December 27, 2018

Holiday 2018 Makeup and Beauty Fails

Ahhh blessed relief Christmas is over. Do you ever get that weird melancholy yet relieved feeling when the Holidays are over? It’s like, “Awww! I’m so sad it’s all over!” and “Thank god! I can clean up all this chaos, put away all these decorations, and rest for a moment!”

I love Christmas decorations but man, it’s so much work! Work to put it up but lovely when it is up and finally the feeling of “GOD I NEED TO CLEAN ALL THIS CLUTTER UP AND PUT IT BACK IN THE ATTIC!”

So yeah, I feel a bit sad Christmas is over but ever so relieved I can start taking down my tree and getting back to my normal life schedule that doesn’t involve parties and meetups every single night of the month.

Probably the best part of the Holiday season being over is perhaps a little relief from all the sales. Oh my gosh! It was an overwhelming year of sales! Makeup, clothes, accessories, anything and everything was on sale this year and it was overwhelming to keep up with it all.

Here’s some Holiday 2018 Makeup and Beauty Fails!

See if you agree!

Bath & Body Works Y U Sell Out of Stuffs So Fast
Bath & Body Works was likely my most disappointing experience this year! I obviously waited WAY too long to shop because so many candles sold out that I wanted not to mention I was unable to grab backups of In the Stars Perfume. I HATED it was released in 1 oz bottles only and I HATED it sold out Black Friday and that was that. I was waiting on Black Friday to snag a few bottles and when Black Friday finally came along it was gone in a flash. Also, not sure if anyone purchased it, but they had a second perfume called Kaleidoscope that I managed to get a single bottle of. I did not see it in stores, only online and it sold out fairly fast as well. Sad sigh!

Tarte I Want to Celebrate the Holidays not a Vacation on a Tropical Beach
Tarte’s need to force feed us their #TrippinwithTarte Collections extended to Holiday 2018 with Flamingo-Shaped Brushes and a Pineapple Palette just made me cringe. Their Holiday launch was not festive at all…! They have been on this tropical, vacation, beach, exotic getaway thing for a while and it’s just so old and tired. Please Tarte, let’s get something fresh in 2019.

Ulta You’re Killing Us with the Sales
Ulta went a little itty bitty too crazy with sales this year. 20% Off, Holiday Beauty Blitz, 21 Days of Beauty, it was a lot to take in! Almost every single day since October they have had something going on…! There were also a lot of repetitive items on sale as well which sort of takes away from the sale aspect at times because at some point you’re left feeling like, “Wait, I literally just purchased this on sale during their 21 Days of Beauty Event and now it’s on sale again for the Holiday Beauty Blitz Event?”

The Devalue of Beauty
I remember well when Stila went bankrupt in 2009 and when they were repurchased and started lowering their prices and quality. It was a weird time for Stila since the brand toed the line and ran smack dab in the middle of mid and high-range with their price point. After their takeover they started producing way cheaper palettes which were quite fun but it also devalued the entire brand as when they did start launching more expensive products no one wanted to pay full-price after being spoiled rotten with budget options. This is the case with too many brands lately. I think the Holidays is when the devalue of beauty really comes full circle because we start seeing sale after sale after sale and at some point we are, “OHHHHH SHINY AND NEW PALETTE! But I’ll just wait for a sale as I won’t pay full-price for it”. Because we know it’s going on sale no matter what….! That’s pretty sad. Of course, this isn’t only the Holiday! The beauty bubble has been cracking for a while now! It just becomes a little clearer with all the after Holiday clearance and it’s somewhat upsetting to see. Not to mention many of these items are worth the sale price since the quality simply isn’t there! That makes things even more depressing…..!

Sephora’s Weird, Desperate Sales
You have to question Sephora’s odd sales this year. Don’t get me wrong, they were freaking awesome! However, I was sort of amazed at the fact they had not one but two 20% Off coupons that happened as well as the fact they sent out targeted emails if you didn’t buy anything which welcomed you to please take 20% Off your order because you didn’t indulge in the VIB Beauty Event. Are they filling pressure from not only Ulta but other beauty sources? This is another case of devaluing the beauty world as people will come to expect that discount and refuse to pay full-price and just wait for a coupon or for the item to go on sale before indulging. We’ve seen the downfall of Bed, Bath, and Beyond for this exact reason!

What sort of beauty and makeup fails did you notice this Holiday season?

Do share!

About the Muse

Isabella MuseIsabella is just an average everyday geeky girl who doesn’t blend her eyeshadow correctly, wears too much blush, and hopes she never finds her holy grail products because she likes the thrill of the chase so much. Her mission is to bring you super honest reviews on makeup, skincare, fragrance and all things beauty. She’s in no way an expert on the topic and she sure as hell isn’t a super model. But she’s passionate about makeup and is seeking like-minded individuals that like pina coladas, getting caught in the rain, and ones that enjoy spending hundreds of dollars at Sephora without feeling buyer’s remorse. If you’re that person feel free to reach out and leave a comment or follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Bloglovin‘.

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  • Wendy Sue

    Back in the day (lol), THERE WERE NEVER SALES on high end makeup. NEVER. NEVER. NEVER. The first few times, it happened, I thought the world was coming to an end. By the end of THIS holiday season, I couldn’t find a damn thing I wanted with my 20% coupons, that seemed to come once a week LOL

    • Isabella Muse

      likewise! I thought I hit the lotto when something went on sale! I had a hard time with the last Ulta 20% Off! Finally got the Becca stuff with it on December 23rd! I simply didn’t have anything I needed to use!

      • Wendy Sue

        I had my cart loaded on Dec 24 with stuff I didn’t need, it was so important to me, I feel asleep before checking out and missed the coupon LOL

        • Isabella Muse

          all saled out! ;-D it was a lot of sales! I was actually somewhat proud of myself for not going too crazy! I just didn’t need a lot of the items that went on sale!

    • Carol G

      Wendy, I completely agree. I was struggling to find things to buy with all of the Ulta 20% off coupons they sent out. I would wander aimlessly around the store. I finally just told myself: this is ridiculous. You are literally trying to find something you don’t even need just to use a dumb coupon. Muse, you are correct, as Ulta actually had TOO many sales (never thought I’d utter those words). But it was just too overwhelming. And yes, years ago makeup was never on sale. Nowadays, you just wait a few weeks. Case in point: the UD Elements palette. During my hunt to buy something with my 20% off coupon I had that in my hand. THANK GOD I didn’t buy it because literally a week later it is now down to $26! So yes, the devalue of makeup is here and it’s only going to get worse. I will not buy anything full price anymore. I have reached a point in my life where I don’t NEED anything I just want it but I’m now admitting to myself that this is a dumb way of thinking because I need to stop wasting money on things I don’t need. This is the year for me to take a step back from buying so much makeup. I literally have enough to last a lifetime now and going forward something will really have to “wow” me in order for me to buy it.

      • Courtney

        Carol, you are SO RIGHT! i 100 percent agree with and related to EVERYTHING you just said. Could not have said it better myself on all points! Happy New Year!

  • Carolyn

    I agree about tarte. That whole collection was atrocious. If I’m going to buy make up at the holidays either for myself as a gift I want it to look festive. Not like something I would buy for Memorial Day. Whoever thought up this packaging should be fired. For the first time I bought nothing tarte for the holiday season because of it. And it kind of turned me off to the whole brand.

    • Isabella Muse

      I dunno where they get their ideas for. It’s all instagram bs. They are WAY too hip for me I guess! I’m obviously getting old as I think ten years ago I’d likely say, “OH CUTE!” but now I’m all grumpy old lady, “God WHY!!!!?” I get annoyed by it all lol! They want to force feed that trippin with Tarte thing down everyone’s throat. No please! Just give me something festive, not Spring breakin’!

      • Wendy Sue

        Agree with Carolyn, totally turned off to Tarte now, and they used to be my favorite brand. If it’s not totally gimmicky, it’s repetitive. YAWN.

  • Skye

    I never pay full price for Urban Decay palettes. I’ve learned they go on sale eventually. I always pay full price and a few months later, well-aaa!!! It’s half off! the naked palettes I have to exclude because they usually don’t becsuse they are a staple of the line. Lately Tarte and Too Faced have done the same. It’s annoying to see something 50% off when you paid full price.

    • Isabella Muse

      ITA! It really is annoying paying full price only to see it slashed 50% or more off in a few months!

  • Bethanne

    I totally agree about Bath and Body Works. When they had their $8.95 candle special sale, I only ordered one. I was too busy to go to the store and they charged me $10 for shipping. They have become much more stingy with their coupons and never, ever bring back Twisted Peppermint salt scrub during the holidays. I have honestly stopped shopping there and order from LUSH much more frequently.

    • Isabella Muse

      Oh…! the coupon thing, YES! yes! they used to always have 20% Off online! I used to use a code every single time I shopped online and I’d eat the $5.95 shipping free as I did large orders but lately it is impossible to find a 20% off code online! Also, the coupons they send in the mail don’t work online for some reason and you have to call them to apply it.

  • Nicole

    As a makeup consumer I have definitely seen the devalue in makeup. I remember when I first started buying makeup (10 years ago?) you had to get your hands on new releases and limited collections because it would never come back or take forever to come back. Now, I feel like year after year more palettes especially eyeshadow go on such a huge discount. Just this year, the Naked 1 and 3 palettes have been discounted as well as the tarte palettes and just recently the dose of colors friendcation palette was significantly reduced. I truly don’t remember the last time I bought an eyeshadow at full price whether that be from a discount or 20% coupon from Ulta or Sephora and honestly I don’t even bother to because I’ll just wait for a coupon or discount. I mean it’s great to save money, but it always leads me to think if you can discount it for this much then the company must be making such a huge profit and the quality is subpar. I guess I knew that all along, but the discounts validated that.

    • Isabella Muse

      ITA with all you said. I admit I LOVE the sales! Love them! But I also feel sad by them because it’s much more evident to me the profit brands have been making on me for years. I think even selling something at $10 they still aren’t taking a loss which is a real wake up call for me sometimes!

  • Susan

    Too much stuff, too many sales. It was overwhelming. Makes me buy less, not more. Perhaps going forward, less emphasis on sales, or only mentioning the really special ones? Hautelook, Macy’s, QVC — zero interest. 🙁

    • Isabella Muse

      Agreed! WAY too many sales! I actually asked people if they wanted to hear about sales and it was a big yes across the board so, no promises I won’t mention sales in the future especially ones from QVC as a lot of people love hearing about their Today’s Special deals but I’m just glad the Holidays are over and Spring is upcoming as more reviews are coming for new products versus a ton of never ending sale posts :-/

      • Susan

        Yes, I remember that post and know I’m in the minority about not wanting to read sales posts. Since I already get emails from the retailers I like… well, I’m on the lookout for other content. 🙂

        • Isabella Muse

          I’m sorry. Hopefully the content going forward is to your liking! The sales are def tapering off so I can concentrate more on new launches, daily musings, and reviews 🙂

  • Rachel

    I totally agree with you on Tarte. There is a reason why all their holiday stuff got discounted shortly after the VIB sale. Having flamingos and pineapples on the end of my makeup brushes would not be appealing at all.

  • Robin

    Same here with the 20% off coupons from Ulta. I used one and then a few days later got another one and couldn’t find anything I want or needed. I will say my surprise store was Macy’s. I purchased more from them than Sephora!

    I did pay full price for one item: Bare Minerals eyeshadow pallete. Forgot the name, but use it everyday; has constelations on the cover. I tried waiting for Ulta sale, but it sold out and wasn’t restocked. I tracked it down at QVC and bought it. It was the only cool toned palette this year and it was worth the full price. 🙂

    The last few years I haven’t purchased any holiday from Tarte or Too Faced… sale or no sale.
    Think I’m going on a no buy for the next few months. My goal is to use only one eyeshadow palette each month. I really can’t think of any product I need or even want in the near future.

    • Isabella Muse

      Macy’s def had some great buys this year on black friday, etc..! also the free shipping is very very appealing! Gen Nude aurora ;-D that one did sell out quite fast! Good luck on the no buy!

    • kjh

      The Aurora palette, big yes. Got it after Isabella reviewed. It’s subtle, coolish, and easy. I did manage to U20 it. But, I have resolved not to be sucked in by the sales in the future. For stock-ups, yeah. But ’think i’ll get sultry because there’s a coupon.’ No. (More.) Way. The comments on this post are phenomenal, and it’s quite sad to agree with this sad state of affairs.

  • Anber

    Bath and Body Works really ticked me off this year too, and the semi annual shitshow isn’t making it any better. I worked for them for 2 years, i really enjoyed it, but now i understand why ppl get so annoyed with them! It’s my feeling that as a customer, we should have our pick of the holiday scents because they should make sure they have enough stock for everyone!!! I’m sick of hearing “we don’t have anymore ”
    Thanks for letting me vent! I hope you have a wonderful New Year and i love your blog!!!

    • Isabella Muse

      semi-annual has sucked for several years now. Really bad 🙁 I remember coming away with bags of stuff now it’s all garbage :-/ It feels like they are selling old stock that’s about to expire because it’s all signature stuff they carry in store and nothing really unique or special! Oddly enough, they’ll do a ton of repetitive stuff no one wants but stuff as unique as the holiday perfume disappears in seconds! vent away ;-D I love BBW but really hate their business model sometimes! thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! <3! and to you! Health and Happiness in 2019 to you!

  • TropicalChrome

    The whole holiday season’s worth of beauty was pretty much a complete fail for me. This post made me think about what I did buy, and it came to three Target beauty boxes and two Lakur nail polishes at TJ Maxx. That’s it. I didn’t use any of the 20% off coupons from anyone because while I did look carefully at the sites, I literally couldn’t find anything I wanted. And what I’ve seen of the Spring collections aren’t looking any more promising.

  • Andie

    Right with you on the problem with B&BW and their sales. They come out with way too many new things, have way to many sales, and don’t produce enough product. I so wanted Hot Cocoa & Cream body spray, but missed out on the full sized. I bought several other full sized scents, but wanted to exchange one online. I was willing to exchange it for the Hot Cocoa travel sized spray, but she could do that, so she was going to send a e gift card for $15 so I could get what I wanted. Turned out their systems were so busy and jam packed, I didn’t get the ecard AND they sold out of the travel size. So I called again and ow they’d send me a $25 ecard, but that got delayed too, so something else I wanted was gone by the time I got it. Now they’re having another sale and scents that were gone long ago, or that I never saw, are popping up from nowhere, but I don’t have the money right now to spend online. By the time I do this weekend, all the things I want will probably be gone. I don’t drive, so I have to do my shopping online, but these magic tricks they play with their products, “now you see them, now you don’t, oh look what’s behind your ear”… I am not impressed. Too bad, because I love their stuff. too. I know they want to make money, but they treat their customers like a bunch of Pavlov’s dogs and we jump at the bell every single time. Have a heart B&BW, we just want everything to smell yummy.

    • Isabella Muse

      I actually forgot to mention that but yes on Hot Cocoa and Cream! I managed to get two full sizes mists and two creams before it disappeared never to return again! I never even seen it touchdown in stores, only online! SUCH a shame! I imagine they’ll bring it back at some point just not now which sucks. I actually don’t like shopping in store due to the aggressive sales reps so I’m like you and order online! It’s sort of weird with their launches. The stuff everyone does want seems to sell out quick and the stuff no one wants is around for ages. why not make more of the items people really want?! I think hot cocoa and cream is a good example of things people REALLY want! yet here were and the gingerbread signature is still available that no one was really impressed with! Shrug!

      • Andie

        I did manage to get a travel size of the Hot Cocoa & Cream Body Cream with that $25 they gave me (plus Twisted Peppermint travel size body spray & Snowflakes & Cashmere hand cream… damn I miss their Cashmere and Cashmere & Silk Shea hand creams.. they smelled so good). It is an amazingly calming scent, so I keep it near my bad for my hands at night. Why they didn’t make it in a hand cream formula, I don’t know or I missed it. Still, I really would have liked to get the body spray and a shower gel. Don’t get me started on the fall scents I was interested in that came and went in a second and now some of them have popped back up after I’ve spent pretty much all I have. I did get a Gingerbread body spray and I like it, but it makes me hungry when I wear it. I will say that the customer service was super nice, helpful, and generous, it’s just the system that was screwed up due to being overwhelmed with orders. But I did mention in every questionnaire that they bring out too little product when it comes to limited stuff and those get sold so quickly with how many sales they have.

  • Samantha

    Hi Ms. Muse,

    I like this blog post because quite often this year I saw sales and have not took part in it. I do love my pineapple Tarte palette – not because of any Instagram reason since I’m not into that – but the reason I love it is because pineapples represent friendship and loyalty plus it reminds me of happy summers growing up visiting Fl and PR. Plus, the palette and the Tarteist Pro helped me get ready for my work holiday party so additional good memories made! In terms of all these 20% off sales I couldn’t decide what to get most of the time. And where to put the hoard. I’m gonna try to USE everything and not buy so much. As women, our $ should be saved and invested. We’re already beautiful.

    • Isabella Muse

      I’m glad you love it Samantha 🙂 that’s all that matters!!!!! Aw too true….! But makeup is still fun none the less!

  • Jen

    Oh, honey. You must be in my brain. I’m like you, don’t get me wrong, we all love a good sale. With that being said, every time I turned around Ulta and Sephora were having another sale. I kid you not, I could not keep up with the products that were on sale and at what store.
    Funny enough, I bought a bottle of the In the Stars perfum and it’s not for me. I’m on the prowl for the Kaliedescope.

    • Isabella Muse

      Amen! preach! sales are awesome but it was just TOO much! I was at a point where I just turned around and didn’t buy anything! In the Stars is pretty strong so I totally get why you might not love! I hope they bring kaleidoscope back, it was an excellent concept!

  • Jen

    I completely agree with you. It seems like there’s so many new things in makeup all the time that it seems like brands have to keep putting themselves out with new collections or sales to keep up with the constant turnover of beauty products. It seems like if there’s a collection that’s nice, but seems to expensive or limited, it doesn’t matter because someone out will be coming out with the same or similar color story in the near future. It’s really overwhelming!

    • Isabella Muse

      I’d love to see more quality versus quantity in 2019! It’s all so damn overwhelming lately!

  • Kate

    first time ever Bloomingdales offered 10% off beauty on Black Friday so yes all the retailers are feeling competition from all sides
    Sephora must be getting in from Ulta especially
    just my thoughts on the post

    (and I have shopping there longer than most readers of this blog have been alive 🙂

    • Isabella Muse

      don’t forget neiman marcus’s crazy ass discount too on niche fragrances and luxury beauty ;-D first time I ever saw that! My head is still spinning!

  • Angie

    The biggest fail for me this season was an exclusive QVC offering, by IT Cosmetics. It was the Hello
    Cheekbones dual palette with the bronzer and highlighter plus an interesting dual brush configuration. The bronzer was not a universal shade and way way too orange, and the highlighter was nearly invisible on. Yes, I bought into the hype…..again.

    • Isabella Muse

      sigh! For me It continues to disappoint with TSVs imho! It’s always so much repetitiveness!

  • Randi Macdonald

    I wonder if anyone will agree with me, but the BBW candles seem much less fragranced then in years previous.

    • Isabella Muse

      oh yes not only that but poorly made! I’ve mentioned it a few times in past posts! Since Harry left it went a little downhill 🙁 I still buy for sure as some are keepers but some are def misses!

  • Daphne B

    I have been having huge issues for the last couple of years with my local Ulta, so I do not know if this is universal or just this one store, but they are terrible about running out of items, especially when they are on sale. It is getting progressively worse, and when they had the one day sale just before Christmas on the Tarte Tartlette eyeshadow palettes (50% off, plus I had a 20% off coupon, so I got a $39 palette for $16.11!) I got there 15 minutes after they opened, and they were almost sold out already. I got the last one of the Clay Bloom palette. The clerk said that Tarte shipped very few palettes to them for the sale, and it was not Ulta’s fault. If that is the case, these brands need to do a much better job supplying Ulta when they have these big sales. I think you make a valid point about too many sales. Perhaps it is too much for the suppliers to keep up with!

  • Jules

    Count me in on the sale overload! I did buy the absolute minimum to get free shipping on a few occasions from Ulta and Sephora, but ended up letting several coupons expire. I’ve been really focusing on buying products that I know I will use, and can’t readily substitute. So a lot more practical purchases, and fewer impulse/hype purchases.

    I do think, however, that this is actually a good sign of growth and change within the industry. The truth is, many of these brands have been putting out overpriced garbage for years, but we had no real way of knowing or comparing prior to the social media era! So it seems like quality is going up, because our tolerance of low quality is going up as well. And drugstore products have really made huge strides, which puts additional pressure on brands to perform and lower prices. I think, too, that the added competition is forcing brands to differentiate themselves, and better explore “niche” markets, so we’re seeing a better variety of products that cater to more diverse skintones, more organic and green beauty, and more focus on innovation. I really see this as a good thing for us consumers in the long run!

    This transitional period is overwhelming, but also exciting, and I think, in the long run, we’ll end up with better quality and variety at lower prices across the board!

  • Cil

    Is it devalue or they are asking too much and people are buying too little? To me it seems like supervalue of makeup. Prices went so crazy that people aren’t having the money to keep up.

    Case in point, take UD’s Born to Run. This palette arrived here this November. It costs ~9% LESS than normal Nakeds in the States, but it arrived here costing 20% MORE than the Nakeds. I guess Sephora and/or the Brazilian importer forgot that now we have the internet to check prices around the world and took us for fools.

    Usually, Naked palettes sell out when they arrive here, BUT… BTR didn’t. Sephora never includes their new releases in sales, but BTR is on sale right now. Why? Probably because people didn’t go running to buy it.

    Sephora is also on sale (15% to 56% depending on the item) in Brazil too, BUT it’s been like this the whole year.

  • genevieve

    It’s an interesting mix here in Aus. None of the HE beauty brands have anything decent on sale during the post Christmas sales at all – only stock they cannot sell because it is so bad.
    Sephora Aus. has nothing like the sales that Sephora USA has and then if they do, it’s only marked down a tiny bit…and again, only stuff they cannot sell at full price.
    We don’t have an Ulta here, but have Priceline instead and their sales are bit hit and miss post Christmas. During the year they have some 40% off skincare sale, for 3 days only (Tuesday to Thursday), so a lot of people do miss it. They haven’t had one of their beauty bag sales for awhile now either.
    But I do agree with you about the avalache of sales devaluing the beauty scene. Hopefull there will be more commonsense in the coming year.
    Happy New Year Muse.

  • M.

    I agree with so much of what you said. For me, so many of the issues with the beauty industry currently seem to lead back to the hyperdrive speed of YouTube and Instagram. Companies are releasing too many products too close together. Limited Edition lines are poorly thought out, poorly designed, and the quality just isn’t there. Sales are too frequent, making them seem like a ploy to unload all of the poorly designed products that didn’t sell well to begin with. (Seeing a limited edition line on clearance for half price within a couple of months is insane and terrible for any brand.) Brands that used to be covetable and collectable have become oversaturated and vaguely ridiculous, and failed to deliver quality.

    At the expense of whining about the good old days, I miss when releases were a complete surprise and there were no spoilers. I miss the days when the palettes were such good quality that it was worth saving $50 and paying full price. I miss when there was a little more thought put into each product release and lines were cohesive, wearable and had a theme and didn’t rely on cheap tricks and gimmicks. (Unicorns! Festivals! Cute animals! Fruits of all kinds! Squeee!)

    I sincerely hope that the industry has learned something from 2018, but honestly, I doubt it.

    • Isabella Muse

      It does seem like youtube/insta came up out of no where doesn’t it? And this led to a lot of the releases imho as brands were trying to cash in on that hype. Amen on all you said about it being poorly designed, though out, quality, etc…! 🙁 It’s like no one puts any thought into products anymore! it’s just a quick flash in the pan release without quality to back it up which sucks. we sound like crazy old ladies lol but it’s true, “I miss the old days” ;-D I sure hope they learn something but I doubt it too! From what I’ve seen so far, a lot of crummy stuff is coming down the line in 2019 and none of it looks fab 🙁

  • Courtney

    Carol, you are SO RIGHT! i 100 percent agree with and related to EVERYTHING you just said. Could not have said it better myself on all points! Happy New Year!