shipped out right away. Please take a moment to check it out, and let me know what you think:

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Dark Heart & Heartsy: Where it all went wrong…

First off, I would like to thank Ana of Lipsticks and Lightsabers for bringing some of the issues to my attention, so I can respond to them.

Now, down to business. First off, I am sincerely sorry, beyond words, for the amount of time that everyone has had to wait to receive their orders from the Heartsy deal. I feel terrible that you have all had to wait, and that, for most of you, this is the first experience you’ll have with my shop. I want to take a moment to explain how all this mess happened.


Duh Moment #1:




My company is not a very big one, even by indie standards. My shop opened in March of 2010, and I’ve had 199 sales from that date, until now. Here’s where the duh part starts. 199 sales from March of 2010 until August of 2011 divides out to about 11 orders a month. I can handle that number with no problem, but, I didn’t think to work out these numbers before I signed up for the sale. I’ve learned my lesson on what I can, and can’t handle, and I apologize to everyone that I had to learn the hard way.


The Heartsy mess:




I’ve attached the original email from Heartsy to this post, to explain why I foolishly offered so many vouchers from my shop. If you’ll notice in the paragraph numbered 1, the Heartsy representative explains how many vouchers are usually offered, and that I’m highly unlikely to sell all my vouchers. Given this statement, and the fact that my goal of going on Heartsy is to draw more exposure for my shop, I decide I need to offer more than 75, just to get that exposure. Due to the statement from the representative that few sellers sell out, I get the impression that it’s safe to offer 150 vouchers. I finalize everything with Heartsy, and my offer is ready to go live.


Now this is where it really gets messy:



This is an excerpt from an email that Heartsy sent me on how to set up vouchers. I follow the instructions, and my deal starts. After receiving 9 pages of orders (pages, not orders. Each page averages about 6-10 orders), I received another email from Heartsy, stating that they didn’t realize my shop was an Artfire shop, not an Etsy shop, although in previous emails, they made statements that suggest that had looked at my shop. In the middle of my deal, with orders rolling in left and right, I’m told to change the entire checkout process. I responded to the email, as I’ve had no problem with orders so far, and this is a reply from the Heartsy rep:




After this, I change my checkout from manually approving the order, to having customers use coupon codes. Half of the time the coupon codes don’t work, and I still have to manually approve, and fix orders. During this time, I’m also answering emails from confused customers, as everything has changed. In the middle of taking care of this, I realize I can no longer track the Heartsy vouchers because half of my orders have voucher numbers, and the rest use a coupon codes. The paperwork side of my deal becomes an absolute clusterf*ck that takes me two weeks to somewhat sort through the mess, as much as I possibly can.

Why didn’t I worry about the amount of orders I was getting during this time? I love filling orders, and I still didn’t realize how out of hand it was going to be. I was actually excited, and thought I was doing something good.


Filling orders:




After I managed to sort all of the paperwork out, I was also ordering the supplies to fill all of the orders. When they finally arrived, I started filling orders. I get through about two pages, and realize I’m in way over my head. With my discounted deal, my orders average to 3 jars per order, although there are more that have 4. This is approximately 300 jars. I’ve been filling, packing, and shipping orders as fast as I can, with the few hours I have to spend after work everyday, and usually all weekend. I really feel like I’m not getting through the orders at all, and I know everyone is waiting for them.


The Gel Liners:




The gel liners were made during the time that I was waiting for supplies to fill the orders. I listed them in between filling orders, when my hands were hurting me, and I needed a break. I apologize if this appeared to take time away from anyone’s order. I promise you, it did not.


Why I didn’t close the shop:


I realize now, that I probably should have done this anyway, but at the time I was getting no orders, besides Heartsy voucher orders. I changed a statement in my shop to reflect the extended ship time, as I still wanted to be able to get the Heartsy orders on my list, so I knew what I had to fill, and ship off. I apologize if this gave anyone the impression that I was taking orders outside of the vouchers, and shipping them first. Both of my shops remained open, but any orders that were placed are in line after the Heartsy orders.


My final statement:


I realize that I have handled my Heartsy deal poorly. To everyone that was effected, I am extremely sorry. I apologize for any wait that you may have had to endure, for any distress or anger you may have towards me, or my company, or anything else that you feel I may have done wrong, or handled poorly. I hope you can forgive me, as I sincerely did not mean to disappoint anyone. I have learned very much from this sale, and I appreciate everything that everyone has done for me, and my company, and I hope you’ll accept my apology. Thank you for your business, your patience, your advice, and your help through this deal. I’m hoping to have the last of it finished very soon, and I hope I haven’t disappointed you all too much, because I know without my customers, I have nothing. Thank, and I’m sorry again.



Thursday, June 9, 2011

5 Beauty Videos You Must Watch

1. Cosmetic Viking: Pixie Epoxy

If you’ve ever wonder what eye shadow primer, or Pixie Epoxy is, and how to apply it, just ask Brian of Cosmetic Viking! In his video, Brian explains a little about primers, how to use them, and what they do.


2. Enkore: Colorants 1 & 2

Have you ever wonder what your eye shadows are made of? Koren Zander of Enkore Make up explains different types of pigments, their uses, how they react to water (which has been a somewhat popular scandal with pigments and some make up companies), and other valuable information. It’s a recommended watch for anyone who buys indie make up

Part 1

part 2

3. Glitter Glossary: Clean Brushes

Keeping your tools clean is an important part of keeping bacteria out of your cosmetics. This video from Elle Fowler is a nice little example of how to clean your brushes. Especially good for beginners!

4. Expert Village: How to Apply Mineral Make Up

This is great beginner tutorial for anyone who hasn’t used mineral make up before. It has a nice demonstration of how to get the most from your mineral application.

5. Petrilude: How To Use Pigments

Josh or Petrilude has an excellent video on pigments, and all the fun things you can do with him. It’s a great video to learn a little more about your make up, and to get some fun, unusual idea. Definitely a must watch in my book.

I hope you all liked the videos! If you know any good ones you think everyone should watch, just add them to the comments.



Friday, June 3, 2011

Other Uses for Loose Eye Shadow Pigments


It was recently brought to my attention by April of Blacksburg Belle, that most people might not know that eye shadows can be used for more than just your eyes. Now, this is the important part: you need to be very certain that your eye shadows are approved for use on other areas of your face!

Our Dark Heart Designs eye shadows are approved for use on lips, eyes, face, and nails. Here’s a few simple ideas:

Lips: Mix your eye shadow with lip gloss or lipstick for a sparkly, shiny lip

Face: Shadows can be used as a different color blush, or to create fancy designs, like I’ve done here:

Nails: Add your shadows to clear or colored nail polish to make a new color, or change the shade of one you already have.

Here’s a few videos to help you get an idea on other uses for our shadows:

Petrilude’s video on how to use pigments:

One way to use pigments in nail polish:


I hope this post gives you some ideas on all the uses for our eye shadows. Please be aware that this post is only for Dark Heart Designs shadows. If you’re going to use another brand, please make sure that it is approved for the area you’ll be using it in. Thanks for reading everyone!



Monday, May 30, 2011

An Interview with Ashley Pahl of Indie Pretty Projects

An excerpt from Ashley’s blog page; About me:


My love for the handmade community has its roots in my childhood. My Grandma Peggy taught me at a young age how to work that construction paper with glue and cotton balls, while she was always working on a new sewing, embroidery, or baking project.

After years of painting, knitting, photography, screen printing, sculpting, sketching, and attempting to sew, I found my true love, paper, when I made my own wedding invitations.

I've been selling my own paper creations online since 2007, and began blogging shortly after. I discovered that people around the world are turning their passion into a career, and by simply making the conscious choice to buy handmade and share your finds, a whole industry can be kept afloat.

Indie Pretty Projects

The Interview:


Foundation: I used Bare Escentuals for a long time, but it became too pricey for my budget. Now I use tinted moisturizer, such as Neutrogena.
Blush: Benefit - Dandelion
Mascara: Dior DiorShow - I'm currently on the hunt to find a comparable drugstore brand
Eyeliner: Wet N Wild
Primer: Smashbox Photo Finish
Eyeshadow: M.A.C. - I like something with a little glitter.
Lipstick or Gloss: I don't really have a favorite - I buy something new every time. Right now I am using tinted lip balm by Burt's Bees.

Q: What was the inspiration behind Indie Pretty Projects?

A: Indie Pretty Projects started out as "Ashleybug Designs", as a companion blog to my new business on Etsy in 2007. It used to be focused on my journey as a crafter and the business tips I was learning, but I realized I enjoyed writing about the work of others much more, and decided it was time for a name change.

Q: You mention on your site that your calling is paper crafting. Why did you decide on that particular for of crafting?

A: I've tried many different mediums, but it turns out I'm a pretty impatient person. For example, I tried knitting, painting, and sewing, but I would lose interested before finishing projects. I like paper crafting because the materials are easy to come by, and I can create something very fun before I lose interest and want to move on to another idea.

Q: What inspired you to try to decrease your reliance on mass manufactured products?

A: Studying geology and geography in college introduced me the concerns of the world - over-consumption, the affects of consumerism, the affect of certain ingredients on the environment, and the idea of peak oil and its affect on grocery prices in the future. My goal is to become a more self-reliant citizen, so that I can make environmentally friendly supplies myself, or know how to make certain foods if there are ever shortages, or prices become ridiculously high.

Q: What are you like the least about buying handmade?

A: A couple of times I have had quality issues with some items, but knowing that there is a real, single person behind the product, I know that everyone makes mistakes and I never like to leave bad feedback. I don't like hurting the feelings of business owners! I know if I ever had a "complaint" it would be meant as constructive criticism, but I know how sensitive some shop owners can be. I don't expect perfection, but sometimes when something doesn't turn out how I thought it would be... I've been bummed on an occasion or two.

Q: Do you have any suggestions for consumers who are looking to buy handmade products?

A: When I started my business, I had JUST found out about Etsy, and no one I knew personally had ever heard of it. No one I knew was selling their own creations, either. I felt like I had to find my own way through the dark when starting my business, and the more I learned, the more I enjoyed it and couldn't get enough. Any time I learn something new, or if there are tips that have helped me out, I have to share them. I feel like the handmade community is a team - we all need to help each other. The more successful one shop is, I feel the more successful the rest of us will ultimately be. I don't feel like other shops like mine are competitors, they are colleagues. If they do a good job with their product and sell well, it will only encourage more people to shop handmade.

Q: How do you find time to run your own business, manage your site, and make time for your family?

A: It's all about very careful time management. During the day when my girls are awake, that is their time with me. When they are napping, that is when I work on networking or on my blog, and at night when they are in bed, that's when I work on my shop and fill orders. My business is my hobby - it's what I do for fun, it doesn't feel like work at all. My husband has his own hobbies, and when we feel we need to spend more time together, I'm pretty good at putting the crafts away and turning off the computer. I also get some time each weekend for myself to do what I need to get done.

Indie VS Commercial brands

Q: There are a lot of handmade or indie make up brands in the community now. Have you tried any of them?

A: Yes, I tried a shop that sold mineral makeup. I was pretty impressed with the concealer, but I had a hard time matching foundation to my face.

Q: Would you prefer to purchase indie or commercial brands, and why do you prefer one over the other?

A: I know I need to give indie makeup another chance. When I run low, I tend to just pickup makeup while I'm already at the store grocery shopping. It's also hard to buy makeup online, because you can't see the shade in person or test it; however, I do believe in the makeup shops on Etsy, because I'm more willing to trust an individual that I can talk to one-on-one, rather than a big company that is in it for the profits. Lip gloss is actually the next purchase I have planned on my indie shopping list.

Thank you to Ashley for taking the time to do an interview for us!



Tuesday, May 24, 2011

An Interview with Kimberly of KimmieKarmaLove

An excerpt from Kimmie’s blog page; About me:


My name is Kimberly and I'm a 24 year old living the life! I live in California with my Husband and three dogs. I love color and love to wear makeup!

One of the things that motivated me to start this blog was to share the genuinely good products with other people like me. I've bought enough of the crappy stuff and wanted others to know what was out there! I also love to help indie companies get their name out there or to promote awesome products! Kimberly Marquez


The Interview:


Foundation: I don't really wear foundation a lot but when I do I love my Brazen Cosmetics foundation.
Blush: Commercial: Tarte's Blissful-Indie: Fyrinnae's Charm
Mascara: L'Oreal Collegan Elastin
Eyeliner: Maybelline Stilleto
Primer: UDPP
Eyeshadow: Fyrinnae's Darling Misfit
Lipstick or Gloss: L'Oreal HiP's Arresting

Q: How did you come up with the name KimmieKarmaLove?

A: Kimmie has always been my nickname from friends and family and I've used Karma as a screenname for games and such for as long as I can remember. I just needed something to tie them together and love worked!

Q: What made you decide to start blogging?

A: I originally started blogging to show my art journals and other things I made and when I discovered my love for makeup I had the perfect outlet!

Q: Do you have any tips for readers who want to start a blog and/or get more followers?

A: Just be yourself and be genuine. Don't try and fake anything because your readers and others bloggers will find out. People want to be able to relate to you and know that you're a real person. Good photos don't hurt either.

Q: Some issues discussed in the makeup blogosphere can attract a lot of heated debate. How do you, personally, control comment wars?

A: I try to stay out of them! I've had some comment wars on my blog and if I get involved it just gets worse. Fortunately, I also have amazing readers that have come to my defense in certain situations.

Q: What are your top three favorite blogs to read?

A: Stay Beautiful-Eyeliner and Spraypaint
Fit Foodie Finds
Confessions of a Glitterholic

Q: What are some of your favorite posts to write?

A: I love to write reviews! I get very excited about new companies and new products that I think are of great quality.

Indie VS Commercial brands

Q: Which do you prefer?

A: Indie all the way!

Q: What do you like the most about commercial brands?

A: Availability. I can easily go to many different stores to find almost anything I need.

Q: What do you like the most about indie brands?

A: I think the one thing I like most about indie brands is the fact that there are literally a million options for consumers. What you want is only limited by your imagination. I also love the fact that with indie brands I personally have the chance to get to know the person behind the brand, that really is priceless for me.

Q: What would you suggest consumers do before purchasing from an indie company?

A: Do a lot of research. You will be spending your money on a company that isn't necessarily known all over the country and it's no fun getting product that's not worth what you paid or isn't what you thought.

A big thank you to Kimberly for taking the time to do an interview for us!



Wednesday, April 27, 2011

5 Beauty Blog Posts You Must Read

I’ve managed to come across a few really good, useful posts while browsing around the beauty blog community. Now I want to take a minute to share those with you, and tell you why I think you need to read them.

5. Diva Digest: Custom Formula or Repacked Mica?


This short post by Lorraine of LA Minerals is an easy way to educate yourself on how to sniff out repackaging (which is taking wholesale mica, putting it into smaller containers, and reselling it at a higher price). While I think people sometimes get carried away, starting witch hunts for innocent businesses, it’s good to know a little bit about the issue, and how to avoid it. If you’re not sure about a cosmetic company, trying asking them first. The company can probably give your mind some ease before buying, or samples to help you decide.

4. The Eyes Have It All: Finding Your Skin Undertones

Image1 (2)

In this post from Amanda, The Snarky Princess, she highlights information from Essential Daily Spa on how to find your skin undertones. If you were like me, you have no idea what they are. This post tells you a simple way to determine what color, if any, undertones you have. Learning what your undertones are will help you pick out your foundation, and other make up colors that will compliment your tones.

3. The Painted Mask: Makeup Safety-Eye/Lip Safe Product Usage


Nolie of The Painted Mask talks about product safety usage in her post, and how to be smart about it. You should really be aware of what you’re wearing, and if you’re wearing it in an area that it’s approved for. If you still want to try something that’s not approved, this post has some tips on how to be a little smarter about trying out products (could be applied to trying products from a company you’ve never purchased from too).

2. Lipsticks and Lightsabers: Brush Basics


If you’ve ever wondered what that funky shaped brush you’ve seen in the makeup section is for, Anastasia of Lipsticks and Lightsabers can tell you. Her post on brushes is extremely extensive and detailed. She tells you which brush does what, why she uses that brush, examples of that particular style, and where to find dupes (cheaper products that are essentially the same). I highly recommend reading if you’re confused about brushes, or if you just want to see some alternatives to popular styles.

1. Beauty’s Bad Habit: My Favourite...Eyeshadow Bases & Primers


What is eye shadow primer? Lily of Beauty’s Bad Habit answers that question in her post. She explains primers, bases, and gel bases. There are plenty of photos, and explanations of what each does, and their effect on the eye shadow when you use them. She also lists prices, and where to purchase each product.

I hope you enjoy the resources and take a moment to read over these wonderful posts!



Tuesday, April 19, 2011

An interview with Brian of Cosmetic Viking

An excerpt about Brian:

Brian is a make up enthusiast & the writer of the Cosmetic Viking blog. He also does video tutorials on Youtube.


The Interview:


Foundation: Illamasqua's Rich Liquid Foundation in RF120
Blush: MAC's Bite of an Apple
Mascara: Rimmell's Lash Accelerator in Extreme Black
Eyeliner: NYX's Black Bean jumbo pencil
Primer: Urban Decay Primer Potion/ Kat Von D's High Voltage Eye Primer/ Fyrinnae's PIxie Epoxy
Eyeshadow: Sugarpill
Lipstick or Gloss: Lipstick, but no particular favorite.

Q: How did you come up with the name Cosmetic Viking?

A: Not the question I'm used to getting, actually. Most of the time its why 'Cosmetic Viking'? I used to like to come up with word gabs so for the longest time, the bio for my Twitter just said 'VIKING'; eventually I got the idea to put two and two together and BOOM.

Q: What made you decide to start blogging?

A: A lot of people I knew were doing it. Before, I was mostly doing YouTube but I was a little discouraged with my presentation so eventually I flocked myself over to Blogger and here we are.

Q: Do you have any tips for readers who want to start a blog and/or get more followers?

A: Modesty and presentation; leave ego out of the equation and put your best foot forward. Try and be relatable and really put yourself out there. Its your blog so really anything goes; its your world and you make the rules. Don't heed to anyone else's thoughts or opinions unless you're looking for constructive criticism, which in some cases most people are very kind about. There's always going to be a handful of people who enjoy getting under your skin but a few rude individuals versus potential hundreds or even thousands of dedicated readers is a fair trade. Just be yourself.

Q: Some issues discussed in the makeup blogosphere can attract a lot of heated debate. How do you, personally, control comment wars?

A: Well, I would say just don't intentionally write or post about a legitimate issue without thinking it through first but I know that doesn't stop a lot of people. If things get out of control, then close the post and if you want to, post a notice explaining your reasoning. However, even if those circumstances do apply, that's your blog and again, you make the rules. If a person cannot respect or understand that fact, I'd give them der Stiefel.

Q: What are your top three favorite blogs to read?

A: Gothique, Phyrra and Temptalia.

Q: What are some of your favorite posts to write?

A: FOTD's, I think. Reviews seem to confining. While its good to stay on topic, I always find myself floating off or meshing into another subject. With makeup looks I can just BS about whatever and then discuss the look at hand.

Indie VS Commercial brands

Q: Which do you prefer?

A: Indie.

Q: What do you like the most about commercial brands?

A: Eh...can't think of many pros when up against Indie.

Q: What do you like the most about indie brands?

A: Variety and creative freedom. While most Indie brands aren't on the path to creating 'revolutionary' liquid foundation, blahblahblah, many of them have amazing and creative eyeshadows (and if you know where to look, fantastic and unique lip products or face products). Basically, its a free-for-all and you don't have some prissy woman in a boring outfit and neutral and safe makeup telling you what and what not to wear for this season's HOTTEST trend!

Q: What would you suggest consumers do before purchasing from an indie company?

A: Check around for reviews first. If there isn't anything available, look around for accurate swatches to see if someone didn't just have a field day with the sponge brush in saturation mode and some random stock photo. Be aware of the 'repackaging' concept, too, so you don't purchase overpriced product that the seller put no effort into blending or creating themselves.

A big thank you to Brian for taking the time to do an interview with us!



Saturday, April 16, 2011

A Humble Request

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I know you’re all but busy, and this is a long post, but if you read anything today, please let this be it.
Right now, our nation’s eye is turned to Japan, and the devastation that has taken so many lives, and left even more without a home.  While I feel absolutely terrible for those people, I ask you to turn your attention a little closer to home, to the story of Kyle and Amanda Franklin.
Perhaps you’ve heard of Franklin’s Flying Circus and Airshow. If you haven’t yet, here’s a short excerpt from their about page:
“(Kyle) Franklin comes from a pedigree of talented pilots and airshow stunt people. His father was none other than the legendary pilot Jimmy Franklin. Kyle Franklin’s wife and partner is Amanda Franklin, the daughter of legendary pilot Bobby Younkin and sister to Matt Younkin. Together Kyle and Amanda have created a swaggering, wing-walking pirate show that would make Captain Jack Sparrow gulp.
This flying circus of “Pirated Skies” will have audiences yelling “Aaargh” as Amanda wing walks, playing the part of “Scandalous Scarlett” and sword fights with Kyle, the menacing “Captain Kyro.””
You can watch a short clip of the couple’s  pirate show in this video:

Now that you’re familiar with the Franklins, I’ll get to my request. As some of you may know from the news, my fan page, or another source, Kyle & Amanda’s plane engine stalled in a recent show, causing the plane to crash. Miraculously, both of them survived the crash, but Amanda was severely injured. You can watch the news except from MSNBC’s Today Show here:

While I must say, I can’t making as much of a donation as I’d like, since my family lives paycheck to paycheck like most Americans, I will be donating $2 from every Dark Heart Designs sale, no matter how small. If the sale is larger than $25, we’ll be donating $5 per sale for the remainder of the month of April.
If you don’t want to make a purchase, but still want to help the couple, the following funds have been set up for them:
Moonlight Fund and specify the Kyle & Amanda Franklin Fund. You can also send a check to the Kyle & Amanda Franklin Fund, c/o The Moonlight Fund, PO Box 1299, Bandera TX 78003. The Moonlight Fund is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that provides 24/7-assistance to burn survivors and their families in their hour of need.
International Council of Air Shows Foundation and specify the Kyle & Amanda Fund during the donation process. You may also mail a check or money order to: ICAS Foundation, 750 Miller Drive, Suite F-3, Leesburg, VA 20175. Make your check or money order payable to the ICAS Foundation, and indicate "Kyle and Amanda Fund" in the memo section. You may also donate by credit card call the ICAS Foundation Chairman, Caroline Trinkwalder, at 734-595-0864 or call ICAS headquarters (703-779-8510) with credit card information.
For updates on Kyle & Amanda’s condition, you can visit the Franklin’s Flying Circus & Airshow fan page on Facebook.
Thank you for taking the time to read their story. Until next time!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Color Spotlight: Carnival Queen

Carnival Queen is a bright, sparkly yellow.


Carnival Queen was inspired by my life in the carnival industry. My family has traveled with the carnivals for five generations. My parents had rides, games, an exotic animal show, and 4 arcades.

In my photo below, I used Carnival Queen

over Urban Decay Potion Primer & Pixie Epoxy Primer:


Why yes…I do have a tree growing out of my head. I totally missed that when I was taking the pics, but it looks too funny not to post.


If you don’t know what Pixie Epoxy is, or how to use it, I seriously recommend you watch this video:

Thanks for reading!



Tuesday, April 12, 2011

I’m a bad little blogger

Yup..that’s me!

I apologize for getting off schedule. I’ve just got a loooot going on lately. I’ve been trying to fill orders, work on Project: Safe Indie, keep the blog up, take care of my family and home, and get my car back on the road. As you can see, the blog kinda fell to the bottom of the list.

I’ll be back on track with Tuesdays story behind the color. Thanks so much for reading!



Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Tutorial Tuesday: New Leaves


Sorry for the late post everyone! I’ve been uber-busy lately.

Here’s a pretty green look that’s great for spring!

Here’s what you’ll need:

Dark Heart Designs colors:

  • Frost Shadow
  • Absinthe Shadow
  • Limelight Shadow
  • Carnival Queen Shadow

Other makeup I used:

  • Mary Kay Foundation
  • Blush (A trial type of my own)
  • Avon Eyeliner
  • Avon Mascara
  • Morgana Cryptoria Coraline’s Kiss
  • Covergirl dark brown shadow to shade brows (this should match your brow color)


· Urban Decay Potion Primer for setting eye shadow

The look:


1. Start by applying a light facial moisturizer, and then apply your foundation, blush, and whatever else you use personally. I do my brows before my eye shadow. To do this I fill them in with a small brush and a shade of eye shadow that matches my brows. If you’re going to apply eye shadow primer, you’ll want to do it now.

2. Apply the DHD eye shadows in this area, starting with the lightest color, Carnival Queen:


3. Continue to add the rest of the colors from the inside of the eye, out, blending as you go.

4. Apply Frost along the brow line for a highlight.

5. Finish by applying eyeliner to your top and bottom lid, and apply mascara to your top lashes. Finalize the look by adding a light lipstick.

This is the look in natural light:





Thursday, March 31, 2011

Results of the Moonchild contest with Kerli!



First off, I sincerely want to thank for supporting the contest. It wouldn’t have went so well if it wasn’t for their support. Also, the ever wonderful Kerli, who I find inspiring.

I urge you, if you haven’t already, to go to her website, and download the free copy of Army of Love that she’s offering there. You can find it at Here’s the video for the song:

The contest did wonderful with 116 total entries. Since we had so many, I decided to add more prizes. These are the categories:

Grand prize – Three full size shadows & one Lip Slick (one person)

Runner up prizes – Two full size shadows (two people) & one full size shadow (two people)

The winners were chosen randomly using Now for that famous line: And the winners are:

Grand prize:  TM Francis (Moonchild gift set)

Runner up one: Megan Lawrence (two full size jars)

Runner up two: Georgia Tiver (two full size jars)

Runner up three: Michelle Karimi (one full size jar)

Runner up four: Desiree Hollis (one full size jar)

All other participants will receive an email with a coupon code for free shipping from our shop as a thank you for entering the contest.

Congrats to the winners, thank you to everyone for participating, and if you missed your chance, follow us on Twitter, or like us on Facebook for your chance to win!




Tuesday, March 29, 2011

An interview with Victoria Stiles, Makeup Artist


An excerpt from Victoria’s biography page:


Inspiration to pursue a career in makeup came at a young age for Victoria Stiles as she would study seasonal makeup trends published in various fashion and beauty print media. She began experimenting with makeup and developing her own technique in applying cosmetics. A family friend noticed Victoria's talents early on and urged her to continue development of her craft and begin a career path as a makeup artist post graduation.


The Interview:


Foundation: FACE atlier Ultra Foundation, Cover FX, Graftobian Cream for HD
Blush: I love using the MAKE UP FOR EVER Flash color palette for blush.  The pink and coral shades are beautiful!
Mascara: CARGO Cosmetics Texas Lash Mascara - everything is bigger in Texas, right?  With this mascara, your lashes can be larger than life as well!
Eyeliner: LOVE Lord & Berry eyeliners, especially the Smudgeproof 700 series.
Primer: I use Embryolisse 24 Hour Cream to prime skin and MAKE UP FOR EVER's Eye Seal as an eyeshadow primer
Eyeshadow: I have so many favorite eyeshadows:  MAKE UP FOR EVER, CARGO, FACE atelier, Yaby, Graftobian
Lipstick or Gloss: Depends on the look you want to achieve.
Favorite lip color product:  Obsessive Cosmetics Lip Tar
Favorite Gloss: FACE Stockholm

Q: What made you decide to become a makeup artist, and how long have you been in business, so to speak?

A: I have been obsessed with cosmetics my entire life.  In high school, my best friend's mother took notice of the way I applied makeup and encouraged me to pursue a career in the field.

Q: How long did it take you to really make it a career out of it?

A: I started in the business in 1999.  I worked with M.A.C. Cosmetics for about 5 years and then I left to pursue a freelance career.  When I started as a freelancer, I also worked a full-time admin job in order to have steady income.  After about two years of working both, I was able to leave my full-time job and focus on makeup.  I have been solely a freelance artist since 2007 and have never looked back. 

Q: What are some of your favorite things about being a makeup artist?

A: The creative aspect, travel, and getting to meet with different people on a daily basis.

Q: What are some of the difficulties you face working in this field?

A: The number one thing is scheduling.  Sometimes I wish I could clone myself, but I am only one person and can only take one job a day. 

Q: Do you have any advice for readers who want to become a makeup artist?

A: Research where you want to go as an artist.  Do you want to work in TV/Film, Commercial, or Fashion?  Whichever route you decide, research other artists working in that field.  Check out their website, education, etc.  Offer to assist working artists.  Assisting is so valuable in this industry.  Nothing beats hands-on. 

Network with photographers, set-up test/practice shoots to build your own portfolio.  Number one thing to remember, do not concentrate on finding an agent at first, that will come with time and after you have built an extensive portfolio on your own.

Currently, I am an educator with The Powder Group and I have found their workshops and education to be some of the best because it's given by working artists in a variety of fields within makeup.  Check out their site: and also for upcoming education.

Q: I actually found you by a retweet of the makeup artist daily. Can you explain to us what it is, and how you’re involved with it?

A: If you follow me on Twitter @victoriastiles, you will know I live on that site!  Makeup Artist Daily is an auto-generated daily "paper" of the people I follow on Twitter and their top stories they Tweet about.

Q: Is there any online reading, blog or otherwise, that helps you get information or inspiration?

A: I enjoy following:

And, of course, my agent's blog

Q: What motivated you to take a hiatus, volunteer in Haiti, & get involved with all the charities that you work with?

A: I had been working with M.A.C. for quite a while at that point and needed a change.  I went to Haiti right before I decided to leave M.A.C. and go freelance.  What I discovered, which I always knew but didn't really know until I experienced the Haiti trip, is that we have so many opportunities here in the U.S. that other countries do not have.  It made me want bigger and better for my life.

As far as the cancer charities, remember I mentioned my best friend's mother who encouraged me to peruse a career as an artist?  She lost her life to breast cancer and I've made it a personal initiative to bring awareness, raise funds to help the cause, and hopefully find a cure.

Indie VS Commercial brands

Q: I’ve spoke to other makeup artists and they’ve said the sparkle in most indie makeup doesn’t lend itself well to the lighting involved in professional photos. Do you feel the same, or do you use indie brands?

A: I'm huge on testing out products and you can mostly tell if a product will photograph well by testing the product on the back of your hand.  Anything sheer in pigment, with glitter particles, overly sparkly, will most likely not photograph well.

Q: If you (personally or professionally) used indie cosmetics, what would you look for in a brand?

A: Right off the bat, key things I look for in a product are, high pigment pay-off, water-resistant, the product is not animal tested, and Paraben-free. 

A big thank you to Victoria for taking the time to do an interview for us!



Thursday, March 24, 2011

A statement about Project: Safe Indie




No good thing ever comes without opposition.


If you disapprove of Project: Safe Indie, I’m apologize, but I can’t make everyone happy. I can only try my best to make most people happy. I want you to know, the project was created for the people who were hurt because they used unsafe pigments on their eyes, for the people who were lied to and sold repackaged, or private label cosmetics, etc. The problem is, there is no one who is qualified by the FDA who is willing, or going to inspect these products before they’re released to the public. There is no one protecting the people who think the companies they’re purchasing from have their best interest in mind. Yes, there may be the occasional blog post, or tweet, or facebook status, but, how is that helping the people who don’t subscribe to your blog, or follow your tweets, or friend you on facebook? Those people won’t know that you might have found soap dyes in ingredients from the company they just purchased from. Personally, I have sold my products to quite a few people who have no idea what the makeup, or beauty blogger community is. Not to mention the local people that a lot of us sell to. Who’s helping to protect them?

I recently contacted a lot of bloggers, makeup companies, and people, trying to find their tips on how to shop safely in the indie community because I saw people being hurt, and I wanted to make a podcast. One podcast is not going to help much. It can only help the people it reaches. The project is set up to reach so many more people, and to tell them that their favorite companies are just as interested in their safety as they are.

No one has to participate if they don’t want to. We’re not asking for freebies. There’s a reason behind everything in the project, and the purpose of asking for one product from each type of line (ie. lipstick, eye shadow, eye liners, etc.) is to see how they’re packaged and shipped, and take extensive photographs so that customers can see the packaging for themselves, not for us. I seriously believe that this will give customers more confidence to buy from a company. A lot of people look for companies that have reviews, and this could be especially helpful for new companies, since people can see that they took the time to send in some photos & their products are safely packaged. I’ve also talked to a lot of people that are concerned about where their makeup is made. Most indie companies have a home lab. Taking lab photos and being aware of safe packing could give people a little more reassurance that the product is clean, and the person making the product at least has the knowledge to use gloves, sanitize, etc.

If sending products in is an issue, because you think the project is demanding freebies, I’d like you to please consider all the time and effort put into this project. I’ve spent countless nights coding the site and getting things ready for the project to be released and I won’t be receiving any products myself. It wouldn’t be fair if I did. No one is compensating us for our time, but that’s not what the project is about. If the others, and myself can give up our time to do all the work involved in the project, and I, as Dark Heart Designs, can send my products to one of our reviewers, just like we’re asking from others, what is so bad about sending in one or two items to show people that you believe in being safe and putting your customers first? If that is still an issue, we’d be happy to take photographs/videos, and return the product to the company, if they wouldn’t mind paying the return shipping (since most of us don’t have much personal income and it should only cost $1-2). We had also planned on doing swatches and reviews for the companies to help compensate for the products they send in. I sent a lot of free products out for Dark Heart Designs just for tips, so I see the project as a positive investment (from a company standpoint).

Another purpose of the project is to guide new companies. You can start selling makeup without having any knowledge of what you’re doing. No, we’re not professionals. I never claimed we were, but, do you know any indie company that has a degree in cosmetology? All we have is a little bit of experience and some knowledge. We’re not telling anyone how to do anything, just giving tips, and not necessarily about making products, but things like including ingredients, and shipping packages with at least a business card in it, etc. I’ve got a lot of tips myself from beauty bloggers, and sending my products to people for reviews. I’ve learned a lot along the way, and I want to share it with people who are willing to listen and maybe save them some time by teaching them things I learned the hard way.

If you still don’t like the project, I understand, but I feel just as passionate about doing something to keep people safe. If you have a better idea, than please, I’m all ears, and I’d love to hear it. My only concern is not having to see anymore posts or statements from angry or hurt customers about companies that weren’t careful or truthful. I apologize if anyone misunderstood our purpose, and thought I was being condescending and/or demanding.



Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Color spotlight: Beautiful Nightmare

Beautiful Nightmare is a light, creamy, purple-pink.

BeautifulNightmare (5)

Beautiful Nightmare was inspired by the Beyonce song of the same name. When someone wears this shadow, I want it to evoke the feeling of loving something so much that even a dream of it is so beautiful that you never want to wake from it.
Here’s the video for the song that inspired the shadow:

In my photo below, I used Beautiful Nightmare over Pixie Epoxy Primer:

BeautifulNightmareShots (1)

I hope you’ve enjoyed the quick color highlight. Thanks for reading!


Thursday, March 17, 2011

A repackaging update


Most of you have already read about this, but I wanted to post the information again


You can see the base ingredients of the colors (Tangerine & Lemon Drop) and the ingredients of one of my bases (C-Smax) If I repackaged, my ingredient list would only consist of the ingredients on the colors.

My company was accused of repackaging on a blog review reply. I wanted to post my reply here as well, to share with all of you.

The review was made here:

I would like to take a moment to say that none of my products are repackaged. There are numerous statements & comments on my website, my Etsy site, and my Dark Heart blog concerning repackaging, and my opinion on it. I would be ashamed of myself if I allowed anything to be repackaged.

While I do use the pop colors in my shadows, I only made them into shadows because they're not available to people in my area, or to people outside of the immediate makeup community. Also, the pop colors have been discontinued from TKB. If my company was repackaging them, we would have to come up with an entire new line, including lip glosses, or discontinue the current one. I am not doing either of those. I'm trying my best to reformulate the recipes and save as many colors as I can by mixing new color combinations.

The name Silver Bullet is used by another company, which I was not aware of at the time. However, you will find a lot of companies that do the same and I see no problem with it. Vampire Heart contains carmine, but it is not straight carmine. It's a combination of carmine and mica to create that particular shadow, as is Toxic. The only difference is, Toxic contains more raspberry pop than Vampire Heart, but if you'll look, the ingredients are the same.

Also, I've taken a picture to show you the ingredients of a base ingredient (the CS Max) and two raw micas. You can clearly see the ingredients of each item displayed on the bag. If you compare them to the ingredients in my shadows, you'll see they are not repackaged as both ingredients are in my shadows. Also, anyone who has worked with straight mica is familiar with its low adhesion.

I'm sorry if you don't agree with my price, but there is so much more to running an indie business than the cost of pigments and jars. I maintain my website, Etsy shop, Twitter, Facebook page, and more by myself. I pack, ship, create labels, personally stamp each package, write the personalized notes to my customers and more. There's a lot of time involved in that, and when you add it all up, the profit made from the product doesn't cover the overhead. Most of my company is run out of pocket, with the profits going back into supplies. While this may not seem intelligent, I do it because I truly enjoy it.

As to the lazy, greedy lies; a few others and I are working on a site called Project Safe Indie. It will help people find companies that are not repackagers, unsafe, or any of the other problems in the indie community. If I were really guilty of all that was said, I'd be putting the noose on my own neck by starting this project, because lies always surface eventually. There's a lot of time involved in something like this, and someone who was lazy would not attempt it.

Also, I believe you meant INCI ingredients, which I am working on. I am human and I do make mistakes. I apologize for that and the INCI names are being gathered and will be posted shortly.

This is the last that I'll be saying on this matter, as I feel it rude to do so on someone else's blog. If anyone has any questions or comments, feel free to email me at tina [at] (remove the [at] and replace with @) or comment on our Facebook fanpage, Twitter, or blog. Also, if anyone has any doubt to the validity of my products, I will be more than happy to swatch them alongside raw mica, or have another trusted blogger do so.

I'd also like to say thank you to Tamara for her honest review. I have no problem with people not liking my shadows. I do have a problem when peopling make statements against me and my company without any proof.