What are deal-breakers for you when it comes to makeup packaging?

As long as it’s functional, I’m usually just fine. I store most of my products in drawers, so I don’t need anything to maintain a certain aesthetic. The only thing that comes to mind are any compacts that are difficult to open without letting the compact go flying across the room…

— Christine
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32 Comments

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I don’t think it ever is, if the product inside is something I love. I prefer simple and functional but, heck, I own a whole bunch of unwieldy, oversized, awkward-to-use palettes (UD’s NYC and Game of Thrones ones come to mind first, but I’ve also got a bunch from TooFaced and other companies) and I bear with the bad packaging because of what’s contained inside.

For me it would be anything that requires using my nails to open it. As between damaging a nail and a makeup item, the nails win every time. I also donโ€™t love click pens because it is hard to control the amount of product coming out and I find the mechanism wears out while there still is product inside.

I have high standards for makeup packaging. There’s just so much good stuff out there I don’t feel like wasting my time with something bulky or ugly. I want my makeup to be a full visual experience.

I back this 100%, especially when I’m buying luxury brands. Drugstore, sure, I’ll let it slide, but some drugstore packaging exceeds luxury packaging.

I hesitate to purchase anything bulky, with unnecessary “bells and whistles” like fold-outs, pop-ups, or just plan oversized. I don’t have the room and I find that I’m becoming less patient with extraneous material to fuss with. I also find that I’m put off by many collaborations, so if it’s something which seems like P.R. for some beauty guru or YouTube sensation, I pass on it.

Only if the packaging literally makes the product unusable! Clicking or twisting mechanisms often break and leave me frustrated.

I don’t like huge bulky square or blocky eyeshadow palettes with a paperstyle lid a la the Colourpop style. I preferred the slim ‘in a line’ style that the UD Naked palettes have – easy to hold. I like the Bobbi Brown ‘make your own’ palette because it’s gorgeous, easy to open, and light yet sturdy. Good size to hold. The palette needs to clasp shut and open easily. Won’t pop open in my handbag.

I like the Chanel packaging because it looks good, it’s functional, keeps makeup protected if I drop it, and easy to open and close. I like Charlotte Tilbury packaging for this reason too, visually appealing, looks glamorous, functional. And I agree, as I age, getting the darn package open is key!

It’s so interesting how people have very different tastes and preferences. I know many people love Charlotte Tilbury make-up and packaging, but I always found the gold finish looking rather tacky and the overall plastic quality kind of cheap. The first time I purchased the powder for example, I believed that somehow I got a fake. ๐Ÿ˜† This isn’t by any means a critique for people loving the brand, I truly believe there’s something wrong with my views on make-up. ๐Ÿ˜…

I agree Ana Marie, the CT feels cheap to me too. The component for the Filmstar Bronze and Glow is the exact same Jouer Blush/Bronze duos, which are about half the price!

Huge. Clunky. Impractical. (This is why I do-not have a lot of Too faced products….plus…the performance isn’t always there).

Suede/faux velvet type materials (example: the original Naked palette) or other textures which are easy to look dirty and hard to keep clean.

Materials easily broken.

Packaging which misses the mark in relation to the product – for example a mascara tube which doesn’t close properly and lets the mascara dry out too quickly, or conversely, is too tight and doesn’t allow the wand to come out smoothly, getting hung up.

Packaging that hurts your hand when you use it….this should be self-explanatory, but when you have rhinestones on a brush handle…..why? It’s not good for the landfill and it’s not good for the human (in my opinion).

One other thought: I appreciate Selena Gomez’s brand trying to be inclusive of persons with arthritis or other fine motor issues (regarding packaging). I know at least 3 people who have switched to the brand specifically because they can open the products without pain (!!!)

It could be interesting to see packaging with Braille for visually impaired persons (yes, they are also interested in makeup) or other less-well included populations. Really fascinating times ๐Ÿ™‚

Wow, thank you for sharing this. To someone like me without motor skill challenges, I thought something not rounded would be easier to open to get leverage, but I love to hear the report that it has made products more accessible!

Multiple people contacted Selena Gomez’s brand and they denied ever making any mentioned that the packaging was design with people with arthritis in mind. It was a rumour started on the internet that people just circulated around without checking the right source.

No way! I didn’t know it was a rumor! Well, the friends who have started using it because of the rumor (??) or good marketing or (??) have indicated to me that it has been useful for them.
I have bad carpal tunnel, and I have found the oval-shaped containers from Beauty Pie are much easier for me to work with. But to each their own. Always interesting.

RawBeautyKristi and Jen Luv directly contacted the brand and they confirmed they never claimed that. It was a rumor started by an Youtube comment, that youtubers and the media picked without verifying. Which is a proof on how misinformation can easily move around.
I had personally heard some cases of the contrary, people purchasing specifically for this feature, but having issues using it. I think it depends on the specific motor/mobility issue.

Yeah, I hat clunky or odd shaped, difficult to store packaging, too. Plus, things that are difficult to open. I have Lupus related arthritis and peripheral neuropathy in my fingers, so I NEED for items to be able to open/access easily. It’s why I had to give up work as an admin asst and go on disability.

Flimsy, poor quality housing of the product or, conversely, too weighty packaging. Both are problematic for my. One because I hate it when it begins to fall apart long before I ever hit pan, and two, because I would hate for it to fall on my feet if it dropped. My only exception to this rule is PML Mothership Palettes.
Another deal-breaker is packaging with sexual or profane images on it in the artwork.

Or at least if it’s something sexual or profane, be in a means that can be hidden (e.g. in interior packaging, not outside) or release “safe” versions of the packaging (if I remember correctly, The Balm had two options for the original Nudes palette, with different images of the girls).

Absolutely YES to “safe” versions! I’d also love it if the safe versions didn’t have obscene, substance abuse related or spiritistic names for the shades, too. I’m so tired of the shock value garbage!

I have so many deal breakers…

*Poor quality packaging, either made from thin plastic that breaks or cracks easily, or cardboard that bend easily. Anything with poor quality hinges, things that don’t withstand months of daily opening and use.

*Packaging that it’s either hard to open and close (damage to fingers and nails), either too easy to open (usually a mess on the go or traveling)

*Cheap looking material, especially for high end brands. For example, to me the Charlotte Tilbury gold packaging looks and feels so cheap in real life, although in pictures might seem luxurious.

*Anything bulky, especially when extra not needed packaging is involved. Anything too big or small to hold ergonomically

*Anything white (gets dirty easily) or too colorful

*Anything hard or impossible to sanitize and disinfect

*Doe foot applicators or any other unsanitary packaging

*Loose powder packaging, I never found one that is good

*A special mention to packaging that’s not recyclable or it’s hard to recycle; but this one is hard with make-up

Sponge head applicators, such as for click-concealers or those CT highlighters, which cannot be removed or changed out. I just see the bacteria multiplying in my mindโ€™s eye. You could spray it with disinfectant I suppose but I just avoid it.

I also donโ€™t buy large palettes and personally I dislike palettes with too much/odd spacing between the pans.

For me, it’s all about the functionality. What I absolutely hate are those fairly narrow containers that have an itsy-bitsy push-up latch. I have some Chantecaille eyeshadows that are like that. The containers are gorgeous, the products are superb, the colors are unique, but the little compacts are next to impossible for my old arthritic hands to open. I have an old metal nail file which I use to pry them open! But as you can see, I didn’t let the latch deter me from purchasing them! LOL

I am pretty easy to please when it comes to packaging. My main concerns are that it is sturdy enough but lightweight since I travel a fair amount. I also prefer cardboard packaging without a lot extra packaging. I worry about the amount of plastic we are dumping around the world. I don’t hold my palettes while using them, except at home, because I need a magnifying mirror and so I can’t hold a mirror and the palette. Because of that factor, I like palettes that open flat. The smaller PMGL palettes that don’t lie flat drive me crazy. I have to put something heavy on one side to keep it somewhat open but you have to be careful as I don’t want the package to break along the back spine. I also need a good strong closure, also because of traveling. Off the top of my head, I think that is it!!

Oops, one more, I prefer shallower palettes with wider pans than thicker palettes with smaller pans. Thinner is easier to travel with and to hold and also allows for a larger shadow surface making brush use easier. I don’t love having to be super careful to get my brush into a smaller surface area that you get in thicker palettes.

I’m not sure they’re deal breakers but I do have some things that annoy me too:

– Like many others, very bulky packaging is annoying and take up too much space.
– I also don’t like having to use my nails to open something. I’m often in a rush or holding a brush in my hand and just want something that opens easily.
– Those silly little brushes that come in luxury make up palettes (Tom Ford, Chanel) – so unnecessary, they end up in the garbage and makes the package look off afterwards, waste of space.
– And finally, finishes that get dirty too easily, like the velvet finish of those ABH palettes (Soft Glam and Modern Renaissance).

I’m OK with all kinds of packaging as long as I can open it. I still have healthy, strong hands so I shouldn’t have problems with opening, but it happens and is super annoying.

The only think I want from packaging is that my product can be shipped without breaking and arrive in one piece. That’s why I like The Ordinary’s packing – sturdy and plain. After all, the packaging is going to go into the recycling bin.
As to the container for the product – I want it to be sturdy and be able to open it easily. Some palettes are tricky for me to open – eg Mariposa by UD. And some single eyeshadows are the same.
Pump foundations – sometimes the pumps don’t actually work and to use the product you have to be able to open the bottle at the neck – this is also very, very annoying.

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