Let’s be honest – positive reviews are great for knowing how many things to add to your online basket, or what things to look out for on a scout of your local Boots. However, sometimes it’s nice hearing what not to spend your money on. This is especially true for products on the pricier end of the spectrum, which is where many of these items fall.
Under each review I’ve listed my alternative recommendation, because I’m helpful like that, along with a non-affiliated link to the product. Without further ado, it’s time to talk disappointing products!
Nuxe Reve De Miel Lip Balm
I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a negative review of this product, but this much loved lip balm definitely left me a little disappointed. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a terrible product by any means – it nourishes the lips as advertised – but it didn’t blow me away.
The texture of this balm is very unique. It isn’t extremely emollient and leaves a matte finish, which I was a fan of for low maintenance, minimal makeup days – I’m not always a fan of having an oil slick on my lips. However, I can’t say that this was a product that lived up to the hype for me. With its cult following, I expected baby soft lips overnight, but this worked just like a regular lip balm. It smoothed the surface layer of chapped skin, but did little more than that. I also found that it would cake up in the corners of my mouth if I didn’t apply a thin layer (I didn’t know that lip balms could do this. I guess caking isn’t just reserved to complexion products). I’ll definitely continue to use this, but I have cheaper balms with better formulas that I would repurchase over this.
Alternative recommendation: The Nivea lip butters (£1.50; come in a range of scents) are creamier and work wonders at softening and rehydrating your lips overnight. The Nivea offering are my go-to in winter, when the shrivelled lips look reaches its peak.
Urban Decay Naked Skin Concealer
This is another product that is surrounded by a lot of hype in the beauty community, with many people praising its coverage and natural looking finish on their skin. I’m sad to say that this wasn’t the case for me – the formula feels quite drying under my eyes, and doesn’t sit naturally on blemishes. I do have dehydrated skin and a few dry patches, but I’d go as far as to say this is one of the driest concealers I’ve ever tried. For a product that’s touted as being ‘weightless’ I found the finish to look quite cakey and heavy on my skin, even when blended out with a damp blending sponge.
Their shade range is also bizarre. I found that the shade ‘fair neutral’ pulled a little too yellow on my skin tone for it to look natural, and the colour would sometimes even look greyish under the eyes. The next shade up (‘light warm’) is too dark and warm for me, and the cakey finish wouldn’t make it worth purchasing just to mix the two. I’ve tried so hard to love this concealer but I’ve finally realised that it’s not the one for me.
Alternative recommendation: The Rimmel Match Perfection concealer (£5.99) is one of my favourite under eye concealers. It has slightly less coverage than the Urban Decay version, but it’s very hydrating and always looks natural on the skin. The brush tip also makes it great for smoothing a light layer under the eyes. A word of warning though – this concealer has a limited shade selection, so it may be worth purchasing some lightening/darkening drops if you’re interested.
Urban Decay One & Done Complexion Perfector
Next up is another product from Urban Decay, and one that truly broke my heart. I absolutely loved the One & Done when I first purchased it following its launch in summer 2016. The packaging is beautiful, and the finish it gave was a beautiful satin that kept the oils from my forehead in check while providing a pretty, summery glow.
So why is it included as a disappointing product? Well, I noticed that over time, the formula of this seemed to change. Just to clarify, when I say ‘over time’, I’m not talking years – I’m talking a few short months. The shade now looks quite orange on me and the finish is not what it used to be. Some days it blends fairly well, but other days it looks patchy and cakey, even if I use exactly the same base products. I know I’m not the only person to say this – a couple of my favourite beauty Instagram accounts (namely poofie.peej and hsbeautyblog) noted similar inconsistencies over time. This definitely isn’t a base that will stand the test of time – it could be good for you if you’re looking for something to take away on a two week beach holiday, but I doubt you’ll enjoy using it a lot after that.
Alternative recommendation: The BareMinerals Complexion Rescue (£27) is dewier and thinner but will stand the test of time far better than this. It blends easily with other bases and BB creams, which is great if you wanted more coverage. The shade range is also much wider in the Complexion Rescue.
Rimmel 60 Second Nail Polish in ‘462 – Loosey Goosey Dancin’
This one really surprised me, because I’m a fan of the 60 Second formula as a whole. Granted, it’s not the best nail polish range I’ve ever tried, but it generally gives good opacity and shine and lasts well given the small price tag. Loosey Goosey Dancin’, however, was another story. It chipped incredibly quickly and left a sickening shade of yellow behind on my nails that took days to remove. What made it worse was that I’d used a gold glitter polish for my accent nail (it was St. Patrick’s day, so I was going all out with the pot of gold theme) and the demarcation made it painfully clear just how badly my nails were stained. I’ll pre-empt any ‘but did you use a base coat?’ questions by saying yes, I always do, and it’s one I’ve used and enjoyed for a while now. I think it’s fair to say the goose was definitely loose with this shade – he was off staining my nails.
Alternative recommendation: The No7 nail polishes are some of my favourites I’ve ever tried. While they are a tad pricier, I really do think you get your money’s worth – they’re opaque without being gloopy, are extremely shiny and last the longest on my nails of any polish I’ve tried. I don’t have an exact colour match, but I recommend the entire range. I prefer the Gel Finish line a tad more (£7.50) due to its glossy finish, but the Stay Perfect collection (£6) is really lovely too.
NYX Proof It! Eyeshadow Primer
I’ve certainly used some poor excuses for eyeshadow primers in my time, but this is hands down one of the worst I’ve tried. I got the chance to test this after I forgot to pack one and my sister let me borrow hers, and I was shocked at how bad it was. I used this two days in a row with an eyeshadow palette I’d only used a couple of times, and attributed the patchy, unblended final look to those shadows. I only realised on day three, after forgoing a primer in favour of simple concealer, how wrong I was.
Simply put, nothing blends on top of this primer. It may feel dry and set (and a little silicone-y) on your lid, but powders almost seem to stick in certain spots, as though it were still tacky. I felt like I was carving a hole in my eyelid trying to blend anything out on top of this primer, and the shadows were still faded and beginning to crease by the end of the day. NYX is probably my favourite brand on the highstreet, so I’m sad to be saying this about one of their products, but this primer really disappointed me.
Alternative recommendation: The Essence 2in1 Eyeshadow & Primer (£2.80) lasts far longer than the NYX version and, most importantly, sits well under other shadows. I have mine in the shade 01 Nude Beige, and the tint helps cancel out any veins on the eyelid to leave a completely blank canvas.
Thanks for reading! What beauty products have really disappointed you recently? Are any of these your holy grails? Let me know in the comments below.