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Fierce Nerditude: One Nerdy Little Beauty Blog: Linnaeus Cosmetics Review: The Overview (Details and Things)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Linnaeus Cosmetics Review: The Overview (Details and Things)


Have you ever just been Googling awesome stuff and found other awesome, only-tangentially-related stuff by accident? A couple of weeks ago, being the nerd that I'm sure you all know that I am, I was Googling my favorite bird (the Lovely Cotinga--look it up, it's cool!) and I came across an etsy listing. For makeup. How perfect was that?

I only recently got in to indie-brand mineral makeup, though I've been reading about it for a year or so. This brand wasn't one I'd ever heard of. It turns, out, that's because it's very new. However I found some very well-written reviews, with the help of a compilation post put together by the seller, and I decided to take the plunge.

First thing's first: If there's one thing Linnaeus excels in, it's presentation. The aesthetic, the feel, the theme is all clearly so well thought out that I can't help but be impressed.

Have a look:
The front of the tag attached to the bag that was sent
The back of the same tag has some tips; they'd be more useful to
beginners than experienced makeup-wearers, but it's definitely a
thoughtful touch.
The picture on the bag. I think that's a jackrabbit, or some other kind of hare.
I'm trying to figure out what to use this bag for. It feels like a fairly sturdy rough-ish burlap material and has a drawstring. It's so cute that I don't want to throw it out. Any ideas?

The top of the invoice. There was a very nice personal note from the seller, as well.
I think this is a moose. He looks rather stern, but
sometimes I think all mooses do. Also, I named him
Hank.
That moose on the bottom? It was stamped on the bubble mailer. Every one of the little touches looks lovingly done, and painstakingly thought out. I was so, so impressed with the presentation. And this attention to appearance? You see it in Linnaeus's Etsy store, as well. Looking at any of the listings. Just pick one at random. Whether you're looking at a single listing or collection, you'll see a picture of the jar(s), very uniform-looking, labeled swatches, a full listing of the ingredients, a picture of the animal inspiring the item/collection, and some interesting background info. Lip safety information is also given when a shade is not lip-safe. These colors are all also vegan, which is total A+ bait, for me.

The eyeshadows themselves are also very nicely packaged:

The top of the jar
Linnaeus Cosmetics is stamped across the top of each jar in silver. I like that this is different; most indie brands put a sticker on top. The trouble is that I'm fairly certain the silver would scrape away pretty easily (I don't want to try it, though, because the jars are beautiful). Edit: Marin contacted me to let me know the silver shouldn't scrape away. I tried to scratch the stamp away with my thumb, and it was fine. Whoops! The sifters are sealed as well, some with plastic and others with paper. I believe that Linnaeus is switching to paper, so I think maybe I got the last of the plastic-sealed sifters.
The bottom of the jar
I love that the bottom has a full list of the ingredients; a lot of newer indie brands sometimes forgo this. Also on there is the shadow's name, Linnaeus's name, and (if the color isn't lip safe) lip safety information. That last part is really important to me. That way I don't have to check online to figure out which of these are safe to use on my mouth and which ones aren't (actually, I usually try and scribble it on myself, but that's something I hate to do).
You can also see that these are heat sealed.
I'm also going to mention that the sample bags are both rather large (though the amount within is the standard fourth of a teaspoon) and feel sturdier than average. I like the slightly larger size as it makes it easy for me to use the sample by dipping my brush into the bag (smaller bags can be tough to get into without spilling).

The customer service was excellent. The seller, Marin, made sure I was informed for every step of my purchase. Before I ordered, when I asked a question about the products, she got back to me straight away, and afterward she let me know when I could expect the order to ship, and she also kept me informed when there turned out to be a delay.

The pricing is average-to-low. The full-sized singles are in five gram sifter jars and are $5, which is standard for indie mineral makeup. However, a three piece collection is $12: that's $4 per shadow (20% savings). A four piece collection is $17, which is $4.25 per shadow (15% savings). This is one thing that I don't fully understand: usually companies give customers bigger savings with bigger sets. It's not off-putting to me at all, just a bit odd.

Shipping in the U.S. is $2.50 for the first item and an additional $0.10 for every additional item, which is very fair, in my opinion.

The Good:
  • Amazing and evident attention to detail.
  • Marin, the seller, was both friendly and professional in all of our conversations.
  • Beautifully organized store. A lot of indie brands don't have consistent swatches, in particular. Linnaeus does.
  • I love Linnaeus's theme. Marin is apparently a student of veterinary medicine and wildlife conservation and she uses that knowledge to draw on some beautiful product inspirations. I think the company's name comes from Carl Linnaeus, the zoologist who invented binominal nomenclature.
  • Everything was packed neatly and effectively (nothing would've been likely to break or be damaged).
  • She also very considerately offered me a free full-size because of the delay, and threw in a surprise sample bag. It's clear that she cares very much about making sure her customer is satisfied and feels taken-care-of.
The Bad:
I'm stumped for anything to say. I was very happy with this purchase and the experience I had making it.

The Neutral:
  • That weird thing with the four-piece sets (see above). Am I the only one who thinks that's a bit odd?
Overall, this is a newer company who, in my estimation, seems to be doing everything right: it's really nice to see a brand really do their research and do things as they should be done from the very beginning. I was so impressed that I literally went back to buy everything I didn't have after I made this purchase. I wasn't left wanting for anything from the customer service, and the products were beautifully presented and well-priced. If you really like any particular item, I don't think you'd be dissatisfied if you buy it.

Here's a link to Linnaeus's etsy store.

Let me add that this is just the overview post; the fact that I don't have any swatch photos here doesn't mean that there won't be any. I'll be doing swatches when I review the shadows (I'll be doing so collection by collection, starting tomorrow, if all goes as planned!)
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