Disclaimer: Picture doesn't belong to me. I am no business master. So I might very well be talking out of my...
I became aware of ABH when Modern Renaissance (sometime 2016 I think) dropped and took the makeup community by a storm. I think in the realm of eye palettes MR still remains an unforgettable cult classic.
But ABH has no doubt has had its bumps. But before we get to all of that. Here's a list of all the releases of palettes after MR (not in any particular order):
- Soft Glam
- Alyssa Edwards
- Jackie Aina
- Carli Bible
- Norvina Pro I
- Norvina Pro II
- Norvina Pro III
- Mini Norvina Pro I
- Mini Norvina Pro II
- Mini Norvina Pro III
The Sister Palette
Aesthetically Subculture was no doubt the edgy sister to Modern Renaissance's girly (for a lack of a better word) sister. And people I think were very much interested in this colour scheme and eagerly waited for it. I mean the colour story was such a hit that even to this day brands release some altered/similar version to Subculture.
But, they changed the formula of the shadows which were very different from customers liked about MR. Undisclosed product properties, anyone? Dishonest marketing maybe? Then when s*&$ hit the fan literally, the narrative was that the palette was meant for professionals. That perhaps made it even worse. At that point, and maybe even now, ABH is not a brand that pros traffic to. But what do I know?
Yet despite this shady shady moment ABH was still successful with subsequent releases like Soft Glam, Sultry, and Jackie Aina. In short, ABH had been forgiven.
Too Many Releases?
Fifteen palettes between 2016-2020, or if you want to get literal about thirty-sixish months roughly. At best three palettes a year, at worst 4-5 a year. You do the literal math. I personally think that it is excessive but not really in the Colourpop realm (at least not yet). ABH did not time their palette releases evenly so it does seem more excessive than it is in the span of the time frame. But if they keep this up than they'll truly have joined the Colourpop release train, which for many has already cheapened the brand. However, the last I heard they were taking a break from palettes. I let out a breath of relief, until they released Amrezy.
At the beginning of this it seemed like such a novel and essentially nice thing for a brand to do to reach out to influencers and let them in, into a very expensive high-end brand. Until people made the argument that this gave ABH a far more cheaper opportunity advertise than going through traditional channels. Perhaps that was not the intent, but undeniably it is a perk for the brand.
The Daughter Brand, Literally
Parent-child-sister brand turns me off. They claim that expensive ingredients such and such. But fact of the matter is that it has more to do with the brand aesthetic and packaging. Loreal (drugstore) and Urban Decay (high end), I kid you not have the same setting spray in a different bottle. And that to me is very very dishonest. Because one costs third of the price and both brands are owned by the same parent company.
In ABH's case, I 'm not mad. I think it would be an overkill for them to come out with an entirely different child/sister brand. So I do think it is a bit shortsighted for them to call Norvina a chid-brand while still carrying the ABH logo. They should have just from the beginning called it the Norvina Line of ABH. Which is the direction they are going in now. I do understand and commend Norvina's desire to do something in her creative field. Which she should be allowed to do. However, ABH has built such an image that Norvina's line clashes with the image of ABH. But I don't see why it cannot co-exist. It is interesting, the lack of Norvina palette photos on ABH IG.
Anastasia Beverly Hills and Rodan Fields (MLM)
I don't know or even still fully understand what an MLM is. This video explains it better (so watch it): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SBGfHk91Vrk
- MLM job equation: you buy something from an MLM --> you try to sell the MLM product + you try to recruit others to do the same
- MLM job result: MLM owner earns all of the money you paid to buy the product + takes a commission from the sale you might make
Think Avon or those TV ads buy one, get the other free for third of the price. MLMs don't make the bulk of their money from sales their employees make, but rather the money employees invest into the MLM. And then the very same employees are stuck with stuff they can't sell, and less the money they invested. And as much we may want to shift blame on people who buy into this, this is not common knowledge.
As a small e-shop seller, selling things is not easy (check it out here): https://www.depop.com/mrserik/ it is not easy to sell things, and at present time near impossible.
Anyhow, the opinion on MLMs is subjective. But most do think that MLMs give out a money is priority feeling. And for ABH to cosign and partner with that image truly (for me) is the last nail in the coffin for them. I mean here they are at such a prestigious store, till very recently being considered a classy brand. Either the sales are so down that they have to resort to panhandling people (PR searches, and now this) to sell their stuff. Or they just want to cash in on all the potential money when the market is still so hot. Because the makeup bubble is about burst.
The cynical part of me would have believed that despite this shadiest thing that ABH has done now, it would still keep going strong. But after KVD and Kendo drama, who really knows. ABH is not the worst brand out there in the realm of social and political controversies. So people don't take their actions as seriously. I do think consumers should accept and understand that business ethics and practices are just as important (if not more) as an ignorant brand owner. Because prejudice hurts over feelings, but such business practices hurt peoples' livelihoods.
Still it would be interesting to see if ABH passes this hurdles, or if this is the one that makes them stumble.
Just my two cents. Adios!