Chatter: On Discounted New Releases

This post started with a question from a friend: If (prestige) palettes go on sale soon after they are released, are they worth the starting price?

Not shopping for certain things – say, palettes – enables you to save money (not looking/not tempted/not spending). It also, however, means you miss peculiarities in the market.

Several brands released palettes in the last handful of months only to have them rapidly marked down. Not marked down now that the holidays are behind us, though – before Christmas!

Basically – if we’re seeing 30%+ off discounted new releases within three months of release, why should anyone buy at launch? Why not wait?

Personally, I see the issue being twofold:

  • Most of these palettes were the part of the holiday collections for the lines in question. Previously, I said I was opting out of limited edition/holiday palettes. I still feel that way and do not see it changing for the forseeable future.
  • The target market for products like these are primarily (not exclusively) younger, trend-centric women. They don’t occasionally jump on the hype train, they have a Metro Card. It doesn’t matter to them that the product is good, just that it is relevant in-the-moment or that it happens to be their preferred influencer’s flavor of the day.

The Bottom Line

I don’t presume to tell anyone how to spend their money, but if you watch the beauty market for even just a couple years you can identify this pattern.

That Time Again – 2017 Favorites

I sat down to write about my 2017 Favorites and ended up laughing at myself. I went back and checked the previous year’s favorites to make sure I wasn’t inadvertently writing the same post and … wow, I definitely almost did! I still love and use everything from that list a year later. I even still use the now-discontinued Gimme Brow; I’m on my last tube, sadly. Maybe next year will feature a new brow product. Maybe I’m set in my ways.

Rather than repeating myself, check out what I had to say on these items last time:

2017 Favorites

Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day SerumDrunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum, $80

Buying an $80 consumable skincare item even at 20% off was a huge risk for me. I enjoy prestige makeup, but I was worried that I was:

  • losing my mind
  • buying into hype
  • going to hate it or be unimpressed and have wasted money
  • going to love it WAY too much but not find it a sustainable purchase
  • losing my mind

Although I was obviously hoping I’d like it, I was shocked by how much good it has done for my skin. It is my single largest beauty expense, but I am gladly forking over the money twice a year.

Read moreThat Time Again – 2017 Favorites

Bi-Weekly WTF :: Vol 2 – Zoe Ayla Fish Style Brush

Bi-Weekly WTF :: Vol 2 - Zoe Ayla Fish Style Brush

Last time I released a Bi-Weekly WTF, I erred; I just kinda tossed it in the title without sharing my intention. A lot of what I end up writing about is spawned by a head-scratching moment of wondering, “Did they really?” Some really catches me off guard and deserves to be called out as its own WTF-inducing moment. Last time, it was asbestos in kiddy and tween cosmetics.


Zoe Ayla Fish Style Brush

When some people want to turn their brain off, they veg out and watch reality TV. I, however, window shop products I’d never buy – for a laugh, for a post, for whatever. This led me to the subject of this Bi-Weekly WTF: the Zoe Ayla Fish Style Brush.

Yeah, you read that right. Fish style brush.

Because, you know, I’ve got gadgets and gizmos a-plenty but I need a fish-shaped foundation brush.

 

Zoe Ayla prices this brush at $25 but I saw it at TJ Maxx for $6. I checked out their set and found they also peddle unicorn-themed brushes. Let’s face it, though – the target demographic for these whimsical-and-not-very-functional brushes is not going to be in a position to spend $25 for a single brush!

Their page on the Fish Style Brush reads:

Read moreBi-Weekly WTF :: Vol 2 – Zoe Ayla Fish Style Brush

The Haul-idays / No Buy / State of Things

No Buy

Haul

Since the sale I bought C Firma during, I allowed myself to spend a little more on beauty-related products during the holidays.

In addition to the MiroPure Straightening brush, I bought:

  • Another hair tool to try. There’s no universe in which I would have dropped money (>$125!) on a Beachwaver but I got the InstaWave for $25.
  • A few more Gelaze colors to play with. I hadn’t purchased any gel polish in nearly a year!
  • Some extra Clarisonic brush heads. There was a Cyber Monday sale – got two Radiance heads for $24. Not as excellent as my usual purchase of 4 for $64 (4 pack for $81 + 20% off).
  • A new (to me, not new release) Real Techniques brush. I didn’t really have anything to use on my whole, finished face to blend any edges that I missed, and for $4 on sale I figured it was fair.

Holiday Stuff

In all, I found myself yet again underwhelmed by the holiday offerings put out by most brands. It does look like Fenty Beauty rose to the occasion (still haven’t tried anything from Fenty, though), but everything else fell flat to me. Even Urban Decay who, in spite of my occasional criticism, I generally enjoy, swung and missed (me).

The only thing I found myself tempted by were the new Heavy Metal glitter liner shades – but given that I have few opportunities to even wear the one I own (Midnight Cowboy), I refrained from adding more to my collection. Glitter eyeliner, after all, is not appropriate for work.

State of Things

Now for some general, “state of things,” updates on things I’ve talked about but not super-recently.

No Buy

Read moreThe Haul-idays / No Buy / State of Things

Beauty Skeptic Amazon Storefront

This year, I didn’t bother writing any holiday gift guides. Between my real-life workload and something telling me, “There are enough out there this year,” I opted out.

In a related vein, though, I created an Amazon Storefront that features my favorite beauty products. We’re talking hair tools, skincare, makeup – the whole nine yards. Putting it together was a bit of a wake-up-call; it had me going, “Whoa, I use a lot of stuff.” In the end, I felt way more high maintenance than I was prepared to admit.

Beauty Skeptic Amazon Storefront

 

The above screenshot is just a small snippet of what I have up there. Items on that page are things that I use routinely – maybe not every day, but definitely often. It’s like the ultimate, comprehensive Beauty Skeptic Starter Pack.

Notes & Tips:

  • Everything in my Amazon storefront results in a small affiliate commission. I don’t link to things there that I don’t use and recommend. If you aren’t comfortable with that, you’re welcome to purchase items you’re interested in elsewhere. :)
  • Shop smart. Although Amazon frequently has the lowest price on certain things, they aren’t always the lowest.
    • Know your pricing!
      • I can often get micellar water and mascara cheaper at Target when they’re on sale + Cartwheel + manufacturer coupons.
        • But sometimes, Amazon has a sale + coupons, too!
      • OPI is frequently a better deal at Ulta (frequent BOGO 50% off) or Sally Beauty (occasional B2G1).
      • Bed Head is priced best from Costco, etc.
    • Also, Amazon pricing fluctuates a lot. I use the Keepa browser plugin for Chrome to guide my purchase timing to get better deals.
    • At the end of the day, price may not be the biggest motivator for you. I strongly believe there is a value to convenience and simplicity; for example, at this time of year I order more things from Amazon even if they cost a little more stores at Christmastime are crazy.
  • Prime is worth it!

Why the Amazon Storefront and affiliate links?

Although Beauty Skeptic is not my full-time, full-tilt job, there are operating costs. There’s fees for web hosting, domain registration, security – not to mention site design, branding, etc. Although there are products I would definitely buy and try no matter what, some of my purchases are influenced by thoughts along the lines of, “My readers has expressed interest in this,” or, “I think my readers would be interested in this.”

Purchases made via affiliate links offset those administrative costs and enable me to purchase and review products you’ve told me you want to know about or I think you’d be interested in. Basically, that small income enables me to continue consistently creating content. All earnings from affiliate programs like Amazon’s go right back into the blog.

The Bottom Line

My hope is that the Amazon Storefront offers you convenience. If not, disregard it and go about your day!

I’m taking Monday off to enjoy the holiday with my family. If you observe and celebrate, I hope you have a peaceful, joyful Christmas. If you don’t, I still hope you have a peaceful, joyful December 25. ;)