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15 Minutes of Fame: Even geeks get chic with Geek Chic Cosmetics

From Hollywood celebrities to the guy next door, millions of people have made World of Warcraft a part of their lives. How do you play WoW? We're giving each approach its own 15 Minutes of Fame.

It was only a matter of time before some entrepreneurial spirit noticed that geeks and gamers wear makeup, too. Enter Geek Chic Cosmetics, a growing cosmetics lined based on natural ingredients and made for geeks and gamers, by geeks and gamers. Creators Chantel Eldredge and Deborah Margarella have both been WoW geeks since vanilla -- long enough to make a WoW-themed set of eye shadows seem like a given. "It seemed only natural to base them off the class colors," Eldredge notes. "We hope others dig them as much as we do." We do -- and we're so enthusiastic that we're giving away several sets. Make sure to visit our giveaway post for your chance to win a full 10-Man Raid eyeshadow set from Geek Chic.

15 Minutes of Fame: How did a love of gaming and geekery lead to cosmetics, of all things?

Chantel Eldredge: Geek Chic Cosmetics was an idea born from both my and Deborah's mutual love of makeup and gaming. We both were introduced to gaming at very young ages, and it has been a lifelong passion for both of us.

The birth of Geek Chic is a result of a conversation we had one night shortly after I quit my job at a large, chain crafts store. Deborah is a college student with little time to spare, and I hadn't had very good luck in finding anything in the job market where I live. It just clicked. I was talking about this idea I have had for a little over a year about wanting to make my own makeup and how I thought it would be cool to make makeup that payed homage to all things geeky. She looked at me and said, "Let's just do it." If it weren't for her tenacity and willingness to hop right in and make it happen, I don't know that I would have had the courage to do so by myself.

Deborah and I used to be [sisters-in-law]. I was married to her brother; we are divorced, but Deborah and I still call each other "sister." We have been the best of friends for a little over eight years now. We initially met through her brother and through a church band we used to sing in together. We struck up a friendship through our mutual love of D&D, video games and singing.
OK, ladies -- show us your WoW cred.

Eldredge: My main character is Daelorys. I'm in the <Obsidian League> on Scarlet Crusade (US). I have been playing WoW since November 2009. My boyfriend got me into it and taught me everything he knew; he's played since beta. I'd say I'm a casual player. I like to do PUGs and fun runs, mostly. As far as content, I enjoy 10-mans, pugging and heroics. I also love collecting pets, mounts and odd or unique things.

Deborah Margarella: My main character is Arlias on Firetree. I'm currently in the guild <tlc>. I've been playing WoW since 2006, around the end of vanilla. I was a pretty casual player from vanilla to the beginning of The Burning Crusade, and then I started raiding a couple of months later. I played through SSC, TK, Hyjal, BT and downed Illidan (before 3.0!). I also did the first couple bosses in Sunwell. I raided in Wrath up until Trial of the Crusader and quickly got bored. I quit raiding then, though I plan on finding a guild to raid with for Cataclysm. When playing casually, I do heroics and pug the occasional raid. I haven't played WoW that much with the start of Geek Chic in the past couple months, unfortunately. Things have been kinda crazy!

What about other games?

Eldredge: I have pretty severe motion sickness, so I really have to limit how much next-gen gaming I do. I started gaming on the PC with games like Myst and Riven, then switched to consoles like NES, SNES and Sega Genesis for console gaming. My motion sickness was too sensitive to allow for me to do much gaming on the N64 or PS one. I was really into Ragnarok for about eight years, managed to play on over 100 different servers with more than one max-level character on each one. After being introduced to WoW, I haven't touched it. I'm super happy with the resurgence of 2-D gaming or "retro" gaming, because the graphics allow for me to play. I'm also a sucker for tabletop gaming like D&D, BESM and Magic: The Gathering. I'd have to say that I'm a pretty hardcore tabletop gamer.

Margarella: I tend to enjoy RPGs, FPSes, adventure and games of that nature. I like MMOs, but I really haven't been able to get into one besides WoW (tried Guild Wars, City of Heroes, LOTRO, etc.), though, I'm looking forward to trying The Old Republic! Some of my favorite games right now are: Red Dead Redemption, Mass Effect 2, Half-Life 2, Lost Odyssey, Alan Wake and Borderlands. I'm a huge Bioware fan and have been playing their games since Baldur's Gate. I'm also a lifelong LoZ fan. In addition to video games, I love playing D&D and other tabletop games like Shadowrun.
How lucky of you two to have found each other! Do you have a fairly wide circle of real-life gaming/geek women friends, or is your connection with each other relatively unique in your lives?

Eldredge: Both of us have female friends who game. I have a couple of girlfriends who run regular D&D and Call of Cthulhu games, as well as playing WoW, Ragnarok and MapleStory.

Margarella: We have a couple of mutual friends that play video games, but I generally tend to get along better with guys than girls. She's my only close female friend, so I'd say that's fairly unique!

So back to Geek Chic. Tell us a little bit more about how it got its start.

Eldredge: Almost by accident. It was a passing conversation Deborah and I had after a party. We both needed jobs and weren't having very good luck finding them, not to mention we've both had rotten experiences at past jobs that made us wary of working for others. So I mentioned the idea to her, and she was just as excited about it as I was. We bought supplies, and the rest is history.
We understand your products are non-toxic, vegan and Earth-friendly, is that right?

Eldredge: We both did a lot of research about the various different ingredients in the formulations, to decide what we wanted to include in our products. Every ingredient had it's pros and cons weighed to decide if it's benefits were what we wanted. The first two to three weeks of business was spent doing a lot of trial and error to get our formula and bases down. We try to avoid using too many nonorganic ingredients in our makeup, as well as keeping it strictly vegan.

Are Geek Chick Cosmetics promoted exclusively to geek and gaming sites? Is there much crossover with the non-geek world?

Eldredge: We've had a little bit of crossover, but the bulk of promotion for the site has been in the geek/gaming community. I think you'll be seeing us step out of that box in the future for sure, though.

Margarella: We've tried some promotion to non geek and gaming sites, but the response is much stronger in the geek community ... and rightly so.

Have you run into any copyright roadblocks with the game-specific themes for your products?

Eldredge: I wouldn't say we've hit roadblocks, per se. It's definitely been a challenge to keep from crossing into that territory. We've done extensive research into the legalities of it and have thus far been able to pay homage to our favorite games without infringing on the copyrights associated with them. In the initial few weeks after the site went live, we did have a few hiccups, though. It's been a lot of fun working around the copyrights in a way; it allows us to flex our geek/gaming knowledge to come up with names and references that people will recognize without having to say brand/character names.

What's next in development? Can you share?

Eldredge: We tend to develop lines and colors independently, then bring them to each other for opinion and final formulation. For me, I have some ideas for glitter products and am doing research into finding a way to add lip products and possibly mascara to our product line without costs being too high for production as well as sale.

Margarella: We're working on getting lippies into the line-up soon.

Any plans for Cataclysm-themed products?

Eldredge: Possibly. I haven't spent a whole lot of time reading up on the changes, with running the business and all, but I think it would be nice to do some makeup based on the expansion sets, not just 10-Man Raid.

Margarella: If there is a color that pops out to us, probably. I've already covered myself in Na'vi blue for the sake of the company. Maybe a goblin green is in order?

What about in game - what are you both busy with in WoW? Do you have a roadmap you've planned out for tackling Cataclysm?

Eldredge: For the moment, my main focus in WoW has been getting my GearScore up and trying to get in on my guild's ICC runs. I'm working on bringing my DPS up over 3K on a regular basis. As far as Cataclysm goes, I plan on sitting down in the next week or so and working out my new build, since the talent system is changing. I don't want to have a lot of down time re-doing my character once it goes live. I'm also planning on trying out a worgen, and for once I'm excited about the leveling grind, since there are new areas and no more Barrens!

Margarella: I don't have too much that I'm busy with at the moment, but for Cataclysm, I plan on keeping my druid as my main, and I need to figure out a good balance spec for leveling. I'm a resto druid for raids, and I don't spend much time as balance (unless I'm doing quests), so I know it's not the best spec in the world. I'm keeping the same professions (inscription and herbalism). I have to admit I was tempted to roll a worgen, but I've gone through too much with my main to ditch her. I mean, can't pass up on ... running faster while dead ...

When it comes to WoW, do you have the eye of the tiger? Be sure to enter our contest for a chance to win a full set of Geek Chic's 10-Man Raid set of eyeshadow.

"I never thought of playing WoW like that!" -- and neither did we, until we talked with these players from all walks of life, from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine's Aron "Nog" Eisenberg to Olympic medalist Megan Jendrick ... from a quadriplegic player to a player who's racked up every achievement in the game.

Filed under: Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

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