Sunday, March 20th, 2011

Temptalia Asks You


How bad does a product have to be for you to return it? Do you return products if you wind up having something similar already?

Temptalia's AnswerIt has to either be really expensive and bad or really, really bad.

Thanks to John for today’s question!

Got a question idea? Submit yours here.

Discussion and debate are highly encouraged, and we expect community members to participate respectfully. When asking a question, please check the FAQ section (above) for information about purchasing, price, dupes, and the like. If you have general feedback or need technical support, please contact us.

Comments that include advertisements, self-promotion, insults, etc. may be in violation of our comment policy and subject to deletion. Please see our comment policy for more information.

30 thoughts on “How bad does a product have to be for you to return it?

  1. Kaylee

    With eyeshadow – I’ll let pretty much anything slide (example: if something isn’t as pigmented/color payoff isn’t as great as expected. Excessive fallout). It can always be used.

    But with foundation, powders & especially concealer I don’t hesitate at all to return if the advertised undertones are off, if the finish doesn’t look good or work with my skin. And especially if it breaks me out (I always have blemish-free skin. Blemishes are NOT tolerable if it’s caused by the product.

    And of course, price affects the decision. If I payed 45 bucks for a lipstick, it better last a few hours!

  2. Valerie Brower

    I usually keep all eyeshadows unless they r broken before I open them. Lotions, foundations, blushes, powders will b return if they make me break out. But if the foundation or powder is off in color I’ll usually exchange it for a better match, which is rare bc I usually sample the foundation to make sure it looks good in all types of lighting.

  3. Katrine

    If I don’t like it enough to think that I would use it on a daily basic, I will consider returning it. Anything below that is a definite return.

  4. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Mar Zosime

    The price plus the effectiveness. I’ve returned mascaras and cream eyeshadows because they performed horribly for what I paid for. Then again, I am willing to pay a little extra for these things now because I know that I have the chance of returning an item if I’m dissatisfied – I cannot say the same for things I’ve bought at drugstores.

  5. christine

    i return anything high-end if i don’t like it. it doesn’t have to be REALLY BAD but if it just doesn’t do enough to be worth the price, there’s no reason for me to not get my hard earn money back!

  6. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Elizabeth Lizzi

    If it was clearly misrepresented, broken, or wasn’t the quality I expected. This is why I like to buy makeup at Sephora and Nordstroms. They don’t ask questions if you want to return it after you’ve tried it. I actually had to do a recent return of UD liquid eyeliner because it burned my eyelid. Which it kinda weird because I have it in another color and that one gives me no problems. Got my money back for that though.

  7. Honestly, if it’s expensive and doesn’t work for me (ie. wrong colour, irritates my skin, doesn’t do what it’s meant to) it goes back. I very rarely return items, but if they are expensive, I expect them to work.

  8. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Pawsha Pawsha

    If it doesnt measure up to the standards that they claim or if I get it home and it just doesn’t work for me. If it’s drugstore, I toss it.

  9. I’ve only returned one thing, the Diorshow Blackout. I was choosing between the Blackout and the Extase, and since I’ve tried Extase before (sample tube FTW), I tried out Blackout on my coworker’s suggestion. Unfortunately my lashes were just not made for Blackout, and $25+ is a lot of money for a mascara, so I exchanged it for the Extase.

    With that said, I’ve seen people return the most ridiculous stuff. A 6 month old bronzer that’s more than half finished because “it wasn’t the right color.” An empty bottle of serum because it “didn’t work.” Makeup that’s hit the pan because they “didn’t like the color.” 4 year old crap because they wanted a retroactive discount on it. A Korres foundation serum that was squeezed out completely and refilled with water because “it came like this!” Perfume also filled with water, and cleanser/shampoo filled with dish washing detergent. Stolen T3s, GHDs, and other expensive makeup. Swatched makeup that was “bought” for a photoshoot because she thought the publicist may not have sent out the products on time.

    Most of the returns are somewhat legit, but still wasteful since once the product has been touched as all, it gets trashed. Just wanted to share a perspective from the other side of the cash register.

    • Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Hawley Holly

      It’s interesting to me that people offer up such bizarre excuses. I am rarely asked why I am returning a product to Sephora and have only offered the information if it was something I thought they should know (irritated skin or is an awful product).

      Anyways, the elaborate excuses seem like a clear signal that they are lying!

  10. Joey

    I just got eczema breakouts from a new foundation. I would say that is a no brainier to return. Not just b/c I won’t use it but because I really want the company to know. Especially since this un-named product was specifically for sensitive skin.

  11. e/s: if it cracks >.< i guess anyone will want to return it!
    liquid/lotion: if the smell is off?

    xoxo elle

  12. Bernice

    I returned a Clinique pore refiner because it burnt my skin very badly. I still have scars around my mouth and it’s been about 3 years since that happened. The girl on the counter refused to take the product back, even though I was standing there with full face chemical burns.

  13. Jazz

    If I dont feel it is worth the price, or if the product doesnt work. Like I bought a mac lipglass and my lips were burning . I took it back 5 minutes after buying it – as in I hadnt even left the store yet

  14. I’ve never even thought of returning anything. I just don’t like to be wasteful, I’ll make anything I buy work for something.

  15. Carrie

    I’ve only ever returned something when I had a total brain fart and bought a dup of a shade I already owned. Today, I’m just way more picky about what I buy.

    That said, I wish I’d known that places like MAC did have such a generous return policy because there’s at least one quad I’d taken back that I bought from before I found this site. Of course, now that I have found this site, I’d never bought in the first place because I trust you!

    My newbie self at the time felt relieved when you’d given the quad a middling C+ – I knew then I wasn’t crazy and it was lacking something!

  16. ann

    I have a nice little lipstick collection so lipsticks i usually don’t take back but anything else I will

  17. The only item I ever took back was Benefit Erase paste. It was awful and I paid 26 dollars for it!

  18. Svetlana

    In Europe we can’t return a product if we have opened it!;-(

  19. If the product is: broken; discolored; smells off; feels really odd – as in possibly misformulated-odd or extremely-poor-product odd (chunky, gritty, oily, chalky, sticky); or causes irritation. Or if I paid a large amount for it, and do not feel that the product is worth what I paid for it. NYX round lipsticks don’t last very long…but when I buy them at a drugstore or etailer, I’m only paying $2-4 per lipstick, so it’s a bit odd to expect miracles for that. But if I paid $25 or more for a lipstick, it needs to go on smoothly, give good color payoff, stay on a good chunk of the day, and not migrate off of my lips.

  20. Sara

    If it doesnt meet my expectations (no mater what the price is), its going back!

  21. Christi

    I only return skin care products. I never buy makeup unless I’m sure about it. However, with skin care products, I have to use them more than once to be sure. I usually avoid returning by doing a lot of research before hand tho.

  22. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Hawley Holly

    I used to be more sensitive about returning products and would keep things I didn’t like because “I could make them work”.
    However, after Really evalutating the price of items I have absolutely no problem returning the item if I don’t think it lives up to the dollar value.
    That being said, I never return products that are well used. Everything is returned within the first few uses.

  23. I only have X amount of hours in the day to either muck around with makeup that I don’t really like, or chase up making returns so it depends on which I have more patience for out of a specific product- somebody else mentioned that they won’t return something if it’s, say, a poor colour payoff because it can still have a use, I agree with that. For me, I usually won’t return something unless it’s either rotten or *really* not a suitable colour for me.

  24. Amanda Enn

    If it’s bad enough for me to think: “I can’t believe I spent money on this”, then It’ll most likely be returned. (whether it is drugstore or chanel.)

  25. I am not afraid to return cosmetics if they aren’t right. I don’t return them months later though. I tend to return things as quick as possible. If the packaging is damaged or bad, I return it without using the product. If I have a reaction, I return it right away and ask for a refund. If the product itself is damaged in any way, I’ll also return it. Especially if it’s smudged, broken, melted, smells funny etc.

    When the color isn’t right, I usually try not to return it because I’m the one who probably picked it out. I’ll see if a friend wants it first. Now, if the color is way wrong or different than it was online/at the store then I do return it and ask for a refund or exchange.

  26. kawai25

    Haha! Once I purchased a lip gloss that came in one of those metallic round tins from Sephora, and when I opened it there was a hair completely submerged in the gloss. I returned that in about two seconds.

  27. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Amber Amber

    A product has to absolutley not work for me at all and/or cause an allergic reaction/breakouts to occur for me to return it.

  28. Niki

    Since i buy most of makeup online, I stuck with the product, so if I don’t like it and it’s a good a product, I either give it or swap it away.

    However, if I do buy a product from a store and need to return it, I have no qualms at doing so.