Disappointing products

Posted on November 10, 2016 under Reviews

Before I start this post, I want to speak about something serious: what happened on Tuesday. I am an American citizen. In terms of national identity, I am Canadian first and foremost. I was born here and have lived here all my life (minus the seven months I was studying abroad). But I have family in the US. A lot of that family is in a red state where the rights of women, people of colour, the LGBTQ community, and many others are especially precarious. I am devastated and outraged by what has happened. I am ashamed to be a citizen of a country that would elect a racist misogynistic sexual predator with no experience and his violently homophobic and misogynistic running mate over a woman who is undeniably qualified for the highest office in the country. I have never particularly identified with my American citizenship, but I feel completely alienated from it today.

I’ve set up monthly donations to Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky (Indiana is VP-elect Mike Pence’s home state; Kentucky is my dad’s) and amfAR (Mike Pence wants to cut federal HIV/AIDS research funding and due to his regressive policies is responsible for an AIDS outbreak in Indiana). I strongly urge you to do the same if you can. We may feel despair, but we need to mobilize that to make change, to support the organizations that are sure to come under attack in the coming years. Jezebel has a great list of organizations which are worth your support. Those of us living outside of the US who are horrified by the result can make a difference with our money, standing in solidarity with immigrants, women, people of colour, LGBTQ people, disabled people, and everyone else whose safety may be compromised by this presidency.

Thanks for listening. Now onto the lighthearted beauty-related content you’re here for…


Though I’m generally a careful shopper who researches things before buying, I do occasionally end up with products that I find disappointing for whatever reason. I don’t have many still in my collection as I purge products relatively frequently, but here’s a roundup of the stuff that just makes me go “meh”.

Face Products


Obviously, I found Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation underwhelming for my skin type. I do think this foundation would be a lovely option for someone with combo to oily skin, as I can’t deny its lasting power. It also looked quite nice on the parts of my face that aren’t so dry. But I can’t forgive something that makes my forehead look cakey! This is especially disappointing because the lightest colour in this line was probably the best foundation match I’ve ever found. It seems that a cool yellow really works for me. But a good colour match is not reason enough to keep it around.

I got a sample of Burberry Fresh Glow Luminous Fluid Base as a 100-point perk from Sephora, and I will definitely not be buying the full size. I don’t find it particularly shows through my foundation to make it any more luminous, and used alone as a liquid highlighter it’s pretty “meh” too. It might look nice mixed into foundation, but let’s be real, I’m too lazy to ever do that.

I know I just named H&M Pure Radiance Powder Blusher in Cherry one of my favourite fall blushes, so you’re probably sitting here going, “Clementine, you are full of shit.” It still is one of my favourite fall blushes – I love the colour so much and it doesn’t compare to anything in my collection. But I can’t help but find the formula stiff and patchy. I think this is especially exacerbated because I have no choice but to apply it with a stipple brush on my fair skin as it’s too pigmented to apply with a denser brush. This means that my face basically has little dots of magenta all over it, which I then have to blend together with another brush. It’s a lot of work! And I do like the end result. Plus, I love using this blush as eyeshadow – it’s the poor man’s ABH Modern Renaissance palette. I suspect those with (much) deeper skintones wouldn’t have quite such an issue with this blush. But it’s a lot of work for me! Worth the work? Probably, because it’s a really damn nice colour. But a lot of work nonetheless.

Lip Products


Back when Joe Fresh makeup was only sold in Joe Fresh stores and Loblaws, I loved the line. It was cheap as dirt and I seriously never bought a bad product. I especially loved their matte lipsticks and their nail polish. (The lipsticks went for $6 and the nail polishes were $4, or 3 for $10.) Now that Joe Fresh has expanded into Shoppers and revamped their line, they’ve jacked up their prices. Back in March, I picked up the Matte Lipstick in Scarlet, which is a deep, purple-leaning berry, because I love my OG Matte Lipstick in Raspberry (despite its shitty packaging). The new Joe Fresh lipsticks have way more solid and high-quality packaging, but the actual product isn’t as good – or maybe it’s just this colour. I find it slightly patchy (though not unbearably so like a similar colour, Revlon Black Cherry, which is just a hard no for me). It’s also not as smooth, creamy, and comfortable as Raspberry. I’m not kidding when I say that my $6 grocery store brand lipstick is one of my absolute favourite matte formulas. This new version, though? It’s okay, but it’s a huge disappointment compared to the original formula.

I bought YSL Rouge Pur Couture #57 with Optimum points. It was on impulse; sometimes I have things I’m planning to get with my points, and sometimes I just wing it. I actually really like how this lipstick looks – it’s a warm hot pink with an almost blue shift (which does not photograph well). It’s really pretty and interesting. It wears okay, too. I’ve heard a lot of mixed things about the actual Rouge Pur Couture formula and I come down somewhere in the middle. It’s nothing mindblowing, but it’s adequate. What stops me from wearing this lipstick frequently is the scent. I don’t really get why luxury products are so strongly scented in the first place, but a floral, perfume-y scent in a lipstick really gets my goat. When I put this lipstick on I feel like I’m spraying perfume directly into my mouth, and not even a perfume that I like. Bad scents on lipsticks have proven to be a dealbreaker for me in the past; I got rid of a CoverGirl lipstick back in the day because I couldn’t stand how it smelled, and I had to give a Milani lipstick away after only a few uses because that artifical watermelon scent was nasty. Only time will tell if I can handle this lipstick in the long run.


Swatches of Joe Fresh Matte Lipstick in Scarlet and YSL Rouge Pur Couture #57.

Eye Products


I’m a huge fan of the original Lancôme Hypnôse mascara, so I’m really disappointed that I don’t find the Hypnôse Star to be anything special. It’s prone to clumping (which the original Hypnôse was not, something I loved about it) and it doesn’t give me the long, separated look I prefer in a mascara. It’s certainly more of a volumizing product, but even if that were my goal this wouldn’t be my favourite option at all. Save your $33 and go to the drugstore, people!

I have nothing bad to say about the formula of the YSL Volume Effet Faux Cils Mascara in Bleu Majorelle. It does great things for my lashes: it makes them almost impossibly long and adds volume as well. It really does it all. But the vibrant blue on the wand does not show up nearly as well on my lashes. They are fairly dark to begin with, so that’s probably why, but it’s disappointing even if it’s my own eyelashes’ fault. And considering this mascara goes for $37 (another Optimum points purchase, of course), the idea of buying a white primer to make it more vibrant is a bit of a bummer.

Most of the products featured in this post were either impulse buys or gifts/samples, which tells me something pretty obvious: that I should thoroughly do my research before allowing something new into my collection!

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