The other day, I asked our readers to share which products disappointed you most, and the responses were incensed; it seems that everybody has had at least one experience wherein they bought something they expected to love only to have it be a total beauty fail.
You know how sometimes, you buy a new or cult product that you’ve heard tons of hype about from your friends or on various blogs (perhaps even this one!), but when you try it out, it just doesn’t do much for you? Yeah, it’s a huge letdown and, depending on how much money you spent, feels like a total waste on multiple levels. [Insert sad, pouting, I-spent-too-much-money-at-Sephora emoji.]
For me, it was a wildly expensive Chanel eyeshadow palette that somebody had recommended. While one thing may work for all your friends (in fact, some of the ones on this list have been great to us!), everybody’s got different desires for products. Whether they didn’t last long enough, weren’t worth the money, or were simply not what they were said to be, these are the ones our readers said let them down.
1. Elle: “Bobbi Brown BB cream. I usually love everything Bobbi but that cream looked so orange on my skin. It was awful.”
2. tempura san: “GURL I FEEL YOU. I wrote in The Gloss’ BB cream article that I much prefer my Korean brand cream (where BB cream was developed) over my Bobbi Brown one, even though the latter wonderfully developed shades of non-white. If I use my Bobbi Brown, it’s only to blend into another FAR SUPERIOR BB cream.”
3. Hayley: “I feel like people never stop singing the praises of Benefit‘s They’re Real Mascara, and maybe my eyelashes are weird or something, but it was the worst waste of $23. It just did NOT work for me.”
4. Andrea: “I like They’re Real Mascara. I do not like BADGal Mascara.”
5. shorekitten: “I fell for the hype too for the ‘They’re Real’ in my search for the perfect mascara. Nothing lasts for me. The most waterproof formulas run or flake by 11 am on me. Dior, Maybelline, CG, Urban Decay, Buxom, Clinique, L’Oreal… I’ve tried them all. I’m seemingly doomed to have no long clump-free lashes past noon.”
5. sydneyb79: “Diorshow! For me. No better than whatever I would get as a freebie if I timed my Clinique purchases correctly. Or the Almay I get from the drugstore.
Also, Bumble & Bumble products and my hair just aren’t the best of friends.”
6. L: “OCC Lip Tar definitely. It was hard to put on and didn’t even stay for long without bleeding.”
7. CMJ: “Strike 1 – [OCC Lip Tar]‘s not that easy to apply (I really don’t like having to use a lipstick brush all.the.time). Strike 2 – they really settle in the lip lines…and this was after I would exfoliate (every time) before I put it on. Strike 3 – Queenie exploded in my Balenciaga bag. I have a forever reminder of how annoying the product is….”
8. LoriSC: “When you purchase a wrinkle cream that you will never find out if it works in the long run because the product gets too thick in the bottle (dries out) and the pump will not work. Estee Lauder Perfectionist, $160 is not cheap.”
9. amelisha: “I hate any and all conditioners that claim to heat-protect, but I think the CHI ones are the worst. They make my hair look TERRIBLE. Dry, fuzzy, straw-straight, and stiff. Just dreadful. Ditto all those argan oil products. They make my hair so much worse. Give me Pureology or why bother spending money, in my opinion.”
10. Tara: “Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer. Sat on top of my face, didn’t blend, felt like a mask. I went back to my tried and true $6 CoverGirl stuff and didn’t look back.”
11. Alexis Rhiannon: “UGH. Two Faced lip gloss in a color called ‘Pillow Talk’ that my friend who worked at a beauty counter recommended to me. It was like $18 and is SO sticky and gross. It makes me look like a baby prostitute.”
12. Mindy: “The Clarisonic. Everyone raves about them, but after a couple of uses my skin was dry and flaky and it took me over a week after I stopped using it to get my skin back to normal. Back to Ulta, it went.”
13. Charmless: “NARS Orgasm Blush looks ghastly on me and I hate it. I also must have gotten a dud texture-wise because the brush doesn’t even pick it up unless I scrape it with my finger first.”
14. cat butt: “Clarins BeautyFlash Balm turned my face into a cystic wasteland within five days.
“MAC Ruby Woo makes me look like a scary old lady.
“Hourglass Veil Primer made my face feel like I’d applied Vaseline before putting makeup on. I wanted to wash it off immediately because it felt so gross. :(”
15. anna: “1) Inglot foundation. They don’t offer many shades so none of them matched my skin tone (I have fair skin). 2) La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo broke me out and 3) Garnier and Nivea BB creams are pretty much the worse. Also 4) Synchroline Aknicare Sun Face Teintee is pretty much a waste of your money”
16. tempura san: “Guerlain Meteorite pearls in medium (for non-fair complexions). You don’t shimmer you just look…odd. IMO, the only one in that line that works is Claire (the lightest). SO disappointed because I’ve loved it on everyone else :(”
17. footnotegirl: “Benefit‘s Doctor Feelgood. Just … greasy slime… on my face… GET IT OFF ME.”
18. Andrea: “Stila Smudge Sticks Eyeliner. They are automatic – you turn it to release more products. Nothing came out!! I threw them out.”
19. Michelle: “A Revlon eyeshadow set I bought the last year.. the colors were so vibrant and pretty! Then I try them out. not nearly as bright as it looks, and doesn’t last a mere hour. My cheapo brands worked much better! No more Revlon for me!”
20. Elyne: “Those 99 palettes, I spend a lot of money on them, foolishly believing those YouTube gurus and I was horribly disappointed. Also same with Inglot eyeshadows they have great pigment but are extremely hard to work/ blend with them.”
21. aemccarthy: “That new Too Faced Melted Lip Gloss is terrible. It has the grainiest consistency of any lip product I have ever seen, with the exception of my other stupid beauty splurge that didn’t work out, Marc Jacobs Matte Lip Gels. GORGEOUS in the tube and swatch, grainy and zero color saturation IRL. Worst.”
22. Roxanne Marie Zoltan: “Kat Von D eyeshadow primer creased on me before I even put on eyeshadow and the Lavanila deodorant I’ve heard so many raves about made me break out in painful hives.”
23. Victoria Umesi: “I got the Lavanila deodorant too because I was trying to find something without Aluminum in it; it doesn’t make me break out, but it smells worse in my opinion than if I had just gone deo free.”
24. Candace: “BB CREAM.”
25. Elena: “BB cream that looks OK on the back of your hand but horribly orange on your face. Memo to self: try it on the inner part of your forearm, you dummy.”
26. amelisha: “I don’t like [BB cream] either, and I practically cleaned out Sephora trying different brands.”
27. Heather C: “Hmm….there have been a lot of eye primers I’ve tried that completely change the shadow into a frosted version of its former self and still don’t keep it from creasing. Arrrgh”
If you’re looking for products that our readers consider tried and true, check out our guide to the best makeup splurges!