I had been thinking about doing a version of this post for a while with two beauty brands that sort of fell off the map, but I never got around to it. I decided to revisit the idea this past weekend when I discovered that yet another beauty brand seemed to be dropping off the face of the planet, without any notice. The site is still currently live (as I’m writing this), but Tyra Beauty definitely seems to be on the way out and I couldn’t find any official announcements or confirmations. Just a site full of products that are all listed as sold out and a front page advertising a sale code of “Nov60” to get a discount at checkout, indicating that the website probably hasn’t had any sort of update or maintenance since late last year.
If you want to find posts trashing Tyra beauty, there are plenty out there for you; I’m not going to do that here, mostly because I didn’t have that sort of reaction to the news. I was a BeautyTainer (Tyra Beauty’s cutesy name for their independent contractor sales reps when they launched as a direct sales/multi-level marketing business) for a little over a year, and I was still a BeuatyTainer when the shit went down: there had been some drama in February of 2017 where one of the top tier salespeople “went rogue” and was telling everyone that she quit because Tyra Beauty was planning to eliminate the MLM channel and focus exclusively on retail. Tyra and the exec team vehemently denied this, assured everyone that everything was fine, and made a counter-narrative that they fired this salesperson and that she was just trying to cause problems for the brand. But low and behold, not two months later Tyra sent out an email announcement that direct sales were ending as they explored their retail options and by June of 2017 the BeautyTainers were out on their well-contoured fannies.
Was the whole situation handled in a way that felt shady as fuck? Absolutely. But anyone who gets into any sort of multi-level marketing business thinking that they have “job security” completely misunderstands the nature of that business. You are an independent contractor – the company team is there to help provide you with materials and promo items (usually offered at a significant cost) and they definitely want to encourage you to sell and recruit as much as you can, but there is no such thing as job security. Your success is based entirely on how many people you can get to buy your products and, even more so, on how many people you can recruit into the business yourself. You have no formal tie to the company, and you don’t benefit from the company’s overall success. That’s the piece that’s missing from THIS ARTICLE that came out after the announcement. There was also THIS ARTICLE about someone who signed up as a BeautyTainer to give it a try, and only made $27.75 – it correctly notes that in a way, any multi-level marketing business is akin to a legal pyramid scheme and most reps don’t ever see any kind of profit, let alone the amount of profit held out as a possibility to recruit new sheep to the flock. A certain amount of the company’s profit is made by cashing in on people who just sign up to get the intro kit, or people who buy a bunch of stuff to get started and then give up easily when they don’t immediately start raking in the cash. YouNique, a multi-level marketing company whose reps seems particularly aggressive in their recruitment strategies, have even capitalized on that sort of market, calling it “Kit-napping” and making special sign up offers to people who just want to sign up to get the discounted goodies in the intro kit. These businesses also often offer substantial discounts on a large initial order to encourage you to stock inventory and have “customer essentials” on hand, and enforce minimum monthly order goals to stay active so that even if you don’t find customers, you’ll place orders yourself to keep chasing the dream. That’s true for any multi-level marketing business (in the past, I’ve been a rep for three different brands – Avon, Passion Parties, and Tyra Beauty – and they all worked essentially the same way) and it’s not necessarily the brand’s fault if people don’t understand that.
But whether it was just a part of doing business or not, I don’t think Tyra Beauty ever really got out of the shadow of dropping their BeautyTainers, and while the revamped Tyra website continued on (with some noticeably lower prices on some items, now that the extra level of salespeople was eliminated!) they didn’t really do anything in terms of offering new products or even extending the shade selection on their existing products. There was a new TyOver that was launched that included some special edition nail polish, and they added a third shade to their cream blushes, but that’s about it. When I went back on April 1st to look around and possibly order a restock on some of my essentials (her contour sticks are my ride or die, and I still love the Pop It Clean makeup wipes and the Secret Weapon exfoliator from the skincare line), the whole site looked like an April Fool’s Day joke – every single product said “Sold Out” and the front page banner had a super outdated sales code. I tried googling to find some sort of official announcement about the brand closing, but all I found were articles from 2017 related to the end of the BeautyTainer side of the business. For many, they seemed to consider that when Tyra Beauty closed, and they weren’t completely wrong. I think that they were able to trim down and keep things rolling for a little while, but they never fully got over the bad blood that was created when they switched their sales focus.
For old times sake, and before we talk about some of the products, here’s the music video for the brand launch that they put together during cycle 22 of America’s Next Top Model. It’s cheesy af, but I still kind of heart it. Also for funsies, here are two posts from my initial BeautyTainer days that were lost in the great World of Champagne crash of 2018 but that I was able to find mostly intact by using the “Wayback Machine” internet archive: HERE and HERE!
Setting the drama aside, let’s talk about some of the products from this line that I’m really sad won’t be available anymore.
First up is the Sculpt in a Stick contour stick in Deep. This is one of my ride or dies. I use this every damn time I do my makeup, and I haven’t found anything I like as much as this product. It’s a cream contour stick that comes in three shades, and what I love about this is that it’s super blendable – I mean it. You can paint it on super thick and blend it away to almost nothing if you want, or keep it intense and build on it with other products. The closest I’ve found to it is the Fenty Match Stix cream contour, but it’s not the same and it’s not nearly as easy to work with. Because of how easy it was to blend, you really could contour almost any skintone with one of the three shades – if it went on a little too dark, you just blended it down until you got the right shade. If it got too light because you over-blended, just add a little bit more on top! I love this product so much; when we were getting the BeautyTainer boot, I stocked up on this and I still have one or two that are fresh in the packaging! Time to start upping my hunt for a replacement.
I also love their Pop It Cleans, individually packaged makeup wipes that had this thick textured bamboo cloth and were amazing! When I use typical makeup wipes after a show, I would need 5-8 wipes to remove my whole face. The Pop It Cleans, I can do it with 2. Seriously. They are amazing. I stocked up on them hardcore in the last days of the BeautyTainer discount, and I used the rewards program points to earn more for free. I still have some, but my supply is starting to get low. That’s actually the reason that I was on the Tyra Beauty website in the first place – I wanted more Pop Its and I wanted another of the Secret Weapon, an exfoliation stick that is amazing. The rest of her line was ok, middle of the road products with a couple of stickers, but these are my three big regrets from the loss of Tyra Beauty.
I also included an image of the setting spray, though that got discontinued about a month after I first signed up to sell. It was the best setting spray I’ve ever tried; I like it better than the two Too Faced setting sprays that I absolutely worship. It had this amazing blood orange smell and it just worked so well with my thick show makeup. Maybe that’s why people didn’t take to it – maybe it was better for “industrial jobs” like my big old drag queen face!
Tyra beauty isn’t the only brand that has done the disappearing act the last couple of years. I also wanted to talk about two other brands that have given us the slip: Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics and Crate Finds.
Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics was one of those darling indie brands that “made it big” before the market was saturated with a dozen new brands every week. The OG YouTube beauty guru, The Queen of Blending, used to rave about their Lip Tar liquid lipsticks and was even featured in an advertisement for a line of glitters from the brand.
As Urban Decay was embracing a more mainstream image, OCC was the new edgy person’s go-to makeup line, using drag queens like Detox and Willam and cult personalities like Deven Green to front their campaigns. The Lip Tar was an amazing product, but it definitely had a learning curve. Many people saw the squeezy tube and assumed you just squeezed it on like a lipgloss. But the product was extremely pigmented and saturated, and anyone taking that application method would end up with their lips a goopy mess and would soon find the product all over their face!
In April of 2018, a slew of articles popped up around the internet about OCC and their virtual overnight disappearance from the beauty landscape. Revelist and Racked both featured articles about the cult beauty brand’s disappearance, but THIS ARTICLE from Vox goes the deepest into what might have done the brand in: a long running dispute with beauty giant Sephora over alleged contract violations. The article does a better job, so read it, but the long and short of it is that brands are responsible for producing the acrylic fixtures that go on the Sephora gondolas; these can get expensive and con bar indie brands from entering into partnership with the beauty giant. OCC is claiming in a lawsuit (the article is from April 2018, and I wasn’t able to find any updates on where the lawsuit is at, at the moment) that they had a verbal commitment from someone at Sephora that the beauty retailer would pay 50% of the costs associated with these fixtures and would become the brand’s only brick-and-mortar retailer, with the understanding that they would place enough orders to make up for what the brand was losing from other retailers. The suit alleges that Sephora didn’t follow through on this verbal agreement, and that lead to them seeking out other retail channels, being phased out of Sephora stores, and ultimately closing their doors after being unable to recoup their investments. Ouch.
OCC tried to make their products more accessible to makeup neophytes by putting out some kits that encouraged mixing and customizing their pigmented formula, and after leaving Sephora they reformulated their lipsticks into a “ready to wear” formula that was still pigmented but was watered down enough to be applied straight from the tube with a doefoot applicator. They showed up in retailers like Nordstrom and Urban Outfitters, but they just weren’t able to keep up and disappeared about a year ago. The social media for OCC shut down virtually overnight, and the founder, David Klasfeld (interviewed on Beautylish in 2014, available HERE) changed his IG bio to read that he ran the world’s first all vegan and cruelty free brand from 2004 to 2018.
I loved the original Lip Tar formula, but I can agree that it was difficult to work with, and there was more than a little staining. That didn’t stop my from acquiring no less than 38 full sized tubes of Lip Tar in matte and metallic finishes as well as 6 full sized and 5 “test tube” sized tubes of their pigmented Stained Gloss lip gloss. Favorites from the OG line include two beautiful green shades, Cosplay and Power Plant, and a neon popsicle red matte called Harlot that I have been trying to dupe unsuccessfully ever since. They also had a crazy metallic deep blurple called Technopagan that was seriously life.
Once they switched to the ready to wear, I wasn’t as into the formula, but I still picked up 11 of the shades in the new formula. Just like with the original Lip Tar shades, they were committed to bringing fun, vivid, and unexpected colors and I really did like what they had to offer. Favroites from the ready to wear include a swampy green with gold duochrome called Whatever, a blue-based red metallic called Role Play (I’m still kicking myself that I never picked up Red Dragon when it was available!), a baby blue with gold duochrome called Rime, a gold-flecked olive-y taupe called Derelict, a minty green matte called Scrubs, and I liked Technopagan so much I bought it in the new formula as well!
While I’m kind of bummed that OCC is gone, I have to admit that I wasn’t as keen on their new “ready to wear” formula. Yes, I get that the supercharged pigment of the OG formula could be hard to work with, and this was an attempt to make the brand more accessible to more consumers, but with the wild and crazy color selection, I don’t think that the average consumer was really checking for OCC anyway! All of the people who were stans of the brand were makeup connoisseurs, drag queens, nightlife performers, etc. After leaving Sephora, they just couldn’t find the right niche, and now they are gone. Still, it’s sad to see them go. They always had collections that were innovative, interesting, and unexpected. Makeup brands today could take a tip from that…
The final brand I want to talk about is Crate Finds, and this is one that I only found out about as they were in the process of going out of business (or rebranding? or restructuring? it’s not entirely clear, which we’ll get to!).
I can’t remember where I first heard about Crate Finds; I had fallen down the YouTube beauty community rabbit hole, and I found a random YouTuber that I hadn’t watched before and she was talking about how this brand was in the process of going out of business, and she made some reference to it “not being fair” and that people had done some shady things to this company, causing them to close. I have scoured the YouTubes, and I am so frustrated – I can’t find the video anywhere! I also have googled myself silly (hehehe *juvenile giggle*) and I have found a few random things: a closed Indigogo campaign to help grow the brand that you can find HERE, a review of the Crate Finds subscription box that you can read HERE, and information about their brand on the Leaping Bunny site HERE. When you search Crate Finds on YouTube, you find a few unboxing videos of the subscription boxes and a couple of haul videos from people who bought in the going out of business sale.
I went to the website and bought 3 palettes and got them plus shipping for a total of less than $20! My favorite palette was an 8-pan palette called the Did Bitch palette:
The pans in these palettes are similar to the pans from Juvia’s place, and what I like about this is that there are 4 different colors and it comes in both a matte and a shimmer formula. The combos are really stunning, and you can also use the different colors together. They have a pretty good pigmentation and they perform pretty well; not as good as the Juvia’s formula, but pretty good. Both the mattes and the shimmers are good, and the two other palettes that I bought are a little of each.
The Mi Amor palette is a 4-pan palette of shimmers, 3 bronzey browns with a pop of teal blue. These formula is pretty good, I thought the Did Bitch was a little better but these are still pretty good. The matte palette that I got was a 3-pan palette called Chase The Sunset:
These mattes are dry but blendable, pretty and saturated. I love the way these play with the brown shimmers from the Mi Amor as well.
From what I’ve seen in other videos, they also had a liquid lipstick formula but I didn’t have a chance to try those. Judging by the quality of the palettes that I got and the reviews I’ve seen of the liquid lipsticks, it sounds like they had a line of really good stuff. I’m not sure what happened to the brand, but I think it’s unfortunate that they aren’t around to keep bringing us fun, high quality palettes with interesting color stories.
These are three of the brands that did the disappearing act – let me know below what you think! Did you check for any of these brands, or is this the first you’re hearing about them? Any particular products that you miss or that you wish you could have tried (the FOMO is real, henny!)? Any other brands that have disappeared from the market that you wish would make a comeback? That’s what the comment section is for – sound off, y’all!