This is a legacy post that has been giving a formatting facelift. I still feel very strongly about Glambot given this unsavory experience with them – three years later, I feel the same about not recommending them. If you weren’t around in 2014, here’s what went down.
Initially, I didn’t get much of a response from Glambot on their product intake and batch verification procedures I was seeking.
But I do now.
I reached out to Glambot and asked if they could clarify their team has some special batch verification process to see whether or not products are past their prime.
Glambot’s initial response, copied-and-pasted:
From our experience, MAC lipsticks loose their initial vanilla scent in about 1-3 years. The exact amount of time varies with the specific color but I do believe that frost finishes, including those that have any trace of a metallic sheen, loose their vanilla scent the quickest. Although we do not cross-reference each item’s batch number, we do handle customers concerns individually, as they come.
Well, losing a nice scent and becoming intolerable are two different things. MAC Cosmo is an amplified creme finish so the frosty/metallic information isn’t relevant. The vanilla wasn’t as strong as my new tube of Brave; even if it had no smell that would be one thing, but this was pungent. Not something I could stand to wear even not thinking it had expired.
Also – each item that comes in does not receive Glambot batch verification? Does that mean some some items do? I wasn’t sure; it was worded ambiguously.
I followed-up, detailing my experience with my tube of MAC Cosmo I purchased from them back in June. It was reported to be in good condition, 80-100% full.
When I received it, it smelled okay, but between then and now it turned to a familiar foul, cheap-crayon scent. It is common knowledge that when lipsticks experience drastic changes like that, they are probably expired.
They came back asking how I store my lipsticks. I store them upright, away from light and heat in a closed drawer in a room that does not have significant temperature variance. They replied that I was, “doing everything right,” but left it at that.
Taking Matters into My Own Hands
At this point, I checked the batch number myself as it was clear to me that there was no interest in that on their end.
The batch, as you can see in this photo I took when I shared my haul and experience posts back in June, has a code A57. I decoded it…
This tube was the first batch of product manufactured in May 2007.
Now, there is a variance of opinion in how long lipstick lasts before expiring. usually between 1-4 years. It does vary depending on formulation but I have not heard of a lipstick remaining, “good,” for SEVEN years. That far exceeds even the most generous estimations of longevity.
You’ve got to be kidding me, guys.
I reached out to explain that taking care of my products is important to me and shared my discovery. My email went on to explain that had I known the lipstick for sale was seven years old when I bought it (7.5 now!), I would’ve passed on it and bought something else. I suggested that Glambot make product batch verification a part of their product receipt/validation process.
Nearly two days passed – I heard nothing. I followed up again, explaining that I wanted to clear this up for my blog, and asked pointedly what the process was. Part of the response is already available on their site (so – it was canned), but here you go:
Thank you for the clarification. As for the cleaning and sanitization of items, Glambot selectively purchases most of its makeup from trusted sources within the beauty community, including professional makeup artists and beauty bloggers. In addition, we use a combination of different sterilization techniques, including, but not limited to, the application of high heat, alcohols and natural emollients, as well as layered product removal.
To address your other concern regarding item authenticity, Glambot intake team members have beauty industry backgrounds and are highly familiar with makeup products. Because they’ve literally handled thousands upon thousands of pieces of makeup, they’ve become experts on spotting suspect counterfeit items. Additionally, by researching credible beauty blogs and being involved on beauty community forums, team members are kept up to date and routinely educate themselves on past and present counterfeit items.
Well, I guess that settles that.
Glambot batch verification does not occur.
If this was isolated to lipsticks, I’d say, “fine, don’t buy lipsticks.” Unfortunately, that is not the case.
And who are these intake team members with beauty industry backgrounds? A receptionist at L’Oreal technically has a beauty industry background but she doesn’t know a lick about product formulation. Glambot wants us to believe that they employ individuals so experienced that they can tell something is legit by eyeballing it – I don’t buy it.
The Bottom Line
They aren’t bothering to check if these items might be too far gone to resell. This is ridiculous; they have the ability to reject items sent in for sale. I am so disappointed and regret initially recommending them in June. It just goes to show that you can’t assess a company based on the initial transaction! I’m just glad I found out this way and that, hopefully, you didn’t have to. After all, my tagline is what it is for a reason.
My opinion definitely changed due to this discovery and I will not be doing any further business with Glambot. If I am spending money I would rather pay full price for new product than get a discount on expired ones. Shopping with Glambot is at your own risk with the understanding that you are gambling. You risk receiving expired product with nothing done to make it right or ensure your satisfaction.