Rack It Up: Jouer Must Be Joking. For Real, Though.

Published on June 12, 2018 by   ·   3 Comments

Welcome to another installment of my “Rack It Up” series where I talk about makeup that I find on my trips to the Nordstrom Rack – second chance beauty redemptions on products that have been discontinued and found there way to that magical discount retailer’s shelves.  The last installment, featuring Vice Lipstick and 24/7 Liner duos from Urban Decay, was pretty positive – they were a fantastic deal just waiting for the right budget-conscious makeup diva to discover them.

This review…is going to be a little bit different than that.

On my most recent trip to Seattle, the Rack had a whole display of holiday gift sets from the brand Jouer.  I’ve reviewed them once before, when I took a look at their Lip Crème and Lip Toppers, including the Jeffree Star collab shade Sweet Tooth.  I didn’t really love them, so I guess I shouldn’t have had very high expectations going into this.

There were two gift sets I passed on, which included 6 or 7 “deluxe minis” (read: sample size) of the lip cremes and the lip toppers.  I savaged both of those formulas in the review linked above, so it seemed like a waste to pick them up.  If you love that formula, the gift sets are only $13 each, so that’s not too much different than buying a BirchBox or an Ipsy bag that has 5 sample size products for $10.  I was shocked at the regular price, though – these originally retailed for $39!  Are you kidding me?  No wonder these ended up on the shelves where makeup goes to die…

The two collections I did pick up where pressed powder highlighters.  These had 3 shades each and there were two color ways, and even though the box described them as “weekender sized,” I figured that with only 3 shades each and an original retail price of $39, they must have a good amount of product.  Wrong.

Rack 01
Look at those three tiny ass compacts nestled into that huge box.  Those are basically the size of single shadows, and based on the size of the packaging overall, the pans can’t be very deep at all.  I opened this up the first time and I gasped like a fucking asthmatic.  Who the actual fuck would pay $39 for these three tiny SAMPLE-SIZED highlighters?  Is Jouer out of their ever-loving minds?!

I got them for only $13, which makes me feel a little bit better, but again, given that this is the size of product I would expect in an ipsy bag, only getting 3 for $13 still feels like it’s a bit overpriced.  So far Jouer isn’t doing anything to win me over to their brand.  But let’s dive in and check out the colors.

Rack 02
L to R: Citirine, Rose Quarts, Topaz

The first thing I notice about these shades (and the other three as well) is that they are all super warm; there is very little range, and it all seems to melt together into a basic bitch sheen of rose gold mess.  I feel like this collection of three shades is like MannyMUA melted down and pressed into a compact.  Citrine is a light yellow gold, light and bright but nothing really special.  Rose Quartz is your typical light pink with a golden shift.  Pretty but insanely dupable from almost any brand out there that has highlighters (or even shimmer blushes).  Topaz is a copper snooze-fest.  The formulation is buttery and smooth, and I didn’t have any problems with the application.  It has good pigmentation, and it sheers out nicely if you want to just have a subtle glow, or you can layer it.  The formula isn’t terrible, but there was something about seeing 6 shades all at once that just made me bored as fuck.

Let’s look at the other 3 shades:

Rack 03
L to R: Skinny Dip, Ice, Rose Gold

Sigh.  First of all, there is literally no reason for Skinny Dip and Topaz to both exist; I swatched them next to each other and they are different, but only barely.  Topaz has a tiny little bit more pink/coral in it, where Skinny Dip turns a bit more toward peach.  Ice was disappointing as I was hoping that it might actually be a cool-toned shade, but it was at least interesting – it was sort of your typical candlelight white gold, but then it had moments of a light pink shift.  This is the only one that I was really into, and of course it was broken when I opened the packaging.  It was just cracked (around the edges of the pan, not all over), and I think I pressed it together well enough that it should hold, but still kind of a disappointment.  Rose gold is just a pinky peach with gold shift, the same as a million other highlighters.  I get that we’re getting to a point of makeup saturation where nothing looks new or unique anymore, but these six shades are just so damn basic.

The formula is amazing, and if they had other colors I might be interested in trying out a full sized version, but the site shows the same collection of warm peachy/pinky/golden boredom that I’m seeing in these gift sets.  It’s 4.5 grams for $24 which also seems a bit high, but I guess it isn’t fair to judge all highlighters against Jeffree Star’s ridiculously large pans (a whopping 15 grams each, at $29).  But I just checked these tiny sampler sizes and they say 2 grams each, so that means that a full size of their highlighter is barely bigger than two of these little guys.  Unacceptable.  I know I should do some sort of cost breakdown comparison to see if they really are as big of a ripoff as they seem but…I’m just not that interested.  There’s something about this brand that doesn’t call to me and their products never really strike me as being particularly innovative, interesting, or high quality.  Sorry ’bout it.

What do you think?  Is Jouer one of your ride or die brands?  Fight me!  Tell me everything you love about it!  Or are you on #TeamMissJaye and Jouer is a hard pass for you as well?  Did anyone else pick up one of these holiday kits?  What’s the best beauty steal you’ve run across at the Rack?  Let us know in the comments below!

As for me, this installment of Rack it UP was actually a thumbs DOWN!

Now Go Forth & Get Painted!

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Readers Comments (3)
  1. Brida says:

    These are honestly something I would never have looked twice at. Ive never bought from Jouer, and will forever remember them for being the cause of the pink/gold duochrome lip “thing”, I forgot what their original shade was but I duped it with colourpop’s flitter and promptly forgot about the whole situation. I’m always going to prefer cool toned highlights (I’m usually beaming up 9am in a blue duochrome) so since I got JCat’s White Goddess (warm yellow gold), I’m DONE on warm highlights (although that one is BOMB and 8.5g for $9).
    But OMG MannyMuA melted down! I would be interested to know how you feel about his palette being drag themed when he’s not a part of the culture…is he paying homage or simply exploiting something he isn’t?

    • JanessaJaye says:

      Oh Manny! I’m seriously conflicted about whether or not I want to support him (I don’t watch his videos because I don’t find him or what he stands for the least bit interesting – I followed his advice and I “don’t fucking watch!” lol) and I put out a call on my Facebook to see if people were interested in seeing a review of the palette…the response was tepid at best.

      As for him using drag, I don’t have a problem with it so much as I think the whole palette is just super uninspired…but then, that’s why I don’t like Manny in the first place! Have you ever watched the videos that people splice together of him just repeating whatever anyone else says for like 10 minutes at a time? That’s how this palette feels. It’s just every generic catchphrase ever heard on RuPaul’s Drag Race recycled next to some boring shades. The neutral side is boring af, and the colorful side looks like a full on ripoff of the promo from SugarPill for their build your own palette.

      I was so set on not even thinking about buying this palette UNTIL Jackie Aina did her review! That look she did was stunning! It was so beautiful, and that made me rethink a little.

      But other than that, I don’t have a problem with Mannu invoking drag. I think drag should be accessible and should try to welcome people in, not keep them out. But in the launch video (which I only watched 3 minutes of total, hopefully I didn’t give him more than a couple cents lol) he mentioned that he got [his] start in drag…all I could think of was Wesley Snipes in TOO WONG FOO saying, “You are but a boy in a dress!” 😛

      • Brida says:

        Manny really doesn’t interest me either. I don’t watch him, from the small amount of him I’ve seen he falls into the category of “cool to be mean” if you get me…I don’t get much from watching people who I feel would be a dick to me in real life! The palette doesnt look all that to be honest. New releases really aren’t that great right now (although I’m sold on the 4 new jaclyn hills). You hit the nail on the head with the cliche names. That’s exactly how I felt and couldn’t put my finger on it. I feel like he read “drag for dummies” or watched a Hollywood take on drag and picked out the most used words. I find the palette to be quite similar to how I find him – boring 😕

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