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Sunday, August 29, 2010

Mary Kay swatches: 3 signature compacts (silver) filled and review

In the US there are two major multi-level marketing cosmetics companies, Avon and Mary Kay. Both have ladies that invest a certain amount into the company to receive a kit of products (usually samples and applicators, etc) and are then hyper-charged to sell it to the masses. The idea is to buy stock from the company with your consultant 'discount' and profit with the margin of retail you sell it at to your clients. I think 1 in 3 women in America have sold for either of these two, lol! Back nearly a decade ago, I even sold Mary Kay. But the market is so saturated here, it's hard to really make any new killings- it's almost a joke. HOWEVER, the products are decent!

Here are three silver 'signature' compacts from Mary Kay. Each holds a lipstick, 3 eyeshadows, 1 cheek colour, and a blush brush and eye applicator. Not bad, eh? Tricky part is, at retail these can cost up to 60 bucks! You buy each colour/item separately, and the palette comes empty and you click the product into the slot. When you hit pan or run out, you press the button on the back, lean away and pray it doesn't ricochet into your forehead and pop it back out. The key is to refill the palette and it allows for endless colour variety. I bought these myself and filled them accordingly.

Here are swatches from Compact #1. I filled this with a decent variety, so I could stash it in my purse and not be stuck with browns. 3 eyeshadows on top, center swatch is the cheek colour, and below, the lipstick.

Numero dos, below. I have 2 shadows in Desert Sunset, so only 2 show in this palette. Here go:

I have to admit that Crystalline is the best highlight colour. It's shimmery, pale ivory in shade, and applies very smoothly. I would get it alone and just keep it in a drawer or somewhere it won't get chipped or broken. That's the downside to Mary Kay. You can't get a protected singular colour in a container. All are designed to fit into their palette cases or 'compacts'. This silver style is circa 2006 as the company has new flat black palettes and lots of mineral products now.
Compact #3 was my neutral/dramatic palette. Black and brown and a russet red lip.

The last final compact is a large size of fig by itself. I swatched that in Compact #1. :)

Review: Mary Kay was founded by Mary Kay Ash a driven southern woman who discovered a formula for young looking skin (a man stuffing animals had young hands from the tanning solution....um, do I want to have the skin elasticity of a stuffed elk?!) Anyway, she worked her keister off selling her products and it's now a multi-million dollar industry and everyone knows Mary Kay. The lady herself passed away and refused to give up her age but I swear she looked a good botoxed 85. Now women buy into the company to receive their 'kit' and hold makeover parties where groups of women try the products and are then gently instructed to buy buy buy.

Pros: Products do hold up. The foundation and concealers are excellent and skin care line gets rave reviews. Lipsticks are well pigmented and the compacts are sturdy and hold quite a bit of product. Availability is unlimited and overall, pricewise it's rather affordable.

Cons: Within a 3 block radius anywhere in the US, someone sells Mary Kay. It's oversaturated and annoying and has an 'old lady' connotation to it. It lacks the glamour of MAC although the cost is up there with other high end brands. Also, you have to go through a sales person to get it *unless you cheat and buy it on Ebay which the company doesn't like*. So you're forever exposed to a sales pitch. Also, like I mentioned before, no singular compacts for colours so if you have a lone stray, it will get chipped and flutter around your makeup box unprotected. Also, the lipsticks can be drying and all tend to have a heavy almost waxy feel.

I like Mary Kay as a bargain but I avoid the sales consultants like the plague. I already know the brand and I don't want to pay inflated prices for what I know I can get cheaper online. Plus, I hate finagling my friends into 'makeover' parties- a venue the company encourages their consultants to arrange to sell product. It's always awkward with the pressure to buy. Do you like Mary Kay? Have you sold it?

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