imageI buy a lot of beauty products. Mostly I do a lot of research before I buy so I don’t cock up with my beauty purchases too often. But I do, sometimes… And it really bums me out to waste money! Here’s five items I’ve bought that didn’t live up to my expectations – that I now chalk this up to experience! (I don’t like using the word regret…)

Now, a disclaimer, these are obviously my opinions and of course people will disagree with me, that’s OK. There’s always two sides to the story and of course, what doesn’t work for me might well be a pot of gold for someone else! I just want to make sure I’m balanced with my posts: I wax lyrical about a lot of products yet, as an avid reader of a lot of blogs, I’m always super appreciative of bloggers that are honest and say when they aren’t in love with a product (I generally seek out a small handful of different opinions and go with the majority!). I figure it’s time to give back to the blogging community!

So, here’s a few products that won’t be getting repurchased for my beauty stash.

Maskcara IIID Foundation
Gutted. I wanted to love this product. I’m a massive fan of Cara, the beauty blogging brains behind the blog ‘Maskcara’.  Cara is the queen of contouring and I’ve spent many hours stalking her via her blog and Pinterest page.  So, when Cara announced late last year that she was putting out a new kind of revolutionary contour foundation kit – I was hooked. A friend (also a Cara fan) and I purchased the medium IIID foundation online and had the item dispatched to little ‘old NZ via You Shop.

The idea behind this duo cream foundation is blinking genius:  It comes with two colours: One is a highlighter, one is a contour. I’ll cut to the chase: I can’t get this to apply easily (I have tried every brush and sponge I own and my fingers).  I also can’t get it to blend. Disappointingly with my oily skin, I’ve got a glow on that’s reminiscent of the two hours I spent scrubbing my shower when we moved into our house (the previous owners were clearly dirty mingers, but don’t get me started). Yes, I did set the foundation with a powder. Also the foundation was too light for me and I’m reasonably fair skinned: The contour foundation was virtually invisible on me, so much so I went over the top of it with a bronzing powder to get the desired effect. Long story short: I’ve tried wearing this foundation numerous times and, unfortunately I’ve had the same result each time. Unfortunately my friend Alison has had exactly the same experience.  This foundation is getting gifted to a friend which is a real shame.  Not a good use of US$26 plus international shipping costs.

MADSCF9641C Parfait Amour Eyeshadow
I can hear the gasps of surprise? Me? Disliking a MAC eyeshadow? Absolutely. This is a gorgeous purple-blue shade that looks gorgeous, particularly on brown and green eyes, or rather, it would look nice after you’ve spent at least 10 minutes building the colour up. This is so vibrant in the pan and had me hooked the minute I laid eyes on it and I had to have it. The problem is that this applies so sheer, you need to build up the colour to get any effect at all. I’ve found it’s better if you apply it with a wet brush, but that irritates me as, in principle this should be like all my other MAC eyeshadows: A few swipes all over my eyelid and I’m transformed…  It’s also really hard to blend out. I use this if I have time to work with it which is the only reason I’m keeping it! That said, lots of bloggers that I hold in high regard RAVE about this eyeshadow. Maybe I got a dud. Either way: Not a wisely spent NZ$38…

10154567Maybelline Dream Pure BB Cream (for oily skin)
Again, I had high hopes for this BB cream, as I’m a big fan of a light to medium base and I just love BB cream in the warmer months to even out my skin tone, protect me from the sun and, well, make me look better!  I belong to a Facebook group called Makeup Obsessives were lots of people had given this cheapie foundation the thumbs up. Fortunately I got it on sale for about $11 so my purse isn’t protesting too much!   What’s the problem? Despite claiming to be a BB cream for oily skin it just didn’t last on my skin.  I usually use Garnier’s BB cream for oily skin which has good lasting power and, well, this one didn’t. I get three hours out of it before it slides off my face and I look like I’m not wearing anything. I have tried this with and without a primer, with and without setting it with a powder, applying it using different tools: It makes no difference.  Also it’s slightly too light and I got the medium. Sigh.  On a positive note, I did get Rimmel’s BB cream for oily skin from Kmart for $5 and that’s a cracker.

10550834-1344876207-96072Clarins Gentle Foaming Cleanser with Cottonseed for Normal or Combination Skin
I should have known better: The Clarins lady in Napier Farmers doesn’t work on Saturdays (seriously Farmers? Your flagship beauty brand). So I got served by a lady from a different brand who was blatantly lacking in Clarins product knowledge. She insisted this would be amazing for me. I trusted her. I shouldn’t have.  The ironic this is that I say to people everyday at work “Bugger the evidence and facts, what is your gut telling you to do?” and I didn’t listen to my own gut which was saying “Lou, she works for [insert brand name], she probably doesn’t know about Clarins products…!” This foaming cleanser smells amazing and it’s, ummm, lovely and foamy… And that’s all that is good that I have to say about this Gentle Foaming Cleanser. It’s really drying on my oily skin, resulting in more oily being produced to get back to balance. Now I’ve discovered Caroline Hirons I know that  foaming cleansers can dry your skin out and alkaline the surface of the skin.  I can’t bear to through this cleanser away so it’s been sitting on the shelf in the bathroom taunting me for 12 months. Hubby uses it occasionally, so all is not lost.  Money down the drain? NZ$49 (Repeat after self: At least I got a gift with purchase… At least I got a gift with purchase…) 

BABY_LIPS_cropMaybelline Baby Lips Balms
These are cult lip balms that are raved about in the beauty community so I was grinning like a Cheshire cat when I spotted these at my local supermarket and I biffed one in the shopping trolley with reckless abandon. Well, I’m bucking the trend, I don’t see what the fuss is about? Cheap? Yes. Cheerful? Well, the packaging is pretty.  Do the job? Nope. These don’t absorb into the skin at all and I’m not repurchasing, despite only costing a few dollars. They claim to have eight hours of hydration, I don’t think I got eight minutes. Probably because they contain mineral oil.    Luckily I’ve discovered EcoStore lip balm (Translation: There’s no looking back now). In general I like Maybelline, particularly their lipsticks, but, instead of spending NZ$4 on Baby Lips buy a fabulous coffee and have a natter with a good friend instead: That always makes me happy and is therefore a wiser investment of my dollar.

Righty – Not in the purposes of name and shame, rather in the spirit of learning and saving our beauty bucks, I’d love to know what products have been ‘a learning’ curve for you.  Feel free to leave a comment below!

Lou 🙂