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Mad Oils vs Bramble Berry Colorant Quality?

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makemineirish

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I am planning to go a little buck wild this week on ordering "premium" ingredients to make Christmas gifts for family members. I put the word premium in quotes because there is quite a bit of debate on who does what well.

I have never ordered from Mad Oils before, but am intrigued by a number of their "soap stable micas" that appear to lend fairly intense colors and even some shimmer in cold process (something I thought was unobtainable in a cold process batter). Have any of you ordered from both companies to have an informed opinion about the overall comparison?

As always, thanks in advance for any help : )
 

newbie

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I have some of Mad Oils' micas and have lots of Nurture's as well. Some of the micas are nearly identical from one company to the other and some of the colors are unique to each place. Both carry quality micas and their sites are very clear about what is soap stable and what not. You can get shimmer in your CP soap with micas from either place; that's more dependent on the baseline shimmer and the quantity you put in your soap. I think you will have more variety to choose from with either Mad Oils or Nurture than you would from BB. I have price compared a few micas and found Nurture to be less expensive with equal quality. Both are great companies with great customer service.
 

TwystedPryncess

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I have been eyeing Mad Oils for awhile now myself, but they are a bit pricey and with our rough patch the last few months, I have held off. I've made my several sample mica and oxide packs stretch a really long way, coupled with a few jars of this or that and a good amount of activated charcoal and TD, but I'm itching for a really GOOD stash/plethora of colors in my cabinet. So far all of mine come from BB. I will definitely check out Nurture.

I think I just hijacked this thread. :shock:
 

makemineirish

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I think you will have more variety to choose from with either Mad Oils or Nurture than you would from BB. I have price compared a few micas and found Nurture to be less expensive with equal quality. Both are great companies with great customer service.
Thanks for the recommendation! While the website for Nurture is less artistic and whimsical, I appreciate the straightforwardness of it. Each mica is depicted in soap so that I can choose based on how I actually like the finished product. The prices are noticeably different as 20 1oz jars of mica including shipping would run $91.84 from Nurture, but $125.33 from Mad Oils. These numbers are slightly variable based on actual selections, but still mathematically significant at a 36% disparity in price. That price comes down even further to $88.35 if I opt for bags instead of jars (42% less than MO). I'll give this vendor some consideration, while I admit the Mad Oils has some colors that I cannot seem to find elsewhere.
 

kchaystack

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I will second Nurture as my go to for mica. Carrie (who is a member of this board and posts occasionally) is an amazing person to work with and I just can not complement her company's customer service enough.

I have heard a bunch of great things about MO also, and I want to try some of their FO's. But I have no 1st hand experience with them. i prefer to order from companies as close to me as possible to cut down on shipping, and Nurture is just south of me near Indianapolis.

Maybe I can work out a bit of my budget to order some this month.
 

dixiedragon

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I love that BB and Nurture of pics of CP bars with their colors in them. Not artistically arranged pics, either, just the bar of soap. You can really judge how they work. I use BB's copper sparkle mica in my CP and I am very pleased. They had a Sienna mica that didn't sparkle well at all in CP, but I think it was discontinued.

Pricewise, I have found TKB trading to be the best. But since they only sell colors, it usually works out for me to piggyback some color along with an FO order.
 

snappyllama

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BB's colors are okay, but I prefer Nurture and Mad Oils for the selection. It would be a tough call if I had to pick between them though.

I love that Nurture shows you how colors will look in gelled CP. Having the CP color guide makes it so easy to compare all their greens next to one another.
Mad Oils has some more modern/adult colors that the others just don't seem to have... if that makes sense.

I love that both come in reusable jars... MO by default and NSS if you pay the difference. Both are reasonable with shipping. MO often has (free shipping over $) or flat rate shipping. Both have excellent customer service and normally ship things incredibly quickly unless there is a big sale going on.
 
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shunt2011

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Another Nurture fan here. Her colorants perform as described and their CS is hands down one of the best.
 

not_ally

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I have yet to order from Nurture, I had orders in the cart during both of the sales, and when they crashed I just never got back round to it. And I have so many micas now that although I really want to try them I feel guilty. MadOils micas I like a lot. Good saturation, lovely colors. Brambleberry, just OK.
 

snappyllama

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Personal favorites: MO Peacock and NSS Teal. Both are fantastic and totally different to my eyes. The MO Peacock can go from jewel tones to a groovy nordic blue with a little TD.
 

makemineirish

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I will second Nurture as my go to for mica. Carrie (who is a member of this board and posts occasionally) is an amazing person to work with and I just can not complement her company's customer service enough.

I have heard a bunch of great things about MO also, and I want to try some of their FO's. But I have no 1st hand experience with them. i prefer to order from companies as close to me as possible to cut down on shipping, and Nurture is just south of me near Indianapolis.

Maybe I can work out a bit of my budget to order some this month.
I really appreciate the feedback an am happy to pay a little more for the convenience of effective customer service. It is a huge component of the decision as to where I choose to spend my money. I originally stumbled onto Mad Oils micas when poster comments about certain fragrance oils intrigued me. One of my intended purchases for "premium" ingredients is selection of scents from Sweet Cakes to assuage my curiosity as to whether the hype is justified. However, Mad Oils seems to get a few nods lately for the "best" version of some staples.

I do not sell, which is a blessing and a curse. It means that I am not inclined be that frugal about ingredient costs as I am not concerned about profit margins or placing giant orders. However, it also means that I want to be a bit more selective since I am going to be stuck with the results for months and months (just me and the SO lathering up here). That's a long time to regret an offputting fragrance or disappointing color.
 

Spice

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BB's colors are okay, but I prefer Nurture and Mad Oils for the selection. It would be a tough call if I had to pick between them though.

I love that Nurture shows you how colors will look in gelled CP. Having the CP color guide makes it so easy to compare all their greens next to one another.
Mad Oils has some more modern/adult colors that the others just don't seem to have... if that makes sense.

I love that both come in reusable jars... MO by default and NSS if you pay the difference. Both are reasonable with shipping. MO often has (free shipping over $) or flat rate shipping. Both have excellent customer service and normally ship things incredibly quickly unless there is a big sale going on.
totally off subject, I went to see about Nature, and found lip balm labels from Avery. I have been looking for something that was inexpensive and I found the Avery number at Nature. This is great!:p
 

makemineirish

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I love that Nurture shows you how colors will look in gelled CP. Having the CP color guide makes it so easy to compare all their greens next to one another.
Mad Oils has some more modern/adult colors that the others just don't seem to have... if that makes sense.

I love that both come in reusable jars... MO by default and NSS if you pay the difference. Both are reasonable with shipping. MO often has (free shipping over $) or flat rate shipping. Both have excellent customer service and normally ship things incredibly quickly unless there is a big sale going on.
These are all important criteria for me. I acknowledge that Nurture was less expensive after reviewing the site. However, I was really interested in some of the Mad Oils fragrances and stumbled onto the micas by happenstance. As a result, I am probably going to order from MO in the interest of paying a single shipping fee (or none at all if I spend enough money). There are just more colors that I am excited about (maybe because they are more grown-up ;)).

I still need to place an order through Bramble Berry for some molds, oils, butters and a couple of scents. I am still vacillating on a Sweet Cakes purchase. However, it sounds like everyone is pretty consistent with their votes that BB's colorants are a bit lacking in comparison. Therefore, I am up to at least two shipping fees, maybe three, if I go ahead an order from Sweet Cakes as well :-x
 

rparrny

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BB's colors are okay, but I prefer Nurture and Mad Oils for the selection. It would be a tough call if I had to pick between them though.

I love that Nurture shows you how colors will look in gelled CP. Having the CP color guide makes it so easy to compare all their greens next to one another.
Mad Oils has some more modern/adult colors that the others just don't seem to have... if that makes sense.

I love that both come in reusable jars... MO by default and NSS if you pay the difference. Both are reasonable with shipping. MO often has (free shipping over $) or flat rate shipping. Both have excellent customer service and normally ship things incredibly quickly unless there is a big sale going on.
I just was on their site and I love the way they organize things! CP soaps displayed with the color instead of a chart...lots of reviews and those sample packs just make my mouth water. I have only used 4 colors so far CC woodland green, CC a blue that I can't read the label anymore, TD white and black. Now that I'm having so much fun with the swirls I really want to play with more color. I also love that you can order in bags to save on shipping. I am a canning maniac so I have cases of canning jars around to store them...
Enablers! A plot to corrupt us all I tell you!
 

makemineirish

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Mad Oils Update

I called the company today to ask whether or not they offered sniffies as I have been mightily impressed with Bramble Berry's generosity in this regard. Jo was incredibly helpful and spent enough time on the phone with me to make her a saint and me...a bit of an asshat.

Nonetheless, information was revealed to me that is very exciting and I thought to pass along to those of you that have been so helpful to me. First, they are apparently in the process of building a new website that will be available soon depicting their micas in soaps at different concentrations. This should make my selection process MUCH easier.

Jo was empathetic to my apprehension over investing money in a bunch of fragrance samples to find what I like. Let's be real; descriptions are helpful but not the whole story. Anyone that has ever read a wine bottle label or perfume ad knows that they ALL sound awesome, but sweet is a matter of degree and notes a manner of proportion (Am I the only one disappointed that Jo Malone's LBM was heavier on the lime than the mandarin?).

I explained that I often do not need enough for a test batch as there are usually sufficient notes on acceleration, discoloration, morphing, fading, etc here and on Soap Scent Review. What I need is a cost-effective means of just smelling the the options. I am fine if you used a smidgen of musk to anchor more ephemeral components, but am not on board with anything strongly masculine or animalistic. Whether or not a floral is "old" or "fresh" is a pretty personal distinction. Jo is now considering adding an option to the website where you can receive sniffies for a nominal fee to ascertain what you want to purchase! I wish I could get Sweet Cakes to do this (especially with their $25+ shipping cost).

I have not yet talked to NSS, primarily because I am fairly decided now. They sound like a phenomenal company, but it's not necessary to tack on an additional shipping fee (given that there are scents from MO that I want to try). I will order my basics from Bramble Berry, my colorants and some fragrances from Mad Oils, and am still a bit on the fence about Sweet Cakes. Some of their options are really promising, but its hard to put together a cart without spending a ridiculous amount on samples...and difficult to commit to larger bottles without knowing if I will like them. Factor in the shipping and its tempting to stick with the fragrances available through MO and BB, who will send me sniffies prior to purchase. (I am desperately restraining myself from starting a new thread on this as there is an old one...but it IS old.) Now, I just need to try to edit a bit :x

Thanks for all the help!http://www.soapmakingforum.com//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/extension/
 
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soapswirl

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I love mad oils micas, to the point i have paid for them to deliver to the UK (crazy i know). Their brights mica set is a great buy - i havent found any over here which give the same vibrant colours in cp soap.
 

makemineirish

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I love mad oils micas, to the point i have paid for them to deliver to the UK (crazy i know). Their brights mica set is a great buy - i havent found any over here which give the same vibrant colours in cp soap.
I would have totally been on board for the brights set. However, the site showed it as being sold out. That's probably something that I should have asked about during my ridiculously long discussion with customer service. Thanks for the recomendation.
 

Cosmo

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This thread is great! This is Carrie from Nurture and I would love to get some feedback if that is alright. A couple of questions... When you say more adult colors, what do you mean? I don't think MO sells anything we don't, or at least very few colors. We get them from the same place. Our site has been a constant work in progress and I was wondering if there is anything any of you would like to see changes up or done differently to help with your shopping experience. I know there's a lot of places to choose from now and would sincerely appreciate any feedback you can give!
 

not_ally

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Carrie, I think you are in pretty good shape! Nurture is probably the place I see most recommended, by far, for micas. Like I said, I really want to try them someday (espec. the Vibrants) and will, when the itch gets strong enough, or when you have another sale, but right now with my 150+ micas and budget staring at me accusingly I can't justify it. I will though, promise, probably sooner rather than later.

I am grateful to both you and Jo at Mad Oils for having great customer service. I know the website problems during the sales were awful, and I thought you did an amazing job handling them. I really trust both of you to sell great products that you know are good because you personally work hard on using/testing them. You both are among the few suppliers that I feel comfortable that when I buy something, I am not taking a risk.
 
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Cosmo

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Thank you not_ally! I know I'm personally so passionate about the business I'm in, and sometimes my viewpoint will differ from that of a customer or other personalities because I personally LOVE straightforward when it comes to online shopping. I do miss some of the creative flair, though, and I think MO has lots of it! I also love TKB as they are so experienced (Kaila Westerman really knows color) and they show each color in soap at different concentrations just like was mentioned earlier in the thread. Are these kinds of pictures something that you'd like to see? Thank you for the feedback! :smile:
 

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