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The Beauty Crew are on holiday:

December 18th 2023 - January 21st 2024

I Bought Temu Makeup So You Don't Have To!

2 June, 2023 - 01:29pm by - Head Pixie | 21 Comments

by BR Kellie

Willpower. I only have so much. Case in point: I have spent hours, days, weeks ignoring the milions of Temu ads that are being fed to me on YouTube, on Facebook, on the ads I play when I'm onto my millionth round of online Rummikub. Time and time again, I averted my eyes and told myself 'there's nothing there that I need'. Until it hit me... what would the makeup be like? Would Temu cosmetics be any good? Curiosity being my best and worst trait, I hopped online and found myself filling my cart with a (nearly) full face of products, including some so-dodgily-close-I'm-amazed-the-cosmetic-companies-aren't-sending-lawyery-letters dupes. 

So, what did I get? Was it worth it? Would I buy from Temu again? And just how does Temu work anyway? Allow me to reveal all...

What is Temu?

Temu is an online marketplace that sells anything and everything (at least that's what it feels like). The products come from "millions of sellers, manufacturers and brands around the world", with its products shipped "from a global network of suppliers and manufacturers". (If you want to do a deep dive on Temu, this Stuff article makes for an interesting read.)

With that in mind, I expected to receive a bunch of different parcels, as I didn't think the cosmetics would be coming from the one factory or warehouse, however everything arrived in good condition in one Temu-branded box. To their credit, the shipping was fast (and free), and you were kept in the loop as to your parcel's whereabouts the entire time.

What did I buy?

My goal was to buy as much as one could for a full face. So I bought a BB Cream, eyeshadow, two types of blush (because more is more and they looked like dupes for Fenty, and Rare Beauty), mascara, a cream eye pencil, and a contour/highlight duo (which looked familiar, and on further research appears to be a dupe for M.A.C's Sculpt & Glow duo).

The only things I forgot to buy were a concealer, brow products and lip products, which (spoiler alert) I'm kind of glad about as I saved myself some money in not doing so.

Was it any good?

I truly went into this having hope that I might find a hidden gem. A beauty bargain. However this wasn't to be the case. The Fenty dupe blusher was not a great colour on me to start with, but even if it had been, it was really greasy and patchy to work with. I love a cream blush, so I wouldn't say it was a user issue. The peachy blush was easier to work with, but clung to dry patches and faded on my face quickly. I had hope for the contour duo, but the highlighter proved to be quite chunky on the skin (it did make for a nice inner-eye highlight, though), and the contour shade made me look dirty rather than chiselled. The mascara was a dud. It coated the lashes and lengthened them a little, but they didn't look all that full and there wasn't any long term lift. An hour on you wouldn't have known I was wearing it. The cream shadow pencil was fine, but tended to lift off your eyelid when you went over it in order to deepen the shade and faded quickly. As for the BB Cream? There were two shades to choose from, and I picked the right one. However the coverage was barely there, so while it evened out the skin somewhat, it didn't revolutionise my face. Also, the ingredient list on it consisted of: propylene, rose oil and aloe. One suspects that's not the full meal deal ingredients-wise.

Lastly... can we talk about how the palette below is almost an exact dupe of the Natasha Denona Glam palette? They didn't even bother to shake the layout up in order to make it look like not a copy. A swatching session showed that all bar one shade were the exact same colour - however the quality was not that of Natasha Denona. While her eyeshadows are rich in pigment, effortlessly blendable, but also able to stay in the place you put them, the dupe eyeshadows blended in to each other, became muddy and, barring two shades, didn't have a great amount of pigment. Unsurprisingly, the ingredient lists of the two palettes varied greatly. I got what I paid for.

Would I buy Temu makeup again?

Honestly, no - for three reasons:

1) You don't know who you're buying from. You don't know the factory conditions, or the conditions that those who work in the factory are working under. You don't know if the staff are being paid a fair wage or if they're being treated well. Yes, this could be said for a lot of products we can access in New Zealand, but I like to think that the big cosmetic companies have ethics when it comes to the treatment of those who work for them - from the top execs down to the people who place eyeshadow pans into palettes.

2) On the whole, the products' ingredient lists were not comprehensive. When I ran the ingredients of the blushes and sculpting duo through Google, many of the ingredients came back as not existing. Most likely this is a translation issue, but if anything goes wrong with my face when using a product it's nice to be able to try and pinpoint the culprit so one can avoid the ingredient in the future. 

3) You are getting what you pay for - as in the quality and formulas aren't great. Patchy, greasy blush, eyeshadow that's a bit dusty and lacking in pigment, chunky highlighter and dirty-looking contour, along with a mascara that does not thicken, does not lift and barely lengthens, are not my cup of tea. I'd rather take the money I spent, head to a local department store or chemist and buy products that I know are great (thanks to our fabulous Beauty Review community's reviews). The $40 I spent on Temu products could've bought me a fantastic Maybelline mascara and a gorgeous L'Oreal lippy. Or a Wet N Wild eyeshadow palette, along with a Flower Beauty serum foundation - and all the while I'd be supporting the New Zealand beauty industry, Kiwi-based businesses and the local economy, too. 

As always, you do you. Buy from Temu or don't. Personally, I'm keeping it local from now on. Lesson learnt. Let my failure be your success.

So, my beauties, would you buy Temu makeup? Will you be steering clear? And are you with me in preferring to support the local distributors because you know what you're getting, you can touch and feel, and if anything goes wrong it's easy to seek help? Get chatting below!


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17th December, 2023

Good to know! I just purchased a couple of Xmas tshirts and singlets however to see what the quality was like… to my surprise tshirts are great and 1 singlet is perfect however 2 other singlets (all same style) were terrible! The stitching on hem was ad and they didn’t sit well! It’s def a hit and miss x

12th November, 2023

I deleted the app I've heard to changes settings on your phone and pretty much has access to all your stuff it's like spy and malware

8th November, 2023

I’ve heard rumours about how they make their products and even other products like plastics. With sensitive skin I wouldn’t risk it. Thanks for taking one for the team though

7th November, 2023

Yeah I don't trust it, and would prefer to support local as well.

24th June, 2023

Agree with the other commenters that Temu is great for cheap homewares and various tech items but I wouldn’t buy anything to put on my skin from Temu, you just don’t really know for sure what’s in there.

18th June, 2023

Until I saw this article I hadn't heart of Temu but now i see it every where!!

16th June, 2023

Temu I downloaded once and didn't purchase then delete after browsing and now every darn day there's advertising for Temu

9th June, 2023

I am totally with you in supporting local distributors, or even better locally made items!

9th June, 2023

I have just discovered this site. Good to know about the make up. I don't buy make up from these kinds of site, but other things are great. I love Ali express for things like phone cases, cheap and cheerful.

8th June, 2023

A great article - sent on to my daughters as a cautionary tale.

8th June, 2023

I actually love Temu! I’ve bought various items like homewares, charging cables etc and have been impressed. I wouldn’t buy makeup or clothing from them though.

8th June, 2023

Oh yes l have been bombarded with these tempting adverts too It's good to know what time avoid , l dont think l will be buying makeup or Skin care from them , even if l am watching my pennies!

8th June, 2023

Thank you so much for saving me the temptation, time and money!!! This is what I love so much about Beauty Review, it's the best place to get the best Beauty information and help you decide what products are worth trying or not. Xx

7th June, 2023

The first time i saw temu ads Popping all over my facebook i thought it was a scam. Good to know they actually exist. I probably not brave enough to buy homeware or clothes from there but not make up unless its brands i have heard of

7th June, 2023

I have been tempted to buy from Temu based on the fact it's way cheaper but cheap isn't always good right? I will confess that I have purchased a lot of products including make up from SheIn and to my surprise been very happy with the quality and products available.All my makeup products were great and held up well on my skin etc.I know it's not supporting local but when businesses keep increasing their prices and still offering the same quality,well I'm sorry but I will go elsewhere because it's basically all made in the same place which is China.I do enough to support local by buying groceries and eating out as well as supporting local don't get me wrong I still love my favorite brands like Essano,Mia Belle,Skye Body & Candles which are all local and the big players like Maybelline,Revlon,Nivea, L'Oreal will always be my go to brands for certain products like mascara, eyeliner and lipstick.

7th June, 2023

*local crafts

7th June, 2023

*edit: probably brave enough to buy homeware or clothes but not brave enough to buy make up