What brand needs a revamp?

I would really love to see MAC overhaul their permanent eyeshadow range, like I feel this on a deep, personal level. They’ve discontinued a lot of shades without replacing them! I feel like it’s an area that could use some love in their core offerings.

— Christine


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Mariella Avatar

I’d love to see MAC bring back something along the lines of their previous absolute winner shadows – Starflash, Pro Longwear and Matte2. But overall, I think Hourglass could do with a revamp that would justify their high purchase price, especially with their shadows (remember their old duos, which were so fabulous?) In Canada, their new (probably out for about a year now) e/s palettes aren’t even available (maybe not a bad thing???)

Stacey Avatar

Hourglass had six pair of eyeshadow choices at one point. Not very glorious colors, but if high quality. Now…it mimics Tom Ford in prices and quantity. No bueno.

Elizabeth Avatar

Hourglass used to make some fabulous palettes, they had eight eye shadows and a blush. The case swiveled up and had a nice mirror. They were expensive, but lovely. I had 2 of them, and when I hit pan on a few colors in both palettes, they had discontinued them. I have dabbled with the new duos and those awful 5 in 1 shadows, and I just didn’t like them anymore. I do like their foundations, concealers, and powders. I bought mini’s of the highlighters, blushes, and bronzers that I liked. I would probably never hit pan on the full size or the palettes they put out for the holidays.

I have been underwhelmed by L’Oreal’s Urban Decay acquisition. I have loved Urban Decay since the eye shadows were call Pot Holes, Lip Gunks were my favorite glosses, (and my dogs loved them too. They would chew a hole in the bottom and lap that stuff up like a treat. Their breath was amazing, just like the flavors!) but I feel like the eye shadows are like L’Oreal’s now. That Back Talk palette was my favorite colors, I love pink, purples, violets and I thought I would love it. The blushes were pretty, colors that normally would just end up in my basket. Honestly, they felt like the L’Oreal rosy nudes palettes. The shadows were not great, they were dry and chalky. They kicked up like L’Oreal shadows do. L’Oreal does make some good products, but if Urban Decay is just L’Oreal formulations, with a prestige price, I just can’t do it. Urban Decay needs to go back to their edgy roots. They need to go back to some of their older formulations that are still good, and they need to manufacture them here, in the states, when they were pretty much good quality throughout the brand. I do like the Heat palette and the Cherry palette, but some of the colors are pretty close to ABH Modern Renaissance, and that is a great palette.

Rachel R. Avatar

I completely agree with you about MAC. They need to stop putting out one LE collection after another and concentrate on updating their e/s formula and selection.

I kind of hate to say this, but my beloved Urban Decay. Their eye palettes have been hit and miss. I don’t like the new lip glosses anywhere near as much as the Revolution glosses. They let the Afterglow blush and highlighter line languish. The lip toppers were mostly a bust. They discontinued the unique and iconic Electric Palette. I feel like they don’t have a cohesive or strong brand identity any more.

E.l.f. : I used to adore them, but they’ve discontinued most of my favorite products, including many of my staples. They keep getting more expensive, but I find their newer products less interesting. It’s seems like they are discontinuing and bringing out new items super-quickly. I still like them, especially their brushes, but I find myself buying less and less from them. I’m buying more from BH Cosmetics and Wet n Wild for budget priced products.

Stacey Avatar

Urban Decay: changed direction likely when bought out by L’Oréal. Now their components (ingredients) are not made in USA. That is a no deal for me. The original Naked palette was pretty much the last best thing I bought. Edgy makeup to just another plain brand makeup. I only get the black liquid eyeliner now (made in Canada).

Stacey Avatar

Tom Ford did revamp. It revamped to Estée Lauder company’s personality….. Dull as a door knob. Also, just recently, all his makeup brushes are now synthetic. All the brushes are the same price as it’s fur counterparts. I like natural hair….and so does Goss, Surratt, Sonia G, Shu Uemura and Suqqu. Japanese brushes such as paint brushes and other types are fur brushes too.

Susan Nevling Avatar

I agree. I always wanted to ove Tom Ford but he is consistently rated much lower than Colourpop. I will spend my money on real quality. This includes skincare and makeup.

Deborah S. Avatar

I totally agree about MAC. I use to be super excited to visit a MAC counter and now I go and rarely buy anything. I think their whole brand needs to re-invent itself. I went to the MAC counter when I was in Spokane about 2 weeks ago. I picked out 3 eye shadows from their permanent line that were on display. The SA told me that they don’t make that shade anymore in the finish that I wanted and told me that they had a similar blush that could replicate the shade. First of all, why are products that are no longer available still being displayed? Secondly, when I asked her if the blush was safe for the eye area she said she didn’t know and went to look it up on-line. She couldn’t find it listed on line. They need to release fewer new LE lines and focus on their core lines.

I think a lot of prestige brands need to re-think their brand. With the makeup market becoming more and more saturated and drugstore brands really upping their game, prestige brands need to pay attention before it is too late. Sure, there are a lot of people who are going to buy only prestige brands and they will convince themselves that the products are superior to anything they can get at the drugstore. I see a lot of this on YouTube. I watched a video this other day with a review and demo of the new Tom Ford quad and the person applying it loved the quad, said they were very pigmented, applied beautifully but while applying anyone watching could see the pigmentation isn’t there and they were hella patchy. Anyway, enough of my rant. My point being that when you can get a better product from middle of the road and drugstore brands then why pay $100 for an e/s quad.

Nancy T Avatar

? Agree with you about MAC! Especially whatever in the heck they went and did to their core eyeshadow range. So many wonderful HG shades and formulas have been discontinued. Pretty upsetting that I now have to go track them down on Amazon and eBay. Not exactly the way I want to purchase cosmetics! MAC; bring back Matte², Veluxe, and the Extra Dimension e/s’s. Also, some fabulous shades that many of us out here love and enjoy using, ie; Nehru, Vibrant Grape, too many to name.

Besides MAC’s mess, there’s also UD. I’m literally SMDH over what this brand is becoming. Okay, so what’s the story with one of the BEST blush formulas out here? Y’all DC’ing it? WHY? And if so, how come we can still get them from your brand directly, but none through retailers that you sell through? I also take MAJOR issue with the new lipgloss formula. Firstly; why add sodium saccharin to the formula when many people are allergic to it? What was so wrong with the Revolution gloss formula? My answer: NOTHING. Just could have added the new shades, and we all would have been perfectly satisfied! Oh, and for the love of all things makeup, stop it with the onslaught of LE collections and collabs! You’re becoming like MAC with this nonsense!

And I could sit here and come for many other brands while I’m at it, cause I’m on a tear, lol! For instance, Tom Ford…I’m looking at YOU. Too Faced, cut it out with the sodium saccharin in eyeshadow. We don’t need flavored eyelids, plus, seriously, people who are allergic to sulfa cannot use them safely or comfortably. And AGAIN; the maniacal churning out of LE stuff: please stop that! Just give us QUALITY and products that EVERYONE can safely use.

[rant over]… maybe

AB Avatar

Nancy — with you on these. UD: I find I either really like a given offer (Beached palette; Love Drug eyeliner that is so far sold out everywhere I’ve looked) or not so much (blushes — where’d they go) plus the intense LE release schedule.

But especially on Too Faced — as I’ve mentioned before, Peachy Mattes palette I used daily for awhile started tremendous reaction on my lids still an issue 1+ yrs later (cannot use any primer, most makeup removers re-trigger the reaction, still having to use the prescription steroid at times, etc). Shame on them.

Nancy T Avatar

OMG, that’s horrible, AB. No eyeshadow should ever cause this level of inflammation and allergic reaction to one’s eyes. Too Faced needs to pull all these stupid food flavored and scented e/s palettes before someone out here actually loses their eyesight behind having an allergic reaction. That’s if it hasn’t happened already. They are looking at an eventual lawsuit at this rate! And they deserve it, too.

V Avatar

AB and Nancy:

I have bad reactions to many primers and setting sprays. Many MAC products! I’m having an itchy reaction at the moment from IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Lines serum/primer. I believe it’s certain silicones, EOs, fragrances, even metals. My 1st severe reaction was from (what a dermatologist believed was) mica in old MAC LE summer highlighters with large mica particles/shimmer. Mica is in almost everything and I don’t react to all of it. My eyes were SO puffy, almost swollen shut with flaking, ugly, bumpy red eczema all over them and everywhere else I packed it on. It took a long time to heal as I was still wearing some MAC matte eyeshadows and a frost. I couldn’t be seen at work or the customers would’ve been scared off!

I worked with a few estheticians who told me steroid creams can shrink skin causing it to lose volume so I lost steroids for good.

tamara larson Avatar

Like most people I feel like M.A.C has gotten stale. I also agree about Urban Decay, are trying to be everything to everybody which never works and overall there matte shades need help. Too Faced and Tarts just need a total over haul too

AB Avatar

MUFE comes to mind. I don’t know what they are doing or trying to be. My own recent experiences with eyeshadow (decision to reformulate and change packaging was unfortunate, now they’re in the pack versus setting standards), the new artist liners that have no staying power, the concealer where the top doesn’t fasten — all suggest trending to the mediocre at best. I hear the water-based foundation is good, I may try that someday, but on the whole, I’m kind of off MUGE lately.

Mariella Avatar

Me too. I was pleased with the rectangular shape of the revamped shadows but that was all. I made of point of purchasing a few of the “old” shadows before they got cleared out of Sephora here in Canada (I thought I had all the time in the world to add to my collection, until I learned they were being “reformulated”, thanks to Christine). So glad I grabbed a few of the “oldies”. Why would they mess with that great formula?

Ginny Avatar

My answer would be Estée Lauder but they are actually doing it since hiring Violette Serrat. I hope they come out with more products like maybe some complexion stuff (because I don’t think Violette herself is a Double Wear girl).

Melissa Avatar

I definitely agree MAC and Urban Decay needs a revamp. I still like MAC but I’m sick of all the LE collections. I miss the old UD days before all the Naked palettes. Don’t get me wrong. I loved the first Naked palette but the rest were kind of hits and misses. I really miss the Ammo palette. It was the quintessential UD palette. UD went from being rocker chic to basic.

Genevieve Avatar

First of all some HE brands like Lancome, Guerlain and Tom Ford – they need to be much, much better to justify their high prices.
It’s harder for me to judge the middle of the range brands because, for the last few years, their shade selection, ie reds, pinks and oranges, have not been suitable for me.
However I do agree with other readers’ here that UD should revise their strategies and become more focused on bringing out a wider range of shades with excellent quality.

Lee Ann Avatar

I also think tarte, and too faced come to mind. I also think Sephora needs to revamp their own line. Too faced and tarte are so much alike to me I forget who comes out with what product.

Gilad Avatar

I’d be hard pressed to say what’s distinctive about Laura Mercier, Bobbie Brown (which sadly, used to have an identity based on paying a lot of attention to the complexity of skin tones, and using color in a subtle way),
Dior? YSL? Maybe it’s there, but undetectable to me. TF perpetually pisses me off, with their philosophy of charging the max that the market will bear, adding $30 and seeing if it will fly. And for better or worse, I particularly don’t want to give that kind of money to a man in an industry primarily serving women. I’d rather be (an infinitesimal) part of making Pat McGrath a multimillionaire. So, no love lost here if those brands all disappeared. For me, Tarte still serves a purpose as they are supposedly a ‘cleaner’ brand, despite limited innovation/intensity of color products. Clinique has fair prices, and some v. good core products, though their eye products are usually a snooze. I’d like every company to know who they are and what they are going to dedicate themselves to being GREAT at, and then do it. You know, like what you want for yourself, and the people you love.

xamyx Avatar

The thing is, Tom Ford has expressly stated that he only wants a specific demographic to buy his products, so he charges what he does to weed out the “common folks”…

Nikki Avatar

Urban Decay isn’t too bad for me, other than I want them to bring back the Electric palette. I’d be happy if Kat Von D just brought back the Thin Lizzy shade in the Studded Kiss lipstick line, although I’d like them to go back to the original SK formula too-Underage Red wears off with food pretty easily in the current Creme formula.

Pearl Avatar

I’m not a fan of a re-vamp; I think it would make me lose respect for the brand because it would look desperate at this point. There have been so many re-vamps of products that turned out by and large to be to the brand’s detriment that it’s made me look at any kind of re-vamping or “new and improved” with disdain and distrust. Same thing if a brand re-vamped.

That being said, if I had to pick one it would be MAC. I think PMG has/have completely de-throned them and I don’t think MAC will rebound. They used to be THE standard. They haven’t been for a while and it’s been a slow and steady decline for years now. I’m not sure what it is – their core products are still my staples, I just am not interested in anything they are putting out lately. . . .maybe I’ve just outgrown the trendy releases? The last releases I really enjoyed were the Alluring Aquatic, Fruity Juicy and Jade Jagger.

Susan Avatar

Too Faced. They used to have nice mid-range products for adults. Now most of their releases seem to be geared to tweeners who think wallowing in glitter and sex-related names is edgy.

Urban Decay: In the last day or so, a leaked picture of their supposed upcoming new Naked palette, Reloaded, has surfaced. So boring. Looks like a discount store cheap dupe of something that was cool years ago.

Jane Avatar

Makeup Forever (MUFE), I so so liked the brand (and have done one class and hope to do others), and there eyeshadows and a few other products have been so good, but somehow they seem to be fading into “has been” status. The last palettes have been disappointing.

Stacy Avatar

Tarte! I think they had a tough time bouncing back from the whole foundation ordeal. Also, I feel like half the line has higher end natural feel and half the line is kid makeup. They have a hard time sticking to their brand identity without being boring or feeding too much into the criticism. Also they’re products are constantly going on sale which leads me to believe that they’re either not selling as much or they’re marking up their products a ton.

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