(Disclaimer: none of these products were given to me and I was not sponsored! Everything was purchased with my own money or came as a sample from a subscription service.)
I didn’t really get into the beauty product scene until I was out of college. My beauty routine in high school didn’t really go beyond showering every morning and occasionally dabbling in some (terrible) makeup choices; in college I occasionally used a hair or face mask and stuck to minimal makeup (usually concealer, mascara, and cherry chapstick). When I was out of college, I started teaching at a K-12 school, and because I was super young and looked even younger, I decided it was time to really start wearing makeup. That led me into YouTube beauty vloggers, and not only did I start trying out real makeup looks, I also started taking much better care of my skin and hair. I’m still not perfect at it (hello, forgetting to take my makeup off at night) but it’s made a huge difference.
At this point, I never purchase new beauty products without looking up their reviews on the internet. I’m not going to invest my money in something just to find out it was a waste, right? So I thought I would review some of the products I’ve used up (or gave up on) recently!
-Garnier Micellar Wipes: I rely on cleansing face wipes for a lot of reasons. I use them before bed to take my makeup off, I use them in the morning to clean my face if I showered the night before, and I use them before and after performances. I really liked the Garnier micellar wipes. The wipe itself has a very soft texture but a strong weave, so it didn’t tear up my skin or dissolve in my hands. My skin felt very clean afterwards, with no sticky reside. I’ll buy again!
-Pantene Detangler: Full disclosure: my hair is the worst. I have baby-thin hair but it’s very coarse and dry (also, I desperately need a new hairstyle and a great haircut, so any recommendations would be welcomed) and because my hair has that weak, stretchy feeling, I use detangler to minimize pulling or breaking more hair than normal. The Pantene detangler is okay. It did its job preventing breakage, but I felt like my hair was kind of coated afterwards. I also didn’t really like using it on dry hair. I need a detangler, but I’m not sure I’d buy this one if more options are available. I’m on the fence!
-Dermalogica Age Smart Daily Super Exfoliant: This was a sample from a Birchbox. It’s a very unique product- it’s actually a mildly abrasive powder that you mix with water to create a paste. It’s a little messy, but as an exfoliant it worked great. It wasn’t so abrasive that you can’t use it every day, but not so gentle that it doesn’t make a difference. As a higher-end brand, it’s not currently on my radar as a product that worked so well that I could justify the price, but it is a very good product. I’d buy again if the price is right!
-St. Ives Apricot Oil Scrub. Here’s what happens when you don’t check your reviews ahead of time. I only used this scrub two, maybe three times before I tossed it. It was awful. The oil base is thick and syrupy, and the apricot flecks were far too hard on my skin. Luckily I used it in the shower, because using it at a sink would have caused an oil-based catastrophe. The residue never completely washed off either; I had a little bit of stickiness for the rest of the day. I didn’t end up wasting too much money. I had a coupon on the Target Cartwheel app and it was an item on Ibotta as well…plus the scrub was already on clearance and I haven’t seen it since. (That should have been a sign.) I’m not going to buy this again!
-Too Faced Better than Sex Mascara.I got this as a sample. I had gotten recommendations for this mascara all over the place, especially from my friend Bri, but I didn’t get around to trying it for ages. I absolutely loved it. It made my lashes look very thick and very long, and it lasted for a decently long amount of time. This is why I always prefer sample size mascaras. I can pay ten dollars for a full size drugstore mascara or ten dollars for a sample high end mascara, and in either case I’ll end up tossing them in 3-6 months (I know, I know, I hold onto my mascaras a little longer. But I know I’m not the only one.) I’ll buy again!
I hope these were helpful! But I’m always on the lookout for new things to try. What are your all time favorite and all time worst beauty products? I want to know!