Products I Shouldn't Have Spent My Money On
Being a beauty blogger is both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, I’m willing to shell out my own money to test out products and review them for others, hoping for those people to not spend money on a crappy product. On the other hand, I’m a small blogger and self-financed, meaning I spend my money on these products, and thus, end up with a collection of subpar makeup items and an emptier bank account. Unfortunately, these are the types of products we’ll be talking about today – ones you shouldn’t even bother spending your hard-earned coin on. Is this concept similar to “Products I Regret Buying?” Yes, and no. Usually, product regrets have some redeeming quality to them. These products have nearly none, but I’m going to “drag” these products in the most comprehensive and educational way possible. Maybe, if the brands happen to stumble across this post, they’ll realize some changes may need to be made.
1. First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads ($30): We’ll start off on a not too terrible note. Everyone who knows me, knows I love First Aid Beauty as a brand, and this is the first product I’ve really had an issue with. These pads are marketed to help exfoliate, tone, and brighten the skin while being safe for sensitive skin. They have both lactic acid and glycolic acid in them, which are chemical exfoliants that help cell turnover in the skin, revealing a brightened skin tone and smoother texture. Sounds like a dream product, right? Wrong. First off: the scent. It smells almost like a chemically tainted syrup. Second: the texture. These left my skin feeling extremely tacky, which isn’t exactly my goal. I would rather my face not be sticky. But I could’ve dealt with the other two issues had the pads actually improved my skin. I’ve been using these almost every day since I bought them back in February (I did take about a month off from using them to test out the products from my Bahi blog post), and I haven’t noticed the texture on my skin improving, nor have my dark marks improved much. The most this does is to clean off any residue I have on my face, but if I need a toner with only that benefit, I would buy a $5 one – not a $30 product. This was part of a set I purchased that came with a few other products, so I’m not that angry about the money I spent, but I can definitely tell you all that I’d skip over this product. Pixi Beauty has a similar product, which I haven’t tried, but I have tried their “Glow Tonic” which is ten times more effective than this F.A.B. product.
2. Pacifica Pineapple Quench Oil-Free Water Serum ($12): When I first saw Pacifica’s launches for 2018, I was all over them. This product caught my eye in particular. Not only is this brand 100% cruelty-free and vegan, but the ingredients on this product were spot on. At the time, I was searching for a daytime serum that would a) hydrate and b) not make me look like an oil slick. The claims rung all the right bells. It’s oil-free and is advertised for oily and combination skin types, and has hyaluronic acid – a hydrating acid. Even a well-known and reputable esthetician on Twitter said the ingredients were amazing. The product actually does what it says, in its defense. My skin feels hydrated but definitely a little tight and mattified, and my skin stays this way throughout the day. The problem is that this serum is also marketed as a “prep” step – something that can be used under makeup as a primer. Sweet baby Jesus, no. This will make any face makeup ball up under it. Whether I used liquid foundation or powder foundation, concealer, or even just a cream highlight, it will pill that makeup up. Since I haven’t been wearing makeup that much lately I’ve been finding a way to use it up, but I wish I’d never spent the $12 in the first place.
3. e.l.f. Cosmetics Foundation Serum in “Medium/Dark” ($8): It’s always hard to talk about e.l.f. Cosmetics because they’re so darn affordable – how could anything, even the “misses,” not be worth even trying? This product…I honestly don’t understand. First of all, the shade is a whole lie. It’s about as light as my twin sister, and even at my lightest (where I’m borderline “lightskinned”) this is still so light. It’s even lighter and more grey-toned than it looks inside the packaging. Even on my sister this foundation looks grey. Then there’s the amount of product in the bottle. It’s .47 fluid ounces for $8. That’s not even a full ounce. This foundation would be almost $20 if it was a whole fluid ounce, meaning it’s not actually as affordable as we all believe it to be. Yes, $8 is a lot more manageable than $20+, but when you have to repurchase a product over and over again in a short period of time, you’d probably be better off with purchasing the more expensive product that you have to purchase less frequently. This point is even further emphasized with how runny the product is. I knew it was a serum foundation so it would be liquid, but this is nearly the consistency of water, meaning quite a bit of product would have to be used to even achieve light coverage. I honestly can’t find one good quality in this product and wish I hadn’t bought it on a whim.
4. Milani Cosmetics Amore Matte Lip Crème in “Loved” ($9): These were raved about so much on YouTube when they first were released in a limited addition collection, but unfortunately, Milani had to ruin a good thing. The saying goes “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” and they did precisely the opposite. This is the most dry, crumbly formula of liquid lipstick I own in my collection. Sure, it smells like cookies and sunshine, and the color is a gorgeous burnt-coral, but it is not worth the hell my lips go through in wearing this. I can make it slightly workable by using a very thin coat, and since this product is quite pigmented, I don’t worry too much about streakiness. It still crumbles at the sight of a water bottle and leaves my lips looking so dusty. If I try to reapply, it becomes even more dry and cracked. This is one of the only liquid lipsticks I own that is so drying, the next morning I wake up with cracked lips. I return to it only because the color is gorgeous, but if I ever find a color dupe with a better formula, this girl is getting dumped from my collection.
5. Hard Candy Sheer Envy Bake, Brighten, & Set Loose Finishing Powder ($6): I know what my black girls are thinking right now: “An affordable, yellow/banana powder?!” Girl…she’s not worth it. This powder is dry and chalky. It ages my under eyes so badly, especially when baking. I was never a fan of the baking trend in the first place, but this powder is not the one to use if you are experimenting with the technique. It definitely has a little flashback, but that’s to be expected if it’s a brightening powder. My biggest problem, other than the dryness and aging of the skin, is that it doesn’t blend the greatest. If the powder isn’t distributed evenly on the brush used for application, the powder almost sticks in places and leaves a light-yellow dot on the face. Once that dot is there, it’s nearly impossible to buff out. My makeup never looks great when I use this powder, and it definitely shows – most of my makeup pictures on my Instagram where my under eyes were too bright were when I was using this powder.
6. Lorac Cosmetics Unzipped Mountain Sunset Eye Shadow Palette ($42): Let’s end on somewhat of a high note. This palette actually isn’t terrible, which makes me have second thoughts about putting it in this post. The fact of the matter is, though, I just don’t use it and sometimes even forget that I own it. I definitely don’t think it’s worth $42 and that’s displayed by how it and its sisters in the “Unzipped” collection were launched in Ulta stores about a year ago, quickly moved to being “online only” products, and now is being completely wiped from the Ulta website. The one remaining palette in the collection, “Desert Sunset,” is being sold on the Ulta website for only $29. I luckily purchased mine with a 20% off coupon, and I did a review on my YouTube channel and said I liked it – which I do.
The packaging has much to be desired. It’s a flimsy cardboard, which does not at all scream a prestige product. I have ShopHush palettes with better packaging than this, and those palettes are, at most, $15. When the palette is opened, the crimps in the packaging actually bend back and forth. The redeeming quality of the palette is the magnetic closure. I still wouldn’t feel secure travelling with this one, though. The eye shadow formula is amazing. There’s little fall out or kick up, and the colors are some of the most pigmented I own. The problem with this palette is that it’s not the most cohesive color story. I totally understand this is supposed to be a “smoky” palette, so the colors are deeper and more on the cool-toned side of the spectrum. I just don’t get the color story. The three “lid” shades are all quite similar: cool-toned and shimmery/metallic. There’s little difference between the three; they’re just varying in depth and all look virtually the same on my darker skin tone. The matte highlight shade is a nude peach…? I would definitely think this palette would have worked better with a stark white highlight shade, even though I wouldn’t necessarily get much use from that. The peach tone is strong enough to pick up on lighter skin, so it probably wouldn’t be usable to those lovelies at all. The deeper end of the spectrum is also confusing, because, again, it’s almost like having the same shade in various depths (and one being a shimmer). In fact, “Mahogany” and “Graphite” are virtually the same shade, but one is a shimmer and one is a matte. Not very exciting. Then, there are the weird additions of a shade named “Blackout” that is actually more of a dark forest green, “Smoke Signal,” which is that steel blue-grey shade brands keep putting in smoky palettes but no one ever seems to use, and finally…a warm toned copper. Yes.
Hypothetically, I could’ve saved $107 if I had never purchased all these products. That would’ve put a dent in the new a laptop I need, since mine doesn’t charge anymore…aren’t you glad I’ve done the money spending and testing so you didn’t have to?
Write you little lovelies later,
XO Ky M.