Beautylish Lucky Bags: worth it?

Today is the day that Beautylish opens its doors to allow people to get a “Lucky Bag.” It’s an idea inspired by the Japanese tradition, fukubukuro, where street merchants make bags of goods out of their stock and sell at a significant discount for the new year.

Beautylish has been doing this for several years now and I participated last year. It is possible that the general offerings may change going into next year, but it remained pretty consistent between 2016 and 2017 in what it offered.

There were two rounds offered this last year; a XL Beautylish Lucky Bag at $160 and the standard Lucky Bag at $75. I purchased the $75 Lucky Bag, and my contents were the following:

Clearly, I got well over my $75 price of admission in product value (which is over ~$100), but in retrospect: I only had two real things from the bag that I got personal value from, the Bioderma Sensibio (a staple for me; $6.90 for 100ml) and the Wayne Goss 02 brush ($35). The actual personal value I got from the bag was a total of $43.90; a significant difference of $31.10. Though I did wind-up selling the Modern Renaissance and Z-Palette, they also had to be reduced in cost in order to sell from the full retail value (/r/makeupexchange is a great place for buyers, not so much for sellers.) But with doing this extra step, I was able to get to $75.

I still have two of the products (IT Cosmetics Confidence in a Cream and the BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector) that I’ve not been able to unload and won’t be using (IT Cosmetics has a ton of silicones in it which my skin is reactive towards and the BECCA is not a shade that works for my skintone), but will probably pass on as gifts to friends that would be able to give them a loving home.

As far as whether or not I think a Lucky Bag is worth it, here’s things that help make it easier to make the decision if you are considering this:

In Favor:

  • If you are someone that likes surprises, this will be great for you.
  • If you are willing to try anything you receive (many bags gave out Jeffree Star products; a controversial brand due to the owner’s personality and attitude towards–well, a lot of people.)
  • If you have spare money to burn ($75 is a little pricy for a crapshoot of products you aren’t guaranteed to love.)
  • If you are OK with potentially not having a full personal value of $75 returned on your investment (see above, in my case).

In Contrast:

  • If you are someone who likes to carefully decide your own products, this is not a good way to spend your money.
  • If you are very conscientious about which brands you support and purchase from, this is not a good way to spend your money. (Particularly if animal testing or animal products are a concern for you; the brushes, in particular, may use animal hairs.)
  • If you are not OK with not getting a full amount returned on your investment for both actual cost return and personal value return, this is not a good way to spend your money.
  • The Lucky Bags give items out at random, which means (and especially for people on each end of the skin tone spectrum), there may be colors in your bag which may not suit your skin tones or may cause reactions depending on skin sensitivities.

Personally, I will not be participating again this year. Between only getting two actual products that I would use (though, I do love the Wayne Goss brush!) and offloading the rest, this wasn’t a great decision for me, especially because I am someone who likes having a smaller collection. There are also plenty of people that also enjoyed their experience, but I think this is one of those things where you need to have a realistic grasp on your personality before knowing if you’ll be content or not. The Lucky Bag I got generally didn’t work out for me and my tastes, but that was a personal experience–yours may be different if you participate and you may get some things you really love.

If you’ve participated before, did you enjoy your lucky bag? Would you participate in future years? Let me know your thoughts.

Yours ’til Niagara Falls,
Jupiter Gimlet

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