Products I Regret Buying (and What You Should Buy Instead)

Products I Regret Buying

It’s happened to the best of us: we hop on the “hype” train when a new product comes out, only to discover it really wasn’t worth the trip in the first place. Bummer.  For drugstore products, you usually have to bite the bullet and pass them on to a friend (or a garbage can), and, so long as you’ve purchased those higher-priced items at Sephora, you’re in the good hands of a solid customer return policy.  The following are items I regret buying, as well as those I recommend you spend your hard-earned dollars on instead.

1. First Aid Beauty Dual Repair Eye Cream $50.00

When purchasing this product, I’d already become a big fan of First Aid Beauty’s “Facial Radiance Polish” and “Daily Face Cream“, so I was disappointed to discover that this eye cream did nothing for me (especially at such a high price point).  It didn’t moisturize or calm my skin, (in fact, I actually had a reaction to it).  In it’s place, I’d recommend Jurlique’s “Herbal Recovery Eye Cream”, that gently hydrates and smells amazing.

2. Benefit Cosmetics They’re Real Remover $22.00

They’re Real Mascara is my an all-time favourite of mine (I posted about it previously here), and I was thrilled to discover that Benefit had come up with a solution to the sometimes-hard-to-remove holy-grail mascara.  I wanted so badly to love this product as much as I love the mascara, but sadly, all it did was burn and sting my eyes, and barely removed the mascara at all.  There are two products I’d recommend in this remover’s place: 1. Clinique’s “Wash-Away Gel Cleanser”, and 2. The Body Shop’s “Camomile Gentle Eye Makeup Remover”.  Both of these remove makeup like a pro, and have been longtime favourites of mine.

3. Physicians Formula Happy Booster Glow and Mood Boosting Blush $15.99

To be fair, the idea behind this blush is adorable: “Infused with our Happy Boost Blend, featuring Happy Skin and Euphoryl, natural plant extracts which have been shown to promote a feeling of happiness by mimicking the effect of Endorphins and helping protect the skin from environmental stress. The sweet scent of Violet provides a feeling of joy each time you apply!” (  The packaging is cute, the colours in the mix are pretty, and the payoff is good, I just can’t say this blush made me any “happier” than others I own.  For drugstore makeup, it’s also on the higher-priced side, and I think there are others you can buy that will make you just as…happy.  For example, the Hard Candy boxed blushes I talked about here for a fraction of the price.

4. Essie Sleek Sticks Nail Appliques $12.99

It’s no secret that Essie is a front-runner in the nail polish industry, so I assumed their nail stickers would be equally as impressive.  Wrong.  The application was fast and easy, but within less than 24 hours of wear there were chips on almost all of my nails.  As I have many times before, I highly recommend purchasing the Sally Hansen Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips.  These are the only strips I’ve found that live up to the “long-wear” claims (mine really do last upwards of 10 days).

What products do you regret buying?  Let me know in the comments below!    

My Top 6 Nail Polishes for Fall

Fall Nail Polishes

While I’m definitely a Summer-weather kind of girl, there are many things I love about Fall: pumpkin pie, Bath and Body Works scented candles, and a richer, darker colour pallet when it comes to fashion.  This includes nail polish, which I try to switch up on a weekly basis.  Below are my top picks for the perfect Fall nail polish; which one will you be wearing while sipping your Pumpkin Spice Latte?

1. Julep “Jet”

I never seem to get tired of black nail polish.  This one by Julep is described as a “Jet black crème”, and is like a little black dress: it’s great for anytime, anywhere, and goes with anything.  Enough said.

2. O.P.I “Ice-Bergers and Fries”

This creamy, brown tone is from O.P.I’s new Nordic Collection.  Truthfully, this wouldn’t be a colour I would normally pick, however after discovering it was Cosmopolitan’s recent award winner for “The Best Nude”, I decided to give it a try (you can check out my Instagram post about this here).  It applies beautifully, keeping it’s rich colour and creamy texture.  It’s also long lasting, and removes easily.  Definitely give this polish a try!

3. Essie “Wicked”

Spotlighted on the Essie website for the month of October, this polish is described as a, “strident, striking and bold, blood red lacquer”.  The description alone makes it the perfect nail polish for the month of Halloween, but aside from that, it is also a gorgeous, deep, oxblood red colour that will take you all the way through to Spring.

4. Julep “Karmen”

The colour red is a given when it comes to the Fall and Winter months.  But what I love about this one in particular, is that it’s unique.  Julep describes it on their website as a “Golden crimson microglitter” polish.  The result?  A cross between Fall leaves and Dorothy’s red slippers.  Gorgeous!

5. Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure “Jungle Gem”

I once read that this polish is a universal tone, in that it matches nearly every skin tone.  I decided to put it to the test, and it’s definitely become a top pick of mine.  It’s a rich, creamy, dark teal colour, that is long lasting and can work as either a blue or a green when pairing with outfits or accessories (though if I’m being honest, I barely ever worry about matching my nails to my outfit).  Try it out and let me know if it worked for you too!

6. Essie “Style Cartel”

Just like black nail polish, I also love a gorgeous rich blue, and this polish is definitely has that box checked off.  Described on the Essie website as an, “inky, cobalt blue”, it is blue enough to be a for-sure navy, but also dark enough that it can be a “neutral” and pair well with nearly anything.  It’s also a nice Fall switch-up from another one of my favourite Essie blues: “Butler Please“.



My Picks: Stocking Stuffers and Girly Holiday Gifts!

Dear Santa

The holiday season has officially started, and while you’re shopping for those on your nice list,  you can’t forget to add things you love to that wish list of yours!  I’ve put together a few of my favourite items this year, some of which I already own, and others that I’m hoping Santa has in stock for me in his workshop.  Luckily, most of these items are small, and budget friendly, so not only will they fit easily in Santa’s bag, they’re also great ideas for your girlfriends or loved ones.   Let’s get to it!

1.  Julep “In a Pinch” $22.00

Personally, I think this set is brilliant.  Probably, because on numerous occasions I’ve found myself at work or at a special event with chipped nail polish and am forced to tediously, and quickly, pick it off my nails (am I alone on this one?).  This set is perfect for leaving at your desk, and is small enough to fit in your daily tote or purse.  It comes with 3 packages of nail polish remover wipes (1 is enough to remove the polish from both hands), hand cream, and Julep’s signature “Oxygen Nail Treatment”, which conditions nails while covering them in a universally-flattering pink-toned glaze.

2. Essie “On a Silver Platter” Nail Polish $8.00

A part of their new “Encrusted Treasures” holiday collection for 2013, this polish is stunning and is definitely a statement maker.  It’s flashy, holographic, yet surprisingly wearable.  I am aware of my addiction to nail polish, and the fact that I tend to buy more than I could possibly ever wear in a lifetime, yet I find myself needing this colour. You do too.

3. Tiffany & Co. Playing Cards $35.00

I don’t think there is anything quite like the elegance and simplicity of the Tiffany box.  The downside? The expensive price tags of the items that are usually inside. Not only is this set of playing cards a fun gift for a friend (who doesn’t like unwrapping a Tiffany’s box?), it solves the problem of “I can’t find the deck of cards in the junk drawer”, or the “I only have a 42 card deck because I didn’t use an elastic” dilemma.  Now, you can store them all together in a cute box on top of your dresser or coffee table, and no one ever has to know that it’s not a diamond necklace hiding inside.

4. Acrylic Monogram Keychain $19.95

It’s time to retire that old keychain you got at the zoo 3 years ago, and ask Santa for something a little more chic and grown up.  Plus, who doesn’t love receiving something personalized?  Not only are these key chains adorable, they are affordable enough to buy for each of your friends.  They come in wide range of colours, and if you order right now, Christmas delivery is guaranteed (and free!).  I’ve mentioned the company My Name Necklace in a previous post; check out their other items, they make great gift ideas too!

5. Clinique Black Honey Beauty Set $25.00

If you’ve read my previous posts, I think it’s already pretty clear that I’m obsessed with Clinique’s Black Honey line (I’ve talked about it here and here).  Universally flattering and beautifully formulized, this set allows you to try a few of the products in line, without the commitment or need to buy the full sizes (though you do get a full sized lipstick).  Ask for this set for yourself, or find comfort in knowing that whoever you buy it for, the colour will almost certainly work for them.  Note: though it is not currently on their website, this product is available in store at Sephora.

6.  Book Page Jewelry by The Unwritten Word $19.50-$45.53

I recently discovered this line at a outdoor holiday market, and the minute I saw it, I couldn’t get over how genius the idea was.  Almost everyone has a classic book that’s close to their heart, and now you can literally wear it around your neck (or wrist).  The artist uses pages from novels such as The Great Gatsby, Pride and Prejudice, and Romeo and Juliet, and turns them into beautiful earrings, bracelets, and necklaces.  Well made, and extremely well priced, this is the perfect gift for the book lover in your family or circle of friends.

7.  Kate Spade New York All Occasion Card Set $35.00

How many times have you ripped your house or desk apart searching for a card for a last minute event, or a forgotten (oops!) birthday? This boxed set ensures you’ll always have one handy, as well as an organized system for storing and organizing the cards for various events…and did I mention that it’s by Kate Spade?! (If you can’t afford to give her a Kate Spade purse, these gorgeous cards are a close second!)  Also, much like the Tiffany box, you’ll get that “ohhh” factor when she opens this luxe designer set (followed by a huge bear hug, I’m sure). It’ll look great on your desk too!

8.  Mark “On the Dot” Neutral Eye Colour Compact $16.00

When you’re wrapping this up for a friend (or yourself), you’re giving them the gift of convenience (and gorgeousness, of course!).  This is the perfect eye shadow compact for travel or for your purse. It includes 9 neutral shades that can be worn every day, every where.  They are highly pigmented and come in a hard case to minimize the risk of shattering.  Not really a neutral tone kind of girl?  Check out the Smokey Eye or Bold Eye versions instead!

9. Truche Province/State/Country Necklaces $23.00-$60.00

When it comes to jewelry, we show the love for our initials, pictures, and favourite stones.  But what about showing some love to that amazing province or state of yours?!  These awesome necklaces come in a variety of materials and tones, and are sure to be a conversation starter.  If jewelry isn’t your thing, be sure to check out the artist’s ornaments as well!

   Every gift from a friend is a wish for your happiness ~ Richard Back