Disillusioned with the Mainstream

With the Naked Heat announcement from Urban Decay, the “Limited Edition” hype that so many of the big names seem to be going with, and the rising costs with lower quality, I’m getting pretty annoyed – and over – mainstream companies.

I gave up on Too Faced a couple years ago, and haven’t been tempted to come back, except for the Better Than Sex mascara. KvD’s lipliners are not that amazing, and I take issue with how she does business as the head of the company (i.e., calling out other producers).

UD has been my last holdout in the mainstream cosmetics world, but I haven’t had anything that I’ve really wanted except the 10 year lipsticks because I wasn’t allowed to have them when I was a kid.

I get that the name of the game for some of these companies is innovation, and I love that they are trying to stay fresh. I know that trends come and go, so there’s always going to be new colors for whatever season, but honestly? I’m going to be 33 this summer. My makeup look doesn’t really change much, and I’m tired of paying 20 bucks for something that doesn’t perform as well as I hoped.

Now, that doesn’t mean that I’m over mainstream brands completely – in fact, I just got a couple of items from Milk that I’m dying to tell you guys about – but I’m sick of chasing trends.

It says something about the brands when people are barely able to give away products in a destash.

I’ve been sticking to a couple of mainstream brand rules this year that have been helpful in my low-buy, but I have expanded them after consideration and trying to avoid mindless consumerism.

  1. No “limited edition” anything. This is the biggest bullshit that I have when it comes to MS marketing – because lately it seems they do the initial push to create panic and impulse buying, and then they always release a second wave a few months later. Usually the reviews on these items come out as awful (mint and white chocolate chip, anyone?) or if I pick up one of them, it’s just a bad palette, and I feel taken advantage of, or I feel sorry for those who were. When you have countless reviews saying “Fix your formula” but you keep chucking out shit, that to me indicates you don’t really care about your customers – or your name. You’re in it to make as much money as you can.
  2. Unless it’s a basic staple,buy indie. This has been one of my favorites and I have been exposing myself to SO many new brands because of it. There’s certain things that I can’t find comperable of (KvD tattoo liner), but I’m so impressed with so many of these indie brands that I’m shopping, that I’m excited to review them. It’s actually made me re-invested in blogging. These brands (and individuals) tend to stay on top of trends, and because they are smaller, they actually give a shit about the quality of their products, and can change direction much faster.
  3. Don’t fall for the clearance trap. Last year, during Hannukah and black Friday, lots of my brands had palettes go on sale, and my husband picked me up pretty much everything that was on sale from a lot of brands. Don’t get me wrong – I LOVE him for that. The problem is, now I have palettes that I’ll never use, and I feel awful about them taking up space. I’ve got to start forcing myself to move through my stash, but the issue is that when you have kids and a baby, and jobs and school, it’s easier to reach for the tried and true than try to force something to work.
  4. No more naked anything. Seriously, rehashing isn’t cute.
  5. Wait for the reviews. No, not the PR kit reviews on Youtube or popular blogs, but the ones from smaller bloggers, the hobbyists, the ones who have nothing invested than cold hard cash. NOW BEFORE YOU JUMP ON ME,  I know that the MAJORITY of bloggers/vloggers that are on the PR lists are very, very honest and upstanding people – but they also tend to be professional MUA’s and have a higher skillset than most of us out here beating our faces. THAT’s the difference. Someone like Temptalia could take the waxiest, dullest, draggiest eyeliner in the world and still make a crystal sharp wing with it. I’m looking for those mom reviews, like me, those of us who haven’t had sleep in four days and don’t have time to fuck around making an eyeliner work for two hours.

Consequently, the makeup reviews that I do around here are going to shift a little bit. I’m really going to try to focus more on the indie brands as opposed to MS things. It’s one thing for me to purchase indie behind the scenes, but these guys work hard and need some love.


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