Cosmetics

Colourpop Product Photos | Brand Experience Project

by Jamie Sanford on September 26, 2019

Click here for all posts in the Brand Experience Project.

I was recently shopping on Colourpop’s website, and was specifically looking at glitter gel, like you do. I got to this product called Trippin on Skies, and had an unfortunate experience with product photos. Let’s get into it.

Here’s my first view of this product page. I’m purposely leaving the bit of box at the bottom of this screenshot. The colors of this product make it a bit difficult to translate, but the photography is good. I found myself immediately wishing to see swatches of this product on actual humans.

I scrolled down a bit and I get to this second image of the product, this time with the box. This is great and I think more companies should show the packaging of items that they sell, but I’m immediately disappointed that there isn’t a swatch image. Many beauty brands have realized that product swatches on a variety of skin tones is the way to go, and with this product, I really wanted to see what it would look like swatched on skin.

I am now to the bottom of the photo area of the product listing, and so I think there are no more photos to see.

Unrelated to the main topic here, but what I would REALLY like to see with products like a glitter gel that probably builds as you apply more are images with one coat, 2 coats, and 3 coats of the product on each skin tone.

Luckily, I scroll down a bit more and see a slider of what may be customer images? Colourpop is using Yotpo to collect reviews and it appears that they are also collecting customer images. Clicking on these images shows me that the images above show the use of the Glitterally Obsessed glitter gels, and the center image shows the actual product that I was reviewing.

This is a huge miss by Colourpop:

  1. There should be some indication in the top images about more images, perhaps “scroll down to see this product in action!” or something similar?
  2. Better yet, find a way to incorporate images of this product from the feed into the actual product image area on the page. Tag the image with the creator’s name or handle. Ask them for permission to use the image in this way – perhaps feature on social channels or in a promotional email as well.
  3. Utilize the standardized layout of showing small versions of the available product images and letting the user use the thumbnails to work their way through the options. This would help to keep everything in a single screen – these screenshots are from a 24-inch monitor and so the way this content is spread out seems a bit unnecessary.

Colourpop has good products, and their business seems quite successful, but there are improvements to be made on these product pages.

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Click here for all posts in the Brand Experience Project.

I’m back with a packaging review! It’s been a while, but since I had never ordered from Colourpop before, it seemed like a good time to get back into these posts.

I ordered a palette when they had a sale, and it arrived within a few days. Let’s take a look.

Customized with the sticker, but it doesn’t appear to be a custom envelope.

Here’s a look at the back, and also at the bubble-wrapped package contents.

Out of the bubble wrap, we have a little Colourpop catalog/brochure, the packing list, and the palette in its outer box.

Here’s the inside of the brochure and a shot of the very cute note that was also included.

Spoiler alert – this is my favorite thing in this blog post. They label the palette with release dating! Every company should do this!

The front of the All I See is Magic palette. Unfortunately, you can see that some shadow has escaped the palette and smudged on the outer cover of the palette.

Sadly, this is a bit worse on the inside of the palette. There are issues on some of the individual shadows as well. I don’t know if this is because the palette wasn’t padded enough in shipping, or if the formula of the eyeshadows is such that they are fragile and that this is to be expected, no matter the padding for shipment.

This is the back of the palette. This is the thing that bothers me the most. I can accept that there is a cost savings in not printing eyeshadow names on the inside of the palette. These names are on the back of the palette, but the issue is that it is confusing when you have to flip it over to get the names, because if the shade name is behind where it actually lives in the palette is probably not the name?(The color descriptions on the website do clear this up.)

This could be improved in a few ways:

  • If possible, make it work so that the color names can be printed on the inside of the palette
  • Use photos of the actual shades on the sticker on the back to ID colors, to avoid the confusion of the layout
  • Put this sticker on the inside of the palette! These palettes don’t often have mirrors, so the sticker could just be placed there for ease in seeing the shadow names

The back of the palette box has the same information as on the sticker on the back of the actual palette. This all could be a little bit better. Again, I know that Colourpop is known for being budget-friendly for great quality, but I would still prefer that they identify issues like this and work it out so that the experience of their brand is just that much better.

I think Colourpop is a really interesting brand, and they appear to be growing like crazy, so I’m hopeful that they can address issues like these while still being able to maintain the tenets of their brand that has brought them to their current place in the market.

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Check out all of my Product Picks here. If you want to see all of the products I’ve reviewed (not just the ones I like), click here for Reviews.

Today’s review is a confession and a review. This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission if you make a purchase using these links.

First up, the confession. I own what I think is easily over 50 lip color products. I am pretty terrible about actually wearing them. Wearing a bold lip color is a statement – I had a week of trying out bold lip colors last year, and I really need to try again. However, in the meantime, I’ve bonded with a lipstick.

I had read about the Milani Color Statement Matte Lipsticks on Nouveau Cheap (anyone who shops at the drugstore for beauty items needs to be following this blog), and when I was at CVS, I checked them out. I ended up purchasing 2 colors of the matte lipsticks, Naked and Darling.

Milani Matte Naked is totally my new favorite lipstick. It’s matte, so it is long-lasting, but it isn’t so drying that I want to cover it in lip balm. It’s not quite a “my lips but better” color, it skews a bit too brown on me for that. I think the reason I love it so much is the balance between putting color on my lips that is enough to be noticed without being overwhelming.

Plus, the price is pretty amazing. These are about $6 at the drugstore. I think the word on Matte Naked in particular is out because I have had trouble finding it. Once I realized how much I liked it, I have been hunting for extras to stock up.

Share your drugstore beauty picks in the comments!

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RiRi Loves MAC, The Waiting Line | Brand Experience Project

by Jamie Sanford on September 30, 2013

Click here for all posts in the Brand Experience Project.

While not being completely obsessed with any of the new items in the RiRi Loves MAC Fall collection, I decided to check out the MAC site when the items went on sale, to see how the experience would compare with last time, when a few new lipsticks were introduced. I left a window open for at least 2 hours during the last event, waiting to see if I could add a lipstick to my cart.

Today is slightly different, but no less insane.

Improved from last time, it’s made VERY clear that you are in line while online, and that you shouldn’t do anything but wait. The page does refresh from time to time to show you a new product, or a quote from Rihanna, etc. Good to know also that there will be a holiday collection forthcoming.

I am really interested to know about the decision-making process at MAC on how to handle these launches. Once I get in, will I have a time limit on my shopping? It seems like a good idea would be to implement a 10-minute shopping window, or at least a limit on how long items will remain unpurchased in the cart.

(I am still in line.)

I will give MAC credit for the following:

  1. The site isn’t crashing, and I’m assuming there are LOTS of people on the site, given how long I’ve had to wait.
  2. The reloading page with quotes, info, etc, is a good way to keep it fresh and to make everyone feel like they aren’t frozen and just don’t realize it yet.
  3. The products look really lovely and from what I’ve read about them, they are. Plus, the packaging is really gorgeous.

(You guessed it. Still waiting.)

There are only something like 10 items in this collection. How can I possibly still be waiting this long? Perhaps everything has sold out – although I would hope that MAC is prepared for a new onscreen message should that be the case.

If any of the tech team from MAC wants to answer some of my questions regarding the technical side of handling these launches, I would love to hear from them.

I would also love to hear anyone else’s ideas on how to handle such high-traffic launches of products online. What do you think?

[Update: Wait time is at 2 hours, 20 minutes, and counting.]
[Update 2: I was able to start shopping at about 2 hours, 30 minutes. About 35% of the items are sold out.]

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MAC | Brand Experience Project

by Jamie Sanford on February 28, 2013

Click here for all posts in the Brand Experience Project.

The next brand examination will be on MAC Cosmetics and maccosmetics.com. I’m going to combine two different experiences here. I was lucky enough to receive wishlist items from MAC for Christmas, so I got to experience the extra benefit of gift wrapping and messaging in the package I received in December. For the shopping experience portion of this post, I will focus on my recent experience buying cute stuff from the Archie’s Girls collection. Please note that I am a big fan of MAC products, and would still use them even if the website totally sucked. This post has nothing to do with MAC, I am not paid to write it, etc.

Shopper Experience

The MAC website hasn’t changed for as long as I can remember. The homepage is definitely dedicated to promotional imagery for current collections and new items.

The left navigation on the website stays present on all pages. It’s pretty straightforward. Picking your items at the top, customer service information, search, etc.

Choosing something on the left generates a pop-out menu of everything in that category.

Some categories drop down and then out, as seen with the makeup menu. The design here is simple and easy to navigate.

I navigated my way to the Veronica section of the new Archie’s Girls collection.

Here’s a closer look at the items in the Veronica collection. You can shop right from this menu by clicking a color swatch-

-as seen here, where I clicked the blue swatch for the nail lacquer and was then able to add it to the cart. I tried to show the item I actually bought, but it is sold out and so indicates that in this small pop-up box, without letting me add to the cart.

You can also click on each item’s name and get this more detailed view of the color swatches. You can create an account and create a favorites list, or you can check out the Colour Play feature, which is very cool. It’s a little side track from this process, but I cannot skip over it.

You visit the MAC rainbow and pick a color on the left bar, and it shows you swatches of all of the products in that color family. You can then break it down by product area, finish, coverage level, etc. It’s really fun to click around and look at all of the red products, all of the purple products, etc. I highly recommend trying it out. I love all of my MAC makeup, I doubt you will regret anything you purchase from MAC.

Back to the purchase process.

I added the Double Trouble nail lacquer to my cart, and I get this lovely confirmation that not only did I add it, I am going to get free shipping!

Checkout

Here’s my shopping cart. It is pretty straightforward. I really like the links at the bottom for shipping information, returns, and sales tax. They generate pop-up boxes that keep you at the page with your cart but lets you get information relevant to your purchase easily.

The page asking for account information is made slightly more interesting by the step numbers at the bottom. I like the idea that it is only 2 extra steps if I don’t have an account yet.

Here’s an example of the pop-up that comes up when I choose to click for more information. On the left under “shipping method,” you get to quickly access anything you might want to know about shipping your order.

The gift wrap options are made available here as well. My issue with this is that the picture of the gift wrap isn’t very big, and the “MAC box” is not what I received when I got my own gift last year. (Granted, I do not know if they show a different image at the holiday season. My wrap wasn’t particularly seasonal, so this is an unknown.)

The billing information page is easy to use and understand. The biggest issue I have here is that “Learn more about gift cards” at the bottom of the page is NOT a pop-up, but opens another page on the site. It takes you AWAY from the checkout process, to another page. I would recommend that MAC turns this link into a pop-up like the others, with a link there to open a page to buy gift cards in a new tab or window.

After this, I completed my purchase with a credit card. Everything went smoothly, and I was told I would have an email confirming my order.

Here’s my confirmation email. As with the Solestruck email, I like that I’m told how long it is going to take to process my order, and that they will be in touch when my order ships. I know that most people think that stuff like this is standard, but I can tell you that it is NOT.

On to the order packaging! As mentioned before, the photos are of a box I received as a holiday gift in December, not the items I ordered recently.

Packaging

Not exactly a branded box, but since everything MAC does is black, so it makes perfect sense.

In the top of the box is this plain white envelope on top of black tissue paper.

Branded card! (Side note: MAC has such a damn good logo.)

My gift message printed on the card. Not complicated, but I really like the touch of getting an actual card in the box.

After removing the top layer of black tissue paper (used for padding the contents), the actual items are also wrapped in the same paper.

This was great! This is a simple silky bag with a velcro closure.

Here’s a better view of the ribbon.

Inside the box were my 2 packaged gift sets. Both were charming and lovely, which is what I’ve experienced with other MAC items as well.

The second box.

In post number 2, MAC has also stood up as a brand doing a good job of selling online and then continuing that positive experience through the shipping and receiving of items. While I did not record it, I can say that my non-gift wrapped items that I ordered a few weeks ago came in a smaller black box with the same black tissue paper. The consistency is there!

So, I applaud MAC for their experience. I only found one flaw that is easily fixed, and other than wanting things to be on sale every now and then (I RARELY run into a MAC sale), I am completely satisfied with my interaction with the brand.

Please let me know what you think of this post, and recommend other websites I should try out for this project!

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