Wednesday, January 4th, 2012

Temptalia Asks You


Have you ever had such a bad experience with a brand that you stopped using it? Share!

Temptalia's AnswerYes – when a brand reacts poorly to a negative (or a not-so-positive) review, then they’re off my list. e.l.f. is a brand I don’t use, feature, etc. because they used one of my eyeshadow looks in their newsletter and led their subscribers to believe it was a look used with e.l.f. products, and then they used three of my other photos on their website without permission. It takes a fair amount to annoy/frustrate me enough to write a brand off.

Thanks to Amanda for today’s question! Got a question idea? Submit yours here.

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187 thoughts on “Have you ever had such a bad experience with a brand that you stopped using it?

  1. Nina

    Yes! I bought a Jane Tinted Moisturizer and when I applied it, my eyes started to burn, and I had a very bad allergic reaction.

    I had to go to the ER for treatment. When I emailed and called the brand about it, they never replied (email), and they had nothing to tell me (phone).

  2. Andrea

    I wasn’t affected by it, but I stopped using NYX after their bait and switch scam early 2011.

    • Michelle V

      agreed.

    • nezzi velkova

      Same here. Very frustrating.

    • Summer

      What scam?

    • Avatar of Quinctia Quinctia

      Yeah, after that it took me months before I could really look at what I owned by them again. (I finally told myself, “Look, they already got your money, it’s only hurting yourself not to use something already bought.”)

      I’m still on the fence about purchasing anything else, which is a shame because I like their lipstick formula…but they royally messed up and didn’t really own up to it in my opinion. The only really important thing is I’d been using their clear mascara as brow gel, but I have to order clear mascara online anyway, I’m sure I can find a substitute without much trouble.

      • Avatar of Christina Christina

        Yes! After that, I couldn’t use their products for a while. Once I use up the items that I already own, I don’t plan on buying anything from NYX again.

    • Avatar of Erica Erica

      I also won’t buy from NYX again after a bad customer service experience that pre-dates the infamous bait & switch. I’m not convinced that they are a legit business. I was treated pretty horribly. Maybe they’re better now, but I won’t spend another dime there to find out.

      Christine, that is AWFUL what elf did to you! I don’t think I have tried any of their products, but will make a point NOT to now.

    • shelley

      I just read up on that…I will no longer buy anything from NYX or ELF again. That is just plain WRONG.

      • Amanda

        Never used NYX but after hearing that I will never use it. And as far as E.L.F goes, I’ve never used anything by them either but redundantly, never will.

  3. Sabrina

    Wow. That’s really poor business/marketing conduct on their behalf.

  4. Avatar of Sheila Sheila

    Bare Minerals!
    Their foundation gave me cystic acne. I always had mild very small acne but after using this I would develop huge zits. It took me forever to figure out that the Bismuth oxychloride ingredient was the culprit.

    • Kelly

      The same thing happened to me. I’m STILL having a hard time getting rid of the acne scarring their products left me with. When I hear my friends say that they want to get it, I cringe.

  5. Avatar of Anna Anna

    I don’t use bare minerals because I had an allergy reaction to their foundation. That has never happened before and if it was any other brand I probably would still try other stuff but it annoyed me that the brand is stated as being for people who have sensitive skin. It also annoyed me that when I contacted them they knew about the problem and said that it happens.

    • Avatar of Melissa divinem (Melissa)

      I’m allergic to BE as well. Bummer.

    • Jenn

      Bare Minerals made my skin burn – very unpleasant. I was disappointed because I thought it was specifically *for* sensitive skin too :(

    • Jenny

      I had the same problem! “Perfect for sensitive skin” – yeah, not for me. I wanted to scratch my face off, it was so irritating. I’ve never tried another Bare Escentuals product (gloss, mascara, scared of it all.)

  6. Jen

    wow about elf! There are a couple brands I don’t feature, support or talk about because of how they treat bloggers and/or the people behind the brand are dishonest and shady. They are Julep and Ginger + Liz.

  7. Brian McD aka Roulette

    Wow…Had heard about your beef with…I think it was OPI, and how they didn’t like your reviews, I think I read about on here a long time ago…but hadn’t heard or missed the part about e.l.f.

    How creepy that they would use your face on their website with products on it that weren’t theirs. That REALLY freaks me out for some reason, although I am sure you have seen worse, being in the business for some time now.

    Do you keep a published list on here soemwhere like some other sites do of a ‘burned’ list or a ‘do not recommend’ brand list?

    • When OPI did their Burlesque collection, whether because OPI had just hired a more robust legal team (at the time, they were also several pending lawsuits against various etailers, so it made them seem “sue-happy”) or their big partner Sony (I had heard it both ways) pushed them to, they had their lawyer send out notices to many bloggers to take down OPI fall and Burlesque collection images. I had a couple of calls from other bloggers who were freaking out over it and thought they were being sued, which really is what frustrated me. Instead of OPI’s PR team emailing bloggers asking for images to go down (which, in itself, was highly unusual as OPI images had always been released 3-6 months early and nobody ever said anything), they sent lawyers after bloggers instead. It’s a rather strong-armed tactic for a group who is often doing it for the love of it, as a hobby. As far as I know, there was also no apology issued over it. I have never been in contact with OPI’s PR team, not then and not now, as I had simply reposted the information from another blog who had originally posted it (which was out on many, many other blogs).

      The final straw was when OPI told a Temptalia reader via their Facebook that they had apologized to me that made me have no soft spot for the whole situation, which had been badly played but could have been fixed with a simple apology and acknowledgment that they do appreciate the blogging community, but the lying about an apology was too far. Before, I didn’t see any reason to spend money buying OPI products to give them, what they would regard as free promotion/advertising, when they didn’t seem to appreciate the very nature of blogging. The lying just made it that much easier to make that decision stick.

      • Erica

        wow! did not know about this! it’s always been a toss-up for me btwn essie and OPI but this just tips the scale over to essie all the way!

  8. Yes – I had an awful allergic reaction to a Royal and Langnickel foundation brush, followed by an absolute horror story with their customer service (asked me to send it back for a replacement at my expense, never sent another, ignored ally emails…). I would never, ever use one of their products again.

  9. Chelle

    Holy shit- I had no idea about e.l.f. Thanks for the heads up! I will for sure stay away from their products now.

  10. Carrie

    Nyx. So-so product + shady sales practice put them on my no-buy list

  11. Lauren

    There’s an elf ad right next to this post, lol.

    I go on and off brands every so often, but there’s not been one I’ve stopped using entirely.

  12. It’s funny you mention E.L.F., because I always see ads for their products when I visit this site. I never gave it much thought but i think, subconsciously anyway, I assumed you liked it since I see them so often. I suspect that this is probably google ads doing, though.
    using other people’s photos is bad enough, but stealing a photo AND claiming the look was made from their products is just so shady. How could anyone possibly trust their products knowing that.

    • The ads you see are likely just a result of what websites you’re going to, what you’re searching for, etc. There are definitely some advertisements that everybody sees, but overall, the advertising mix is huge. Like after I’ve visited Orvis to look at dog beds, I’ll see Orvis ads on Temptalia ;)

    • Avatar of Jacqueline Jacqueline

      Me too for the ads! This is the only site where I see e.l.f. ads and I’ve never visited their site before.

  13. Wow, I’m shocked to read that e.l.f did that.
    Personally, I will not buy a Chanel product anymore. I got the Rouge Allure in Genius and dries my lips, like crazy. I was really disappointed.

  14. Avatar of Melissa divinem (Melissa)

    Lancôme used to be my go-to for mascara and other cosmetics but I developed a sudden and severe allergy to their mascara (which I loved and wore for more than a decade). Not sure if they changed the formula or my body decided it didn’t like it anymore.

    Since mascara is their standout product (IMO), I just moved on to a different brand. I now wear MUFE Smoky Lash and have discovered many wonderful products that do not irritate my über, ultra sensitive skin.

  15. Julia

    Revlon. I had bad experience with their blushes and powders.

  16. Lorena

    I have to say e.l.f too. When they’re bad, they’re really bad… and even if they are low-cost, it adds up.

  17. Naz

    I don’t blame you. I would boycott any company that does this. Julep is a perfect example. They used blogger photos and REMOVED the watermarks! When confronted, they said they would never intentionally remove watermarks. So they removed themselves, huh? The photos (with watermarks) are back up on Julep’s blog, and now link back to the original blogger, but between that and the Julep Maven drama, they’re just too weird for me to want to support them.

    I also refuse to use Lime Crime because of all the craziness surrounding that company and the owner. Doesn’t seem like I’m missing out on much anyway.

    • Wow – that is pretty impressive in how far they’d go! I’ve been hesitant to work with Julep because I knew there was some drama, but without time to sit down and research it, I hadn’t really made a call either way.

  18. Avatar of Melissa divinem (Melissa)

    Wow, pretty shady of Elf, Christine. Glad you keep an eye on your hard work so it’s not abused.

    e.l.f. has never been on my list, but now they are unequivocally OFF my list. Shady, shady business practice!

  19. Nora

    Lime Crime, due to A) their blatant repackaging of eyeshadows and B) their atrocious business practices. The actual quality of the products themselves aren’t that great, either, and overall I’d be an incredible idiot to ever buy from them again after all they have against them.

  20. shelley

    I stopped buying colored cosmetics at MAC due to a bad experience trying to update my foundation since I had gotten a little darker due to pregnancy. She swatched the color on my wrist and told me that there was nothing there that would help me out and walked away. Even my husband was ticked off and when we discovered the Bobbi Brown counter at Belk he went back to the girl at MAC and showed her the $315 receipt for the BB loot.

  21. Mary

    I would say Eve Pearl. I ordered a brush and received it in two parts: one part with brush and ferrule and other part was the wooden handle. They were nice to say that on my next order they would give a free lip gloss. Then for the foundation, they never gave me the real foundation that I ordered, but a sample of some foundation that she plans to release in the future. I really didn’t like this sample. I wanted to try the real thing. Then for this they said sorry and that for my next order they would give me a blush. Then when I wanted to order again and wrote to say I expect the products that were promised, no one wrote back to me about this.

  22. Tekoa

    Before it was cancelled, I swore off the MAC Rodarte collection. That was such an offensive concept. How on earth did that get out of the idea room?

    • I just read up on all of this… I never caught wind of this!! It’s such an inconsiderate concept to use for profits, and I am absolutely disgusted. I grew up in Juarez, and am so saddened by the fact that a makeup brand that I enjoy uses the tragedy that is going on in the city as “inspiration” for “ethereal” and ghostly products.

      • Tekoa

        A lot of people were agast, hense the now amusing backpeddle and cancellation from MAC. I’m most unimpressed with Rodarte for creating/profiting from a clothing launch based on images of suffering. For MAC to decide a Juarez collaboration was a good idea shows incredible stupidity.

      • Avatar of Christina Christina

        I think the idea of a ghostly collection is a bit interesting, but they should’ve gone about it in a totally different way.

  23. Avatar of Elizabeth cydoniac

    OMG Christine, they really did that??!!!that’s horrible…isn’t there a way to protect your rights as the owner of this blog and to protect your creations/photos? or is it just up to other people’s good will to use your photos and mention where they took them from? because I have seen your reviews and photos in other sites and they do not always mention temptalia.com as their source….

    • I could sue, but ultimately the cost of litigation generally keeps most people from suing. I do my best to send cease and desist letters/takedown notices!

  24. Katie

    I don’t buy Rescue Beauty Lounge nail lacquer anymore because 1.) They never have any stock filled and 2.) The woman who runs the brand is very rude. It’s unfortunate too because the colors are lovely.

    • carina

      i second this. i used to love this brand and the colors, (scrangie is so unique!!) but the owner has really put me off after the drama she created when people were disappointed with her never-produced fan collection from winter 2011.

      • The fan collection was canceled? I didn’t hear about that one though I haven’t been following RBL much these past few months!

        • carina

          well, i’m not positive, but all i know is that it took place an entire year ago (jan. 2011), she chose the winners, had a huge meltdown because some people were disappointed, gave a couple of updates on the mixing process/meeting with the winners, etc. and then i never heard anything about it again! i have been following a little bit off and on and i am on their email list and get emails when things go on pre-sale and the bring it back stuff and the new collections, etc., but like i said, after a couple of updates on her blog about color mixing for the fan collection and meeting with the winners, it seems to have gone totally quiet.

          • carina

            her reaction/attitude to customers being disappointed in her color selection was so inappropriate, unprofessional and sort of appalling. i remember her just getting super defensive on her blog, basically trying to argue with every single person who didn’t like the chosen colors, playing a “woe was me, i should have never done this! i try and do something nice and now people are being mean to me!” and then eventually taking to insulting the fans/paying customers who didn’t like the selections with those who did on her facebook!

            http://blog.rescuebeauty.com/meet-the-finalists—11-nominees-for-the-rbl-fan-collection—drum-roll-please…/

            • Ada

              I didn’t see that, but I DID see her passive-aggressive, attention-seeking status update about how she’d ~never do BiB again~, posted without explanation. This of course led to dozens of comments from upset fans coddling her, and she eventually explained that some cruel person had had the gall to suggest one of the BiB polishes was not quite the same as it was when first released. She’s done similar things since (act hurt, make vague threats about not carrying through on releases, bask in attention. C’mon, lady, you’re making money, we KNOW you’re not actually going to screw yourself over like that.) It was absolutely ridiculous behavior for any adult, much less from someone using an account connected to their business, and while I have not written RBL off, my regard for Ji has fallen accordingly.

            • carina

              Ada- I whole-heartedly agree with what you said. Her behavior was ridiculous for an adult businesswoman. If you can’t handle constructive criticism and going to take everything so personally, and realize the fact that you just can’t make everyone happy, then yeah, she shouldn’t do any special promotions again!

          • Oh, I see – unless there’s an official announcement, maybe it’s just been delayed or the process to perfection has taken longer?

            • carina

              it’s quite possible. i guess i just assumed from her initial reaction to the whole thing that she got frustrated, threw up her hands and gave up lol or she will come out with it any day now and i’ll just look like a nut! either way, i will not be supporting it, even if they are the most amazing colors ive ever seen in my life put onto a nail! too many other fabulous brands out there that can do just what she can and more for a cheaper price (china glaze, zoya) and don’t bash the fans for disliking a silly color!! :p

            • Tekoa

              The Fan Collection is not cancelled

    • Lisa

      I was done with RBL when they released a polish called Frugalista. For $18. At the height of the recession.

      Yeah, F you, too.

  25. Nichole

    Oh Sheila and Anna, I feel your pain. Bare Minerals foundation and blush should come with a huge disclaimer – “may make your face itch and/or give you cystic acne”. Christine, I know you like their pressed shadows, but I wouldn’t touch them or any of their products even if I were wearing a hazard suit.

    Not to mention their Buxom gloss makes my lips peel.

  26. Omg Christine! I can’t believe they did that! You could totally sue them for copyright infringement! I’m going to have to side with you here! I’ve never use e.f.l. products, but I think that they look so cheap that I don’t even want to spend money on that brand to try it out.

  27. Avatar of MonicaP Monica P

    Bare Minerals. I bought the $65 kit. Followed the directions and it completely and totally accentuated my pores – ugh. I kept the kabuki brush, but dumped the rest. I felt duped by their commercials and have never purchased anything else from that line.

  28. Laura R

    that’s too bad about e.l.f…..i can see why it would turn you off them though when they acted so misleadingly.

  29. Catherine

    Yes, covergirl, and maybeline I brought their foundation and mascara when I was like 16 from ulta and I tried to get some coverage and then I was like, what coverage? Also, the mascara I brought from Maybeline made my lashes feel like sticks, very hard, very flaky, and just not pretty.

  30. Avatar of Kimberly Kimmie T

    OMG! Christine! I never knew that! I would write them off completely too! That is just terrible! I have yet to deal with a brand that I don’t like where I write off them completly but I am getting more and more disappointed with MAC. I think they should put more effort into better products.

    • Avatar of Christina Christina

      Yes! Can MAC please start concentrating on having consistently good products? They’re starting to turn me off..

  31. Sarah

    KIEHL’S! Over a year ago, their products destroyed my skin. Like, turned my cheeks in skin that felt like scar tissue. I’m just barely getting things back on track, and I’m an esthetician! Never again!

  32. idee

    Wow. I had no idea about the NYX ripoff, or E.L.F products shadiness. Well, the only e.l.f. thing I ever bought was a little travel brush set which was awful. Brush handle came off, brushes were awful. So now more them. I’ve basically stopped using coastal scents as well, I bought one of their neutral palettes and the eyeshadows have so much fall out and don’t last, very powdery, no pigmentation. I’ve received a brush or two, and in my opinion, Essence of Beauty brushes that you can buy at cvs are better quality. So no more ordering from them again.

  33. Amber

    This is not a beauty brand, but a shoe company that I refuse to use due to poor customer service. Shoemint claimed to allow no hassle returns, but when I contacted customer service about a return it took several attempts to get in touch with them and once I did they argued with me about my return and told me I owed a $9.95 restocking fee since I wasn’t allowed to return for company credit (what I wanted) just because I didn’t like a shoe. I bought a shoe from them previously and loved it, I just didn’t love the second pair I bought. Now I refuse to have anything to do with the whole company (Shoemint, Beautymint, Stylemint, Jewelmint) and its sad because I actually liked their products.

  34. Summer

    Yes, sort of – Clinique. Admittedly, I still use their Acne Spot Healing Gel every once in a while, and I love their Take The Day Off Makeup Remover. But several years back, I was using their 3 Step skincare line and realized the lotion #2 was stripping my skin, while their crazy yellow moisturizer was clogging my pores. When my rosacea flared up at 21, my dermatologist suggested that Clinique’s skin care may have been one of the major contributors to my stripped down skin barrier.

    Over the summer, I began experimenting with Clinique’s Redness Solutions line and it was awful. I tried their cleanser, and it made my skin itch and feel tight!

    I’ve also stopped using their cosmetics completely, after going back every once in a while and re-trying old favorites or giving new items a chance. Their eyeshadows start to get old FAST, and their color selection is uninspired. The same thing about their colors also applies to their lipsticks and glosses. They used to have a Butter Shine lipstick called Pink Peony that was my HG, but it’s been discontinued for years, so naturally I’m upset about that!

    I just feel that so many other brands offer better color selections (MAC, Chanel, Dior, even Bare Escentuals with their new Ready line) and many more have superior skincare (Korres, Chantecaille, Mario Badescu) that there’s no reason for this particular cosmetics junkie to use Clinique ever again.

    • Rebecca

      I refuse to use clinique skin care! I got a few deluxe sample products from them around the holidays a few years back and was unsure if I should use them because I always had fussy skin. After some research and talking to a woman working there I was assured nothing would hurt my skin and that the products were right for my skin type, so I gave them a try. I used their Comforting Cream Cleanser and their Dramatically different Moisturizing Lotion and immediately felt my skin tighten up and itch, next thing I know my whole face turned blotchy and red and began to itch like crazy. The next day I ended up having a horrible reaction to the products that included a rash, blotchy-ness and cystic acne. After a few days of treating my skin with my normal routine the redness went away and the acne began to go down and I was left with severely dry skin, the products went straight to the trash. One of the worst experiences I have had with skincare products and I have used a lot of different brands. Never once have I had an issue like this with the other products I have used.

  35. Yes! Loreal’s primer, the pink one, it broke my face like CRAZY! Also NYX products, although I have not have any skin problems w/their products, it really pissed me off all the publicity they gave for their anniversary and the results were a total rip off!!

  36. ms

    i was just about to say elf. i bought 1 of their 1 dollar lipsticks, the 1 that is supposed to be a dupe for mac angel, i bought 2, both of the lipsticks broke off.

  37. Avatar of AmyEm Amy Em

    Clinique – every time I went to their counter they tried to sell me foundation even though I told they I didn’t use it and I just wanted a lipstick. Here’s a pro-tip: If you make your customer feel ugly, she will take her business to a different counter.

  38. Avatar of Kim Kimryan8

    ELF is crap makeup anyway. Even though its $1 I still won’t buy it.

    Most eyeliner pens burn my eyelids like crazy! MAC Fluidline so far is the only one that doesn’t – and I don’t know why.

  39. Well, maybe Benefit… I received a sample of their Firmology and thought it worked really well, so I was checking the list of ingredients before purchasing a full-size bottle. To my surprise, I found all kind of parabens on the ingredient list, and that kind of put me off the brand. I know it is unfair, since a lot of brands are not parabens-free yet. But that just came as quite a shock since it is supposed to be a skincare product, and most of my skincare products are from European brands which have more parabens awareness.

    What e.l.f did to you was NASTY! It’s been more than fair for you to write it off! I would have blogged about this and made sure everybody knows what happened if I were you!

    • Mallory

      You really shouldn’t worry too much about parabens.
      If you do some research you’ll discover, surprisingly, that parabens do no long-term or short-term damage because our bodies are experts at flushing out such things. They really don’t cause any harm.
      Things being paraben free has become a marketing ploy in my eyes since there’s no real danger
      Obviously, it’s your choice what you put on your skin but before you quit using a brand because of parabens read up on them!

      Happy new year!

  40. ixo

    Yes, NYX. Last year, after they tried to rip people off over here in Germany, i.e. tried to sell their 10 color eyeshadow palettes for 47 €.

    • Marie

      I know that all cosmetics products are moderately more expensive in Europe than in the US. But NYX is *insanely* more expensive in Europe than in the US!

  41. Heather

    What was the “bait and switch” scam?

  42. Lauryn

    OMG.. yes.

    “Neutrogena Naturals” i got a bottle of it to try and my eyes swelled up so bad. I looked like a prize fighter, and no, they never bothered to respond to my email. Thankfully, Walgreens accepted it as a return.

    And not necessarily a physical/allergy, but I bought the “pro tube” of Urban Decay Primer Potion.. Used it ONCE and the ENTIRE bottom of the tube split open. And its not like i was squeezing the life out of the tube either.. THEY never responded either.. I lost product, and what I could save? It started to lose the creamy consistency and now, barely works at all.. I put it in a a jar like the OLD MAC pigments came in, as thats all i had. But for the price of that tube and all the product that i lost? I won’t buy it again.. I don’t have money to throw away like that.

  43. Jos

    I have been lucky enough not to be so scarred for life, but this is a great question and will take note of everyone’s answers.

  44. I’ve stopped using CoverGirl after a fiasco with the Smoky ShadowBlast sticks. I had heard nothing but great reviews about it, but when I applied the base shade, the stick broke at the base and fell out of the tube after I finished applying. The same thing happened with the smoky side. I threw the thing away immediately. And to add insult to injury, and hour later, I looked at my eyes, and the shadow was creased to no end!

  45. Caroline F.

    Avon,
    My mom, daughter and myself all have developped HUGE bad skin reaction to 3 very different types of products. My daughter it was soap, my mom was perfume and myself it was an eyeliner.
    All took medical care and when banished…our skin never had a reaction again.
    p.s. none of us had ever had reactions before the use of AVON.

  46. MC

    Mary Kay! I was in a wedding where the “makeup artist” (a Mary Kay rep) used one of the Mary Kay foundations allover my face..my face was itchy all day and by the end of the wedding, my face had welts allover it. I had to sit with a cold wash cloth on my face and take benedryl. I had such a horrible reaction to whatever was in the foundation that I refuse to wear MK products ever again.

    • Avatar of Johanna Johanna

      I always get break outs from wearing their foundation, which is a shame since I think they look so natural on the face. Now I wear either Lancome or Lumene, depending on how much coverage I want, they seem to work on my skin.

  47. Avatar of Keely kiwikeely

    just out of curiosity , was this a similar thing you had with OPI? i remember this being one of the brands temptalia.com doesn’t work with.

    • Here you go:

      When OPI did their Burlesque collection, whether because OPI had just hired a more robust legal team (at the time, they were also several pending lawsuits against various etailers, so it made them seem “sue-happy”) or their big partner Sony (I had heard it both ways) pushed them to, they had their lawyer send out notices to many bloggers to take down OPI fall and Burlesque collection images. I had a couple of calls from other bloggers who were freaking out over it and thought they were being sued, which really is what frustrated me. Instead of OPI’s PR team emailing bloggers asking for images to go down (which, in itself, was highly unusual as OPI images had always been released 3-6 months early and nobody ever said anything), they sent lawyers after bloggers instead. It’s a rather strong-armed tactic for a group who is often doing it for the love of it, as a hobby. As far as I know, there was also no apology issued over it. I have never been in contact with OPI’s PR team, not then and not now, as I had simply reposted the information from another blog who had originally posted it (which was out on many, many other blogs).

      The final straw was when OPI told a Temptalia reader via their Facebook that they had apologized to me that made me have no soft spot for the whole situation, which had been badly played but could have been fixed with a simple apology and acknowledgment that they do appreciate the blogging community, but the lying about an apology was too far. Before, I didn’t see any reason to spend money buying OPI products to give them, what they would regard as free promotion/advertising, when they didn’t seem to appreciate the very nature of blogging. The lying just made it that much easier to make that decision stick.

  48. Avatar of Gbemi Gbemi

    I recently found out that i am allergic to all loreal and some maybelline mascaras. My eyes get bright red and swollen and itchy and im given eyedrops and antibiotics to help with the swelling and itchiness but they dont work. Thank god i changed to the rimmel volumeflash max mascara!!! Its my favorite drugstore mascara and i use it more than my high end ones!!!! Ive had no problems with it!!!!

  49. Avatar of Hawley Holly

    Napoleon Perdis.
    I bought a bunch of products back when they used to be at Sephora and ALL of them were AWFUL. Not in a personal preference kind of way, but in a products just not working kind of way.
    It was such a massive waste of money and I was so disappointed with the quality of the products; I will never ever purchase anything from them again.

  50. sasha

    The Laura Mercier mineral powders always break me out. I’ve used Bare Minerals and I was fine, but theres something about the LM ones that reacts badly with my skin. I still have them sitting around somewhere I bet.

  51. I’ve never completely written off a brand, but if I have a bad experience with a product, I may avoid them but keep an open mind. However, if I feel like I’ve been scammed or disrespected by customer service, I would leave a brand. For instance, hearing about your experience with e.l.f. may be enough to put me off the brand! That is pretty awful.

  52. I swore off Too Faced after I had a horrible allergic reaction to their Glitter Glue primer. Supposedly safe for use on your eyelids, I used it once after having received it as a gift from a friend, and it broke my lids out into an incredibly itchy bumpy rash!! I notified the company, and Sephora, as that is where it had been purchased. This happened in September of this year, and I STILL have not received any response from the company! I have one of their eyeshadow palettes, and that didn’t/doesn’t make my eyelids rash out, but I still skip their display in Sephora regardless. I don’t trust them, and I don’t think that their responses to customer complaints (or complete lack thereof) demonstrate very good business practices.

  53. I’m a lot more likely to ‘boycott’ a brand over shady business practices than I am over a particularly poor product.

    That being said, LIME CRIME, and JULEP. Julep does what Elf did to you, x10000, not to mention was the biggest flop of a startup company ever that clearly had no idea what they were doing. And Lime Crime, well yeah the owner is a lying drama stirring nasty psychopath who acts like a 12 year old but somehow runs a ‘business’. OK, go to school.

  54. Chiara

    So far, I’ve had nothing but really bad experiences with Clinique. Their cleansers strip my skin, their foundation (superbalanced) cakes on me in no-time and their quick eyeliner pencils have zero pigment. AWFUL.

  55. Mai

    Lime Crime. Repackaging is one thing but going after bloggers for writing an opinion is another. Shady shady shady and I don’t like the owner enough to not want to shop from them. I was also extremely displeased at how the owner tried to sic her fans on you after your review of their lipsticks.

  56. Avatar of Sarah Sarah

    With Nyx lets not forget the whole amy winehouse contest which was like 2 weeks after her death?

    http://www.bellasugar.com/Amy-Winehouse-Makeup-Contest-Canceled-18731062

  57. Julia

    Limecrime… enough said.

  58. Joan

    Christine,
    I’m taking your experience w/E.L.F. to heart and will act accordingly….their products shall never grace my
    vanity! The one product that comes to mind as problematic for me was Origins VitaZing moisturizer. I had a significant
    topical reaction and concluded that I must be sensitive to some ingredient. Consequently, I avoid their products.

  59. I’ve had consistently horrible experiences at Ulta, but that’s not a brand. My worst experience ever was with Clarisonic, but it was because their product destroyed my skin, not because of the company.

    • Scarlett Blandon

      Ulta customer service sucks, they charged my credit card and never refunded me for an item I never recieved. What happened with you and clarisonic? I stopped using mine 2 months ago as it gave me more break outs

    • Lauryn

      I can’t stand ULTA.. They are the WORST ever! I bought a bottle of Sue Devitt Primer off their site. They sent me the BLUE primer, not the regular one. I took it back to Ulta brick/mortar to return it. They REFUSED to refund me without the initial emails (????!) of my order, confirming my order AND shipping my order! ARE YOU KIDDING ME.. The time between when I ordered it and when I got it was a matter of days.. they told me they “couldn’t look it up”. even though i had THE SHIPPING RECEIPT WITH ME.. They were SO D@MN NASTY..

  60. Margaret

    Jordana. During their Cyber Monday sale (where I know, there is a huge influx of orders), I placed an order and received a Paypal receipt but no order confirmation. I waited a few days but still, nothing. I called their customer service and they told me that I didn’t submit my Paypal order…funny, since I had received a receipt. She told me I could place my order over the phone, and I was then told that one of the items I had initially purchased was sold out. I reluctantly agreed to still place the order, and the customer service agent told me that I would get an e-mail confirmation that day, and over 24 hours went by and I still received no order confirmation. I finally e-mailed customer service and told them that if I could not receive my orginal order in full, then to just cancel it altogether. Never received a response. My order finally came, without any order confirmation, let alone shipping/tracking information, without the item I had initially purchased. Won’t buy from again. Very, very poor customer service.

  61. Avatar of Brandi BGissm

    Limecrime, for the obvious reasons.
    ELF bc they just suck. Period.

  62. michelle

    im not writing them off.. yet, but im upset with sephora. i made an order that included a tarte set of an eye liner and mascara. when i package came i received the mascara in black but the liner was in gray (supposed to be black)when i called to ask they said if the wrong thing was shipped i had to return it, now becase it was a set i had to return the both of them and now the set is no longer available i would just get a return and that was very annoying… but then i looked and seen that they never sent me the rerun label so be able to ship is back, and the customer service lady said keep looking.. i was like there is only one piece of paper and its not it, so after she didnt believe me she said u would have to pay to send it back or go into a store. i live in cananda and to ship the box they sent me back to the usa would cost more the the product did, and i like 6 hours away from a store, so she told me there was nothing she could do for me. i think thats pretty bad service, its not my fault they didnt send a return label, they could have offered to send me a black liner or to refund me my money but nothing was done.

  63. Wow! That was extremely unethical of Elf! I had kind of wondered why they were never mentioned here, but I don’t blame you. Hmm, you know what? I haven’t been into beauty blogs for very long – I would love it if someone set up a page somewhere to discuss unethical experiences they had with cosmetics companies, so people could be aware. I have a pretty big Elf collection and now I have to think about it.

    I’m not generally into boycotting, partly because I’m so easily disgusted by corporate behavior that I don’t know where I’d stop, LOL! Also, I feel it’s not that effective. But if I have an experience like you had with Elf, I think I’d react as you did.

    This may be a very unpopular view, but as ugly as the NYX website sale thing was, I don’t see it as much different from Urban Decay’s servers failing almost as soon as they got the emails about Naked 2 out. A lot of people I know really wanted that palette and couldn’t get it even within minutes of the emails. They created massive hype and artificial scarcity (I’ll never believe they only had 5k palettes on hand), and then didn’t have the server space to cope with it. Like they couldn’t anticipate the rush.

    • S.A.

      To be fair, sometimes you really CAN’T properly anticipate the server load something will require. Here I am thinking of a situation where a site I follow posted a highly anticipated update, had taken precautions they had felt would be adequate to ensure that the page wouldn’t go down so everyone could access the update…

      And in doing so managed to crash the far larger webhost that had offered to host the main file of this update on their servers.

      So while I’ll agree the whole only having 5k thing is artificial scarcity, I definitely am more willing to give anyone the benefit of the doubt as far as server issues go, because sometimes you really just can’t accurately predict these things.

      • IIRC, a lot of people would have felt better if NYX had redone the sale – either scrapped it for that day or held it again in the future. The problem was more the way they dealt with it, I think, than just that they were unprepared. As someone who has to deal with servers, I can totally sympathize – literally everything is going smoothly for months, then something hiccups even though nothing has changed!

  64. Kelly

    Yes! Maybelline Mouse concealer its disgusting! It creased and blended terrible and I always think twice before I pick up Maybelline anything now.

  65. Eileen Payne

    Last Halloween I sent OPI.com this email message, ” Spookettes?? ….. you couldn’t come up with anything better than that? B-o-r-i-n-g!!!! haha …. such an arrogant company!

    • Maureen

      I actually did send Essie a message, once, because “Van’D Go” is the dumbest name for a nail polish ever. Why? Google it real quick. Literally any other color would have been more appropriate to name after Van Gogh. Sparkly blue and gold? Lavender? Sunflower yellow? Nope, they decided that the color for Van Gogh would be a nice, light salmon. I gave them some cute impressionism puns they could use should they ever decide to rename the color. I haven’t written off Essie entirely, but seriously they come up with the dumbest names of all time.

  66. Avatar of Emily emily o

    No Avon because they aren’t cruelty free + after checking out their Pink Campaign I was pretty appalled by how much $ goes into their pockets & advertising and how little into research. Bare Minerals gave me terrible customer service and refused to take products back. No CoverGirl because I really just dont like them. CHANEL is a no no because being Jewish , I want nothing associated with Coco. If Dior rehires Galliano back then no more DiorSkin :(.

  67. Wow thats horrible! E.l.f is a brand that I have never used and really never plan on using. I feel like the brand simply copies all high end products and a lot of people think that their products are just as good or even better sometimes. But I really don’t think they are a very good brand maybe to start off with and learn to do makeup with they are but they are nothing near as good as quality as MAC, Benefit, Urban Decay, etc.

  68. Milani Cosmetics. I made an order with them during their recent Cyber Monday sale. Not only did it take a long time for them to actually ship my package, but a week AFTER I RECEIVED my package (which was almost a month after I had placed the order), they charged my credit card for it. I suppose I don’t have to right to be really, really mad, because they only charged me once. But it wasn’t professional at all. At they very least, they could have notified me before they charged me, saying that they hadn’t charged me and were about to do so, so I could check my bank account and make sure there was enough money in my checking account to cover the cost, or move some money around if necessary. I’ve emailed them about this, and they still haven’t responded. Needless to say, I will never be purchasing from their website again.

    • Margaret

      I had a very similar experience with Jordana (sister company of Milani). Never again!

    • Avatar of Joan Joan

      I don’t see what the problem is? If you buy something, you should have the money for it. Since you knew you owed money, you should have made sure the funds were in your account anyway. I suppose there was a delay in their billing process… but all they did was let you keep the money in your account for a few extra days. And you received the package BEFORE you were charged. Did you expect to get free stuff or something? I would probably even have contacted the company upon receipt of the parcel… telling them to charge me.

      • Maureen

        If you’re, say, a college student who has anywhere between $0 and $100 in her bank account at any given moment, checking your online statement every once in a while to see how much you have, it’s *really annoying* to forget about an order you made two weeks ago and not be able to pay for something because you’re a little short on the day they *did* decide to charge you. She said she knows she didn’t do anything wrong, but that it was annoying.

      • Margaret

        Joan, I am not referring to the money, I am referring to their sister company (which really is the same company), Jordana, refusing to fulfill my order and never sending an order confirmation. I wrote out the whole story above.

    • Avatar of Joan Joan

      May I also remind you that when you buy something (online or otherwise), you enter a legal contract to pay for it.

  69. Nicole

    Revlon for sure. I’ve tried two different kinds of foundations on two seperate occasions, and my face was breakout city both times. It took me a good month to clear up my skin each time, and I’m just not willing to take that risk again.

  70. Dr.Perricone’s Vitamin C facial lotion makes me break out. Same with all mineral foundations.
    Thank you!

  71. Sara

    Covergirl – their mascara made my eyes water and burn. So passing on this brand altogether.

  72. Avatar of Lily Lily

    Sally beauty. I ordered from them last year and used promo codes for free gifts, the entire reason I ordered. They shipped without the free gifts, and didn’t even send me a notice or anything. When I conplined they bacilli told me that I was SOL. What kind of company ships a partial order and cancels the rest without notice?!

  73. Caiti

    Neutrogena — They reformulated the cleanser I had used for years to include menthol, which was horrible on my dry, sensitive skin. This was the experience that led me to start reading ingredient lists, track what did and didn’t work for me, and to explore higher-end skincare and makeup.

  74. daylami

    I’m a little grumpy with Shu Uemura right now, having sent back one of the WKW lipsticks (said it was a warm pink, more like cool Easter egg pastel) and how many weeks later I’ve got neither a refund nor the lipstick.

  75. Adelita

    WOW. What e.l.f. did to you was really outrageous. See, they have deceived their consumers, you and all the makeup companies whose products you used on the looks they stole. What a shame!

  76. Avatar of Street Jaime Jaime R

    It usually takes a lot to get me to stop using a brand, and my reasons are either poor product in general, poor customer service or unethical business practices.

    Lime Crime is one I’ve stopped using – The product itself is way overpriced for such terrible quality (the lipsticks I ordered were all broken at the base or leaned funny in the tube, which led to scraping. They were all quite dry and unpleasant to wear anyway. When I emailed about the packaging and the “leaning”, they did send me replacements and a coupon code, which was lovely of them, but unfortunately, I just didn’t want to order anything more since they were all quite dry and unpleasant to wear anyway). The eyeshadows are just repackaged mica anyway.

    I’ll stick with my Fyrinnae.

  77. Jenny

    I have noticed pictures of models on the ELF website and have seen those same pictures used by other companies. Don’t know if it’s just stock photography or if they just take them from other places.

    • I suspect they’re doing an image search via Google or the like and just taking photos – I’ve attempted to contact them multiple times over months but no luck – and that’s including their Twitter.

  78. Sara

    MAC, for 2 reasons. 1st reason is that even though I don’t own many of their shadows(I have one quad), those 4 colors, I can’t stand. I never use them. So dull, and so stiff and difficult to work with. I have no desire to work with any of their other eyeshadows. Especially after I see countless poor reviews of their products. 2nd reason is due to customer service. I was using MUFE HD foundation, but wanted to switch to something a little less expensive because the $40 pricetag was putting me off. So walked in to MAC, the girl was barely helpful, and when I explained my makeup routine, she literally told me she couldn’t understand why people did their makeup like that. I was like, are you serious right now? Especially since her makeup looked awful, and I have always been VERY particular about how my foundation looks. If it doesn’t look good, I won’t wear it. She looked like she was wearing a mask. I literally just walked out of the store, and I’ll never go back. There are plenty of other brands out there that are infinitely better.

  79. Avatar of Maja Maya

    Any brand that decides to test on animals or that has poor costumer service is out. There are way too many quality, cruelty-free brands to hang on to these bad companies

    • Aarti

      Amway skin care range Artistry . expensive as clinique .I never had acne . But i got stubborn acne and damaged my skin. It took me over two years to clear my skin. I will never recommend the products to anyone. Also, coastal scents the palletes are over rated you never end up using more than half of the colours. they break easily .not highly pigmented. Also called for brushes . short and tiny brushes .

  80. Nikki M

    I won’t buy Bare Minerals. It’s the only cosmetic product I have ever used that irritated my skin. I don’t have sensitive skin, but their foundation made me itch like crazy. And I won’t buy nail polish from Cult Nails. My one one and only bottle of polish purchased from them arrived a hot mess. The bottle wasn’t cracked, but it had polish all over the outside. Disgusting! I’m still waiting for a reply to the emails I sent over the summer. And lastly, I rarely purchase MAC products and when I do its over the Internet. MAC has some of the WORST reps working their counters. Whether its in a MAC store or counters in different department stores, the reps are rude and snotty. It’s a shame, because they make good products but their employees need a serious attitude adjustment.

    • I totally agree with you on refusing to buy Mac from the stores/counters any more because of the people who work there. I pounce and stock up on my staples online when there’s a free shipping code!

  81. Stephanie

    Covergirl mascara BURNS my eyes like no other and anything Neutrogena makes my skin burn and itch so badly. I still use covergirl concealer and lip products (their eyeshadows are terrible though), but I refuse to use anything Neutrogena again after having 2 of their products burn my flesh.

  82. Kris

    Yes, LANCOME. I swore off their products.(Sorry Hypnose mascaras!) Both of their highly raved foundations gave me bad breakouts, Eg, Teint Miracle and Photogenic. BLEH

  83. Avatar of Veronica Veronica

    I haven’t had any truly awful experiences to put me off from a brand. There are some I prefer not to use because the products are just poor quality (NYC comes to mind), but nothing personally upsetting.

  84. v

    Despite of brands.. you can get crappy customer service wherever you go.. it entirely depends on who’s working that day.

    However, I don’t jump on the bandwagon when new brands start popping up. I have always been dubious about cheap brands because they are cheap for a reason, right? My hunch has always been lack of customer service and reading some of the responses here, It seems i was on the ballpark with that.

    I have my particular everyday items that I use and even though I don’t use a lot of brands.. the ones that I consistently use are:

    Chanel and Mac.

    Drugstore: NYC.

    love their products, never have an issue, been using them for years.. enough said.

  85. Courtney

    MAC! With the exception of 1 mascara and 1 color of lipstick I don’t plan on repurchasing from that company ever again… customer service being the culprit. I’m not sure about any one else here but for me when I go to buy make up I am at a counter for what seems like hours. The manager at the Mac counter told me that I should go on the website and create a list of items to come into the store to swatch because they didn’t want me “hanging” out at the counter anymore. I went and talked to upper management who said they would talk to them and would gladly come with me every time I go there to swatch and check out their products but I don’t need some higher manager to stand and stare rudely at the other rude employees causing problems. I literally have no stepped foot near a Mac store or counter since the whole experience totally put me off. I’m very happy about that though because I initially only went for MAC but it’s caused me to try out new brands and I’ve never been happier with the new brand’s I’ve tried.

    • joyce

      I agree, the personnel at MAC are the biggest reason I no longer buy anything from the brand. While some of the sales assistants can be welcoming and helpful, the typical customer service I’ve experienced at MAC counters/free-standing stores has ranged from disinterested to impatient or outright rude.

      Also, the face products from MAC (Studio Fix powder foundation in particular) gave me deep, painful pimples. That, along with the poor customer service, put me off the brand for good.

  86. Annie

    New Mac collections have disappointed me over and over again. I always hope that their limited edition eye shadows wouldn’t be too stiff and lacking in pigment, but with every new collection they crank out, i don’t find myself being impressed. In addition to lack of quality, every time I go to a Mac counter the sales associates never smile at me, never ask if I need help unless I’m in their face, and they’re just not very friendly towards me. But i still go there because I love their superslick liquid eyeliner. I never stop at their counter unless I need more superslick liner.

    • Laura R

      you should try going into the store 6 months pregnant like i did the other day….my brother was with me and was doubled over laughing because 3 of the 6 associates in the store were like competing to take care of me and help me get stuff. another associate was asking me if i could move over so she could get into a storage drawer in a corner, which was a bit hard to do with the baby belly. my brother said he had never seen such attentiveness and we both decided it’s because i’m short, preggo, and was wearing a bright lipstick which might have made me look like a good candidate.

      any other time i have been to a MAC counter or store i have been completely ignored!!!!

  87. Ugh. I’ve told my NARS story too many times… LOL! So I’ll just say “NARS.” Never EVER been talked to so poorly by people at a company. At least MAC has the decency to ignore me ;)

  88. Not really a brand, but I will definitely avoid few counters because of their rude employees… Not a pleasant experience at Chanel counter today :( one of the ladies followed me and treated me like I was thieve..

    I made a decision that I will only shop at Nordstrom now on!! I spent over $300 and great experience at there :) Yeah baby and they never fail but remind you that if you don’t like anything to bring it back!!

    • Maria

      I’ve had people at the Clinique counter treat me the same way. After my last encounter with a rude older woman, I won’t buy Clinique anymore. Their makeup is not good enough for me to miss buying it.

  89. aubrey

    Urban Decay…their “Vegan Pallet” came with their eyeshadow primer potion. I liked it so I went to their site to buy a full size and realized the primer wasn’t listed in the vegan section any longer. I emailed them several times to find out if they reformulated the primer with a new non-vegan ingredient and eventually was told it was never vegan (has lanolin in it). They said it was the manufacturer’s mistake, but what bothers me is that after they discovered the mistake the didn’t update the “Vegan Pallet” info to let us know that the vegan pallet wasn’t really vegan. It took lots of emailing back and forth and eventually they did put a notice up online, but I just can’t support a company that claims to have a product that is vegan when they knew it wasn’t. People usually buy vegan cosmetics for moral or skin sensitivity issues, so it is really customers deserve accurate information.

  90. Kris

    I suppose boycott is too strong, but I avoid MAC; I’m not impressed with the quality of recent collections, nor am I generally impressed with their sales staff, anywhere I’ve looked at displays I’m either uncomfortable accosted or completely ignored. I hadn’t been invested in makeup for very long when I landed in a MAC store to get matched for a foundation. To be frank, they don’t carry a *great* color match for my skin, which is about as pale as possible for humans…they’ve got some close-ish, but before I knew better I was given the hard sell on liquid foundation, powder, concealer, etc, that just didn’t really match me. I always try incredibly hard to make my needs and interests known to salespeople about cosmetics; not in a pushy way, but in a “I-am-looking-for-x-and-I-need-it-to-do-y” kind of way so they can really give me the product that’s going to help, but I do it now a lot of fear that if I don’t insist, I’ll end up with a similar issue and a host of products that tip me toward orange and someone glowering at me for not being sure and dismissing me when I voice concern.

    I’m also not keen on TokiDoki; it’s not their fault and I can’t explain why, other than I am not eight years old, but I will actively avoid that display in my Sephora. It’s a gut reaction and has no basis, they could be fully awesome, but somehow their marketing strategy has alienated me to a point where I won’t entertain trying their stuff.

    • Avatar of Quinctia Quinctia

      I’m not especially interested in Tokidoki’s stuff (despite liking cute things, I collect Hello Kitty stuff and love Urban Decay’s packaging), but even if you dislike it, it’s worth ignoring to have the Perfetto Eyeliner in Sabochan. It’s a marker eyeliner, a great black, and stays put.

      An eyeliner tube is small enough to ignore the packaging, in my opinion. I haven’t used anything else of theirs, though!

  91. K,

    I personally won’t touch anything that is from Too Faced (eye-wise) as I experienced an allergic reaction from their Shadow Insurance product.

    BTW, that’s awful that e.l.f. did such a thing! I haven’t bought anything from there before but it’ll make me think twice about purchasing e.l.f. products.

  92. Yes! I stopped using NYX brand because I HATE their eyelashes. They’re irritating and uncomfortable to wear compared to other brands I’ve used. Also, the glue that keeps them in the packaging is too strong…most of the time I end up ruining the lashes just trying to take them out of the box the first time! Bad packaging is just such a turn off to me!

  93. I bought a liquid liner marker by e.l.f. When testing it on my hand, it glided perfectly. However, when trying it out on my lid that evening, I could only line half of my lid before it dried up! After hearing what they did to you, I will no longer buy e.l.f. products. How disrespectful and ridiculous!

  94. Nicole

    Body Shop Make up always brings me out in a rash for some reason. So I avoid them like the plague now.

    I also refuse to order from Model’s Own online. The service is awful. So I miss out on some of their polishes? Not really fussed tbh, because I saved myself a headache.

  95. Alison

    I do try to boycott companies that I don’t want to support – as consumers it’s one of the most effective ways of making our voices heard. It’s been particularly interesting finding out about the controversy surrounding the brand Lime Crime from the numerous comments here – I did a quick google after reading this thread and was absolutely shocked. That is definitely a brand that I will never ever purchase from.

  96. Noelle

    MAKEUP:
    I would have to say NYX cosmetics, with the exception of one cream blush I own. I have two glosses that I have never used because the smell bothers me. I am also not impressed with MAC.

    SKINCARE: Marykay. It was extremly drying to my skin. My face also developed red patches from the product. Needless to say I returned it and got a mascara (which I love).

  97. Louise

    No bad experience has ever completely turned me off a brand. However I stay away from brands that are known for animal testing. So no L’Oréal, Benefit, Maybelline, Covergirl etc. I just wish that it was obligatory for brands to be honest about their animal testing. Figuring out which brands do test is a such a hassle. Christine, maybe you could do some research and a post on this? It would be so helpful!

  98. Limecrime, for obvious reasons already mentioned by others here. Which is a shame as I really like the company’s style, and would’ve loved to try out their new Carousel Gloss. But I can’t get past the repackaging and shady business tactics.

  99. Nicole C.

    This certainly wasn’t as bad of an experience as some of you other readers have had, but I can’t use Olay. I used makeup removing wipes and they irritated my skin, and made it blotchy. My mom has the same problem with Olay. However, the wipes didn’t go to waste- I used them to clean makeup remnants off my dresser, or to do a quick clean of some brushes! I’m also sorry that ELF did that to you, very unprofessional.