Rant & Rave: Anastasia

Tell us what you love and hate about...

Anastasia

I like that they announce things a few weeks prior to launch, and then launch, and it doesn’t seem to be as crazy of a process as with other brands. They seem to be improving the quality of their products, too, which is nice. I would like to see them release less palettes and offer more individual products, though, like their Glow Kits as refillable pans, because I think more people would try the brand that way.

— Christine

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I feel the exact same way! I keep hoping for singles or customizable palettes for the glow kits. And there is only one shade in Modern Renaissance I want so I keep hoping it comes out as a single.

Same here. I’ve intermittently complained/wished for refill or customizable highlight palettes since ABH started releasing them. They’re certainly pretty – but I don’t need 4 large pans in one palette; partly due to the coloring and my skin tone but partly because I don’t need that many options. I’d rather buy one or two in the shades I like and put it in my own palette or individual case.

Generally, I really love ABH! Their Glow Kit in Gleam is my favorite thing in the world, and I am in love with the Modern Renaissance palette and the Master Palette by Mario, but I do agree, it would be nice to have more individual / customizable products. I am also not a huge fan of their glosses; they’re way too slippery for me and just end up making a mess whenever I try to wear them.

Totally agree! They should learn to cater different glow kits toward different skin tones, I can only use two shades because I’m fair skinned, one of them being for nights out because it’s a little out there !??x

Their self made palette is absolutely my favourite palette. I also like the brow wiz. I plan on stalking up on some of the single shadows during the sephora sale.

I got REALLLLLY bad service from Anastasia my very first time buying from them, following the release of their very first highlighters. I decided to try out their new highlighting brush. I ordered it, and whoever fulfilled my order didn’t put the company name of the business address I sent it to, so UPS held it at a location in the city and I didn’t get a notification until 10 days after its forecasted delivery date. When I finally got my hands on the package the brush was a dud — the bristles were scratchy and after just one wash, it had a strange gap in the middle that looked like a Z. (I kid you not, it looked like Zorro had his way with this brush!) To make matters worse, I e-mailed them regarding these issues, and received no response. I decided to return the product and did so via their website instructions. I sent them another email a week after I confirmed the return was delivered (which was 3 weeks after the first e-mail) and received no e-mail until almost 2 months later, when I was received a random refund notification. Nobody responded regarding the quality of the brush, or the unprofessional behavior that played a hand in my delayed delivery. It left me with a really bad taste in my mouth that, for some reason, I have been unable to move past. Even thinking about it now gets me a little riled up, and reaffirms my distaste in their brand. I have trouble respecting someone who doesn’t understand customer service, and I can’t buy from someone I don’t respect.

Their products are great! I just wish their eyeshadow palettes weren’t limited edition. I’m pretty sure they all have been. Also, the prices have jumped by $15 in just 2 years. (The World Traveler and Mario palettes were both 12 pans.)

That’s because they have to pay Mario to put his name on the palette. Think of it like Disney paying a freelancer to redraw Minnie Mouse in a bikini and shades for a swimsuit design, the pay isn’t being covered in house via salary and is instead payed in a royalty that Disney needs to add to the price of what they need to make both their costs and the cost of hiring the freelancer. Make sense?

Rant-ish:

I think ABH is B/B-. I use only a few of their products. I did not like Mod Renaissance OR the Mario Palette. (I know I’m in the vast minority.) Both looked awful on me — I think my coloring just doesn’t mesh at all. I thought the formulations were nice, if not a bit too soft to manage easily. The Mario palette (carefully trying 5 different looks) all ended up looking like versions of mud — and was being super careful not to over blend, and have a light had where needed.

ABH liquid lipsticks have lovely colors. Can’t stand them on my lips for five minutes. Shudder. The color Kathryn looks really nice on me, but it was just too uncomfortable to put up with.

The Brow Whiz and Brow Definer has so little product, it’s out before you know it.

Rave:
I do really like their brow pomade. Chocolate is a great match for me, and it is so easy to use.

I also like the brow setting gel, but I’m sure there are others out there just as good. Open to suggestions.

I love Anastasia, they might be my second favorite overall this year, after NARS. I really disliked Dipbrow, which I found really fussy apply AND slid right off my face, but with that exception I adore their brow products. The powder duo is the only eyebrow product I’ve ever hit pan on, and I’ve done so twice, and I’ve used up Brow Wiz. The Dipbrow brush is the only thing I use to apply brow powders anymore, I just love the precision of it and relative softness over the MAC angled brush I used for years before that.

I love their color choices for their eyeshadows, liquid lipsticks, and glosses. I thought their edgy highlighter palettes over the summer were beautiful and fresh while still being wearable unlike some other launches around the same time. And the promo images for the Moonchild kit were absolute standouts IMO.

In terms of the aesthetic of their Instagram, the super done up skin and eyebrow look isn’t my thing personally, but I can’t blame them for embracing that aesthetic when Dipbrow was such a defining product for what has grown into the iconic Instagram style of makeup. Today you don’t have to do Instagram Brows with Dipbrow, but I’m not sure there WERE Instagram Brows before Dipbrow launched. It was an interesting shift to witness.

I love both Modern Renaissance and Master by Mario palettes in terms of quality and versatility. The fact that ABH chose to not to have them made in China is a big plus for me. I also love the story behind the brand (the founder).
I hate that the Modern Renaissance palette was out of stock in Canada since almost the end of June. The Sephora stores in and around Montreal kept ordering it and when they received some, it was one or two palettes per store. I wrote to Sephora Canada in August and they replied that it was discontinued on their website (ABH’s decision). I contacted ABH and they said that the problem was with Sephora Canada. I don’t know where the truth lies, but the demand was there and I consider that a brand should make available a product that is permanent or at least give an explanation that makes sense.

Nicole, I just saw the MR palette in the Sephora at Limeridge Mall (a bit of hike from Montreal but just trying to hold out some hope for you). They were sold out of the Mario palette (though they did have the counter tester still on display) so I am glad I bought it 2 weeks ago and didn’t dither and dilly dally about it.

Thank you Mariella ! I bought the MR one when it was (finally) available on the Sephora website two weeks ago, after receiving the notification.
For the Mario palette, I had a reminder with the release date, so I placed the order as soon as it was available online.
However, for the entire summer and the beginning of the autumn, no sign of the MR palette online or in the stores around Montreal. The Sephora website was showing that within 150km (the maximum distance allowed to search for an item), it was available at Sephora Burlington VT (USA). Why not allowing to search within a distance of more than 150km and in Canada ? An entire saga for this MR palette :).

I agree about the glow kits! They always seem to have 2 shades I like and 2 shades I’d never use. I’d love to be able to get the shades individually.

It seems like this brand totally creeped up on us! Two or three years ago, I only recognized them for their brow products and the occasional LE palette by some IG or YT beauty guru. Now, though, they have some of best product offerings in their eyeshadow singles, the permanent MR Palette, various cheek highlight products and those gorgeous lip glosses!
Not sure I have any substantial “Rant” against them? Not yet, anyway. Although I definitely DO agree that I also wish they would do the same thing with their cheek products by allowing one to customize their own cheek quad or something along those lines. And “Yes” to refills, too.

I love the Brow Wiz. Even if the Benefit, Sephora or L’oreal similar product are very good, the Brow Wiz has something unique that makes it the best one for me. I almost don’t even mind I use mine up quickly. What I have is that the spooly breaks easily. No matter how gentle I comb my brows, the plastic around breaks and falls halfway along the use. I don’t want to have to carry another spooly around; for the price, a decent sturdy plastic it’s not much to ask.

I have yet to try any of their products! Their lip offerings and shadows seems fantastic though! I guess my rant would be more at my Sephora, they don’t have a large counter and it’s always swamped.

I’ve only purchased ABH eye shadows and I love all the ones I have, including the Mario palette (despite its shortcoming of having no decent highlight shade). I guess my biggest complaint would be that not all the colours of shadows are available IN STORE!

Love: Mod Ren – seriously, such a good palette! It took me ages to buy because I prefer shimmer over mattes but every time I use it, I love it. The Glow Kits – I like being able to switch the pans between separate palettes, though I agree selling them as individuals and allowing customers to select their own custom quad would be great! I recently started using the concealer too, and it’s pretty good. I also love that they have such a wide range on shades and undertones in their stick foundation – I hope they come out with a liquid version.

Grumble, grumble, mediocre but not quite hate: Mario palette – it’s good, not great – too many colours are too similar and they tend to overblend easily. Also, I’ve had them cancel 2 separate orders on me and I had to chase them to find out why. They refunded me quickly and I could re-order so it wasn’t such as issue in the end – I suspect because I’m an international customer, maybe? Their shipping is super fast though, 2 days to New Zealand from dispatch, yay!

I’ve been thinking about buying from their website when the Mod Ren palette is available once again, and it’s great to know that their international shipping is good. Did your products arrive in good shape, with proper packaging? I’m terrified of ending up with a crushed palette :/

I’ve had nothing arrive broken – the Sweets Glow kit arrived in an extra bubble wrap pocket and my Master palette came in it’s own separate box absolutely jam packed with shredded paper. No complaints from me. I love the fact that it’s a single, flat rate too.

I hope you do manage to get Mod Ren – I really adore it and the Summer mini lips gloss set is aces as well 🙂

Rave: I haven’t tried much from Anastasia, but I love everything I have. The Master Palette by Mario was my first experience with their eyeshadows, and they are top-notch. The Dip Brow is fantastic and easy to use, as is the clear brow gel. Their lip gloss is one of the few I like because it’s not too sticky, but it wears for quite a long time. Rant: I don’t like that many of their products are limited edition. I missed out on a lot of products that were limited edition that I would have liked to try (glow and gleam glow kits, Self-Made Palette). I want the Modern Renaissance palette, but I can’t seem to catch it while I’m doing an Ulta order. Thankfully it’s permanent, but I would like to have it for fall looks.

Rave: The Modern Renaissance Palette really is a work of art. I liked a lot of their older palettes, too. I like that they seem to listen to their customers: They reformulated their liquid lipsticks, and improved the eyeshadow formula. They add popular shades to their permanent line-up.

Rant: I agree about the Glow Kits. I would buy lighter shades, but I have no use for the majority of what they put in the Kits. Popular colors for their liquid lipsticks seem to sell out quickly and take forever to be restocked. Liquid lipstick shades seem to leave without warning. I feel when I go online to buy them, I never know what I’m going to find.

I’ve been a Dipbrow monogamist for some plural amount of years, I can’t do brow pencils without losing hairs, and bold brows give me life. More recently, I picked up a pick-4 quad and I’m totally sold on their shadows. They’re very warm-friendly and medium-friendly across the line and that works for me; as much as not being for cool, fairest individuals is a valid takeaway, it’s not as if that means it’s a product for literally nobody.

Rave: their no drama / no false-frenzy releases; most products are permanent; quite consistently good quality; the novelty, quality and shade range of Mod. Renaissance palette; eyeshadow singles’ range; presence in multiple retailers (Sephora, Ulta, etc etc); lipgloss formula.
Rant: hard to find much of the product range in most stores, at least around here — only one store (a Sephora) in all of this state capital has eyeshadow singles on its shelves.

I have no gripes about Anastasia but I only have three of their products: the Modern Renaissance palette (which I’ve loved from the moment I swatched it), the Artist Palette (ok, but I sometimes need to use other palettes with it to make it work), and an eyeliner brush (which I like). I don’t use brow products at all and I haven’t tried any of the Glow Kits.

Just said about Surratt, better not go there. Maybe I can take my own advice and not go abh. I suspect I’m in on their fall glosses and mod ren, though. Don’t always adore C’s lip swatches of their liq lip…looks as if they need 2 apps of pre-blaming, and I dislike fussy makeup. I KNOW I’d have Linda’s prob with Mario, even with underblendig. ABH stayed off my radar, bec my brows are blond, sparse, one has a red blotch, and are generally nonfunctional, and they exploded out of brow stuff. The co has a much wider selection online than the stores represent, which can be an issue, if you are looking for specific colors. But they do seem to have the most gorgeous red and orange shadow families. I have the way old Dior shadow quad that mimics moonchild, so no real need. I big like their non-Mac approach to releases.

Love the brand overall. I have the Shadow Couture palette which is a great one-and-done palette for my tan skintone. Pity that it was limited edition because it’s great quality and has a versatile color range. I also have the Moonchild palette which is a really beautiful and unique product, although it is kind of an acquired taste (not everyone wants to glow blue). Anastasia’s brow product range is still where I think they really shine because the different formulations all work beautifully and the color selection is great. Granite is the perfect dark, cool charcoal color to match black hair. Dipbrow is my go-to for stage/going out makeup (seriously will last through a storm) and Brow Definer is my go-to for less demanding looks. The only product I don’t love is the liquid lipstick. I find them to be patchy and sticky. They’re not horrible but the market is saturated with better liquid lipsticks right now.

I love their moonchild kit, it’s gorgeous at least for my very fair skin. Their international shipping is a bit overpriced and I wish their eyeshadow palettes were a bit more accessible. Their brow pencils marketed to redheads aren’t the best colours, Nyx certainly wins that one.

Rave: I really respect how much effort Norvina & co. put into the creative process, whether it be the packaging style or the cohesiveness of the shades. I have yet to be uninspired by any recent product launches! (They don’t have the complacency that is found with brands such as Tarte and Too Faced)

Rant: Their stock availability seems to be on the smaller side and I am impatiently waiting on new Illuminator shades! I have also often had issues with their website and even recently had a palette missing in an order. I got no reply over emailing customer service but it finally was fixed via phone.

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