So those “Starter Witch Kits” are *not* coming to Sephora now


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Photo: Stocksy/Kara Riley

We are living in an age of woo-woo ascendance. First, women’s circles became the new GNO—for a certain demographic. (Full disclosure: I am sooo that demographic.) Then, inevitably, out came the Ouija board (retro!) or the tarot deck from that one friend who has them on hand at all times. (If Beyonce keeps hot sauce in her bag, swag, the Solanges of the world are constantly ready to pull cards.)

A little while later, it was suddenly like if you didn’t know how to sage your home correctly, what were you even doing with your life? Cut to the current day, when crystals are so commonplace that, if you’re just not that into them, you might actually feel inadequate.

So when I heard that Sephora was about to launch a “Starter Witch Kit” from Pinrose—complete with a rose quartz crystal, a ready-to-torch sage bundle, a tarot deck, and a selection of fragrances for $42—I thought okay, now are we’re at peak woo-woo. And that’s the story I wrote after the kit was announced in late August.

It turns out, I spoke too soon. Pinrose has announced that it will not be selling those “witch kits” at Sephora after all—thanks to swift backlash from real-life witches who accused the company of cultural appropriation, saying the kits were a trendy desecration of real Wiccan practice.

“First and foremost, to those who have shared their disappointment or taken offense to this product, we apologize profoundly,” the company said in a statement posted on its website. “Our intention for the product was to create something that celebrates wellness, personal ceremony, and intention setting with a focus on using fragrance as a beauty ritual.”

But if K-Hole, the trend forecasting agency that brought you “normcore,” is correct, the Pinrose kit won’t be the last magical-and-mystical product to hit stores—because it’s all about “chaos magic” now. (As a wellness editor and a reiki master who says “divine feminine energy” on a regular basis with a straight face, let me just sayif I can pick up a crystal when I’m on a lipstick run, it’s a good day. But that’s me.) 

Blame a generation obsessed with Harry Potter who grew up to enroll in yoga teacher training and waft palo santo smoke at all their problems—they are now taking woo-woo wellness from weird to waitlist. The Pinrose product wasn’t such a leap. In fact, the most surprising thing about it (since bundling sage or crystals with products in the beauty aisles is hardly new) was the word “witch.” And that seems to have been its downfall. (Attention, retailers: “Witchy,” as a brand, only works for singular, spectacular beings like Erykah Badu and Stevie Nicks.)

So, is this Sephora brouhaha a signal that we’re on a receding wave, coming down from the high point of corporate America’s love affair with “good energy”? I’ve long since stopped being able to predict these things. If only there was some way to tell the future

Originally posted September 5, 2018; updated September 10, 2018.

Would you ever let the universe dictate your tattoo design? Here’s what happened when one writer let an intuitive artist ink her. And if you’re looking to create your own starter kit—for crystals—here’s some expert guidance.

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