I Wasn't Charmed By the Makeup Revolution x Friends Collection

Sunday, October 4, 2020 / 10:33 PM

This is a couple weeks delayed, but also might seem really random. But if you go back in the archives (or if you've been reading my ramblings for awhile), you'll know that I used to blog a lot more frequently about non-personal topics: travel tips, make-up, TV show reviews... Lately, because of quarantine, I've been consuming a lot more content and falling deep into random rabbit holes – which means I've had a lot of random things to talk about (but it's sometimes too random to call up a friend and spew it all at them). 

So I asked on my Instagram Stories if people would be interested in that at all, and I got a bunch of encouraging responses. Which is nice! Thanks! And sorry in advance haha.

I've been wanting to rant about this somewhere for awhile, but last month, Makeup Revolution released a Friends collection which – of course – caught my eye because I'm a huge Friends fan (and I also love checking out makeup releases). MUR started teasing the collection at the end of August on Instagram and then Trendmood released the first images at the start of September...and I was honestly really underwhelmed by the preview. This isn't anything against MUR's formulas or the colors of the collection, which I think are generally quite pretty. But there's little about the makeup itself that makes it Friends themed.

Quick product rundown:

  • Mirror ($15) – I think the mirror is the best product in this collection – and, yes, I bought it. If I were going to release a Friends makeup collection, that mirror is exactly what I would've designed. The purple drawn from Monica's apartment walls makes sense and that frame is so iconic. 
  • Makeup bags ($12) – There are two makeup bags: a pink one with lobsters and a black one with the Friends and Revolution logos. I bought the lobster one because I think it's really cute and it has a little lobster zipper. If I had somewhere to travel to right now, I'd be more than happy to pack it in my bag. (I have nothing to say about it other than, "It's a makeup bag.")
  • Mini eyeshadow palettes ($12) – The three mini palettes are named after the girls: Monica, Rachel, and Phoebe.
  • Lipsticks ($8) – There are three of these too that are named after the girls.
  • Lip glosses ($8) – There are six glosses named after the six "friends."
  • Scrunchie pack ($8) – The single pack comes with three scrunchies: one has the Friends x Revolution logos, one has the same lobster print that's on the makeup bag, and the third scrunchie is white and has a black monkey print (for Marcel and is the same design on the Ross lip gloss...personally, I think one of these scrunchies should have the Central Perk coffee cup design that's on the Rachel lip gloss).
  • Eyeshadow palette ($25) – The unit looks like a clapperboard and there are 27 shades (three of which are highlighter shades in larger pans).
So, clearly, I wasn't charmed by the makeup products themselves. Again, I don't have anything explicitly against the color stories and I think the colors are pretty. But there's nothing that really screams Friends in either the products themselves or the names. (Side note: as many people pointed out in the Trendmood comments, this collection doesn't look very POC-friendly.)

Let's start with the lipsticks: I don't have anything against the colors themselves, but I think the names are off. On the show, it was more common to see Monica wearing darker/bolder lip colors and Phoebe tended to wear natural colors, or at least shades that were lighter than Monica's. If anything, the names should be rotated: Rachel should be Monica's color, Phoebe should be Rachel's color, and Monica should be Phoebe's color.

On the lip glosses: I think the packaging is cute, but my comments on Monica's and Phoebe's lipstick colors applies here too. The Joey and Chandler shades are too similar. I'm not entirely sure why Ross is so hot pink. Personally, I think it should be more salmon-toned...

The eyeshadow palettes are where I have the hardest time getting on board with this collection. With the big palette, it's like someone went to IMDb and just pulled a bunch of random character names. No shade to any of these characters but...Fun Bobbie? Mr. Heckles? Julie? Also, making Heckles, Ugly Naked Guy, and Estelle your highlighter pans feels even more random because it just spotlights the randomness of the palette. I would've liked to have seen shade names that had more meaning to different plots or memorable moments: Pivot, 20 (Monica's apartment number), Vegas, museum, transponster, ichiban (which would have to be a blue, of course), Ramoray...

For the mini palettes... I'm just going to bullet point these ones because I have too many thoughts that run into each other all at the same time:

The Phoebe palette
  • The Smelly Cat shade should be gray to mimic the cat from the music video.
  • The Bike shade should be a pink to reflect the color of the bike Ross got her.
  • I know people have described her this way (it comes up during the episode where the girls are bringing up each others' worst traits), but I don’t think Phoebe is actually that flaky. She actively cares the most about people showing up and showing up on time. In "The One With All The Cheesecakes," Phoebe gets mad at Joey for canceling dinner plans with her because he has a date and Phoebe gives this whole speech about how you don't cancel on friends and you show up when you say you're going to show up. In "The One With Phoebe's Birthday Dinner," everyone is late to her birthday dinner, which upsets her and causes an outburst. 
  • The names in this palette are overall a poor representation of Phoebe's stories that are honestly just not that memorable. For example, I'm pretty sure Ice is a reference to her marriage to Duncan, the ice dancer. (Also, why is it that color? Why are any of these colors the colors they are, for that matter...)
  • Alternate name suggestions: guitar, Princess Consuela, twin, aura, Regina Phalange, vegetarian, masseuse, snow
The Rachel palette
  • All the references to men in the Rachel palette (Dinosaur, Tag, Chip, Crush) make her character seem two dimensional. Rachel's arc throughout the series is all about how she comes into her own independent person (even if the ending kind of ruins it all). 
  • I don't get why she specifically gets a shade named "90s" when that could literally apply to anything in this collection. It just feels lazy or like they ran out of ideas.
  • This is a pretty pink palette, but that's pretty much it. None of the names go with the colors.
  • Alternate name suggestions: Emma, cheesecake, cheerleader, coffee, gossip, trifle, Bloomingdale's (which I associate her with that over Barney’s, assuming they can license Bloomingdale's...)

The Monica palette
  • Similar to Rachel's palette, I don’t love the notion of naming shades after men or their relationships. I don't mind references that much, so instead of Bing, why not choose London Time and make it a true red to reflect her dress at Ross’ wedding? (Or rename the Geller Cup shade to London Time. The Geller Cup shade should be a gold to reflect the troll doll's hair anyways.)
  • Like with Phoebe's, I don't like the color story. It's all a little random. Is Frizzy supposed to be a reference to her hair in Barbados? (Why not choose something like Competitive then?) I also don't get why you'd include Chicken as a shade name because she had other much more memorable food-related stories that you could draw from instead...
  • Alternate name suggestions: Jam, quiche, mockolate, flan; for non-food related ones, I already mentioned London Time and Competitive, but it's a missed opportunity to not include 7 in there...
MUR says this is only the first series in a larger collaboration, so I'll be interested to see what else they come up with. Overall, it just wasn't a must-buy for me when I saw what the actual products were (except for the mirror) – and this is coming from me, who can recite entire episodes to you whether you want to hear it or not. 

Oh, also, they should bundle the products on their site. I'm not sure if they had a full collection bundle available during their initial drop and then took the listing down after it sold out (because, yes, despite my own personal objections, this collection sold out pretty much on day 1 and has since been restocked), but for collabs like this that tend to be collector's items, bundling products (whether it's the full collection or breaking them out into character-based ones) makes shopping easier. 

I haven't looked for too many reviews on YouTube of this collection. The couple that I skimmed through after the collection was released showed the products performing well on the people who were reviewing them, but at the same time... in all of the videos I watched, everyone did pretty much the same eyeshadow look. At the end of the day, I just don't think the half-hearted Friends theme-ing works for me.

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