In a few days, one of the most anticipated sales of the year will begin: the 20% off Sephora sale (for VIB Rouges and VIBs, at least) that only happens once a year. For weeks before hand, people scramble to find out the date and it’s a mad rush to determine the shopping list before it goes down. Inspired by Bad Outfit, Great Lipstick and Faceonomics, this is going to be one for this holiday season as well.
Much like the previous pin-up based anti-haul (expect to see another one coming up in the next few weeks with the onset of the holiday season!), this one will follow the same type of perspective. As a reminder, “the purpose of an anti-haul isn’t to be mean to brands and businesses (there are some I don’t like and won’t purchase from and there are plenty which I do like, but will not be buying because I’m going to be smart about what I do spend on!), but to be smart about what you do choose to spend your money on. Unlike a wishlist of things to pine over, these are things I know I will not be purchasing and why I will not be spending my money on it.” You may also disagree with my reasoning behind why I’m not purchasing something–that’s cool. You do you.
Here’s the list of what won’t be going in my cart this season.
Fenty Beauty line
When Fenty Beauty hit Sephora earlier this year, people lost their gotdamn minds–and with good reason! I’m not knocking Fenty Beauty by having it here, I think it’s awesome she’s another brand that is providing 40 shades in a wide variety of undertones and depths. She also has products that are getting a lot of love by people who are typically left out, and that’s a great thing.
But I won’t be purchasing anything from the line. It’s not just that there isn’t a color shade option for me (though, this is true. The line tends to run towards pinker skin tones for the undertone range I would fall within, whereas I’m a pretty high saturation yellow.) The entire foundation line is strictly meant for oily skin types, which rules my very dry skin out. I suppose I could using a nourishing primer, but why do extra work when there are other foundations out there that get the job done already? I don’t need to buy something for the sake of having it.
But there are other products, you’ll say! And I am aware. The reasons I am not going to buy them are practical–I’m in a professional graduate program and while I don’t have a front-facing position, wearing a heavy amount of glitter at work would really be distracting, so how often would I actually wear it? The answer is, maybe once or twice a year, and that’s not enough to warrant the $20 for the eyeliner or the $59 on the eyeshadow palette.
And just looking at the palette alone–it’s entirely glitter. That might be nice if you already have some matte or other palettes to round it out, but being completely honest: are you really going to use an entire palette of colorful glitters on the regular? Is this also the formula you’re willing to commit to? Looking at it alone, I wouldn’t use most of the colors in it. So for the 5-6 I actually might use, that is a pretty tall order for spending $59 on only 5 eyeshadows. Whereas, I could get similar singles from MAC for significantly less *and* have the added bonus of being able to add them to my MUFE magnetic palette and take them with me in addition to my other singles.
Similarly, the highlighters and Match Stix run into a similar line of thought. Sure, there are some really pretty colors in each. Lord knows that Amber in the Match Stix is actually relatively tempting, especially having swatched it in person. It’s definitely something I thought about, and managed to talk myself out of buying. Here’s the thing: I know my makeup usage habits and I know, realistically, buying a cream product (Match Stix) is inherently a bad idea because it will probably dry out before I actually get close to using it up. I know I don’t contour every day, so having a cream product isn’t a good idea for me. Powders last significantly longer, and as such, the Match Stix wouldn’t be a good fit for my collection.
The highlighters are lovely, but again: I wear highlighter even less than I do contour. And while these are in a powder, they’re also not colors I would personally use. I also don’t use highlighter enough as is, so I definitely don’t need ones with two different shades in them. For the two solo ones, only the Metal Moon might work, but for $34, I could buy a single pan highlighter that I could easily magnetize into my MUFE single palette to take with me when I travel, would be significantly cheaper, and would be less of a hassle in working with for depotting.
In short: the Fenty Beauty line as it stands now is not something that really fits in with my makeup habits or personal style, and it’s not anything I would add to my collection.
La Mer The Introductory Collection
First of all: La Mer is that one skincare line that everybody has seen celebrities using and costs at least a kidney on the black market to use on the regular.
Second of all, even if you’re OK with spending the money for La Mer–why would you ever bother with this set? Let’s break down the cost on this one per oz of product.
The Treatment Lotion is regularly sold at $145/5 oz, making it approximately $29/oz. You get 1 oz within this set.
The Revitalizing Hydrating Serum is sold at $195/1 oz. In this set, you get 0.17 oz, making it $33.15.
The Eye Concentrate is regularly sold at 0.5 oz for $205, making it (a rough estimate of) $410 per 1 oz. In this set, it is available at 0.10 oz for about $41 of the cost.
Last, the Moisturizing Soft Cream which comes in at a few different sizes (but it is $170/1 oz), but there is a “travel size” form available at $85 for 0.5 oz on the Sephora website.
In total, for this entire set, the cost of the products added up alone is $188.15, making it a decent deal at about ~20% off the normal prices per oz, all things considered. I can absolutely see how this would entice someone, but I’m not the type to fall into this. And when paired with the Sephora sale prices (another 20% off if you’re a VIB Rouge or VIBs, and 15% off for Beauty Insiders), I can see even more people being interested. But, as Kimberly Clark points out: buying something just for the sake of because it’s on sale is a terrible reason to buy something. You’re still spending a lot of money on a bunch of minis because of the brand name.
Half of the set has products under 0.2 oz; although you will likely not be using a lot of the eye concentrate, the sizes are small enough that it would be difficult to have a grasp on the performance of the products before they are used up. Skincare takes time to see its effects; it’s not makeup where it generally appeals to instant gratification.
There are better holiday sets out there for skincare that are much friendlier on the wallet than the famed La Mer, if you insist on one of these. For those reasons, this isn’t worth it and I won’t be buying it.
Besame Cosmetics Mini Lipstick Set
I am going to get accused of hating Besame one day, and I want to be upfront and say explicitly: it’s not true. I actually really love Besame. What I don’t love are things like this set.
Besame does red lipstick very well. In fact, of any red lipstick on the market, I tend to think their formula is easily in the top 3 best and that’s including liquid lipsticks. They are exceptional formulas that don’t run into a lot of other problems you see with other lipsticks, like bleeding, feathering, and easily smudging. Red is an exceptionally hard and high maintenance color, so the fact that their formula is this exceptional is definitely worthy of praise. That being said–
There are 3-4 (depending on your coloring and perceptions) red lipsticks in this set. Even if you are the pinup type: why? Yes, I see that there is a very dark red, a brown red, a blue undertoned red, and a neutral red, but realistically speaking: how often do you wear reds to warrant having even 3-4 mini lipsticks of it? Are you really going to wear them all? Be honest, average makeup consumer–probably not.
Now, for other skintones, these may not appear as red, and if that’s the case, I can understand how the set would be appealing.
But if you have warmer undertones, at least 3/5 of those lipsticks are going to clash (if this is something that matters.) So, given that 60% of the $25 you’d be shelling out would be unusable–is it really worth spending the money? Even if you have pink or neutral undertones, do you still really need 3-4 red lipsticks in your collection, even if they’re minis?
I can understand how this set might be appealing to someone looking for era-appropriate makeup or even to try and discern their “perfect red,” but it’s still spending money on extra things you don’t necessarily need, especially if it’s unlikely you’ll actually use it in your collection.
If you’re going to spend the $25 on lipstick, get a shade from Besame that you know works with your undertone and keep your collection manageable.
Pat McGrath Labs Mothership Eyeshadow Palettes
For $125, this eyeshadow palette better wash my damn car, take my dog out for a walk, and figure out a way to teach my dumb ass how to get Veronica Lake waves, because WHY.
Look, I have no doubt that there is probably a high quality attached to that price tag. I’ve seen the Temptalia swatches and I won’t lie, the purples on Mothership III look incredible, and I’m generally not persuaded by color. I also think these palettes have generally a nice mix of workable neutrals with straight up color.
But that $125 price tag? Even with 20% is still going to be $100. I don’t know about you, but there is no single eyeshadow palette worth $100 in my book. It is something that will be removed in hours. There’s something to be said about whether higher-end brands are worth it when drugstore brands are getting to be better in terms of quality than they were even just 5 years ago.
Additionally, even if I were to get Mothership III (the one I was most attracted to), I know there’s at least 2 eyeshadows I wouldn’t use which makes it all the more insulting I would drop $100, with $20 going unused. With that $20 I’d have spent on that, I easily could purchase 3 MAC eyeshadow refill pans (at $6 each) with similar-ish colors to what I would use there, and I already have a decent set of neutrals, and have $2 leftover.
In short, this isn’t worth it and I’m not going to buy it.
That wraps it up for this Sephora Sale Anti-Haul. Tell me all the things you won’t be buying this round!
Yours ’til Niagara Falls,