This year started off differently when I forgot to purchase a Beautylish Lucky Bag. It has been a tradition since 2016 that every other year, I would purchase the biggest available Lucky Bag. I missed it due to the time difference while I was overseas, but I had long considered skipping this year because of my earnest desire to purchase less and get more use out of my current collection. After seeing what the most common items were in the regular and XL Lucky Bags this year, I’m confident I made the right decision in skipping it. I may start purchasing them again in the future if Beautylish begins to find value in giving a dark skin option for the XL bags, the same way they find value in having a dark skin option for the regular bags. Lucky Bag posts have always been my highest traffic attracting posts, so for those who have been looking forward to seeing it from me, I’m sorry.
From now on, instead of getting Lucky Bags, I’ve been toying with the idea of doing an annual Anti-Haul or “Mock Lucky Bag” involving the products I already have in my collection that end up in that year’s Lucky Bags. It will be quite the reminder that I am already fortunate enough to have the kind of products Beautylish puts in these, with the added bonus of avoiding duplicates and saving money. Plus, I will be able to see how little or how much I’ve used those products and judge whether or not it would have been a good idea to purchase a collection of items I could have ended up with from a Lucky Bag. This is my first attempt at a post like this and I’m not sure how well it will be received, so I’m posting on Thursday as a bonus for the week! I hope you like it!
“Concept” Lucky Bag 2022
Hindash Beautopsy Palette $70
Wayne Goss The Essential Lip Pencil in Mauve $14
Smith & Cult Nailed Lacquer in Pillow Pie $18
Good Molecules Niacinamide Brightening Toner $14
Hourglass Vanish Blush Stick in Revel $46
Sonia G Builder Three $32
Regular Lucky Bag Cost: $85 (US shipping included)
Mock Lucky Bag Retail: $194
The first three items are examples from an XL box from YouTuber Smiley Shani who was rightly displeased at having items in her box that did not show up on her skin tone, instantly lowering the value of her box. She did a follow-up video explaining why it was so disheartening, one poignant quote being, “It’s another reminder that a lot of brands and companies don’t think about people who look like me…and I forgot that I had to remember that.”
In the beginning, XL bags tended to be more universal, so I accepted the fact that they didn’t feel the need to give shade options. However, my 2020 experience was borderline an issue with a bronzing oil and blush/highlighter palette as my “big ticket item.” After seeing Shani’s experience in 2022, I think it’s safe to say to Beautylish either needs to be more thoughtful about the XL bag products and/or they should add shade options if they care to improve on the bags. Or perhaps this falls under the “fun of trading” Beautylish expects people to do for items that don’t work for them. More on that thought at the end of the post.
There were Good Molecules products in pretty much all the bags, which makes sense as a Beautylish produced brand. Here is another example of someone’s XL bag via Instagram, though it includes the Good Molecules Glycolic Exfoliating Toner. I chose to feature the Niacinamide Brightening Toner because that’s what I got in my 2020 XL Lucky Bag and never used it. That’s right. I never used it. That’s no one’s fault but my own. I purchased the Pineapple Exfoliating Powder around the same time (didn’t start using it until a year ago) and have gotten at least some use out of that one. Good Molecules products are nice, but they only have value if I actually use them!
This person had the Hourglass Vanish Stick Highlighter, but I replaced it with the blush instead. Lastly, AmyLovesMakeup had the Sonia G Builder Three brush in her XL bag. It’s a great brush and one that I own because it was in my 2020 bag.
Although I chose all items from XL bags in this mock up, I saw these end up in the regular Lucky Bags for 2022 as well. I’d also like to note that some of my “replacement” items were exact products in the 2021 bag. I always keep up with what are in each year’s bags even during the years I don’t participate. I used to be so obsessed with these bags that I had to whip out Excel to keep track of what items I saw and how frequently I saw them.
Analysis of Use
I already mentioned I hadn’t even tried the Good Molecules Niacinamide Brightening Toner. I was bombarded with skincare in previous years and was still trying to use up my stash, so I just hadn’t gotten around to it. Had I gotten the Good Molecules Glycolic Exfoliating Toner from this year though, I don’t think I would have tried that either. I’ve had two Glycolic Toners from The Ordinary sit unused in my collection for years before I tossed them, so it would likely have been a bust. I’d be more interested in repurchasing the Niacinamide Toner so I could actually try it since it’s something I’m more interested in now than I was at the time I got it. The Hindash Beautopsy Palette and Sonia G Builder Three Brush are both items I featured in my favorite products of 2021, so of course I’d be over the moon to receive a bag with those two products in it. I used the Wayne Goss Lip Pencil for a while when I initially bought it in May 2020, but I prefer retractable pencils, so I hardly reached for this one. By now, the waxy smell radiating off it leads me to believe it’s time I toss it out. Speaking of things to toss, I’ve had my Smith & Cult nail polishes since 2015, but I barely used them and stopped doing my nails entirely. I’m not a nail polish person. I keep buying polishes wishing I could be that person, as evidenced in my one and only nail polish post on this blog, but I can’t be bothered. I like my natural nails. That being said, the polishes were so expensive that I couldn’t bring myself to toss them, even though they look terrible in the bottles. I’m sure others would be pleased to have an item like this in the Lucky Bags, but it would be a waste for me. The final item is the Hourglass Vanish Stick. I like the blush that I have, though I’ve only used it less than ten times in the nearly five months I’ve had it. The shade of highlighter stick I saw in the Lucky Bags looked like something I would wear, but if I’ve barely used a cream blush, this powder highlight lover is very unlikely to get more use out of a cream highlighter.
Even though I like every item in my Faux Lucky Bag, time has proven that I don’t use them enough to justify getting them. The Hindash Palette and Sonia G brush are exceptions to this, but that would bring the total to $102 paid outright for those items and theoretically I would have paid $85 for them plus the other items. That’s a good deal from the perspective of a 17% savings with free extra items, but as someone who wants to only add items I will use to my collection and not have to deal with trying to sell or trade things, I wouldn’t have missed out much by skipping it and just getting the two things I love.
Whether I replaced some items in my mock bag with a different eyeshadow palette, brush, or some other skincare product, there is nothing I saw from the 2022 Lucky Bags that I would have gotten more use out of than what I showed as my concept bag. At least, not without being “extra lucky” and getting items beyond Beautylish’s 15+ bag variations. From my past observations*, those who lived on the West Coast got the best bags (or at least the newest and most popular items rather than those that aren’t selling well). I don’t live in California where Beautylish is based, nor in a West Coast state, so statistically my chances of being extra lucky are even less probable. I didn’t check for locations this year, so it is possible they finally changed that.
*Observations gathered from knowing where YouTubers said they lived, the profile bios/location tags on IG, Locations listed on the Facebook profiles from beauty group members who showed off their bags, etc.
The factor that cannot be calculated is the worth of discovery, the ability to try new things that I wouldn’t have, which could have led to potentially finding a new “holy grail” item. It’s not unheard of considering the Sonia G Builder Three was never on my radar until I actually had it in my hands and tried it. Then again, I recently found an interest in the Builder Pro thanks to the review from Nikki and between the Builder Pro and Mini Booster, those two brushes in my collection can cover the tasks that the Builder Three accomplishes, so I’d eventually have had an alternative. The point I’m trying to make is that I cannot put a price on discovery, but the value of that isn’t worth as much to me now as it would have in the past.
For these reasons, looking at everything, I’m glad I forgot to get a Lucky Bag. I hope this can be helpful to those who missed their chance to get one or to feel confident in choosing to skip it. This post isn’t intended to take away joy from those who receive and love their bags. I just have to remind myself that the chances of me being “Extra Lucky” isn’t very high for me in my situation and now isn’t the time for me to take the gamble. When I emailed Beautylish questions about the bag before getting my first one in 2016 they said to me, “Another part of the [fukubukuro] tradition is also trading with friends to add to the fun, so if you aren’t keen on something you received or already own it, trading is part of the fun!”
So, this bag is ultimately intended for people who think it’s fun to trade or give away items after having spent $75+ or $150+ on products and not liking what they got. One has to have the “oh well” kind of mentality. As they told me, if this isn’t my mindset, it’s not something I should participate in. This is the time I’ve taken their advice, even if by accident.
To clear up any confusion for those who haven’t read my “About Me,” my real name is Lian and Lili is my nickname.
That’s all for today! What are your thoughts on Lucky Bags or just Mystery Boxes in general? I actually bought the Melt Cosmetics one during Black Friday, though I’m not sure if I will end up doing a full dedicated post on that or just feature some of the items in future reviews. What made the Melt one different is that all the boxes were the same, so seeing one review was enough to know exactly what I’d be getting and if it was worth it to buy. I think that’s the kind of situation I’m likely to partake in going forward if I get a mystery box again.