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Today I wanted to share something I haven't really done on here before - it's a more of an 'opinion' post on beauty products. I'm going to talk about some brands and products that used to be so hyped-up in the old YouTube and blogging world but don't really get talked about any more! Obviously I'm not saying that absolutely no one cares about them anymore but I think the market is so much more saturated with new releases, that they don't get as much buzz as they once did. However, if you still use and love any of these products - do let me know in the comments. Some of these brands seem to have dropped off our radars too so I'm going to talk about why I think this has happened, if I still use any of these products and how these brands might be able to turn their fortunes around...


Buy here - £17.50 each
Check out my reviews here

My relationship with MAC lipstick and do I still use it?

Back when I was a teenager a MAC lipstick was a rite of passage, an honour to be bestowed upon you - usually in the form of a birthday or Christmas gift. Reapplying your MAC lipstick in the toilets at school instantly commanded the silent respect of your classmates. It's unsurprising that as I grew older and began to earn my own money, I amassed a fair few MAC lipsticks! I'm not sure quite what I was thinking at the time of purchasing some of them but shades like Taupe, Mocha, Strip Me Down and Velvet Teddy are everyday staples of mine to this day. I don't really care if it's no longer 'in' to love MAC lipsticks; their shade range is vast, meaning there's a perfect nude or a perfect red or a perfect any-other-colour-under-the-sun for almost any skin tone.

Why did they go out of fashion?

I got into makeup pretty late and I believe a MAC lipstick was only £12.50 back then. I get that inflation is a thing but that doesn't explain a ~50% price hike in under 10 years! I think that previously they were just on the right side of £15 so it was easy to pop into Selfridges on payday and treat yourself to a little bit of that magic these lipsticks used to inspire for so many of us. At £17.50, many of us felt it was only a small jump to something like a Charlotte Tilbury lipstick that comes in luxurious packaging and just feels a bit more special.

Can they turn it around?

Despite all of that; I honestly don't think that MAC is anywhere near struggling. Their products might not be the 'be all and end all' of makeup in our community like they once were but in the wider world; I still think their products are really popular. If you pass a MAC counter in any department store on a Saturday, there'll be dozens of people milling around the lipstick stands and almost every person I know in real life who wears makeup casually has at least one MAC lipstick. Based on that; I think it really doesn't matter if the online beauty community doesn't support this brand so much these days, as it's successful outside of the internet so I doubt they'll be changing their approach to appease us any time soon!


Buy here - £39 each 
Check out my reviews here

My relationship with Urban Decay eyeshadow palettes and do I still use them?

The late, great Urban Decay Naked 1 is another product that holds a special, nostalgic place in my heart. However I do think the discontinuation of the Urban Decay Naked 1 last year reflected a steady decline in the popularity of this series. When I first started getting into makeup 5 years or so ago; these palettes were the only eyeshadow palettes worth owning. Before the Naked series, most eyeshadow palettes were little quads and you had the choice of either getting one from a drugstore brand like Rimmel or having to spend big on Chanel. The Naked palette came along and essentially redefined how we think of an eyeshadow palette and without it I don't think we'd have all the choices we have today in this category. I only really have the Naked 1 still in my collection for nostalgic reasons but I do still use the more recent Naked Cherry and Naked Petite Heat palettes.

Why did they go out of fashion? 

Like I said; when this palette was launched, there really wasn't much out there like it, however since the beauty industry has since exploded and every single week we're seeing dozens of eyeshadow palettes launched into the market. At the same time indie brands are seeing a huge boom in popularity thanks to YouTube and Instagram, meaning more interesting and diverse colour stories are coming onto the market. There are a million neutral eyeshadow palettes out there so the Naked series stopped feeling like something special.

Can they turn it around?

I find Urban Decay to be a little bit confusing in this respect. I felt like they retired the Naked 1 because it was starting to feel dated. The Naked Cherry and the Naked Heat palettes were a lot more interesting and current and many of us also loved the On the Run palette, however the official replacement was the Naked Reloaded, which - in my personal opinion - is pretty boring (I actually prefer the original version!) and doesn't modernise the concept of the Naked palettes, it just rehashes it. At the time of writing this their Game of Thrones collection has been announced but we don't know what the products will be - this is something I'm genuinely excited about, so if they do a good job I think it could reignite the love people had for this brand. I also think that doing things outside of the Naked line (which has been done to death at this point!) would be a great move for the brand.


Buy here - £4.95 each for the standard formula, £7.95 each for the Foiled formula
Check out my reviews here

My relationship with Makeup Geek single eyeshadow pans and do I still use them?

Back when I first got into makeup, the concept of building your own eyeshadow palette was reserved for makeup artists or those with a lot of money to spend, because MAC was pretty much the only brand offering a system like this. However Makeup Geek stormed onto the scene and slashed the cost of creating an eyeshadow palette that's perfect for you. I absolutely loved the concept. I'd never panned an eyeshadow in a palette but I used these shadows pretty much every single day throughout 2016 and have pan on several of the shades. It felt like a bit of a revolution as all of the YouTubers were talking about which Makeup Geek shadows they had in their Z Palettes. I actually still use my Makeup Geek shadows - it might not be every day or even every week but they hold a special place in my collection.

Why did they go out of fashion? 

I think there are three elements to this: two of which are easily explained and one of which I don't really understand! Firstly, in the US, MAC reduced their prices so it was suddenly just as cheap to create a MAC Pro Palette as it was to make one with Makeup Geek. The next part to this is that custom palettes just aren't as popular as they used to be, and there's not much reason I can think for this, though even I myself gravitate more towards my premade palettes these days compared to a few years ago. Part of this could be that Makeup Geek's long-term partner Z Palette (who create the magnetic palettes these shadows can slot into) got themselves in some hot water on social media. The other part to this is that - outside of single eyeshadow shades - Makeup Geek have released some really uninspiring products. This might not have made them unpopular in and of itself but last year the brand's founder Marlena Stell found herself in the eye of a controversy storm, after alleging that the reason her brand has dropped off the radar in the beauty world was because she didn't have $60k to pay them for sponsored posts. People were quick to point out the other reasons that could be behind the brand's decline in popularity...

Can they turn it around?

If single shadows are falling out of favour, there's not a lot Makeup Geek can do to turn the tides - they already have a number of finishes and a dizzy spectrum of shades. The only thing I can really think of is to create some new, more exciting premade palettes at a more affordable price (instead of just charging barely less than it would be to buy all of the shades individually). I believe they're already in the process of phasing out their current offering, so I hope they come up with some more exciting colour stories and some better packaging so it doesn't feel so much like they're just throwing together the shades that aren't selling to flog as premade palettes.


Buy here - £25
Check out my reviews here

My relationship with Nars blushes and do I still use them?

When I first got into makeup, there was one blusher you just had to own: Nars Orgasm. It was rumoured to be loved by celebrities and its creators alleged that it would suit any skin tone. I think these blushers were about £22 back then, so not cheap by any stretch of the imagination - especially not on my student budget! However this formula was widely regarded as the 'best of the best', so I shelled out for 2 or 3 more shades. I don't dislike this formula, however having now tried so many blushers at different price-points, I just don't find it to be as special. I don't really use any of my Nars blushers these days, unfortunately! 

Why did they go out of fashion? 

I think the hype around Nars Orgasm specifically originated in a pre-YouTube and Instagram world. In that world; if a beauty editor said a product would change your life, you'd probably believe them and buy whatever they were promoting! I think as time went on and those stopped being the only voices we heard, this blusher stopped being as popular because there were suddenly a lot of people with different skin tones doing more varied makeup looks and Orgasm wasn't always the answer! I think as a result the entire Nars blusher cult has died down a little as a whole.

Can they turn it around?

Personally, I think Nars is doing absolutely fine despite the hype around this one particular product not being as huge as it was before. They regularly release face and blusher palettes that seem to be pretty popular, which was a smart move as a lot of people still use their bronzers (though I guess Laguna is a bit of a throwback too) and their highlighters only came out about a year ago and everyone seems to love them.


Buy it here - £13.95
Check out my review here

My relationship with Ben Nye Banana powder and do I still use it?

From my recollection, this is one of the first loose setting powders that really got 'big' on the internet (thanks to Kim Kardashian-West and Makeup by Mario kicking off the contour trend) and it was the first I'd ever tried. It's an industrial-strength powder that can set the makeup in place for hours and hours on end. I actually did use this up to fairly recently under my eyes to stop my concealer creasing so much, however I've since move onto products that are more in line with my personal makeup preferences.

Why did it go out of fashion? 

I think there are three reasons why this product isn't as hyped-up on the internet as it once was. The first is that banana-tinted powders aren't going to suit every skin tone and I think - after initially buying this specific shade as a result of the hype - a lot of people subsequently realised that. The second is that not everyone is really into that full-on 'Instagram makeup' look that this product is generally used for (to bake the under eye concealer and set the contour). And, finally, a sentiment that's been echoed a few times in this post: we just have more choice these days. This is quite a heavy powder and over the years my preferences have just changed and I've found more natural, less heavy and matte loose setting powders like the ones from Too Faced and Hourglass (reviewed here and here).

Can they turn it around?

To be honest - Ben Nye is a professional use makeup brand that's really aimed at working artists, therefore it was kind of an accident that this became a mainstream cult product. I'm sure this brand is still very successful in that niche but it really isn't aiming to be on every mum's dressing table and that's fine!


Buy it here - £20
Check out my review here

My relationship with the Balm's Mary Lou Manizer and do I still use it?

For a while; this highlighter was the highlighter! I think it was one of the first to get really popular and at the time it was one of the only really blinding formulas out there. The light gold tone is probably as close to 'universally flattering' as you're going to get in a highlighter and I think this is why it had such mass appeal. I do still reach for this highlighter from time to time but it isn't an absolute favourite of mine these days like it once was.

Why did it go out of fashion? 

When this first product hit the market, highlighter wasn't that big; it was really something that only those who were really into makeup had as part of their routine. Fast-forward a few years and pretty much everyone has a highlighter in their collection! With that came a boom in terms of more brands releasing better formulas and a greater range of shades to suit every skin tone. In addition to this, the Balm also put up their prices - I originally paid about £13 for this back in 2015 and now it's £20. You can't tell me that's all down to inflation in this economy! The drugstore has also jumped in on the trend, so it's pretty easy to pick up a formula as good as this for a much lower price.

Can they turn it around?

This was very much the Balm's hero product and I don't feel like anything else from their range reached this sort of cult status. Whilst their retro-inspired packaging is cute and cheeky, I do find their product releases to be pretty uninspiring. Risque images on the packaging don't detract from washed out nude eyeshadow palettes that all seem interchangeable. I've noticed the Balm has been pulled from a number of their UK retailers with a lot of their products on sale or listed on discount sites. The Balm really needs to come out with some more interesting, current colour stories if they don't want to be left behind, because sticking to the same old formula doesn't seem to be working out...


Buy it here - £24
Check out my review here

My relationship with the Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer and do I still use it?

There was absolutely a time when you'd watch a YouTube video and there was a 90% chance that when it came to the concealer step; the beauty guru would whip this product out! Having never tried one of these liquid concealers with a doe foot applicator, I was absolutely amazed at the coverage and how this masked my dark circles and brightened under my eyes. I'd honestly never used anything like it! These days I've found products that work better for my skin type, however I do appreciate that they probably couldn't have existed without this concealer.

Why did it go out of fashion? 

I think this is another case of new entrants to the market but I'd say the Tarte Shape Tape Concealer (review) specifically replaced this concealer for a lot of people who wanted crease-proof full coverage. More hydrating products also got released - for those who always found this one a bit drying - and suddenly the Nars concealer was just one of many of these liquid formulas. Unfortunately for me, it didn't really hold up against newer releases.

Can they turn it around?

I kind of think they already have! Like I said, Nars isn't really in any danger of becoming irrelevant. However in terms of replacing this - the Soft Matte Complete Concealer,(review), which was released a year or two ago has been really popular and they've continued to release new foundation formulas, ensuring their base products remain popular. 


Buy it here* - £31
Check out my review here

My relationship with the Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Foundation and do I still use it?

For a while on the internet; this foundation was so talked about but we couldn't get it here in the UK, which just made me want it more! Oddly it wasn't at the peak of its popularity that this finally made its way over to us, but after years of lusting after this foundation - I did still want to see what all the fuss was about. I tried the original formula but the shade wasn't quite right, then they reformulated it and I found a match in the new line. I liked it but it didn't change my life; maybe it would have if I'd been able to give the original a proper shot!

Why did it go out of fashion? 

I think launches like the Fenty Beauty Pro Filt'r Soft Matte Foundation (review) kind of 'stole the thunder' from this product. It's absolutely true that MUFE have had an inclusive range of shades for years, however they never really got much praise for it at the time, as brands weren't as scrutinised about shade ranges back then. Correct me if I'm wrong - but in most countries where this foundation is available it's stocked in Sephora, where they don't have the full range available in every single store. Something very different was done with the Fenty foundation by having these huge displays with the full range on show and available for everyone to have a browse of. The other reason was a bit of a misstep on the part of MUFE - they actually reformulated this foundation at the height of its popularity! It was an odd move and the product has since fallen out of favour.

Can they turn it around?

More recently, the brand released a stick foundation version of this product, which has seen a decent amount of popularity online. Whilst I don't think they've recaptured the hype of the liquid version; it's a start! I do think they have some really high-quality products, however they aren't 'current' or 'trendy' as such. I respect that they're a brand that's aimed more towards makeup artists than the average consumer.

What do you think of these products? Are there any others you can think of that belong on this list?

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Read more posts from this series here!

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