Does the inspiration or story behind a collection matter to you?

It doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things for me as a reviewer–it’s not going to make a product perform better or worse (though I’d appreciate brands being more specific with shade descriptions as a whole!). The question is actually inspired by Melt’s recent Amor Eterno launch, which has gotten a lot of praise and commentary from influencers and readers/viewers alike about the story, background, details, etc.

I felt the same way; that it was really nice to see such an authentically done collection as seen in the presentation of the background/story behind the collection to all of the details (packaging, naming, use of Spanish and English throughout, campaign imagery). I wish we saw a little more of this; it doesn’t necessarily have to be a deeply personal back story, but it’s nice to get greater insight into the way the collection came about, how the theme was applied, etc.

— Christine
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20 Comments

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It can. I like to know the thought process behind how the artist picked the colors and the names; it helps me relate a little bit more and I feel like I have more knowledge to go off of as to weather it’s something I want to spend my money on.

Yes, it the concept is truly authentic and not tacky, it has some influence on my purchases. Quality still features first, of course. Hoever, I think that in MELTs case, they were extremly sucessful in arranging colors that everybody had seen before in a combination very different from everything that is at the market right now. The Muerte palette, for example, is not easy to use on daily basis, but represents so well the cold side of death but with the joy mexicans have in celebrating lo dia de los muerto that entices us.

It shouldn’t, but if some or all proceeds go to charity, that would tip the scale in favor of a purchase if I am on the fence. The best example of that is Mac’s Viva Glam program. Even if the colors aren’t great for me, I might buy something just to have the good feelings around me. Unless the color is truly scary, I will find a way to work with it.

Very, very rarely. I’m more interested in a product’s practicality, how it will work for me, etc., than I am in some marketing “blag”. The only thing I can recall purchasing in any part because of the “inspiration” was the UD Game of Thrones palette because I’ve always had a major fan-girl crush on Sean Bean who played Ned Stark in season 1 of the series (I quit watching after they killed him off – I saw the way this thing was going, with all the good, honest or honourable characters getting the chop – often quite literally!) But I’d probably have purchased this palette in any case because of the shadows in it. The “inspiration” behind MAC’s long ago A Tartan Tale collection also sort of yanked at my wallet and my heart-strings, even though I’ve got no Scottish blood that I know of.

Yes, I love the creative process so I enjoy cohesive inspired collections. But, this does not win me over in the purchase department. I’ve resisted this truly gorgeous Melt collection as I am fully aware it is the aesthetic which compels me.

For the large part, it doesn’t, but I do appreciate when there’s a great inspiration or licensed collaboration (I love artist/fashion designer collaborations and the cult collabs that Urban Decay does). Sometimes the back story or inspiration story has turned me off releases, since it would make me think often of the creator and I would rather enjoy makeup as a personal activity.

While it is nice, I don’t think it drives my purchase or even plays a part in my decision making process. It can be nice to know the thoughts behind a particular launch but if I am honest, it doesn’t have an impact on me.

Absolutely! For me makeup is about creativity, so having a personal connection or appreciation of the brand aesthetic or particular collection theme is important. However, if the quality isn’t there, I’ll still pass it up. That’s why I appreciate Temptalia so much!

Not really, but there are some things that can sway me. For instance, if there is a product I like and there’s a charitable contribution behind it, it might sway me. But, on the other hand, if the inspiration/marketing skews twee/young (Too Faced, for example), it doesn’t matter how it performs, I’ll likely pass. Same thing if it skews vulgar. I’m not a prude, but I don’t like naming for the sake of shock value. That just seems too easy/lazy these days.

Sometimes it truly does. Even unreasonably so at times (UD GOT collection, for example). Quality is still my main priority when buying, though. And yet, every once in a while, I get so moved by the story inspiration and its related packaging that I just totally cave! It’s certainly something that I am trying to work on now.

Yes, for me it does make a difference. Specially now that we have new products every week from brands who used to take their time before releasing a collection.
I love to see a release with a story, a real inspiration.

For me it’s not the final deciding factor, but it does have an impact on my purchase decision. Essentially, if the story or theme behind a product is something I’m interested in, that will get my attention and from there I’ll decide if I’m interested in purchasing. If I’m not interested in the theme or story, I will still consider an item if it’s something really unique or really high quality that I would consider buying anyway regardless of the theme.

To give some real examples that I see people talking about a lot:
The current Melt collection: I’m not Latinx but I do love skull imagery and I like how Melt’s founders drew on their own heritage to create something authentic to them. Between the imagery and the unique colorways of the palettes, this collection caught my attention and I may buy the Muerte palette.

Melt Smoke Sessions: I don’t smoke pot and I’m not into 420 culture, but green IS my favorite color and at the time Smoke Sessions came out, there weren’t a lot of green palettes on the market, so I bought it anyway.

UD Game of Thrones: I enjoyed the show and books, but the only item I wanted was the Winter Snow liner which sold out. But I ended up with the palette because my spouse also likes GoT and wanted to actually buy me makeup for my birthday 😉

ColourPop Disney collabs: I’m not a Disney fan, and I haven’t seen any items in these collections that have stood out as especially unique, so I haven’t bought anything.

Also there are some inspirations that will be a hard NO for me. I wouldn’t buy anything with a g*psy theme, or that was a collab with someone I found really problematic, or that was raising funds for a cause I disagreed with.

I love the creative process, and what inspired the collection. The more info the better for me, regardless of whether or not I love or dislike the product or if I will buy it. I appreciate the inspiration & process.

From the visual / aesthetic aspect, yes. I do love to look at make-up and see a beautiful color story, nice packaging, names with great inspiration, stunning campaign.
For purchasing? Absolutely no. I only purchase make-up for functional purposes. My collection is minimal and I try to keep a cohesive look; if all my products could look the same boring way, it would be great for me.

Sometimes packaging alone will pull me in, although usually I look more for the colors and textures that appeal to me. MAC’s Venomous Villains is an example of packaging selling me on the products. I will never get rid of those beauty powder compacts. There have been others too, like MAC’s Simpsons collection. The Melt one looks appealing, but it’s disappointing that some of the products didn’t perform well.

To me, it doesn’t really matter – it’s just the quality of the products and whether they would work on me.
However, if a brand is going to present a collection with a story, it needs to be an authentic one.

Not directly, but yes. I generally find that collections with inspiration behind them tend to grab my attention if only because more thought and care was put into them. That sort of thing stands out. Like for the new Melt collection, the whole thing really just feels creative and the work put into all the pieces does a lot to give me ideas of looks I can come up with the products. For me, inspiration means more thought which translates to things like color stories that feel more thoughtful and products that work nicely together to create various looks and moods. Of course, that’s not always the case and I don’t necessarily think a company needs to be inspired when they put out a product for me to feel inspired.

Nope!! I got my own story I’m living and a library card if I want more. Given the production issues of MELT in particular- what’s the point of a story if the product can’t even perform or be consistent? I buy make up for quality and performance.

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