Have you ever not purchased something because of the packaging?

I can’t recall anything specifically, so probably nothing lately. I do tend to stay away from committing to reviews for 30++ eyeshadow palettes, so that might fall in this zone? Super over-sized eyeshadow palettes because they take a lot of time to review but only count as one review!

— Christine


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Mariella Avatar

Probably not. I’ve purchased a lot of stuff with really annoying packaging (the UD Game of Thrones palette is just the latest in a long line…) and have been put off by the packaging but the contents won me over more than the packaging deterred me, so I don’t think I have.

Lidia Avatar

I’m sure a lot of people would be interested in seeing swatches of larger eye shadow palette’s which have become quite popular in recent years (myself included) without having an actual review on wear time etc. I know that just compiling images for these mega palettes is time consuming but if you think it’s worth the effort we would love to see it!

kjh Avatar

I recall the UD ?BOS 4. OT, overblown with 2 levels, a pop-up butterfly, social media connect. That was my first depotting. HAD to go. Yeah, I bought it. Would have been embarrassed to leave it out. I prefer the minimalist Viseart approach.

K2 Avatar

Yes! Most recent would probably be the Joeur Bouquet palette. Saw on @Tarababyz channel that the lid doesn’t close securely. Even though I liked the shades in the palette – I refrained form picking it up.

Sarah Avatar

As an avid fan of the show, I really wanted the Game of Thrones themed eyeshadow palette. But when I went to Ulta in person to check it out, I was immediately turned off by how humungous and bulky the packaging was. It was a beautiful set – the Iron Throne popped up in this really majestic way, the mirror folded out, and the palette slid out from the side, creating this really special product that would be perfect for someone who loves the series. However, the sheer size of the whole thing just wasn’t conducive to someone who has limited space for their collection (i.e., me). So I passed.

Veronica_1017 Avatar

Yes I have – for the most part I think Anastasia palettes are cool but if I can’t wipe down my make-up I just don’t bother – I’ve realized over the years that not being able to keep my make up clean is a deal breaker for me. Also felt tip applicators for lip products I steer clear away unless it’s a doe foot applicator.

Seraphine Avatar

I would never buy a palette that looks like Dose of Colors Hidden Treasure, no matter how nice the shadows are, because of the mind-numbingly wonky design. Those MAC palettes with the different size circles bother me, too. I like my shadows to be all lined up like little soldiers. 😉 There are a few products that I’ve already bought, but wouldn’t repurchase because of packaging. Three that come to mind:

(1) Had I taken the time to find out that Marc Jacobs Enamored Hi-Shine Lip Lacquer cannot be swiveled back down, I probably wouldn’t have bought it. I also hate the loud clack-clack-clack sound they make when you swivel it up. Who decided that lipstick should make noise?!

(2) I hesitate to buy anymore Colourpop Lippie Stix because I don’t like the packaging. (But, at some point, I probably will anyway.)

(3) And Guerlain Rouge G … while the mirrored design is gorgeous and useful, it is so bulky and heavy that I’ve decided not to buy another one of these lipsticks. I wish they’d sell an alternative regular cap that doesn’t have a mirror. The tiny cap that comes with it is insufficient for throwing in my bag. (And just looks silly.)

Megan Avatar

(1) reminded me that the Tarte cheek stains have the same problem, even though a sample sized Tarte highligher I have can be retracted, so the company clearly understands the technology. I don’t understand why anyone would design a product that has to be smashed down to close it.

Bonnie Avatar

I love the wonky design. TF Pretty Mess, UD X Kristin Leanne, and that DOC palette. And especially all those MAC Girls palettes (I have all 13, even the Nordstrom exclusives). I love when everything isn’t in perfect order.

But I think there are a lot more people like you than like me 🙂

Christina D. Avatar

Absolutely! The most recent that comes to mind is the Urban Decay GoT palette. Admittedly, I’m not a GoT fan but I do love UD and had it been packaged differently, I would have bought it. Of course, UD is not the only culprit; almost all the major brands have released something that I skipped purchasing because of the wasteful packaging. But I have a soft-spot for UD so for me to pass on something released by them, you know I’m passing on any bulk packaging from TooFaced, Tarte, Lorac, etc.

SaffyTaffy Avatar

Oh gosh yes! Tom Ford’s sheer lips, in the white-on-gold packaging, to me just screams “early 90s beach house” and I know that’s glamorous to a lot of people but it gives me PTSD. And even though the formula is too drying for me, I wouldn’t buy the Fenty lippies because I know that watching the imprint in the top of the lipstick fade would really depress me. Does that count as packaging?

And what was the lipstick a little while ago where the caps were famously falling off? I can’t remember, but I know I had one and didn’t buy a 2nd because the first kept falling apart in my bag. It was 2 or 3 years ago, maybe a more indie brand or a first lipstick launch… augh!

I’m trying not to buy anything with a lot of chrome packaging anymore, just because of the fingerprint issue and then later the tarnish problem.

Seraphine Avatar

I don’t know which lipstick you mean, but I have that falling-off problem with my Givenchy Le Rouge lipstick. I never use it because the cap doesn’t stay on. A few months ago, I pulled it out of my lipstick organizer to use and the cap flew off across the room. I couldn’t find it and had to go out, so I put a piece of tape across the tube to keep it from drying out. I found it the next day. Turns out the cap had fallen into a drawer that was just slightly open at the time.

Bonnie Avatar

That’s so funny that it’s Studded Kiss. I recently rediscovered my vault of 20 of those lipsticks. The single most expensive makeup purchase that I had ever made, around $300, back in 2015, and they were never touched. I started enjoying them, still in their pristine condition, and haven’t had an issue. I put them in my back pocket all day and no issues with the cap coming off. Out of the 20 shades, I use 18.

Megan Avatar

One of my favorite mascaras is Tarte’s Lights, Camera, Lashes, but I won’t buy the full size because the packaging is so weird to me and only buy the travel sizes when their packaging isn’t molded to look like the full size. In addition to just thinking it looks bad, it confuses me that a vegan, cruelty free mascara would be packaged in faux leather.

Seraphine Avatar

Well, at least it’s faux leather! That’s one of my favorite mascaras, too, and the packaging did put me off for a long time before I tried it, but now it doesn’t bother me anymore. I guess I just got used to it. It’s actually easier to grip because of the packaging, I think.

xamyx Avatar

I actually liked the packaging, but hated the product! I’m not typically picky when it comes to mascara, and don’t need it to do much (I have fairly long, thick lashes already), but it flaked sooo badly on me. I tried 3 times, each with new product, and had the same result…

dia Avatar

I’m still waiting for someone to invent a loose powder package that doesn’t make a mess every time you open it! (or maybe just every time *I* open it)

Ashley Avatar

Many many drugstore items, like Wet ‘n Wild, as part of my beauty ritual is the whole aesthetic of choosing items that make me feel special before I’ve even used it (I love fragrance in products too—the La Mer foundation is amazing but the fragrance adds to it). I dislike clear plastic packaging immensely. However, I won’t be buying the Chanel Coco Flash lipsticks anymore either because the packaging is so thin and plain—it could be a Rimmel or Revlon with that packaging. I also don’t like how thin the eyeshadow plastic for Chanel is compared to Dior and TF or Hourglass.

I also won’t buy Chantecaille because the whole sales point and packaging with the animal charities is a joke; they don’t like to tell you what specific charity each shadow supports for the turtles or whatever, and the only # I could find was from an interview with the owner 5 years ago saying it was 5%—which is like $2 per color for that charity. Given how exclusive that.l brand is, and each color is associated with a different charity, they’re probably donating less than $1K per charity.

xamyx Avatar

If a product is something I’m interested in, or it’s a good product overall, I’ll purchase it regardless of packaging. The problem is, I tend to completely overlook brands, in general, that rely on cutesy, juvenile, gimmicky packaging. Unless I stumble upon a blog post/video mentioning a product, I’ll typically just walk right past these brands in-store. Too Faced, the Balm, and Cargo are some of the worst “offenders”, and even though I know they all have some real gems, I just don’t bother to look at them, especially when they’re lost in a sea of so many other brands… Having said that, I did fall for the recent Lancome 12 Shades Of Love palette… It literally caught my eye as I was walking out of Macy’s, having spent all my “budget” for that month earlier that day, so I stopped just “to look”. As I turned away, the SA handed me a 20% off coupon, and because the shades were so stunning, I did cave…

Rachel R. Avatar

There are some drugstore products I’ve passed on because of non-functional or super-cheap packaging (especially plastic lid hinges that break after a few uses).

I usually don’t buy packaging with both cream and powder products in it unless there is some kind of cover to keep them from mixing.

I passed on the UD GoT eyeshadow palette because I thought the packaging was ugly and bulky.

I passed on the NARS x Steven Klein collection from a few years ago because I don’t like some of his ideas behind his work, though they didn’t apply to the images in the collection. I still didn’t want to support Klein after reading up on him.

Alecto Avatar

Agree on the Steven Klein thing. That’s a collection that pissed me off. You just know he’s one of those people that has deliberately creepy conversations because he likes the power trip he gets from making people uncomfortable. And you totally know he’d feel great personal pride in verbally overwhelming someone who’s unable to stand up for themselves and tell him off for being a creep.

Tessa Avatar

I shy away from packaging that has lips printed on it. Not sure why, but it just sleeves me out. Sorry, Pat McGrath (and a few others)!

I don’t know if this counts, but I also won’t buy a product named Roach or Nip Slip or Yaaaas. Have some respect for your consumer. Blergh.

Seraphine Avatar

Your lips comment made me laugh out loud! I, too, am repelled by lips on packaging. The most cringeworthy of all is when it’s printed to look like someone kissed the product.

I do, however, own a couple of PMG lipsticks, but I almost didn’t buy them because of the lip design. But when I saw the design in person, it reminded me of Dali’s cologne for men, which has a special connection from my past. So I don’t mind those particular lips. But I also cringe from lips printed on clothing, scarves, bags, just about anything.

rachel c Avatar

Lips are not my most fave imagery either, but I can usually deal with printing since so much of that stuff (pretty or otherwise) tends to wear off after being toted around in my bag for a while. However, I’m just not quite sure I can deal with those gold 3-D lips on the PMG lipstick cases. Not only do I find them awkward looking, but they catch on things in my pocket too. On the plus-side though, they keep the darn things from rolling away when on a flat surface. I can’t even count the times I’ve emptied my bag on the table only to have my MAC go rolling right off the other side….

Ana Maria Avatar

Although I have my pet peeves about packaging and some things might make me not buy a product solely on packaging, I must admit I sometimes break my own rules.
But actually listing the products I didn’t purchase because of packaging would take too long.

I tend to avoid products with doe foot applicators, there’s something very unhygienic in my mind about pushing the doe foot back, no matter how clean I have my hands and tools. I specifically not purchased in the last years any eye shadow primer with doe foot and I only made an exception for the Too Faced concealer; on my list of `have-not-purchased` are many items (especially concealers and of lately even foundations) that are hyped.

I don’t buy loose powder foundation. I tried several times and loose powder is just not for me, I can’t get a hang of it. I truly prefer only pressed powders, so I didn’t purchased (and won’t purchase) many of the raved loose setting powders.

Skincare in jars is definitely a no-go; I simply don’t buy anything in jars and it would be a very long list. Also, nowadays I start avoiding also skincare with dropper dispensers; again, I still touch the dropper sometimes and I like other types of dispensing mechanisms.

Anything with a spray and setting sprays especially. It’s more of a product type, than packaging… but let rolls with it. 😀 I hate the feeling of being misted or sprayed, especially on my face, although I’ll take the longest showers possible.

I also don’t buy products with bulky, cheap looking or too childish/pink/neon/pastel packaging. I just don’t like the vibe they would add to my collection. If I could have everything in matte black, that would be amazing.

Liz Avatar

I’ve been a bit turned off of Viseart by the plastic packaging of their VERY pricey palettes that looks akin to Wet-N-Wild packaging! I’m sure the MUAs who buy Viseart don’t care about looks of packaging, but it doesn’t even look like it would be sturdy in their kit…

Karen Avatar

I have never traveled with my Viseart Neutrals palette and it gets treated very gently at home, despite the gentle care it has received one of the hinges broke. I can honestly say I have nothing else in my collection that has ever broken.
Very upsetting for an $80+ product!

rachel c Avatar

All the time! I do decant and depot, so I am willing to do a little bit of work if I love the product and hate the packaging, but it has to feel worth the effort. I often pass on luxury products if I think the packaging is too flimsy, but I also bypass budget options for the same reason. It may seem more annoying to have a $30/40 lipstick ruined vs a $6 budget buy because the caps won’t stay on, but regardless of the price it’s still lipstick smeared on the inside of your purse.
I’ll sometimes pass purely on aesthetic reasons if I can’t easily decant/depot whatever the product is. I also often avoid products if the packaging is just too bulky/doesn’t store well and I can’t depot it easily. Many UD palettes are a prime example of bulk. I get where they were going with the GoT and the other book of shadows things and it’s often a really fun packaging-as-interactive-art thing, but I have ZERO place to store (or even open and use!) those kinds of presentations.

Cherie Avatar

Too faced palettes. The packaging is just too bulky for me. I travel a lot so if something won’t travel well, I won’t buy it. It’s a hard “no” for me with any bulky packaging.

Moxie Avatar

I’ll avoid buying items that are inside unnecessary packaging, like a jar sealed inside a plastic box but also actually sealed itself. The box is unnecessary and will end up in a landfill. Companies need to be more conscientious of that.

I’ll avoid buying items with opened/damaged packaging at places like TJ Maxx because some people are nasty and have used it and put it back. Same at Ulta, but because they notoriously sell used and returned items.

I’ll also avoid products with highly sexualized packaging / designs like those vagina highlighters and penis lipsticks. Names don’t bother me but I’d rather not have to rub labia to get a cheekbone glow.

Quark Avatar

I own a lot of beautiful makeup that is unfortunately held in ugly, bulky or poorly designed packaging. I still buy it, but only if I really like the product inside. I bought the GoT UD palette because I loved the color story & the UD formula, but the packaging is super annoying. I almost didn’t buy it because of the packaging, but the color story won me over.

CeeBee Avatar

Yes – I don’t buy MAC any more and I WAS going to make an exception for a really pretty LE mineralize blush but they’d just changed the packaging and I couldn’t get the compact open easily.

I knew it would annoy me every time I used it, so I didn’t buy it.

Also, I’ve looked at a couple of UD palettes and thought “how the heck am I gonna store that?!” and that’s been enough to put me off.

Ana Maria Avatar

I don’t know if I dislike more products that don’t open easily (either taking time or extra effort to open, either damaging my fingers and/or nails) or product that open easily (and get all over the place or damaged easily). 😆

Pearl Avatar

Yes – packaging is up there in the top 3 as far as determining whether I will buy something, especially if it’s a new (to me) brand. I almost didn’t buy PMG because of the fly on the lip on the Sublime Mothership palette. As for older brands, I’ve never liked Kat Von D’s or Too Faced’s packaging and as far as recent brands, I don’t like ColourPop, Fenty or Lady Gaga’s packaging.

Kristin Avatar

Yes, the Glamlite burger palette. I have their earlier pre-food themed palettes, and I enjoy the formula, but I can’t get past that bulky foam 3D palette packaging. Even after seeing several influencers give it a glowing review, I just can’t seem to get over the packaging.

Evi Avatar

I have limited storage space, so bulky packaging is a huge turn-off. I particularly dislike oddly shaped palettes, because they are harder to store, and end up taking up more space. so bulky, oddly shaped packaging is a double no. I resent paying extra for packaging I just want to de-pot, so unless the product is super special I won’t bother on principal.

I also have touch sensitivity to certain textures. it makes it very unpleasant for me to touch certain rough textures companies sometimes like to use for notebooks or on a few occasions palettes. the sultry packaging is pushing the limit, the outer box was too much, i could hardly hold it, I nearly cried the first time I opened it. the actual palette is just on the edges of okay though i dont like handling it too long. I nearly returned it just for that reason. if it had been a little more in the texture that triggers me I would have had to.

Karen Avatar

The problem I have with oddly shaped items is that once I’ve found a place where they fit I don’t want to pull them out again. I’ll have to use too hands, hold some things aside, be careful of anything that was relying on the item for drawer support. It is just so much easier to grab an item that fits. I know this about myself so now when I see something packaged funny it really has to be super special for me to even consider buying.

Genevieve Avatar

The packaging isn’t really important to me – the only thing that’s really important is the product inside the packaging.
Having said that, I do think that awhile ago brands like Too Faced cared more about the packaging than they did about their products, which was a no-no for me.
What really puts me off is bulky containers, offensive brands names and tizzy, cutesy packaging.

Alecto Avatar

Yes. I don’t care about bulky — layered, pop-up, complicated, doesn’t matter– as I have plenty of storage space and I don’t take pre-made palettes on trips, but … I can be seriously turned off by packaging that’s too cutesy, or too much into a subject I really can’t stand (mermaids, fairies, angels, heart symbols in general, etc.). Risque is fine as long as it doesn’t seem too much like they’re trying to be edgy specifically for the shock factor.

There isn’t any particular material that I dislike, but I do have a strong preference for rigid cardboard.

As some people mentioned, I really don’t like brush-end applicators for lip glosses, and I hope ColourPop changes their packaging at some point, as I have exactly one lipgloss from them (which I’ve probably used 4 times), and the bristles of the brush are already wonkily pointing in different directions. Grrrrrr …

For skincare purposes, I do avoid jar packaging for things that have “actives” which can go bad from or lose their potency exposure. That’s it, I think.

Bonnie Avatar

Umm I have not REpurchased things because of the packaging. It’s not about aesthetics for me, though, the decision to avoid certain packaging. It’s about function. Anything too hard to open, close, keep closed, or use is a no for me. Unfortunately, I often don’t figure that out until I actually start to try to use things.

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