Ever since I got into makeup and skincare a year ago, I’ve bought, tested, liked, and loved a ton of stuff. I’ve found a few gems and possible holy grail products along the way, but I’ve also bought items that I wish I hadn’t. Here’s a list.
1. e.l.f. Poreless Face Primer
It was a toss-up between the e.l.f. Powerless Face Primer and the Ellana Mineral Primer when I was looking for my first makeup primer (I said primers a lot there…primerprimerprimerprimerprimer). I didn’t want to commit to a high-end primer in case I didn’t like the product, so I set out to buy something cheap yet reliable. How did I end up with the e.l.f. one, you ask? I just saw it first in the department store.
Why I don’t like it: The repellent smell. Like radioactive lemons left out in the sun for too long!
That was exaggeration, but it still smells funky. The tester at the store didn’t smell like the primer I got, or it was just less offensive for some reason. I’ve only used this primer twice or thrice because I just can’t get past the smell. It goes away after a while, but just thinking about the smell makes me feel a little sick.
2. THEFACESHOP Aqua Tinted BB Cream (Natural Beige)
I bought this when I was struggling with dry skin (before I learned how to use toner, to be honest). When I read 70% MOISTURE CONTENT, including DEEP SEA WATER, a light application provides a sense of coolness and freshness, I thought, ‘Yas. Gimme sumadat jelly.’
Why I don’t like it: Sure, it felt lightweight, the smell was quite refreshing, and it was moisturising just like it promised, but my experience with it left me disappointed. Even though I got the darkest shade (out of two), it was still too light on me. I’m probably more suited to shades like warm beige, natural ochre, golden waffle, or iced mocha with two espresso shots.
When I looked at with-flash pictures of me wearing this BB cream, my face looked grayish white, like I was auditioning for a Tim Burton movie coming out next Halloween. Natural beige, my tushy. (But this was before I realised Korean base makeup isn’t the best option for people with darker or morena skin tones. I still love THEFACESHOP.)
3. FS Cosmetics Lash Extravagance Extreme Length and Volume Mascara
This mascara was part of the April 2015 Belle du Jour Box. My first impression was it didn’t smudge, but…
Why I don’t like it: It’s so wet. And heavy. I feel bad for my lashes whenever I subject them to this formula. Even with just one coat, my eyes kind of water and I can feel the product clinging on my lashes in a death grip, weighing them down, making them stick to the lower lashes and my skin. I have to be more careful when I’m applying this mascara because it’s so wet and the margin for error is narrower. I don’t have the patience for such a finicky product.
4. Alba Botanica Hawaiian Lip Balm (Refreshing Pineapple Quench)
I bought this because it was quite cheap, and I hadn’t owned anything pineapple-flavoured yet at the time. Plus, it was from Healthy Options, so it must be good, yeah? There weren’t any testers around, and the balm itself was sealed. I just threw caution to the wind and hoped for something tangy and delightful.
Why I don’t like it: The smell and taste remind me of…fruity barf? And it’s uncomfortably waxy.
5. Innisfree Eco Beauty Tool Eyelash Curler Petit
It seemed like such a nifty product. My eyelash curler takes up a considerable amount of space in my makeup bag. Often, it’s the last thing I jam in there and hope the zipper doesn’t break. Of course I could always just buy a bigger makeup bag…or a smaller eyelash curler! I’m a genius.
The Innisfree Petite Eyelash Curler was cheap at around KRW3,000 or less than P150. And it was the first time I had seen something like it so I was taken by innovation.
Why I don’t like it: Since the plastic is clear, the light kinda bounces off of it and sorta blinds me? I can’t tell if I caught my eyelashes in the curler unless I’m concentrating in front of a mirror. It did solve the space issue, but somehow it felt more bulky when I use it to curl my lashes because the contraption rests against my eyeball. The product is good in theory, but I think it needs improvement.
6. Watery lip tints
I received The Body Shop Lip & Cheek Stain from the June 2015 BDJ Box, but I have no idea how I got a tube of THEFACESHOP My Lips Eat Cherry Tint. A sales associate must’ve thrown it in my bag when I bought stuff from the Garosugil branch in Seoul. Thank you, unnie?
Why I don’t like it: I really prefer my lip products to be as moisturising as possible. Watery lip tints colour my lips very naturally, but they leave me begging for lip balm after a while. Tints like the ones from THEFACESHOP or The Body Shop or other brands are great if you’re going for a natural look or the gradient lip look Koreans are so fond of, but if you’re happy with a full, hydrated-looking lip like me, let’s stick to tinted lip balm or lipstick.
7. Nature Republic Avocado Mask Sheet
Another week, another mask sheet.
Why I didn’t like it: Nothing major? It just smelled a little old, wasn’t as fragrant as other masks.
8. Beauty Bar makeup brushes
Beauty Bar makeup brushes were 60% off last Christmas, so I went to town on those. I bought a small stippling brush, a cheek brush, a fan brush, a concealer brush (by mistake, thought it was for eyeshadow), and a lip brush.
Why I don’t like it: If I had paid full price for the brushes, I would be really upset right now. The first time I washed the stippling brush and the cheek brush, a lot of bristles came off, and even after I was sure the brush was clean, there was a mysterious black ink (?) that kept seeping out of the handles. I just didn’t want to put that on my face anymore. The fan brush looks buhaghag, too. In my opinion, the quality of Beauty Bar’s brushes is rather poor across the board, and they’re not worth the full price. I’d rather stick to e.l.f. and Happy Skin brushes.
9. Milea Baby Sleep Balm
Why I don’t like it: I’ll cut to the chase. I don’t know if the product I received was a dud or if it really just smelled like that. (I noticed most of my beef with the products on this list has to do with how the products smell, but I’m not pregnant, just so you know.) The smell was so unpleasant. It smelled so old and expired. It went straight to the trash bin, I’m sorry to say. I was disappointed I didn’t get to use this sleep balm. I’m a big fan of baby products.
10. A Bonne Spa Milk Salt (Powder)
I’ve been looking around for a nice exfoliating and whitening scrub for a while, and I chanced upon Liz Lanuzo / Project Vanity’s post about the A Bonne Spa Milk Salt. I’ve been seeing this around Watsons and Landmark for years, but I was skeptical about cheap, pharmacy products with questionable design. I didn’t know better back then. Sometimes the cheaper drugstore products work just as well or even better than high-end products.
The bottle I picked up was the powder formula, so I had to pour the salt on my palm and rub it on wet skin.
Why I don’t like it: Again, nothing major, nothing about the smell or the quality because I’m quite enjoying it. I just prefer the shower formula more since it’s easier to massage on wet skin. I spend more time in the shower when I use the dry powder. I just recommend buying the shower formula, but I still plan on using the powdered one.
What are some of the products you regret buying?