They’re Real

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!” (Well.ca).  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!    

Lash Out: A Mascara for Every Budget

Mascaras for Every Budget

Drugstore, department store, or speciality store, I’ve certainly tried my fair share of mascaras over the years.  In my opinion, mascara is a product that can really make your look: what’s a smoky eye without lush, voluminous lashes?  It’s also an integral part of my “3 step process” for when I don’t have enough time to apply a full face of makeup: 1. apply under-eye concealer, 2. curl lashes and apply mascara,  3. apply tinted lip balm.  Fun fact? Egyptians were the first people to use mascara, where both men and women darkened their lashes in an effort to protect their eyes from the desert sun, and ward off evil spirits (after all, the eyes are the window to one’s soul).  Luckily, the formulation and wear of mascara has changed quite a bit since then (honey, dung, and water were the Egyptian’s concoction), and I’ve put together a list of my top 3 modern-day favourites.  Whether you’re looking to spend a little or a “little-more”, any of the mascaras below are sure to cause bouts of lash-batting and selfie-taking. Ready?

1. Drugstore: L’Oreal Telescopic Clean Definition Mascara $10.00

I originally purchased this product as an impulse-buy at the L’Oreal private sale, and was pleasantly surprised when it turned out to be one of my all-time favourite mascaras.  The thin, comb-like brush separates and coats lashes without clumping, and the fragrance free/ophthalmologist-tested formula is suitable for sensitive eyes and washes off easily at the end of the day.  If you’re looking for extra length, and an extra-wallet friendly deal, definitely give this mascara a try.  Learn more about the L’Oreal Telescopic line here, and purchase it from stores such as Wal-Mart, Target, and Shoppers Drug Mart, or online at well.ca.

2. Department Store: Mac Zoom Lash Mascara $16.00

I’ve been a fan of Mac Cosmetics for a long time.  Their products are of professional quality, and there’s always a great mix of “fun” and practical goodies to try.  One of my go-to repurchases is their Zoom Lash Mascara, which has a fibre-wand that multiplies the look of lashes (while also elongating) and coats them in a shiny, gel-like formula.  One coat is enough, but you can definitely build coats for more drama without worrying about clumping or caking.  If you want lashes to look bolder and thicker, then allow me to introduce you to your new best friend.  Purchase it in-store, or on the Mac website here.

3. Speciality Store: Benefit Cosmetics They’re Real! Mascara $29.00

I can’t help but laugh whenever I wear this mascara and someone asks me if I’m sporting fake lashes; I’m sure Benefit would be happy to hear that the name they chose definitely holds true to their product! The perfect combination of separation, length. and volume make this product worth every penny.  For application, you’ll want to stop after 1 or 2 coats to avoid caking (you really won’t need any more).  If I’m looking to revitalize my lashes before going out at night, I’ll simply re-curl them instead of applying more product.  For removal, you’ll want to use some sort of eye makeup remover (soap and water aren’t enough to wash this beauty away).  If you’re thinking that $29.00 is too much for anyone to spend on a tube of mascara, you’re probably on the same boat that I was before I tried it.  My recommendation is to jump-ship, skip a few daily lattes, search your couch for spare change, and start saving for this holy-grail product.  You’ll thank me later.