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December 30, 2015

Most Disappointing Beauty Products of 2015

Disclaimer: we all have different taste in products and different needs. As such, the products that I don’t like might be favorites of yours. This post isn’t meant to offend anyone, by all means, if it works for you, great! These are all products that I just didn’t get along with, they’re not necessarily bad products.

Kicking it off with this Physician’s Formula City Glow Daily Defense bronzer in New York, my problem with this is the color more than anything. I use and love the Physician’s Formula Bronze Booster in light/medium, but this bronzer is just straight-up orange on me. In the pan it doesn’t look like it should be so orange, and I’ve tried it several different ways—colors mixed, separate, different brushes—and no matter what I do it always comes up orange on me. Such a bummer because it’s an otherwise great formula.

Next up is the Yves Saint Laurent Touche Éclat Blur Primer, which I reviewed here. Not only did this primer give me cystic acne spots, it’s just an all-around blasé product. It doesn’t make foundation last longer, it doesn’t make it look better, and it doesn’t give a glow to the skin. Even if this hadn’t broken me out, it still would have made it on this list because it just doesn’t do what it’s supposed to. Laaaame.

I purchased two Hurraw lip balms after hearing Shaaanxo talk about them, but this one really came down to personal preference. If you like thin, light, slick balms, you’ll probably love this, but I like a nice thick balm like the Tokyomilk Dark balm. I’ve heard several other people sing the praises of Hurraw lip balm, but it just wasn’t what I was hoping for. It may work well for keeping lips hydrated, but I really wouldn’t know because I could never keep it on for very long since it came off every time I took a sip of water.

Ahh, Julep Queen Anne, you fickle minx.
This shade is a freaking gorgeous multi-dimensional glitter with some holographic glitter thrown in for extra sparkle. So, so beautiful, yet so elusive. It chips in under 24 hours, and not little chips either, entire nails just peel right off. I tried it with several different top coats and it happened every single time. It’s not just me, either, the review page for this polish on Julep’s website is filled with other people with the same complaint. Some of the more recent reviews have been more positive, so maybe they’ve improved the formula since I purchased it, but for me, Queen Anne is definitely a dud.

I talked about Duo lash glue in a “products I wouldn’t repurchase” post I did earlier this year, and I still have the same issue with it: it irritates the crap outta my eyes. Oddly, it feels fine while I’m wearing it, but even if I scrub every trace of lash glue off before I go to bed, I still wake up with super red, irritated eyes the next morning. I don’t have this problem with any other lash glues that I’ve tried so far (I recommend Japonesque or House of Lashes), so clearly it’s something specific to this formula. I wanted to mention it again because I see so many people recommending it, but if you have sensitive eyes, proceed with caution.

The YSL Volume Effet Faux Cils was sent to me by Influenster, and when I got the email saying I was receiving it I was so excited. It was my first luxury mascara (though not my first high-end mascara) and I had understandably high hopes for it. If you’re gonna charge $32 for a mascara, it had better out-perform my drugstore mascaras. Sadly, this one didn’t (or maybe not-so-sadly for the sake of my bank account). You can see here, especially in the bottom picture, that it weighed my lashes down. My lashes stick straight out naturally, so I need mascara to give them some lift and hold my curl, but this made them heavy instead. It also made my lashes stick together more than most mascaras do, making it look like I have fewer lashes than I really do. I loved the way it smelled, how soft it made my lashes feel, and how dark it made my lashes, but overall, it was a let-down for me.

I mentioned the Vasanti blush in Himalayas in my favorites of 2015, and after loving that blush so much, I decided to try one of their liquid eye liners. I purchased the color Calm, which is an insanely gorgeous, unique lavender. I wanted this product to work so badly, and I wonder if maybe I just got a bad batch because right from the get-go it was thick, chunky, and difficult to apply. It’s intended to be a matte finish and it definitely is, I would actually compare the formula to that of a liquid lipstick, but kind of like the crusty bits you get around the edges of the tube from wiping off excess product. It just doesn’t glide on the way a liquid liner should, especially since the brush is a bit thicker than I would like it to be. I’ve tried to wear it on my eyes several times, but always ended up taking it off and switching to another product because I was unhappy with the results.

Makeup Geek Sorbet was another product that I had high hopes for based on previous experiences with the brand. I picked this one up when the new set of matte shadows launched, having already owned two, and having since expanded to around 25 shadows from MUG. Of those, the only one I’ve been disappointed by is Sorbet. It’s seriously lacking in the pigmentation department, even on my pale skin. It’s really not even pigmented enough to use as a transition shade, so the way I’ve been using it is to buff out the edges of a darker shadow or all over the lid to help other shadows blend. Swatched heavily, it will show up, but as far as realistic use of an eye shadow goes, it’s a definite disappointment.

Ahh, and now for the grand finale, the product I expect to appear on many “worst of 2015” lists, and the only product on this list to go beyond disappointing. This product pissed me off. A lot. By the time I got this sample, I’d already heard a lot of mixed reviews, so I was wary going into it, but wow, was this product infuriating. I mean, props to Benefit for being innovative, the shape of the tip and the overall concept is great, but that’s the end of the nice things I have to say about this product. Trying to get product out of the tip was difficult as it was hard to control the amount of product coming out and it balled up almost immediately as it made contact with my eyelid. Then, before I could even finish my line, it started to flake off. And if you wanted to go back over a line? Dream. On. (dream on, dream on, ahhhhhh…. *clears throat* hey, who says blog posts can’t have solos?) This is just a hot mess of a product that I consider to be beyond redemption, and that’s why it’s without a doubt, the worst product of 2015 as far as I’m concerned.

Hope you enjoyed, and like I said, everyone looks for different things in their beauty products, these were just the ones that didn’t work out for me.

The next time you hear from me will probably be in 2016, so have fun, be safe, and happy New Year!

on
December 15, 2015

[Review] YSL Touche Éclat Blur Primer

Question: If a YSL primer makes me break out, does that make my acne designer?
Deluxe sample size of the Yves Saint Laurent Touche Éclat Blur Primer

This is a deluxe sample (0.33 fl. oz/ 10 ml) of the Yves Saint Laurent Touche Éclat Blur Primer that I obtained from Sephora with a promo code. The full size is 1 fl. oz./ 30 ml for $52. The full size also comes with a pump rather than the paddle wand shown here.

From YSL’s website*: “The first radiance boosting foundation primer that combines the light of Touche Éclat and the perfecting effect of blur. Formulated with 4 nourishing oils, skin is left incredibly soft without greasy residue. Immediately the look of skin is improved: pores look diminished, skin texture feels smoother, skin tone looks more even and luminous. Free of dulling opaque fillers, the transparent texture is available in one universal shade with subtle sparkles of golden light for maximum luminosity. Suitable for all skin tones, including sensitive. Non-Comedogenic.”

Gold flecks in the YSL Touche Éclat Blur Primer

Here’s where this product and I start to get into a bit of a tussle. First off, the radiance from this product is basically nonexistent. At most, it creates a very soft sheen, but not really enough to be seen under foundation. The gold flecks in this primer are very tiny, so not something that would make you look like a disco ball or have people wondering why you have gold glitter all over your face, which is nice. It does smooth the skin slightly in both appearance and texture, but there are many primers on the market that create a stronger blurring effect for far less money, Benefit’s Porefessional, L’Oreal’s Magic Perfecting Base, and  Maybelline’s Baby Skin just to name a few.

The YSL Touche Éclat Blur Primer is a silicone-based gel primer. 

As for the texture of this product, it’s a slippery gel that’s very heavy on the silicone feel. While YSL claims it has no greasy residue, it does have a slick feeling that’s common in many silicone-based products. To many people, including myself, this can feel like having a layer of oil on the skin, so if that’s something that normally bothers you or you have oily skin, you probably won’t like the feel of this primer. As for the ingredients, the oil blend that YSL mentions is a combination of corn oil, apricot kernel oil, rice bran oil, and passiflora edulis seed oil (passion fruit), also known as maracuja oil. These ingredients have several purposes, but they’re used here as skin conditioners and occlusive agents, which help the skin to retain moisture by creating a protective barrier over the skin. This product also contains fragrance, which may make it unsuitable for sensitive skin. It’s a light, fresh, sweet scent, not overly perfume-y. It’s the same scent that’s used in the YSL Volume Effet Faux Cils mascara, if you’re familiar with that. Other than that, the ingredients are all forms of silicone or ingredients to control the viscosity of the formula, none of which are worrisome.

YSL claims this product is non-comedogenic, meaning that it doesn’t cause blocked pores. The problem with this term is that it’s completely unregulated, and cosmetic companies can slap it on damn near anything. As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, this product broke me out, specifically the ever-so-irritating cystic acne, which I don’t normally experience. After using this product over the course of a few weeks, I noticed that I was developing a new cystic acne spot within a day of using this as my primer, without having introduced any other new products. According to CosDNA*, both apricot seed oil and corn oil can trigger acne, and since I have no known sensitivities to any of the other ingredients, those are my best guesses as to what may have caused me to break out. Designer acne, just what I always wanted. *eye roll*

Even without the potential acne triggers, I wouldn’t recommend this primer. There’s nothing special about it to set it apart from less expensive primers, unless you count the fact that it doesn’t perform as well as other primers that cost a fraction of the price.

*Not an affiliate link. Disclosure is cool, yo.