Indie Spotlight Review – Purely Pleasures Natural Comforts & Cosmetics

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Today I’m bringing to you a review which has been a while in the making, long overdue, but I think well worth the wait. It’s from a company called Purely Pleasures Natural Comforts & Cosmetics. Jamie, one of the owners, contacted me in order to see if I would like to review a few of their eye shadows from their mineral cosmetics line. After doing a little research on the company and checking out the website, I accepted and was able to choose 5 full sized colors to review. While these products were in fact sent to me free of charge, I am reviewing them in the same honest and unbiased way I do with the cosmetics I purchase and review. So now with the disclaimer out of the way, lets get to the good stuff

Purely Pleasures is a natural Bath & Body company that offers luxurious handmade poultices, scrubs, masks, body butters and mineral makeup. Since we are all well aware I’m an eye shadow junkie, it’s safe to say that I was the most interested in trying a few of them out. Of the 50+ colors offered in their mineral eye shadow line, I was given the opportunity to narrow it down to 5 full-sized choices. In all honesty, it was pretty difficult, but I managed! As you can see, I’ve picked a range of different colors to test drive. I wanted to try at least two bright and bold ones- enter Blue Velvet and Daffodil. A luscious and rich color- enter Poisoned Apple. A duochrome- enter Wrath. And of course, I can never pass up an opportunity to try a sparkling and shimmering black- and I certainly got it with Midnight Madness.

The shadows all have average to good coverage when worn alone- as you can tell at the bottom half of the swatches in the pictures. It tends to be a lot more toned down and sheer than pairing the shadows with a primer- which is My Beauty Addiction’s Shadow-Poxy primer under the top half of the swatches. I do recommend wearing a primer underneath if you want the best possible color payoff and coverage from these shadows. (personally, I always put on primer before my shadows go on- regardless of whether they’re indie or big brand!)

#48 Poisioned Apple- This color really threw me for a loop, since I was hoping for a fiery bright red color. As you can see in the swatch pictures, it’s more of a brick-red in the container. The surprise, however, is when you apply it. Multiple layers, and it takes on the brick-red with a brown undertone color. A swipe or two, lightly, and you have a crisp red-shimmer shade that doesn’t look like the color in the container… Magic, I say! Compared to the website, the jar product picture does not match the color of the shade at all, since in person it’s much darker. That being said- the swatch picture captures the color spot on!

#9 Daffodil- Sunny, bright, yellow! This is one of the prettiest semi-matte yellows I’ve now added to my collection. If you could squeeze the color out of a daffodil just bloomed, this is what it would look like. This really is a beautiful softly shimmering yellow! And of course, it’s also one of the colors I used in my silly Neighborhood Nuisance Post! I know, I know… I don’t think this one was approved for lip use, but I needed it to complete my look. Besides- it’s not like I ate it off my lips and face… And I look goofy, which was the goal. Funny enough, it was my Dad who suggested I rock a “Pollen Dusted” look before the rain had a chance to wash it all away!!

#40 Blue Velvet- This blue seriously borders on a neon color. It’s a rich, bright, royal blue with a hint of shimmer in there. One swipe, and you’ve got a gorgeous blue shade that’ll knock your socks off. Build it up a bit, and you have a hint of black-blue with some seriously pretty shimmer in there. This shade does stain a little bit, but a swipe of a makeup wipe and skin’s all clean! Also- this makes a terrific liner for you bold gals out there!

#21 Wrath- Duochrome goodness in a jar, and one of my favorites in my collection! This is a purple-red shifter with lavender and silver tones. The best way to describe this color was if really pretty red grapes were to somehow be infused with iridescence and sparkle… Bam! Wrath would be it! Depending on application, you’ll pick up more red or purple tones. Inside, the red and silver is more evident. Outside in sunlight, the light lavender and purple shades really show off quite nicely. Put it on over a black base and get ready for some serious color interference between the four! This was my 9/11/11 Tribute Look.

#2 Midnight Madness- Oh my love! Inky black matte shadow, platinum micro-glitter and rainbow shimmer… Can I say I’ve died and gone to heaven? Yes? Good! I have done just that! My favoritest black shadow evar is now in my possession! The beauty of it is this color can be worn as shadow, eyeliner, wet or dry… And any which way you choose- it looks amazing!! Blend it out for a soft inky eye, or leave it bold… As I’ve done… You’ll still love it any which way you choose to don it! This was used for a Collaboration Look done with Makeup Zombie. I used to search high and low for shades of this composition- but I’d always end up with cheap shadows that didn’t last long. Then again, I’d never heard of eye shadow primer… Plus, I always managed to find the shadows with the very large glitter particles. Not the case with this beauty! Anywho- black shadows are some of my favorites. The more sparklies, glitz, glitter, rainbows, iridescence and all that jazz that’s tossed in there make it all the better in my book!

Alright… On to the swatches and picture goodness:

Pros:

Pricing- Excellent

3g jars are $4.00 USD
.5 Baggie Samples are $1.00 USD
Five 3g jar set $17.50 USD
Ten 3g jar set $30.00 USD
Entire collection of 52 Colors in 3g jars $130.00 USD

The jars themselves come packed with product to about mid-thread of the container. Most would say that 3g jars are more like sample sizes- but I can assure you, these jars do not have false bottoms and the quantity of product you receive is well worth the price- there is no skimping here! The colors will last you a long while- depending upon frequency of usage of course.

Since I’ve only tried the mineral shadows, I cannot offer an opinion in regards to the other products offered in the Purely Pleasures Shop, but I can and will say I’m eagerly looking forward to trying some of the body scrubs and lotions. Also offered are Foundations, Brow Fillers, Mineral Veils, Lip Glosses, Sugar Wax, Nail and Feet Products, Bath Treatments, and Gift Sets to quickly name off a few.

Customer Service: Excellent

Jamie was very friendly and extremely helpful in guiding me to find information I was looking for… *ahem, couldn’t find product list… user error on my part!* During the back and forth discussions we had, she was consistent, respectful and most importantly- professional. I haven’t ever spoken with Sara, but if Jamie is any indication of how these owners run their business and handle customers- I imagine she’s just as nice. Responses to my (at times silly!) inquiries were promptly returned- well within 24 hours, and a few times… Within minutes or hours of my communication.  Yet another example of why I adore my Indie Companies- a personalized response that isn’t a stock letter generated and sent out! A real person to talk to on the other end is so overlooked these days- but PP is not at all lacking in this department.

Shipping: Excellent

From the time I was finally able to narrow down the colors I wanted to try and the time it hit my doorstep, it was a matter of days. If I didn’t know any better, I’d tell you it was teleported to me. However- since we all know that we don’t have that technology yet, what I’m saying is my package flew through the mail service and reached me in record time. This is pretty awesome, considering it had to travel all the way from California to Northern New Hampshire! It arrived on my doorstep in a yellow bubble mailer, well padded and undamaged except for the usual wear and tear it goes through in the mail carrier process.

Presentation: Great

This is not a negative reflection of the products themselves, but rather with the way I felt upon opening my bundle of goodies. Everything was well padded, and I even had a nice little Thank You note from Jamie tucked into the parcel. The eye shadows were put into the envelope on top of a gorgeous printed pamphlet, business card, and said handwritten note. Perhaps I’m a bit spoiled when it comes to opening up parcels, because things I receive typically come in a container/baggie of some sort to avoid any possible leakage or accidental jostling which could create a veritable glitter-shadow-bomb inside said package. I’ll be clear on stating right away, this did not happen with mine! I was just a smidge disappointed my shadows weren’t tucked into a little bag/baggie of some sort just in case they had been jostled open. Would it dissuade me from placing an order in the future? In short, no. Not at all.

Packaging: Good

Upon extraction of goodies from their travel container, I was a bit excited to find I was now adding a new jar shape to my collection- and that means easy identification of the company! The shadows are packaged into 3g square bottom jars. The tops are round, and fit quite nicely with the container. I did notice right away that there wasn’t any sort of branding sticker on the product, and the only sticker on the jar was the bottom- with the colors number, name and company name.

Before I opened the containers, I emailed Jamie and asked if there was a place on the website I could find the ingredients list for the shadows… And yes, this is the Derp! moment I had in being able to locate that very thing. Turns out, I just didn’t go far enough into the website and click on the colors themselves for the ingredients list. Sometimes, I have good moments, and others are much derpier!! I was happy to locate the composition list of materials.

Getting back to the shadows, I did notice that the jars were not sealed as I pulled them from the envelope.  Once opened up, I was also surprised to find that there are no sifters. To be fair, I don’t remember seeing anything on the site about them being included- so I suppose this is me again just being used to getting products with some sort of seal on the main product, and nearly always having sifters included. This is by no means whatsoever a deal breaker for me and purchasing from an indie company, just my personal observation. Surprise isn’t always a bad thing- and wasn’t in this case! Some companies just don’t do things exactly as others (which is good!)- so this assumption on my part was a bit impractical. However, since I’m giving you my honest thoughts- it would not be right to exclude this little thought-process I went through in regards to seals and sifters.

The only “problem” I really had is I noticed there was quite a bit of shadow caught in the threads of the containers, and each color summarily sprinkled itself all over me when I opened the jars to do swatches. Even in the picture above, quite a bit had already fallen off onto my right hand- which isn’t pictured. I had to carefully brush what I could save off the threads and the base of the jar into the cap, and then carefully tap it back into the well. It was a minuscule loss of product, so I probably sound funny even in mentioning it, but for me… I dislike *any* product loss!

The good that comes out of the paragraphs above? The fact that the jars don’t have sifters means you’re getting more product in your 3g jars! To me- it’s a fair trade off and one I’m very happy with.

Products: Excellent

The shadows are highly pigmented, can be worn with or without primer, and stood up to hours of wear with no creasing or fading on my eyes. I do recommend, however, you use primer with the colors since small details can be lost when you forgo it. What do I mean?

Take for instance Midnight Madness- a matte black shadow with silver micro glitter. If you try to apply this to bare lids, you’ll get some color payoff. Most of the glitter will end up either on your cheeks, in your lashes, or stuck to your brush. When primer is used, and/or even a product like Pixie Epoxy or Glitter Glue, you’ll not only have the inky black show up on your skin the way it looks in the jar- but the glitter will also stick in the shadow where it belongs.

Wrath is another great example of using primer. Since it’s a purple-ish red shifter, when applied to bare skin it gives a pretty gleam with just a hint of the purple-red shift. Over primer, however, the effect is magnified and amplified to “Wowza” status. Duochromes are always trixy like this- and best show their amazing multiple personalities when paired with primer!

In some of my pictures, the minerals appear to be “lumpy”. This is simply the nature of the minerals, and once the container is tamped down or a brush hits a “lump”, it breaks up immediately. Color application over primer is flawless- it goes on in an even coat, and blends easily with other colors. A few swipes is all you need! As far as consistency of minerals, this is one of the silkiest I’ve used to date. I’m quite impressed!

Cons:

There is nothing negative to say about the quality of these shadows from Purely Pleasures. A few minor tweaks I’ve listed below which simply are my personal thoughts, but all in all… If nothing changed, I’d still have the same stance on this company as you’ll see below.

I’d love to see small baggies or cloth bags used to pack orders (if they’re relatively small of course, you can’t do the same with a large order!) of colors and to keep them together during their trip through the mail. Package handling can be tough, especially going through machines and being handled by postal workers. Having the jars grouped together and more or less “stuck” with one another really cuts down on the probability of a jar accidentally opening in transit. I’m not saying it absolutely will not happen, because it’s just not truthful… But the probability of a jar opening and spilling its contents en route is higher if they move around a lot in their mailer. Also, shrink-wrap or some sort of sticker on the side to seal the jars would be ideal. To me personally, it shows there’s no way my product has been tampered with between the time it was made until it reaches my hands. I don’t believe this has happened with any purchase I’ve made from anyone, it’s just a concern I have in general when I buy items.

One change I’d really like to see PP implement would, in my opinion not only build their brand and recognition immensely, be to make it simple for customers to get nearly all information from the jar itself. Printing out the ingredients list on the bottom label of the shadow would streamline ease of reference and indicate what colors aren’t lip safe. If this isn’t possible, an insert with a complete list of colors and their ingredients would be nice. I would love to see a logo sticker on either the sides or top of the cosmetic jars. Instead of opening a makeup drawer and looking at blank-topped jars, it would be lovely to see a print, monogram, or graphic and go “Oh, yes… This is exactly what I was looking for!”

Again- these minor details are not bothersome enough to change my stance on the company as a whole.

Bonus Points: That gorgeous pamphlet I mentioned earlier- remember it? Well, I had noticed when I received my package that when I opened it up… Half the text and pictures were missing on the inside middle panel! At first, I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me. I shortly realized after that it wasn’t my eyes, but there had been a misprint. I contacted Jamie to let her know, in case any others were accidentally going out the door, and not only did she replace the ones that had been messed up… But she also sent me another one! I don’t know about your experiences, but this is the first company I’ve seen which provides a full color, glossy pamphlet with product teasers and contact information in it. It’s part of the reason I’m really looking forward to diving into some of the bath & beauty products Jamie and Sara offer.

Conclusion: Would I recommend Purely Pleasures to my family and friends to purchase?
Yes, I would highly recommend this company to my family and friends.

In a nutshell, my experience in dealing with Jamie and Purely Pleasures has been nothing short of wonderful. In the future, as I stated above, I do want to expand and try some of the other bath and body products I’ve seen in their shop. Being a total lotions & potions kind of gal, this kind of online store has a lot of things which have caught my eye!  Additionally, you can request custom-made products as well from Jamie and Sara if there’s an ingredient you want to avoid, or something you want done just because you deserve it!

With the sheer amount of products offered, the high quality of the items I’ve currently obtained, and not to mention the beautiful collection of eye shadow colors… I’m sure to be back to eagerly add more to my collection! Overall, this company is definitely a pleasure to deal with!

Have you tried Purely Pleasures? If so… What’s been your experience and thoughts about them?

x0x0x0 ~*Snarky P

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  • http://theurbancritique.blogspot.com Jessica Urban

    Gawjuss! Wrath and Midnight Madness look absolutely amazing!

    • SnarkyPrincess

      They’re my favorite two of the bunch… Although the others are a close second!
      Thank you :D

  • http://www.purelypleasures.com Jamie ~Purely Pleasures

    YAY! I’ve been looking forward to reading your review for so long and I’m glad you’re so pleased with our products! I’m happy to say there have been some changes here at Purely Pleasures since you received your products, that you’ll be pleased to hear. We have wonderful new product labels that list the ingredients in full. Our jar distributor now carries sifters in the size I need for our awesome little jars (I really didn’t want to have to switch because I love the squares). And the pamphlet you received got a complete makeover and now serves as our product booklet. It’s just gorgeous! I’ll send it to you along with a sample of our face scrub :) I’ll also post some pictures of the new labels.

    • SnarkyPrincess

      Woo hoo!
      I’ll amend that part of my review for you so I can let people know about the changes! And yes- I was very, very happy with all my shadows! I’m just such a total nitpicker when it comes to posting- if something is even a little off, I wait or re-do it… :D
      Not always the best thing to do- but I strive to be as well-put together as I can be!
      Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to try your products, and I can’t wait to see the new brochure! (And try the face scrub!)

  • http://www.purelypleasures.net Jamie ~Purely Pleasures

    This has seen quite a bit of use (it’s from my personal stash) but you get the idea.

  • http://silhouettescreams.blogspot.com SilhouetteScreams

    Sounds like she offers great customer service! Shadow caught in the threads of my jars is the bane of my existence >__< (and a reason I rarely buy full sizes…) Midnight Madness and Daffodil look lovely.