Saturday, February 18, 2012

Disappointment: 5 for $10 Prestige Sale

You guys know I don't like to post "rant" posts often, but anytime I have a bad experience that I feel is significant or that is connected to a past post I've done suggesting a brand, company, or product in any way I always feel responsible to let you know what my experience has been.

I've been subconsciously putting off this post because I was so disappointed and frustrated by the time I finally received a response from that I wanted to wash my hands of the whole thing. I had mentioned the  sale not too long ago and ended up purchasing 2 of the 5 for $10 Prestige bundles myself. I first became acquainted with after watching Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, as Taylor Armstrong was brought on as the creative director and received an award due to her participation in the company--this was filmed during the show. The site reminded me of, which I've purchased from before and had a great experience with. I haven't purchased from them since their merge with, so if you have please share your experience below!

The description for the sale stated that only up to 3 sale bundles could be purchased and that you would receive a random assortment of 5 full-size prestige products, which that may include brands like "MAC, Urban Decay, Bliss, etc." according to their original description. As I'm sure you've gathered, I'm a much bigger fan of higher-end cosmetics in general for several reasons, so this really sparked my interest. I understood they were using those brands as examples of the caliber of products I'd receive.

Here is the link to the 5 for $10 prestige beauty sale page, but in case it goes down here's the description of the sale of which I've taken a screenshot from the site (click it to enlarge)...

I purchased 2 of the bundles and was shocked to find that they shipped within a couple days! Now, that's fast. When the box got here I was beyond excited to see what I'd gotten and dove right in.

Inside the box were 2 bundles like this and a loose product. One bundle held 5 products and the other held 4, with the 5th being the loos product in the box that was probably not included in the goody-bag sized bundles because of its size.

What I Received
In the 2 bundles I purchased, I received the following...

Bundle 1
Bundle 1 (clockwise starting at the top): Martini Mini Cream polish, Milani Glitzy gloss in Endulging (was this a play on words or was Milani having a bad spelling day?), MOR Belladona Body Butter, Jelly Pong Pong lip sorbet in Sugared Pear, Jelly Pong Pong Love Rouge lip/cheek duo

My Thoughts on Bundle 1
When I first opened this package the first thing that stuck out to me was the Milani lip gloss. Milani is by no means considered a prestige brand to my knowledge, in fact it happens to be a very budget-friendly drugstore brand. To me, this shouldn't have been included in something that was advertised as "prestige beauty". The second thing I noticed was that I received 2 Jelly Pong Pong items in this one bundle. While I obviously expected that there could potentially be some overlap, I was hoping it would be between bundles, not within the same bundle. Not a huge deal, but just an observation. Also, I received 2 "mini" products (as described by their brands)--the Nailtini in Cream and MOR body butter. The sale didn't state that items might be mini, so perhaps they didn't realize that it gave the reader (or at least me) the impression that items would be full-size. Lastly, I noticed that the majority of makeup products I received were not really ones I'd liken to Urban Decay, MAC, etc. I understood that we wouldn't necessarily get those brands, but sells Jelly Pong Pong and Nailtini products, so why not mention them as well?

Here are sites for some of the products I received (I couldn't find the lip sorbet on the Jelly Pong Pong site so it may no longer be available):
Jelly Pong Pong
MOR Belladona Body Butter

Bundle 2
Bundle 2 (clockwise from top): Bourjois Petit Guide de Style, Jelly Pong Pong lip sorbet in Buttercream, Nailtini polish in Velvet Fizz, Jelly Pong Pong Lo-Lip-Pop in Grape Sherbert, Models Prefer cream shadow/mini liner in unknown shade.
 My Thoughts on Bundle 2
Again, I received 2 Jelly Pong Pong and 1 Nailtini product in this bundle, but at least the Nailtini I received this time was full-size (this one was .5 fl oz while the mini above was only .25 fl oz). The Models Prefer cream shadow was probably what surprised me most of everything in this bundle. Not only did it not have a safety seal of any kind, but it was simply placed in an open sleeve. 

My major issue with the Models Prefer cream shadow. The fact that it had no safety seal was an issue, but the fact that to my knowledge Models Prefer hasn't sold products in the US in a while concerns me. Makeup, like just about everything else, expires so is this really safe to use?

Websites for the products above (as you can see on the Models Prefer website mentions the shift to ybf)...
Jelly Pong Pong
Bourjois Paris - couldn't get the US site to load
Models Prefer's Response to My Concerns
Once I had received my products and found that I had some concerns I immediately emailed the company through their site (February 4). I waited a couple days and did not receive a response so I sent them another message, again through their site. I received no response, so finally on February 8th I tracked down their direct email and messaged them my concerns. This is what I wrote...

To begin, I received a Milani lip gloss, which is absolutely not a prestige product, but rather a cheap drugstore brand. Was this a mistake or did you actually put drugstore products in with the prestige items?

Second, I received mostly products from Jelly Pong Pong, in fact 2-3 of the 5 products I received in both bundles were Jelly Pong Pong. You mentioned that examples of brands that might be included were Urban Decay, MAC, etc. Did anyone receive products from those actual brands or similar brands? All of the brands I received, with the exception of the Models Prefer liquid shadow were UK brands, which would have been fine as I use a great deal of international products, if the brands mentioned didn't give buyers the impression they could expect currently popular, well-known brands.

I received a deluxe-size Martini nail polish. The sale description said 5 full-size prestige cosmetics. Was this an oversight?

I received a Models Prefer liquid eyeshadow. Models Prefer was a QVC brand prior to their lawsuit against QVC back around 2008. After which they changed over to YBF at that time and started a new range of home shopping network beauty products. Given how old this would have to be in order to be a Models Prefer product, is it customary to send out such outdated and potentially expired products?

Lastly, several of the products I received did not come with a safety seal or packaging of any kind. Is that normal for the products you send out?

This was their response... 
Dear DJ Murphy,
We appreciate that not everyone gets exactly what they wanted in our 5 for $10 promotion but we stand behind the offering as a fun way to try new brands and products at ridiculously low prices.  We also suggest you check the accuracy of your information as we believe some of your statements are inaccurate.
Thank you for shopping at we sincerely appreciate your business.
Best Regards
VIP Customer Care
Your VIP Pass to Beautiful Deals
My Reaction
As you can see, they didn't even address a single one of my questions or concerns. By the time I wrote this email I was pretty aggravated, so getting a response like this did not make me feel any better. Like I said above, I kind of pushed this post off because I couldn't deal with going over it again right then. As far as checking the accuracy of some of my information, I did quite a bit of research regarding the Models Prefer product I received (which is what I'm assuming that statement they made was over). Here's what I found...

The story of what happened to Models Prefer cosmetics - This link includes an explanation with a link to the actual court docket regarding the suit.

Here's a direct link to the court docket for the suit.

Here's the Models Prefer site, which obviously shows it's transitioned to ybf.

Here's a conversation thread back in 2008 about Models Prefer cosmetics being gone and relaunching.

Here's Stacy Schieffelin's profile on HSN's site under ybf beauty.

If they were questioning the accuracy of my statement regarding Milani being a drugstore brand, well first of all that would be silly since we all know it is, but just to prove I'm not nuts here's Milani's "store locator" page on their site. Um, is it safe to say this is a drugstore brand?

Where to buy Milani according to Milani.

Final Thoughts
I thought it was interesting that I received both MOR and Bourjois in my bundles, but nothing similar to MAC, Urban Decay, or Bliss in my opinion. I also still have an issue with a Milani lip gloss being passed as "prestige beauty". To be honest, I was super disappointed with so many different things--the reaction to my honest inquiry being the icing on the cake--that I cannot see myself purchasing from or recommending that anyone else do the same. If they had simply responded cordially to my email and addressed a few of the issues I raised, even if they didn't like what I had to say, I would have felt differently. I am always blown away by poor customer service, especially when it comes to beauty/luxury companies. At the end of the day, I think everyone should absolutely make their own decision based on their experience, research, etc., so I'm not telling you not to purchase from them--that choice is yours. I simply wanted to accurately relay my opinion and my experience for you since I notified you of their sale in a paste blog post.

The opinions stated in this post are completely my own based on my own experience, it is your choice as to whether or not you support this company.


  1. ***New follower*** thanks for sharing your experience. I would have been extremely upset had this happened to me. I hate false advertisement.

    xo-Chelise from

  2. Thank you for sharing - I hate when things like this happen & there's no repercussion - because of social media & bloggers like you taking the time to adress maybe companies will think twice, especially if they want consumers to buy more than once :-/

    1. I do, too! I was very disappointed to say the least. I hate doing "rants", but I do feel it's important to warn fellow beauty lovers so that they can hopefully avoid the same thing. I've had mixed responses from companies. Some of them completely acknowledge and correct the issue, others (like this one unfortunately) blamed me--the customer for being "misinformed".

      Bottomline, I hope this is helpful in the end for my readers because you guys are who I blog for! :)


Please make sure all comments are appropriate and void of self-promotion such as links, blog URLs, etc. Thanks for chatting!