Posted on Friday, at • 13100 views


Sparklecrack Central was started in January 2009. A particular forum, which had recently been sort-of-adopted-as-official by a certain mineral makeup company, passed a ban on all posts about any brand other than the “official sponsor”‘s brand of makeup. Since that particular community had been started as a result of over-eager moderation on another forum and the members had grown into a close-knit community, this move felt more than a bit abrupt to many of its members. LiAnn, a web professional since the mid-1990s, started this site as a place for members of this close-knit community to talk about ANY brand of mineral makeup. Another member of that same forum - a longer-time, more visible member - started their own forum, everyone went over there, and LiAnn maintained this forum and its site as her own makeup blog.

Okay, enough of this third-person junk. I'm LiAnn. I've been a web professional since the mid-1990s, know how to write HTML by hand, run a network of internet services (hosting, development, copy, marketing), and have acquired a LOT of mineral makeup in a relatively short time. I started in 2007 with Bare Escentuals: I could see the colors there in a nearby Sephora store, I could test them on the back of my hand, I could ask the sales associates for information about the stuff. And best of all (in my opinion), it had no preservatives. It was inert. Translation: even if I kept these pots of color for decades, they would not "go bad". Since up until that point I had worn very little makeup and would end up throwing out half-full tins and palettes every five years, this was a nice thing to realize. No longer was this an item with a short shelf life. I could now actually invest in eyeshadows and blush with the expectation that, even if I went through another multi-year period of not wearing makeup, the colors would still be good the next time I decided to play around.

Bare Escentuals is not inexpensive; and I had been used to the prices of the so-called "drugstore" makeup: $8 for four colors was considered expensive, in my world. Paying $13 for less than one ounce of eyeshadow would quickly cost a lot of money. So I did what any self-respecting person does these days: started trolling Ebay. I found several sellers offering Bare Escentuals makeup at less than retail ($5 to $10 a pot) and began building my color-hoard. During this process, I discovered a few things: 1), I had no patience for auctions, especially if I repeatedly gotthisclosetowinningsomething only to be outbid in the last five seconds; and 2) there were other people selling mineral makeup that was not Bare Escentuals. I tried a few, found a few disappointments, found two pretty good solid non-BE mineral makeup sellers, and continued adding to my ever-growing stash of mineral makeup.

Through Google searches, I found a few mineral makeup forums. By participating at one of them, I found friends and advice, got reviews of some of the other MMU manufacturers I'd found but not tried (including Meow Cosmetics and Aromaleigh), got some tips and recommendations, and eventually created this place. So now you know how it got started, and why.

As of June 2012, I currently have over 1,300 pots of eyeshadow, many tubes of buxom lip polish, about two dozen blushes, and several face colors (radiance/glow powder/finishing veil/what-have-you). I have fair skin, blue-grey eyes, and hair that is either dark blonde or light brown, depending on lighting and who's defining the color. I am a color fiend, and have a strong organizational streak. Because of the size of my collection and my own tendencies, I'm very good at, and fond of, finding color equivalencies between the different MMU brands. Want me to find comparisons to some new loose-powder MMU collection someone's just released, or a favored color that's no longer available from the original manufacturer? Send me a sample of the colors, and I'll compare that thing to every pot I've got in my collection.

Have some questions? Here's a bit more info.