The makeup industry is on the rise. The sale of beauty products is expected to reach $445 billion by 2021. According to The NPD Group, high-end makeup alone accounted for $17.7 billion of those sales. If paying more for some of these “prestige” makeup brands worth the hype, the same cannot be said for all luxury labels. Some simply do not live up to the hype — or the price tags.
Luxury brands only attract those who buy luxury products and do not consider those who buy drugstore products. However, in some cases, buying makeup from the local pharmacy may be a better option.
A lot of drugstore makeup can achieve the same look like more expensive ones. However, despite being much more affordable, certain drugstore varieties aren’t worth the price tags. Here are all the makeup brands — luxury and mass — that aren’t worth the hype, with reasons ranging from a lack of diversity to stolen ideas to just being too expensive for what you get.
Let’s find out if these 7 makeup brands worth the hype
Here we will check if these 7 makeup brands worth the hype:
1. Kylie Cosmetics
Kylie Jenner’s eponymous beauty brand was valued at about $800 million in 2020. Jenner’s large social media following has drawn a large number of customers to her label since its launch in 2015.
However, Li Jin of Andreessen Horowitz, a venture firm, pointed out a potentially fatal fault in her brand. All influencer brands must go beyond being linked to a single individual and build a ‘purpose brand, she revealed on Twitter. Fame, which propelled Kylie Cosmetics to fame in the first place, could also be the cause of her demise when her “individual popularity eventually wanes.”
And that doesn’t even take into account the brand’s previous scandals. According to TMZ, at least 15 people filed complaints with the Better Business Bureau in 2021. According to the user, the Royal Peach Eyeshadow Palette had a strong chemical odour, which caused “horrible headaches,” according to the user. Indeed, several employees of Spatz Laboratories, where Kylie Cosmetics are manufactured, have complained about “sweat-shop”-like working conditions.
2. Christian Louboutin Beauty
Christian Louboutin is a household name. But when it comes to beauty products, it might not be enough. Louboutin is a luxury brand. And the company’s beauty products are priced accordingly. For example, a 0.23-ounce pot of eyeshadow costs $50. If lipstick is more your style, prepare to pay $90 for a tube. That is, without a doubt, a hard pill to swallow. And it’s not even worth it.
Tati, a makeup artist, and YouTube personality, tested out the whole Christian Louboutin Beauty Spring 2020 collection and provided honest reviews on her channel. Spoiler alert: it was not great. Although she acknowledged that the liquid eyeliner was “not bad” after trying it, she didn’t think the $75 price was justified. Likewise, she liked the mascara but recognized the drugstore mascaras worked just as well. Finally, she stated, “I don’t think any of this is worth the price.” Save the money for a different makeup brand.
According to makeup artist and YouTuber Jackie Aina, Laneige was one of the first beauty brands in the West to adopt the Korean cushion foundation trend. As a result, Aina was excited at the possibility of getting a cushion foundation in a darker shade. Unfortunately, the brand’s darkest shade of this $38 foundation was Medium/Dark by late 2020. Aina recognized that the chemical composition of lighter foundations is simpler to produce. But she was rightly disappointed by the lack of options. In the end, she classified the company as one of the worst makeup brands ever for [people of colour].
Suppose you read the [cosmetic science] textbooks. In that case, it seems to be difficult because, historically, formulators and chemists can’t factor for different skin tones, according to Florence Adepoju, a chemist and lipstick artist, in an interview with W Magazine. That wouldn’t stop Rihanna, though. Her Fenty Beauty brand upped the ante in 2017 by launching an amazing 40 colours of makeup. Because of its incredible success, other brands took interest and started to develop formulas for a wider range of skin tones. Even Laneige has a “cacao” tone as of 2021. But the brand still only sells its cushion foundation in a total of six shades.
4. Z Palette
When it comes to product promotion, Instagram can be a valuable resource for beauty brands. Just ask Kylie Jenner. Misuse social media, though, and you will pay the price. Enter: Z Palette.
In 2017, Z Palette launched the Z Potter, a machine that uses heat to remove makeup from its packaging so that you can create your palettes. Although a good idea, consumers thought $85 was a little much for what they felt resembled a hot plate. Z Palette responded to negative reviews from customers. But not in the way you would expect. According to Seventeen, some people compared the company’s remarks to bullying. They are not wrong. After all, the brand did insult some of their consumers’ image and financial status.
Soon after, fans and, later, brands began to drop Z Palette. Boxycharm slammed the brand on Instagram, saying, “Work hard and be good to people.” Boxycharm will always love and respect our Charmers. We disagree with and support Z Palette’s recent statements about their clients. Z Palette continues to sell its products, including the Z Potter, which has been reduced in price to $59.
5. IT Cosmetics
According to makeup artist and YouTube star Jackie Aina, IT Cosmetics is not a beauty brand with a wide range of shades. My problem with IT Cosmetics isn’t with the ingredients, she clarified in a vlog. It’s whoever creates the shades. You must have a long talk with them. The ironic thing is: L’Oréal owns IT Cosmetics, which has its own Multicultural Beauty Lab with cutting-edge technology and talented chemists.
Aina raised the issue of lack of diversity in 2019. But the brand faced similar controversy when it launched a new foundation, Bye Bye Foundation, two years later. For darker skin, just three shades — three! — were available. Due to the SPF in the foundations, and IT Cosmetics representative told us that the brand was “unable to go darker than our deepest shade.”
6. Lime Crime
Lime Crime has a dreadful history, to put it politely. Doe Deere (aka Xenia Vorotova), the founder of Lime Crime, has been at the centre of much of the brand’s scandal — though not all.
A Hitler costume; a security breach, and subsequent various credit card hackings resulted in the company settling a class-action lawsuit; accusations of cultural appropriation; and a run-in with the Food and Drug Administration over false packaging, among other things. Deere took a more behind-the-scenes role before selling the company in June 2018.
About the fact that their controversial days are (hopefully) a thing of the past, Deere and her husband remain on the board of directors. “As founders,” she clarified on Instagram, “we are the brand’s guardians.” Her statement continued: We will provide critical insight and guidance to the team to ensure that we remain mindfully committed to our brand’s goal and you — our loyal fans. I’ll also gladly contribute to product creation and sometimes pitch on social media.
L’Oréal sells products in China and is therefore considered an animal testing company. However, it isn’t the only reason why some people believe the drugstore classic isn’t worth the hype. According to Forbes, the FDA checked hundreds of lipsticks and found that every one contained lead. L’Oréal manufactured not only that but five of the ten most polluted products.
According to one study, lead is extremely toxic even at low doses. Lipstick is a product that we apply to our lips and then ingest directly into our bodies. So it is of greater concern than other products.
The biggest issue with lead is that it is a neurotoxin, meaning it affects the brain. Researchers advise consumers to avoid lipsticks that have been found to have high levels of lead contamination. So, we can say that L’Oreal is not among these makeup brands worth the hype.