Last week, for my birthday, my husband did an amazing thing: He got me a crap ton of makeup that I had on my wishlist but had never really purchased. Five of the things were from Anastasia Beverly Hills (ABH) – The Modern Rennisance and Subculture Palettes, Moonchild, Darkside gel liner and the Liquid Gold Metallic Luster Liner. People, when you marry, make sure that you marry someone who loves you and supports your hobbies – and that you support theirs!!

Anyway, I have been using these products and I plan on reviewing them, but I’ve been really caught up in watching the mess over on ABH’s social media! Full disclosure: For about six years, I wrote copy and also did reviews in exchange for products. At first it was very easy to be able to be honest with a company if they had issues, but as more and more people were willing to throw ethics out the window, it became more like “If you don’t say something positive about our product, we’ll blacklist and make sure you don’t review again”. The FTC changing disclosure laws made it a little easier, but about two years ago, I stopped doing reviews in exchange for anything.

That’s why I’m always doubtful when I see PR reviews. The idea of Beauty Gurus and Influensters are pretty neat, but just like anything else when it becomes corporate, you have to take it with a grain of salt.

The initial reviews on the subculture palette were glowing and totally hyped up. Then, people started getting the product that they paid for, and they were unhappy. Of note, Alissa Ashley over on Youtube had an awful experience with her palette. So many people are having issues with this thing.

So what does ABH do? They put out a seven minute long Instagram video “teaching” people how to use the palette!!! Their story is that because they are intensely pigmented, people don’t know how to use them right. it doesn’t take much to realize that it’s a complete and total jab at Alissa – which is fucking petty and unprofessional as hell.

For me, personally, I found a few of the shadows difficult to work with. Two of them crusted over like cheap Wet and Wild shadows from the late 90’s – after ONE USE. I found a few shadows to be absolutely stunning. I don’t think that I don’t know how to use eyeshadow – and this isn’t my first rodeo using highly pigmented shadow.

Norvina is also out on her twitter asking for people to become “brand educators” – another insult. I get that ABH has a type that she wants to use her products, and that they have a look they want everyone to fall into (pale, white, mid-20’s, matte lips, big brows), but it is bothersome. I’m 34 and I love these colors. I don’t think the palette is perfect. I think there are problems. But to run a discrediting campaign simply because others think that is a HUGE issue – and honestly about as mature as J* going on his snapchat to bitch about people.

PR 101: If you talk about what an important impact social media has had on your brand (per all the media talking points leading up to the Subculture release), don’t bite that hand. Don’t insinuate that all of us using your product are stupid. As one commentor wrote: “This is a $40.00 palette. It’s not for pros. It’s for everyday people who like to wear makeup and I shouldn’t have to learn a brand new way for your specific product.”

Anyway, if you like popcorn eating, definitely check out some of these things. You’re watching a brand implode without realizing what they are doing.

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