If you have to buy it, get the best deal!
I adore the Lancome Taupe Craze Color Design 5 Shadow & Liner Palette. Of every palette I own (and I own a lot), it is my all-time favorite. When someone told me Lancome discontinued it, my heart broke a little. Yes, I know it is silly to get attached to makeup, but certain makeup products are incredible. This is one I’ve received several times when purchasing Lancome items during a GWP offer. Thinking I could easily buy or get another GWP mini once my palette was gone, I gave my extra palettes to fellow beauty lovers. By the time I learned it could not be replaced, it had sold out everywhere. After sulking and searching frantically for a few days, I stopped looking. My dream of buying a backup (and I do not keep backups of color products) seemed dashed.
Fast forward to January 31st when I visited an outlet mall. My Luxury Beauty Store had oodles of them. What is a Luxury Beauty Store? It is a L’Oreal owned outlet. Any brand L’Oreal owns or licenses may have representation in there. While I did not walk every square inch of the store, I can tell you it had Lancome (of course), YSL, Urban Decay, Kiehl’s, em Cosmetics, Essie, and a lot more. The former name was The Company Outlet, but it changed so recently that the mall directory still refers to it by the old name. Most items are 10-50% off original retail. Some items, especially from the Urban Decay line, retail for full-price. I cannot even imagine why someone would buy a full-price item from a regular store that does not offer any GWP, discount, or rewards program, so I asked the sales associate why they had them.
She told me that they sell many items from current collections for customer convenience but there are certain products they cannot offer discounts on. I noticed the Naked Flushed palette in Native was selling for $15 (as they were at most retailers before the holidays), but all the other Naked Flushed palettes retailed for the full $32. That means they are also slower to offer discounts. When in stock, the Native palette has sold for $10 at most retailers, including Sephora where I almost purchased it more than once. The good news if you mosey around the store is every item has the retail price and their price. If they are charging full-retail, their price (listed below) will be blank. Those are items I avoid. I need a deal when I shop, especially on a $32 palette.
That is not to say that all items still available at full-price retailers charge the full price. I noticed a lot of items were at least 10% cheaper than retail. The YSL foundations in particular surprised me, because they were 15% off. If I did not have a full backup of Fusion Ink already, I may have purchased one. There is a good mix of discontinued and active items. Discontinued items typically have a greater discount. Those are the ones you’d see around 30-50% off. Considering the store is in an outlet mall, it is actually well-kept. None of the testers look diseased and everything was neatly placed. It reminds me of Sephora product presentation with an Ulta background (in that it is more plain). At 0.141 ounces, paying full-price for this palette makes it $354.61. Although I have several palettes that are over $300 per ounce, this is more expensive than any other I own, including palettes from: YSL, Dior, Tom Ford, Hourglass, NARS, Urban Decay, Too Faced, Anastasia Beverly Hills, Make Up For Ever, Buxom, and many more.
I thought I was in Taupe Craze heaven and started thinking of who I could get them for. Then, reality set in, and I realized I had not even discussed going there with anyone and did not want to end up with 5 palettes if no one wanted them (not that I can imagine any makeup wearing beauty friends not wanting one unless s/he dislikes shimmer). Reselling will never be my thing, so I decided to leave them there. They were $42.50, which is 15% lower than the usual $50 price. Considering Lancome is a GWP King and regularly offers 15-20% off, this did not seem like an exceptional deal. When purchasing a discontinued item, you either pay less or more for it. Paying anything less on something I love and would happily pay full price for, makes it seem a little better.
It turns out the person who told me Lancome discontinued this item was probably mistaken. That or Lancome changed its mind and decided not to go through with it. The first thing I did when I got home was check availability at other stores, because products (even discounted ones) do still pop up on sale after initially being out of stock. Taupe Craze was available everywhere, and I do mean everywhere. This gave me mixed feelings. I love being able to purchase it again when I want to, but I would not have purchased it there. I know I still got a 15% discount, but for a GWP King, that is the bare minimum I will purchase something for. Stacking the palette at the full $50 price with an awesome GWP, which is almost always available somewhere, is my preferred method. That said, I do have a LOT of Lancome stuff and can live with just the slight savings on this purchase. From now on, I will compare items and deals before my mall trips.
Although I never look at these menus to create looks, I always appreciate seeing them there.
It is not practical to keep these with the palette, but the menu for what shade goes where is actually on the back of the palette (picture above).
Every shade and finish inside this palette is perfect. They all work together very nicely. With or without the flash, all the shades look beautiful.
Now, let’s get into why I love this palette so much. It works for: a natural look, a bold look, a day time look, an evening look, a smokey look, and more. The colors inside are neutral, so they could work with cool or warm skin tones. There is a matte shade, which I appreciate for the crease.
All of the other shades are shimmery, except the liner shade with is glittery. That adds to the evening look. During the day, you can skip it altogether or use it alone in place of liner to soften a look. I used the liner shade on the lower lash line here to smoke it out a bit.
I followed the recipe for all shades and used Lancome Artliner to create a bolder look. My hands shake, so I do not use liquid liner as often as I’d like to.
Sadly, this close up shows off the uneven eyeliner more than the beautiful eyeshadow palette. I used it again to give a better look at the palette.
I did not use any eyeliner in this look and only used the shadow liner (the 5th shade in the palette) to line my upper and lower lash lines. Doing this gives a much softer look, which is perfect for day time, but could easily work for night if I darkened the crease shade and added some eyeliner.
I did also go into a Cosmetics Company Store this day, but I did not buy anything. This is often called CCO, because people drop the S for Store and use the O for Outlet. The Estee Lauder owned outlet store sells items from its brands including: Estee Lauder, MAC, Bumble and bumble, Smashbox, Clinique, Tom Ford, Bobbi Brown, and more. This particular store was much messier, the product availability was not as impressive, and it was highly fragranced. I could not stay in there for too long, because I was getting light-headed. If they had more than one Tom Ford quad or 2 of his lipsticks, I probably would have walked out with something. There were some impressive MAC items, so I will return to look at those and see if they get a bigger Tom Ford selection. Estee Lauder shadows recently disappointed me, and I am not a huge Smashbox fan.
If you’re visiting an outlet mall and have a L’Oreal or Estee Lauder store, I highly recommend checking them out. Items will vary from store to store, so there are gems ripe for the picking. Just have a general idea of what items you want before you go in, so you can research prices and availability. There really is no need to forgo rewards, a GWP, or a discount to receive a full-priced item that you can buy anywhere. Hide from those. The L’Oreal store will take your email address and invite you to the store during discount periods or other promotions. Getting a discount on top of a discount is my kind of deal, so I will get over there as soon as I get my email and try to write an article as quickly as possible. I’ve never been able to stay in a “CCO” long enough to find out if they have anything similar, but I have to assume they do.
They are currently having a 20% off sale through 02/15/16. You have to mention the sale when you go into the store, but they will honor the discount if you did not personally receive the email.