From mindless hauls to unnecessarily huge PR unboxings and uninspired new releases, the need for "more, more, more" here in the beauty community can be relentless. Truthfully, it leaves a bad taste in my mouth and makes me feel jaded, and the way in which it encourages excessive consumerism doesn't align with how I enjoy beauty. As someone who takes pride in carefully considered purchases and is unfazed by most new beauty launches, one of my favourite types of blog post to read are anti-hauls, whereby people think critically about products and talk about what they aren't going to by. Created by the fabulous Kimberly Clark (I miss her videos!), today I'm back with my second instalment (here's Anti-Haul #1) and in this anti-haul, I've tried to stay clear of the more obvious choices and choose products that perhaps you might find surprising coming from me. Sure, Benefit are tacky, Too Faced's cutesy image is gimmicky as hell and I have absolutely no interest in Kylie Jenner/Kim Kardashian makeup, but I hardly think that's anything new! It goes without saying, but if you love any of these products yourself, please don't let my opinion make you feel bad; in fact, feel free to tell me why you hauled them. Here are my reasons, however, why I won't be.
I like Glossier, I really do, but given the marketing hype over every single one of their releases and how inaccessible the brand is, I feel compelled to speak up whenever I don't like something they do. Perhaps it's the Libra in me, but it's important that I'm unbiased and provide balance here on my blog. In my last anti-haul post, I spoke about my disdain for Invisible Shield SPF 35 and today, I want to talk about Wowder, Glossier's finishing and setting powder.
Although Wowder came out some time ago now, I thought it might be interesting to revisit an older release because you end up discovering what's stood the test of time that way, which I don't think this has. I feel like no one's really talked about this product since it first came out and there are a few reasons why I think that is. Firstly, the packaging; the 'Wowder' name and logo are very Benefit-esque and seems a little off-brand with the rest of the line. Plus, I've heard the trampoline mesh is quite messy to work with (loose powders are way too much of a hassle for me and I'd rather stick with pressed), which again, isn't very fitting with Glossier's whole effortless and fuss-free vibe. Secondly, and my main gripe I have with Wowder; the abysmal three-shade colour range. Glossier state on their website that "no skin tone is HD-white", but no skin tone is just "Light/Medium", "Dark/Deep" and "Rich" either! For someone who's skin colouring is somewhere in the middle and who's never had trouble with bases, I know for a fact that Light/Medium is way too light for me and that Dark/Deep is way too dark, and although Glossier claim they're sheer, there have been complaints about the shade range and I really don't think powder formulas are as adaptable as liquids. I know Tarte were recently and deservedly criticised (some even going as far as to completely boycott the brand) for the white-washed shade range of their Shape Tape Foundation and in 2018, brands need to do better.
Warm-toned eyeshadows are all the rage at the moment and for the most part, I've really enjoyed this trend in makeup as it's opened me up to colours I didn't think suited my skin tone that are now actually some of my favourites. As my complexion is quite neutral, I don't like to lean overly warm (or cool, for that matter) with my makeup and as hyped up as the Urban Decay Naked Heat Eyeshadow Palette has been, this definitely wasn't for me. I get why people like it and in fact, I think it's the most groundbreaking thing Urban Decay have done with their Naked line in a long, long time, however, I do have my qualms with their Naked Petite Heat Palette. From looking at swatches online, I really don't see a discernible difference between the shades in the two palettes and as the people most interested in it are already likely to own the regular size, there's really no point in also owning the petite version.
At least when Urban Decay released their Naked Basics line some few years ago, they gave us something to complement their predominantly all-shimmer palettes, but I don't think any warm eyeshadow fan needs both Naked Heat palettes given how similar they are. I kind of feel like Urban Decay are beginning to milk their Naked range dry now and there's only so much more you can do with neutral eyeshadows! I think what attracts people to the Naked Petite Heat Palette is its size more so than anything else; it's cute, a fun play on the original and travel-friendly, but red and orange eyeshadow lovers probably have these shades elsewhere in their collection and even though I was never going to buy this palette myself, I don't think you should either.
When it comes to eyeshadow, I'm much more partial to shimmer and sparkle than an all-matte look and the whole dreamy and ethereal vibe of a glittery eye is something that I absolutely adore. When the Stila Magnificent Metals Glitter & Glow Liquid Eye Shadows were first released, however, I wasn't all that fussed by them (no particular reason, they just didn't grab my attention the way other glittery eyeshadows have) and swatching them in-store only confirmed this. First of all, I'm indifferent to the shade range; I don't hate it, but it most certainly doesn't excite me and I don't feel like there are any colours that I'd want to wear over and over again. Secondly, I find the glitter particles way too chunky for my liking and the silver sparkle also comes across as a little too harsh and overpowering. As much as I love my glitter, I prefer it in a more subtle and soft-focused form like the Urban Decay Moondust Eyeshadows or in something like an eyeshadow topper as opposed to an intensely pigmented liquid. My dream glittery eyeshadow is the Tom Ford Cream and Powder Eye Colour in Young Adonis and although it's almost three times the cost of Stila's, it is honestly one of the most beautiful things I've ever come across. I'll most likely end up splurging on this for my birthday later in the year!
When I think of Chanel, I think of words such as "style", "elegance" and "sophistication", but their latest release, the Poudre À Lèvres Lip Balm and Powder Duo, is unfortunately, none of those things to me. Dubbed a "deconstructed lipstick", it's made up of a moisturising lip balm and a powder pigment that you're supposed to layer on top with either your fingertips or a brush, but in all seriousness, who on bloody earth has time for that? Perhaps I'm just super low maintenance when it comes to lip products, but to me, a regular lipstick is enough of a faff as it is, let alone having to worry about a powder that's probably more difficult to achieve an even finish with, as well as needing some sort of applicator. I can imagine touching up when you're on the go being a nuisance with this too and there are plenty of other lip powders now on the market (it originated in Korea) that can achieve the same look for a lot less hassle. Don't get me wrong, I totally get why people are intrigued by it; it's something different and you could dress anything up in Chanel's sleek black packaging and it would be beautiful. However, if this were Maybelline or even Benefit (is it obvious I'm not a fan?!), you'd probably be telling another story! To me, there's a difference between innovative and gimmicky, and although I dearly love Chanel, this definitely falls into the latter.
When Mecca first announced that they'd be stocking Maison Margiela 'Replica' fragrances a few months ago, I couldn't have been more excited. Beauty brands are always all the more alluring when they've been inaccessible and given how popular they are with international bloggers, I was keen to find out what all fuss was about. Not too long ago, however, I popped into Mecca Maxima to give them a sniff and I have to say, I was deeply disappointed by the scent range. I'm all for niche fragrances and I absolutely adore brands such as Diptyque, Jo Malone and Byredo, but there was nothing about the Replica perfumes that appealed to me in the slightest. By the Fireplace is probably the nicest smelling one, but even then, I definitely don't like it enough to want to own it.
I realise that everyone has different taste in fragrance and while a little bit of a let down that I was underwhelmed by something so raved about, my real issue with the Replica fragrances is the labelling. Under "Style Description" on the front label of the bottles, Maison Margiela use the terms "Female fragrance", "Male fragrance" and "Female and Male fragrance" to describe their scents, which is completely ignorant and exclusionary to the LGBTIQA community who may not identify with those terms. Not everyone is simply "female" or "male" and "feminine" or "masculine", and in 2018, why can't people just wear what they want to wear without the archaic classification? Not to mention, "female" and "male" can literally mean anything. Are we talking about a female cat? A male dog?! Obviously, this is part of a much larger issue and isn't specific Maison Margiela or the beauty industry; gendered labelling exists in fashion and everywhere else too. To actually outwardly label their bottles takes it to a whole other level though and although I'm a cishet woman who's traditionally feminine, this doesn't sit right with me. I feel like even if I did like their fragrances, the labelling alone is enough to completely put me off the brand and isn't something I feel comfortable having in my collection.
If I had to choose my favourite fragrance brand, it'd 100% be Diptyque. From their perfumes to their candles, to the absolutely stunning packaging, there isn't a thing I don't love... except for one: the Eau Rose Hair Mist. Considering the Eau Rose EDT is my signature scent, you'd think I'd be all over this, but hair perfume, to me, is a gimmick and a little bit ridiculous. As Jess of Little Henry Lee mentioned in her Beauty Anti-Haul post, unless you're using a similar scented perfume on your body, your hair perfume would clash, and if your hair really needed its own fragrance, then it was probably just about time you gave it a wash! A spritz of dry shampoo or heat protectant that you already own and use does the same job (and more) and hair perfumes are just another superfluous product high end brands are shilling to us all in the name of money. Do I really want to add an extra step to my haircare routine? Most certainly not! Plus, you know Diptyque made this product limited edition just to create hype; I wouldn't be surprised if they made it permanent in the future! Like Chanel's Lip Balm and Powder Duo, it's totally understandable why people are attracted to the Eau Rose Hair Mist; the packaging and the scent are simply beautiful, but if you love Diptyque and you love rose, you're much better off buying the actual fragrance. I never thought I'd see the day where I'd feature a Diptyque product, let alone a rose-scented one in an anti-haul post, but I have to be honest with myself and say this isn't worth it.
What are some beauty products that you won't be buying?