Wednesday, May 11, 2016

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


I have often tilted my head at the products that get hyped up on the internet, that sell out within thirty minutes and generate so much traffic that the website crashes dozens of times in a single day. But I've always had a hard time expressing my confusion over this hype without feeling like an uber-bitch.

Enter drag queen YouTuber Kimberly Clark, who has quickly gained popularity for her Anti-Haul videos. A traditional haul video involves a YouTuber showing off their recent purchases, probably swatching them and almost certainly squealing over how excited they are to try them. (No judgment, by the way; I have absolutely done Hauls before.) By contrast, Kimberly Clark's Anti-Haul videos revolve around her examining different products with a critical eye and explaining why she won't be spending her hard-earned coins.

Please note that videos and blog posts like these are not meant to shame you for spending your money on certain products. They're simply meant to evaluate our consumerist culture and encourage you to think carefully about how you spend your money. Also, they explain why I won't be buying certain things, even if they are really cool or all the rage.

FYI, I originally intended to go to the mall, find some of these products, and take pictures of myself holding some of these items while pulling truly beautiful faces. I ended up getting a head cold and not doing that, but let me know if that was a bad idea from the get-go.

1. Beauty Blender Surface Simple, $30 -- Let's be clear about what you're buying here: it's a plastic palette with a metal spatula. That's it. For $30. Oh, and it has the Beauty Blender name on it! Isn't that great?! ...yeah, no, this is ludicrous. If you're a makeup artist who needs a palette for product mixing, you can easily get one at an art supply store for a fraction of the price; here's one for about $14. If you really want a set designed specifically for beauty, this Morphe duo has both a palette (this one made from stainless steel!) and a spatula for $13. I get that a name can sell, but $30 for a plastic sheet with a spatula and some Beauty Blender text on it? Please. (PS: If you're not a makeup artist, you probably don't need this thing at all--just use the back of your hand.)

2. Hourglass Illume Sheer Color Trio, $62 -- Normally, Hourglass making cream blushes and highlighters would make my little heart beat faster. But after that initial "OH MY GOD IT'S BEAUTIFUL" moment, I had to stop and check myself. Yes, this is actually a decently priced product, since you get 0.21oz of blush and bronzer (bigger than many standard-sized cream products) and 0.17oz of highlighter (the same amount as a pot of RMS Living Luminizer). However, I don't wear bronzer. I mean, I saw this thing and thought to myself, "Well, I could just use the bronzer as eyeshadow." No, I won't, I know that's not going to happen. So right there we've nixed a third of the product. Furthermore, the highlighter looks like it has a distinct golden hue, which always ends up looking meh on me. In the end, $62 would net me a very nice cream blush, an unusable bronzer, and a just-okay highlighter in a pretty compact. Nooooo.

3. MAC Vibe Tribe Collection -- MAC has made so many missteps with their recent collections, you'd think they'd re-evaluate how they come up with and design their products. Nope, didn't happen here! MAC claims that this collection was not inspired by Native American culture, but rather, by music festivals and the desert. Okay, so let's ignore the fact that the collection is called Vibe Tribe and you even have a product named Arrowhead: do you really expect us to believe that when the packaging is covered in faux Navajo prints? Furthermore, even if that were the case, music festivals like Coachella have become a breeding ground for half-assed cultural appropriation. (The headbands and the feathers-in-the-hair and the "warpaint" and uuuuugh.) Acting like we don't know this stuff is almost more insulting than creating the collection in the first place. Just fess up, MAC, and next time, consider hiring one of our great Native American artists or designers to collaborate with...I'd respect that so much more. On the bright side, it gave us this hilarious video.

4. Pat McGrath Skin Fetish, $72 -- I'll fess up: I've looked at tons of reviews for this product and have had a hard time tamping down my lust for it. But there are two issues here that prevent me buying this much-hyped highlighting set from the renowned makeup artist's line. First, that packaging: you have to open a bag full of sequins to get to the products. Yes, I get it, it's different and kind of fun, but what a goddamn mess. What a waste of space and product. You know damn well most people aren't going to do anything with those sequins once they open the bag. Second, how much of this set am I really going to use? I don't need another brush, and as pretty as the powder highlighter is, I know myself: I don't use powder highlights anymore. What really draws me to this is that dual-ended "balm" and cream highlight, which is not worth $72. If Pat McGrath would break this set up and sell the products individually, I totally admit that I'd jump right on that bandwagon.

What are your thoughts? Do you agree or disagree with me? What are some products you're not going to buy?

28 comments:

  1. Once again my dear you are spot on with every word. I love Kimberly Clark's anti-hauls, what a breath of fresh air (says the woman with the bag from Ulta on the bed next to her but still...) and she is hilarious. And that Mac bullshit? I. Can't. Even. As my thirteen-year-old would say. Did you see Tati's review today of the Pat Mcgrath...kit? It looks like a big mess and well, yes beautiful, but there is no WAY I would spend that on a makeup item. The hype alone makes me want to barf. Anyhoo thanks again for saying everything I was thinking. Is there such a thing as a blog crush? I think I have one on yours.

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    1. Thank you! That's so kind! :D

      I saw Tati's review, yes! And she opened it and poured it out, and I was like, "Awe, that's really preeeeeeeeokay that mess would drive me fucking crazy." I know some drag queens and stage performers who would re-purpose those sequins, but for most people, it's just added mess. $72 isn't a bad price for three items (powder blush, double cream blush, brush), but when you get stuff bundled like that, your chances of using all of the included products gets slimmer and slimmer.

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  2. Yep, Kimberly Clark is absolutely hilarious. Do you read Makeup Rehab on Reddit? I was just scrolling through a 'talk me out of' post for the Skin Fetishes, and one of the commenters made a very valid point - we don't need all those freaking highlighters that keep being released. I own three powder highlighters and I know full well I could probably dupe at least one with a fine shimmer eyeshadow. As for the Beautyblender thingy, I think they're well-known now for making ridiculous products (aside from the actual sponge, which I love) and trying to sell them off for $$$ - anyone remembers the bejeweled beautyblender holder? Pffff.

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    1. I subscribe to and post on Makeup Rehab! :) And OMG, I forgot about the jeweled Beauty Blender holder, hahaha!

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  3. Yeah, I spotted that BB palette in the new section on Sephora and the top of my head blew off. I like the sponge, but they're trying to turn it into an entire product line. MAKE IT STAWWWWWWPP.

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    1. I think they made that really awesome sponge, saw how popular it was, and figured they could make bank on other stuff. Like, yes, you've made big bucks selling a sponge...but that sponge out-performs most other sponges on the market. You don't get that with this plastic palette, trust me.

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  4. I had 95% talked myself out of the Skin Fetish kit but I saw it available on Sephora and I caved. I opted for the Nude but we'll see if it's unique enough to keep. I have an iridescent pink highlight from Colourpop that I like but honestly is basically a blush because the pink flash is so strong. I'm hoping it's something like MAC Pink Opal pigment, a little softer. Very curious about the creams as well. My feeling was that if it was too similar to my existing stuff or didn't wear well, etc I'd just return it. I justified the cost with needing to return about $90 of stuff from Ulta and Sephora with their recent sales. I'm otherwise on a no-buy until at least mid June. Ha! Sequins are ridiculous, agreed. I'll hold on to them for a craft project for my oldest kiddo most likely.

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    1. I figured if I ever broke down and got it, I'd had the sequins over to a friend who does drag or performs.

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  5. Kimberly Clark is MY FAVORITE. If she had 50 anti-haul videos, I'd watch every one (and that's really saying something, because I almost never watch YouTube videos).

    I've honestly lost some respect for Pat McGrath since she launched her absurdly overpriced products. I mean, I wouldn't expect her to do a discount line--she's famous enough that her products need an aura of exclusivity--but nothing I've seen from her line has made me think "wow, that's truly original."

    Right now I'm trying so hard to resist Bite's LE lipstick in Lavender Jam. If it were under $20 I'd probably buy it, but these days I have a hard time convincing myself any lipstick is worth $26. BUT I WANT IT. Ugh.

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    1. I don't know if a line has to do original stuff to really catch me or please me, since I still admire the work of Kevyn Aucoin (RIP) and Francois Nars despite hitting some clunkers in their line. I think I'm more disappointed that she's doing so much gimmicky stuff.

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  6. 100% Agreed. I felt the same was about Mac and Hourglass.

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    1. Can't wait to see how MAC handles the Selena collection, TBH.

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  7. I've been trying to just stop, stop, stop, cut myself off from all sources that talk about new cosmetics releases. Unfollowed a bunch of folks on IG, stopped reading Temptalia, stopped wandering around Sephora when I'm sad.. nope, bye. I'd not heard of Kimberly Clark (my job revolves around YouTube, so I don't seek it out for entertainment anymore) but I just watched all her Anti-Haul videos and yeeesssss, breath of fresh air.

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    1. I don't know if advertisements and YouTube videos make me want to buy more stuff (I actually get the "shopping thrill" by watching hauls, no money spent). I think, for me, it's "sale goggles" (which I'm trying to stop) and browsing when I get bored. I need to stop doing that.

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  8. Ironically, when I tried the set, everything I liked about it was opposite of my assumptions. I thought I'd get the nude for my pale complexion, but it looked neon iridescent pink on my skin, like rave pink. The gold one was way better. Secondly, the powder highlight was beautiful and the stick highlight was meh and sat in all of my pores, and I couldn't dislodge it. Obviously the balm end is great as I want my face to be slicked in gloss and oil at all times. Something to think about!

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    1. Lol this is discussing Skin Fetish obviously

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    2. I just don't use powders, no matter how pretty they are, so I think it'd be a bust for me either way. Sad to hear that the pinkish one is way too pink, though.

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  9. I always love your posts, but this one was simply superb! And Kimberly's anti-haul videos are the best. I'd love to see your anti-haul selfies!

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    1. Thank you kindly! I'll try to do some stupid selfies next time.

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  10. I got, and ultimately returned, the Golden skin fetish set. The brush is a decent stippling type brush but seemed weirdly not appropriate for any of the products in the kit. The balm is glossy and nice but so's a Lip Smacker. Highlighter stick is basically Benefit Watt's Up, which I already owned, and while the powder/gel/whatever highlighter is nice and has an interesting sheen it A) is very, very yellow, too yellow for my neutral/yellow skin, and B) not even a little bit long-lasting (though some people have had a different experience on that front.) If I could buy just the nude highlighter stick for $18 I would, because I like the color and formula, but the set overall was just not half as special/impressive as I'd hoped (and in really cheap, fragile packaging to boot.)

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    1. Lemming officially killed! Thanks so much.

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  11. Great post and I'm completely with you on finding most (95%?) of cosmetic releases useless. I hate the hype on youtube when something new comes out -- I've unsubscribed from Tati and don't even occasionally watch her for her shilling and LOVING every silly thing that comes out. I probably spend $150 a year on makeup; I just don't wear much and hate the hard sell, gotta have it vibe of the industry so stick with the few things I have and like, and think it's been over a year since I've been in either Sephora or Ulta. Yeah, I live in Norcal where the makeup style is very minimal, and my work doesn't require or encourage lots of 'grooming' (are women horses, or what?) but I really wonder what's wrong with most people who rush out and buy all this stuff. When we're teenagers most of us go through a stage of wanting all of the pink & pretty stuff to put on our faces, then we grow up and realize that life is a lot deeper, and that Lauder and friends have us conned. Thanks for being a breath of fresh air & for being so honest.

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  12. oops, reread my comment and want to correct it: I said that 95% of cosmetic releases are useless, not you. :-) :-)

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    1. It's okay; I got you! XD

      I don't know if I'd say that buying less is necessarily a sign of maturity. Honestly, I didn't buy a lot when I was younger because I didn't know much yet. I do hope, though, that we are starting to move toward more conscious consumerism: you can still buy stuff, just think about why you're buying it.

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  13. I totally sang the jingle when I read the title of this post. Now it's stuck in my head...which probably isn't a bad thing.

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    1. What I'm noooooot gonna bbbbuuuuuy--iiii!

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  14. Loved this blog post!!! I totally agree with you on all these makeup products.
    I stupidly bought 2 items from the Mac Vibe Tribe collection, which I totally thought were inspired by music festivals like Coachella (don't judge me please, I'm French, I know almost nothing about native American culture, my bad) and I can tell you that the face powder is totally useless and it did nothing for my cheeks... :(

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    1. Absolutely no judgment. :) I'm so sorry that the product didn't work for you, either.

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