Products I Really Wanted to L O V E

I’m naturally a very curious person and am willing to try anything once, but after the third disappointing makeup purchase in a row, I start to wonder if I’m wasting my $$. This intro may take a different turn from what you had expected, but I feel I should express my thoughts on the current makeup environment online. I believe that the ‘viral’ makeup trend started as an organic way to share short and sweet beauty recommendations, but it has truly turned into a marketing monster tactic, and the more I try, the more disappointed I get! I don’t want to dwell on this too much as this post isn’t completely centred around viral products, but I find that it is extremely misleading to say a product is incredible from one 15 second video, with no follow-up review. Brands have picked up on the effect of hype campaigns and are becoming increasingly worse than the fast fashion industry (buy, try then goodbye).

After I had realised I was basically being sucked into a massive scam with purchasing a few of these TikTok famous makeup products, I decided to take a step back and jot down the new launches that truly intrigued me. I later came back to that list after the hype died down and was able to make sure the product excited me without the newness and hype surrounding it. By doing this, I have found that I am spending my money on products that actually fit into my makeup collection, and therefore hold more value and get more use. I highly recommend trying this out as you may find you’re wasting less $ and being more conscious about your consumerism. I admit that I am not perfect, but the online beauty world is becoming quite cluttered as more and more people/companies are realising how much of a cash grab industry it is. We have to remember we are the audience and to not be fooled into mindless consumption….but anyways! I’m here to tell you about a few not so fun experiences I’ve had with my recent purchases.

Laneige Glowy Makeup Serum

Usually, when I throw something into an online order as a last-minute why not purchase, I am pleasantly surprised. But as you can probably guess, it wasn’t the case with this one. From reading the product description, I expected this to have a lightweight serum consistency, but it is more of a jelly-like formula. As it is on the thicker side, this pipette dropper is not very efficient, and it is extremely difficult to get a decent-sized blob into your hand. If you look closely at my picture of the dropper, you may be able to see the silver specs of glitter. Although they are practically undetectable when you blend it into the skin, it leaves a strange speckled effect when the rest of the serum has absorbed. The finished look is almost identical to if I had just used a gel moisturiser (which I do anyway), and the ‘glow’ sinks in after a few seconds. It feels as though it makes no difference to my makeup or the way my skin looks, deeming it an unnecessary step in my base routine.

Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Pastel Polishes

I have never truly been a hardcore fan of Sally Hansen’s nail polish quality, but I took the risk in trying them when I came across these cute pastels! Although I started with low expectations, they unfortunately managed to exceed them. In all honesty, I spend a lot of time at work opening boxes and sticky taping things, but it’s never usually strenuous enough to chip off my nail polish. I was shocked when my day 1 wear was annihilated by a piece of sticky tape! As soon as the tape touched the polish it just lifted straight off in chunks?! I use the Kester Black nail base and top coat religiously and have never experienced this before. This is so frustrating as the colours in this range are lovely and I wish they looked better for more than a few hours.

Rimmel Wonder Cloud Shadow

Now, this product isn’t completely horrible. I’m sure it works for most people and probably lasts quite well. But for anyone with a medium to deep skintone, it’s a product you are better off going without. The texture of this liquid eyeshadow is a beautiful whipped dream, but because of its soft pigment, it pretty much blends into nothing on me. The shade I bought is in ‘spiced petal’, and it is the only shade that I felt I could get away with on my skin tone as the others were way too sheer. Is it the worst product i’ve ever used? No. Is there so much room for improvement? Yes. I will keep using this as an eyeshadow base and finding ways to use it up, but unfortunately the pigment is too sheer for anyone who doesn’t have a light skintone.

Maybelline Sky High Mascara

If you follow me on Instagram, you won’t be surprised to see this in the line-up. I have given this mascara so many chances and I just don’t get the hype AT ALL!! My lashes aren’t the longest but I find with a good mascara, they can become quite fluffy and defined (see comparison below). The Sky High mascara makes my lashes look so heavy and dull, and my biggest gripe is that it is impossible to build up and layer. I found as soon as I evenly coat my lashes I have no more time to play around with the finish and I can’t add volume without it turning into a clumpy mess. Emphasis on the word mess, as the bristles on the wand are too small to grip at the root of the lash and the neck of the wand is way too bendy, therefore it ends up all over my lid no matter how careful I am. If this mascara had focused a little more on lifting and curling the lashes, I may have enjoyed it. But the lack of playtime makes the finished look frustrating to achieve and it’s not worth it.

REFY Beauty Brow Set

I was over the moon excited to try out this brow range from REFY Beauty and was so quick to be disappointed. Do you know when you get a new package in the mail and run straight to the mirror to try it out? I did that, and instantly felt the products weren’t what I had thought they were going to be. I am definitely not an amateur when it comes to making different brow formulas work for me, but these are so difficult to use. I have so many questions about the choice in packaging, the application techniques they recommend and the overall formulas. Let’s take a closer look at each product.

The Brow Sculpt

This is a gel-wax hybrid that is designed to achieve the fluffy laminated brow look. It is truly a formula that I had never seen before, and it’s not unlikely that I am simply using the product incorrectly. But I feel as though I have watched every tutorial and tried all application methods. It almost always ends up looking C R U S T Y! On the REFY Instagram and website, this product is shown being used first in their step-by-step routine. You’re shown to simply lather your brows in the wax, then comb and shape into place. Don’t even get me started on how the shape of the comb is so strange and impractical when it comes to creating a ‘laminated’ effect. I demonstrated this in my youtube video here. I do admit that when this product is used alone it looks great, but that is not my desired look considering my brows are on the sparse side. But it is i m p o s s i b l e for me to follow up with any brow product after this, without it looking flakey and crusty. This is so frustrating as it’s not at all what I see on the brands Instagram, and in a way, I feel deceived. No matter what Jess Hunt puts in her brows, I feel they would look incredible and I can’t help but feel lied to. HELP!!

The only way I can make this brow sculpt work for me, is to use it last in my brow routine. And less is more…

The Brow Pomade + Pencil

Thankfully, the pomade and pencil aren’t terrible on their own. But considering they were designed to be used in conjunction with the brow sculpt, this leads to their place in this blog post. I applaud the brand for doing something unique and travel friendly with the pomade packaging, but ugh I hate it. It makes it impossible to feel how much product you’re picking up, and I always find myself using the back of my hand to make sure the product has coated the brush evenly. This always results in wasting a lot of product. Both formulas are super creamy as they are designed to be used after the brow sculpt. This makes sense, as if you’ve used other lamination style brow gels like the Anastasia brow freeze or benefit 24-hour brow setter, it can be difficult to use a hard pencil formula afterwards. But in saying this, I find even when I do use them alone, it is tricky to be precise as the product has a tendency to slip around.

The pencil is probably my favourite product out of the whole brow kit, yet it’s still nothing outstanding. The microtip is the smallest I’ve ever come across and this makes it great for defining the brows and creating individual hair strokes. But again, it still delivers mediocre results on its own.

I hope you have enjoyed reading about my experiences with these somewhat overhyped products. Even though these posts can end up sounding quite negative, I think it’s necessary to talk about the not so great experiences so that if you’re like me and are always curious to try new products out for yourself, you may not end up wasting your money. Instead, I waste my money for you haha!

Lily R

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