I know that I’ve been a bit AWOL the last few months, but I’ve still been wearing makeup. I mean, obviously. It makes me feel like an actual person instead of a depressed swamp hermit, so yeah, I still try shit. I’ve tried some great stuff in 2019, and some really terrible stuff. Here are a few of the worst things I tried.
Julep complexion products
I’ve been a fan of Julep beauty since 2013 when I first discovered their Maven program. It was the first monthly beauty box I ever subscribed to, and it introduced me to their excellent nail polishes, brushes, and lip products. They’ve been through some shit in the last year or so, including being acquired by a beauty conglomerate, and that conglomerate’s bankruptcy shortly thereafter. They were rescued from the brink by the founders of e.l.f. and will supposedly be around for a while, but the lineup is a bit of a mess right now.
All this background is to say, I finally got around to trying their two complexion products. I’m a little confused about the difference between the Cushion Complexion and Perk It Concealer since they’re basically the same product in the same format. Either way, it is bad. The applicator pulls on my face/eye skin in a weird way, and the little sponge thingies break apart easily. The product itself balls up and flakes off. Not exactly what I’m looking for in a concealer or a pseudo-foundation.
Get this instead: Skip the Brush Blush. I’m not even a huge fan of cream blushes, but these are good. I have three of them, and they’re all lovely. Sheer but buildable, blend super quickly and easily and don’t set too fast. I can literally draw stripes on my face and still make these look good.
This has the same kind of applicator as the Julep products, and basically, the same thing happened when I attempted to use it. Maybe my skin just hates these spongy things? I’ve never had a problem with the Maybelline version though. Get it together other brands.
Get this instead: Joah Cushion foundation. The world was made a much worse place when Maybelline and L’Oreal both discontinued their cushion foundations. We were left with only one readily available drugstore option for cushion foundations, and while I really like Wet ‘n Wild’s version, you won’t ever convince me that having choices is a bad thing. This cushion is a little pricier than WnW, but it’s on par with other drugstore foundations. The shade range is abysmal, as with most cushions, even high end, but it’s luminous but doesn’t make me look greasy and lasts a surprisingly long time. Also, it’s cute. Bonus points.
I have very fine hair, and over the winter and spring, I was really concerned about the amount of it I started to lose. It was getting thin in more places than I was comfortable with, so of course, I attempted to do something about it. This is the first shampoo and conditioner pair I purchased, and after using it once I returned it. First and foremost, it smells disgusting. It smells like something rotting, covered with a weird sweet scent. The overall effect is just gross, and I didn’t want my hair to smell like that. Also, it made my hair look and feel dirty. It was flat and dull and the whole thing was not good. Dislike.
Get this instead: Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Scalp Care Anti-Thinning Shampoo and Conditioner. It smells infinitely better, and if you’ve ever used the classic tea tree line from this brand you know how this works. I didn’t use it long enough to know if it helped with the thinning, but the smell alone makes me like it more than the Pura d’or.
I’m going to call this the biggest disappointment/betrayal of 2019. It’s so cute, and the colors are so wearable while also being thematically correct for Ms. Rabbit. I had such high hopes, and I was so excited to buy it that I didn’t even wait for the reviews to start rolling in. I felt in my gut that it was going to be amazing and I’d love it and wear it every day.
The reality is that I used it twice, and the shadows are such garbage that I completely gave up. There’s like no pigment, and it takes a lot to get them to even show up on the eye. I tried using the shimmers with multiple different kinds of brushes, wet and dry, my fingers, everything, and I couldn’t get any payoff. They blended into nothing. Ugh. I’m getting frustrated just thinking about trying to use this palette. It’s currently in a box in my office while I try to figure out what to do with it and whether or not my broken heart will heal.
Get this instead: Nothing from Ciate. They can’t be trusted.
I included this in a disappointing products post a couple months ago, and it remains one of the worst products I tried this year. I hate it and it’s stupid.
This year e.l.f. released new skincare products, and being a fan of the brand I was really excited to try them. The packaging is cute and I’m all for niacinamide anything. I bought it in the fall when I was going on a bunch of trips, so having a mini kid was an added bonus.
The stuff in this kit ranged from mediocre to just plain pointless. I didn’t feel like the cleanser actually cleaned my skin, and that’s weird. The jelly moisturizer is a little difficult to get out of the pot but feels like water on my skin, which is cool, but doesn’t make my skin feel moisturized. The toner and mask were just kind of, there. Huge disappointment.
Get this instead: e.l.f Holy Hydration! Face Cream. I have oily skin so I can’t use really heavy moisturizers, but this stuff is great as a winter night cream. It’s inexpensive, doesn’t break me out and makes my skin feel really lovely and hydrated.
Oh boy, this product.
It’s a BB cream with no coverage but somehow still made my face look grey. I couldn’t wear makeup over it because it was so greasy. It smelled really bad. It’s also astronomically expensive.
Don’t buy this.
Get this instead: Coola Classic Face Organic Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30. This is the OG sunscreen from this brand, and I really like it. I don’t like the price, but if you get this in a subscription box or something like I did, it’s a good product.
IT’S A PANDA! Seriously, how could I not buy this? It’s supposed to be really hydrating and brightening, but I don’t know how it could be a base for anything because it’s a straight up balm. It’s really greasy, and for someone who already has oily skin, it’s not helpful. It also leaves an odd white cast and doesn’t really absorb. It might be ok for someone who doesn’t wear eye makeup or has dry skin, but it’s not for me. Still super cute though.
Get this instead: TonyMoly Pandas Dream White Sleeping Mask, or any of the sheet masks. The sleeping mask is also really cute, and the cream isn’t too heavy even for my skin. It doesn’t break me out, and it does leave a white cast, but who cares? I’m wearing it to sleep.
If you’ve never tried their sheet masks you definitely should. They’re inexpensive and cute and were some of the first sheet masks I ever used.
Ok, I know that Too Faced isn’t exactly known for their skincare, but I really like the Hangover primer, so I had high hopes. Also, it was a gift with purchase a few months ago when it launched, so I didn’t have anything to lose by trying it. Except for my unclogged pores.
To be clear, this isn’t a bad product. It’s a decent sunscreen and held up pretty well in the Florida winter heat. It’s not for oily skin though. It made me look really greasy even when I didn’t use much, and it broke me out way worse than other sunscreens I’ve used. I made a second attempt to use it in the New York winter cold, and it still made me look greasy and broke me out but didn’t actually moisturize my face. I don’t know how that works.
Get this instead: Too Faced Hangover Replenishing Face Primer. I’ve been using it for years and it’s great. Hydrating, doesn’t look shiny or break me out, smells good. There’s a reason it’s been so popular for so long. I also really like the 3-in-1 spray.
Have you tried any of this stuff? What were your worst products of 2019?