Let’s talk trash. Beauty trash, that is.

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I’m an admitted beauty junkie. Makeup, skin care, bath products … I love them all. I try to use my purchases until the last drops are gone — unless, of course, they’re complete duds. Then I just count my losses (and lost money) and move on to something that works. After all, when it comes to beauty products, it’s foolish to continue to use one that doesn’t live up to its promises.

That said, the products I’ve recently used up were all good enough to finish. Some I’ll buy again. Others, while not complete fizzles, won’t make any future shopping lists. Without further adieu, let’s talk trash. Beauty-product trash, that is.

  • Benefit They’re Real! Mascara — Without a doubt, this is my ride-or-die mascara. It both lengthens and thickens my less-than-impressive lashes, making them appear more voluminous than they actually are. It has the added benefit of staying in place until I remove it. I can’t say that about most mascaras, because my lashes have a tendency to make mascara mysteriously vanish (an oddity matched only by the disappearance of socks in the dryer). I’ll repurchase. In fact, I already have.
  • Estee Lauder Little Black Primer — This product arrived on shelves with lots of fanfare. It promised to tint, amplify and — wonder of wonders — lock curl in place. Some users gave it great reviews but it did absolutely nothing for me. I won’t repurchase.
  • Sunday Riley Good Genes Serum — Do you hear that? It’s the sound of angels singing. This high-end serum promises brighter, renewed skin and a smoother, more vibrant complexion. And, yes, it delivers. I’m a terrible sleeper, but Good Genes makes my complexion look well rested and alive. I will repurchase, but I’ll wait until Sephora’s next VIB Rouge sale because it’s pricey at $105 per ounce.
  • Sunday Riley Ceramic Slip Cleanser — Another winner from Sunday Riley. This clay-based cleanser steeped with Vitamin C promises to make skin look clear and flawless — in other words, ceramic smooth. I wouldn’t go that far, but I will say that it made my skin look more “even” and reduced the appearance of pores. A definite repurchase.
  • Bath and Body Works Georgia Peach & Sweet Tea Body Scrub — I usually like BBW products, but this one wasn’t impressive. Despite the presence of shea butter, my skin didn’t feel particularly moisturized. The scents — peach and sweet tea — are two of my favorites, but they just didn’t work here. I purchased two and gave one away. ‘Nuff said.
  • Michael Todd Charcoal Detox Deep Pore Cleanser — Chalk this one up to experience. I purchased several Michael Todd products because they were all the rage among beauty gurus. I later realized that in some cases the raves were essentially paid advertisements. This product, along with the Cranberry Antiox toner, was the best of the bunch. That said, I prefer Biore’s Deep Pore Charcoal Cleanser to the Michael Todd version and the Biore is much cheaper. No repurchase.
  • Rapid Lash and Revitalash — These products worked for me — not individually, but in combination. I didn’t notice any lash growth until I began using Rapid Lash in the morning and Revitalash before bed. Will I repurchase? A definite maybe, because they did work. I just switched to Latisse, so the decision is on hold until I see how it performs.
  • Christian Dior Instant Cleansing Water — This is Dior’s version of the popular micellaire water. I use it with a cotton pad to remove makeup before going in for a deeper cleanse. I enjoyed the Dior version, but keep returning to my go-to brand, which is Bioderma. That’s good news, because the Dior version is $38 for 6.7 ounces while the Bioderma is around $26 for 16.91 ounces. I’ll stick with Bioderma.
  • Soap & Glory Make Yourself Youthful Rejuvenating Eye Cream — I purchased this on a whim when it was discounted at Sephora and found myself really liking it. In addition to a bunch of trademarked ingredients such as Energinseng and Lightscramble Luminospheres (Say what?), it contains cucumber juice. Bottom line: It reduced puffiness and undereye circles. I’m trying a couple of other products right now in search of “The One,” but I’d consider repurchasing.
  • First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads — These easy-to-use pads contain lactic and glycolic acid, which are super for brightening the skin. My favorite product of this type is the Dr. Dennis Gross version, but Dr. Gross’ pads are quite pricey. To make them last longer, I alternate them with a less expensive version, such as the First Aid Pads. While the First Aid version is fine, I also like the Nip & Fab Glycolic Fix Exfoliating Pads because they contain hyaluronic acid. For now, I’m sticking with the Dr. Dennis Gross/Nip & Fab combo.

12 thoughts on “Let’s talk trash. Beauty trash, that is.

  1. I also love “they’re real” — but I’ve recently switched to Tarte’s “Lights Camera Splashes” (the waterproof formula of “lights camera lashes”) I like it better, except that it’s a little “wetter” longer so I have to be careful with blinks!


  2. I’ve wanted to try the First Aid Beauty Radiance Pads but was afraid to with my sensitive skin. I was using Avon Glycolic Peel pads and they were amazing and after 1 year of using it my skin no longer tolerated it:( I may just try your recommendations:) Also, I use castor oil for my eyelashes and it made a difference with length and thickness. Have you tried it?


  3. Great post! I was never taken by the whole Michael Todd craze. I’ve tried a couple of Sunday Riley products which I’ve loved and I’d like to explore more from the range. Empties posts are one of my favourites to read and write.


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