Friday, 23 May 2014

Wednesday Whine | Five products I just don't rate

Strap yourselves in folks and prepare for some controversy! Since I started blogging in earnest last year I've come across certain things that it seems all beauty bloggers love that I simply loathe.


First up, a disclaimer: This is meant to be a lighthearted post! I'm not saying that if you love one of these things or even all of them (which you probably will) that you are wrong! I'm sure we've all sat back and watched a product we hate being hyped to Holy Grail stardom. I'm here to say that it is OK to dislike something everyone else loves and it's even OK to admit it! I really hope you appreciate my sense of humour in this post *insert winky face here*

Let's get down to business...

1. MUA (Makeup Academy)
Makeup Academy is sold exclusively via Superdrug. Although I had seen the stand in store and even glanced at it a couple of times I was always put off by the cheapness of the packaging. It looked like makeup for very young teenagers and the price tag suggested the same. It wasn't until late 2013 that I was convinced by all the reviews I'd seen on beauty blogs and decided to give it a go. Hundreds of beauty bloggers can't be wrong, can they?

MUA palette and nail polishes
No word of a lie - I had to dig the palette out of the bin to take the photo.
Since everything was so cheap (not affordable, just cheap!) I went a little crazy and spent about £35 on a couple of palettes, lipstick, nail polishes, blush, primer, foundation and concealer. What a waste of money! I found the nail polish streaky even with several coats. The blush didn't blend and the complexion products not only sank into every crease and pore but they oxidised heavily so my pale skin ended up with a Tango-esque hue. The biggest disappointment was the eyeshadow. For weeks all I'd seen was review after review calling the palettes "Naked dupes". I was left wondering if anyone had ever actually used an Urban Decay palette! Of the three palettes I bought none of them were usable on my lids. The colour just sat in a block where it had been applied and refused to blend. I used every technique known to (wo)man to try and blend it and all I ended up with was sore eyelids. Ouch.

I have to say that my mantra is still thus - never buy an eyeshadow that comes with a plastic and sponge applicator.

To summarise: The packaging is cheap looking and not particularly robust. The colours and pigmentation aren't great. The lipstick dried my lips. The nail polish was streaky and chipped easily and the complexion products made me orange. It's because of MUA that I won't try Makeup Revolution. I'd rather save my £4 and buy a box of donuts. Am I a snob? Not really; who doesn't love a bargain?! But is it really a bargain if it doesn't work on my skin? No; it's a waste of £35 that I could have used buying a Chanel foundation.


2. POREfessional by Benefit Cosmetics
According to the Benefit website this is the number one selling primer in the UK. I've never actually spent any money on it but have somehow managed to acquire four sample size tubes in the last 18 months. The first one came in a gift pack that I received from my husband and the others were free with magazines or came in subscription beauty boxes.

Benefit Porefessional

I will admit that if I use this primer on its own without foundation that it does blur my pores and make them appear smaller. However, it's marketed primarily as a primer to use before foundation and other complexion products. This primer actually has the opposite effect when used with any of my foundations. When I use this before foundation it allows the foundation to sink in to every pore on my nose, leaving it resembling a golf ball. Foundations that I've never previously had any problems with just don't sit well on my skin when I use POREfessional. That's enough for me to dislike it, no further explanation needed. I prefer Becca Line and Pore Corrector or Una Brennan's Deep Clean Anti-Shine Pore Minimiser.


3. They're Real! Mascara by Benefit Cosmetics
Although I don't have a personal vendetta against Benefit I am also not hugely convinced by the brand in general. I think they spend a lot of time making their packaging adorable and their product names memorable, but a lot of their line is, in my opinion, dire. They're Real! is a mascara I put off trying because it only comes in one shade - black. If you've read my blog before and continue to read past this point then you'll understand why this is a huge annoyance for me. I am so pale and have such fair eyelashes that black mascara is just far too harsh for me to use during the day. It's fine when I'm glamming it up so when this mascara was given away in May's Birchbox I was quite excited because everybody loves it!

Benefit They're Real Mascara

I wanted to love this, I really did. But I don't. I like a mascara to leave my lashes looking fuller but this just made them look spidery! I typed "They're Real Mascara" in to Google images and to my eyes it just looks clumpy, flaky and really unnatural on most people and this isn't a look that I can carry off. I've seen a lot of bloggers (such as Beauty & Le Chic) who can make this mascara do wonders. I can't. And nor can a LOT of people whose reviews I've read. I guess length trumps style sometimes. Huge thumbs down from me I'm afraid. Sorry (not sorry)!

4. Black eyeliner / mascara
I know this isn't a specific product but there are so many black eyeliners and mascaras in the world and only so much space. I've tried lots of them, from gel and liquid eyeliners to pencils and powders but I just can't carry off the black eyeliner look. As mentioned above I have very fair eyelashes, so fair in fact that it probably looks like I don't have any to anyone standing a few feet away from me sans makeup. When I coat them in black mascara and eyeliner it just looks super fake. It makes me uncomfortable actually, although I can't pinpoint why! I think that for me, brown mascara (sometimes brown/black if I'm being daring!) looks much more natural and pleasant. I love using coloured eyeliners to complement my eyeshadow and find them much softer on my features. I also have small eyes so lashings of black just accentuates this.
 
Eyeliners
A selection of my favourite eyeliners - the No7 shadow powder is AWESOME! They really need to make more shades.
Flashback: I have a theory about why I dislike black eyeliner so much and it dates back to when I was a teenager growing up around the 'alternative' music scene. All the other girls used to line their eyes heavily in black eyeliner, reams and reams of the stuff (think Avril Lavigne but not quite as well applied!) My mum wouldn't have let me leave the house with such terrible makeup so I didn't partake in the fad and always felt like I wasn't as "scene" as everyone else. So there you have it - a small admission about my failings to fit in as a teenage girl! Luckily I couldn't give two hoots now about whether I'm "on trend" or not, and I think this post suggests I'm clearly not.


5. GlossyBox
When I first signed up to GlossyBox it was rammed with high end, niche or emerging brands. It marketed itself as containing "deluxe" samples and it did. Through GlossyBox I found my favourite cleanser, Gamila Secret as well as a perfume I actually adore (very rare!) As the months went on I started to receive things that were simply cheap, including items clearly labelled "free sample" (anyone remember the Yu-Be cream?!) I'm not against a subscription box containing all high street brands but that isn't what I signed up for. I wanted to try high end products before taking the plunge and investing - GlossyBox started off well but seems to have lost its way somehow.

Even the official description of GlossyBox has changed; it now describes itself as "a monthly beauty box subscription filled with five beauty essentials for you to discover". Gone are the days of high end products it would seem. I don't have enough hair to need a hair donut and I can buy Vaseline and Scholl products in Home Bargains for next to nothing. These aren't brands I'm yet to discover. Sure, I will use them but not because they're new and exciting but because they're things I'd buy anyway.

GlossyBox
After the last lot of everyday items I received I cancelled my subscription and I know a lot of other people who did too. I read a lot of reviews from people who highly rated their box but I just looked at the contents and thought "nah". I suppose it really does depend why you signed up and whether or not your expectations are being met. There is literally no personalisation with GlossyBox, people with a pixie cut can't make use of a hair donut can they?! Like I said GlossyBox has clearly changed its demographics and I'm just not in their target market anymore. I want to discover new brands not ones that are currently in the 'reduced aisle' in Superdrug. I'm not looking down on anyone who might like the new direction GlossyBox has taken, far from it, it just doesn't meet my needs anymore.

Well there you have it! You wouldn't believe how difficult it was to narrow this selection down to five. Are there any products or brands that you don't like, no matter how hard you try? I'd LOVE to hear about it so please do leave a comment.

Have you entered my giveaway yet? To celebrate my new blog layout I'm hosting a giveaway where you can win prizes from MAC, NARS, Yankee Candle and Models Own. Enter here!

45 comments:

  1. I'm with you on 'they're real'. More 'they're real...ly shit'. Love black eyeliner though Simone, couldn't live without it! Just started using brown liner for work though and I do prefer it for daytime xx

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    1. You've got the right skin tone to wear black eyeliner / mascara whereas I just look like a "goth" (nothing against goths, I'm just not one!) x

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    2. Haha!! Un-ashamably missing my goth youth is why I love my black mascara & eyeliner (but I dont wear it often as Stefan loves to touch/kiss/smudge/poke/rub my eyes....and the rest of my face - so clearly that would only result in persistant panda eyes :p ) But anyway that's my two-pennys-worth xx

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    3. I do hope people think Stefan is your partner, hehe ;-) x

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  2. The comment about never trusting eyeshadow that comes with a sponge and plastic applicator cracked me up! So true too! x

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    1. Thanks Lucy, I'm glad people have taken the whole post in the lighthearted manner it was intended!

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  3. we have something called as FAB BAG in India which is just like Glossy Box , though they claimed they would give luxury beauty products , they give products that I would anyways but regularly :( and I completely agree with the MUA review , even I don't like their products , they are simply tacky :'(

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    1. It would be great if MUA suited my skin and great things but it just doesn't :( Thanks for stopping by Anu!

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  4. I have natural long lashes and though I have black lashes and very fair skin I also prefer a brown/black mascara. I also tried the They're real mascara it looks nice on BUT I CANT ever EVER get the damn stuff off which ruins my naturally long and strong lashes. I personally prefer False Lash Effect mascara which I have used for years but wanted to try something different and I really wish I hadn't because the Benefit mascara is more expensive - at this moment in time I cant remember the brand.

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    1. I've heard a lot about it being hard to remove - when that happens it just makes the whole eye area red and sore, and like you said yourself it damages your own lashes too!

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  5. I couldn't agree more with you about the They're Real mascara! I really don't rate it either! Very good, very honest post! :) xx

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    1. Thank you, I think the post in general has been received as intended! I wish more people would tell me what they don't rate though!

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  6. Great post! I love your honesty. I don't like They're Real because I find it really, really hard to remove, and that's enough to put me off using it.

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    1. Oh dear, I have heard it's hard to remove! That just causes irritation in a very sensitive area! I like to read other blogs where people have "negative" things to say because we can't ALL like the same things. Thank you for your comment and for reading :)

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  7. haha - I love this! Here here! I think I'm going to pop a little post together like this!

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    1. Thanks so much, haha! Don't forget the parody posts you talked about ;-)

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  8. Totally agree about glossybox, I unsubscribed as well! I do like They're Real but it definitely isn't for everyone - I need a mascara which separates which I think it does well.

    Jasmin Charlotte

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    1. We all have different needs when it comes to makeup and skincare and I really wanted to They're Real but it just isn't for me :(

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  9. Agree about the They're Real! mascara. First time I used it I loved it so got it again recently and just...no. Must prefer some cheaper brands. Really rating Boots' Seventeen range atm for mascaras and (cheap, £4!) powder.x

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    1. My favourite has been No7 Lash Adapt in brown/black for quite some time. It's the only mascara I've ever repurchased! It's great when you find a keeper!

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  10. I really don't get on with Benefit either, They're Real is spidery and awful, and The Porefessional makes my makeup slide off.
    I do love MUA's palettes, though, I've never had any problems blending (and I do own an UD palette too :P)
    Fab post, always nice to hear the other side of the story :)

    Jess xo

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    1. I think it might be my eyelids or something - I'd love for everything by MUA to be amazing because I'd have more money to spend on other things if I only had to pay £4 for a palette, but alas it isn't meant to be. Thanks for the comment, I'm really glad people haven't taken the post th wrong way! :)

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  11. Excellent post! My went spidery with the Benefit stuff stuff too! My friend recently said he didn't like the porefessional either, but it's great on my skin so I wonder if it's a skin type thing?
    x

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    1. I definitely think it depends on skin type because so many other people love it! I must have percuiar skin (well, I know I do!) Thanks for the comment Indra :-)

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    2. Purciar? I mean peculiar!

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  12. Love this post, always think its refreshing to read the negatives!!
    I agree on the Glossybox, I had it for over 2 years before cancelling at the beginning of this year for the same reasons.
    I do love They're Real & black eyeliner tho! ;)
    Fab post!
    Lianne | TheBrunetteSays...

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    1. Thanks Lianne - It's so rare I for me to see negative reviews! I wonder if people are afraid to say bad things in case they don't get any PR samples? :-|
      Thanks for the lovely comment x

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  13. I totally agree with everything expect the MUA bit :P I find everything by benefit over rated in general though, especially their mascaras! The only decent product is the hoola bronzer! x

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    1. I think Benefit try too hard to make their packaging and product nams as cute and kooky as possible and whilst I do love the packaging I prefer the products to do the talking!

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  14. I've been using a few MUA products and really like them! Always find posts like this super interesting though Gisforgingers xx

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    1. I think it just depends on skin and personal preferences really! I wish more people woul do posts like this as I like to know I'm not the only person who has problems with certain brands etc!

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  15. I also am yet to really love a beauty subcription box, and I have to agree with you on MUA - there's only a couple of gems in that brand!

    Amy| The Little Koala Blog ♥

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    1. I'm quite pleased with Birchbox at the moment as they've some reall good collaboration going on!

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  16. Thanks for sharing! I like posts like these because as much as I like to see products that people like, it's nice and informative to also know why people don't like certain products and why. I am not a fan of Glossybox too! Like your blog too btw - chanced upon and am so glad I did! xx

    Beautee Beauty | Malaysian/UK Beauty Blog

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    1. Thanks Amanda, that's so nice of you to say so! I also like to see the "other side of the coin" when it comes to beauty products!

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    2. You're welcome Simone! =D

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  17. Hehe love this post! It really demonstrates that we're all different when it comes to our personal makeup and beauty preferences! Got to admit it though, I'm a big MUA fan! :)

    The Miss Beauty Saver Blog

    P.S. I've got a Wantable Beauty Box Giveaway up on my blog atm!

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    1. I think this might be the fourth time you've told me about the Wantable post ;-)

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  18. I love some MUA products but others I have hated so I can understand you for that one but black liner is one of my favourite things! I love this post it really outlines different tastes in different products!xx

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    1. I love reading about things I like that other people don't - you're right it really highlights how different we all are and how something might be the HOLY GRAIL for one person and complete rubbish for another. Thanks Beth x

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  19. I'm with you on MUA, I had a lipstick a while back, tried it once and ended up chucking it. Awful. Must admit I am a fan of Benefit's They're Real Mascara, but I can see where you're coming from! Great idea for a post.
    Sarah - hereyoume.co.uk

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    1. Thanks Sarah, I'd love more people to blog about more negative things - just so that we all know we're not alone ;-)

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  20. Great Post. Lovely Blog. I am really loving your blog.
    I am following your blog. pls follow back,xxx
    BeautyDrugs new blog post click & comment

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  21. your blog is amazing! amazing blog post!

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  22. Love this post, always think its refreshing to read the negatives!!

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