Arbonne is one of those lines that I don’t really follow, largely because they still rely mostly on “Independent Consultants” like Mary Kay and Avon used to have — and you know how I feel about sales pressure. Oh, and they’re outrageously expensive. However, a holiday product caught my eye and I could not resist ordering it: a trio of Arbonne’s Lip Polishes. Had there not been a gorgeous burgundy in the set, I wouldn’t have looked twice, but … well, there it is.
Arbonne bills itself as a company that was cool and hip and botanical before botanical itself was cool and hip, if any of us can remember back that far. (I think I was four.) So, green, right? Natural, environmentally responsible, earth-friendly … OK, I can’t even sell myself on this.
Let’s look at the size of the products.
Now let’s look at the size of the products compared to the standard-size Beauté gloss I recently reviewed. The Beauté is on the left.
Oh. I see. They’re small. OK. Value-for-price aside for the moment, if they’re that small then surely they should come in a tiny box, n’est-ce-pas?
Oh. Er. Seriously, you could have fit about 40 of those tiny kits in this box. I am so tired of seeing companies that market themselves as “environmentally responsible” and “earth-conscious” and all that jazz use way, WAY too much packaging. Arbonne even has a “Green Commitment” statement, which reads as follows:
Arbonne is committed to environmental responsibility. As our business grows, we strive to minimize our impact on the earth through the implementation of innovative and responsible environmental practices, and we encourage our manufacturing and sourcing partners to do the same.
At Arbonne we:
• Support responsible harvesting of our botanical ingredients (harvest and replenish)
• Never utilize endangered plant species in our formulations
• Practice “source reduction,” optimizing packaging and product design to use less materials
• Use renewable sources for all of our paper packaging
• Strive to achieve Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification for all paper packaging
• Incorporate Post Consumer Recycled (PCR) content in all shipping cartons and plastic packaging, wherever possible
• Print with soy-based inks wherever possible
• Ensure our distribution facilities have recycling programs for all incidental packaging and shipping supplies
“Optimizing packaging.” Er, what was the option you rejected for this lip polish trio? A 6×6 crate made of pernambuco, perhaps?
Anyway. Enough of that. How are the products?
Well, uh … average. I mean, they’re fine. They’re maybe a B-, which is to say that they’re even slightly above average but that they don’t exceed expectations in any recognizable way. I do love the burgundy color. The others are … meh. Not only that, but I have a hard time imagining what kind of skin tone could wear all three of these colors: burgundy, camel, and something that’s reminiscent of latté foam.
Here are the swatches:
I do love the burgundy, and would like to find a way to work with the medium golden brown shade. The “nude” shade, the lightest, is going to be hard for me to work with — and I’m already fairly pale.
Wearlength is about average; stickiness slightly less than average. Packaging: D-.
Arbonne Lip Polish Trio: $58 (individual permanent shades available at Arbonne’s website)
Provenance: Purchased. (And, by the way, the order got screwed up the first time, which doesn’t make me love them any more.)
Price/Value Ratio (high-end: poor/fair/good/excellent): Poor. Is there a category worse than “poor”? No? I should make one.
Purchase again? Ha! No.
(Have you used this product? Love it? Hate it? Want it? Give a holler in the comments!)