Regrettable Purchases

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Blame it on hype, jet lag, or lucrative GWP offers, we all have products sitting in our drawers that will probably never see the light of day again.  They hide deep in the back and when we actually see them, we might even shake our heads with disgust thinking "Why in the world did I buy that?!".  This is my hall of shame of regrettable purchases:

First up are MAC products.  MAC has released an endless amount of limited edition collections.  The hype coupled with rave reviews on the blogosphere makes you think you need to purchase everything.  In my case, these 5 products surely did not live up to the hype or promises of turning me into the next Ms. Universe.

MAC Fix+ - It's touted as a magical elixir, potion, spray, whatever you want to call it. I purchased it after reading numerous reviews.  It's great as a mixing medium for pigments, but that's about as far as it gets for me. When I sprayed it on my face, it felt like a liquid version of hairspray that's extremely sticky on my skin.  It didn't keep my makeup on longer, fresher, or improve my skin texture. In fact, I broke out terribly afterward.

MAC Mineralize SkinFinish (Medium and Shimmer) - This is advertised to be much better compared to traditional powders because it's made of minerals.  I was struggling with mild acne at the time and thought this would be the answer to my prayers. What it gave me were cystic pimples that took months to recover. This powder completely clogged my pores just like Bare Escentuals. I learned that just because it's "mineral" doesn't mean it's better for your skin, especially for those who are acne-prone.

MAC Shadesticks - The two I picked up were from the Sugarsweet Collection in Butternutty and Lemon Chiffon.  I was at a duty free shop and impulsively purchased them.  They're tough to apply on the lids, dried up easily, and crease instantly. 

MAC Lightful Deep Ultramoisture Creme - There are very few reviews on this product but those that did use it said it gave them brighter skin.  I asked the SA if it contained alcohol, she said no. The creme arrived and there it was..alcohol. It is slightly sticky and dried out my skin instead of moisturizing it. Brightening effect? Zilch. You're better off spending your $38USD elsewhere.

I have a very small collection of NARS products and quite frankly, most of them don't get used that often.  However, these 2 were truly disappointing to say the least.

NARS Tzarine - I still kick myself for missing out on Rajasthan but that's a story of the past.  Tzarine swatches beautifully on my arm. I was mesmerized by the shimmer in both shades.  Yet, I walked away from it at least a dozen times.  For some odd reason, I purchased it during Sephora's recent F&F sale. On my lids, the shades were mediocre at best.  The gorgeous shimmers didn't show up and it became yet another greyish smokey eye.

NARS Multiples Duo (Orgasm/South Beach) - This was either limited edition or maybe it performed so poorly that NARS yanked it from their permanent lineup.  It is incredibly tough to get the colors to show up on my cheeks. To this day, I still can't figure out how to pick up the colors from the pan. I think my fingers work best since none of the brushes work with them.  Thank goodness NARS came out with the new Illuminators.

I blame both of these purchases on jet lag. I purchased both of them while traveling overseas.  Your mind can play tricks on you when you've been sitting on a plane for 15 hours.

Shu Uemura UV Underbase Mousse - A foundation primer that's a mousse coupled with 2 gwp made this sound like a great idea at the time.  Imagine applying hair mousse on your face and you get this.  It does absolutely nothing to increase foundation wear time.

La Mer Blanc de La Mer Infusion - It was midnight and I was at a duty free store. That's the best explanation I have for purchasing this product.  It doesn't brighten my skin in any way, shape, or form.  In fact, it is incredibly expensive. I think it was $175USD at the time of purchase.  If you're looking for a product to give your skin a brighter complexion, this is definitely not it.

At the end of the day, there are some rules I have learned to follow when it comes to purchasing cosmetics:

    1. If I've seen a product, swatched it, and walked away the first time, there was probably a good reason why I didn't buy it.  Stick to that decision.

    2. Don't purchase cosmetics when you're jet lagged. All logical reasoning goes out the door when there's lack of sleep.

    3. Listen to your instincts. If it tells you that a particular texture will not work, it's probably right. You know yourself best.

     4. Don't give into hype. No matter how much everyone else tells you a certain product works, if it has an ingredient you know will break you out, skip it.

What are some of your regrettable purchases? Any rules you abide to when making purchasing decisions?


Hopelessly Devoted To Makeup said...

I regret buying my Edward Bess lip gloss (it's sticky), my Butter London 'No More Waity, Katie' nail polish, and my LMDB 'Midnight Sky' eye shadow. All were duds and disappointments. Don't buy anything after 9:00pm. Period. Thanks, for sharing your regrets with us. Sorry about them.

luv2smilexo said...

I pretty much avoid mac like the plague. I dont like their, release as many collections as we can right now with tons of LE products philosophy. I tend to prefer to stick to items that have more natural ingredients as well.

productdoctor said...

Great post!!!! I wonder how many regrettable purchases I have sitting in my drawers. Scared to look!

Jessy said...

aw~~~i have MAc mineralize skin finished in natural medium deep and one in cheeky bronze, and i really like them, of course i use them as bronzer/contour only...not as face powder~~~but my frd has the same problem with all powder-y MAc product too~~~but i admit that i sometime bnuy stuff cuz of the packaging...and they turn out to be crap~~~lol


Delyteful Speaks said...

Oh I totally agree with you on the NARS Multiples Duo (Orgasm/South Beach).. It was my first ever encounter with NARS Orgasm which I so badly wanted to try.. And when I got this I was sooo disappointed.. It barely showed up! And it would slide off too quickly.. Not a great prodcut for me at all!

I wrote a whole post on "Products that just didn't work for me" and it's a long list =P

But purchasing those products has taught me two things:

- Ask for sample
- Don't believe the hype

Mercedes- Ms Purple Make-up said...

I love these type of posts..they are more informative than reviews!
I'm surprised about the bad results from the MAC Mineralize SkinFinish. It looks lovely in the pan.
And that La Mer Blanc de La Mer Infusion ouch!!!
Brilliant post.

Beauty's Bad Habit said...

I quite enjoy using the Shu Uemura under base mousse - it's not stick, dries quickly and I can't even feel it's on. I agree that it does absolutely nothing, though! Pointless, but I still enjoy it :S

JC! :) said...

I made a similar post the other day, except it was moreso focused towards my shopping triggers which sometimes inspired me to purchase things that I today also regret.

Great blog. I love your clear writing style and am now a follower.

MEOW said...

I have a few products that I purchased becoz I read great reviews about them on people's blog too haha I guess what works for 1 person doesn't mean it will work on me too!

Shadowy Lady said...

great post. It's been a while since I bought products I've hated but I do agree that we should always trust our instinct.

Too bad u missed out on Rajasthan. That was a gorgeous duo (one of my faves), Tzarine doesn't come close at all

Polarbelle said...

Great post!!!! Those Mac products you listed, except the moisturizer, are some of my favorites. Nard shadows often disappoint me. I never use them but the swatches are so pretty. Just love the concept of your post

Zuzu's Petals said...

The only rule I have is to never drink red wine and think it's a good idea to start visiting my favorite e-tailers. I rarely buy MAC any more.

My recent disappointments are the two lip trios from Edward Bess 2010 holiday line (though I like his earlier products), Chanel Mademoiselle lipstick, Ellis Faas blush in S302 (rust!), and pretty much every lip gloss I have ever purchased outside Smashbox True Color in Hype and Make Up Fascinating Lip Gloss, which they discontinued. Aside from those two, I just don't like gloss.

Laurie said...

Oh, I so have products like this too! But I've got to say--- Tzarine is one of my fave duos! I layer the grey over cream shadows (love Bobbi Brown Galaxy). Agree completely on the Fix+

Diane (Orange2LA) said...

I hate when I get sucked into the hype of certain products. You didn't like the Shu Uemura UV Underbase Mousse!?!? That's the product I'm obsessed with right now, I've been reading reviews and want to try it so bad! So should I skip it?

BeautyParler said...

NARS Orgasm doesn't show up well on my skin either. I don't do well with MAC liquid foundations but I hear great things about the Face & Body (which I really want to try).

coffretgorge said...

an honest to goodness post! i have to agree with the NARS multiple duo, i also have the orgasm multiple in the beautiful life palette but its so sheer and packed with shimmer i gave up on it. :(

i do like the Shu Uemura UV base mousse though ;)

pinkribbons said...

I'm so disappointed that Tzarine didn't work out for you, I love the combination of colours. Rajasthan is lovely but I find the darker shade in the duo to be not as smooth as other NARS eyeshadow. Great post Kristie :)

Dovey said...

What a.great post. Sometimes it's great to take a step back from the hype and hear the dark side of products =P. I regret buying most glosses, since I've found them drying in the long run! I bought the Bobbi brown oil-free compact foundation and loved everything about it, and used it to cover up some acne, however over time I car to realize that the foundation was what was actually giving me horrible cystic acne! That was a huge regret, both moneywise and skin damage-wise.

I'm sorry to hear you don't like tzarine. I really love it! I do have major regret over not buying Rajasthan too.

Jadegrrrl said...

I have a few regretable buys, not many but a few. I tend to follow the same rules as you and I'm not so impulsive anymore :)

LittoMokaa said...

Love your post! I like to stay away from MAC stuff because 1. they have over 100 collections coming out within a year and 2. their foundation breaks me out too :(

I actually have the Shu Uemera Under Base and I use it alone. It's pretty effective at evening out my skintone :) Sucks that it doesn't work for you!

kali said...

That NARS Multiples are REALLY BAD in palette form. They're a lot better and more pigmented in the regular stick form.

And $175 for the La Mer stuff?! Yikes!

Jellytea said...

Anything MAC, no matter how many times I try, the products end up back in the store. I also regret when I do not want to buy my normal products because of budget and try to buy a replacement, only to be upset and out of extra money for not having bought the first thing! I'm pretty good about avoiding hype, I just know my own shopping triggers just like someone else mentioned. I do not shop while on my period! If I do, I spend way too much!

Melyssa said...

What a great post!! I'm not a fan of MAC though own a few products. So far I like the ones I purchased but do find some pricey.
I also have some regrettable buys but still try to use them because I hate wasting money ._.

Nat said...

Great post! I did a similar post recently too. There were quite a few different things on it that I really regret buying. NARS Orgasm (the powder version) was a huge disappointment for me, it was just far too shimmery. I've also been quite disappointed with quite a few of Dior's palettes and pretty much everything I've purchased from MAC!

Liz (Beauty Reductionista) said...

My rule is to never buy without testing first, which is why I'll rarely make online purchases. Wow, that La Mer! It's so painful when you make the investment without any payoff. I think the last rave item I got was one of those Tarte Amazonian Clay blushes. It's fine but not as fantastic or miraculous as people were going on about.

flora_mundi said...

I completely agree with the comment on not mixing a few glasses of red wine with internet purchases... As for me, there's not too much I truly regret, but Mac's Russian Red was a waste of my time. There are about a thousand nicer reds out there that don't suck the moisture out of my lips.

Joyce September said...

It took me a while to embrace FIX+. These days I use it before moisturizer to allow my skin to stay hydrated, and allows foundation to last longer.

Speaking of MAC, I have not read much positive reviews as far as their skincare products are concerned. Better not touch those. I wasn't impressed with NARS Hydrating Lotion too, which was a regrettable purchase. So not worth the purchase!

MissA* said...

I'm out of the MAC collections loop, what's the upcoming collections? :D I only bought a few items from MAC this year. I give stuffs I don't use to my sisters who are always more than happy to take them :)

Nomadic D. said...

Great post! Most of my MAC products go unloved, except for the blushes and concrete which I use on my brows. Definitely their lipsticks are all hiding in the back of my drawer. I think I've finally learned my lesson. As for the stuff you bought at Sephora and don't actually use, you know you can return it, right? They won't give you your money back at this point, but they'll easily give you store credit even without a receipt, their return policy is one of my favorite things about that store.

Kristie said...

Thanks to everyone for sharing your regrettable purchases and purchasing guidelines. I'll be sure to stay away from those products as well.

xiao - Thanks for the link to Rajasthan!

Kristie said...

Nomadic - yes, Sephora has a great return policy. However, I bought the NARS at a Sephora inside JCPenney and unfortunately they're not as forgiving.

TheClaudiaCouture said...

This post was so helpful!
I too have broken out from using the MAC MSF- i believe it triggered my acne too. I have also used the Laura Mercier Mineral Powder Foundation which i too believe broke me out and caused cystic acne. I have oily, acne-prone skin and thought that mineral products were the way to go, i believed they benefited your skin and let it 'breathe', i agree with you- they definitely are not the best option for those who are acne prone! My cheeks were covered in acne when i was using my mineral products- as soon as i stopped, it improved ! Now i steer well clear of mineral products or those containing mineral oils.
I now use the Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua Foundation and love it! Its oil free and allows my skin to breathe- great for acne prone skin that cant tolerate mineral products!
Thanks so much for this post- its nice to know that i am not alone with my mineral makeup drama and that other people have experienced the same !!
Claudia xo

espenine said...

One of my most regrettable purchases have got to be BB creams - got sucked into the hype about how they are multi-functional and provide skincare benefits. For those that I tried, the colour tone is difficult to match (either too pink/ashy), greasy, thick and spells disaster for my acne prone skin!

Blusherine said...

I love your explanation for why you purchased La Mer Blanc de La Mer Infusion *lol*
I have a hard time with shadesticks as well and won't be purchasing any more any time soon!

Anonymous said...

I have gotten away from impulse buys, trendy items and I HATE Mac cosmetics. Nars always disappoints me, and Hello Kitty palettes? Really? We're not 12 anymore!! I found that Nivea creme is a great cream for dry skin, and it's really a drugstore product, very cheap, but effective. Mineral makeup with bismuth breaks me out, so I stay away from that ingredient. I was driving in my car yesterday and thought, "makeup is really just dirt, clay, rock fragments" really, when I was 10, I was hitting rocks together to get a grey powder to make my own eyeshadow..haha! It kind of puts cosmetics into perspective doesn't

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