The holidays are nigh. Some stores are already playing Christmas carols (quelle horreur). That means holiday palettes are upon us.
To date, I’ve purchased one limited-edition holiday palette: Too Faced Everything Nice. TFEN was novel and fun, but I ultimately ended up depotting it into a Z-Palette. Frankly I don’t use what survived very often, and am currently making a concerted effort to Project Pan it.. I have higher quality shadows I reach for more often.
Why? It’s a have a few, simple reasons:
Holiday Palettes, Sets, LEs are Guaranteed Sales
When something is a sure thing, companies are a bit more, “flexible,” when it comes to quality. (Read: Flexible is code for, “compromising,” as in a brand may pursue a cheaper formula or manufacturing process.)
In plain English: Unfortunately, brands generally resort to lower-quality formulas in their holiday value/LE palettes. It isn’t a hard-and-fast rule, but think – if a ten-shade palette from a brand normally costs $45-50, how can they offer you 20 for $60 with a similar (even if slightly smaller) pan size? It’s obvious – the formula isn’t the same. They’re cutting corners to increase their profit margin.
Is it Bad?
Not really, and I’m not even seeking to criticize it as a practice. As far as I know, there aren’t any non-profit cosmetics companies out there. Businesses are in business to make money. By itself. that’s neither good nor bad – it just is.
I’m personally not up for paying prestige pricing for, at best, drugstore quality products. Case in Point: Too Faced’s normal formula is nicer than the formula I received in TFEN. Also, the (in?)famous BECCAxJaclyn Hill collaboration that resulted in some sub-par palettes being released…whoops.
While those collections can be fun, if they aren’t on par with the brand’s current formulas and manufacturing, why are we so eager to drop money on the products?
Manufactured Scarcity (see above!)
I don’t love the inflation of demand through intentional scarcity. It’s a common thing to do in business – and I’m not saying it’s some horrible unethical thing for items that aren’t necessities. I just don’t particularly care for it.
Less is More
I’m ready to invest in quality rather than quantity. For the first couple years of my interest in makeup, I wanted to try 3/4 of the products on the market because I didn’t know what I needed, wanted, liked, or hated. I have a much better sense of that these days and want to spend money on the things that work best for me.
My makeup collection is better without clutter. I don’t want a half dozen trios or quads. Nor do I want a gigantic palette that doesn’t fit in the space I reserve for my beauty products. I don’t want a ton of products that are, “just okay.” Like time, space (especially in my small apartment!) has a value – and I don’t want to waste space storing products that aren’t killing it.
What I Would Buy
I don’t love committing to huge bottles of fragrance! I’m not a heavy perfume-wearer; by the time I got through, say, a 3.4oz bottle it might have gone bad or my preferences may have changed! (I do own two full-sized fragrances from Philosophy, which I love).
If beautyblender releases a holiday set, I’d consider it – assuming, that is, I didn’t get a pygmy sponge like I did in the Sephora Paint it Pink set. That said, I’m wary of low-priced holiday brush bundles. MAC occasionally releases some and they are notoriously not the same construction quality as their main brush line. While I love my 217 and 242 and hate paying, “full,” price for things, this is one thing worth not compromising on…because they certainly do!
The Bottom Line
Enthusiasts are excited because they’re getting, “more,” so they’re eager to buy. People who don’t know the industry buying makeup as gifts for others see a good value and therefore a good gift buy. With those things being the case, the industry keeps churning out cutesy palettes and limited edition albeit low-quality products.
In reality, they aren’t getting more product. They may see more value in the variety holiday palettes offer; that is fair and not, “wrong.” For me, in quality and literal per-gram quantity, the value isn’t there – so I will not be buying any holiday palettes.
Even if you see more value in variety, I still urge you to vote with your dollars and demand better.