If you haven’t yet watched one of drag queen/YouTuber Kimberly Clark‘s “Anti-Haul” videos, you are seriously missing out. Kimberly is on a brilliant mission to encourage us, as consumers, to do our research and make educated decisions when it comes to our wallets and what we put on our faces. This is my written version of Kimberly’s famed Anti-Haul series, just in time for the upcoming Sephora VIB sale later this month. ~what I’m not gonna buuuuyyy~
Too Faced Natural Love Ultimate Neutral eyeshadow palette – $59.00 / 24g – Oy, another one!? Too Faced has been cranking out these massive palettes one after another lately, and they have all been so underwhelming. First of all, no one needs 30 shades in one palette – this instantly becomes a “sit on your desk and look pretty” palette rather than one convenient for traveling (which to me, is the only real reason worth owning a palette over eyeshadow singles). Moving on, even if you did need 30 neutral eyeshadows in the same palette (you don’t), there are at least 3-4 nearly identical pink shades and another several nearly identical brown shades. If you like the Too Faced eyeshadow formula, you do you, but this palette is unnecessary on every level.
Kat Von D Alchemist Holographic palette – $30.00 / 5.7g – My criticism of this palette has very little to do with the four holographic highlight shades, they are actually pretty gorgeous. My issue with this is the price, the shape of the packaging, and how late it is to market. The Anastasia Beverly Hills Moon Child Glow Kit is nearly identical to the Alchemist palette, but boasts six shades with nearly 5x as much product for $40. Further, the pans of the Alchemist palette are incredibly small, which is fine for eyeshadow, but for use as a face highlight, using a larger fan brush or other highlighting brush will be pretty difficult. The shape of the palette itself is yet another “sit on my desk and look pretty” design, completely impractical for any on-the-go usage. As pretty as these shades are, I’ll be sticking to my Moon Child Glow Kit and duochrome shades from Makeup Geek and Concrete Minerals. All products mentioned above are cruelty free.
Anastasia Beverly Hills Nicole Guerriero Glow Kit – $40.00 / 27g – I am not generally opposed to highlighting palettes, though I only really use two shades in the one I own, but unless you are a makeup artist or do not own a single highlighter, they are really not necessary. If you’re going to pick up a highlight palette, one from Anastasia Beverly Hills probably would be my recommendation, but this one – a collab with YouTuber Nicole Guerriero – is so underwhelming and one note, I can’t imagine anyone could ever use so much nearly identical product. Unlike the Moon Child Glow Kit, there is nothing even remotely unique about these shades and thus begs the question of why you’d need so many. If you don’t own a single powder highlight and are in the market for a palette, I still wouldn’t recommend this one from ABH.
Farsali Unicorn Essence & Rose Gold Elixir – each $54.00 / 1oz – Why is this even sold at Sephora? These overpriced oils are loaded with multiple irritating citrus oils, the Unicorn Essence is drowned in artificial coloring, and the ingredients overall are wholly unspectacular from a brand that seems to have cropped out of nowhere. I don’t even spend this much on facial oils from well-established brands that use excellent ingredients. I don’t even spend this much on facial oils from one of my favorite skincare brands ever (see next product). If you are in the market for a facial oil, facial serum, or other hydrating skincare products, do your research and find a product with science on its side – look for ingredients like hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and non-fragrant plant oils. If it’s truly a good product, they likely won’t need to rely on rose gold unicorns to fly off the shelves.
Drunk Elephant Virgin Marula Oil – $72.00 / 1oz – I can’t guys, I just can’t. Drunk Elephant is probably my favorite skincare brand of all time, but I just cannot bring myself to spend seventy two dollars on a facial oil (and don’t recommend anyone else does either). Garden of Wisdom sells Marula oil for about $13.00/ounce, and even Tarte’s Maracuja Oil (my favorite) has more than three times as much product as the DE Marula Oil for $5 less. It’s a great brand and they make a lot of great products, this might be one of them, but for that price, I am never going to find out.
Dior Dior Addict Lip Sugar Scrub – $33.00 / 0.12oz – So pretty, so cute, …so ridiculous. I cannot imagine the mindset one would need to be in to justify the purchase of a $33 lip scrub, but I can’t say I have ever experienced it. Don’t get me wrong, I love me some high-end makeup, but this just seems crazy to me. You can find fantastic lip scrubs at all price rangers – $3 from elf, $11 from Lush, $18 from Bite Beauty – and that I’ve been unable to even track down an ingredients list for this product, makes me further believe that it cannot be anything so special that it is worth $33 for a sugar-based lip scrub just like the other three.
Urban Decay UDxBasquiat collection – Oh this one just makes me so sad. Due to their ties to L’Oreal, I generally don’t shop from Urban Decay anyway, but they do have some great products in their lineup. Even if the formulas in this collection are on point (I haven’t tried any of the products), it’s still a devastating blow to the artist and everything he stood for (this collection was put forth with permission of Basquiat’s estate, which is now run by his sisters). The products and packaging might look cool in your collection, really it’s a gorgeous line, but Jean-Michel Basquiat – whose art focused heavily on his Haitian heritage and Brooklyn upbringing – struggled with addiction for many years and I just cannot believe that he would have approved of a collaboration like this, particularly with a very large, corporate brand known for their drug-related product names. Further, the brand chose Ruby Rose as the face of the collection, and while I certainly appreciate the growing presence of non-binary models and actors, it still seemed a bit inappropriate to cast a white model to represent the collaboration with such a powerful black artist. To clarify, my criticisms of this collection are more about the decisions made to produce it rather than the products themselves, but that is often the biggest issue and cannot be ignored.
Tarte Limited Edition Magic Wands Brush Set – $39.00 – Tarte is a brand I generally enjoy, but these brushes were a red flag from the get go. At $39 for five brushes, that is a drastic change from the brand’s regular line of brushes that run between $20-35 each, coupled with the fact that this is a limited edition release, these brushes have got no no no written all over them. It’s not uncommon for brands to drop the product quality for limited edition releases, and brushes are no different. These gorgeous handles are completely hollow, and while the bristles may be soft, it’s likely that they will not hold up over time. If you are in the market for some new, affordable brushes, RealTechniques and ecoTools both have a great lineup of synthetic, cruelty-free products.
Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post (obviously). I was not contacted by any brands to write this, or asked by any brands not to include them in this post. With the exception of Dior, all products mentioned – including alternative suggestions – are cruelty-free.