What beauty brands rarely live up to your expectations?

Bobbi Brown eyeshadows (I think the brand is reliable on lip/cheek products, though), Too Faced (generally, so hit or miss!), Stila (some good, core products but new formulas are a rollercoaster ride).

— Christine
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34 Comments

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It’s got to be Too Faced all the way. The Chocolate Bar palettes were great for when they came out, but formulas have gotten better across the board and I haven’t tried a TF shadow yet that performed how I like them to. They always LOOK great, the packaging is on point even if it’s not my aesthetic like the Pretty Rich and Pretty Mess collections, but I’ve found the quality to be Pretty Meh.

BH Cosmetics, Makeup Revolution and Juvia’s Place. I’m just not a fan of the first two and have generally unimpressed with what I’ve tried. People act like they are amazing esp for affordable brands. I just find a lot I don’t like. The last I had really high hopes bc people act like Juvia’s Place is amazing and the best on the market. I find them ok and not as pigmented or packaging a punch as I expected. Average at best. I still enjoy but I’m definitely not keen to try much more

Ah, they’re ‘coney. Now I don’t have to rue them falling under my low buy rule, no new brands. I was tempted to get Juvia’s in under the wire by NYE. Silicones don’t usually like me much.

That may be true too but how people hype them up they act like they are the most pigmented and I just don’t find that to be true. I find them on par with Morphe though slightly, slightly better but still just average over all. I think their packaging is great. I love how they choose and place colors in a palette but quality not that impressive. I guess I was expecting to be blown away and I wasn’t

I agree about Juvia’s. My experience with BH is so opposite though. I feel like BH and Colourpop are my fave affordable brands, with Morphe and Juvia’s being brands I like but not as much as BH and CP.

Makeup Revolution was barely even on my radar lol. And I have a few things from them, but not many.

I hate to say it, but Urban Decay has become increasingly hit or miss with powder products, which is baffling considering they used to be renowned for their quality. It’s still generally good, but now I check swatches before buying.

I love Dior lip and cream products, but I always find their powder products hit or miss. Chanel used to be equally unreliable with eyeshadow but I’ve noticed they’ve improved over the past two years.

Stila is always hit or miss for me. I’ve never been fond of their lip products.

I feel like the increase in competition has really hit a lot of brands hard as they rush to get products out. Ten or so years ago, I didn’t feel like there was so many issues over all.

Overall, any of the brands that are super heavy on churn like too-faced, tarte, mac or super high end as price certainly does not dictate quality like tom ford or chanel.

You must’ve read my mind, Wednesday! These were exactly some of the main offenders that immediately came to mind as soon as I read the question.

Too Faced used to be my favorite brand, but with the exception of their nude lipstick line, most of their releases in the past have been a disappointment for me. I actually like the kitschy, over-the-top packaging, too. It’s very on brand for me, haha. I also never got the Urban Decay hype as most of their products never really worked well for me.

I’ve never liked any Too Faced product I’ve purchased. I’ve only not returned two of their products and have given one away and trashed the other.

Stila (went down the toilet when they were sold), MUG (I’ve never been impressed with their eyeshadows; faulty packaging/directions for use issues with eye sparklers; bad liquid lipsticks; some overpriced products), MAC LE collections (too many; too hit and miss; bad eye palettes), Tarte (hit and miss; too many similar looking products), Too Faced (hit and miss), Guerlain (eyeshadow reformulations suck; stuck in a rut), NARS eyeshadows (permanent collection was hit and miss even before the reformulation), e.l.f. (discontinuing so many old favorites; new stuff is more expensive but not as appealing to me), and Benefit (not exciting/not putting out much new stuff; hit and miss).

Urban Decay is becoming more hit and miss, but I don’t know whether I’d quite put them in the “rarely” category yet. That may just be denial on my part, as I want the brand to be good and still love a lot of their permanent products. Palettes are definitely more hit and miss now.

I hear you on everything you just said, Rachel! And I absolutely hope that these different brands are reading our comments/feedback on here so that they can at least try to right their courses before they crash.

I learned a very long time ago to not have any real expectations from any brand/product. For one thing, everyone has different needs, varying lifestyles, and/or use different tools/skincare that can alter the performance of any given product. I’ve also come to appreciate a product for what it is, not what I hoped it would be. For example, MAC Carbon is absolutely horrendous if used on its own, over a larger area; however, if I use it to simply add dimension to the crease, I love it, as it isn’t nearly as heavily pigmented/smooth as my other black shadows. Also, just because a brand describes a product a certain way, I make my final decision on whether I need/want it based on actual swatches. Even when I buy blindly, I will typically still find a way to use it. Another thing is, brands are constantly reformulating, so even if I find a product I have consistently loved, somewhere down the line I know it will inevitably change…

“I learned a very long time ago to not have any real expectations from any brand/product. For one thing, everyone has different needs, varying lifestyles, and/or use different tools/skincare that can alter the performance of any given product.” Agreed!

Pretty much any drug store brand. I don’t know if it’s a mental block but I’m rarely if ever wowed by any drug store brand.

Stila is a brand I’ve tried to get into since the 90s (way back when Jeanine Lobell was still running it), but nothing has ever worked for me. Their aesthetic seems to be better than their products. Same with Benefit.

Pat McGrath Labs. Blasphemy against Mother I know, but none of her lipsticks ever work for me ! I do adore her Lust Gloss, three of which I got last month and like.

Lately the two companies that have been underwhelming and/or plain disappointing are MAC and Glossier. MAC is seemingly just churning out confusing (the re-released Hyper Real “foundation”) and/or subpar products (most of their highlighters with that annoying overspray, palettes) just to stay in the game. Glossier is basically just an increasingly expensive hype machine now that I admittedly fall for repeatedly. I’m hoping Glossier Play fares better.

MAC, Bobbi Brown, Stila, Laura Mercier, Too Faced and Chanel. UD is heading that way too.

I think overall these are fairly reasonable quality for the most part (with exceptions obviously!) but pretty poor value overall. Mostly because cosmetic pricing in my part of the world includes insane conversion factors, mark ups and various taxes included – the NARS Audacious lip palettes are $84 (and I still want one!) but I expect quality payoff and a superior formula for what I’m expected to pay for those brands. And since we’re not able to return products in New Zealand either, it is an expensive mistake to make when something doesn’t live up to expectation!

I find MAC often leaves me high and dry. Too Faced, I’ve received so many samples in beauty boxes and continually underwhelmed. Urban Decay, I finally threw out the last item I had from them and I can echo BH eyeshadows – massive fall-out!

The worst for me has been Fenty. Despite all their shades not a single one matches my skintone, I find the performance below drugstore brands. Never again.

No Fenty match here, either. The SAs did not believe me, on the lt>med and straight medium ‘cool’ shades. I had to swatch in front of them. Reactions: One Really! One Huh? And one WTF! As yellow as a caution sign. I like a few of the lips and HLs, but not a lot.

In recent years, far too many. Tarte, Too Faced, even MAC and UD have gotten to be a crap shoot when it comes to quality. Many HE and Lux brands have also become very iffy. Especially when they release their LE collections. Guerlain, Chanel, Dior and Tom Ford are all guilty as sin of this.
And I don’t know what happened to WnW, because they were the ones who really upped the DS/Low cost cosmetics game only 6-7 years ago! But now? Very hit or miss.

Basically any high end brand — it’s implied by marketing and cost that they will deliver quality, so my expectations are consistently high.
Otherwise, on my personal experience with specific brands: Bobbi Brown and MUFE come to mind.

The only time Too Faced exceeded expectations was with their Cocoa Powder Foundation, which I bought on Hautelook. No other purchase rose above “did not meet expectations.”

I would agree with Bobbi Brown, so average and yet so expessive. Add to that Too Faced, Tom Ford, Dior, MAC, Guerlain (their eyeshadows), NARS and even Urban Decay…once brands start churning out the palettes like there’s no tomorrow, then the quality starts to decrease.

For me it has to be and Tarte, Too Faced and Benefit. These three for me have consistently have been misses. I do like Benefit’s mascara and Too Faced foundation and their Chocolate Bars but after trying these brands other products they were subpar for me. At least lower brands like Morphe, I know what to expect as well as some pharmacy products but these 3 are most consistent in letting me down as far as their other products so I tend not to purchase anything from them besides the products mentioned above.

Almost too underwhelming to get a mention is Smashbox! When have they created any products makeup lovers or professionals had to keep as staples in their kits? When did Smashbox ever do something better than another line’s primer or foundations or anything at all that already existed? I can say something nice thing about them. That lash primer (white tube) is nice. It’s flexible, non irritating, compatible with many different mascaras and I might even buy it again.

A lot of MAC has been underwhelming for decades but I was too loyal to admit that the performance and quality of many products were disappointing. I’m not trashing their pro lip liners or pigments but dupes abound. I’m sorry if that was rough for anyone!

BH: of all the palettes I’ve bought (face, lip and eye), I sometimes (rarely) use the Carli Bybel one.
Colour Pop to some extent. I have a bunch of their highlighters (never use) and only use one or two super shock shadows, but I hate the space individuals take up and never travel with them. I do use their matte liquid lip Midi a lot and a couple lip-liners. The one palette I bought from them I returned to Sephora.
Too Faced: I finally took myself off their mailing list, they inundate you, and the products always seem so juvenile.
MAC: I never go into the stores anymore. There is rarely anything that appeals to me and the one thing that did recently was always sold out.
Benefit: also to some extent, although I’ve recently bought their new Bad Gal Bang mascara, and matte liquid eye liner, and love both.

Tarte, for eye makeup. I like their face and lip products, but not their shadows, liner, mascara. But I keep trying. Others that don’t seem to work for me when others love them are Elf and Fenty. Also, to a lesser degree, Juvia’s Place. I like my Juvia’s palettes, but the mattes disappear by lunchtime, often more like by the time I get anywhere. The shimmers are nice though.

I must say that I’m mostly disappointed by drugstore makeup, like Loreal and Maybelline. I’ve tried every product that was recommended and I don’t like them at all :/ foundations, correctors, highlighters and s especially lip products

Bobbie Brown eyeshadows. The quality is pretty consistently awful in every palette. They are chalky, do not blend well and have low pigment. But I feel even BB’s gel eyeshadow, tried & my favorite eyeliner for years – has been subtlety changed as well. In the past 2 years I have purchased the LE shades with her new collections as well as the staple shades – and the product doesn’t glide on as easily as it once did. Currently the formula, even when brand new, is chunky – it’s hard to use as to me the product easily glided on my eyelids. Now I have to work to get to apply the thickness of the liner the way I prefer. BB lipsticks are just “ok” quality wise for me but imo her lipsticks are too expensive for their quality.
So yes Bobbi Brown always lets me down.

Benefit. Everyone hypes them up like they’re the best thing on the planet & they’re just meh. Theit Boi-ing concealer is marketed as “industrial strength”, yet it barely covered my dark circles. Their brow products are smudgy & their darkest color is still too light for me. Too Faced is also extremely disappointing. Everything they’ve put out over the last few years looks *exactly* the same. I laughed so hard when I read the description for that awful “Pretty Mess” collection palette. “Punch of color”….WHERE???!!! It’s all light pinks, browns, gold, and beige. No color anywhere 😂

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