Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

Temptalia Asks You


If a beauty product has ugly packaging, will you still buy it? How ugly is un-buyable ugly?

Temptalia's AnswerI was curious after the debate on MAC’s Wonder Woman packaging about ultimately drives (or halts) your purchases.  For me, I don’t care if it’s ugly or not, as long as I like what’s inside.  I do care about how sturdy packaging is, though – so something that breaks easily may stop a purchase.

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77 thoughts on “If a beauty product has ugly packaging, will you still buy it?

  1. It depends on how much I like what’s inside. If I think I could find a dupe in nicer packaging, then no, I won’t buy it. And a lot of the time if the packaging really turns me off, I won’t bother checking out what’s inside. Likewise, sometimes if packaging is really neat, I find myself liking what’s inside more than I would if the packaging was plain… I get so suckered in! It only becomes a real issue when the product is very expensive, though; if I’m paying more than normal for a product, I better think the packaging is beautiful or fun!

  2. Carrie

    I’m with Christine on this one – the sturdiness of the packaging is more important than the aesthetics of it.

    That said, I won’t pay extra just because the packaging is fancy either – things like the pigments in this collection that I can get unadorned with the fancy logo for $1.50 less? I’ll pocket the change and get the original.

    • tracy

      Carrie I agree, for VV I didn’t care for the packaging but I did get the bite of an apple blush.

    • Vanessa S

      I agree 100%! …. More money for the same product with some extra color on the packaging… uh no.

    • I agree, though if I LOVED the packaging I might be willing to shell out a little extra for it, rather than buying the plain original. And if the item isn’t available in plain packaging and I want it, I’ll still buy it even if I can’t stand the packaging.

    • Sarah

      The reason the wonder woman pigments and mostly everything else is more expensive is because they have MORE product. you’re not paying more for the packaging. you’re actually getting more product for your money. more than double on most of them actually

      • Not everything is jumbo-sized – the pigments are not any bigger than they are normally, 0.15 oz., actually. On several items, you are paying more for packaging, like the pigments and lipsticks.

      • Carrie

        Agreed – but as Christine said, that doesn’t apply to pigments.

        And yes, while $5-$7 for almost double the product seems like a good deal, given how long it takes to get through a *regular* size of a item, how much that value really is is still debatable. If both sizes were available, I’d still probably buy the smaller unless I felt it was something I’d regret running out of.

  3. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Bailey bayli

    i would definitely buy a product if it has ugly packaging. in my opinion, its whats on the inside that counts :) although pretty packaging tends to make me want it more!

  4. Wendy M.

    I don’t mind at all. :)
    It’s what is inside that matters lol
    Not to mention, some products can easily be depotted. ;)

  5. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Jenni Jenni

    I might buy one or two things at most IF it’s limited edition special packaging (ie MAC Wonder Woman, Venomous Villains). I like to collect bits and pieces of things. What I can’t stand, however, is cheaply made packaging, which is the problem with a lot of drugstore makeup… I don’t want the cover to fall off after two uses!

  6. stephanie

    I don’t care about packaging. And speaking of WW, can you pop the blushes out of the WW compact and put a MAC beauty powder or foundation in there instead. Thanks

    • Maybe, though I don’t know how messy it would be, because you’d have to do a little more than just pop since it’s glued in!

    • Vanessa S

      Stephanie!!! Why would you do that :( You’d waste you $

    • Ani_BEE

      The top tray has two tabs on the sides that makes them hard to pop out. I’ve never tried to depot my MSF compacts (which is the same style as the WW blushes) do I’m not sure who much glue the use compare to an eyeshadow but the same method can be used as depotting an MAC eyeshadow.

  7. Amanda Dubs

    Christine, that’s my opinion as well.

  8. Amanda

    Packaging doesn’t mean anything if the product is good quality!

  9. Nunuiviet

    I don’t care as long as the product is good and efficient, it’s not the packaging that would make my skin better, but yeah if the packaging is cute and beautiful it’s always a plus and it serves king of a trigger in your decision to buy the product

  10. brittany

    When I first read this I thought absolutely! Bc I skipped on VV bc of the packaging at first but then I went and looked and the actual products didn’t stand out to me either. I’m not exactly a fan of the WW packaging but I will still be buying some of the blush items bc they look so beautiful so my answer would be NO it doesn’t matter overall. ( It is a huge plus when packaging is pretty though :) )

  11. I completely agree with your answer Christine!

  12. Laura V

    Ugly packaging won’t necessarily deter me, but it won’t entice me to pay high end prices for a makeup item. There is nothing appealing about collection like Mac Wonder Woman, so I’m not going to be going to the trouble to swatch it at the counter. Now if products with designs like those in Baroque Boudoir (holiday 2009) came out again, I’d drive my butt to the mall to check them out.

    For cheaper drugstore stuff, packaging doesn’t matter. I’m probably not going to pay $18 for a jumbo lipstick tube with cartoon packaging, though. Personal preference.

  13. DizzyChris

    It depends on how expensive the product in question is, and how good the make-up is. If the packaging is ugly on an expensive beauty product and it’s something that’s not amazing then I won’t bother. Department store makeup is expensive enough as it is, I’m not going to the spend money on something that I would be less inclined to use.

    That being said, the Wonder Woman packaging is really growing on me, especially since I saw the products in a video review. Now that I have a better idea of what they will look like in person, I like packaging a lot better.

  14. Dorna

    I think packaging does influence it a lot because of portability, cleanliness, etc. I was tempted to buy those popular wet n wild shadows that you had in your 2011 list but was just too put off by the cheap packaging… and tarte’s cheek stains are too bulky. I’m such a sucker for NARS’s sleek packaging… but I wouldn’t waste money on a low quality product for it.

  15. RACHEL

    It depends on the brand. If the product is from NYX or some of the drug store brands, I don’t mind if they have ugly packaging (most of them are ugly anyways) as long as the product works well. If the product is from MAC or other high end brands, I will not buy the product if it’s ugly (unless they also lower the price).

  16. Lena

    For me, it’s more about ease of usage and sturdiness. The WW penultimate liner is a good example of a product that would be too hard to maneuver. I like packaging that us either fun like WW, Benefit’s Hello Flawless or luxe like Guerlain in terms of looks.

  17. Shirry

    I do care about packaging. As for the WW case, it is a HUGE PASS for me, mainly due to the packaging.
    Like the products, but Loathe the packaging. Looks like they should be sold at ToysRus. lol

  18. Maya C

    I doubt that I’d let something like the aesthetic appeal of a product stop me from buying it. If the color is pretty, and I want it, then why not?
    That being said, I do kinda like the Wonder Woman packaging. I think it’s cute and kitschy. They look like fun pieces, and who knows, maybe I’d toss the product when it gets old and give the compacts to my kid one day.

  19. Erica

    I would say packaging is fairly important due to the first impression factor. I mean, if I look at a product (its exterior packaging) and I was like, “It’s ugly”, why bother checking out the inside product? I would not get interested in them unless I see great reviews and ravings about the product.

  20. Jaclyn

    Personally, I would purchase based on the product but it is an added bonus if the packaging is sleek and simple (like NARS)

  21. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Tasha tasha

    I totally won’t mind as long the colors are to my liking. Whats matter are the inside, packaging dont bother me at all.. However if the quality of packagings are bad and didnt function well, then. I wont get it

  22. emily

    However “ugly” the packaging may be, the materials used to make such packaging better reflect the quality of the product inside. So if there’s no testers available or something, I can only go by looks to make my purchasing decision. That’s what lead me to start buying Revlon at the drugstore. Their stuff is well-packaged, looks neat and sturdy, and usually I’m not too disappointed with their product quality.

  23. ChelsMarie

    The packaging isn’t that important. If it is flimsy or created in bad taste (god forbid there would be a naked woman or something on a blush lol) I would pass it up. I didn’t like the To The Beach packaging but I got the products that appealed to me anyways. I personally like the WW packaging and am a big WW fan.

  24. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Quinctia Quinctia

    If I already know what’s inside, and I know it’s good, I don’t care what it’s packaged in as long as it’s sturdy and doesn’t hamper the use of the product.

    However, something packaged kind of stupidly, boringly, ugly, etc, probably wouldn’t ever catch my eye, so I would never get it if I wasn’t already out set to purchase it from a review or recommendation.

    I do appreciate nice packaging. For instance, I keep petting the metal mesh on the outside of my UD Deluxe Shadow Box. So nifty. And I do love Physicians Formula’s gel liner trios and how they split apart and fit together.

  25. Jeanne

    I don’t know why people are complaining about the packaging for the Wonder Woman – I’m not a huge Wonder Woman but I think it’s adorable! I also don’t see the point of releasing a limited edition set if the packaging is the same black casing that MAC always uses. Like the Peacocky collection, since it was inspired by peacocks, they could’ve done something really cool with the packaging but they didn’t! The different limited edition packaging also helps me distinguish between all of my black MAC packaging without opening it up or looking at the name.

  26. If the product is really good then why not. As long as the product is worth it then the packaging wont really matter

  27. anonymous

    if it’s unattractive, I don’t care although sometimes it’s a cute plus for compacts you’d be taking out & wouldn’t want to be embarrassed. if it’s ugly & a good price it depends how ugly. if it’s ugly & expensive def no. and if it’s annoying it’s a no buy, there are way too many excellent products to stand for shoddy, embarrassing, annoying or stuff I feel is just disrespectful price gouging. I base value on quality not quantity and compared by best value in best results group. I actually feel angry with companies that take advantage of customers & avoid buying anything from a brand I think is selling cheap products at unreasonable markups. if a product is expensive it should be very finely milled pigments, rigorous testing, dependable. I won’t just not buy a product either, I’ll continue to favor other products even if I have to pay more.

  28. Ashley

    Sometimes I worry about ugly packaging but then I remember that most of the time, the only 2 people who see my makeup are my roommates..boy roommates. But then when I see really cute packaging I think, “Oh I’m gonna look so awesome when I pull out that WW blush with the amazing packaging”. Which of course, never happens. :)

  29. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Dawn Dawn

    I’d be wearing the product, not the packaging, so the look of the packaging doesn’t really matter to me, although nice packaging can catch the eye in the first place, making you check out the product.

    As long as the packaging is fit for purpose and protects what’s inside, then it’s good enough for me.

  30. Christina

    If it’s love, the outside doesn’t matter. I feel that way about a lot of things. =] But as always, a nice outside helps ;)

  31. Paula

    Yes, I would buy it anyways. I think YSL Rouge Voluptes have the uggliest packaging in the world!

  32. Packaging really doesn’t matter in the looks dept since a product could be de-potted if it’s really an issue. Quality of the product is what matters.

  33. If I know it’s a good product then I could care less, but I am allured by fancy packaging.

  34. Like you, I only care if it looks like the packaging is not sturdy or flimsy. Packaging is nice, but it doesn’t drive my decision on whether or not to purchase it. While I’m not a fan of WW packaging, if I really wanted a product from it, I would have bought. Great question!

  35. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Cynthia Cynthia

    Is the Wonder Woman packaging less sturdy than regular MAC packaging? I actually kind of like the camp factor. I wish they would’ve gone all out like this with the Venomous Villains.

    • anonymous

      I wouldn’t have minded this sort of packaging on VV, because Disney is eternal. I had no interest in the release WW anyway though so it doesn’t bother me that it doesn’t appeal. Even as a kid I remember being embarrassed that Wonder Woman looked kind of like a cheap hooker. Not my idea of a heroine.

      I think it’s kinda funny when people say looks don’t count… while discussing BEAUTY products. Kind of ironic. Skincare okay. But let’s be honest. We’re not buying this stuff because we’re immune to aesthetics…

  36. Ann

    If the packaging is tacky/tasteless, I will more than likely pass. I can’t get pass the design to even look at the product.

  37. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Street Jaime Jaime

    Sure, I’d buy it. I don’t really care about packaging, unless it’s so flimsy or so cumbersome that it’s difficult for me to use the product because of it.

    I think I’m one of the only people who like the Wonder Woman packaging – it looks all comic-booky and fun, the way I pictured it.

  38. I’m more interested in the product on the inside. What good is a great package and a subpar product? I DO want the packaging to usable (I’m looking at you Urban Decay) and allows me to access the product with no issues. Pretty packaging will catch my eye but it’s not a deal breaker.

  39. Vanessa S

    I’d buy the product if what’s inside is a good quiality product. To be honest it can be the most plain packaging as long as the actual product draws me in it does not matter. Why would i care anyways all my makeup goes in a drawer no one sees how cute, glittery, pretty, or shiny the packaging is. All they would see is my face wearing the product!

  40. ChristineD

    On one hand, great and unique packagaing can draw my interest to products I might not otherwise have bought…but if a product is going to be thought of as good, the packaging has to at least be functional and not useless. Nice packaging can def add to a products appeal like Guerlain meteorites, which is pretty and sturdy as well as functional…if a great product has horrid packaging I dont just mean ugly but also maybe packaging that doesnt do its job or hinders its use then I would hesitate to buy again or at all.. a good example would be the new MAC WW line….the lip glosses are pretty but if the jumbo tube allows a bunch of extra product to be wasted then it takes away from its value, and I am also on team “ugly” as I think the product packaging is hideous as well :)

  41. Torill

    Well, that depends on how ugly I think the packaging is :)

  42. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Guadalupe VJNS

    I feel that if the company doesn’t pay attention to packaging it probably isn’t paying attention to the product. Then there are those that pay too much attention to packaging and not enough to the product. I think what it comes down to is the product inside that counts. Packaging is just that, packaging. You can’t wear packaging. In terms of the WW packaging, I am not surprised that it didn’t get excellent reviews. I think they paid more attention to the packaging promotion than the product. MAC needs to up their product more or I will go elsewhere. I’m tired of their limited original color selections. And when they’re good, they sell out almost immediately. Disappointing.

  43. Leenie

    I would still buy if the package was ugly as long as whats inside is pretty and good quality…How ever if I had to take some of my makeup out with me for the day, the ugly packaged makeup would stay home and I would grab a prettier one to throw in my bag

  44. Marcela

    i probably wouldn’t buy unless the product inside was STELLAR. I’ sensitive to packaging since I’m a graphic designer. LOL

  45. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Natalie Natalie

    Christine, I agree with you. I don’t really care about the packaging’s looks, if the product inside is great. I do care about how sturdy it is as I travel a lot and am clumsy! However, I have been lured into horrible products by great packaging….but isn’t that a trap we all fall into at some point?!

  46. Katrine

    I don’t care for the packaging as long as the product is good. It maybe is a plus for nice packaging but it’s not necessary. What inside is more imp.

  47. Ashley D.

    I may be a sucker for packaging, but as long as the product itself is good, it doesn’t matter how bad the packaging looks.

  48. Naz

    Looking through my makeup drawer, I noticed I have more MAC and NARS products and I KNOW it’s in part because of the packaging. Simple black packaging revealing a gorgeous product -there’s just something satisfying about that. I don’t have an issue with the Wonder Woman packaging. I know it’s limited and supposed to be fun and if the product/color has payoff then it’s not an issue. Limited edition is about unusual, different, and usually something fun.

  49. Eileen

    Although I can do a great 5 minute make-up when necessary, most days I take my time to savor the quiet “me time” when doing my make-up; so, yes, packaging is important. It doesn’t have to be fancy, but it does have to resonate with my personal style.

    Re: the trend towards kiddie packaging. There’s a big difference between childlike and childish. Childlike can be fun and whimsical whereas childish can be ridiculous. It’s a question of perception and esthetics. For example, the Wonder Woman packaging is childish from my 63 year old point of view, but if I were 13-14, I’d probably think it was fun.

  50. Chynna

    I’m with Christine on this. If it functions, it’s ok with me. I generally won’t pay more for the identical product in better packaging unless there’s a reason, like improved functionality, sturdiness, reusability, etc. If a compact is prettier AND refillable or can be used for something else when it’s empty, for example, I’d pay more for that than one that isn’t reusable.

  51. What packaging looks like doesn’t matter at all – I’m not wearing the packaging, I’m wearing the product inside.

    Having said that, I think Mac’s Wonder Woman packaging is the best they’ve done. Most the others are really dull. But I wouldn’t pay more for nicer packaging; that’s just silly.

  52. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Leticia Leticia

    I definitely care more about the product itself. In general, I do like MAC Collections’ packaging AND products, but I would not buy something only because of a pretty case. I definitely want to wear the makeup I buy!

  53. Kenneth Alan

    I would never not buy something just because the packaging is ugly. You don’t wear the packaging so it shouldn’t matter that much what it looks like. BUT I am tempted to buy stuff more if I love the packaging and not the product that much.

  54. I just bought my first two Wet n Wild palettes and although they are in ugly packaging, I love these eyeshadows to death!

  55. Kelly

    Ugly packaging would deter me, but wouldn’t ultimately stop me if I knew what was inside was good. Now, whether the packaging is functional or not is a different story…

  56. Kathy

    It would have to be an absolutely amazing and unique color or item for me to purchase in really truly ugly packaging, or perhaps a really good dupe for a very high end product

  57. Lilly Anne

    Here in Brazil there are some products that don’t have a beautiful packing, but they are really really good. Some others, have beautiful packs but what is inside is too bad. Then, i preffer bad packing products with goood quality.

  58. I don’t care. Cute packaging may make me want something MORE though, but I wouldn’t buy a product I’m not gonna love/use for packaging.
    The ultimate goal is to use up my product.

  59. Ariel

    There are so many great products with cute packaging that I don’t bother to buy good products with bad packaging. Unless it’s a drugstore product and I just want something inexpensive.

  60. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Ceri Ceriene

    I have bought things in the past because the packaging was cute and I’m not too ashamed to admit that I’d do it again. Granted, my decision lies largely with the product, and not with the packaging.

    Still, while I love the color and sheen of Marquise ‘d, the tacky, garish packaging and the extra $1 I have to pay for it is really putting me off.

  61. linda

    the quality of the eyeshadows works best than the packaging. If the packaging looks horrendous, and the quality of the eyeshadows are pigmented. I will absolutely buy IT! Who cares about packaging! Quality works best!

  62. Sarah

    I think that the quality of the product is more important that it being in a cute package. However, have you all actually seen the WW lip glosses in real life? They are HUGE! They’re like 4X the size of a normal lip glass. I’d feel sort of silly pulling that thing out of my purse at a bar or club to re-apply.

  63. Niki

    To be honest, most of my makeup does not have “nice” and “pretty” packaging for I prefer brands of makeup marketed to professional MUAs or theatrical makeup (i.e. La Femme, Ben Nye, Kryolan, Mehron and Yaby to name a few) – so packaging is not a priority for me. I just want a great product with superior quality and the packaging does not mean anything to me.

  64. Kat

    Same here, I care about the quality of the product more than the packaging. Packaging has never sucked me in. When you use it all up, it’s going in the trash in the end anyway and the only makeup I carry around that I might take out in public is lipstick/lipgloss for a brief moment.
    But if I had to choose, I like sleek, patent black packaging the most. It’s simple yet elegant and you can wipe off any residue that gets on it.