I hate to say, “I told you so,” Champagne Dreamers, but I just can’t help but remember that way back in April when I first started hearing all the rumbling about the Too Faced Cosmetics Sweet Peach palette, I knew there was something serious going on. In fact, I had the audacity to compare this (at the time) limited edition palette to the phenomenon that was Urban Decay’s Naked 3! HERE is that post, just in case you want to check the receipts…I’ll wait.
Well, just in time for the holidays (but not exactly…more on that below), Too Faced decided to once again cash in on the insane popularity of this palette by not only relaunching the original eyeshadow palette, but also creating a whole peach-themed collection!
The Sweet Peach Collection is made up of 4 different products: the original Sweet Peach eyeshadow palette ($49), an 18-shade eyeshadow palette that features a light peach candy scent; the Sweet Peach Glow palette ($42), a scented face palette that includes a highlighter, blush, and bronzer; the Paper Don’t Peach blush ($30), a pressed blush available in one signature peachy shade; and the Sweet Peach Creamy Peach Oil lip gloss ($19), a semi-sheer gloss scented and flavored like peach that comes in a range of 8 pinky, peachy, and nude shades. Influencers on YouTube who showed off their press packages also received a really cute peach-shaped clutch purse that so far has not appeared online for sale.
She doesn’t say that this is a sponsored video, and the issue of sponsorship on YouTube is sort of bubbling up right now, but just know that she was invited to the Too Faced launch party and provided the entire line free of charge ($273 dollar value, plus the clutch). I watched several of the videos by influencers who received this package at the launch, and I couldn’t really find anyone who had any negative comments about any of the items, and I couldn’t find anyone who stated that they were doing a sponsored video. Whether that’s because the collection really is that bomb, or because there was paid sponsorship that wasn’t disclosed, or because the influencers don’t want to risk getting taken off the all important PR lists….well, now you can probably see why this is becoming a bit of a controversy on the YouTubes! I chose this video to show because it was one of the shorter ones and I thought she did a good range of swatches – plus I just like her energy!
Before we get to more discussion of the products, let’s talk about the delivery drama.
This collection launched at midnight eastern time on December 14. I was awake at 11 pm and decided to check it out…well, except that I kind of forgot until 11:12 pm and didn’t get logged in until then. Even though the collection had only been live for 12 minutes, when I got online, I was put into a queue that had over 35,000 people in front of me! I signed up to get an alert when my time was up, but I went to bed – this bitch still had to work in the morning! When I got up, I had obviously missed my spot in line (my email alert was sent at 3:04 am) and got back in line at like 7:10. It only took about 20 minutes for my spot to come up; however, when I got to the site, the Sweet Peach Glow palette was already listed as sold out. I decided to order the eyeshadow palette and one of the darker shades of the lip gloss: Peach Tease.
I hadn’t heard anything about whether or not Sephora and Ulta were going to get the collection, or if they would get it at the launch date or later, so I decided to check out Sephora.com and found that they had the highlight palette in stock. I got one on order and received it on December 16 – gotta love that VIB Rouge free flash shipping! As for my order for Too Faced, I waited…and waited…and waited. Then I started noticing that Too Faced posts on Instagram had a lot of comments from people saying that they hadn’t received their orders. Some said that they got a box and that it had the wrong product or broken products inside. Soon I started seeing videos popping up on the YouTube drama channels about the “Sweet Peach Scandal” with all of these claims that thousands of people weren’t getting their orders. Soon, Too Faced put a message up on their Instagram saying that the demand was overwhelming and promising that everyone who ordered by the 20th would have their shipping upgraded and would receive their orders by Christmas Eve; at the same time, however, their customer service phone lines were disconnected and there were many reports from customers that emails were not being returned.
When I returned from being snowed in at my mom’s house for Christmas, it was the 27th and I had a package from Too Faced waiting on my doorstep. Whether it was delivered by Christmas Eve or not I can’t say as I was home and didn’t get back until the 27th, and many customers have been posting online and on social media that they received updated emails saying they might not receive their orders until up to the 28th of December. As for Christmas delivery, I’m not as concerned about that as it was just a present for myself – and I buy those every day! – but because the package was delivered to my billing address, NOT my shipping address from the original order. That means that whenever it got delivered, between December 24 and when I got there on the evening of the 27th, it was sitting outside in the cold, in plain view of potential thieves. Luckily, the cold doesn’t seem to have affected the performance of the products as I’ve been playing and swatching, but needless to say I probably won’t be placing any more orders directly through Too Faced – I’ll stick with Sephora and get my VIB points if there is something I absolutely can’t live without. And for my trouble, they did include a little themed roll bag in the package. It’s fairly cheap, but at least it’s a thought?
Is it a thought?
First up is the eyeshadow palette itself. Almost a year later, I can still see why this collection was such a huge hit. It takes a lot of what was right with the Naked 3, but moves it into our current moment. Naked 3 was all nude shades with rose tones, and nude shades were ruling the world for a couple of solid years. But people are ready for color to make a comeback. For those seriously color-starved folks, there are options like the Urban Decay Full Spectrum palette or the SugarPill’s gorgeously vivid matte shades; for those who want to get out of the nude without going completely wild, this collection has a lot of options. And by turning the rose tones of the Naked 3 into peach tones, you’ve got something that’s going to be usable by almost any skintone (really, really pale and really, really dark skintones might have some problems, but overall this palette is pretty universal).
And while all of the shades in the palette complement a peach look, there are really only 3 explicitly peach shades: Just Peachy, Candied Peach, and Bellini. The rest use nearby complements like cream and champagne on the lighter end or a warm brown or golden-shimmered black at the dark end to increase the variety. In fact, it would be absolutely possible to create several great looks that don’t have a peach tone to them at all. That’s the versatility of this palette, and why I think it’s been such a hugely popular item.
Here is Stephanie Nicole’s review of the palette:
Overall, she’s not a big fan of the palette; though I generally like it better than she does, I think her swatches point out a problem that I’ve had with all of the shadows I’ve purchased from Too Faced: darker shades and almost all of their matte shades tend to apply very chalky and patchy and need a lot of work to build up color. It’s not insurmountable – you can definitely get a full, finished look! – but it’s more work than using an Urban Decay or a Make Up For Ever shadow.
My next purchase is my favorite of the bunch: the Sweet Peach Glow face palette. I was a little disappointed when I found out that it was a highlighter, blush, and bronzer instead of a variety of highlighters, but it’s still the fave of the group. The highlight is bright and peachy, lighter than Peach Goddess by Jeffree Star and with more gold shimmer and yellowy tones (Peach Goddess tends more toward pink). The blush is fine, it’s a nice matte peach shade that I can see myself using pretty regularly and the bronzer is a pretty standard light brown bronzer. I never get excited about bronzers, so this is kind of a throwaway for me, but I think I’ll get my money’s worth out of this palette.
Finally, the lip gloss. I really, really, really wanted to love these, and the concept is great. The peach smell is not overpowering, though I don’t know that it has much of a flavor to it. The color is also really lovely. The test for me was whether or not it would layer over a liquid lipstick or if the oils in the gloss would reactive the formula of the liquid lipstick. I decided to layer it over a liquid lipstick to see what happened:
As you can see in the video, the three oils, while fabulous for moisturizing your lips, are the kiss of death when layered over a liquid lipstick. I imagine that you could put this over a traditional stick lipstick without any big problems (although the emollients will certainly soften any formula you put this on top of), but that doesn’t help me – this bitch doesn’t leave the house without a thick coat of liquid lipstick on! That’s just how we do. Which is too bad, because the gloss does feel pretty fantastic on my lips, and my lips feel amazing after I take it off. I’ll probably keep it around for doing live broadcasts and making more “talkie” kinds of videos (as opposed to makeup videos) – I just love that color!
The launch of the sweet peach collection just left me feeling a little bit bitter. I understand that indie brands sometimes get overwhelmed by unanticipated orders, but Too Faced is hardly an indie brand: their in every Sephora and Ulta store, and they were recently sold into the Estee Lauder group for a deal worth 1.45 billion…yep, that’s a muthafuckin’ B. And this wasn’t a product that launched and was popular out of nowhere – they had already witnessed the insanity earlier this year and decided to hype it up into its own collection! A collection that included emails on the Too Faced email list about “How To Shop For Peach” instructions, how the online queuing would work, etc. (that was also published HERE as an official blog post). Obviously they had enough units for customers to place the number of orders that they did, so how is it that they weren’t ready to process and ship those units?
And even if they were caught unaware – even if we take that story at face value – is there any excuse for a company to completely disconnect their customer service line and not answer emails? If there is a delay, just explain that. When I placed my order, I chose a shipping speed option, but I was never promised delivery by a certain date. People assumed that because it launched right before Christmas that they’d have it for the holiday – but that expectation was NEVER put forward by Too Faced. Yes, I think it’s reasonable that most customers expected that given the amount of lead up, but Too Faced never promised it, and the launch was only 10 days before Christmas Eve during the busiest time for shopping and shipping. If they had just put on their big girl panties and dealt with it directly, I think there would be less drama buzzing around the internet…and less people like me who are going to keep our business funneled through other retailers like Sephora and Ulta that diminish their profit margins on the products they sell.
Whether you pick up any of the Sweet Peach collection or not, you can’t help but acknowledge that it was a huge release that helped signify that the days of the nude reign are truly over (at least for now – you cookin’ up a Naked 4 there, Urban Decay?!). After all, there will always be color junkies like me that eschew the nude selections for more vibrant colors, but if you can move the diehard nudists over to something like the Sweet Peach palette (and the popularity and hype of this collection seems to suggest that that’s exactly what has happened) that’s a big deal. It was also noteworthy for being a huge fucking mess, and we can only hope that other cosmetics brands will take a note and plan not only for the launch of their products…but for the service that comes after.
(PS – if anyone can get their hands on one of those peach clutches, I would love you forever and for always! :P)
Now Go Forth & Get Painted!
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