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.



Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Tutorial Tuesday: Dead Leaves & The Dirty Ground


This was a winter-y look that I did to represent the darker shades of the cold season Here’s what you’ll need:

Dark Heart Designs colors:

  • Frost Shadow
  • Dirty Red Shadow
  • Halestorm Shadow

Other makeup I used:

  • Mary Kay Foundation
  • Blush (A trial type of my own)
  • Avon Eyeliner
  • Avon Mascara
  • Morgana Cryptoria Watermelon
  • 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, Frost:


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

1. 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 10, 2011

The Future of Dark Heart


The blog is back! I’m sorry for the short hiatus. I’m trying to work my way through a blogging schedule I can manage while working a full time job during the day, working on DHD in the evenings, and taking care of things at home. Now, I have some good news, and some bad news. Mostly good though.

The bad:

As some of you may know, one of the major cosmetic ingredient suppliers canceled one of their most popular mica lines. What that means for Dark Heart Designs, and a lot of other indie brands, is that they’ll either have to change their colors/products, or close their company.

The good:

In our case, I’m going to carry DHD through it’s first evolution. You haven’t seen the last of us. I consider this loss as a challenge. Now I have a excuse to try and change the depth and individuality of my colors. You can be sure DHD is never repackaged. If it was, we’d be out of business as of now. Instead, I hope you’ll continue to follow me through this product evolution and be a fan of DHD.

The bad:

I’ve watched quite a few makeup companies hit the spotlight lately, and not in a good way. There have been issues with repackaging, selling neon pigments (that are not safe to use on your eyes or lips), mislabeling, and more. It’s all really sad because people put their trust in a brand, and instead they’re being lied to, or even hurt. I’m not on a high horse, because I make mistakes as well. It’s not about not being able to make mistakes. It’s all about how you correct them, and where your heart is in the matter. I hope you’ll keep that in mind if you’re reading any of the blogs on the topic.

The good:

I’m working with another blogger, Amanda of The Eyes Have It, to create a site that will help people find safe indie companies. Companies that set the example for safe, correctly labeled cosmetics & trustworthy shopping. We’re only throwing ideas back and forth now, but the work will start soon. Keep reading the blog to find out more!

Thanks for reading lovelies.



Tuesday, March 8, 2011

An interview with Wendi of Makeup Zombie


An excerpt from Wendi’s blog page; About the Zombie:



My name is Wendi and I'm 31 years old. I'm a former working mother ( I stay at home now!) of 3. (2 boys and 1 girl) who's found an intense passion for makeup. I lost my Dad a year ago to colon cancer and makeup became a journey into self discovery more than anything else for me. The past year has been a lot of fun. I adore anything having to do with Zombies, just because I think they are so fuckin' cool. I wear "darker" makeup, but I wouldn't put myself into any certain "slot" when it comes to who I am. I'm just all over the place and that's how I like it.

I blog for ME. I love my fans, followers, fellow Zombie lovers, but at the end of the day, this blog is for me and a way to express myself. I don't do it for free makeup, I don't do it because I'm seeking any sort of acknowledgment. I do it to spread the word about wonderful products out there for others to enjoy. I've also made a lot of new friends and that's made it all worth while too.

Wendi Girven
The Makeup Zombie


The Interview:


Foundation: Rimmel Matte foundation
Blush: Hard Candy "Living Doll" and Fyrinnae "Captivate"
Mascara: Maybelline Falsies in Very Black
Eyeliner: Revlon Colorstay Liquid Eye Pen for upper Loreal Infallible Liner for lower
Primer: Pixie Epoxy and UDPP in Sin
Eyeshadow: OOO that's a tough one. I have so many. Fyrinnae is my favorite brand if I had to choose.
Lipstick or Gloss: Rimmel "Just So" Lipstick

Q: How did you come up with the name Makeup Zombie & what was the inspiration behind that name?

A: Well, I love Makeup and Zombies and I thought Beauty and Braaaaains was a catchy phrase. So it all just came together.

Q: What made you decide to start blogging?

A: I started watching YouTube videos and decided "Hey, I should do that, but with a blog and COOLER!"

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

A: Just write what you know/love. Do something creative with your blog, blog frequently and involve and engage your readers.

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 try not to blog about those heated issues, unless it's something that hits home personally. Then, I try to politely, and tactfully state my case. Usually by doing so, there isn't much room for debate. But, if I'm personally attacked, I attack right back. There is no way around it. Everyone has their own opinions.

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

A: I love Glitterismycrack because she's is so creative and gorgeous. I also like Just Peachy because she takes a more neutral side to makeup and Christopher and Tia because it's just a cute "unrealted to makeup" blog. I also love my best friend's blog Kitschy Suburbia.

Q: I've noticed you sometimes publish posts with your daughter. How do you feel about children wearing makeup?

A: I actually won't let me daughter wear makeup until she's old enough to tastefully do it herself. I honestly think that 6 year olds on YouTube posting about the latest MAC collection is just wrong. Let kids be kids people! But nailpolish, that's something my baby girl and I can enjoy together.


Indie VS Commercial brands

Q: Which do you prefer?

A: Indie- much more pigmented!

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

A: I like that they are readily available in stores and you don't have to wait for an order. But other than that, I prefer Indie.

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

A: The products are unique and handmade (in most cases). You can create custom colors by working with the owners. The customer service is friendly and you most of the time end up making new friends.

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

A: Research the company, order samples ahead of time to test the product.

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