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Too Faced (cheesy packaging and poor quality products), MAC (too many collections), bareMinerals (not sure what the brand stands for anymore).

IA re: Bare Minerals/Escentuals
While they have great quality products, I can’t tell what the brand’s intentions are. They seem very neutral and without personality.

Too faced (agree on the packaging thing, also limited editions suck)
Tarte (they’ve officially downgraded themselves to be a YouTube brand by bringing youtubers to Bora Bora last year, followed by mediocre new products)
MAC (I don’t know why they’re still bombing people with 4 collections per month)

And here we go…

1.) MAC has some of the BEST customer service, fantastic permanent products, and around half to 3/4 of their LE releases are anything from great to good, BUT that leaves 1/4 to half of all their LE products in the poor to fair range. That, plus they *need* to pull out of countries where animal testing is required.

2.) Urban Decay. Most of their main permanent line is fun, innovative and full of surprises. But they now have at least half of their LE releases being major disappointments. Plus, their foundation range, while improved, needs more shades in the range. Especially for PoC.

3.) Colourpop needs to go back to their funky, kaleidoscope roots! Put the COLOR back into “Colourpop” and leave the neutral tones to others, please!

Honorable mention goes to Too Faced: No more Pepto Bismal pink eyeshadow, get that sodium saccharin out of the eyeshadow palettes because nobody needs flavored eyelids, and cut the childish packaging in exchange for higher quality product that y’all used to make!

I have to agree with you on everything but especially the too faced flavoured eyeshadow and baby doll packing. I refuse to buy into that stuff.

I agree on everything except for Colourpop. The formula of the Supershock shadow is way too good to avoid all ranges of color, and my neutrals are some of my favorites of my whole collection. Colourpop and Burberry are my fav shadows, which is a little bit hilarious to me 馃檪

Yes, but … not ColourPop. I love their formula, and rely on neutrals for base colors. I would be sad without my CP peaches and browns.

It’s not that I want Colourpop to DC any of the neutrals they now have, but that I would LOVE to see them bring back their zingy, wilder shades from when they first began. They used to have some really unique, yet high quality shades for the $5. price tag!

I totally agree with you Christine. I also wish Bobbi Brown would improve their quality, since they have a beautiful packaging and a great colour range but sometimes pretty bad quality when it comes to the actual product.

“Est茅e Lauder Companies Inc. bought Bobbi Brown Essentials in 1995; Brown retained complete creative control of the makeup line.”

“In December 2016, it was announced that Brown would step down from the company by the end of the year.” I was referring more to this information I read. : )

Definitely Too-Faced. The quality seems to be lacking. Estee Edit has bizarre packaging. Mac seems frenetic in its number of releases, or has it always been that way? I find it exhausting.

I wish Estee Lauder would be a bit more cohesive all around. I literally never purchased anything EL until the Victoria Beckham collection came out, and I loved what I got so much that I’m very interested in EL now. The Estee Edit feels way too young for me, and I’m mid 20s. It feels “teen” which I think is a misguided demographic for the price points. The upscale glory of the VB collection also didn’t really mesh with the regular line even though I love it.

The Est茅e edit is not Est茅e Lauder. I mean it is but it’s a specific line they made for Sephora only to entice the younger girl. The prices are lower and packaging more eye catching with products someone in their 20’s might want. Try an Est茅e Lauder counter. Those products will be more like the Victoria Beckham collection but with a better price tag and a lot more skincare. ?

You’re so right, Too Faced Palette is such a let down imo, the whole thing seems quite gimmicky and the smell is candy peach, not fruit Peach.
MAC is all over the place with collabs, I wish they would focus on becoming cruelty free.
Haven’t had a chance to try to much from Lanc么me just the mascara and I don’t really reach for it.

I think Colourpop needs to concentrate its brand. There’s just so much, to the point that it feels like they’re rereleasing identical lipstick shades and eyeshadows. I think they should also focus on consistency.
Most drugstore brands need to expand their foundation ranges, it’s still quite pitiful.
Charlotte Tilbury could try making a lot of her products more affordable, whether that be having some sort of discount, or expanding her brand so it makes her products more easily available and better to mass produce.

Agreed with mac and two faced for similar reason. Plus the quality has gone down to or I have too many better choices now with so much competition. As for Lanc么me, I have never really cared about them but my third would be urban decay. They need to do something about quality control. Their products are really a hit or a miss now !!

Totally agree on the MAC, their core items are really good (lipsticks/eyeshadow) fav MU brand & 1st high-end brand I was introduced to, that original clear lipglass was my life in high school. Too faced & lancome no comment, I have 1 too faced melted berry & love the color but it makes my lips feel like breast fed nipples….Lawwwd it’s drying??

1) Urban Decay – grow up or get out. Enough with the derogatory shade names. The drug names were already in questionable taste but referencing mental health disorders and suicidal tendencies is really a step too far.

2) Too Faced – too many limited release collections designed to stir up hype. Their packaging aesthetic is a tad too tacky as well.

3) Jeffree Starr – I don’t have any confidence he’s likely to change his behaviour (and at the end of the day, he represents his brand). But to all the stores which stock Jeffree Starr products, maybe rethink that decision because I don’t think I’m the only one of your customers put off by your decision to support him.

I absolutely agree with Jeffree Star. I cannot stand by any store that sells his products after how he treats his colleagues and customers. It’s not trendy–it’s just harassment.

I wholeheartedly agree with everything you said, Emily! UD’s shade names are very disturbing at times due to poor taste. And Jeffree Starr is just a huge NO for me due to him being a misogynistic racist bully.

I 100% agree with everything you’ve said. But Expecially about Jeffree starr. He needs to go.

We don’t need racist, misogynistic, people in the beauty community!! We need to support and uplift one another!!

I am surprised that Jeffree Star has got this far – he should leave his company for the sake of his employees (who need their jobs) as he will lose business over the way he acts and what he says.

Tarte needs to stop making so many brown eyeshadow palettes. I love them and have enough of those, and looking at the Ulta display last night I realized they had at least seven different brown palettes on display. And you know Tarte has other brown palettes, too. (I admit that even though I’m fussing I did buy Maneater and now I regret it ). #2- My beloved Too Faced needs to settle down and focus on quality of their products . I don’t want to hear about any more food themed makeup from them. And I have enough of their brown and lavendar eyeshadows, so they need to be working on some different colors. No more neutral palettes. #3 MAC- even though I’m just now getting into it, I’m aware that they constantly have new collections coming out. I’m an impulse shopper and MAC is a huge temptation for me all of a sudden.

#3 I think I might need to rephrase that. I know MAC is constantly coming out with new collections, so they will constanly be on my radar. I’m an impulse shopper and MAC could turn into a nightmare for me I think if they don’t slow down! (Because I don’t know how).

1. Guerlain- collections are repetitive and quality on many products has slid
2. Dior- Too many different formulas being introduced all the time, with questionable quality on a lot of them.
3. Urban Decay- They’ve lost ground as an “edgy” brand to Anastasia and Kat von D, so they either have to focus on reclaiming that, or transitioning into something more mainstream; they can’t be all things to all people. Feels like they’re just throwing everything at customers to see what sticks.

Yes!!!! Kate, I just read your blog post referenced below; Old Norse for ugly has got to be right. Btw, I have been very strongly considering Cape Breton as a place to seek refuge.

Any brand that unbelievibly still use animal cruely to test their products on animals, namely L’Oreal, Estee Lauder and Proctor & Gamble. These brands are the umbrella company for most of your high end and high street brands. I was so shocked to learn this still goes on last year and have since refused to purchased any products from such companies, it is so unnecessary. If the likes of Illamasqua, Becca and many other great independent companies can produce beautiful products without testing on animals why can’t they all? It’s time to take action and stop this barbaric practice!

Grrr that is not good, very diasappointing, another one off my list! I cannot bear how the already massive companies have to have a monopoly on everything, be it cosmetics, groceries, phones etc. Whatever happened to the little guy?!

Tarte (too many poor quality products and very repetitive – so much so, I now refuse to buy the brand)
Too Faced (I love a lot of their products but they are becoming inconsistent in quality lately. I don’t want them to become like Tarte)
Smashbox (unjustified high prices – quality of products and packaging is overall poor. They need to either lower prices to match the mediocre quality or improve formula and packaging to justify Sephora pricing)

Yes on Smashbox! I bought two of the Cover Shot palettes and returned them, not because of the shades or formula which were both great, but because of the palette packaging. That hinge! I know a bunch of people love the packaging, but I knew immediately that for myself, I would not be able to stand that horrible hinge. It wouldn’t stay open and felt like the cheapest plastic method possible.

This. I love the two cover shot palettes I have but that hinge makes the whole thing look and feel cheap. I have a bad feeling that it will eventually break off. ?

URBAN DECAY. Stop releasing sh$t eyeshadow that fades after a few hours. Holy cr$p the most overrated brand to exist. Everything I have tried from them, and I keep trying them bc they release so much, is a disappointment and I’d like to be pleased by them for a change. Hasn’t happened in 15 yrs of trying them. Lol

MAC. I love MAC but I hate that they release so many limited editions collections. Collections that aren’t fully thought out and then the whole not meeting customer demand with their supply. So annoying. And stop discontinuing their best permanent shades…uggh!

Kat Von D. Another brand I love but annoyed with the collections she releases. They are silly for her. Wish she’d work on a decent blush range for her permanent collection and stop with the weak collabs and pastels that aren’t pastels junk. Sorry about it!

Dior: change eyeshadow formula Completly. If ds brands can, so can you! It’s not even funny anymore. People are gonna start making memes ” i just lost my job today and my bf dumped me for a dumb slut..but nothing is as crappy as a Dior eyeshadow…”
Clinique: bring back a colection with black honey front and center
MAC: can i get a Amen! Christine… And bring back the Matte 2 formula, extended and permanent 馃榾

MAC – Reduce the launches a little. The collections on collections on collections are overwhelming
Tarte – Stop using Urban Dictionary slang to name your products
Urban Decay – Please make your palettes on par with quality of permanent products!

I commented on the drug-related (and violence-related) names too. It’s not clever, it’s not edgy or chic. Drugs are killing young people (and not so young people too) and wreaking a huge cost on society in the US, here in Canada and just about everywhere. To continue to use those names is just despicable and irresponsible. How long until someone is “daring” enough to name a lipstick “Sexual Assault” or “Forcible Confinement”???

Absolutely agree with you Mariella and Mo. I won’t buy NARS products because of the names they call their products and now UD is following this very poor lead. Again I don’t buy Jeffree Star because one of his lip glosses was called ‘abused’……

I’ve heard Jeffree Star’s name but have never seen his products, nor had I heard about any controversy about him til now. So I looked it up online and, even trying to put the “best spin” on it, this person seems beneath contempt! I guess I’m just older than dirt but what now passes as “acceptable” behaviour just sickens me…all that bad behaviour on “reality tv” shows just seems to legitimize this behaviour too. Adolescents see this stuff on tv (if they’re not hearing it from their parents) and somehow, that makes it “okay”. And this stuff about Jeffree Star – well, as my late father used to say, “I wouldn’t pee on him if he was on fire!”.

Yes, and that! I was pretty shocked when they put “Druggie” in the Afterdark palette. There’s fun and edgy, and then there’s just tasteless and crass.

I also hate that they have “Backdoor,” in several of the product lines! Ugh. I will definitely pass on Backdoor-brown lips!

The titles of products are the reason I stopped buying tarte. I don’t want someone to say “oh, that’s a pretty lipstick, what is it?” and have to answer “thanks, it’s called Manbun.” Yikes.

MAC (too many releases combined with discontinuing solid, appreciated core products; customer care from in-store to website to LE release handling, and listening to customers)
Make Up Geek
Urban Decay (identity/brand is becoming muddied; quality is increasingly unpredictable and so unreliable)

Definitely agree with Too Faced. They have some great products which get lost in the ocean of limited releases that are all cardboard and poor formulas. Plus I wish they’d lose that all pink, all hearts look which often strikes me as childish.

Tarte is making strides towards not being the “5000 shades of brown” company, and I hope Bobbi Brown does that as well.

Your Tarte comment cracked me up. Seems like all they did was variations on brown (well everyone was on that nude kick). My neice always sends me palette release updates. I swear my reply is, it’s brown. Lol.

What’s strange about Dior’s shadow quints is that every now and then (like, less than once in a blue moon!) they will really land on a great formula but it’s always LE! Golden Savannah (ages ago) was pretty good and Bonne Etoile (Summer 2015, I think) was fabulous. Why can they not maintain that sort of quality in the permanent line or even in other LE releases?

Hi Mariella!

Totally. I still mourn the Dior quint I bought in the mid-80s (!) at the Harvard Coop (truth!). Probably 10 other women I knew went out and got ti too — including my dental hygienist at the time! Never, to this day, have I experienced so many positive comments on eye makeup than when I wore that quint. Gold, blue, deep russet and highlight. It was extraordinary in color and quality. Those where the days. Dior can do it, they are just choosing to go with inferior quality and rely on the legacy and the name, IMO.

I agree with you about Too Faced Christine, too much emphasis on packaging on lackluster products, (I’m looking at you, Sweet Peach), I think tarte needs to focus a little more on advertisements that actually are effective, because they have such a massive line full of products that don’t stick out very well and become this huge blur in my mind. The final one is Benefit. Oooooooh boy. I love Benefit products, but their branding is all over the place. Some of their products are so sleek and modern, and some are so bulky and retro. They need to figure out what kind of aesthetic they want to stick to. I have a lot of issues with the quality of a lot of high end brands this year. If I’m going to be spending $20-$60 on a product, it needs to be a valuable addition to my collection. Step up your game!

Too Faced, 100%. They focus so much on packaging, and the products inside are either mediocre or they’re products we’ve seen before in other palettes.

I definitely agree with MAC – every other week it’s a new dang on collection! Like give a person time to enjoy a collection. They put a collection out then two weeks later it’s overshadowed by yet ANOTHER collection and by the time I go to the store to get the first collection, it’s gone cause they made it soooo “LE” that only those who stalk makeup can snag it, that’s not ideal nor realistic. After a while, this “limited edition” release popularity becomes “left over product so let’s call it limited edition to get rid of it” release. Thankfully they remodeled their stores, too bad it looks like the backstage of a drag show (drag shows are awesome by-the-way) but the stores are so clustered and dark and dim. I get what they tried to do with the spaces but it’s a no go for me.

Tarte – OMG I hate their packaging. Not only that but they do the same thing over and over again in the same packaging there’s no innovation, no exciting new product, no reformulations, just the same ol same ol and it’s getting pretty old. They need to STOP relying solely on the younger generation and try reaching out to various age groups in the media. You can’t sell me a wolf in sheep clothing over and over again. I have yet to see a nice bold release from Tarte, I get the brand and their signature looks but it’s outdone. They released all of this skin care in the same boring packaging which flies under the radar because it’s not different, it doesn’t have it’s own signature look to stand on. They can have all the IG MUAs and their “Trippin With Tartes” trips til their heads fall off and it will not help the way I feel about their product, I feel like Tarte is selling the idea of makeup more than they are the makeup. So tired of these MUAs promoting tarte for a paycheck when some of the product is horrible; ex, contour palettes (give me a break!) Ok, their packaging isn’t the worst, it’s not Too Faced ya know with the lil hearts and ish but still, a little spice won’t hurt! *UGH sorry I had to rant on them.

Clinique – Nicely put Clinique is boring. Their color choices for product is too outdated and too soft that they feel old instead of classic like I think they think they look. Their product releases are not winning because I feel like they don’t have innovation either. I think that’s the most important thing in makeup is being innovative in a market that is heavily oversaturated. It’s hard but doable. Clinique needs to reinvent themselves because they are to me – the “gift with purchase” brand and although that’s nice, in Macy’s, it bores and waters down Clinique’s image in places like Sephora. I like Clinique, I think their products are standing with time but not growing with time and over time they will lose.

I totally agree with what you said about Tarte. I finally unfollowed them on Insta. Their tag line mentions natural beauty, but they so rarely post anything that qualifies. I got tired of them promoting the same fake bloggers over and over. I made a comment on an eye look they posted once basically saying it was natural and beautiful and represented their brand much better than most of what they posted. And then I said they should post more looks like that. And they deleted my comment!!

It would also be nice is Tarte to expand their foundation and Concealer color range. How they have 20 shades of foundation but only have 2 for people of color Deep and Rich?!? :/

Nicely said! Clinique is the gift with purchase brand and Tarte is beyond boring. Snooze fest! I look back on some of their products I’ve purchased and wondered what was I thinking. The only item of theirs I like is Lights Camera Lashes mascara but only in the deluxe size. When I purchased the full size I was disappointed but then I think that of pretty much all mascara brands once I noticed the trend. SMH

Too Faced – Although I like some of their packaging (I think the packaging on the upcoming Natural Love palette is beautiful, the quality of the shadows will be questionable), I do think they get too cutesy with packaging overall and they need to focus on and invest in product quality.

MAC – I can’t even keep up with all the limited edition releases and product collaborations. Seriously MAC, calm down.

Bare Minerals – 10 years ago it seemed Bare Minerals dominated the makeup market, and today…they’ve fallen off the radar.

And, this is just a general comment applicable to any brand – please stop naming products with drug references, sexual innuendos, mental health issues, etc.! (Ahem…Urban Decay…)

I am probably late to the game but Bareminerals has been the one brand that has interested me. I love their gen nude line. I wore their pop of passion lip balm and beauty blush all last summer. I like that they aren’t so gimmicky and all about packaging and releasing LE after LE. In a world of Too Faced, Benefit, UD, KVD, Colourpop etc it is nice to have pretty makeup with good quality that is wearable and not so crazy

ColourPop for their customer service! I rarely get answers to my emails to their CS team but their instagram comments are just “email us again!” It’s beyond annoying, especially with how often they release things.

Too Faced because wow, radical concept, makeup companies can produce something other than half decent neutrals!

Physician’s Formula absolutely needs to up their game and expand their shade range. Some of their products (butter bronzer and blush, shimmer strips, highlight and contour palettes) are absolutely worth the higher price but most are designed for medium skin and lighter, especially in base products.

I’ve seen complaints about Colourpop’s service, and just out of curiosity, why is Instagram even a platform for that? Like Christine, one of my Amanda Steele Supershock shadows arrived shattered. I emailed Colourpop with a photo, and a replacement shadow in perfect condition arrived the next week with no issues.

My experiences with ColourPop used to be utterly fantastic. They answered my questions about “which of these colors best suits my criteria” and “what if I’ve never tried x color.” Now, my last four emails have gone unnoticed and I still have questions about my order. I see a lot of people discussing their problems with the brand in Instagram comments and, sometimes, the brand responds. They continue to make Instagram a platform for customer service complaints but aren’t always efficient with their actual CS emails.

For me I used to love Urban Decay, partly from friends and the hype. After my initial Naked 2 palette fell apart and the primer no longer worked for my lids, and the disappointment from purchasing the Vice palette and Electric, I think they need to re strategize. Get rid of the massive eye shadow palettes as a whole (UD, Too Faced Holiday, Lorac Mega Pro, etc.). I feel that other brands have better quality items, like I gave up my Naked 2 for the original Chocolate Palette. Leading to, Too Faced – agreed, it is now starting to get gimmicky similar to UD and their Naked/Vice Lines, you can only go so far with Chocolate and now Peach. Then, also, MAC – there are so many collections, it’s like a new one each week. They should stick to specifics that do them well – Viva Glam, Holiday, certain real celebrity icons like Selena or even a Marilyn maybe a Kennedy. I like what Smashbox is doing with their mini palettes – something small, travel friendly, and color combos that suit every taste even the crazy colors. Kat Von D has those mini palettes too. Brands should establish a permanent line palette, master the formula for every skin type, and stick to it. Avoid the massive palettes because those are a mess to try traveling with. Also, stick to limited edition items for the holiday’s and big fashion movements (typically Spring is a big one). The more gimmicky or constant releases I think a brand gets, it seems the quality tends to suffer too.

MAC is the first brand that comes to mind!!! I’m so overwhelmed by all of the LE collections, and I have NEVER felt safe and comfortable in a MAC store or counter. I always feel judged, and I end up not buying anything!!

I want to say Too Faced. But I’v not tried a LOT of Too Faced. It just looks so silly and over hyped!!

1. Stila – Stila needs an identity. It’s not the trendy or edgy brand like TooFaced, Kat Von D, Urban Decay, etc, and it’s not the “classic” mature brand like Clinique, Lancome, Chanel. Beyond being pricey makeup, the story is not translating. It’s getting lost in the middle, and ends up on Hautelook far too often.

2. Make Up Geek – MUG gets major points for innovating and producing quality product that at least Youtube loves. And some points simply for being indie. But to become a serious player on the level of TooFaced, Urban Decay etc, it needs to tap the massive market outside of Youtube. Marlena’s doing an AMAZING job, but I think the next step is to get retail distribution like Sephora, Ulta or even Urban Outfitters. And in my opinion, drop the “GEEK” and just go MUG as a brand.

3. Tarte – Trippin’ with Tarte (sending beauty gurus and their significant others to Bora Bora to vlog, Instagram, snap etc) in my opinion was a mistake simply because of how conspicuous it all was. Social media gurus are influential because they’re relatable, objective and somewhat aspirational, and this drives a wedge in that to a degree. Non-guru consumers may feel they are indirectly paying for all of this excessive PR, and the actual influence of the influencers who are treated by Tarte is diluted. After a dream trip, iPads, drones etc – it’s understandably tougher to be objective…or at least that comes into question in consumers’ minds.

IA with you on Stila

To me, they were more of a down-to-earth brand for 90s/00’s cool girls but have been lost in the shuffle of stronger branding. Now they try to be more luxe with gold packaging but it doesn’t feel true to their other style elements (their logo is a fixed-width typewriter font).
I vote they should go more hipster and ‘simple’: Keep the brown cardboard packaging, focus on minimalist and low maintenance products, and fill the gap in the market for the Anthropologie aesthetic.

Stila is such a good one to put on your list. I remember the glory days of Stila probably 2000-2007 ish. Buttery smooth pressed shadows, fun little glimmer pigments, and awesome cream mousse shadows, plus many more great items. I used to get a little eye palette (back when they only had 3 or 4 shades not the 10+ that come in palettes today) every season. It was and is really sad to see a brand that was so good end up nothing like it used to be with mediocre products.

Chanel: Marketing confusion! Pica has said she is anti-season when it comes to makeup collections and yet Chanel’s marketing is still calling her collections seasonal. For example, the Libre collection was released so early that some people (particularly many of the European bloggers) thought it was a second autumn collection especially since holiday was not mentioned in any of its initial promotion. It came as an unpleasant shock when Chanel than said it was Holiday 2016. Chanel did the muddled marketing again with the Code collection. With its holiday colors and the fact that it arrived on some counters before the first day of winter, many people thought it was a holiday alternative. Quelle surprise! It was Spring 2017. Chanel needs to figure out what they’re doing.

Guerlain: One of my favorites seems to be suffering from an identity crisis. Known for more mature elegance, they seem to be trying too hard to court a much younger demographic and they’re getting lost along the way. Petite Robe Noire collections seem to be the new focus despite having been consistently below what you’d expect from Guerlain. And, unfortunately, there regular line has suffered, too. Guerlain can do much, much better.

Lanc么me: The overall quality of the products has really gone down hill and Lanc么me has been using a lot of gimmicks to compensate. Will having my lip product in a mini cocktail shaker really improve its quality? Will attaching Lisa Eldridge’s name to a palette really improve the quality of the eye shadows? Nope!

MAC: MAC should have an honorary place on a list like this. I think just about everyone is completely done with the multitude of collections that are released one on top of another. It makes it difficult to plan purchases (especially for people on a budget) because you never know what’s coming. Besides, so many of the collections are a mash-up of a bunch of repromoted products. New collections are actually old news 馃檨

Yes! About Becca! That collab with the horrendously, ill-talented vlogger undercut the status of that brand like nothing else in my mind. Then again, I doubt they care. 馃檪

Yes! And then she had the cheek to slam the colab, saying, she hated the final product! Do you think Lisa Eldridge would say that about the dreadful Lanc么me palettes that she has no control over quality? Of course not! These jumped up little tossers have no manners whatsoever (and I hate her bloody voice).

I think she had to express disappointment in the outcome after Becca removed it from shelves. She did the little song and dance about different manufacturers but she couldn’t be out there saying it was amazing once it was yanked.

I think my three major ones are:
Benefit Cosmetics – I like the brand enough but their reputation especially on Twitter isn’t great body shaming and racism isn’t acceptable to me.

Jeffree Starr Cosmetics – I refuse to try a single product simply because of the constant bitchiness, I also think that bullying a makeup artist and swearing at her on social media and in newsmedia is disgusting, be professional or get out.

Urban Decay – I love, love, love their products but they keep releasing palettes that have repeat shades from old palettes, I’m not going to buy a new palette if I already own a ton of the shades already.

More than 3, sorry:

Too Faced- Like others, I think their packaging is too gimmicky and product quality too low for the price they charge. Their collections aren’t that interesting or exciting and are entirely too juvenile. There is a way to be cute and sophisticated: Please refer to the plethora of Asian brands that occupy that space.

Smashbox- I don’t really know what is special about them at the moment. Again, their pricing is high for the amount of product or quality and there are not a lot of unique offerings. The kind of branding that has set them apart in the past is now the norm; they need to evolve.

Estee Lauder- Feels like an old-lady brand only sold at makeup counters. I am sure their products are fine, but I haven’t really had the desire to check out anything they make aside from the gelee formula (which I only found out about because of Dustin Hunter’s enthusiasm for them).

Clinique- Another brand that feels like it leans older. Some of their colors are very nice, and I love their packaging. Their ads are cute too. But something is missing. They are just a little too boring to compete. Dial up the laboratory aesthetic maybe?

UD- Someone summed it up really well a few years ago when they said this brand has gone from being edgy and gritty to commercialized glam-rock. I couldn’t agree more. Plus their product quality is slipping. They really are losing out on the “Alternative” category to KVD and some indie brands. Either go full-tilt or change direction; you’re no longer the big fish in the pond.

Stila- Many of their products have been misses for me and their image shift is strange. They seem like they should be much more low maintenance than they are presenting. Go back to the unfinished cardboard and low-key packaging. Keep it young, fresh, and stick to your roots. All the glitz, gold, and mirrored finishes make the brand feel disingenuous. Pretend you’re sold at Urban Outfitters or something.

I’d say Hourglass for sure…their “rip off” pricing on their Holiday palettes the last 3 years have really left a bad taste in my mouth. Their regular items are hardly cheap, so it’s not like I mind paying their prices but when they OVERCHARGE on palettes (and at the Holidays, when most other companies are offering a bit of extra value), it just really angers me and I’ve not purchased anything from them in 3 years. Both MAC and UD have to stop putting the same duds (Carbon and MCRA respectively) in every LE quad and palette they release! Lancome – for the same reason that Christine stated. And Viseart…please, can’t you have product IN Canadian stores so I can try them out before I splash out a considerable sum. Oh and Too Faced – STOP putting fragrance in your eyeshadows. It’s really not cute. Oh, and while I am at it, again, UD and Nars, STOP with the drug and violence related names. Not only “not cute” – it’s ugly!

So true about Viseart in stores in Canada. Like, I get that it’s an investment. But…it’s a $100 CAD investment, on shades that could be way too warm for me (stuff that is neutral on others leans warm on me). So I just can’t do it, you know?

Even the smaller ones (I’ve got the Cashmere Colour Theory) – I like to look at them, see how much I like them, see how similar they are to other shadows I’ve got. And I’ll admit it – I like the instant gratification of going in and buying it and having it right then and there.

Too Faced — They’ve been getting so over-hyped and gimmicky lately. I hope now that their sale to Estee Lauder is complete, they’ll stop grand-standing and get back to reality. They still have a lot of great permanent products that I hate to see people miss out on because they’re sick of the recent problems with LE releases. They really, really need to start showing better variety with their eyeshadow colors, too.

MAC — I agree, they need to stop with the constant and mediocre LE releases. I’d like to see fewer, higher quality collections come out. I’d like to see them step-up packaging on fandom collections. Cinderella, Rocky Horror, and Star Trek, for example, could have all been better IMHO.

Jeffree Star — Stellar products, but his behavior is overshadowing his makeup. I used to find him outrageous and hilarious, but he’s becoming more immature and some of his racist and misogynistic behaviors are troubling. Sadly, I felt like his “apologies” for his actions were very much non-apologies. I think the guy has real talent as a makeup artist, and I appreciate the thought he puts into his products, but I find I just can’t bring myself to buy from him any more. I sincerely hope he gets his act together.

Honorable mention: Urban Decay. I love them, and they had a lot of good releases last year: For example, Vice Lipsticks; Vice Lipstick Blackmail and Junkie palettes; Moondust, Afterglow, and Naked Smokey palettes; All Nighter Foundation. Others were not so hot: Full Spectrum was really disappointing. Ultimate Basics isn’t bad, but the packaging is cheap, it’s not unique, and the formula is not as good as the two smaller Basics. Alice TTLG’s eyeshadows had some issues. The Liquid Moondust and Razor Sharp liners are a mixed bag. I find it troublesome that I’m starting to see issue with purples, dark blues, and greens, which used to be colors UD excelled at. I’m dismayed they canceled the Electric Palette which was truly unique and excellent quality. I want them to get their eye products back on track!

Awesome point about the fandom collections, actually. Fandom people will ABSOLUTELY drop cash on stuff they like, so to see such ‘meh’ packaging on stuff like Rocky Horror and Star Trek? Even the MAC romance cover stuff a year or so ago…my mom (a self-awareromance fan) was super bummed that the amazing cheesy pictures they made for their advertising weren’t on the packages, as she thought it’d be hilarious to own a pallette with the Fabio-lookalike on it!

Am I the only one who is annoyed with fragrance in face products? WHY! For example, why does Too Faced and Tarte feel the need to add fragrance to concealer? Enough is enough with the gimmicks!

Too Faced-Needs to worry about their actual makeup than what it looks or smells like.

Tarte-they need to realize that there are darker women out there that would like to try their foundation and concealers. Your deep shade shouldn’t be for someone with a Jennifer Lopez complexion….just saying.

Jeffree Star Cosmetics -Great makeup products but needs a new owner and a new name.

Colour Pop–Eyeshadows are great, though too many glitter and metallic shades. Lipsticks are horrible–dry, don’t apply well, feel dry on the lips and cake. Will never buy these again. Blushes are ok, but dry out fast and don’t spread well. I think this product line is WAY overrated. I get the low cost, but the no return policy is a no for me. The differences between matte, satin and pearlized shadows are confusing and hard to make purchasing decisions from.

Amen to Too Faced with their “cutesy” packaging and sub-par quality.

MAC …I don’t even keep up with their LE stuff anymore, it’s too overwhelming.

Lanc么me is L’Oreal with a bigger price tag. Boo:(

Mac: totally agree
KVD: needs the average quality to be higher, more sensitive to dry skin
Sephora: the full collection of brands needs to push deeper into smaller stores. Store brand products take up too high a percentage of floor space, making the brand feel cheaper.

Jeffree Starr, for the really bad image.
Almay, because they seem to stop at medium for shade ranges
Avon, because they have SUCH a multitude of great products and really do keep constantly offering new merchandise, but it’s not reaching the customer who is likely to catapult their beauty business. Maybe they should do something completely new and partner with a cosmetic retailer, like Ulta, Target, Walgreens…something like that. Even if it’s a different collection than what’s in the brochures. They need to connect with a younger market. I would hate to see a company so dedicated to helping women be successfull by offering great products not do well.

This is a super good point about Avon and demographics. I’m in my early thirties and I don’t know a single person my age or younger who even has Avon on their radar…

Thanks, Sarah. I’m a little older than you but super trendy and always looking for the newest stuff. Avon isn’t normally on my radar either, but I used to sell it and once in a while I check it out. I have never not liked a product by them, and they do represent current trends, although they could go heavier on that, and they often introduce new products, but for them to see big financial gains, they need to get on the radar of beauty junkies like us.

We are the people that will buy new products way before we actually need them. If Avon wants to move forward and not die off like a dinosaur, they need to be on sites like this one, or showing up in subscription services (even start their own!) or partnering with stores where we shop. Getting featured in magazines, or blogs, or influencer’s videos. They should hire me in marketing lol.

100% Bonnie. I don’t even think it’s people not liking the products or whatever, I think it’s that Avon (and Mary Kay? is that still a thing? I’m in Canada so I don’t know if it’s big up here) is literally not on our radars. It never even crosses my mind as an option!

Channel is huge, too. If I could swatch and try stuff out in a store, I’d be much more likely to think about it and try it. Mail order isn’t really a thing that resonates, I don’t think. Subscription could be a super easy way to start making that transition, as that’s much less of a stretch from their current business model then trying to get into Sephora!

Mary Kay still exists, but they don’t update products and change catalogs nearly so often as Avon does, nor do they have the range of offerings. Mary Kay definitely doesn’t court a younger customer. I don’t mind buying online at all, but like you said, the brand has to be on the radar. Avon did try and attract a younger customer with its Mark catalog, but hasn’t had that same level of success with real beauty lovers. I personally love subscriptions and would buy an Avon one in a heartbeat.

I think too faced needs to reevaluate their game. They are looking more and more kiddish and insulting to grown women.. you can do cute packaging. But keep it more classy, they also need to step up their product game. The quality of the brand is lacking and they aren’t consistent. I don’t purchase from them any more due to the fact that when I spend $50 on products I expect good quality. I am paying you for goods! I don’t like purchasing things that are maybe going to be good.

I was a Chanel junkie for 20 years. I counted the days until their new collections arrived and usually bought 80% of a collection. I loved the quality, the color ranges, and packaging. However, with their past 2 creative directors, I have purchased minimally. They totally lack foundation colors in darker shades. The company has to understand not everyone thinks being ghostly pale with super dark lips is flattering. I was also appalled watching their director interrupt Giselle over and over in their videos. Giselle is gorgeous and I would love to know what she likes in the Chanel line. I could care less what some rude, unattractive, director thinks is relevant! I find her Halloween look to be Dollar Store caliber at best. What has happened to this company. I’ve lost all faith.

I agree with you Christine:
Too Faced – their packaging is better than their products
MAC – release, after release, after release – overwhelming
Lancome/Guerlain: their eye shadows are terrible now and the brands need to invest in outstanding products.

Is it confined to three? Otherwise I would also add UD – some of their palettes have been very average in the past year or so.

1) BareMinerals. They’ve totally lost their identity. Every couple of months they have an all new skincare line, they’ve strayed from the loose minerals that made them well known and all new makeup releases seem to be recycled old ideas. Years ago I would get so excited to buy the latest kit! Now there’s nothing interesting.
2) TooFaced. The cutesy packaging is fine for kids, but I hate it. I’m not going to spend $40 on a palette that looks like it’s meant for a teenager. Also, the palette that mixed heart and rectangle shaped eyeshadows had my OCD going in overdrive.
3) Any brand that is not CF. Seriously, there’s just no excuse in this day and age to not be CF.

MAC seems to create this idea that you need the next collection, which is usually mediocre. Then they build all this hype by limiting the quantity, making it seem like what your are getting is so exclusive, you must be a twit if you aren’t hunting every department store to find an overpriced item.
Too Faced used to have pretty packaging, but lately that is lacking too. This year’s holiday offerings were exact replicas of last year’s, every tin is the same. I used to collect their palettes, but didn’t buy the holiday stuff. Boring.
Everyone seems to be suffering from overload. I can’t keep up. It’s like there is something new every week. I had to stop buying everything I saw because it was sparkly and cute.

Overall, I would love to see brands ignore the Instagrammification of beauty, and just make high-quality products. Everywhere I look, there’s another contour kit or highlight/contour combo stick that doesn’t apply well and looks patchy on application. The Kardashian Beauty contour kit turned out to be trash, and Kylie’s products were a lot better, but still not produced at the quality suggested by the price point. Really, I think this is our main criticism of Too Faced as well — cute, trendy products that aren’t actually worth the money. I would maybe even be fine with the slew of these products existing if they were actually good, but most of the drugstore contour products, along with some of the high-end highlight and contour kits, are just made so poorly. Even Urban Decay’s highlighter palette is just awful.

On the other hand, drugstore brands like Maybelline, L’Oreal, and NYX have done a great job of producing high-performance products that you can use to achieve these Instagram/Snapchat-ready looks, but I still feel like these are drugstore brands that are quickly passed over because they haven’t quite found a way to market themselves are high-quality, cheap, and on-trend. Moreover, these brands sell in markets where testing on animals is required, which is a topic that often turns any beauty thread into a frenzy. Myself? I actually think it is totally unreasonable to ask a company to stop selling in market where they generate millions of dollars in revenue, especially when these brands take measures to ensure they only test when it is absolutely required of them.

“Instagrammification” — I love that. I think you’ve nailed a factor I’d not given hardly a thought to — the social media dynamic driving some of this business and trends like hype, quality decisions, consequences to the brands who don’t get this kind of attention and the hard choices with consequences to those who seek it, frenetic nature of releases, etc.

I completely agree. The drug store brands have really upped their game lately. I do however find it very frustrating that they don’t release the same products in all countries ( eg. L’oreal Infallible eyeshadow is amazing, but not sold in the UK). When companies are relying on YT and social media to advertise their products, they should ensure they are available everywhere. Simple good marketing strategy and very symbiotic.

I bought SO much makeup this year. So much that sometimes I can’t even remember what I own. So I am now going to look for companies that are putting out high quality, non-limited edition, solid products. I will not buy from Too Faced to matter what. I used to love Tarte but they are so repetitive. I used to love Bobbi Brown and now that is also the same thing repackaged over and over. I am no longer going to be a a money machine for every new eye shadow palette released. I can’t remember the last time I bought something from MAC. I am also tired of cosmetic companies trying to do skin care really well because they never do. Be a cosmetic company or do skin care – just one is enough.

So I think all brands need to step it up if they want to continue to get money from those of use (i.e. me) who are steady customers.

Feeling cranky. Sorry.

Guerlain: The quality needs to be brought back to the original standard, and forget the naff pseudo “youth” oriented slant on some on the lines line la petite robe noir and that god awful holiday collection “crazy horse or night” from three years ago. Dreadful, actually the holiday collection, which was always my favourite, has been hit and miss for 5 years now. I used to buy the entire line plus spares it was so gorgeous.
CHANEL: lack of cohesiveness and inconsistent quality at times, a fabulously curated fall collection followed by a mediocre holiday one. Doesn’t make sense at that price point.
Urban Decay: When you are owned by L’Oreal, yet try to pretend you are still all innovative and cutting edge, just don’t. It’s like Justin Bieber trying to sing a Nine Inch Nails song. The offensive, pseudo rock and rock drug culture product names were just asinine, especially in this terrible time of severe chemical dependence. Further, your products are hit and miss in quality, and the shadow fall out is awful. Lastly, L’Oreal has a hideous reputation for animal testing, why be associated with such a dreadful parent company?

For context, I’m a huuuuuge NIN fan – like, all my tattoos are NIN related. So I just wanted to drive by and say your comment about UD, Bieber, and NIN made me cackle out loud on a bus. So true!

I love Trent, been a NIN fan for nearly 26 years (I’m ancient) seen 17 live shows. He’s putting out some great music for us this year with 2 film soundtracks and a new album, and back to his outspoken self! It’s the culture of mediocrity that’s taken over some of these brands that used to be very good that’s so disappointing, you certainly wouldn’t see that with an artist like Trent, whether or not you like his music.

I agree with all of you. Your posts are right on track. I beg to differ on one subject and correct me if I am wrong, the really high end cosmetics (ie. Dior, YSL, etc.) are licensed out and not made by them. Hence you are buying image at a high cost with less than qualiy. This is what I remember from years ago and don’t think it has changed much.

I literally would have written the same thing as you, Christine. Too Faced is too cutsey, there is a glut of MAC products, and Lancome has been a dud brand aside from the Juicy Shakers.

Christine thank you for this topic! I’ve enjoyed reading everyone’s comments and found myself agreeing 90% of the time.

Future Topic Request: Can we please talk about YouTube Instagram Beauty Vloggers who no longer look natural or real and what’s up with the sexy poses? I’m a woman I don’t want to see your tongue sticking out of your mouth.

Rightly so Brenda! I am sick of seeing how much the YouTube beauty community has copied looks over and over again. I get that makeup is fun and transformative, as well as an art, but why only depict beauty in a narrow and almost childish depiction? Please Christine, could you introduce that question as next topic? Thank you Brenda for bringing it up!

Urban Decay dropping the ball on eyeshadow palettes was awful.

Tarte and Too Faced need to reevaluate their priorities.

Jeffree Star needs to go bankrupt and close. I wish Beautylish would drop him and it’s very sad they haven’t.

I feel like MAC has their releases planned out so far in advance that it makes them somewhat out of touch with what consumers are demanding.

Estee Lauder desperately needs to move into the 21st Century. Their adverts need to be aimed at a younger demographic for future sales turnover, as currently it’s a more mature generation who buy their products. Lancome is the same despite having Lisa Eldridge as their make up guru.

Definitely MAC; for the love of god, stop the bombing! We could live with literally half of what they release in a year, as so much of it is seen-that/have-that/enough-of-THAT. Burberry – they do neutral/muted beautifully, but I would like to see some more colour, a bit more vibrancy in the line. Bobbi Brown – I was a big fan in the ’90’s but quality is an issue for me now. Bring back the quality, BB!

The high end lines such as Chanel, Dior, Tom Ford, etc are out of control on there pricing. Certainly there packaging is beautiful and elegant but the price outrageous for what you get. The new Chanel CoCo Blush Harmony 70.00!!!!, for a boring palette. The Dior limited addition eyeshadow palettes 63.00 and there performance average at best. I love these lines and each season would purchase a number of items only to discover there lack luster performance and end up giving them away to my friends. At there current price I want to be wowed, if not forget it.

I’ve worn lancome and Estee Lauder and tried Bobbi Brown thru the years and I have seen their quality go down alot. I don’t buy from them too much anymore because their products they used changed in color and quality. I do wish Mac would go cruelty free also. A few years back I started changing my make up to vegan and cruelty free and it’s hard to find good stuff going that way too but I’m still trying! I’m just disappointed in Department store make up, way too expenxive and poor quality!

Too Faced: poor customer service; becoming more and more juvenile (really, stickers with an eyeshadow palette?); too many overscented products

Urban Decay: quality has bottomed out; relies too much on the “Naked” name to sell that subpar quality; tries too hard with its attitude that they’ve become more juvenile as well.

MAC: with a new collection from them launching every 5 minutes, I feel like the brand has lost its own identity. They should scale back on the collaborations and get back to the basics.

Tarte. Way to unmemorable palettes that seem have thought put into them. Not mention i highly dislike how they handke their social media accounts. Got so fed up of them feauturing ridiculously overfiltered photos by 19 girls wearing masks of what can only described as drag makeup. And also not a fan of stupid names they use for their product colors, just stop with the yaasss slay goals ugh everyone back being adults

All high ends they all seem to be in such a fierce competition except a classic few.
Jeffrey Stars so snobbish and full of pride as if he had discovered the cure for cancer. Stop naming beauty product ‘druggie’, etc. Your are drawing millions of teenagers to the wrong message plus the ones who have been there and luckily are cured dont need to be reminded of an ugly past. Just why? Disgusting!
Maybelline…why put a guys face to represent your new line? When there are tons of beautiful girls just as qualified looking for the same job. Are we suppose to grow a beard now? Why not let him sell Gillette or cars something like it. I think is putting tons of beautiful girls down. Get real!

Lancome – You don’t hear about them anymore and I am hoping that Lisa Eldridge would have been able to revamp the brand. It’s sad for me to say this, the eyeshadows palettes that she has released looked awful, I personally wouldn’t even bother checking them out in person. Such a shame.

Bobbi Brown – I grow up wanting to own everything by Bobbi, but since the news of her departure, I don’t bother anymore.

NARS – They have lost their vibe, I think they need to release groundbreaking/revolutionary products (like Hourglass) – limited high fashion collection just don’t do it anymore

1) Chanel. I’ve always been a fan of their polishes and didn’t mind other products. But since new creative director everything is blah. The new polish range is atrociously boring, the eyeshadow palettes all look the same, no new and innovative products…
2) Colourpop. Like someone already noted, they need more brighter colours. And why are they releasing dry eyeshadow singles? Aren’t there enough already on the market? They need to focus on what they do best – Super shock formula.
3) Urban Decay. I don’t actually mind the drug names. But for them it’s ridiculous. Looks like a middle-aged lady trying to fit in her teen daughter’s clothes. They lost their edge, they are having difficulties keeping up with trends. And I don’t understand their colour range at all. Ridiculous eyeshadow combinations, boring lipstick colours (aside from purples, but seriously, everyone is tired of them already), who would wear that?

+ I adore YSL and ABH but their distribution sucks. Many international online stores only care ABH brow products and I still haven’t been able to buy MS palette. And as for YSL, we almost never get their winter and summer collections in Russia( And nothing seems to change.

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