Chatter: Trying to be Edgy

Nobody likes a tryhard, yet so many brands are trying to be edgy lately. I’m not offput by crude humor in the slightest, but I can’t help but feel like brands are desperately grasping more and more for attention via punchy names and claims.

Isn’t it a little tired? Isn’t it enough to have a great product and solid marketing?

Brands

NARS Orgasm has been out for ages and the name makes sense for the color they are suggesting it is inspired by. It doesn’t strike me as tawdry even if the average shopper would feel unnerved asking for it by name in Sephora.

Too Faced Better Than Sex mascara isn’t a particularly nice formula – but oh man, such an edgy name! There are plenty of other products out there that are trying a bit too hard. Some are good, some are clearly banking on their shady name to make sales.

Trying to be Edgy

Oh, marketing. Urban Decay has a history of products with shady names. Okay, it’s one thing to name a color something off-beat. They’ve teased their new Troublemaker mascara which is, allegedly, “sex proof.”

Okay Urban Decay; I know that Wende founded the brand with the aim of going against the grain. With an effortless edginess in mind. But in their tagline, “Beauty with an Edge.” But isn’t marketing, “sex-proof,” mascara trying to be edgy a little (a lot) harder than is necessary?

Urban Decay themselves state on the product site:

Troublemaker holds up in hot and heavy situations and still looks good in the morning. We tested it ourselves, and it lasted through saunas, snowboarding and sex!

One – all of your consumers would expect you to test products in-house before releasing them. Two, gee UD, bet all of those were very stringent tests.

Why would you leave makeup on in a sauna? Just sayin’.

Reviews

Urban Decay’s site suggests there are five reviews to the product so far. When you click the link, however, it takes you to a blank review section.

Trying to be edgy? Urban Decay's latest mascara sure is.

Other accounts on the internet from people who got them early are besides themselves (with glee) with how scandalous the claims are, proudly proclaiming that, “it’s totally true!”

Oh good, now we can all sleep at night,

The Bottom Line

I’m not sure when Troublemaker releases but I don’t plan to buy. My criticism for their (and many other brands’) marketing strategy isn’t the main reason why, however. In general, I’m not keen on splashing out on prestige mascaras but that isn’t helped by trying too hard to be edgy. I will not be trying this unless I come across a sample tube.

Seriously, how much of their clientele was reaching out to them and going, “Hey Urban Decay, your products are really great but there’s just this void in my life and in the market. I really need a mascara that can withstand–“

Cool Beauty Products I’ve Seen Lately

Being a blogger on a no buy is a challenging position to be in. I ought to remain at least vaguely aware of wtf is happening (ABH Subculture) and what cool beauty products are launching. ALl oh this, of course, without becoming tempted enough to make purchases.

You are cordially invited to join me in marveling at my first world problems.

Anyway, as a result of

  • trying to stay at least semi-abreast of what is coming out or
  • shopping for other things and seeing ads or seeing unrelated albeit interesting search results and
  • occasionally tagging along with a coworker to Ulta during lunch to help her with product recommendations

–I’ve seen some cool beauty products lately! I haven’t purchased any of these items, but I wanted to share what caught my eye.

Cool Beauty Products I've Seen Lately - Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Mini

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Mini

I’ve tried an Hourglass mini before, but ultimately invested in the full sized product because, well, the product is fantastic. I imagine that’s no different with the Ambient Lighting Blushes, but let’s say you’re gift shopping and have a limit of $25-30. This little one, currently only available in Mood Exposure, runs $24.

Read more…

Worth it? Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum

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

I mentioned in my June favorites that buying Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum. I adore this damn serum. A colleague and paled at the cost when I sang its praises; I understand. I love it, plan to repurchase, and still recoil from the price tag.

Gun Shy

Short of tools like my Luna Mini or Clarisonic Mia2, I don’t tend to spend much on individual products. With a few exceptions, I’m generally of the opinion that beauty need not break the bank.

Being young (enough – and only for now, don’t worry, this isn’t a cocky statement) and skeptical of products promising miracles, I pass on a lot of prestige and luxury skincare. Aside from my tools, none of my skincare routine is prestige at this point!

Too Young?

Never. As far as I’m concerned, mid-twenties is a perfectly reasonable time to reconsider your approach to skincare even if you aren’t suffering a skin mutiny as I was.

Once my acne was under control, I decided my skin could use a boost in the liveliness department. Although I find makeup fun, I much prefer to have healthy, radiant skin than to need to slap on product to fake it.

Mid-twenties is not too young to start anti-aging products – and with a demanding career, my skin was looking a bit tired. I don’t want or need anything hardcore. No retinol here (at this stage in my life). But I do have under-eye circles, some dullness and uneven tone, etc. I decided that Vitamin C was the place to be for my needs right now.

Influences on my Purchase Decision

A blog I’ve followed for years and implicitly rely on touted Ole Henriksen’s Truth Serum but when I got into reviews and other comparisons, many sources seemed to suggest the Drunk Elephant product to be superior. Part of this is packaging, part is the concentration and type of Vitamin C itself, and the other part of are the other ingredients. I was leery about spending that much on a type of product I’d never tried before, so I kept searching.

Interestingly, although Stefanie Nicole (check out her channel here) has a YouTube channel, she works in the beauty industry on the manufacturing and distribution side of things. She also has a no-nonsense attitude that resonates with me. I appreciate her willingness to say, “I didn’t care for this,” or, “This product didn’t perform well for the price.” We need more of that! In this case, Drunk Elephant C-Firma does, in her opinion, perform well for the price.

Upon hearing her ringing endorsement of Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum, I decided to splurge during the Spring BI/VIB Sale. My skin was consistent at that point (not as stable as it is now, but better!), and I felt comfortable adding a variable.

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Beauty Insider Points CAN Expire but Don’t Panic

Lighting in Sephora

If you’re a lunatic beauty hobbyist, you’ve probably heard that Sephora has altered its policy regarding Beauty Insider Points. Before, you could hoard them five-ever and spend them on ridiculous 1000+ swag. Now they have a shelf life.

People are losing their shit.

Twitter is aflame with disgruntled point junkies customers who feel that this new policy is an attack on freebies they are entitled to not actually entitled to. Oh for the love of highlighted cats it’s a war on our deluxe minis.

Don’t get me wrong – I love freebies, point perks, and gifts with purchase. I love that marketing strategy – what better a way to get us to buy product than to give us tiny versions to become obsessed with? At the end of the day, it sucks when perks change – but you aren’t owed freebies. And besides that…

Have you Read the Policy Change?

No? Are you freaking out?

  1. Chill.
  2. Read the policy.

The new terms, in spite of what less-scrupulous outlets would report via clickbait headlines or suggest via lazy content publishing, isn’t giving each point you earn an 18 month shelf life.

The Beauty Insider Points Policy Update

According to Sephora, your points will only expire if you have been inactive for 18 months. That means that, for eighteen months, you will have made ZERO purchase and ZERO point redemptions.

No, really. This excerpt is from the Beauty Insider Terms and Conditions page, section 3:

3. Point Expiration

It’s our hope that you redeem your points on a regular basis. All unredeemed points shall expire when a program member has not engaged in point activity associated with that membership account (through purchase or redemption) for 18 months or more. If you have questions regarding the date of your last point activity or your last purchase, you may call 1-877-SEPHORA (1-877-737-4672) for more information.

In addition, points will automatically expire if your Membership is revoked or otherwise cancelled for reasons further detailed in Section 17.

Reality Check

Those of you who are frantic or pissed about this policy change, be honest with yourself – are you really going to go a year and a half without buying something from Sephora (or redeeming points)?

Just sayin’.

June 2017 Favorites

June 2017 Favorites

June 2017 Favorites
1. Drunk Elephant C-Firma, $80 / 2. Lotion Saver Bottle Couplers, $4
3. Takeya Cold Brew Pitcher, $20 / 4. Mario Badescu Buffering Lotion, $19 / 5. Sonicare FlexCare Whitening Edition, varies

Year is half over. I just celebrated a birthday. ‘Murica just celebrated its own. I will have my first set of Invisalign trays before the end of the month. Hallelujah.

Btw, is anyone else like, “Get off my lawn and stay out of my damn hydrangeas,” when it comes to fireworks? No one was physically on my lawn, and I don’t have hydrangeas – but I am exhausted today because don’t you know it is ‘Murica’s birthday until (at least) 2AM on July 5? Sigh.

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