11 June 2013

Discount Alert: Urban Decay 24/7 Eyeliner Pencils

Alert: The discontinued shades for Urban Decay's 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencils are now discounted by 50%, from US$19.00 to $9.50, here on the brand's site.

Note that they did take down the free-shipping-on-$35 and deluxe-samples-on-$50 promotion that they were running just a few days before. However, they do still have stock of some of the good sale items that they had before, and also added Urban Defense. (I have two different shades of Urban Defense in the old packaging; I liked it, and would definitely recommend it over their BB cream.)

Also, if you need help moving on from the discontinuation of one of your favourite liners, see my list of (cheaper!) dupes here.

I ordered Hautelook's spring beauty bag. I wouldn't do it again.

Hautelook was offering a bag of various cosmetic and other personal care products in April, for US$25 + $7 shipping. I ordered it, but didn't have a great experience, which I rant about below.
I know this is late, but perhaps this post will help if you're ordering a similar bag from them in the future.

It looked just like this when it came in the mail. Large-ish cheap plasticine bag, in a box of about the same width and length, except with a whole lot of extra volume and NO packing peanuts or other cushioning. If this didn't cause a few of the problems (mentioned later), then I guess all of the problem products were just rejects/used.


Here's everything laid out nicely:

Accidentally left out the Urban Decay mini-sized pencil in this shot.

The card with a list of contents:

Not really sure why they think it's useful at all to print icons of different social networking sites, with no QR codes or other bullshit, on this. It's a piece of paper, not a website; I can't click on the little logos of sites where you make half-assed attempts at customer interaction.


Some of the stuff is complete crap.

The Smile Sciences 'gift certificate' is just a non-unique discount code for overpriced teeth whitening products. Completely useless. (The other discount cards are just generic promotional cards, also with non-unique discount codes.)

I couldn't give less of a damn about Jessica Simpson's generic-celebrity-branded perfume; and I could've gotten the sample free elsewhere.
Likewise, one could get the Stila shimmer packet samples for free, too.

The Crown brush is a $5.50 knock-off of the MAC 217. It works fine; it just doesn't contribute much to the '$200 value' that Hautelook claims (though, to be fair, it does much better at that than the aforementioned Smile Sciences 'certificate').

The worst part, though, is that most of the featured products were apparently defective or previously opened/used.

For one, the Lorac mascara came in a box that looked like this:

The seal was broken, with someone's fingerprint and various debris stuck underneath. The box was also bent around here, as it would if someone had opened it before, and one of the edges of the cardboard was split. I don't know if someone had simply opened the box to see the tube inside before, or if it'd actually been used somehow; I'm hoping it was just the former.

The Lorac shadow in Celebutante, a light aqua-blue colour that the company was probably trying to clear stock of, was very dusty. Chunks of shadow were broken off in the container, and the pan holding the shadow itself was misaligned and partially detached from the black plastic case housing it:

The angle of the shadow pan looks off because the product was either old, and the glue at the bottom was starting to lose its strength; someone had attempted to de-pot the product; the product was defective; or it had come loose during shipping.

Looking online, it seems that a lot of customers had their shadows arrive completely broken and powdered. So this could just be due to their failure to use any protective shipping material.

The mirror had completely broken off inside the mini Laura Geller blush:

The Suki face scrub had VERY obviously already been opened/used. The foil seal had been taken off, and was left in the lid of the jar. There was product all over the inside rim of the jar. Also, the contents looked like this:

Looks like some of the product had already been used up.

One other customer had had her facial scrub completely dried out inside.

Basically, if it was something with a high retail value, it was probably pre-opened or otherwise problematic.

I contacted Hautelook customer service on the same day it arrived. It took five days for a representative to get back to me--which shouldn't surprise me; it took three weeks for the bag to ship out, and four weeks before it was actually delivered, despite the high shipping costs. (My previous orders through Hautelook had also taken a while.) I was offered the choice to either return the bag, or to take a 20% discount.
This was the same discount that they gave to every other person who complained--even for those who had only had problems with one of their items. The costs of shipping it back, and likely also forfeiting the significant $7 of the initial shipping price, though, meant that the discount was basically my only option.

My previous experiences with Hautelook had been largely mediocre--second worst after PLNDR. Don't even get me started on PLNDR; I've had multiple terrible customer and ordering experiences with them that still remain unresolved.

It seems that Hautelook did less of the work when they partnered with another company for this promotion, though. My box shipped from a 'Renee Welch'. Who's that?

'Axiz Group'. The final 'z' in their name makes me think they're a reputable company.

A quick Google search reveals their site, which has an extremely professional title tag of '+++++ AXIZ GROUP +++++', and other great aesthetic touches.
Their 'Product Catalog' simply links to PromoDealer.com; which has, among many other IFrames, a monthly drawing form that registers to Promomart, that uses ESP Web (that site has even more fun stuff). So their store is just selling the same stuff from the same suppliers that everyone buying into ESP Web sells.

Anyway. The Hautelook bag was disappointing. With all the old product, it was far from worth the $200 that they claim to be the value of the bundle--even at a cumulative $32, it wasn't a particularly great value. So, I don't plan on purchasing one of their bags again. In fact, I doubt I'll be ordering anything from them again anytime soon.