Cosmetic Monster’s List of the 5 Worst Cosmetic Products – Volume One
My Mother always said “If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” – and for the most part, in most situations, its the kind way to go. However, I realize with cosmetic reviews that taking a no-holds-barred approach is the best idea. In all honesty, I try to approach my reviews with an open mind, surveying the product not just for my own personal needs, but for what might work for others as well. I learned this after working in cosmetics for nearly 15 years. What works (or doesn’t) for one person, might work for another.
This is an apologetically negative list of what I would consider 5 of the worst cosmetic products I’ve encountered. On the positive, I’ll include a “better alternatives” in the same price point.
1. Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion ($24.40 for 4.2oz.). Yes its cheap. At >$6 an ounce, its supposedly one of the top selling moisturizers. My experience (and I’m not alone) was major clogged pores and breakouts. Seriously, its just mineral oil, lanolin alcohol, petrolatum, parabens and coloring. I suppose if you have skin with zero issues (lucky!) and have never used anything else, this is fine. The gel version of this Clinique basic is a better option – although for a bit more, you can get Origins Balanced Diet ($26 for 1.7oz.) or First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream ($28 for 6oz.).
Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion Ingredients: Ingredients *purified water *mineral oil *sesame oil *propylene glycol *tea-stearate *glyceryl stearate *lanolin alcohol *petrolatum *methylparaben *propylparaben *FD&C yellow no. 5 *FD&C yellow no. 6 *FD&C red no. 33
2. Maybelline Great Lash Mascara (about $4.99). How does this make the best beauty products list? Again, if you have perfect, naturally curled lashes, I guess this would be okay – in fact I had a friend in high school that used this and a Cover Girl concealer and always looked fantastic. Just to be sure, I’ve tried this product over and over hoping for different results every time. I’ve tried multiple application techniques and every GL formula. They are all bad. They straighten curled lashes and don’t do more than darken lashes. The waterproof version makes lashes super stiff and spidery. You’re better off dropping a few more dollars for their Volum’Express One by One waterproof ($8.49) or Lash Discovery waterproof ($5.99). My current favorite drugstore mascara is L’Oreal Million Lashes waterproof ($8.95) and Urban Decay Cannonball Mascara ($20) is my overall favorite mascara.
3. LUSH Curly Wurly ($23.95 for 7.8oz.). I love LUSH. So much so that there will be a L-Files section dedicated to the dozens of LUSH products I’ve used and love. This is NOT one of them. By far one of the worst shampoos I’ve ever used. It smells strange (like a cheap coconut candle), has an odd texture (like a melted cheap coconut candle) and has useless bits of coconut which ended up in my ear and stuck in my drain. This would be fine if my wavy hair was in any way softer, cleaner or improved in any way, which was unfortunately not the case. Seriously, why deal with this when I can use LUSH Big Shampoo ($24.95 for 11.6oz) and get shiny, full, yummy smelling locks?
4. Bare Escentuals Pure Transformation Night Treatment ($60) & bareMinerals SPF15 Foundation ($25). I realize there are possibly hundreds of thousands if not millions of women that will disagree with me. As much as I wanted to like Bare Escentuals since I saw their shop in San Francisco almost a decade ago, and I think Leslie Blodgett is genius for marketing and revolutionizing the makeup industry – these products are on my “worst” list. Bottom line, I’m highly allergic to them. Bismuth Oxychloride makes me have a bad rash – and I wish Bare Escentuals would take it out of their formulas. The Matte Foundation ($28) doesn’t have Bismuth – but it feels “yucky” and gummy on my skin. I can’t say if the Night Treatment did anything beneficial since I only used it for one night before breaking out into a bad rash – although the possibility of looking prettier at bed time was enticing. I will say that their Buxom Lash Mascara is one of my favorites and I also like their Illuminating Mineral Veil ($19) which gives my skin a glorious finish and does NOT make me itch.
5. Clariol Nice ‘N Easy Color Blend Foam (about $9.99). Last but not least is this new product from Clariol. I was shocked at how much I disliked this at-home hair color since I’ve always had the most reliable results from Clariol products (original Nice ‘N Easy, Natural Instincts) and my current favorite is Clariol Professional Liquid Permanente Hair Color ($5.99 plus developer). I’ve used Japanese brand hair color foam (John Frieda and Samy’s versions are manufactured by Japanese companies) so the concept is not new to me and I had prior experiences. Color Blend did not measure up in many ways: it smelled of burnt coffee (unpleasant), did not “foam”, made my hair black and crunchy (I used Medium Brown) and did not cover grays. I’ll stick to using their Liquid Permanente which covers grays and while it leaves my hair a little dry, gives me reliable, even results every time. If you want to try a foam, L’Oreal Sublime by Healthy Look ($9.99) performed best of the US foam colors.