What this post is about — mini reviews of my top 5 most disappointing beauty purchases from recent times.
Dwelling on the negative isn’t my style, but learning from it definitely is. This post will be my first ever ‘not worth the hype‘ kind of post. I always prefer writing about things I love to do, to feel, to use, or to experience. However, with some things, you expect your experience to be at a certain level of satisfaction — but, when that fails to happen, you feel let down, somehow. Everything is relative after all — time, pain, success, perceptions, expectations.
For instance, I love every other product from the L.A Girl HD Pro range (see an old review here) except the one I have mentioned below. Nykaa as a brand that’s born and bred in India brings me immense pride, and most of their launches have been phenomenal (see some reviews here, here, and here), and yet their eye shadow palettes turned out to be complete duds. I was blown away by the Gigi Hadid X Maybelline collection when it was launched, and feared that it would be limited edition (see my review here), but felt utterly disappointed with their lip liners. Also, with some of my favourite drugstore brands — brands that I feel I understand — I expect a certain quality, a certain understanding of their audience, and of what competition they must expect with the launch of a particular product. Which means to say that these products may not be all that bad, but they certainly should be beating expectations, rather than not living up to them.
Without further ado, let me get into some mini reviews of my top 5 most disappointing products from recent times.
Mini Disclaimer first — If you use or love any of these products, understand that beauty is like finding love — every product is beautiful in somebody’s eyes and every product is not everyone’s soul mate. If you love it, by all means, rock it. These are things that just didn’t do it for me.
L.A Girl Liquid Lipsticks
I was fighting an internal war, trying to decide whether these liquid lipsticks should be included in this post or not — because I use them often, and I love the shade selection — but there is so much about them that I abhor, so much I would do differently, and so much more that I had expected from these, that finally, they had to be here. I had to bitch about them.
It’s like this — I am standing at the edge of time, and fate gives me two choices — I get to choose between these lipsticks or no lipsticks at all — and I choose them without a flicker of doubt. Which means to say that they aren’t so bad that I’d rather not wear any lipstick at all. But, having said that, they come with some serious relationship bargains — that toxic, love-hate, make up-breakup, hot-n-cold, confused yet consumed sort of situation — the perfect example of a ‘complicated‘ FB relationship status .
Firstly, Fleur is a beautiful orangey, peachy nude (see an older review here). Dreamy is way too much of a concealer nude on my skin tone. Timeless is a cool-toned purple mauve that I dare to wear when I feel like I can walk it, rock it. The darker shades are best to avoid as the application of these lipsticks is streaky, uneven and not very opaque. They are thicker than your average liquid lipsticks and are extremely drying, flaky and uncomfortable to wear. They cannot be layered, because the only thing that looks good crumbly, is an apple pie! Moreover, if like me, you purse your lips every 5 seconds, then there will be some irrevocable mess around the lip area. Trust me, you do not want that. But, there’s a but. I still wear Fleur all the time — guilty as charged. What I do is this — I wear a nude, deeply moisturizing lip crayon underneath it to make it less drying (I use the Nykaa Mattelicious lip crayon in Next Level Nude – see a review/swatch here).
In conclusion, we have a strange relationship — a can’t-live-with-can’t-live-without one. I’ll leave the rest for you to decide — whether you want to get involved or not.
Kiko Milano Smart Hydrating Foundation
Kiko Milano has been recently launched in India and is available for purchase at Nykaa. Known world over for their eye shadow sticks, palettes and singles, and for their extra sculpt volume mascara, Kiko Milano isn’t the most affordable drugstore brand in the Indian beauty market – however, their products have a reputation of always being worth the hype. I haven’t tried many products from the brand but was looking to replace my L.A Girl Pro HD BB Cream with a similar, slightly more high coverage, hydrating foundation — and the Smart Hydrating Foundation by Kiko Milano seemed to fit perfectly into my needs. Priced reasonably, and with a huge variety of shades, I was really looking forward to fall in love with this daily wear foundation.
However, the first time I tried using it with my regular stippling brush, it did not blend well at all. I could feel my brush tugging at my skin, unable to provide smooth application. It clung on to dry patches and accentuated pores, applied unevenly, dried too fast, looked pale and cakey post application, and the final finish had a typical, artificial foundation feel to it. It also oxidised on me after a while, and gave me a mild skin rash (and a few tiny break-outs). Safe to say that we parted ways soon after.
I am in the shade Warm Rose 30.
L.A Girl HD Pro Setting Powder
This has been by far my most disappointing purchase of all time. Not because it was too expensive or wasn’t great in quality, but simply because the entire Pro HD range from L.A Girl has been absolutely smashing. I have been using products from this range for over a year now, have repurchased them often and have never found reasons to find replacements for them — they are my dearest staples (see my review here). So, it was only obvious that I had really high expectations from this setting powder that were anything but met.
The setting powder (in shade translucent) comes extremely finely milled, to the extent that when you ever so gently dip your brush in it, it dusts all over the place, and disappears into thin air. The little bit that deposits on your face has a powdery feel to it, that doesn’t do anything to set your foundation or concealer in place (you try to stay still as a statue while you apply it, in the fear that the little product remaining on your brush may wither away if you move) — constantly getting into your nostrils and instigating one sneeze after another. If you apply too much in one place, it leaves a white cast, and while you try to distribute it evenly on your face, it does the classic disappearing act AGAIN. This isn’t the first translucent powder I have used, so I know that this can’t be me not being able to cope with the drama! This product has a heavy cosmetic feel and smell to it — not something I can put my finger on but surely something that doesn’t feel natural on the skin.
For a long time, I had shoved this powder deep into the back of my makeup cabinet, because looking at it would drive me crazy. I would have accepted it all had it been a powder that could at least be picked up on a brush and applied to the face. I feel like if a powder won’t do even that, then really, there’s nothing to talk about here. Am I right or am I right!?
Nykaa Wink It! Eye Shadow Palette
Most brands cannot do eye shadows to satisfaction, but then most brands do not launch mind-blowing make-up one after another — so when Nykaa launched these eye shadow palettes, I was as curious as the neighbourhood cat to get my hands on them. I chose the nude palette Dare to Bare (it comes in two other variants – Smokin’ hot and Crazy in Love) But, the moment I looked at the palette, I knew there was something wrong.
This palette has 6 tiny, shimmer eye shadows, which on swatching, all look pretty much the same. One swipe on the finger brings no pigmentation at all; the shade selection has no meaning; and no matte shadows means that there is hardly anything you can do with them. All 6 shadows, after a lot of brush dips, deposit somewhat of a dull sheen on the lids that fades into nothing in a couple of hours. No colour-pay off or lasting power whatsoever. They claim to be wet and dry shadows, but using Fix Plus to apply them didn’t seem to be making any magic. This one’s got to be the most disappointing one of my top 5. I was almost crushed to see Nykaa creating something that they knew was not worth it. I rest my case.
Gigi Hadid X Maybelline Lip Liner
I know, I know. A lot of beauty bloggers love these lip liners — and for good reason. The packaging is beautiful, the pigmentation is just fine, the lasting power is decent and they are extremely affordable. But, here lies my problem — Taura, Erin and Mccall — all the nude shades, look like ash on my lips. Yes, like I ate a lot of ash and forgot to rinse. I am not sure if these colours are meant to flatter only Caucasian skin — in which case, launching them in India makes absolutely no sense to me. Anyhow, if you are keen on trying these, steer clear of the nudes, experiment with the reds (Khair or Austyn).
Don’t get me wrong — I love love love everything else from the Gigi Hadid X Maybelline collection. I only wish that these lip liners came in shades that were more universally flattering. But since this is a shade issue and not a quality qualm, I’ll let this one pass. Forgiven and forgotten. Done and Dusted.
1709 words and a lot of sad, long sighs later, it’s finally time to say goodbye.
P.S: Wearing my new favourite nude lip in these pictures – MAC Liptensity in Smoked Almond. Present handbag staple.
Until next time,