Dona shimmer body spray by System JO - review by K101

Sparkly Water

The Shimmer Spray isn't much besides a glass bottle full of purple sparkly water, only the water is mostly chemicals. The natural, petro-chemical free & aphrodisiac-infused claims are all completely false, so that's a let down simply because the company went so far as to make false claims and lie on their labels. It's not all natural, it does contain chemicals and it has no aroma. A severely lacking product.
Comes in a glass bottle?
Hazardous ingredients.
No aroma.
Sparkle doesn't show up well.
Useless product.
Rating by reviewer:
extremely useful review


The Shimmer Spray is 2 fl oz of what appears to be purple sparkly water. You assume it is scented as perfumes are supposed to be, but make no mistake, this is only purple sparkly water. It has no scent.

However, I had read the reviews on this Shimmer Spray and was fully aware that it doesn’t actually have an aroma, so I knew what I was getting myself into or else I’d have been sorely disappointed. When the other reviewers of the Shimmer Spray said that they couldn’t detect an aroma to it, they were not understating.
Now that I have the bottle of Shimmer Spray, I’m thinking it wasn’t ever meant to be a perfume, but a shimmer spray only because the bottle says “Step 4 – Illuminate.” So I take it that this is basically an expensive extra for people who already have their own fragrance, but want to add purple sparkle to their skin, or its use can be an atomizer for those already wearing perfume. However, I do feel that it’s a very misleading product, as all the Dona items have been so far. I still bought to try anyways and figured if I didn’t like it, it could go to my sister as all my Dona items have.

The Dona Shimmer Spray also claims (as all the Dona products do) to be infused with superfruit, which only pertains to the acai, which is listed in the ingredients as “acai powder” (highly unlikely it even contains real acai anything) and it certainly doesn’t have an acai smell, so that’s a totally false claim. It also claims to have these aphrodisiac properties, but don’t be fooled, this is simply something Dona decided to slap on the label of their body products in order to make something like sparkly water sound more desirable. Don’t expect this to have a real affect where the aphrodisiac claim is concerned.

So, there’s little reason to buy this because it basically has no use. I personally already have water at home & I also have a heaping collection of different colored sparkles, and since you hardly see the pretty sparkles on your skin from this Shimmer Spray, I doubt you’ll find it useful. You could simply use body glitter, which is much cheaper since you can find it for only a couple of dollars max.

Before moving on, I’d like to go ahead and tell you what I ended up doing with this Shimmer Spray. Instead of having a bottle of unscented sparkly water, I added Temptress, my own hand-made perfume to the bottle so that it would have an aroma, and therefore actually be useful. And I’ll probably give it to my sister. So there’s one thing you could do with the Shimmer Spray. If you buy it and don’t have any use for it, simply add a few (or more as you desire) drops of a perfume you have on hand and like. I added 7 drops of my perfume to this and now it smells like a light version of Temptress, more body-spray than perfume, but it’s much nicer than before.

After learning about the health hazards connected to the ingredients, making your own Shimmer Spray with tap water and glitter may sound more appealing.

The bottle of Shimmer Spray is a bit larger than a typical bottle of perfume. It's probably near the same amount of product as my large bottle of Nollie, if you've ever seen that perfume. It's not super large, but if you know what 2 fl. oz look like, you have an idea of how much to expect. If I sprayed this on me daily, I'd very likely still have some left in a year.

*Expiry date is 24 months.

Texture / Consistency / Thickness / Viscosity

The Shimmer Spray looks runny and watery and most perfume is very thin like water, but as I’ve tried capturing in my photos for you to see, it isn’t really as runny as you’d think. It’s not a gel, and not thick, but it has more consistency than water. On my hand, I can apply a good sized amount and tilt it without it running off. This may or may not be of any importance, but there you go. Below are photos of the Shimmer Spray applied on white cardboard so you can better see what it looks like. I applied this by unscrewing the pump and dipping it onto the cardboard using the straw that it pumps through. Just spraying it wouldn't put enough glitter for it to be shown, as you'll notice in my other photos.

This isn't an oily perfume. It doesn't leave sticky residue on my skin. I can't feel that it's there. I wouldn't say this had "texture" unless you considered the finely cut sparkles to be texture.

I applied the Shimmer Spray all over my arm over & over before writing this review, which was about 3 hours ago. I finally got some sparkle on my skin after applying it manually -- unscrewing the lid instead of pumping it out through the spray -- and I look at my arm right now & see no purple shimmer. It has rubbed off. Below is a photo of my arm soon after applying several sprays all over. You may can see a couple of sparkle flecks, but it's hardly anything. This should give you an idea of what to expect.

As for the sparkles, in the bottle, they look like good sized particles, but when you spray enough on your skin to see the first sparkle, you see that it is very fine. This isn’t bad because large glitter would fall off your skin. It’s not so fine that I’d call it a shimmer – think shimmer dust that’s so fine it’s powdery – but it’s tiny enough that you couldn’t feel the particles if you tried.

Again, judging by the look of the product in the bottle, it looks like you’d get a lot of shimmer on your skin when sprayed, but that’s not the case. There should be a whole lot more sparkles added in order to show up on your skin. I had to apply it by the stick and directly onto my skin before I seen any sparkles. Doing it this way does give a lot more sparkle than if you spray it. I’ve tried showing this in my photo, where there’s one glob with a lot of glitter and one glob that’s just clear. That’s because the clear glob was sprayed and the glittery had to be manually applied.

*Sparkles in the bottle can be seen above. They're a purple color with a tiny tinge of blue to them.

At first, I thought the problem was the glitter was too much to fit through the spray, and that may be the case, but all I know is it’s pretty hard for the sparkle to actually show up on your skin, and even when you apply a lot of it, you’ll have to be looking hard for it in order to notice it.

If I really was determined to have sparkles on my skin, I’d simply just use one of my sparkly lotions and not bother with this. Or heck, even dab on my own loose glitter!

Taste / Aroma

As I forewarned, the Shimmer Spray literally has no scent. When I sprayed it onto my arm, I sniffed and smelled nothing. Applying several more sprays, I tried again and there isn’t an aroma to it at all.
    • No smell


As far as performance goes, I have very little to say there. There’s really not anything else that can be said about this product. It performs like water with sparkles in it, only the sparkle doesn’t manage to go on the skin well. It wouldn’t have been such a bummer had it actually made me sparkly! I already knew that it wouldn’t have a scent, although that is still a flaw.

As you’ve gathered by now, I am not fond of this product for several reasons:

1. It appears as a perfume, but is not scented, which kind of dupes the customer.

2. It does have pretty purple sparkles, but they prefer to hang out in the bottle and not on me!

3. The aphrodisiac claims are entirely false and there’s not even any aphrodisiac-like ingredients, so System Jo knew they were using that to kind of dupe customers, to hype up their sparkle water product.

4. The bottle says “natural,” which was another way for System Jo to somewhat dupe customers into thinking it’s natural when it “natural” does not mean all natural.

5. They state there are no petrochemicals and forget duping customers, System Jo just flat out lied on that one.

The only good thing I can think of is that System Jo at least had the decency to put it in a glass bottle, which alone surprises me. Part of my upset toward System Jo’s Dona line is that I’ve bought and tried every single product they have (as well as several of the shower gels, several of the lotions) and each and every one of them are similar to this – falsely advertised and only hype. All of their products have severely disappointed me. The lotions are cheap, they don’t smell that great & are hardly moisturizing. The bath gel is the same & the shower gel, sold as a totally different product than the bath gel is only one ingredient different from the bath gel, so really I feel like System Jo labeled the same exact product as a bath gel and the same exact bath gel as a shower gel just in order for people to buy both, a way to again sort of dupe their customers. I really don’t trust the company after they’ve made so many false claims. It’s just shady.
    • Allergy concerns


The Shimmer Spray comes with a plastic bag tied over it, just like all Dona products do. There’s no box or anything.

The square bottle that holds the Shimmer Spray is glass, which was appreciated considering you’re basically paying $10 for a glass spray bottle full of purple sparkly water. The lid slides on over the spray pump, both are silver, and like any perfume, you simply press down and it sprays out. The pump can be screwed off if you want to apply enough to have glitter on your skin.

On an even less important note, I did notice that when I push down and spray the Shimmer Spray, instead of coming out in a fine mist like perfume usually does, it sort of comes out in a glob – which will need to be rubbed in -- that lands on your skin.

The label on the bottle says Dona by Jo, an aphrodisiac infused ritual. Step 4: Illuminate. Shimmer Spray. And then words in a different language. The side also boasts the “Cruelty free, paraben, petro chemical and derivative free symbols.” It also has the “natural” symbol.

The side of the label says acai, which is what gives people the impression that it’s supposed to have an aroma. The back says “it’s your time to shine” and has a description of the product: Makes your skin sparkle with sensuality. Superfruit and aphrodisiac infused. Spray the glamour.
The instructions say to spray onto desired areas of the body.

Personal comments

Purified water, glycerin, sodium magnesium silicate, DMDM hydantoin, polyethylene terephthalate, Euterpe Oleracea (acai fruit powder) may contain: FD&C yellow 5 AI. Lake (CI 19140:1), FD&C Blue 1 AI, Lake (CI 42090:2) D&C Red 6 BA. Lake (CI 15850:2), Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron oxide black (CI 77499), Iron Oxide red (CI 77491) D&C red 30 lake (CI 73360) D&C Yellow 10 AI. Lake (CI 47005:1) D& C Red 36 (CI 12085) D&C Red 6 Ba. Lake (CI 15850:2), D&C Red 34 Ca Lake (CI 15880:1) Ultramarine blue (CI 77007) Ammonium Ferric Ferro Cyanide (CI 77510) or Manganese Violet (CI 77742)

Let’s look at those ingredients (feel free to skip this section if you’ve no interest). On the package, System Jo claims this is natural, which means it contains some natural ingredients, not that it’s all natural. Looking at the ingredients you’ll find that the Shimmer Spray contains Cyanide, Phthalates and chemicals.

Glycerin A sugar alcohol (either synthetic or natural). It’s used as a humectant, skin protectant, skin conditioning and to decrease viscosity.

Sodium Magnesium Silicate Either naturally derived or synthetic. Usually contains silicon, at least one metal. Used as a bulking agent, binder. Has been evaluated by CIR Research Panel and deemed safe for use in cosmetics, if this means anything to you.

DMDM Hydantion A formaldehyde-donor preservative . Prevent or stops microbial growth. Effective against bacteria, yeast and fungi. Has been evaluated by CIR Research Panel (more than one time, the most recent being in 2005) and deemed safe for use in cosmetics & personal care, if this means anything to you.
Polyethylene Terephthalate A resin used in fibers such as polyester as well as food & drink containers. Increases oil thickness, binds surfaces together, dries to form a thin coating on hair or nails and helps hold hair in place – like a gel is used to do.

Euterpe Oleracea (acai fruit powder) Refers to the antioxidant rich acai fruit from the Amazon. In this form though, it is powder. Acai is usually consumed either by beverage or by eating the fruit, but they even come in pill form because of acai’s health benefits. On your skin though, there’s little to be obtained, unless you’re using it in a higher concentration for anti-aging by applying to the skin. In other words, the ingredient in this product really does nothing for you & is basically on there to make it sound more desirable.

FD&C Yellow 5 AL. Lake Derived from coal tar, a reproductive system toxin. A chemical, it’s even labeled as a petro-chemical by some, which raises a red flag since Dona boasts “petro free” on their package. This ingredient as well as the other FD&C Yellow ingredients in this product are dyes precipitated with metal salts like calcium, aluminum, barium, etc. The ingredients could possibly have been derived from animals, but Dona does claim cruelty free. Use your own judgement here. It can also be derived from plant and synthetic sources. It’s been said that FD&C Yellow 5 AL Lake contains dangerous amounts of aluminum and as a petro chemical, it is a carcinogen that likely contains petroleum, anti-freeze and ammonia. It’s been said that these things cause short & long term central nervous system damage such as autism, memory impairment, mental retardation and dementia, and much more problems, according to Natural News, a reputable source of information on ingredients.

FD&C Blue 1 AI, Lake Another dye. Research shows it causes kidney tumors in mice.

D&C Red 6 BA. Another dye & chemical and produced just like those above. The dangers include possible organ system toxicity, but low according to EWG.

Titanium Dioxide Possible dangers include carcinogenic, organ system toxicity. Good news is the skin penetration is low, but apparently inhalation is of concern. Used as colorant and opacifying agent.

Iron Oxide Black A synthetically prepared iron oxide. Another ingredient used for color. Contains heavy amount of trace minerals.

Iron Oxide Red About the same thing as the above, only the color differs.

D&C Red 30 Lake Another dye with the same damaging effects as FD&C Yellow Al. Lake.

Ultramarine Blue A mineral the color blue or violet, which is why it’s used in the Shimmer Spray.

Ammonium Ferric Ferro Cyanide Blue pigment used for colorant. CIR Expert Panel deferred evaluation of this ingredient. The word Cyanide is enough to scare me a bit. Can detonate if exposed to heat. Can release toxic Cyanide fumes when in the presence of heat, strong acids, etc. Safety measures include washing the skin with soap and water immediately as well as removing all clothing once it has come in contact with this ingredient. And if irritation begins to develop on skin, recommend contacting your physician immediately “and to be prepared to transport victim to hospital for treatment.” And it goes on to warn against inhalation of this ingredient and recommends instantly leaving “contaminated” area & going for fresh air, deep breaths, and warns to keep an eye out for coughing, wheezing, etc. This is scary. Thankfully, it’s the last ingredient listed on the product, so it probably contains low levels, but it’s still something that clearly should be taken seriously.

Due to the information I found about Ammonium Ferric Ferro Cyanide, which is an ingredient in this Shimmer Spray (see the above ingredient info), I felt it was necessary to warn against letting children anywhere near this spray! And do not leave it where it could easily spill. If the entire bottle spilled, I’d be very careful about staying in the area where inhalation would occur. Seriously, keep this out of reach of children and do not use It on a child! I say this because kids have extremely sensitive skin and judging by the ingredients (especially the last one) I would not want this on their skin. Ours can’t even use non-natural soaps, so this could be very damaging to a child who has sensitive skin. And reading how to properly care for someone who’s ingested the ingredient Ammonium Ferric Ferro Cyanide is truly scary. I read words like convulsing and stuff, so really, this Shimmer Spray should be kept where you’d store dangerous prescription medication – far from a child’s reach and not on your vanity, which is where mine was until I read about the last ingredient!

Of course this is a skin product, not something you consume, but the dangers are still there & it upsets me that System Jo makes their products seem so safe & they use so many false claims to hype it up. That alone sends a red flag of ‘something’s not right if a company is having to go to such an extent to sell their product.’



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Do you like this review?
  • Upyourreviews
    Very useful, thanks!
  • Lunaaa
  • SiNn
    wow i didnt know that thank you for sharing i have some of this and i think iw ill just toss it out since i have small children
  • Bleu
    Thanks for the review.
  • XxFallenAngelxX
    Thanks for the great review. I will definitely NOT be buying this.
  • Geogeo
    Thanks for the warning!
  • Kitka
    Wow this sounds terrible! Thanks for reviewing and sharing with us. Also, I like how you linked your sources in the Experience section, great idea
  • kitty1949
    Oh wow, what a bummer! I'm glad I didn't end up getting this. Thanks for the heads up on the ingredients! Yikes.
  • Archery
    Great review, thanks!
  • PeaceToTheMiddleEast
    Thanks for sharing!
  • js250
    Amazing and thorough job on researching for your review!!! Thank you!!!
  • K101
    Thank you all so much for taking the time to read my review, and for your lovely comments. Yes, I'm very bummed about this stuff too. I wasn't even excited to use it once I got it, tried it and read the ingredients.

  • big b
  • Mrs.Tee
    Hmm.. had this on my wishlist defientely going to take it off now. Thought it would at least have a light girly smell to it. Great Review thanks for sharing
  • VeganChick (is Gone)
    Yikes! Sounds awful!
  • Wicked Wahine
    What a thorough & well documented review! When I read the beginning, I thought maybe this would be just a product bashing, but you really gave it a try & explained everything, complete with sources! You backed up all your claims, so I see no reason you shouldn't be able to make them, even though they're negative. Thanks for the review!
  • minxx
    Thank you so much for being so thorough. I was very close to buying this because of the scent, but if there's no scent to it, I will just be sticking to my regular sparkle lotion. At least that's a moisturizer AND has a nice scent...
  • Desirae Alisia Weatherby
    Looks like a pass to me.
  • tami
    I will pass on this one also, but thank you for the review
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