Full disclosure and a little thing about loyalty…

Once upon a time, I walked in to a boutique in a mall and encountered two women talking excitedly with the manager. They were all wearing the official “boutique” colors so I assumed they were with the company. Because I’m FREAKIN’ NOSY I started talking to them. Turns out they were what I will from here on out refer to as “community consultants”. In a matter of weeks they had friended me, chatted at me, and submitted my name to be added as a consultant as well. And this, kids, is how my time as a Bare Escentuals Angel began.

For the following years ALL of my makeup was BE. ALL of it. I owned literally nothing else because I wanted to support the brand and be loyal. Because clearly, something is wrong with my head. Every month they would send me free samples and I was supposed to share them out to my friends. The problem here is that, at the time, most of the women I knew were online. Mind you, this isn’t a problem now but at that time I was new to the area so I knew no one. So I kept collecting the stuff. Some of it I would try (often once) but much of it I would not, and it would go in to the Bag Of Doom I kept in the spare bedroom. I’d also use my “points” to buy discounted sets, many of which would include colors I’d never wear, or that were the same color with a different name as colors I already had. Into the bag they went. And so it went… until 2010.

In 2010 the Japanese cosmetics company, Shiseido, bought BE. Without getting into all the details of branding and public face (because that would make this a LOT longer), part of the “deal” was that they would make no major changes to the brand for three years. At least that was the agreement. However shortly after acquisition we who purchased and used the makeup started seeing changes. Product line changes. Serious quality changes. Apparently there was quite a fight going on in the background between the BE team and Shiseido regarding material quality. People who never had a problem with their makeup were starting to have breakouts, even so far as allergic rashes. This was while they had an agreement to not be making major changes.

That agreement ended in 2013. One of the first changes Shiseido made was to terminate the Angel program. A few hundred women who had spent, easily, thousands of dollars each, on their products, whose sole purpose was to promote the brand in the community. Axed. We were given the new “points” card specially printed with “Founding Member” on the face of it as our parting gift. Uh, thanks? This will come in super handy if I get locked out of the house I suppose. They also shat in the face of the decades long position as leader in the field of mineral makeup and loose mineral foundation and turned their attentions to… you guessed it, a liquid foundation line. Like every other brand on the planet. Oh, and to use it you should totally buy this super special unique application brush that can really only be used for our special foundation for the low, low price of $28. At this point you could kiss product quality goodbye. I have not purchased anything from them since 2013, and my purchasing had slowed down considerably already since 2010. I am, unfortunately for them, not alone. This, kids, is how you MURDER your brand loyal customers.

So what does this have to do with anything?

Well first of all, don’t expect any BE related reviews from me, LoL! The only things I did keep when I offloaded all of my hoarded BE was one, singular Buxom Insider Eyeliner (because it doesn’t give me clown face like the BE ones did) and a handful of the small sized Buxom Lip Gloss. The lip gloss is super tacky and it doesn’t last, but I liked the color and wanted to hang on to a few until I found suitable replacements 😛

Secondly, brand loyalty is a great thing when it’s working for you. The thing you have to keep in mind, however, is that no matter how loyal you are being to your brand, your brand is a PROFIT DRIVEN ENTITY and is not, in fact, loyal to you. You are a consumer. They see you in terms of sales figures. If you leave there will be others to fill your place. You may be IN LOVE with one brand of lipstick, but if someone comes along and says “hey, this one is super freakin’ awesome, you should try it”, don’t discount their opinion just because it’s not from the brand you are loyal to. You only do yourself a disservice. It’s really actually okay to be loyal to more than one brand at a time. It’s like trying to tell someone they are only allowed to have one friend. That’s silly and often how mental breakdowns occur. Don’t try it. It’s okay to have a close group of friends and many, many acquaintances. Same holds true for brand loyalty.

There’s also the simple fact that different things work for different people. Differences in skin type, skin color, body chemistry, and activity level will drastically alter results of the same product between different people. It’s a simple fact of biology. You may LOVE the foundation from one brand but find that their eyeliner doesn’t do it for you. Don’t stress. It’s really ok to tell the consultant in the store and ask for advice. One of the great things about a store like Sephora or Ulta is that they know a ton about makeup because that’s what they DO all day, but they aren’t loyal to one brand over another. And it’s in their best interest to make you happy. So they should offer you options for whatever makeup concerns you are having.

Now for the part where I piss people off. Yay!

I know a TON of women (and a handful of men) who are Mary Kay, or Avon, or Younique, or (insert a hundred more here) consultants. They are very, very interested in getting you to use their brand. So far as they will ask you to bring them receipts so they can show you just how much more of their product you could buy from them instead of whatever it was you bought. I get it. This is their livelihood. They need to make sales. For some of them this is their ONLY source of income. This is why I’m not in sales, seriously. I don’t want it to come down to needing to sell another mascara to be able to pay my phone bill. Now if you want to tell me about some awesome new item you have that fits the description of something I am looking for (waterproof eye liner, waterproof mascara, waterproof lip liner, waterproof… you get the idea) then AWESOME, I will sample that bad boy. But if you want to invite me to a party where you scold me for spending more money on other brands and try to convince me that you have every possible thing I could ever need and I should just pitch that other, lesser stuff well… I will prolly eat your chips, drink your wine, take a catalog, thank you for your time, and not buy anything. Sorry, but I learned my lesson with the whole BE fiasco.

That, and I’m kinda attached to my liquid eye liner. Sorry 🙂

Three cards I use and one I don't...

Three cards I use and one I don’t…

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