Add to your makeup collection…on the cheap

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Add to your makeup collection…on the cheap

With the New Year just kicked off, this may be a not-so-great time to post this…or it may be a fantastic time. There’s no way to know until I post it.

There’s a makeup vendor that you might want to try. Some of their stuff is colored mica straight from the distributor mixed with base (some define this as repackaging, or see no difference with private-label reselling), some of their colors aren’t the best, the site photography doesn’t always match the appearance of the colors, and their web site fairly basic. However, they’re inexpensive, their customer service is great, the shipping is very fast, and many of their colors are unique. Did I mention that they’re inexpensive? Like “under USD$2 for a full non-siftered 5 gram jar” inexpensive?

I've been purchasing from Simply Naturals for almost two years now. I first found them on Ebay, and was intrigued by the low prices. I started by ordering three colors, and the shipping was fast and the quality was good, so I kept purchasing. Over a year later I found TKB Trading and noticed some exact-matches in color names and descriptions, so to test I ordered the suspect TKB samples and matched them to the Simply Naturals colors. Yep, found nearly two dozen exact matches. So they resell and don't always mix their own colors - except that the colors from Simply Naturals were a bit more substantial, so they must have had some kind of base mix in them while TKB was straight colored mica. This made the Simply Naturals colors adhere better, though in a few cases it really cut the color pigmentation. Still...for the price Simply Naturals charges for one 5-gram jar of pigment/color, I can get slightly less pure colored mica from TKB with no base mix whatsoever. In that respect, it's a tradeoff: do I want to pay twice as much (sample of colored mica, sample of base mix), mix the pigment and base mix myself, and end up with twice the amount of finished product? Or do I just want to pay the same amount, wear straight mica powder? Or am I okay with paying the extra money to have someone else experiment around with the right base mix? In my case, the answer is c). If you're more inclined to experiment and more of a craft-and-makeup DIY, maybe you'd be fine with buying the colored mica and base mix and combining them yourself, for those colors that are straight-from-the-distributor remixes.

All of their loose-powder mineral makeup is sold under the banner of "all purpose pigments" - meaning that if you want a blusher, just pick a likely-looking red and use it as a blusher (or a lip color.) The colors aren't separately broken down into eyeshadow and blush. Some colors are clearly marked as not lip-safe, though this may not be the case 100% of the time. Pink Pearl, which looks like it's the same Pink Pearl colored mica sold by TKB Trading and is marked there as being safe for lips-face-nails, is not flagged on the Simply Naturals site as not being safe for use in the eye area.

You can buy from Simply Naturals through their own website, or from their Ebay storefront. Currently, only the Ebay storefront offers the multipaks, where you buy 5-100 pots and choose which colors you want in your "custom collection". If you buy more than 20 colors at a time, buying one of their multipaks can save you money over buying the pots separately through their web site.

If you want to avoid anything that's just a simple straight repackage, steer clear of the colors that are part of a collection or set. This includes the Metallics (TKB Crucible colors), Colorshifting (TKB Planetary Travellers), Fantasy colors (TKB Hilites), Blackstars (TKB Blackstars - quite obvious), Pearls (TKB Pearls), and of course the Lollipops (TKB Pop! colors). I haven't found 100%-reliable matches for all of the Phantom, Low Sheen, and Satin colors...doesn't mean that they're not there, just that I haven't found them. If you're interested in Simply Naturals' "matte" shades...just buy those from TKB as well, as they are just straight repackaged pigments. The names weren't even changed.

The first three colors I bought from them were different finishes - Diamond Pearl, a near-exact repackage of TKB's Noble Silver Sparks; Peach Pearl, which TKB used to sell but I can't find it any more; and Viridian (green). I liked all three colors, so bought more. Even after I found TKB Trading and confirmed the duplications/ minimal-value-add resellings of more than 20 other colors (I'd already bought over 80 colors from them), I continued to look at their new colors to see if anything else caught my eye. I did find some colors that are near-exact matches for Bare Escentuals shades, which was a pleasant surprise: for $11 less, I can get a comparable amount of Beautiful Lisa (Simply Naturals' Blaze) or Here Kitty (Simply Naturals' Gypsy, which doesn't really match their site photography but does match up with the description - so they have that in common with quite a few outfits). I later found another very-near-duplicate, with a slightly different finish: Simply Naturals' Sandy, which I originally purchased in early 2008, is very similar to the Meow Cosmetics' color Sand Dune (part of their Egyptian Treasures line), for 25% of the price for the same quantity.

The webstore appears closed; but you can still get in by going to www.simplynaturals.net and clicking on the "cruelty-free" rabbit-image on the lefthand side. They also sell soaps, lotions, and some packaging (jars, baggies, vials, etc) and makeup brushes. Whenever I've ordered from them the package has arrived within a week, from the other side of the continent. The one time a package was lost, I contacted them and they reshipped my entire order. Their shipping costs aren't usurious, and their service is as fast as many larger online retailers. They're a good way to add to your mineral makeup collection at a very low price.

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