Review: - My Experience

by - 10:10

There are a great many obnoxious people on Instagram. I try to ignore most of them as they are so obviously scammy. One day I had a comment from an account called Venessishop (conveniently, they deleted all previous posts on their account page). They asked for a collaboration. Before I sent a message to them, I did some research. After all, a brand wanting to collaborate with me seemed a bit too good to be true. 
At this point, I only found one negative review coming from a person in the U.S. complaining about a lack of communication when her order never arrived.
So, I took the risk and contacted Venessi. I already had some questions to ask. I would go through the process.
These issues that flagged up:

1) There are discrepancies between the Instagram and the website.
This is what the biography read until not too long ago and what I got as an answer to the question what Venessi was about:
"We are a growing makeup brand. We are proudly handmade and cruelty-free."
This very much sounds like a brand manufacturing their products themselves. However, the website sold products from a brand called Focallure, and now it offers what seems to be Knock-offs.

2) I missed important information on the website.
There are two sections I search for on new websites.
The "About Us" and "Contact Us" sections give much information about a company. They should contain all the information about a company a customer needs to know. I wanted to find out who Venessi is and where they are seated. None of these pieces of information is easily found on the website. This is a big warning sign.  Why would any company hide what they are? And most importantly, it displays a lack of professionalism. 

3) There are many mistakes in the policy texts.
Skimming sections of the website such as the Privacy Policy revealed more and more reasons to lose trust in
The Privacy Policy is not edited.  Let me show you what I mean:

See the square brackets on this picture?  They are placeholders for items that the owner of the website might need to insert manually, reminders that the text needs editing.  I know, GDPR and writing Privacy Policies can be a pain in the neck. And please, don't judge mine to harshly. But on a website, people are supposed to spend money on, the Privacy Policy should be on point. Here again, a lack of professionalism is displayed that diminishes the trust of a potential customer.

Let us have a look at the Return Policy.
Skimming through I don't see any major mistakes. However, it got me suspicious when I read through a list of products mentioned. Other than makeup and beauty related products, the Refund policy also mentioned books, CDs, DVDs and software. None of these is offered on the website.
Again, there is a whole text that that is not adjusted to the website, which displays a lack of professionalism.
It was on this page, I found a return address to Canada, which left me a little confused.

From a customer perspective, I couldn't really decide if this business is not taken seriously enough, or if it is a scam. Either way, I knew to order on this website would be a gamble.

The Order

While shopping was very straightforward as was paying, I really missed Paypal as a payment option.
I chose notifications per text message as an additional option. This way I would receive delivery details and shipment information per text.
I did receive a confirmation message and a text that my order was shipped together with a tracking code. It took about  10 days until the tracking code worked.
Now I would have really appreciated knowing where the company is seated and where my order was dispatched from, as I was preparing myself to pay customs.
I received the order a few days before Christmas, which meant shipment took more than 20 days. Again, it would have been helpful to know where my order was dispatched from.
Chances are that the order was dispatched from China, for all I know.

In the end, I did not have to pay customs. I received my order. Others were not that lucky.
It flagged up in customs. I am currently living in the European Union and had to do some research.
Apparently, as I received it, everything is alright. It is just a product that would require paying customs, as none were paid when they enter the EU. Well, this still leaves me with the question: Where are you from?

The packaging was good enough. None of the eyeshadows broke, and there was some bubble wrap around the palette. So I received it fully intact.

As the product range changed over the last couple of weeks and does not include any Focallure products, I will leave a detailed product review for another time next week.

What I will say though is that Focallure claims to be cruelty-free.
However, the packaging says "Made in China". I am a sceptic. As far as I am aware China requires that cosmetics have to be tested on animals. I couldn't find them on the PETA website either. But, I will do some more research and let you know everything next week! According to what I know at the moment, I do seriously doubt the validity of the little rabbit icon on the palette. But, I could be wrong.
So in accord to the mission statement given to me by Jessica from Venessi, I hope she did her research then.

Have you encountered any shady or scammy websites recently?
I would love to read your comments below!

You May Also Like