So here it is: the products I will NOT be repurchasing. I’ve tried…tried again, and these beauties just aren’t for me. It’s not that I COMPLETELY HATE these products. I mean, I did not declutter them or give them away. Rather, these are the items in my arsenal I don’t ever reach for and quite frankly, wish I had never purchased. That being said, I’ve used these products on other people and they’ve been nice, or I’ve seen reviews where folks think they’re AMAZING, so it’s just a personal preference. To be clear, this is not a list of crap products; many of these hold awards and clean beauty seals. Here’s why each item wasn’t the right fit for me, but hey, maybe it’ll be PERFECT for you.
Let’s get into it, shall we?!
Clé de Peau Beaute – THE FOUNDATION SPF 21
Review: UGH. It kills me I have to put a CDP product on this list but I need to start with my biggest disappointment and the BIGGEST, I mean, BIGGEST blow to my budget.
I bought the CDP THE FOUNDATION before my wedding after reading reviews that this was a magic product with its blurring technology and hydrating benefits. Plus, I totally fell for the gorgeous packaging and the idea of having this little gem on my counter for wedding pictures (incredibly superficial but what are you gonna do). Then I started “the wear” tests. THE FOUNDATION has a super radiant finish, so much so that I felt it didn’t dry down. And I LOVE me a cream product, an oil-gel foundation, and a bit of radiance, but this just made me look greasy. What I can’t quite put my finger on is whether this product didn’t work because my skin is too “oily” for it, or too “normal” for it. I just don’t know. The formulation is lovely, it just didn’t agree with my chemistry. I might suggest THE FOUNDATION on mature skin that needs a bit more replenishment.
Cover FX – Illuminating Setting Spray
Review: Nope. Nope. Nope. Cover FX’s illuminating spray is essentially a weird holographic formulation that you spray on your face to “set skin,” but instead it just blows little flecks of “glitter??” all over…I’m not even sure how to describe it. The nozzle is awful so you don’t actually set makeup because these flecks of moisture are sporadic and sparse. Then you’re stuck like buffing it out which basically defeats the purpose of putting on makeup to begin with. I tried the sample size and the regular size. So maybe my bottles were just flawed, but I would say it’s a pass. Go with the Urban Decay option if you need a ton of hold. It’s been a cult favorite for years and while it doesn’t “illuminate,” UD does what a setting spray needs to do: hold makeup.
Milk Makeup – KUSH High Volume Mascara
Review: This will be a controversial one, and just wait cause there’s a few MILK products on this list.
I saw the KUSH mascara look fantastic on a colleague…then I tried it and was like, hmmm, what? First, I can’t the packaging. It’s this HEAVY, massive tube. And I feel like mascara is the ONE product I shouldn’t need in a travel size. This mascara is so weighty that I honestly wouldn’t bring it on a trip because it feels heavier than many of my fluid products or brushes combined (a bit of an exaggeration but it’s close).
The formulation adds volume, but it made my lashes clumpy. Then to add insult to injury, it runs. My BIGGEST gripe with MILK’s mascara is that it leaves residue on the under eye. And I’m not talking it’s a hot, humid day and the mascara is running a bit. This mascara used to smudge just sitting in my air-conditioned office. And yes, it’s clean. But there are other clean beauty options out there to explore including the Chantecaille mascara. So perhaps save your money and just find a nice volumizing mascara rather than trying to make this over-hyped product work.
Dior – Rouge Blush 365 New World
Review: This one is entirely on me. I love Dior blushes and I thought I loved holographic makeup, but I quickly noticed as I put this list together that unless it’s a highlighter, I’m not about the “out of this world” dimension. So this blush is pretty IF you’re looking for a galactic blush with glimmers of pink, purple, and blue. It simply doesn’t speak to my inner “sunkissed” blush-loving self. So really, nothing wrong with the product…the candy pink holographic shade is just, well, a bit strange on me.
Hourglass – Ambient Lighting Bronzer Diffused Bronze Light
Review: As one of my favorite brands, Hourglass is basically untouchable. And actually I love this product, just NOT AS A BRONZER. Remember when I talked about “product promise”? My issue with this “bronzer” is that it doesn’t deliver on the description. I haven’t tried the other colors so I’m speaking only to the specific shade Diffused Bronze Light. I bought this color because I love the Hourglass Ambient Diffused Light powder infused into the bronzer, but unfortunately the highlighter diffuses the bronze so much that you lose any summery glow. Now, this is NOT a complete dud because it’s an absolutely beautiful finishing powder. A light dusting of this once you’ve finished your look, whether natural or totally glam, is luminescent in all the right ways. I will even put on a light layer over my moisturizer (which maybe is weird) if I just want to smooth the look of my skin. But again, a bronzer? I’m not so sure this would suffice even on the fairest of skin tones.
Ciaté London – Dewy Stix Luminous Highlighting Balm
Review: When I first started using dewy highlighters (that are essentially vaseline), I liked this option. It gave me that translucent glow. It worked fine if I had no makeup on. But then I started doing a bit more play in the “no makeup-makeup” world because I was over the full face look, and I just found there were so many products above and beyond Ciaté. I would recommend something that doesn’t lift makeup off the skin or is clean, for example RMS Living Luminizer, Glossier Haloscope, even the Chanel healthy glow balm. These are superior options that for a few bucks more will pay you back tenfold.
Lilah B. – Divine Duo Lip & Cheek
Review: Great product, STUPID price point. I don’t know if I was short circuiting when I initially bought this product but $46 for .08oz of CREAM BLUSH is insane. We aren’t even talking foundation or concealer which I understand splurging on because these can transform complexions. This is cream blush. For $10 less go for RMS Lip2Cheek (same exact concept) and get more than twice as much product (.17oz).
Lawless Beauty – Make Me Blush Talc-Free Velvet Blush
Review: Wow, I didn’t realize I would roast so many clean beauty products on this list, but it’s because I do love clean products and I gravitate towards them when possible – thus they occupy significant space in my vanity. BUT, not all clean products are great, for example, until Lawless I don’t think I had any clean powder blushes because I didn’t really love the formulation (they’re a bit chalky in my opinion). I mean they’re fine for some I guess…maybe my Chantecaille blush is clean and not bad??? I digress. Anyway, I had high hopes for the Lawless blushes, but they’re lackluster. I guess I thought these would be some amazing cream-powder hybrids when in reality they’re pretty basic. I didn’t think the color payoff was anything to write home about. Maybe I’ll warm up to them??? But right now, wouldn’t recommend.
Chantecaille – Lip Cristal Supporting Sheldrick Wildlife Trust
Review: This one makes me sad. I love these lipsticks in theory because they are sparkly and gold and BEAUTIFUL! I bought them in two shades, red and lightest pink, but I have come to accept I’m not a shiny lip girl. Now, I already have these so I AM going to give them another try around the fall and holidays, but I won’t repurchase. However, if you appreciate a shiny lip, maybe even lipgloss (which I LITERALLY never buy), these might be for you. And one bonus: a portion of the proceeds goes to philanthropy, so I definitely don’t regret this purchase.
Chantecaille – Poudre Lumière
Review: I am going to get my other Chantecaille item knocked out here since it’s hard for me to say anything negative about this brand. As you have probably noticed by now, I LOVE Chantecaille. They don’t really make product misses all that often. Even the lipstick above just wasn’t my taste but I can envision it looking great on so many women, especially women with darker complexions.
Now my second item, this little nugget here, is a bronzer/highlighter that at first pass looks, eh, but is gorgeous on! The issue: it breaks. I have gone through two. A very very light tap and these guys bite the dust, literally. I actually went to Italy with one still in the box and got there, BAM, it’s in pieces. I’ve tried doing the repair with alcohol thing but it’s never the same. Needless to say, as much as I love the color and pigmentation of this product, I won’t be rebuying (again).
MILK MAKEUP – Matte Bronzer
Review: Okay, so MILK product number 2, the bronzer stick thing. Worst cream product I’ve ever used. The worst bronzer I’ve ever used. Literally melts off my face. Can’t recommend. If this works for you, please tell me what I’m doing wrong.
Nars – Radiant Creamy Concealer
Review: This is probably another surprise on my list as I am sure many of you swear by this product, but man, this is not the concealer for me. I understand that it’s totally cult. For years I used the Maybelline Rewind while this guy kindof hung around in my drawer for far too long, and now they both gotta go. With Maybelline, nothing to say here; I’ve graduated from drugstore makeup and just want better ingredients. But for the purpose of this list, we’re talking Nars.
This Nars concealer is supposed to be creamy which in my mind means hydrating and dewy. But in practice I found this product drying and exaggerated my under eye crepiness (could be a result of aging skin and new skincare needs). With that said, I do prefer a more luxury concealer so maybe I’ve just gotten spoiled by the smooth blanket CDP and La Mer wrap around my eyes.
Supergoop! – Unseen Suncreen
Review: For all the good reviews on this guy I have no idea how to use it. Supergoop’s Unseen Sunscreen doubles as a primer, which for me is where the problems start.
So you put on your skincare which is where you probably spent the big bucks. Then you put on your final step, sunscreen, and the product pills. Now all your skincare has been lifted off of the skin and you’re left with tiny little balls all over your face. Maybe this product doesn’t jive with the combination of skincare products I am using, but I expect better from a sunscreen and a primer.
And I’m gonna close out on this note…
MILK MAKEUP – Hydro Grip Primer
Review: This product has been the recipient of a many awards so clearly it has some fans, but I wanna mention “product promise”…again.
MILK promises that the Hydro primer address the following skincare concerns: Loss of Firmness and Elasticity, Dryness, and Dullness.
So I read that list and I go, “great for mature skin.” Not so fast. I read the reviews, tested on myself, and conclude, it’s actually pretty drying (possibly due to the multiple alcohol ingredients). Then there’s the wear. It does “grip” to the face, but in facelift kindof way that’s almost uncomfortable? It feels unnatural which drives me bonkers. If I am wearing clean beauty I at least expect it to feel natural; nothing about the Hydro grip primer feels clean or natural. HOWEVER, does it hold makeup? Yes. So if that’s all you care about, go for it! Otherwise I would recommend my go-to Tatcha Silk primer (also my wedding day champ).