Beauty busts: Products I regret buying

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Sometimes even high-end makeup products don’t work out as anticipated.

Everyone has beauty favorites — products they purchase again and again because they deliver everything promised. We all have beauty busts too. Some are impulse buys, while others are selected with care based on reviews or brand reputation.

I’m here to share some of my recent not-so-great product experiences. Be warned, though, that the old “one person’s trash is another’s treasure” adage applies to cosmetics: What doesn’t work for me may work quite well for you. Without further ado, here are some high-end items I regret buying:

  • The Balm’s Cindy-Lou Manizer — I’m a big fan of The Balm’s products, including their cleverly named eyeshadow palettes and blushes. Their “Manizer” luminizers — Betty-Lou, Mary-Lou and Cindy-Lou — are wildly popular and receive incredible reviews. I chose the Cindy-Lou version because I’m quite fair and it’s described as a “soft peachy-pink highlighter.” Perhaps the shade was too close to my skin color, because it didn’t show up on me at all. Zilch, zero, nada. I’ll pass it on to a friend who may have better luck.
  • Murad Invisiblur Perfecting Shield — I’m a huge fan of Murad and of their Essential-C cleanser in particular. I purchased the Invisiblur product because it promised to be the ultimate multitasker: A primer with an SPF of 30 that blurred fine lines and other minor skin imperfections. It went on smoothly but any blurring effect was imperceptible. Even worse, makeup applied on top had a tendency to pill and it gave off a strange, strong scent. Thanks, but no thanks.
  • Coola Makeup Setting Spray — I routinely use a setting spray after applying makeup and have had good luck with Urban Decay and Skindinavia. (No surprise, really, as they’re made by the same company.) I decided to try the new Coola spray when I ran low on my usual go-tos. What a mistake. It didn’t have any effect on my makeup’s longevity and it had a strange chemical smell. While my other setting sprays feel like nothing on my skin once they’ve dried, Coola’s version seemed to sit on top of my skin. Not a good feeling. I’m going back to my favorite: Skindinavia’s Ten Years Younger.
  • Benefit Air Patrol — This new product is an eyelid primer that promises to combine SPF protection with moisturization while making eye makeup crease-resistant. While it lived up to the promise of crease-resistance, I didn’t notice an increase in moisture and I didn’t like the product’s thin consistency. I prefer a primer that evens the tone of my eyelids and this one just didn’t offer that type of coverage. I’m sticking with my tried and true MAC paint pot in Painterly.
  • Sunday Riley Effortless Breathable Tinted Primer — I love Sunday Riley’s skin care line and am devoted to the Luna sleeping oil, Ceramic Slip cleanser and Good Genes serum. Those products are of such quality that I had high hopes for the primer. While some reviewers have said they’re able to wear the primer alone without benefit of foundation, I found the tint and coverage so light as to be negligible. It also made my makeup sit oddly on my skin. I don’t usually have markedly visible pores, but I did when I used this primer. No, thank you.
  • Ciate Liquid Velvet Matte Lip Slick — Ciate is a familiar name to nail polish lovers and the company is branching out with other types of cosmetics. I’m a big fan of matte liquid lipsticks, so I thought I’d give Ciate’s a try. While the colors are lovely, I found that the formula never “set” on my lips. As a result, it was prone to smearing and not very long-lasting.
  • Tom Ford Traceless Perfecting Foundation — Don’t get me wrong: I love Tom Ford. He’s an amazing designer and his makeup line is top notch. The lipsticks and eye palettes are to die for: Spanish Pink is my ultimate go-to lippie. I’m always looking for my holy grail foundation and good experiences with Tom Ford combined with positive reviews convinced me to pull the trigger. Unfortunately, I found the formula quite sticky, as if it never fully dried, and it broke down after just a few hours, primarily on and around my nose. Although it’s supposed to provide medium to full, buildable coverage, I would say the coverage was medium at best.

What about you? Have you had disappointing experiences with makeup products? Please share your regrets in the comments section!

4 thoughts on “Beauty busts: Products I regret buying

  1. I’ve recently gotten serious about skin care beyond the basics. (I’ve always had oily skin — still do — so I guess I’m FINANLLY enjoying some benefit of that!) I’ve decided that Vitamin C serum was a “must” in my routine, and I bought one from Paula’s Choice. It was sticky and never really dried, but worst of all, it smelled like …. I dunno, some kind of MEAT. Bacon, maybe? I read a bunch of reviews before I bought it and it was well reviewed, with only one mention of an odd smell. I’m still trying out a few to find the right one.


  2. I empathize. My bust is Jane Iredale Glow Time Full Coverage Mineral BB Cream foundation. So many friends raved about it – plus I bought it in a very high end salon – that I thought I’d love it too. It just sits like mud on the surface of my skin, except for the wrinkles, where it sinks in and accentuates even the finest lines. I look better with no makeup at all!


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