Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Pollen Review and Flash-Sale Code

Company name: Pollen {fresh handmade bath and beauty}
Web site:
Flash sale code for 30% off entire order: flash30

The Web Site Itself: 5 of 5 Stars
I like the Web site a lot, including the minimalist shop banner :-) It’s quite navigable, and easy to find what you’re looking for. • Product selection: Despite the tag line stating “bath products,” the only thing carries at this point is eyeshadow, which comes in a very good color selection ranging from light to dark and muted to very bright. Under “Shop Info,” there is a link to click if you want to request a custom color. The shadows are very clearly marked in the opening description text if they are not vegan. • Product photos and info: The way in which the products are imaged are the very best possible in my humble opinion: One shot shows the jarred product up close; then there’s a shot of the product swatched; and last there is a shot showing the bottom of the jar/sample baggie with the company name and product list. Also, I‘m just about at the point where I will not buy anything unswatched unless I have read numerous good reviews of it, so this step is crucial to me. The photos also look very professional with good use of a close-up lens. The product list is also on each product’s main page. The descriptions are more than adequate and often even describe the opacity of the product, which is very helpful. Products to come soon: Finishing powders, foundations, and bath bombs :-)
FS jar of Rare Find
Rare Find swatch
Bottom of Rare Find showing product labeling
Pollen samples showing product labeling
Pricing: 4 of 5 Stars
Prices are as follows: $1.25 for a 1/8-teaspoon sample; 10 samples for $8.50; 6 samples for $5.00; $5.50 for full-size, 3 FS jars for $15.00, and 5 FS jars for $23.00. I think the samples are priced a bit high compared with those of other indie cosmetic companies, but it still works for me. You actually get a more reasonable deal with the sample sets, which knocks the individual sample prices down a bit. The FS jar prices are quite reasonable, especially when purchased in “bulk.” Current sales include a flash sale now through Friday (1/20/12) for 30% off your entire order (code: flash30), and the winter holiday collections are on sale, too!

TAT and Shipping: 5 of 5 Stars
Ordered: 10/02/11
Shipped: 10/03/11
TAT: 1 day!
Shipping: Free (for individual samples) and $1.50 for six samples (I did not price out the 10-sample option). I find this odd because it does not cost $1.50 to send 6 small samples in a standard mailing envelope; you can mail that for $.44. Perhaps she sends them in a bubble mailer. Otherwise, it almost begs one to order 6 individual samples and save on shipping J
Actual shipping: $.44
Shipping email: Yes
Personal shipping email: No
DC/tracking: No (sent in standard mailing envelope; however, my FS order, which was sent in a bubble mailer, did have this feature)
Invoice: Yes
Packaging/presentation: Standard mailing envelope, no business card
Sample packaging: Small 2” x 2” baggies in slightly larger baggie (my preferred scenario)
Extras: Yes (x 4 [I offered to review them; I received one sample when I placed another FS order later])
Product: 5 of 5 Stars
Colors Ordered (my take in italics) [swatches shown in order of descriptions, right to left and top to bottom]
Pollen swatches under direct sunlight
Pollen swatches under incandescent lighting
• Future Sunrise (extra for review): Soft sheer pink with strong golden reflect I love almost anything composed of gold and pink, but this shade had too much gold in it for my coloring. I would have definitely bought a full size if those two components had been more evenly balanced or if the light pink had been slightly stronger than the gold. ALAS, NOT A REBUY :-(

• Jenna Anne Marie (extra for review): Sweet peachy tan with medium sheen and medium opacity “Jena Marie” is the name of my eldest niece, so I was prepared to like this color, LOL, and I did. It truly is a sweet color without being saccharine, and it has a smooth sheen to it. Very nice non-ordinary neutral: Not completely brown, but not completely peach either. POSSIBLE REBUY :-)

• Rare Find: Grey taupe with smoky undertones and plum highlights I melted a little when I first applied this color. You know the feeling when you first put on a shade, and before you even get to covering your entire eyelid, you think, “This one’s a keeper!”? Well, this one was, so I bought an FS jar! ALREADY REBOUGHT :-)

• Violet Me Go (extra for review): Bright true, clear purple with low sheen and medium/high opacity As you probably know from past reviews, I don’t do very well with bright mattes. Maybe it’s my age (51 yo), but it’s more likely my coloring: very pale porcelain with pink undertones. They end up just looking harsh on me. I need brights to have at least a touch of shimmer, if not full-on sparkle, to pull them off. Women of color would probably wear this shade very well. I would have ADORED this if it had had a strong satin sheen or even a slight shimmer. UNFORTUNATELY NOT A REBUY :-(

• Forever Green (extra for review): Bright, true green with low sheen and medium/high opacity Oh, dear. I can’t pull off greens very well at all, especially the lucky-clover shade and a low-sheen finish to boot. It’s a very bright color, so if you can pull those off, I say go for it! NOT A REBUY :-(

• Scouts Honor (extra for review): Deep blackened forest green with flecks of turquoise green and medium/high opacity This is more my shade of green: deep, shadowy, and moody. The turquoise flecks keep it from being an ordinary dark green. Plus I’ve always had a soft spot for men in uniform! POSSIBLE REBUY :-(

Customer Service
I didn't have any issues with either of my Pollen orders, but I did email Lindsey several questions both before and after buying my two orders as well as in preparation to write this review. Every single time, she answered me promptly and in a friendly, helpful manner. I'm inclined to believe, just from these experiences, that she would quickly and fairly resolve any disputes about her products :-) 

Would I Buy Again?
Yup, and I already have! I particularly want to try some of the muted pink, tan, and cream shades, and I’m considering asking her to make a custom variation of Future Sunrise :-) Check it out now while the 30% sale is on (through 1/20/12)!
Overall Rating: 4.75 of 5 Stars!
Please note that I purchased Rare Find, and the other samples were provided to me by the company owner for review purposes.

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