Sunday, August 7th, 2011

Choose or Lose


What do you do if you dislike a product?

  • Return it (if you can) (46%, 1,472 Votes)
  • Give to friends/family (24%, 778 Votes)
  • Keep it (24%, 762 Votes)
  • Toss it (5%, 163 Votes)
  • Other - I'll tell you in the comments! (1%, 37 Votes)

Total Voters: 3,212

Feel free to elaborate on your answer in the comment section! :)

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66 thoughts on “What do you do if you dislike a product?

  1. Miss ToolBelt

    If I don’t like a product on myself I usually try to find a different skin color/type to use it on. More than likely if if works on someone else it is worth keeping in my kit. I rarely return products-so there would definitely have to be a bigger reason for not liking it for example: breakouts/hives, severe staining/tinting or the product is blemished or defective.

  2. alexandra

    I try to deal with it since in France and in plenty of European countries you can’t return a product if you’ve opened it ! AND THAT SUCKS !

  3. It does not feel right for ME to return a product that I used and now do not like. I think this is one of the reasons why makeup is so expensive because the companies consider this cost factor of returns into their price. It is like eating a hamburger and not liking it, then asking for a refund. So I really test the product at the store before I buy it and really think about it, sometimes even going there several times. I no longer buy makeup on a splurge. If I really really dont like a product, I throw it away…I dont give it to someone else becuz that’s yuk for me. For some reason, Nars has turn me off, so I have all these Nars makeup sitting in my drawer to remind me never to buy Nars again.

    • Laura

      I feel the exact same way about returning products. It’s just no something I think is okay. If it’s a powder product (eyeshadow, blush, etc) I will offer it up if any of my friends want it.

    • chibaraki

      It’s less of a problem for me with most makeup, but with skincare products or things like foundation, tinted moisturizer, or even some powders, I won’t even try a new product if the company doesn’t have either a very lenient return policy or offer samples. I have really sensitive skin that reacts to so many different things I’ve despaired of narrowing it down to specific ingredients. A lot of the time I’ll be fine with a product for a day or two only to react terribly after 3 days or a week. Basically anything that goes on a LOT of my skin or soaks in could give me problems, and I’m not willing to spend $15+ on a product I might use three or four times and then have to get rid of because it’s breaking me out or giving me red blotches all over.

      I’ve only returned one regular makeup thing (eyeliner), and that was because I bought the wrong color, oops.

  4. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Jill AnGeLwInGz

    If it’s high-end I usually swatch/sample before I buy (except lippies). If I don’t like them I return them. I rarely buy makeup at the drugstore. If I buy skincare at the drugstore and I don’t like it I throw it away.

  5. Kate

    If i dont like a product ill usually try to work with it a couple times. Like trying a product different ways may change they way you see the product completely :)

    • emily

      I agree! Sometimes, it may be the tools that I’m using – like the concealer+brush trick around my eyes. I thought at first the concealer was crap….but it was just me lol =/ Though, a couple of times I’ve had to return things because the SA grabbed the wrong name (similar sounding) and I really can’t use some colors that were wrongly given to me.

  6. It depends on what I don’t like about the product. If I just don’t end up liking the color on me, or using it as much as I thought, I’ll give it to a friend who will enjoy it more. But if I’m truly disappointed in the quality I’ll return (if it’s an option) or toss it.

  7. Maureen

    Depends on if it’s still good. I gave a friend of mine some MAC Dazzlelash mascara (that I’d used like 3 times, and was still very new) a deep conditioning masque, and a perfume.

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

    If I don’t like a beauty product, I simply swap it. If it was returned, then it would be thrown away–such a waste!

  9. Alis

    It depends for me… If it’s something I recently bought I return. If it’s too late for that I try to swap it for something else or if it’s something I know my mom will like/use I give it to her. If the product is kinda old already then I toss it.

  10. Kathrina

    It hardly ever happens to me because in my country (Germany) you can’t return beauty products once you’ve used them, so I always double-check if a product is worth buying. If I don’t like something I first see if I can find someone to whom I could give it or else try to combine it with other products and see if I can improve it.

  11. Lovisa

    In Sweden we can’t return opened products if there isn’t anything wrong with them. So if I really dislike it, I toss it. If I don’t like it that much, I give it to my sister or mom. But if I’m okay with it, dislike it a bit, I keep it and never use it haha! But most of the time, I do research on products online before I get them, so I’m usually really satisfied with the products I buy! :)

  12. Ani_BEE

    If the product is defective in some way or causes a reaction I return it. If it doesn’t just work for me I give it to someone else.

  13. Julia

    Either return it or swap it, depending on what type of product it is!

  14. Nancy

    I really don’t like to return make-up but until you wear the product several times, you can’t tell if it’s the right thing. Also people probably keep more than they return. I just bought 4 MAC eyeshadows yesterday and I love 3 but am returning one today. Arena looks orange on me and I thought so in the store but the SA said it didn’t look orange. So, I still wound up spending more than I returned.

  15. Heidi

    If I can’t return it, I usually keep it around for awhile to see if I have a change of heart but if I find that I forgot about all about it, it eventually gets tossed. There are some things that I regret throwing away so I try to hold onto them as long as I can now.

  16. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Mariella Mariella

    If I don’t like a product, I will generally return it if I can or (if I feel it’s not so much the product as me and buying on a “whim”, I’ll try to make it work – in terms of colour cosmetics, sometimes that is possible and even easy). One reason I like the “sample” program many companies and retailers have is that allows me to try something before purchasing it and that way, if I don’t like it, I haven’t spent the money in the first place and then the time to return it and the company isn’t out money for refunding the full price of a used product. I’ve returned very few products but cannot help thinking of the cost to the company and how that is invariably passed along to us purchasers at some point.

  17. Natasha

    I do a mixture, if it’s make up I just didn’t really like, say it has bad pigmentation or something, I just use it up as quickly as I can, but other things I will give to friends. In the UK we can’t return skincare/makeup/etc, unless you cause a huge fuss about it causing a skin reaction etc.

  18. Jessica

    I would definitely love to return it but in my country used cosmetics cannot be returned. I usually sell them online at half price. Very few are given to family/friends or swapped via MakeUpAlley.

  19. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Alex Alex

    make up alley is where a makeup item goes if it doesn’t work for me.

  20. Pinky's Brain

    I return it!

  21. Carolina

    All of the above. Depends on product and situation.

  22. Kristen

    If it’s drugstore (which normally it is because I test the high end products in the store) I’ll try to find a way to use it.

  23. shharikova

    i live in russia and i can’t return it there)
    that’s because i give it to my friends)

  24. #1 choice is to return it! My family laughs at me and says that I am the “queen of returns!” My theory is why should I keep it if it does not work for me? #2- give it to Mom! She loves all of my hand-me-downs!

  25. Patricia Couto

    Unfortunately in my country you can’t return a product if you dislike, only if you haven’t opened it before. In my country doesn’t have most brands that have in the USA, so we have to buy in international online stores and again can not return a product. When I dislike a product I try to sell it. Be glad if you live in the USA. I live in Brazil.

    • Natasha

      Same in the UK, yes, the USA are very lucky for returning things. I have even read on beauty blogs of girls returning items practically empty!

  26. If i don’t like a product i usually try to find some other use for it.

    If i relly hate it and cant find some other way to use it, i will most of the time just store it away, since i can’t return it and i don’t relly like throwing brand new stuff out :P
    You never know when you might think of a new way to use it!

  27. Nicole

    I can’t recall ever returning a makeup product. Usually I try to make it work, test it out in a variety of ways, eventually give up, hold onto it for another year, and then throw it away.

  28. Devi

    I’m the type of person who’s too afraid to return things (I don’t like to put up with difficult cashiers -_-‘) so I’ll just keep it. I don’t like to toss things that I pay for, so I try to find some use for it. Par exemple, I have a drugstore foundation that is too pink and another that is too yellow (different brands). Both are also darker than my actual skin tone. I mix them together with my moisturizer and there you go, I’ve found a use for it.

    Not all products that you use can be useful, but sometimes it doesn’t hurt to try. Either way, I end up keeping it. :\

    • Rena

      I’m the same way! And most people who buy makeup at the drugstore aren’t makeup obsessed like me or probably anyone who reads this blog, so they don’t know you can return products/they can’t tell if the product is crap or not! So it isn’t a common thing and cashiers can be so rude and unaware of the store policies.

  29. Jazz

    Depends on what it is, but I usually return or give it away.

  30. Stephanie

    If it’s a quality issue then I would return it but if I just stopped liking it then I’d toss it or give it away. One thing that can be learned from the comments here today is that in the US the policies for returns are VERY generous. I live in Europe now and it’s not the same way at all. I tried to return an UNUSED lipstick to MAC, with receipt, and could not get my money back. I now have a store credit waiting for the Cindy Sherman collection. Even American companies don’t operate the same way over here in terms of customer service and it’s extremely frustrating.

  31. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Arianna Arianna

    I try to find a new way to use that product, since here in Italy we can’t return anything! This works great with any makeup item, and even more with brushes!

  32. Annabelle

    I chose “Other.” What I do is put the products I don’t like into a special box that we use for Halloween and other “costume” situations that call for odd makeup effects. Every year or so, I clean the box out and toss the oldest products.

  33. If I dont like a product I will try to make it work anyway. I dont like to have to return products :)
    I have had eye shadows that I loved when I swatched them at the store, but then when I got it home I didnt like it… but I will make it work somehow anyway :)
    If its really not good I will swap it :)

  34. Dormouse

    It depends on the price. If it’s over, say, $10 USD, I’ll try to return it.

  35. Jessica

    it really depends on the price/quality of the item. if it’s something I paid more than normal for, and it’s a good product, but just not the color I was hoping for, I’ll give it to my mom or someone. If I paid a lot for it and it turns out to be a crap product, I’ll return it. If it was just a cheapo item that I just didn’t like, I’ll toss it.

  36. If I don’t like the color of finish, I’ll work around it. However I just returned a Make Up For Ever Aqua Cream in #13 because it applied in chunks and never smoothed out. Texture = return, color = I can deal!

  37. Sophie

    It depends why I dislike a product. If it’s just a matter of a color not looking good on me or a product being different than I expected, I’ll try to give it away to someone who it does work for. If I dislike it because it’s fundamentally a bad product, say poor pigmentation or inevitable creasing, I’ll try and return it if it was on the more expensive side. If it was just a $20 item though I’ll donate it to my young neighbor’s dress up kit :)

  38. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Kathryn Kathryn

    I do a mixture of these, depending on the product. If i think it was absolutely horrible I return it. If I feel it’s not great but usable, I keep it. (which sometimes results in me giving it away later.) I only toss things that weren’t worth the trouble and anyone would hate.

  39. Chloe

    I would normally give it away to friends or family because we cannot return opened products here which makes finding a good foundation/concealer hard because many companies refuse to give samples. I’m stubborn and refuse to shop from somewhere that won’t give foundation samples.

  40. Haezel Mae

    I actually keep trying to find different ways to use the product. Using a different tool, using it with another product, applying it a different method, etc. When every method has failed, I just toss it.

  41. When possible I return it. If I can’t return it then I try to fix it (like a foundation that’s too orange or pink I’ll use a color corrector on it). If I can’t fix it then I’ll give it to one of my daughters to practice with.

  42. Adelita

    Unfortunately, there is zero return policy here in my country. And while tester are available (both drugstore & department brand), but you can only try it at the store, which means you’re not allowed to take the sample home w/ you (e.g put the sample in a little jar). You can only take the sample home as a gift for certain amount of purchase, bummer!
    In here, every purchase is just like a gambling, it a hit or miss.

    Therefore, I resell the product that fail on me via online mostly, but sometimes I also give it to my family/friend. For drugstore brands, I rarely reselling them.

  43. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Aleeya Aleeya

    If the store or website will accept returns I will return it. On Hautelook, I bought a bunch of Rock & Republic items. There was a face powder and a lipgloss that I totally hated and there is no returns accepted on cosmetics through them. None of my friends wanted it so I sold it on Ebay. I always disclose the condition of the cosmetics. I figured my trash could be someone else’s treasure lol.

  44. Tigress

    I’ll return it if I’m able to, if not, I’ll give it away.

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

    If I’ve tried a product several times and it still doesn’t work for me, I’ll try to return it. If it can’t be returned, I’ll see if any it might work better on my mother – and she can’t use it either, I just keep it around in in a drawer somewhere.

    (on a sidenote: I know a lot of people think that it’s a little unfair to be returning products simply because of not liking it vs. reasons like allergic reactions, but my personal opinion is that I’m paying more for a product from MAC or Sephora vs. the drugstore, and part of what I’m paying for the option to return things if they don’t work for me. So yes, just my two cents, but personally, I don’t feel too guilty about returning things if they really don’t work out.)

  46. We can’t return any used cosmetics in England. If a product is just plain bad, I’ll keep it in a drawer until I eventually throw it away. If a product is bad for me but someone else may like it, I’ll give it to a friend. I wouldn’t give away something I just thought was crap, though.

  47. Elaine

    I make it my personal mission to make it work somehow! Mix it, use it with another base, find a way to wear it (if it’s a colour issue.) Usually doesn’t happen though, in Australia we have testers for absolutely everything here (sounds slightly more cost effective than US’ return policy) – I only really ever fall into a hole if I’m buying things on a whim online.

  48. Moni

    In Mexico you can´t return any makeup item, even if you haven´t opened it yet =( , so I try to deal with it as much as I can, if not, I give it to someone who can use it or just throw the thing away

  49. Lisa

    why would anyone just toss something they just spent money on?

  50. Avril

    If it’s bad quality, I’ll return it if it cost me more than $10 or so (less than that and I was kind of asking for it, and it’s cheap enough that I don’t regret keeping it as a backup). If I just don’t like it, and it’s not how I expected it to be, I’ll return it if it cost me more than $15-20 (because I’m a starving student) and either keep it as a backup or give it away if it’s cheaper. And I’ll give it away regardless if I had a friend eyeing it up who wasn’t sure or couldn’t afford it.

  51. Courtney

    I always feel bad returning makeup to my MAC counter cause the people there are so nice, but they have never ever given me a hard time about it. Sometimes I’ll see if I can swap or sell it to a good home first so the company doesn’t lose money.

  52. I’d try to actually make it work and if it doesnt then I will just give it away

  53. Yazmin

    Any high end makeup i dont like i try and sell on ebay or blog sale. any other makeup that i have that i know wont bring much money in from selling on, i will keep to give to my less fortunate family in bangladesh. Even the cheapest drugstore brand in the uk is considered valuable to them.

  54. Alison

    I’m not sure! I don’t think I’ve ever returned a product I didn’t like unless it didn’t actually work eg, a bath bomb. I probably either give it to someone who’ll use it or leave it at the bottom of my drawer in oblivion. If its horrible I’ll probably trash it in disgust.

    I don’t know if you even CAN return products in Australia…. @_@

  55. Gabs

    I have a question… when you return a product, the store tosses it out? Are you sure?

    I live in a country where returns are strictly forbidden (partially health issues, partially greed from the stores), so when I am in the US I feel reluctant from buying in the stores because I am unsure if I am buying brand-new or used and gross.

    A while ago I saw this video:
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/03/03/victorias-secret-blooming_n_483941.html

    I swear, I was revolted, and I really really really do not trust stores in America anymore. I do not buy UNLESS there is a strict no-returns policy.

    • Stores are supposed to send back returns as damaged, typically. As far as I know, they are not supposed to resell them. If it goes back in stock, based on what I understand, it is against most stores’ policies.