Here are 13 products I regretted buying this year. If you are going to be picky, then it’s 11, because 4 and 7 are fabulous, they’re just in terrible packaging!
A few of them are cult classics, beloved by beauty bloggers in particular. Some, I couldn’t get on with because of the scent, a couple were just plain rubbish (sorry e.l.f) and the others just didn’t work for me.
So, instead of spending £214.05 on say, 9 Charlotte Tilbury lipsticks, this is what I bought:
1. Deep Sleep Night Oil by The Works 120ml £25.00
This Deep Sleep Night Oil boasts a non-greasy, easily absorbed formula. Infused with natural ingredients, it works to relieve tension in the body and prepare you for a peaceful, deep sleep.
Multi award-winning and raved about by many. I can’t stand the scent, it’s so pungent and cloying, it used to keep me up at night, a fail on every level.
2. Hourglass Ambient Light Powder, Diffused Light, Warm Pale Yellow £40.00
A soft, warm, pale yellow powder that conceals redness and gives skin clarity—like a soft ray of morning light.
Beauty Bloggers made me buy it. I reviewed this powder back in July here and really gave it my best shot. However, instead of being bathed in a soft ray of morning light, I looked as if I was just about to be beamed up to the Mother Ship, it gives my face a very alien like sheen.
3. Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Cream Shadow, Beach Bronze 3.5g £21.00
This unique and innovative, long-wearing cream eye shadow maintains its true colour without creasing. Soft-blending formula goes on comfortably and has a soft, velvety finish.
I’m so hit and miss with Bobbi Brown, either it’s the best product ever, i.e. Long-Wear Cream Shadow Stick in Taupe, review here, or it’s a complete disaster.
Mandy, I adore you and your wonderful blog Mirifique Beauty (I rely on her honest opinion and often buy what she recommends with great success) and I know you love this product, but it wasn’t for me. I’m not really sure why I bought it – Mandy made me do it! I have no use for such a rich brown shade on my eyelids, I use shimmery gold/rose gold tones and this has too much sparkle (subtle as it is), to be used as a crease colour.
I apply a dab to the outer corners of my eyes, and yes, it is extremely long-wearing, but that’s my only use for it – it’s going to last forever.
4. Alterna Caviar Repair Instant Recovery Shampoo £19.50. Conditoner £21.90
I reviewed this hair repairing and reviving, shampoo and conditioner here and I still think it’s worth the spend if you’re absolutely desperate to restore moisture to your hair and you’ve tried all the cheaper alternatives first.
I badly needed these products for my unpredictable, two-faced hair, one week smooth and shiny, the next, stringy and parched. Product perfect, packaging an absolute nightmare.
It has the same concealed opening as the famous Aussie Miracle shampoo, which would be fine, apart from the fact that the plastic is so bloody thick and hard, you can’t get any product out.
I want to decant them into clear plastic travel bottles. Obviously it won’t just flow into them, so I’m going to have to set up some sort of Cirque du Soleil contraption, balance the bottles upside down over the new ones and hope that gravity will take over and perhaps in a couple of years I’ll manage to eke out a couple of teaspoons of shampoo.
5. e.l.f Holographic Eyeliner Pencil £2.00
Our creamy eyeliner easily applies glitter across your lash line. We’ve also added a built-in sharpener to the cap for crisp lines every time.
I reviewed this pencil here and my opinion is the same, it just doesn’t show up. I’ve already binned it – but kept the sharpener.
I do love e.l.f. though, it’s such a new discovery for me and the budget price at least means I can try new products and if they do fail, it won’t have cost me an arm and a leg.
6. Marc Jacobs Cover(t) Stick Colour Corrector £28.00
Brighten, neutralise and conceal hyper-pigmentation with this easy-to-use colour corrector stick available in three marbleised dual hues.
Beauty Bloggers made me buy it. Oh the pain of wasting £28.00 on such a useless product. I gave it a good try, but it goes patchy and sinks into my pores. I have to blend it so much it almost disappears. I’m still trying it under every base imaginable though. I’ve just bought the trial size version of Bobbi Brown’s Face Base so I’ll see what it’s like sitting under that.
7. Frederic Fekkai Technician Color Care Shampoo £23.81 and Conditioner £15.87
Did I ever meet a Fekkai product I didn’t like? No, all absolutely blooming marvellous and paying a premium doesn’t bother me one bit – apart from the hideously overpriced PRx Reparatives 3 Day Transformation (review here, it does work though).
The bottles, as with Alterna, are a living nightmare. Slightly, say 0.5%, less annoying than Alterna, you can at least take scissors to these, but it’s not a fun experience when washing your hair, having to bash the bottle against the shower wall to tease out a few drops.
8. e.l.f. High Definition Undereye Setting Powder £4.50
This light-diffusing powder camouflages fine lines, dark circles and imperfections, perfect for on camera or everyday wear. The silky powder adds a velvety finish ideal for wearing alone or setting in cream concealer.
Bizarrely, the word ‘Banana’ has been added to the description on the official website. There’s no mention of banana in the ingredient list (which would’ve been doubly weird), but it’s definitely the same product I bought.
I first mentioned this setting powder here in my review of the concealer which is wonderful. My thoughts are exactly the same as then.
I don’t like it. It’s a dirty white shade and is too silky to set anything. It’s so fine it just disperses and you can’t see it on the skin.
9. Blush Away Colour Corrector Lily Lolo 4g £9.00
Our multi-tasking Corrector expertly covers and conceals blemishes and redness. For dark circles and pigmentation use PeepO.
Reviewed here and my thoughts – it’s too pigmented and it gives me a ghoulish grey cast.
I did try the sample pots of mineral powders, but didn’t like any of the shades.
10. Hylamide Booster Glow Serum 30ml £20.00
Fast-acting Booster creates a radiant backdrop to the skin while a fast-acting keto-sugar builds a golden glow within 2-3 days.
Beauty Bloggers made me buy it. This product contains a Raspberry derived alternative to the self-tanning ingredient, DHA.
It’s the DHA that gives off that awful fake tan whiff which shouldn’t be present here, yet for me, it was. I could smell it on my skin at night.
I could’ve lived with that, if it wasn’t for the yellow tinge it left on my skin. I adjusted the amount of drops, but experienced the same results each time.
I must have bought this in a moment of madness, because how on earth did I think it could complete with Clarins Radiance-Plus Golden Glow Booster?
11. Bobbi Brown Perfectly Defined Gel Eyeliner, Scotch £17.55
Long-wearing, water-resistant colour glides on and let’s you get it just right before it dries – then stays without a smear or crease.
Another award-winning BB product I couldn’t get along with (full review here).
I’m remain convinced it was packaged incorrectly and the shade was mislabeled. I’ve used it since and I find it still fades and smudges.
12. Liz Earle Natural Finish Loose Powder 12g £21.00
Our velvety soft, lightweight formula is a revolution in powder technology. It contains four powder types and different sized particles to help smooth and even out the appearance of your skin, and create a matte, beautifully natural look.
A bit of an ill-timed review this. I asked Mark to get me a tube of Cleanse & Polish (yeah, you changed the formula Liz Earle company, but no other cream cleanser lets me work it right into my lashes without stinging, so I’m stuck with you for life).
Actually, I love it when Mark shops for me, he always comes away with a gift with purchase, or whatever new product they’re pushing. This time it was buy two tubes of cleanser (hurrah for me) and get a night oil and face mask for free.
Some big cheese from Liz Earle just happened to be behind the counter that day and Mark proudly mentioned the blog and said I reviewed a lot of Liz Earle products (eh…not that many Mark) and made her pull it up on her phone there and then so she had the right site.
He came home and said, I’m pretty sure you’ll be getting an email from her now she’s seen what you do. I thought, no I won’t, because it was the very day I reviewed this loose powder and I absolutely slated it.
I’ve passed this powder on, it’s just too dark for me.
Hey, you won’t believe this, but she didn’t write, she didn’t call…
13. Jurlique Rose Silk Finishing Powder 10g £26.00
A silky translucent facial powder with potent botanicals including Sage and Rosemary Leaf Extract to help reduce and rebalance oiliness, while smoothing and evening out skin tone.
I don’t know about all these claims, because the ‘old lady’ rose scent made me gag and I gave it away.
In this instance, it’s definitely me and my sensitive nose, not the product. Jurlique grow most of their ingredients themselves, they use organic methods without artificial fertilisers and harvest by hand to ensure quality control.
I use the rosewater mist and it’s a truly lovely product, especially on my sensitive skin. It’s hydrating, soothing and (oh the irony) smells absolutely delicious.
The face powder though, made me feel queasy and I (obviously) couldn’t get away from the scent all day, it was like morning sickness all over again.
However, it’s not put me off the brand at all, I want to try the Purely White Skin Brightening Essence and some of the oils, I’ll just steer clear of the make up.
So there you have it, a round up of the best of the worst, the tip of the iceberg of bad buys I’ve made this year.
Regrets, I’ve had much more than a few.