Review: Concrete Minerals (+ Swatches!)
I have only very recently gotten into makeup, and one of the biggest challenges for me has been finding decent eyeshadows, and applying them without looking like a crazy clown freak. I am still learning, and my most recently shadow purchase has been from an independent cosmetics company called Concrete Minerals, which has been around since 2009 and offers natural, beautifully packaged products.
From the Concrete Minerals website:
We’re hellbent to create sexy, richly-pigmented mineral makeup that’s not only healthy, but reminds us why being a girl is badass!
Their products are cruelty-free and they don’t contain any artificial fillers or baddies like parabens, nano-particles or artificial flavors! Almost all of their products are vegan, except for three of their shadows (none of which are ones that I have purchased!).
Who wouldn’t want to try that?! Plus, they offer a HUGE selection of colors:
As well as a refund policy that can’t be beat!** (In theory — See the end of review)
The order process is very simple — The hardest part was choosing which colors I wanted! The CM website is very intuitive and well designed, and most of the products even had the always hoped-for eye swatch! A lot of effort is put into the company, and it shows.
US – $2.99 flat rate, orders over $50 are free worldwide!
I got a confirmation email within a day of making my purchase, and anxiously waited for shipment.
My package arrived in about a week! Included with my order were two eyeshadow samples (in colors I was torn between, so this worked out as an amazing bonus!) as well as a discount code, informational flyer and my products themselves.
The order came in a bubble mailer — The contents were all wrapped in adorable pink tissue paper and sealed in plastic baggies.
My packing slip came with a handwritten note from the owner about liking my blog, which I was honestly really impressed with — A great touch from a customer service perspective!
Each Mineral Eyeshadow put comes with a built-in sifter. The tops of each pot says “Concrete Minerals” and the bottom includes information about each color, such as the name, weight, ingredients, etc.
Eyeshadows and Descriptions from the Website:
The eyeshadows are each 1.5 grams.
Swamped – This elegant swampy green is super-sultry, and makes a stunning contour/crease color!
Unity – Some of our favorite things are purple: lava lamps, unicorns, songs by Jimi Hendrix… the list goes on. This shadow is a pretty, bright purple with a dash of gold to make eyes pop! Try alone or as an accent!
Lolita – A soft neutral shade with a ton of glamour, this mineral eyeshadow is sure to join the ranks as a fan-favorite quickly! Looks stunning with nearly every eye color!
Mad Hatter – Our bestseller from the Alice Collection, this color became an instant favorite! Can be worn lightly to create a more neutral look or get crazy and try it heavy-handed for a sparkling, unique evening look. We’ve also had several fans rave about this shade as a liner!
Sample Color 1: White Rabbit
Sample Color 2: Troublemaker
Vamp – This luxurious 100% vegan lip tint combines a unique and nourishing formula enriched with vitamin e with the cooling sensation of peppermint and a gorgeous tint of color for the most beautiful lips possible!
Swatches and Reviews:
Concrete Minerals has a primer as well, and their Electric Eye Primer has awesome reviews!
Swamped – Deep green w/ golden undertones
This is my first ever green eyeshadow and I love it! The color is 100% true to the online photos and this earthy forest tone goes on beautiful both with and without the primer. The pigmentation for this color is awesome and the golden shimmer is eye catching!
Unity – Vibrant purple with gold sparkle
This cool purple was more of a lavender shade without the primer, but still very pretty! Brown eyes + purple eye shadow = Very cute! This was the only non-earthy color I chose, and I was torn between it and the darker purple color “Seance“.
Lolita – Shimmery taupe w/ pink undertones
This is the color I received. It is not the one I ordered; this one is definitely green and has no “pink” or “taupe” tones or colors in it.
Mad Hatter – Dramatic reddish-purple with green sparkle
This is my favorite of my eye shadows! It’s sort of a chestnut brownish color. The sparkle in it is a lot more noticeable with the primer, and it looks a little more gold than green as in the description but it’s a beautiful color nonetheless. I used this with my “Troublemaker” sample and I am a infatuated with the smokey-brown eye lately.
Sample 1: White Rabbit – Pale white w/ pink sheen (No swatch because I don’t want to waste the sample! It’s a generous size but I love the colors so I’m being selfish! The website has great shots of the colors though!)
This color has been great as a highlighter — It adds a touch of shimmer that makes my eyes sparkle!
Sample 2: Troublemaker – Medium-brown w/ gold sparkle (No swatch because I don’t want to waste the sample! It’s a generous size but I love the colors so I’m being selfish! The website has great shots of the colors though!)
This was actually a bit darker in the little baggy than it is in this photo, but I love it. It’s not as dark as Mad Hatter, and the two complement each other fabulously when used in tandem!
Vamp – Cherry-red
I adore this lip tint. It feels more like a balm than a tint, and offers great moisturization! The color is great as well — The warm red is simultaneously subtle and bold, adding a delicate pop that’s much easier to apply while driving than red lipstick is, and looks just as good!
A note on this product, though: It has a VERY minty feeling to it. My lips feel tingly when I wear it and it doesn’t really go away. The ingredients list does have “Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Essential Oil” in it, which definitely explains it, and while I don’t find it unpleasant at all (I like the tingle, actually!), some people who are opposed to mint may want to stick to Concrete Minerals’ awesome collection of eyeshadows rather than their lip tints.
I did have a bit of an issue with my order. The “Lolita” color I ordered was not the color that I was sent. Instead, I was sent a mossy/olive green color VERY similar to the one called “Harlequin“, also sold by Concrete Minerals. When I discovered this, I sent an email directly to the customer service email address for CM with my situation and a few photos for verification attached.
I had this review set to “pending” in draft form for over a week while I waited on contact from Concrete Minerals’ CS.
I’ve sent two separate emails, and have received no reply. I’ve tried calling the number that is on my billing statement, and it goes to a number that is not in service.
I’ve let them know that I received a color in error and would like to have the original color I PURCHASED, and nobody has bothered to reply to my emails.
It has been about 2 weeks now since I initially sent the email and I’m pretty doubtful that anything will be done, so I’m just going to order elsewhere from now on, as dealing with unresponsive customer service is not something I’m interested in.
Pros: The quality is great and the colors are beautiful. Large selection, nice packaging, paraben free.
Cons: Lack of attention to detail, unwilling to correct mistakes on orders shipped out, unresponsive/nonexistent customer service.
I will not be ordering from the website again. If I found a shop that sold these items, I would consider buying but there are alternatives from companies with better CS that I’d prefer to deal with.
Edit: On August 7th, I noticed that the Concrete Minerals Facebook page had been posting things as recent as less than 24 hours ago. I was VERY upset by this, as my wall posts and my emails had still been unanswered and my problem unresolved — Despite wall posts AROUND mine being responded to.
In a bit of frustration, I sent another message about how I had not received a corrected part of my order and would not be purchasing again and would be disputing the charge with my bank and contacting the BBB because I had tried numerous times to get ahold of someone at the actual company, to no avail.
I am not going to say my threats spurned them into action, but after almost a month of no response despite all of my attempts, within an hour of me threatening to contact the BBB and file a dispute with my bank, a CS rep for the webpage contacted me saying that the owner of the company, Emily, would be contacting me via email right away and that they had had a mail server issue around the time I tried contacting them.
While I would typically give the benefit of the doubt, this STILL does not explain why nobody responded to my Facebook wall post, which included all my information and order number, but replied to other ones from around the same time.
Emily did email me right away, explaining that they had not gotten any emails from me (sent three days apart each, so I guess this must have been a really long email issue? Hm), and asking how she can help. I resent my original email, plus attached the photos that show that the color I received was not Lolita.
Emily replied immediately and I will share that:
The makeup is affordable and is of excellent quality.
Pigmentation, staying power, blendability, color choice — Everything is superb.
My only time ordering from them, my shipment had an issue due to negligence on the packaging employee’s part, and despite numerous attempts at contacting the company, nobody responded to me for over a month until I threatened them with filing a dispute for the charge and contacting the BBB about unethical practices.
If the company had responded to me the same way they did 30 days later without making me wait that month, this review would be VERY different — At least, in regards to the likelihood of my reodering any products and my opinion of the customer service team.
Many people did receive the right things — I am definitely not saying you shouldn’t order, but I will tell you to order with the expectation that something MAY go wrong, and that if it does, it’s possible that their email servers may stop working, preventing them from responding to any of your attempts to reach them. So… Yeah.