Saturday, April 13th, 2013

Temptalia Asks You


Is an under-performing product ever worth buying? What is OK to miss on? What justifies it?

Temptalia's AnswerI think there are only two things that make me overlook something amiss in the quality of a product: it’s either really cheap, or the color is really unique. For lip products, shorter wear times might be something I could possibly overlook.

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26 thoughts on “Is an under-performing product ever worth buying?

  1. Avatar of Amy xamyx

    It depends on what is meant by “underperforming”. Just because a product claims “12-hour wear-time”, I don’t expect it; however, if it does, then that’s just a bonus. Having to touch up my makeup midday isn’t the end of the world. Also, just because a product isn’t described a specific way, ie, an eyeshadow doesn’t state “sheer”, but it is, doesn’t mean it isn’t an otherwise good product. I’m willing to take extra steps with a product, as well; if I find an eyeshdow works better with a primer, why not use it? There’s a reason just about every brand makes one.

    Now if a product is just flat-out unuseable, then that’s another issue. If I have to scrape an eyeshadow in order to apply it, or if a gloss looks pigmented in the tube, but goes on *completely* clear, that’s another issue entirely. The only way I’ll write off a product is if it’s just completely unuseable, no matter what I try to do with it. However, I at the very least look for swatches (although seeing in person is ideal), so I always have a good idea what to expect. Very few products will please *every* consumer, or live up to it’s claims, but it’s a big-money industry, so obviously most consumers don’t have an issue with it…

  2. Tinose

    Do moisturizing lipsticks count? For a daily use product, I’d rather have a moisturizing and quickly wearing off lipstick than a durable but non-moisturizing one. A good color’s still non-negotiable, though.

  3. Pretty much what you said. Also, throwaway Halloween makeup you bought from the drugstore for three bucks gets a pass!

  4. Stacey

    oxymoron actions. Why would anyone buy an under-performing product?

  5. Personally, I can overlook a shorter wear time in nail polish, since I change mine constantly. I can overlook an eyeliner needing a few passes for opacity, if the color is special. If the product is very inexpensive ($5.00 or less), my expectations are not very high, either.

  6. Sometimes the smell is what I look at when I buy products. If it is smelly I would not buy it. Regards. Joanna.

  7. SarahKita

    If it’s super duper cheap and can be put to some kind of use, e.g. eyeshadows with a lot of fallout. Two things I cannot abide though are runny mascara/eyeliner (spent too much time in my teens wearing cheap eyeliner that migrated down to my cheeks) and bad lipstick, no matter what colour. I HATE having to think about topping up lip products every time I lick my lips, have a drink or so much as breathe the wrong way. Paying high end prices is totally worth it for not having to bother with all that!

  8. Avatar of Elizabeth Lizzi

    Yes, I love the Illamasqua liquid metal quads I have. The colors are amazing, but they require touch ups throughout the day because they crease like crazy.

  9. cncx

    In skincare, I will buy an underperformer if I am travelling and I know what I am going to get. For example, I don’t like Starbucks (no hate to those who do, I just worked there seven years and am over it), but will indulge in a strange town because I know what it will taste like. Likewise, if I am somewhere weird, no toiletry bag, and all I have is olay in the drug store, I’ll go ahead and get that rather than not wash my face or something because I know how the olay is going to act even if I don’t like it.

    In makeup, I can’t think of a reason to get an underperformer. Even if it was, say, a bright turquoise eyeshadow I needed for a costume party but never again, cheaper blue eyeshadows don’t have a lot of pigment, so I would want a high performer with the brand recognition to swap away when I was done with it.

  10. Avatar of Kristina Kristina

    The only “under performing”product I will not purchase is mascara because there are too many great ones on the market and there isn’t THAT much I can do to change its wear or performance. Besides I have already found my HG.

    But the artist in me will still make an underachiever an overachiever by experimenting, using the product for alternative uses (eyeshadow as eyeliner or lipstick as cheek stain etc) So if I fall in love with a colour of a product I will make it work no matter what.

  11. It depends. If I really love the color of something, I could certainly overlook its under-performance. Unless it’s super expensive.

  12. Sometimes isn’t it just your own personal take on things that make the difference? I’ve read a lot of negative reviews on the latest MAC dimension blushes on other sites essentially stating they have no colour payoff. I just purchased two of the lighter shades and I have to say, their lack of heavy pigmentation is exactly what I like about them. Both show up on my skin, and both look amazingly natural due to their neutrality. I really like this type of cheek when I’m wearing a more detailed eye or brighter lip or want an overall nude look nude. Also, Illamasqua palettes usually do not get very good reviews, but again I know I’ll be using a wet base to maximize and their colour combinations always work really really well for me. So yes, absolutely, underperforming products can sometimes be another person’s holy grail.

    • Avatar of Amy xamyx

      I was able to swatch At Dusk, and while it was very pretty, and the sort of shade I go for, I passed. I found Brit Wit to be *exactly* the color I’ve been envisioning, and went for that instead. Now, I’m on the prowl for a powder version of BW, LOL.

      I absolutely agree with your comment. I read, for example, all the love for UD 24/7 pencils, and all the hate for the NARS pencils, but for me it’s the complete opposite.

      • I used Brit Whit for a long time and as a cream blush that gets kinda natty after a year or so, I tossed it in the bin. BW and Lilicent were my favourite blushes for the longest time.

        Which puts me to mind of trying a few cream blushes again since my skin is so much dryer than it used to be. There are a few Illamasqua calling my name.

        UD pencils do not last on my upper lid. I use them on my lower lid when lining a full eye. I like the texture better than gel on my lower lash line. I have had only one NARS pencil in the most gorgeous colour, but it was a complete failure on me :( Our individual body chemistry plays such a huge role on things too.

  13. Avatar of rebecca blueraccoon

    I think it depends on why it’s under-performing, but generally I don’t buy products that are difficult to use. I have enough in my stash that’s easy to apply that I don’t see the need for things I have to really work for. I don’t consider a short weartime on lipstick to be under-performing, though, because nothing lasts on my lips so I’m just used to that. But a drying formula, or a blush that’s really sheer and won’t show up…nah, I’ll pass.

  14. Dominique

    Sometimes I use ” under-performing ” products because I love the colour. “Après Chic” is a gorgeous lipstick but it doesn’t last more than one hour on me, I still love it and I would purchase it again if it was repromoted. Many M.A.C Cremesheen don’t wear long but I love the colours. It’s the same with some Nars eyeshadows, Outremer is gorgeous but difficult to apply, Marie-Galante is really sheer but still beautiful on my eyes. Some pastel nail polishes are difficult to apply, I still love them and use glitter polishes over them, as I did today !

  15. Liz

    I think it depends on what you want out of a product. If it’s a foundation I don’t care if it makes other people “oily” – I have very dry skin so I like foundations with lots of moisture and I’ve never had a problem with products not lasting long enough on me. Likewise, if I see an eyeliner and I think the colour would make a stunning eyeshadow and I want to use it as a such, I won’t really be bothered if it doesn’t preform as well as an eyeliner as it should.

    • Emily

      I agree. I might not use something for its intended use, but if it works well for something else, I don’t really care if it does the job it’s marketed for. I make a lot of my own nail polish for example, so any eyeshadows I buy that turn out to apply horribly and aren’t helped with a good base, I crush to use as pigment for polish. I’ve also been known to use certain lip primers (those gross, opaque beige-y ones) as concealer.

  16. Starfish

    I don’t mind if a product isn’t super long-wearing (unless it’s a foundation, I need that sucker to last all day long). I usually reapply my lip gloss/lipstick and touch up my eyeliner or concealer throughout the day anyway. It’s no huge deal but if it does last particularly well I will shell out more money for it. But I refuse to pay for poor quality eyeshadows. That’s where I put my foot down. hehehe.

  17. Avatar of Mariella Mariella

    Nope. If it doesn’t perform, even if it costs a buck, it’s a waste of a buck, IMO. I bought an ELF eye shadow brush at Dollarama (I was so excited to see ELF stuff in a store) for $1.25 CDN, I think. It has glue all in the bristles (perhaps this is why these ended up IN Canada AT Dollarama). So even though it cost less than a cup of cheap coffee, it’s still a waste of my money.

  18. Avatar of Sabriel Sabriel

    I guess the question is, would you still use it?

    I have a handful of Revlon Lip Butters, but I find that I often pass on them because I know they’ll wear off right away. I still love the look of them, but I won’t buy any more.

    My Wevlon and Wet n’ Wild eye-shadows definitely under-perform compared to Urban Decay, but I still buy them and use them because I like the colors and they work *well enough.*

    • Avatar of Sabriel Sabriel

      Wevlon! LOL! Errr. Revlon.

      That happened because I decided to go back and capitalize the brand names. I guess I got over-enthusiastic about the W’s.

  19. zainab

    To be honest, not anymore. I wouldn’t expect something amazing from a drugstore product if I paid US prices, but here in Australia a Maybelline lipstick is $18, so I expect it to justify the purchase price. I’m not going to bother with anything that requires a ton of time and effort to look good, I’d rather pay more or search longer for a product that works easily, particularly with eyeshadow. I already wear primers under my eye makeup and foundation, so if something still fades or doesn’t apply well I’m going to toss it. I don’t buy into the false economy of really cheap products, if it’s something that doesn’t work or look good I know I won’t use it, therefore it’s a waste even if it is cheap.

  20. Avatar of Karen Karen

    If the color is special then yes. Price not so much a consideration unless it’s a dupe of high end product. Inexpensive eye makeup is usually doesn’t work well for me so I would rather spend the money or skip it.

  21. Avatar of Dorottya doroffee

    It depends on lots of thing. What exactly is under-performing? Something of a quite bad quality or something which has somewhat better working counterparts in other brands? If the first one, I can’t think of a reason… maybe if you want to use it as a decoration piece due to its awesome packaging :D: But otherwise, really bad products are always a waste of money.
    If the latter is true, I’d say if it is from a more affordable brand (especially if we are talking about someone with a low budget), there are some points we can look over… but what points these are, depends on what we are looking for. For example, in a foundation, I personally can put up with a really slightly less natural look, but I can’t put up with something that advertises itself to be mattifying, but it starts shining kind of badly in 4 hours, because that’s my main problem with my skin :D. Also, with nail polishes, I can work with something that dries slower or which is a bit streaky, but not with something that is not opaque in 3 coats.
    Interesting shades could also be a good point… but I would not pay for a high-end product just for the color, if it doesn’t work well-enough, due to my financial status.