Friday, December 9th, 2011

Temptalia Asks You


When you try a product but don’t like it, what do you do? Return it, give it to a friend, keep it?

Temptalia's AnswerIf it was expensive and exceptionally poor quality, I will return it. If it wasn’t too expensive and just didn’t work for my coloring, then I might pass it along to a friend.

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

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41 thoughts on “When you try a product but don’t like it, what do you do?

  1. Makeup fan

    We don’t have a good return policy here. I just stick with it. I don’t think stores here allow us to return it becos we didn’t like the product. :/ Sucks…

    • Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Patricia Patricia Couto

      In Brazil we don’t have this return policy too. Indeed a store only have to accept an item returned if it was damaged.
      In Brazil, only those who have rights are the politicians: right to steal money from people.

    • Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of artemis artemis

      neither they do here :(

  2. Nancy

    Give it away, leave it in my makeup drawer, or return it..

  3. Ooh, toughie! I almost never purchase anything without looking for reviews first anymore, but I did give an eyeshadow I didn’t like (MAC’s Black Tied) to a friend a year ago, but it was already at least a year old at that point. I do keep some things that are really old and crappy from before I knew what to buy, because…I’m a hoarder?

  4. It depends. Like you, if it was expensive and the quality’s not good, I’ll return it. If it’s something that doesn’t work for my coloring, I’ll give it away. If it’s something that I’m not sure about – the quality or final effect isn’t quite what I expected, but this is a new-to-me product or line; or the color doesn’t look good on me that day, but doesn’t look really bad right off the bat; those products I’ll try again in a week or so, then try making a final judgement.

  5. Kristine

    I try to always buy from Nordstrom so if I don’t like something, I can return it easily and get something else! If I can’t get it at Nordstrom, then I make sure it’s something that I know I’ll like or else I just won’t get it at all. Nordstrom has the BEST return policy.

  6. Katie Switalski

    I either return it or exchange it…or I’ll swap it on makeupalley! I also give a lot away to friends.

  7. I’d either return it or sanitize it then pass it on to someone I know would like it.

  8. Tigress

    I take it back, every time. I don’t have money to waste.

  9. Samantha

    Return policies on cosmetics are more or less absolutely non existent in Australia – seriously, unless you can prove it brought you out in an horrible rash for weeks, they won’t take it back. Possible slight over exaggeration, but you understand where I’m coming from, I’m sure.

    If I buy something I’m not happy with, and it was expensive, I try to sell it on eBay. Then I either give it to my Mum, my best friend, or I throw it out. I know, I know! But I just can’t handle having piles of unused products mocking me.

    • Jasmine

      I live in NZ and I have found that the MAC Pro stores do return if you don’t like it, do you have a Pro store near you?

  10. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Mar Mar

    One of the reasons I love buying at MAC and Sephora is that they have really good return policies. Drugstore purchases become more expensive once I start factoring in the disappointing purchases that I could not return or exchange, and end up collecting dust in a drawer or as a loss because I give it away.

  11. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of traci Traci

    Always try to return it

  12. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Melissa divinem (Melissa)

    High end = return
    Allergic reaction = return

  13. Suz

    If I’m really disappointed, and I got it from someplace that accepts “no questions asked” returns, I’ll return it. Otherwise it’ll just sit in my makeup drawers until I ultimately throw it out lol.

  14. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Catherine CatherineM

    It depends wether the product is just WRONG or I just don’t like it. Whenever something is really bad quality I return it, but if its just something I in particular don’t like, a lipstick color or too much shimmer in an eyeshadow, I usually pass it on to my sister or my cousins.

  15. There’s no return policy in Belgium (MAC does accept returns of unused, unopened merchandise. But when I asked about it once I was asked to “give it a second thought” on the phone, because all returned merchandise has to be destroyed. But really, if you have a return policy you shouldn’t discourage people from using it? Anyways), so I try to do as much research as possible (thank God for Temptalia!) to make sure I’m not going to regret it.

    If I still do… then up to Makeupalley swap it goes. Just because something doesn’t work for me doesn’t mean it’s not going to work for someone else! I like how products get a “second life” that way.

  16. Kathy S.

    I return it if I don’t like the quality. Life is too short to live with bad makeup.

  17. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Jurga Jurga

    Give it away or if its really bad product or I really don’t like it – exchange it :)

  18. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of artemis artemis

    keep it…just in case

  19. Yazmin

    Unfortunately in the uk once we have openeed the product, broken the seal, or tried a product, we cannot give it back. Thats why i spend ages looking at products, and spend alot of time swatching and debating in the store/makeup counter. Bet the store MUA’s think this girl is bonkers shes spent ages on one counter. Thats why i really rely on your reviews and swatches christne, thanks again x

    If its high end brand/expensive i will try my best to make it work, like i bought a bunch of products from a cco, but because the cco is too far away for me to go to and return it, i had to make do with the mistakes i bought.

    It its a drugstore brand, i will usually just keep it until a family member goes to my parents home country and then i will give it to them as they appreciate it more than i do.

  20. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Evelyn Evelyn

    I pass it on to my sister. lol

  21. Thank goodness for Temptalia, because Christine’s reviews save me a lot of money nowadays! Before discovering this site, I would either give it to a friend, swap on MakeupAlley, or sell it in a blogsale. If the product was truly bad, I would just toss it.

  22. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Mandy bxboricua

    I always buy from Sephora ,Nordstrom and CVS (all of which have excellent return policies), so if a product is the wrong color or doesn’t work for me, I can return it.

  23. Christi

    I will return if if I don’t like it. I usually try to save all my receipts. We are lucky in the U.S. that we’re able to return used beauty products/cosmetics! In the U.K. and many other countries, you can’t return cosmetics once they’ve been opened!

  24. Return it, no matter what the cost. Shoot, I returned a Kat Von D mascara that was only 4 dollars, hah. I don’t have friends to give makeup to and even if I did, I paid for it and I just want my money back.

  25. Nicole

    I ask for a sample before I buy a more expensive skin care product, because I have sensitive skin. No sample, no purchase, thats a simple rule.
    I give make-up products I don’t like or which don’t suite my skintone to friends (in exchange for a coffee).

  26. In all honesty, I know my MAC, Sephora and Nordstroms will take a return back without question, at Mac you do usually need to say it was a suggested item.

    This being said, I have a few expensive items that are still sitting in my drawer, I was hoping to pass them on. But who wants used makeup? I seldom buy drug store make up, but did recently to make shadows into a eyeliners, however, Rite Aid does have a return policy that is pretty easy. Otherwise that sits in my drawer too! GUILT! I like the attitude above, “RETURN NO MONEY TO WASTE” I need that attitude!!! I am currently forcing myself to use “Eyes that Kill”.

  27. Leave it in my drawer… I might like it some time later…or I might end up throwing it away. Which is wasting stuff…but that is what usually happens.

  28. Laura Garcia

    I am not shy about making returns. As a matter of fact, I will NEVER buy a makeup item that does not have a good return policy. I have no money to waste!

  29. Em

    I don’t have a lot of friends or family who wear makeup, so if something doesn’t work out, I return it. However, I do give the product a chance before I return it. For example, I’ll try it with different brushes, application techniques, and try it in combination with different products. Usually you only have 30 days to return an item, and there are times when I end up not liking a product but I can’t return it. In this case, I’ll hang on to it for a while and occasionally go back to it to try it out, but if it’s been in my collection for 6 months and I never use it and don’t like it, then I’ll trash it. No sense hanging on to something I don’t use.

  30. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Cat Cat

    I haven’t bought anything that I found poor quality in years, but if something doesn’t work with my coloring, I keep it and use it on my friends when I do their makeup! If it works on them, I tell them they can have it!

  31. I rarely purchase a product without thoroughly researching it first. Temptalia is at the top of my list of check-ins, followed by MakeUp Alley, & Beautypedia’s Cosmetics Cop. I look up ingredients, effectiveness, staying power & most importantly: the opinions of my fellow Temptalians, Alley cats & Cops. That being said, I STILL manage to run into products I’m not happy with. Depending on convenience, I either return it right away or give it to a girlfriend to play with. I think my pals have a phone tree set up now, to let everyone know “Hey, Tiffany’s buying makeup!”.

  32. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Christine christine

    Return it.

  33. ABeautyAddict

    If I don’t love it a exchange it for another product.

  34. Heather

    It depends on what it is…. sometimes if I get a moisturizer I don’t love I will use it to shave my legs or something like that. Makeup-wise I haven’t been disappointed too many times because I never buy something I can’t test first either with a sample or trying it on (sanitarily of course) in the store. If all else fails it goes to a friend

  35. Naedyn

    We don’t have good return policies in Southeast Asia and Oceania, so I usually sterilise it and sell it online or I try to mix it up with other products to make it work.

  36. give it away or leave it in the draw until its time to throw it away….that is why nordstroms and the likes have sample containers to try it out before buying the product…….in the USA are we indulgent to return products we dont like

  37. Just leave it lying around, use it for experimenting or offer it to a friend, I guess. We can’t return products in Sweden :/