Friday, September 16, 2016

Anti-Haul (aka, "What I'm Not Going To Buy"), Third Edition

Fall is fast approaching, and with it are a slew of supposedly sweater-worthy product launches. I admit that all four of these products made it to my Sephora cart. I'm human! But when I did some research and thought about them for a few days, I realized they were a great big pile of "nope." And frankly, I don't think the average consumer will need them in the long run.

As always, these posts are not meant to make you feel bad for liking a product or spending your money; I'm just trying to think carefully about my own consumerism and maybe encourage you to think carefully about yours. Once again, mad props to Kimberly Clark for popularizing and promoting the Anti-Haul movement!

Oh, and I stole the Bite Beauty and Urban Decay pictures from Temptalia. Nobody does product photos like her, I swear.

1. Pat McGrath Labs Lust 004 Lipstick Kit, $60 -- Pat McGrath is here again, and I feel a little guilty about it because I admire her work as a makeup artist so much. But just like the highlighter kits, I'm smacking a giant "DO NOT WANT" label on these sequin-stuffed bags. Each kit has two lipsticks (0.05oz each), a gloss (0.46oz), and a pigment and a glitter (0.07oz each). Frankly, most people can find a clear gloss they like for $5 or less at the drugstore, so I'm not including the gloss in the value of this kit. That leaves us with 0.24oz or 6.8g of product for $60. Is it worth it? Not really. The lipsticks come in pretty but popular shades of nude and red. I'm going to guess that you probably already own a red and/or nude lipstick you love. Go ahead and check. I'll wait. Now, do you own a lip-safe pigment? If you own tons of makeup, it's likely; if you don't, you can do what drag queens and showgirls have done for ages and just pat a metallic powder eyeshadow on top of your lipstick. This leaves us with the glitter. Plenty of brands sell lip-safe glitters in far more colors at affordable prices; Lit Cosmetics comes to mind. Even if you would wear glittery lips every damn day of your life, you don't need to pay $60 to do it.

2. Urban Decay Junkie Vice Lipstick Palette, $35 -- Unlike most palettes, which use shade variety as an excuse to rip you off in terms of actual product purchased, this lipstick palette is an equal value: it contains 0.24oz of product for $35, and a full-size Vice lipstick is $17 for 0.11oz. But overall, the color range is not impressive. Don't you buy a lip palette for variety? So why are there two shades with intense white bases that likely won't work on deeper skintones (Safe Word and Vanity Kills)? 714, Firebird, and Wrath all have differences, but they're in the same reddish-fuschia family--why not replace one of those with a bright orange? Does Studded look flattering on anybody? And while I applaud anybody who marches to the beat of their own drum, the majority of consumers are not going to get much use of a saturated lavender like Vanity Kills or a sparkly forest green like Junkie. You'll also need to use a lip brush to apply these, which begs the question: are you willing to not only use a lip brush regularly to apply your product, but are you also willing to clean it constantly so you don't contaminate the colors? It's a perfectly nice palette, yes, but you're better off just buying two full-sized tubes of the shades that strike your fancy. PS: Why do they have a complete sentence on the packaging without any punctuation or capitalization?!


3. Bite Beauty Multisticks, $24 -- Out of every product in this anti-haul, this is the one that's tempted me the most. Yet when I feel myself being sucked in by the fantastic shade range and my overall love for the Bite brand, logic reels me back in. First, this is a product that can be used on the lips, cheeks, and eyes. It sounds amazing, right? Well, think about it: how many cream-based or liquid lip, cheek, and eye products have worked for you on all three counts? I've tried many and have always found that they failed in one of the three areas. Based on reviews I've seen, most people don't care for these on the eyes, meaning they're primarily a lip and cheek stick. You know what else is a lip and cheek product? REGULAR LIPSTICKS! Seriously, if you have a decently creamy lipstick that you love and the ingredients won't eat your skin, you can dab a little on your cheeks and blend it out. I've done it off and on for years. If you don't believe me, take a look at the ingredients for this product. You'll see that it's similar to plenty of lipsticks and cream blushes that are already on the  market. Getting one or two shades might be a good idea for somebody who is just starting out and/or has a tiny collection, but for most of us, they're simply not necessary.

4. Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit Surreal Light Palette, $80 -- Hourglass is so damn good at packaging, it's no wonder I wanted a pile o'powders even though I use creams and liquids almost exclusively. It's not worth it, though. For starters, this is not a palette that is going to flatter anybody who is darker than, say, NC30, and based on the swatches I've seen, that's me being generous. If you want to produce a palette that works well for a certain skintone range, fine, but why not produce more than one variation so everybody can enjoy your products? Furthermore, you're not getting anything particularly special for your money here. You're paying about $8.33 per gram of product, and while that's on par with the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Bronzers ($8.94 per gram) and Strobe Lighting Powders ($8.37 per gram), the Ambient Lighting Powders ($4.60 per gram) and Ambient Lighting Blushes ($4.55 per gram) are much better value. The Strobe Powders suck, in my opinion, because they're too sparkly for a finishing powder and too sheer for a highlight. These shades aren't especially unique, either. Yes, "Surreal ______" isn't available in a stand-alone pan, but the blushes are a "cool pink rose" and a "soft warm peach." They've already got similar shades that are just as pretty: Ethereal Glow and Dim Infusion, respectively. If you want to try the Hourglass Ambient line, I think you're better off getting a powder or blush from the permanent range.


  1. Who is it who likes lip palettes other than makeup artists? I would never have the patience. I'd love to try all those lipsticks for a good price, but not in palette form.

    And you're right about those Bite Multisticks. You'd be much better off just getting a better formulated regular Bite lipstick and using it on your cheeks, like you say.

    I really like that marble patterned Hourglass packaging, but I totally agree with your analysis.

    1. The Hourglass packaging is what almost sucked me in. They always do a great job with packaging.

  2. I am very skeptical about lip palettes in general, like Lyn Bhb.

    "Why do they have a complete sentence on the packaging without any punctuation or capitalization?!"

    Lol, I feel it, girl! Grammar consistency is important. I may or may not make some money copywriting.

    1. My sister has a Bible quote tattoo on her shoulder, and there's no period at the end of the sentence. I give her shit about it all the time. :P

  3. I tested the Bite Beauty Multisticks in Sephora and they were terrible! They were extremely dry and impossible to "spread" without catching on the skin on the back of my hand. How do products like this even get produced?

    1. Coincidentally, I also poked at them yesterday! The Amuse Bouche and High Pigment Pencil ranges are just more worth the money, in my opinion.