My Beauty Flops

We all love a good beauty product, don’t we?

What about the bad ones? The ones that don’t really work for you, or just plain suck?

I’ve been told by many that they really enjoy my beauty product recommendations. I had an idea recently… I wondered if people would be interested in hearing about what products I don’t care for. A few of my pals on twitter said they would definitely be interested in reading about that. I’m sure a lot of these products are great for some people. If I’ve listed something here that you are absolutely in love with, then great! I’m so glad it works for you! It just doesn’t work for me.

As a side note, my skin is late twenties, combination/oily. I never have dry skin, unless I do a peel or use my Retin-A. I do tend to break out, although my skin isn’t super sensitive. My skin tone shade is NW20 in MAC (for color reference), so I am on the fair side with cool undertones. My hair is naturally an ashy light brown, which is highlighted. My hair is pretty fine (let’s not forget the lovely postpartum hair loss I’m experiencing right now), but I have a lot of it. It is pretty manageable, and will hold curl/straighten fairly easily. I have gray-blue eyes. Perhaps that info about me will help you understand my perspective.

So let’s take a look at my not-so-favorite products. I will say it again: if it works for you, great! I am not intentionally insulting your holy grail beauty products just to make you mad. They just don’t tickle my pickle.

Most ELF Items
Okay, I really tried to get on the ELF train. So many of you guys sing ELF’s praises to the mountaintops and think it’s the best brand ever. I must be the only person on the planet that really doesn’t care for it. I honestly cannot find anything but one item I do like of ELF’s. That item is their cream liner (I talked about it in this post), and I really think it is up there with MAC Fluidline. I am a huge gel eyeliner lover, as evidenced by this post. So, I guess if I find one really good thing that is comparable to MAC, then I have done semi decent. I tell you, though, I have tried and even returned so many of their items. The tinted moisturizer was orange sunscreen and smelled like chemicals, the eyeliner pencil sweated into the inner corners of my eyes, the liquid eyeliner pen dried out in two applications, the brushes are absolute crap and shed everywhere, the brow gel flaked and it looked like I had eyebrow dandruff, and the bronzer made me look like a glowy vampire without any bronze! You get what you pay for with this brand. You might think to yourself “AH MAH GAHD, it’s only $1!” And I get it – it IS alluring. Especially when you’re at Target and it’s a rule of thumb to buy at least $20 more of items that you went in there for. But if you keep spending that over and over, you are wasting your money on a brand that doesn’t deliver. I might upset a lot with my ELF dissing, but so be it. I tried, people. I TRIED. I’m glad it at least works for you. Perhaps their items are better from ordering online? I have no idea. If someone would like to send me items to review, I’d be happy to… it’s just too much of a gamble for me!

Benefit “They’re Real!” Mascara
This is another item that was getting a lot of buzz lately. I was so excited to try it because I am such a mascara junkie. I am always buying new mascara in search of my HG (holy grail). In my experience, my favorite mascaras come from the drug store, because I feel that they deliver the same, if not better, results than some high end brands. Besides, mascara is something that you should replace often and you might as well buy drugstore. Anyway, this mascara was a BIG FAT FAIL on me. No matter what I did, it clumped beyond belief. It looked like I had three clumpy eyelashes that looked like spider legs once I was finished mutilating my eyes. I thought, okay, then this needs a little drying out before it will work better. I sometimes let mascaras sit in my drawer for a few weeks before using so they can “dry out”. Tried again. Same results. The applicator actually HURTS while going on, too. How in the world does a mascara wand hurt? Well, this actually does. Why the heck did I spend THIS MUCH on a crappy mascara? At least I used my 20% off Ulta coupon on it. I am going to stick to my new favorite – L’Oreal False Fiber Lashes Waterproof (talked about in this post).

Garnier BB Cream
BB Creams really have been getting a lot of attention lately. I have been on the BB train for about a year now, and I’ve got to say, I don’t overall understand the hype behind them. I don’t see any significant improvement in my face after using them. They’re just another cool foundation/tinted moisturizer in my opinion. I have the Dr. Jart one from Sephora and it is a great product, with awesome coverage. Just no skin miracles happened. This Garnier BB Cream is absolute crap. It makes my face become an oil slick, breaks me out, and has absolutely no coverage. Reminded me of that god awful ELF tinted moisturizer that matched my skin just a little better. It is chocked full of chemicals, yet they package the damn thing to look like it’s SO GOOD for your skin. I don’t understand it whatsoever. NEWS FLASH, PEOPLE. When there are chemical sunscreens in your face products, it is not good for you. You need titanium dioxide or zinc oxide in a sunscreen. Those are natural sunscreens! None of this oxybenzoateblahblah stuff. I wish I had read the label in full before buying this. Don’t even waste your time on it!

Dr. Perricone No Foundation Foundation
I am trying to figure out what exactly this is supposed to do. It’s like a nice face product but with added skin benefits and tinted to give coverage. So it’s like a BB Cream, but not. This one, thankfully, has natural sunscreens. I wish it would have worked out better on my skin, because it makes me an oil slick and goes on very streaky, despite the ways I have applied it. Luckily I received this as a deluxe sample from Sephora (I spend way too much money there and I am always getting deluxe samples or sample sets) and didn’t pay for it.

DiorShow Waterproof Mascara
Yet another one of those high end mascara traps I fell into. Yes, it’s a good mascara. No, I will never pay that much for it ever again. I used my 20% off coupon from Sephora to purchase it, so at least I had that going for me. It dried out in less than a month and flaked off. Lesson learned. Stick to the drug store.

L’Oreal Elnett Hairspray
This seems to be the creme de la creme of hairsprays. Everyone loves this, and it is a cult favorite. I guess I am, yet again, the only person that doesn’t care for this. First of all, it smells like old ladies. Second of all, it was pretty terrible at taming my fly aways. I don’t even know that it held my style. It is also really expensive for drugstore hairspray. I like a hairspray that is super duper extra hold and UNSCENTED. I like to spray it on the top of my head to tame fly aways, and then on my style. I’ve had good luck with the Dove Unscented. But if you like a hairspray that is touchable and smells like the inside of a crazy old lady’s house, this will probably work for you.

The Philosophy Brand
I might get a little preachy here talking about Philosophy, so pardon this in advance. I have the same beef with Philosophy as I do the Garnier BB Cream. It’s branded and marketed to look like it’s this super simple brand with natural ingredients. Okay, so read any product label of theirs and you will see the myriad of chemicals. Not to mention, the Purity Made Simple cleanser didn’t take off my makeup, and Hope in a Jar made me an oil slick and broke me out. Let’s not forget the chemical sunscreens in their moisturizers! Have you figured out by now that I am a huge advocate for natural sunscreens?

Benefit Posie Tint
This is such a fantastic idea. The color on this tint is beautiful. I just wish it worked on me. I think it would work pretty brilliantly on naked skin without any makeup on it. Because, when it is applied over foundation or makeup of any kind, it really cakes up your makeup and doesn’t blend. Rather sad. It also looked pretty awful on my lips. Luckily, I received this in a deluxe sample size from Sephora.

Urban Decay’s Sidecar Shadow (in Naked Palette)
Upon first glance of this shadow, it is a beautiful neutral taupe with a creamy pigmentation and goes on fairly easily. However, it turns you into a glowy glittery disco ball because about half of the shadow ends up on your face. There is so much glitter fallout from this shadow, I just stopped trying to use it. No matter what primers I used or even applying eye makeup before face makeup (I actually do that – do my eyes before my face) will prevent the glitter explosion. It’s so sad, because it could be so beautiful!

Jergen’s Daily Glow Lotion
This stuff just plain ranks. I can’t handle the smell of self tanner, and the idea with this is to actually keep it on your skin for a while. I prefer to do my own spray tan, let it sit overnight, and rinse it off in the morning. See this post for reference.

Physician’s Formula Summer Eclipse Bronzer
This is yet another bronzer that just made me look like a sparkly vampire without much color payoff. I should learn from my mistakes and just stick to matte bronzers with rich color. I can control the amount applied and do fantastic contouring.

Honorable Mention: Any Makeup Remover
I don’t invest in any sort of makeup remover. I use straight up extra virgin olive oil. See this post for reference. I do keep a bottle of olive oil in the shower (now that’s a sight to see) because I shower at night and this seriously is the best makeup remover I’ve EVER used! All natural, and good for your skin. I will say, though, I got some cleansing wipes from Yes to Cucumbers for when I was in the hospital having my baby, and I really enjoyed those. It’s not like I could lug my bottle of olive oil with me to the hospital.

What about you? What beauty products are you not a fan of? 
Let’s get this beauty bashing party started!

Want more beauty goodies? Make sure you check out this page to see all of my beauty-related posts and videos!


  • Reply
    May 29, 2012 at 9:13 am

    OMG– I need to do this post! Love it!! I had the same problem with They’re Real mascara, and I was PISSED (you know how I love Benefit…). And I’ve never found a philosophy product I like either. However, I do love love love MAC Cleanse Off Oil (Tranquil is my fave, but I like the original too). I just can’t get over the slimy feel of olive oil on my face. Lol.

  • Reply
    May 29, 2012 at 9:20 am

    Love this post! And I completely agree with you on several of your opinions, especially the Philosophy one and Dior Show mascara. I decided to finally check out Philosophy and when I read the ingredient list, I was shocked! They certainly brand themselves and simple and natural, in my opinion.

    I also feel the same way about ELF. I think it’s about like Wet n Wild. I will buy some crazy colored eye shadow of theirs, but do not invest in anything real that I use daily.

    Since I agree with you in several ways, I am going to take your advice and steer clear of the Garnier BB which I was about to try- thanks for the heads up!

  • Reply
    Lindsay @ Trial By Sapphire
    May 29, 2012 at 9:31 am

    Truth: I have used baby oil to remove my make-up since I started wearing make-up. It’s what my mom does. I just bought coconut oil to see if that works too. Apparently, it’s supposed to stimulate eyelash growth, so I figured “why not use it to remove my make-up too?” I haven’t tried it yet, but I’m hopeful!

  • Reply
    May 29, 2012 at 9:45 am

    i love this post!
    i hated the benefit they’re real too… i felt the same way.
    and i don’t like elnet either. it doesn’t hold at all! and it does stink!

  • Reply
    Life As Wife
    May 29, 2012 at 10:29 am

    Love your makeup removal idea! I use baby wipes but want to try olive oil!

  • Reply
    Kori Donahue
    May 29, 2012 at 11:05 am

    Great tips and I love that bronzer! Hope you had a great weekend honey… if you get a chance come enter my giveaway for a vintage inspired Snow White necklace and earrings!

    Kori xoxo

  • Reply
    Bri Buzali
    May 29, 2012 at 11:06 am

    I love this post. It’s good to hear about products that haven’t worked out.

    I agree with you on E.L.F. I haven’t been able to find one single product of theirs that I like.

    I just bought the Too Faced BB creme and LOVE it. My face is significantly less broken out since I’ve started using it. I’d suggest it next time you run out of the one you’re using!

  • Reply
    The Nerdy Katie
    May 29, 2012 at 11:13 am

    I am 100% with you on the philosophy stuff. Aunt Ann always wants that stuff for Christmas and swears by it. I wasnt impressed with the Dior Show mascara either. My wand actually snapped in half when I was taking it out of the tube.

    I really wonder if you got a bad batch of the Yes There Real. Mine had never hurt when I put it on. I also love sidecar, I think that’s my favorite of the shadows lol.

    Once K goes down I’m going to go thru my makeup, I have some stuff I think you will like and I can’t stand that urban decay lipgloss that came with the Naked 2.

  • Reply
    May 29, 2012 at 11:20 am

    Agree with you on everything! I love Dior Show and got it as a gift. I use it only for fancy nights so it will last 🙂

  • Reply
    May 29, 2012 at 11:28 am

    I love the Sidecar shadow but like you said it’s too glittery and it gets everywhere! Olive oil is the best thing in removing makeup!

  • Reply
    Amy Drinkie
    May 29, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    I also hate ELF products, every BB cream I’ve sampled (including Dr. Jart, it turned gray on me like sharkskin), Elnett hairspray, everything Philosophy except for the margarita-scented body wash which is too expensive, and all of the Benefit tints. I would also add Great Lash and Lash Blast mascaras to the list (clumpy), eye creams (don’t do anything), sunscreens (greasy and stinky), and the Clarisonic to that list (didn’t work miracles for me so I returned it). And about a bazillion hair products.

  • Reply
    May 29, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    I LOVE this post. 🙂 Thanks for writing it!

    I agree about Sidecar in the palette. Too glittery, I don’t use it either.

    I don’t like ELF brushes either, I’ve only ever really used their lip glosses.

    I still use makeup remover and it always makes my face feel oily, then super dry. I don’t know why I haven’t picked up Olive Oil yet!

  • Reply
    Life With Lauren
    May 29, 2012 at 2:28 pm

    so glad you did this post! I was looking at No Foundation Foundation
    to try glad I read this first!

  • Reply
    May 29, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    I completely agree with you about the Benefit mascara!! Granted, I haven’t tried “They’re Real” specifically, but I had those exact problems with their “Bad Gal” mascara. HORRIBLY clumpy!!

  • Reply
    undomestic chica
    May 29, 2012 at 6:29 pm

    We’re two peas in a pod! I don’t like ELF other than that same gel liner….and I hate that whenever I’m in Sephora and they offer a moisturizer with sunscreen I then think the person knows almost nothing about skincare and won’t listen to anything else they say. I go to Sephora for makeup, not skincare suggestions. I refuse to wear anything but mineral sunscreen!

  • Reply
    May 29, 2012 at 7:14 pm

    i’m with you on ELF. well, i do like their lip gloss too. but that may just be because it’s $1.

  • Reply
    Sarah @ Simply Sarah
    May 29, 2012 at 7:40 pm

    You are right, some ELF products just aren’t even worth the few dollars you spend on them. But have you tried the lip glosses and the eyeshadows? I recently got a few palettes and I really like them!

    I need to try the extra virgin olive oil in the shower! I use make up remover wipes usually, but I don’t think they work all that well.

    Hope you have a great week!

  • Reply
    May 29, 2012 at 7:42 pm

    The ELF Blush & Bronzer set is the only thing I have found I like from them so far.

    As for Philosophy I’m a HUGE fan of their scents. All of the “grace” smells…especially Baby Grace. LOVE! They are all very “clean” smelling. My favorite scent.

  • Reply
    Chelsea @ two twenty one
    May 29, 2012 at 9:24 pm

    I’m definitely going to try your EVOO trick. Makeup removers clog the pores on my eyelids.

    I’m one of those weirdos who likes philosophy though. But I think it just depends on your skin type.

    I need to find a good eye wrinkle serum. I’m all about prevention. Any suggestions?

  • Reply
    May 29, 2012 at 9:46 pm

    I love reading posts like this! It is so helpful to see what works for some and not so much also 🙂
    I have been pretty hit and miss with ELF, and I do seem to do okay with the Garnier BB cream, but I am a girl that normally does not wear foundation at all, only concealer under my eyes, so this seems to leave a dewy finish to my skin. I do top it with powder though in my T-zone, bc of oil.
    And we both know how much I love your EVOO… I have a small bottle on the window ledge by my sink, and one in the shower also. J always asks me if Im making dressing in the shower 🙂
    Have a great night, and keep the tips coming!

  • Reply
    May 29, 2012 at 10:12 pm

    I am so glad you said it – Garnier BB Cream, terrible!

  • Reply
    May 30, 2012 at 4:40 am

    Ah, I really want to do a post like this, too! I just have an awful habit of throwing out products I don’t like. I should start a basket and throw them into the basket, and when it looks full enough, do a post. ANYWAY… I don’t like e.l.f. products, either! I really believe you get what you pay for, and if somethings is $1, it is *RARE* I actually am happy with it! And I think I want to try the EVOO, but I just hate the smell of Olive Oil. It makes me gag. I can’t imagine slathering it on my face. Am I the only one, or is there a way to make the smell less awful?!

  • Reply
    May 30, 2012 at 4:40 am

    Ah, I really want to do a post like this, too! I just have an awful habit of throwing out products I don’t like. I should start a basket and throw them into the basket, and when it looks full enough, do a post. ANYWAY… I don’t like e.l.f. products, either! I really believe you get what you pay for, and if somethings is $1, it is *RARE* I actually am happy with it! And I think I want to try the EVOO, but I just hate the smell of Olive Oil. It makes me gag. I can’t imagine slathering it on my face. Am I the only one, or is there a way to make the smell less awful?!

  • Reply
    May 30, 2012 at 10:23 am

    Great post! I hear ya on the ELF products too. I am not a fan.

    I actually like/d the Garnier BB Cream… but now that you’ve mentioned all sorts of chemicals, I’m thinking I may rethink it…

    And I’m not a fan of Jergen’s selftanner lotion either– I think all selftanners smell just horrible :-S

  • Reply
    May 30, 2012 at 4:19 pm

    I loveee elf eyeshadow and blush brushes and the They’re Real Mascara is a daily use for me. I’m also on the Garnier BB cream train. Sidecar is a must when I actually do my eye shadow.

    Elf Make-up is terrible.. You really do get with you pay for with that. And I have never bought Philosophy products just because I refuse to pay that much for lotion.

    This post just goes to prove that everyone is different! I love it:)

  • Reply
    Meg {henninglove}
    May 31, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    we all have beauty flops every once in awhile. thank you for sharing yours i will be steering clear of some of the ones you posted

  • Reply
    May 31, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    Totally agree about the DiorShow!

  • Reply
    June 16, 2012 at 6:01 am

    I’m so glad you do the research so I don’t have to. 😉 I’ve gotten samples of Philosophy products before, and I couldn’t stand the way they smelled. The packaging is alluring, though.

  • Reply
    Faye Davis
    March 21, 2013 at 12:11 pm

    I added Posie Tint to my wish list. Boutique Bag Lady

  • Reply
    October 16, 2014 at 11:41 pm

    You are absolutely right about the crappy e.l.f. products. I bought mascara and eyeliner. Terrible, terrible mistake. The rest of the products, some I don’t know, and the ones I used I am not crazy about them. Definitely not worth the money they rerail for. Now I know what yo stay away from.

  • Reply
    September 29, 2016 at 12:18 pm

    Love this post! Fully agree on most of it. And about Benefit They’re Real! I got a travel size as a freebie. I despise the plastic wands, so I wasn’t impressed from the bat. The only way I could use it was scraping off a lot of the mascara from the wand and as a 2nd coat over my HG (then combing out clumps) when I wanted extra oomph for a night out. I do appreciate the extra length, but it’s too much work to get there.

    And the Elnett hairspray. Just gross feeling, overall.

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