Thursday, 29 May 2014

Disappointed in...

We're coming up to the end of the month, and at this point I usually do a post about the products I have loved and used the most - the monthly favorites, and I will do a favorites post this month too, but first I thought I would do something I have never done before, a post about products that have been a disappointment to me. If I were to put together all the new products that I've bought and tested over a year, I know that there would be a small mountain of them; some are fantastic, others are good, others are bland and forgettable, and I probably wouldn't buy them again simply because I can't remember them and then we have the last group of products - that ones I would downright avoid. The products today are examples from this last group but but before we start I want to emphasize that this is based on my personal experience of these specific products and although they may have been a disappointment to me for reasons that I'll explain, they might work very well for others. I also want to say that I have tried several other products from all of these brands which I have truly loved, so this is not a critique against the brands mentioned, only of these specific items.

At the beginning of the year I decided that it was time that I swap my trusted eye brow pencil for something else since there are so many other interesting eye brow products on the high street, and so I've started to experiment with a few other types - unfortunately with very little success so far. That's why I've got two eye brow products in this line up starting with a product that I got very recently - the Avon Anew Transforming Brow Filler (£6). For some reason this product isn't listed on line which is why I haven't got a link to it, although you can find it in the latest Avon Book. It's a twist up eye brow filler pen with a comb tip, which is intended to help define and set the shape of the brows, as well as add a hint of color and I tried it in Light Brown. Maybe there was something wrong with the product I got, but it took A LOT of twisting to get any product to come out of the tip, and when it finally did it had a gloopy gel like consistency and the little color it had was very blotchy and unevenly distributed throughout the formula - frankly it looks awful when you test it on your hand, you can photos here on my Instagram. If you're brave enough to apply the gooey looking gel, it feels quite wet on the brows and although the comb tip does do a little shaping, I didn't get any color from it at all. Perhaps the color was too light for me, but this brow filler did absolutely nothing except make my eye brows wet and that together with the strange, unappealing consistency makes it a product that I won't buy Anew.

The second brow product is Maybelline's Brow Drama Sculpting Brow Mascara (£4.99), which I have done a separate review of previously which you can find here. It comes in a mascara format, so you apply it to your brows using a wand which has a ball shaped brush with long stiff combs at the tip of it, see photo here on my Instagram. My biggest challenge with this product is the dry formula, which makes it difficult to get an even amount of product on the brush, which then of course means that you also get an uneven application with the color clumping in some places. I've found that I always need to use either an additional brow brush or q-tip to even out the color, which is tricky without messing up the brows, and I usually end up with a very bushy and exaggerated brow look - not at all something I'm going for. Since the formula is already dry but it also sets very quickly on the brows, you need to work fast when you even out the color because once it's set, it's there for the duration of the day, which I guess is a plus when it comes to long wear. The fact that I need to use additional tools to get this brow mascara to work at all, but still without achieving the look I actually want, means that it's too much effort especially when I can get a nice arched brow using a pencil in a fragment of the time it takes me to fiddle with Brow Drama - Sorry Maybelline, but for me this product is too much drama and not enough brow sculpting!
I'm a bit sad to have to include a MUA Lipstick (£1) in this gang of disappointing five partly because MUA is one of my favorite basic budget brands and they have a lot of great products, but also because this particular shade - 16 Nectar is absolutely gorgeous, just the perfect peachy summery shade, which you can see here on my Instagram. So why have I included it then you ask?, well it's because it's one of these formulas that has a split personality. When you apply it from the bullet the lipstick shows its positive side; it's very soft and creamy and the pigmentation seems good, although the formula is a bit "thin", so you have to apply the lippy fairly thickly for an even coverage on your lips. After that it starts to set really quickly, and that's when the Mr Hyde side of this lipstick shows its face by drying along the lip contours and where your lips meet. That horrible dried contour then stays put even after eating and drinking, while the rest of the lip color disappears - it's not a good look and one of my pet peeves when it comes to makeup. So despite being a stunning golden peach color, for this particular lipstick MUA stands for Must Unfortunately be Avoided. 

One of the most hyped products to reach the UK last year was Maybelline's Baby Lips Balm (£2.99) a must try product for any lip balm addict, and I since I'm a fan of everything cherry I was very excited to get my paws on a Cherry Me. The claim was that this cute and colorful lip balm would give 8 hrs of hydration and nourishment, quite something for a lip balm priced lower than most drinks in Starbucks. The lip balm does give a faint cherry red color with a little bit of shine which isn't long lasting but nice enough, although at the time I was distinctly underwhelmed by the lacking sense of hydration (you can see my original review here), and didn't feel like it did anything at all to nourish my lips. Since then I did continue to use it for a while over winter to finish it up more than anything, but as the weather got colder not only did the lip balm not add any hydration or nourishment - it was as if it actually dried out my lips even more and made them hyper sensitive, so eventually I had to stop using it and instead move on to old Burt's Bees to restore my lips. I've never reacted like that with any other type of lip product, but it's safe to say that I definitely don't cherish Cherry Me, and next time I'll opt for a Starbucks instead. 

To balance things out and to show that it's not just a selection of budget friendly products that have proven to be a let down I'll finish with a premium brand product, Dior's Blush Trianon Edition (£30.50 reviewed here) in the color 916 Pink Réverie. It all started so well with its gorgeous packaging and cute embossed bow pattern, and even though the muted pink shade with strong blue undertones was definitely outside my comfort zone, and not at all the kind of color I would normally go for it did look promising in the pan. The texture of the blush is lovely and light, but it's let down by the complete lack of pigmentation and it doesn't matter how much I apply of it, on me the color simply will simply not build up at all. At first I gave it the benefit of the doubt and thought that perhaps it was simply that the color wasn't suitable for my skin tone, but after having gone from office pale to a slightly more healthy looking golden color, there should at least in theory be a bigger and more noticeable contrast, so the blush should appear more but unfortunately Pink Réverie still doesn't show up my skin, as you can see here on my Instagram. Out of all the products today, this was probably the biggest disappointment for several reasons - first of all it's not exactly a budget product and secondly it's Dior, an iconic brand which I don't think it's unreasonable that you have high expectations from. I guess it just goes to show that quality has nothing to do with hype, clever marketing, glossy packaging and you can get great products as well as duds in any price range. With this little collection of unfavorites out of the way, don't forget to check in tomorrow to see the actual monthly favorites for May. 

54 comments:

  1. Really nice post. Keep it up!!
    You are having really Lovely Blog. Keep visiting my blog. I will too. Dear
    My blog new post up, click it & comment

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    1. That's really lovely of you - thank you so much :o) Xx

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  2. Shame about the Dior blush consindering the price x

    Kate | A British Sparkle

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    1. Definitely - what a waste when I could get perhaps half of the whole Sleek blush range for the same price, but we live and learn :o). Xx

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  3. I really liked one of the baby lips at first but then I realised it really wasn't worth the small price tag!

    Tara x

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    1. I feel the same to be honest - I might just as well spend it on another lip balm that really works for me.. :o) Xx

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  4. The shape of the applicator on the Maybelline brow drama has always put me off it….my favourite brow gel by far is the Benefit Gimmie Brow!

    www.walking-in-heels.blogspot.com

    xxx

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    1. That's a great tip, I'll check that out and fingers crossed it works better and with less drama than Brow Drama :o) Xx

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  5. Totally agree about the Dior blush - was disappointed with the pigmentation considering the price & their products are usually lovely! xo

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    1. Yes it is a real shame and not at all what I would have expected from Dior. :o) Xx

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  6. Hi Charlotte,
    I totally agree with you.
    Kisses
    Maggie D

    The Indian Savage diary

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  7. Dior blusher looks so pretty, too bad it doesn't have any pigmentation :( Great post!

    Laura
    Pink Frenzy

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    1. Thank you Laura, yes it was really disappointing - next time I'll follow my gut reaction when I swatch it in the store :o) Xx

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  8. I'm surprised as I really love the Maybelline brow perfecter - I think it is such a great price and not dis-similar to Benefit Gimme-Brow!

    Josie xoxo Fashion Mumblr

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    1. It's just not a product type that works for me, but I've got my fingers crossed that the wax and powder kits work better :o) Xx

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  9. Have to say I love posts like these! Wanted to try that Maybelline brow mascara as everyone had raved about it but think I'll give it a miss now!

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    1. Well, we often talk about the good and the bad, but not necessarily the ugly experiences and since I'd never done a post like this I thought I would give it a go. I'm so glad you liked it :o) Xx

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  10. What a shame that these products underwhelmed I have also seen the hype about the lip balm and was going to give if a whirl but to be honest based on the review I won't bother. An honest review is what we like Lucy x

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    1. Thank you so much Lucy, luckily at least proportionally there are very few products for me that get the"avoid stamp" :o) Xx

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  11. I love posts like this, it's always good to be reminded that nothing works for everyone!!

    Jess xo

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    1. That's very true, and it's good that we don't all like the same things - different strokes for different folks :o) Xx

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  12. I feel like posts like these are often the most helpful to readers. I have had no interest in trying the Baby Lips because I'm just not into those kinds of lip products. I can totally understand how you would not like them. Great post!
    xoxo Lauren from Will Sing For Makeup

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    1. Thank you so much Lauren, I really appreciate that and I'm glad you thought it was helpful :o) Xx

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  13. I didnt like the baby lip either! x

    pearlsandsparkle.blogspot.com

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  14. Interesting post - always like to read about disappointing products! I hate the Babylips too! x

    Evelyn @ We Were Raised By Wolves

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    1. Thank you so much, it's interesting to see how some products seem to divide users so strongly in terms of opinions :o) Xx

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  15. I haven't tried any of these products and thanks to you I will stay away fromthem. It is really disappointing when a high end product doesn't come through for you.

    katespitz.blogspot.com

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    1. It's happened to me on a few occasions that I haven't been happy with Dior pigmentation unfortunately... :O/ Xx

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  16. I'm right there with you with the Maybelline Brow Drama - for me, the massive ball of a wand at the end captures all the downy hairs around my brows too, making them look unkempt and not very pretty!

    P.S. Thanks for the blog comment today :)

    Georgina
    Makeup-Pixi3

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    1. Hey Georgina, I get exactly the same effect... strange isn't it, especially since the hairs are so long, you would have thought they were better at combing and shaping. Xx

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  17. I love posts like this - so useful! What a shame about the Dior, how devastating when it's really not cheap, and with such beautiful package that you'd really want to love it. xx

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    1. Exactly and I really wanted to like this... oh well, you live and learn :o) Xx

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  18. I was really disappointed in my Baby Lips Balm as well. While I liked the scent...it did very little to hydrate my lips.

    Great post Charlotte.

    Keisha xo
    www.chrysalisgals.blogspot.com

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    1. Thank you so much Keisha - have a great Friday! :o) Xx

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  19. I am completely with you with the Maybelline Brow drama, it's kind of useless. And what a shame about the Dior blush! Great post, I love reading different opinions on products as it give me better perspective and help decide whether to purchase a product or not.
    http://mummysbeautycorner.blogspot.co.uk/

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    1. I was so disappointed in the Dior blush, that'll teach me to follow my gut feel in the future :o) Xx

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  20. I really enjoy these! Thanks for the honest opinions. I haven't tried any of the products that you mentioned... I don't think I'll ever use anything other than Anastasia for my brows as long as they keep making such incredible products! xo Kelly http://msdioraddict.blogspot.com

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    1. Thank you so much for the lovely comment :o) Xx

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  21. Its always so shocking when I see a high end brand in these kinds of posts! I dont expect them to be amazing but its just sad at how much you can spend and still get something thats really dissapointing!!

    Stevie
    VintageAndVans

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    1. Hey Stevie - you're completely right, it's always a reality check and it makes me think twice before I'm bedazzled by clever marketing and glossy campaigns.. :o) Xx

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  22. I'm always disappointed when I find a product disappointing but it's great to read about them. Thanks!
    xo
    styleontheside.com

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  23. I love reading favourites/disappointing product posts because what some don't like I love etc such as the Maybelline BrowDrama I'd be lost without it! I agree with you on the Babylips though. I have a couple and use them etc but don't think they deserve the hype!

    Victoria
    FlorenceandMary.com

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    1. Absolutely, it's always interesting to see, and I think it's OK to say why you're disappointed in something as long as it's clear why and it's factual :o). Xx

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  24. Great post, Charlotte! Sometimes it's good to talk about what didn't work and why - it's what separates bloggers from magazines! I too am not gaga for the Baby Lips. Although the colorless one called Quench is actually nicely moisturizing, the tinted ones I've tried are not. Pink Punch is a very close dupe for the NARS lipstick called Roman Holiday, but it's definitely not good for 8 hours of super hydration! More like 1 hour and then it's time to reapply and possibly use a different balm over top of it. Le sigh! Thanks for sharing, ladybug!

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    1. Thank you so much for the lovely comment :o)! Xx

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  25. oh my god sad to know Dior blush didnot work
    i was expecting a lot from it :(
    http://itskrisworld.blogspot.in/2014/06/loreal-paris-superliner-gelmatic.html

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  26. I was really let down by Brow Drama aswell! It was clumpy and added absolutely no shape whatsoever to my brows! x
    lipstickandlightening.blogspot.ie

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    1. Yes, I disliked it so much I've actually thrown it out now... :o) Xx

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  27. Great post idea! It's always handy to have these types of posts to look at before deciding to purchase a new product. xxx
    The Jolly Fashionista

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    1. It's never nice to do a negative review, but I'm always honest about what I've tested and unfortunately these just weren't for me :o) Xx

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