We all have them lurking around our makeup drawers: the Products That Failed. These run the gamut from way too expensive to cheap and not worth it at any price, but the one thing they have in common is that they didn't work. Yet, if you're anything like me you keep some of these products hanging around, either hoping (even subconsciously) that somehow they'll become amazing by spending some time aging in your drawer, or that they'll serve as a talisman against future bad beauty buys. My top three worst-performing products of 2011 thus follow, posted in the hope that you won't make the same mistakes I did with these:
#1: NARS Illuminator in Orgasm
Oh, how I wanted this to work! I love NARS, and I love the Orgasm shade that was all the rage this year. When I first saw it on Sephora.com I thought that it would be the perfect blend of peachy color and dewy illuminating look that I'd been craving in a cheek color. How wrong I was! While the illuminator does look breathtaking in the bottle, there's zero color payoff once you try to blend it in. No matter how much I used, I still only wound up getting the faintest flush on my cheeks, and I suspect at least half of that was from rubbing it in with my fingers. The illuminating qualities are interesting, and I will say that it did make my complexion look dewy for at least a couple of hours, but for $29 I expect something with more color payoff and longevity.
As you can see I've used around half the bottle, mostly in an effort to try to make it work any way I can because the pricetag still irks me. At the moment I'm calling it a base and using it over my tinted moisturizer and under my Tarte cheekstain. I can't say that it makes much of a difference, but hope does spring eternal.
#2: Bumble and Bumble Let It Shine shampoo, conditioner, and finishing spray
Thankfully I wasn't out any cash on this set as it was a 500-point Beauty Insider gift from Sephora. Still, I'm kicking myself for spending those points on this worthless set of hair products. Bumble & Bumble makes some wonderful products (their Sunday Shampoo and leave-in conditioner are two of my favorite beauty products of all time) but this stuff really doesn't live up to my expectations of their brand. The shampoo lathers normally, but doesn't rinse clean. You know that feeling your hair gets when you use a new product that rinses the residue of your daily-use product away? Imagine that in reverse and you'll get an idea of how my hair felt after using the Let it Shine shampoo. Even though I'd rinsed all of the product off, my hair felt sticky and dirty within a few hours of washing. Since I only wash every third day, this was a bad sign. I tried it twice, once with the conditioner and once without, and had the same results both times.
Aside from the fact that it didn't actually clean my hair, I didn't notice any particularly unusual shine to my locks after using the products. Even the shine spray had roughly the same effect as plain water spritzed over my hair prior to blow drying it. Boo.
#3: Smashbox In Bloom Palette
Oh wow, was I upset when this proved to be a big disappointment. The colors are just gorgeous and a combination of matte and slightly shimmery shades. Perfect for daily wear, which is pretty much the yardstick by which I measure most shadows. The pigmentation is almost zero, though. I had to pack a ton of product onto my brushes just to get the barest hint of color, even when using the darker shades. It was my first experience with Smashbox eyeshadow, and will most likely be my last. The only silver lining was that I purchased the palette on sale, so at least I was only out around $20.
Looking at all three products again, I'm probably most upset about the In Bloom palette's failure. The colors are lovely, and I just want it to work so badly! This may be worth a second (more like fifth, but who's counting?) try, and if I do give it another go I'll be sure to post some pictures and another review.
Which failed beauty products are lurking around in your makeup drawers?