In the past few months I have been buying many things as usual but did not had the time to review them so I thought I could write a global post about what was worth it and what not, it’s not a review at all but just some after-purchase thoughts and impressions. We all would like to return what doesn’t work for us but where I live there is no possibility and since I order most of the things abroad, there is no going back. But, looking back gives us a good lesson on where we lost our money, maybe also why, and it reminds us that we often just should stop buying without trying.
These are all purchases of the past months, going back 6 months actually, these are not only favorites but everything (except for brushes). I would love to know what you recently purchased and if it was a hit or a miss! We often tend to buy too many things just because it’s pretty or because it’s LE or because someone said it is a must-have but it’s useful to look back and see what mistakes we made and in the future try to spend more wisely or just be happy about our splurges and carry on
The By Terry Cellularose Brightening CC Lumi-Serum (1) is considered as skincare because it’s a serum. The shop where I can buy By Terry products was having an offer at the time, 3 products for 2! whatever make-up product, if you buy 3 products the 3rd was free! Beauty lovers adore this offer because that’s the best offer we could ever get here. I think it happens twice a year. I thought I could get 2 and the 3rd free but since this item was not considered as make-up, it wasn’t part of that offer. I still got “a few bottles” with the help of some vouchers I receive monthly. If you live in Switzerland, that shop is Marionnaud and has the best prices for By Terry products.
I use the 4 of them, my fav is the white, I don’t use the others that much for now. I apply it under my foundation but specially where I need to (cheeks, sides of the face, not the nose) and yes I feel an improvement of my skin, less obvious pores and the skin feels plumped and more tighten but CC ? just so so very little, even for the beige one the CC is over naming and maybe even a bit misleading, with all the other CC products on the market that look like foundation you tend to expect much more from a CC product. They work for me, I am not upset by their scent at all, but I prefer the older By Terry scent (this one is less pleasant).
Conclusion: Not a waste of money because I will use them, at my age, even if it doesn’t do a miracle, all the help I can get is welcome. But this is the kind of product you need to try before buy. I tried other serums and this is what works best for me.
As I recently mentioned in the forum, my skin changed a lot this past year (normal ageing process), my skincare hasn’t since it is still is adapted, I am using the Laura Mercier Repair without spf (because the spf formula doesn’t work for me). So, I need an spf product on top of it. I switched from my beloved Ellis Faas foundation to the IT Cosmetics CC+ SPF 50+ (4) and this color correcting cream is fantastic. The finish on me is not as glowy as the Ellis Faas but it covers more (it is a foundation on my skin), lasts longer, helps with the pores, makes my skin smoother and protects! what else ? It’s amazing that it works on my very dry skin, quite surprising actually! I can’t powder the application afterwards because it will eventually show a tiny dry patch at the end of the day, so as long as the skincare is applied generously and there is no over powdering after, it’s ok, I can finish the day and still have coverage looking totally fine and skin looking healthy. Thank you Stacy and Buggsie for that recommendation!! Just nailed it!
I got two shades (Light and Medium) but light is spot on for me, for reference I am nw20, quite neutral toned, so their “light” color is actually not that “light”.
Conclusion: difficult to try if you are outside of the USA but it is efficient, totally worth it.
The IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Wish Collagen and Vitamins C & K shade Neutral Medium (3) is just mind blowing. At first I was scared, this is a bit like Kevyn Aucoin foundation, so thick that you need just a micro dot, I just couldn’t dose it properly, always placing too much. Now I found a way, not the most hygienic but it’s the only one and fast enough so that I am not too lazy for it… I open the tube, squeeze until I see some product and when it reaches the top of the tube I just dot dot once, dot dot twice, under each eye where required, then I blend with my fingertip. It’s the only way I can easily apply it without having or wasting too much, see the quantity you have in this tube ? it will last me forever and beyond. I also use it if I need additional coverage on my face on target zones, it’s moisturizing, doesn’t look dry at all and I just barely set it with the powder in the Tom Ford eyeshadow base pot. It wasn’t working until I found the perfect amount I had to apply but then it was spot on
Conclusion: again, difficult to try if you are outside of the USA but I love it so so much, totally worth it!
The By Terry Hyaluronic Hydra Primer is confusing, I thought it was “hydrating” and I thought it would be nice to feel hydrated and have a “matte finish”, ok, doesn’t work for me, with my terrible dry skin it just adds another layer of something which makes my skin look more fake BUT I want to give it another try in summer when my skin is a bit more comfortable and less dry.
Conclusion : do not buy without try… waste of money.
The Laura Mercier perfecting is a sample I received here, reviews say it works really well to even out the skin, I feel it does, I need to keep using it but I have to use it under the Repair creme as on its own it is not enough for my skin.
Conclusion : it’s a sample!! yeah!!! this has to be tried before purchasing, I am happy I did not purchase it but if it improves my skin I will.
Contour and highlight
The Laura Mercier Golden Pink (1) was an impulse purchase, I loved how it looked in the pan, I don’t like it on my skin, OR, I haven’t found the best way or combination to apply it, not all highlighters are supposed to look natural but this one looks like burned skin rather than glowing skin. I suppose that if I had tried it at the counter I would not have bought it, it’s just that everything called “golden pink” calls my wallet.
Conclusion : for now it’s a waste of money… but I strongly believe that some products need some time to be loved and this one does.
The Tom Ford Fire Lust (2) is absolutely gorgeous, not because it’s Tom Ford but it has elegance written all over… I love it.
Conclusion : worth it for sure, no question about that.
The Chanel Dentelle Precieuse (3) is one of my favs Chanel highlighters, so happy that I managed to get one (thank you Melissa!!). There are way too many highlighters released on the market for us to use them up as we go… so I can’t talk about this as a necessity, but more as a collector/coup de coeur type of purchase. Some of you don’t want to use it because of ruining the design, guys, life is short, if you’d rather live looking at it, fair enough… but enjoy your items before they go bad! then it would be a waste of money and it’s a bit sad…
Conclusion : we don’t need a thousand highlighters, this one is worth it. I use it often since it’s subtle enough for daytime if used with moderation.
The Essence Cookies and Cream shimmer pearls (4)… hmhm… I bought this because I wanted to see if Guerlain Meteorites could somehow compare… these pearls are softer so you’ll get a heavier application, it’s ok, I tried them, these deliver a more “shimmery/metallic” glow than the Guerlain and I don’t like the strong scent… and for reasons that I will share in the next Essence blush topic below, I won’t use them.
Conclusion : waste of money.
The Laduree Face and Eye color (5) well, if you follow me on Instagram, you already know my opinion on this! I love the scent but just like macaroons, you get little for a huge lot of money. In terms of results yes I do love it. I have to use a very dense brush (I use Rae Morris 22) because the powder is quite difficult to grab but it looks great. This is no eye color though!
Conclusion : kind of waste of money, but if you think macaroons are not a waste of money then you may like this. I will use it for sure, I just feel like I have been “cheated” with the amount so excuse me for not bouncing like a happy puppy.
The Nars Olympia (6) should be a contour/highlight, on me the highlighter is too powdery, the contour is too light but funny, it works as a blush..
Conclusion : waste of money unless this will become my go-to neutral dimensional type of blush, we’ll see…
The Three Shading stick (7) is just tooooo tiny, this is for fair skin, in comparison to the Olympia it is less rosy and does look more like a shadow but a tiny stick like this for the price it costs it’s not decent.
Conclusion : nice finish but waste of money, this should be in a Nars multiple size.
Face / cheek
The Marc Jacobs Obsessed blush (1) is just too light for me, ok, it’s then a highlighter, looks ok on the skin as a peachy-pink highlighter but doesn’t last that long.
I like the unique packaging but when I was at the counter I couldn’t really find something that interesting, not even the brushes. I liked the creamy pencils but they did not had a color that, either I didn’t had already or that I would use on myself so… I skipped them but they looked quite nice.
Conclusion : waste of money (maybe I should have taken a darker color but this looked super nice on the pan)
The Three Sunny Pomegranate (2) is a beautiful blush, interesting and fresh color, they remind me of RMK, similar texture. Three blushes don’t disappoint, some may look too similar to each other to justify the price but it’s lovely, melts into the skin and looks super natural.
Conclusion : worth it.
Two more products from Essence, Cookies and cream and Viva Brasil blushes (3 and 4), now it’s the moment where I am scared. These are very cheap but when I swatched the Cookies and Cream blush, a yellow-orange safran stain appeared on my fingers and I could not take this away! micellar water was not working and the BB long lasting makeup remover nearly did not work, I am totally in favor of buying cheaper makeup but is this supposed to look like safran ? nope, something weird about it.
Conclusion : stay away or buy at your own risks, for me it was a waste of money.
The two blushes I got from Hourglass, Diffused Heat and Radiant Magenta (5 and 6) are nice, but I clearly still prefer RMK which have a less powdery texture and the glow is just more gorgeous and unique. So if I had to recommend blushes, I would redirect you towards RMK rather than Hourglass.
Conclusion : not a waste of money because you still get a lot and they have lovely shades. I find them super easy to wear and easy to work with.
The Anna Sui 302 and 601 (7 and 8) are blushes I bought because I loved the 401 and I thought these would be lovely too. 302 washes me out a bit too much, it’s too light for me, and the 601 is a bit too orangey, so none of these two really blow me away but that’s the danger of buying without swatching.
Conclusion : not a clever purchase, not worth it.
The Karaja Palette (9) was a purchase in a professional beauty shop here (where I could enter with the kind authorization of the staff even though I am not a professional makeup artist), this is way too heavy and powdery, probably ok on young skin but I just feel it’s not melting or merging into my skin at all, just sits there in all its powdery glory. The shade is nice depending on how you swatch the brush you can have it more coral red or more neutral but everytime I use it it leaves a mess on my dresser.
Conclusion : waste of money, it’s not because it’s “professional” make-up that it looks nice on every one despite of the technique or whatever.
The Jill Stuart Shelly Gem (10) blush looks strange on my cheeks, it has a silvery subtle shine that I like and doesn’t look powdery but washes me out a bit too much and if you don’t have a porcelain skin it may look “not-right”. I think I am too old for this if I follow my inner sense… The other day I tried it differently but with a more perfect base application where the coverage was nearly opaque, then applied this blush and it looked great. So, I think this is all about putting the cheeks on the background and enhancing something else, not the eyes but the lips. I tried accentuating the eyes and it didn’t look as well as with a bright lipstick. Combining the products in a clever way may save you money, not necessarily time… Not an effortless application for me but at least I can keep it and make it work.
Conclusion : better try it first or be really sure that it is a shade for you…
The By Terry Cellularose blush range (1,2,3) are super fun, they last all day, have super pretty colors and are glowy. I don’t like the scent though, it’s not the same old By Terry scent (not to me) it’s more plastified, so that bothers me a little. What bothers me also is that they are not easy to use, why don’t they pack these in little squeeze tubes or bottles ? Imagine if it falls … and if you travel the contents will be stick to the plastic cap… it’s like yogourt. Also difficult to dose and not hygienic so a big fail for that. The product though is super nice. My fave is Rose Melba at the bottom of the pic.
Conclusion : a mess but the product is worth it.
The Bobbi Brown Hibiscus (4) is gorgeous, love it, but I love all BB cream blushes, specially when they are orange-red!
Conclusion : worth it and not a waste of money since I love this color!
Chanel Intonation (5) cream blush, compared to the Bobbi Brown Hibiscus it’s not the same color in the pan but when applied they look so similar, the BB is more glowy (kind of wet-looking) and the Chanel has less glow to it, more like a powder blush although it’s a cream blush. The Chanel looks more natural but if you want the dewy look, the BB is better.
Conclusion : worth it, love it!
Kevyn Aucoin Creamy glow duos (6) I may be wrong but I have the impression that it dissolves whatever application I have underneath, that it alters it. But I have super bad light at the moment (still due to the renovations…) so I am not sure if it’s in my imagination. I will do my best to try them during the weekend when I can actually see how it evolves and confirm my suspicion…
Conclusion : it’s tiny and not sure it’s worth it, still under evaluation.
Face and Eye Palettes
Conclusion : not a waste of money because I will use it and the packaging is absolutely worth it..
The Armani Face and Eye 01 (2) is ok, not crazy about it but easy to wear (except for the black shade’s texture).
Conclusion : I could have spent my money on something else from Armani like the new singles which look better.
The Sisley phyto-touche (1) is gorgeous, I apply it very sheerly just as a healthy glow (not really a whole face bronzer), the result is really pretty and flattering, the texture is similar to the Givenchy Croisiere that I love, it was expensive but I use it and love it so not a waste of money here. It is quite tough to pick up the product so I use the Rae Morris brush no 23 to apply it, it looks orange when it’s swatched but on the face it’s more sheerly distributed and doesn’t look orange on me at all.
The Shiseido RS1 (2) was the only shade from the range that could work and show up nicely on me and since I wanted one (I usually love their blushes) I had no choice than picking up this one. It’s a blush/bronzer/highlight, I haven’t had the time to really use it often so I don’t have a final opinion on it for now, it looks nice but not sure if I will really reach for it.. The stripes are too narrow to use the shades separately and the brush that comes with it… I don’t really like how it applies so… we’ll see. The great thing about this compact is that the place where the brush is stored, when you remove it, can nicely hold a few shadows or a powder pan to take away with you.
The Chanel Les Beiges N°02 (3) looks lovely but I need 3 layers for it to show up on me, it evens out my skin and glows which is lovely, but I have to use a very dense brush, the Wayne Goss 12 is perfect for it because it’s flat, dense and has an oval surface so you can more easily concentrate it on the pan you want although you can’t totally avoid the others… Since I need to layer it quite a lot, I find it’s nicer to use as a blush, concentrating the most on the cheekbones. I am not sure 100% now but I do love it and I don’t think it’s a waste of money but I’ll see if my skin likes the layering and for that I need some time, just got it a few days ago.
The Marc Jacobs The Tease and Lolita (1,2) are ok eyeshadows but I am not a fan, I prefer Inglot over these, well, they remind me of Inglot shadows I own and my Inglot are better and cheaper. Some of these shadows in the two palettes are gorgeous but some are too blah or too powdery, depends on the shadow.
Conclusion : a waste of money, I was really seduced by the packaging but overall not worth it for me.
Chanel Tissé Gabrielle and Tissé Riviera (3,4) are the new textures of the Chanel quads we can get in Europe. I saw the choices and found they are not enough matte shadows. I recently talked to a Chanel representative and she said people complained that it was too shimmery so Chanel will release for autumn slightly more matte ones. I am very disappointed and wanted to love them but I am definitely not, they just don’t stay put. That same Chanel person asked me to come back in October to have my look done by a professional Chanel MUA so I’ll go and see how she works with them. I tried many ways but my lids don’t like them, these shades will work nicely on younger lids, on mine they don’t. I love the darker shade on the Gabrielle quad, on the outer corner and crease it’s nice but I am really truly not blown away.
Conclusion : clearly disappointed and not worth it.
Burberry Pink Taupe and Plum Pink (5,6) unlike Chanel, these are wonderful. They look absolutely gorgeous, work so well on older eyelids, I am so happy with this purchase, I wouldn’t mind even more contrast on the middle shades but at least there is sheer and dark shadows which makes a look more interesting.
Conclusion : worth it!!
Viseart Basic 01 (7) is a palette with plenty matte shadows, even though there are many nice and super useful shadows I am not completely thrilled with it, not sure why… it is useful don’t get me wrong, if you are a make-up artist you need something like that with all matte neutral shadows handy but personally, I prefer Burberry for example, they have more complexity but are still very elegant and absolutely not tacky, I am more about quality than quantity, it’s not that I don’t like these Viseart but I’d rather get 3 Burberrys monos than this palette.
Conclusion : everybody needs matte shadows but I am happy with my Inglot and I did not really need more… These will not be waste of money since I will use them on models, if it was just for me, I don’t think it would be so great.
Essence (8 and 9) shadows from Cookies and Cream : I am just too scared now to use them but the shades are pretty, just not very pigmented but the light one could have been a nice highlighter…
Conclusion : not sure, they don’t last long, they aren’t expensive but still, for me since they don’t last, it was a waste.
Covergirl Lashblast Fusion (1) was totally dry when I used it for the first time, total waste of money.
Tom Ford Extreme Mascara in Raven (2) does not separate my lashes properly, there is way too much product on the brush despite me removing it constantly. It is really black and I love that but doesn’t really do much for me. Huge waste of money, which probably wouldn’t be if the wand was different.
Essence Extreme (3), ok, that one works and is super cheap, so for the price it’s worth it and fantastic!
Marc Jacobs 20 Blacquer Mascara (4), this is probably the worst mascara I have ever used. I did not even know a mascara could be so useless… total waste of money!
Lancome Artliner (1), it’s ok, not that blown away but it’s not a bad eyeliner. I would love a choice of more matte liners in the range. No final opinion yet, I am playing with them these days.
The Revlon Colorstay (2) is too stiff for me so not easy, will not use it, hence a waste of money.
It’s going to be easy for this one, the Shiseido Brown (3) is a terrible liner, does not apply easily and is a total waste of money, doesn’t look even and doesn’t last long enough. The color is great though.
Lancome Artliner (4) it’s ok, I am not thrilled though, not exactly the color I was hoping for, still reflects too much light and I was looking for something with a more matte finish. I consider it is a waste of money but I may use it up.
The Sensai Liquid Eyeliner (5), nice color, nice tip for the application but it doesn’t last on my eyelids hence a waste of money because my days at work are too long for it I am used to Tom Ford liquid eyeliner and there is nothing that compares in terms of lasting power, if only they could do it in dark matte brown!
There is no question that I love the Sisley Phyto lip twist (1) or do you still have any doubts ? they are moisturizing, with real color and they feel great so… totally worth it. I have swatched similar kind of “crayons” but did not find the same quality or pigmentation, ok the price is high but I reach for them all the time.
The Laura Mercier Gel in Heartbreaker (3) carries its name to perfection, not worth it, don’t like the texture and once more, RMK have similar kind of colors but much more pleasant to wear.
The Tom Ford Sheers (4) are ok, I am not that thrilled and prefer the Sysley twisty ones, less sparkles and more wearable colors. I think they are worth their price IF you love their colors and don’t mind the ones with sparkles, some have too many sparkles but that is very Tom Ford… I love two out of 4 but I will probably wear them more in summer. What I don’t like about them is the sparkles. It was a waste of money for 2 of them but we’ll see how it goes in summer.
The Tom Ford Lip Shimmers (2) are gorgeous, love them to pieces, totally worth it, hesitated taking a backup because I will finish them for sure but by the time I finish them they will probably release something else… so I did not.
Some of you recommended Philip B, I went to a shop and asked for the price, there was no question I would buy such an expensive product that (at the end…) goes down the drain. I received a sample, I don’t know if that was Stacy again who is my “sample provider”… but I found it in my sample stash (to which I am very devoted I must say, it allowed me to discover many products). When I finally tried it I was very very impressed. My sample was for the Lavender one but I bought the other two on the right first, then the Lavender.
It does make a difference, my hair looks healthy (despite being dry and awful), the effect doesn’t last that long on my hair, it’s not like I can wash my hair with less frequency than usual but the day they have been washed with this, I feel like a star, they have a gorgeous movement, feel so lightweight, have volume, it is just wonderful. I use just the Lavender as a shampoo then use any other conditioner I own because just using the shampoo from this line is enough to make a difference.
The Russian Amber is a mess to use (it’s like honey), it’s a very tiny pot so don’t think you get a huge pot of it for the price you are paying… it’s just too difficult to use on very long hair and I use a lot so not worth it for me, although I love the results. I heard the smell was amazing but it’s not that exceptional to me. I will carry on buying the Lavender for example.
Conclusion : it hurts me to say it’s not a waste of money… it is, but I have to say it does something and I love it…
I have to stop thinking about the waste and carry on (my mum will be happy though). I just have to try more or read more online reviews before I press the order now evil button. I learned my lesson and will try to be more patient, more clever in my purchases, do my best to try things before buying and even if I buy expensive make-up, I should spend more wisely unless… it’s for brushes!!!
I will apply the same rule in Japan during my trip, I will only splurge when I really believe it’s worth it and I’ll be swatching A LOT I guess… I need more arms here… (just temporarily please)