Anti-Haul: Beauty Products I Won't Buy

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With the frenetic pace of new product releases in the beauty industry today, it's easy to experience the "fear of missing out" syndrome and purchase items that we don't need, know we won't use or don't even really want. Brands and retailers use an array of marketing techniques to push us to buy more, always more: sales, gifts with purchase, enticing packaging, the illusion of scarcity, etc. But at some point it's time to say no, stop overspending, stop hoarding, and realize that buying more doesn't make us happier.

An anti-haul is the opposite of a beauty blogger's classic "haul" post: instead of showing you the loot from my last shopping spree, I'm going to show you products I won't buy and tell you why I don't want them. Of course there is an infinity of products I won't buy, but I will be focusing on a handful that I find particularly pertinent. The idea is to encourage you to be more mindful when making your own beauty purchases, and to ask yourself the right questions: do I really need this, will I use it, would it really make a difference in my beauty routine, do I already have something similar?

Although I'm not completely sure who first came up with this idea, I was introduced to the concept of beauty anti-hauls by Kimberly Clarke, whose channel is an inspiration for anyone trying to move past the excesses of consumerism and become a more enlightened customer. Let's get started!

First of all, a word of warning: as snarky as I may be when presenting the products I don't want to buy, I'm not judging anyone who likes or buys them! Everyone has different tastes and different priorities when it comes to beauty, and the fact that I despise a product doesn't mean that I despise you for wanting it.

Last time I sat down to try and write an anti-haul I ended up with this long rant about the current state of the beauty industry: How the beauty industry lost its mind. So let's jump right into it today to make sure I don't go on a tangent! Here are five new products or collections I have no interest in buying:


A post shared by Halo Beauty (@halobeauty) on

So. Much. Drama.
I feel like I had to mention this product for a few different reasons. But first, here's what it is: a beauty supplement for the hair, skin and nails just launched by successful influencer Tati who has several million followers on Youtube, where she posts beauty videos five days a week. Named Beauty Booster, this supplement contains an array of vitamins, micro-nutrients and plant extracts supposed to help you be more beautiful by strengthening you nails and hair, moisturizing your skin, helping with fine lines and even prevent gray hair. Yes, Tati said that. Cost is $40 for one month supply.

Why I don't want it: because the majority of dietary supplements are useless and I don't see this one being an exception. Supplements are not considered drugs, therefore the companies that sell them don't have to prove that they work. Which means that there are no serious scientific studies backing the claims made by the manufacturers, who often rely on pseudo-science and misplaced popular beliefs to market their products. Now if you want to spend $40 on capsules that will likely not do anything, you're free to do it - a lot of people take supplements and perceive them as helping so this is nothing new. I mean, I've met people who swear that vortexing their water changed their lives, so... Personally I'd rather focus on a healthy lifestyle with a real foods based diet, and only take supplements when suggested by my doctor. Plus, from personal experience having suffered major hair loss in the past: it takes a minimum of 6 months before anything you take, prescription included, can have a visible effect on your hair density. So don't expect a shiny thick mane within 3 weeks...

All that being said, the amount of backlash that Tati received for launching her Halo Beauty Booster has been completely out of proportion. I have read comments online that said her supplement was going to kill unborn babies. Seriously. Tati's supplement contains no new substance, everything in there is already on the shelves of your drugstore in existing formulas, yet the fear mongering has been relentless. Always ask your doctor or pharmacist before taking a supplement if you have any medical condition, take any medication or are pregnant or breastfeeding. Everything else that has been said online beyond that was based on hearsay, misinterpretation of scientific data, and people becoming biochemists overnight after a few Google searches. I think it's great that people question what they buy and put on/in their body - being a critical thinking consumer is the whole point of this anti-haul - but trolls and internet thugs spewing hate and misinformation for their own entertainment is rather pathetic.

I think part of the backlash comes from the fact that some of her fans felt betrayed: they expected her to launch makeup, or maybe skincare, and they were sorely disappointed when she introduced a supplement that costs $40 a month plus shipping. The thing is, there is a demand for this type of high-end beauty supplement, as the market at the intersection of wellness and beauty has been growing with more luxury products entering department stores or Sephora (Dr Brandt's Water Booster anyone?). The price of Tati's Beauty Booster isn't even particularly high compared to her direct competitors: take a look at Neiman Marcus supplement department, most products are actually more expensive, the cheaper ones often having only one or two ingredients. The problem is, I don't think that the customer base for this type of product and Tati's following are groups that overlap much.


Tarte lost me a few years ago, long before they botched the launch of their Shape Tape Foundation, because of the constant stream of new and mediocre makeup they release. I fell prey to a couple of their limited edition palettes, was sorely disappointed by the below average quality of the eyeshadows, and vowed never to buy them again. To be honest I haven't really been paying attention to new products Tarte has been launching for the past 2 years. I feel like I'm obviously not the target demographic and I have no interest in about 90% of what I see in the stores.

But this new palette called Foil Finger Paints is just so completely... absurd, in my opinion, that I had to double-check I wasn't misreading the price. For FOURTY DOLLARS you get 3 "foil" eyeshadows (I watched the swatch video on Sephora and the burgundy shade doesn't even look metallic) and two sparkly toppers, all of them so chunky that you need to apply them with your fingertips. And you can't use this palette on its own, you absolutely need to use other shadows to complete a look, since there are no mattes or darker contrasting shades to create dimension. How Tarte dared to put this non-sense on the market at this price point is beyond me...


Where do I start with this... Maybe with the fact that it looks like children's makeup, but at high-end prices? The unicorn theme has been done over and over again by beauty brands in the past couple years, so it doesn't feel at all new or inspiring. In fact it's giving me a "fake joy" vibe. You know when people pretend to be so happy and excited but you can tell they're actually not? That's what the Life's a Festival Collection feels like to me.

I'm also concerned that Too Faced is now only going to cater to a very young demographic. With their makeup collections scented with chocolate or peaches, their childish packaging and their constant releases of poor quality products, it's another brand that I feel I can't identify with anymore. Too bad because I used to love Too Faced, and back in the day their packaging was full of pinups, not unicorns (see my collection of their old school palettes on Instagram).

I've known Popsugar for a while as a media group that owns the website of the same name. You've probably also heard of the Popsugar Must Have, a lifestyle subscription box that I've reviewed here in the past. Well, Popsugar has now launched their own brand of color cosmetics, called Beauty by Popsugar.

The brand isn't available yet but you can see the entire range of products, marked as Coming Soon, on Ulta's website. A quick look at the offering reveals nothing new, nothing unique, but lots of basic products in very forgettable white packaging and shades that are sure not to offend anyone.

But the price tags? Someone is seriously deluded here. $32 for a highlighter duo? $24 for a gloss? $23 for a single eyeshadow?? 20 DOLLARS for a tinted lip balm? You crazy? For $2.5 less I can get a Clinique Chubby Stick that comes in tons of great shades and in a fun convenient crayon format. Why on earth would anyone spend that much money on a completely unknown brand for super basic products, I just don't get it. I'm sure they have a solid digital marketing strategy based on leveraging the traffic on their big website to promote their products. I'm not convince that's enough to build a successful beauty brand from scratch nowadays. Personally I have no interest in buying anything from them. Lower your prices by about 30%, come up with interesting shades, make your packaging look more appealing, and then maybe, just maybe, we'll talk.


We've quickly brushed on the problem of unfounded claims in the supplement industry, but the situation is much worse on the skincare market. I think our expectations for evidence of efficacy are just lower for products that we apply on our skin than for anything we ingest. So the sometimes delirious claims made by skincare brands hardly ever make most people raise an eyebrow.

Personally, they often make me want to scream, like this new product from Kate Somerville which basically promises to "freeze" your face to tighten your skin, for only $125! This is literally an insult to our intelligence, and it makes me want to boycott the brand entirely for coming up with something so outrageously idiotic and thinking I'm stupid enough to buy it.

Oh, and just in case you wondered if the marketing was bad but the product behind it actually decent: this gel is loaded with harmful, irritating ingredients, from the substances that provide the cooling effect to denatured alcohol (3rd in the ingredients list), with also a good dose of lavender oil. No thanks.

How do you stay in control of how much you spend on beauty products? Do you often fall for the hype, or do you like to do a lot of research before buying anything? Let me know in the comments!

I received no compensation to write this post, which only reflects my personal opinion. This post contains affiliate links. I receive a very small commission when you click on those links, and the money generated covers a small portion of my expenses to purchase products for review. Clicking on those links helps ensure that Beaumiroir continues to publish reviews of new and exciting high end French products - at no cost to you!

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