Recent Makeup FAILS

I’m having a short break from writing positive reviews to have a good moan about beauty products I do not like. These were mostly 2019 purchases and had been through rigorous testing before eventually being (mostly) decluttered. Some of these were flat out fails, some had one unforgivable flaw, and others were just not suitable for me (but that wouldn’t really make a good title, would it?).

We’ll do this in a nice list format to make up for the lack of photos…

  • Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Hydrating Longwear Foundation. Like a lot of people, I couldn’t wait to try this foundation upon release, but was left disappointed. I had mine in shade 110 which was quite a close match. Despite the name this wasn’t very long-wearing and would rub off around my chin after a couple of hours. It also didn’t sit well on my skin, accentuating texture and weirdly making my skin look drier than it actually was (I have normal-dry skin for reference). The worst part for me though was that it broke me out so I had to declutter it in the end.
  • Dior Backstage Face & Body Foundation. I had this in the shade 0N which was way too pale on me (similar to the Estee Lauder Double Wear shade Alabaster). 1N in Dior foundations are always too dark for me, so at least this range goes light enough that I could mix shades (really wish they’d do the same for the Dior Airflash foundation). Regardless, this formula was too drying on my skin so I decluttered this one too. It’s nice and lightweight though and I hear people with oily/combination skin raving about it!
  • Tatcha Luminous Dewy Skin Mist. I should have guessed by the name, but I’m not into overly dewy base makeup at the moment. A couple of sprays of this doesn’t do much, but use too much and your face will be so uncomfortably sticky for the remainder of the day. When used properly it does give you a dewy looking complexion, but it doesn’t do much for me in the way of refreshing my makeup (not sure if it claims to). If a super dewy skin look is your jam then knock yourself out.
  • Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Dim Light. Unpopular opinion here, but I find hourglass powders to be a bit overrated (and very overpriced). I bought Dim Light to use as a finishing powder, and aside from it not really doing much for my makeup, it was noticeably too dark on my skin-tone. I now have the Hourglass Ghost Ambient Lighting Edit face palette from holiday 2019 that has both Dim Light and Diffused light, which when mixed together are better for my skin-tone. HOWEVER, I still do not see the hype, and I feel similarly about the bronzer and blushers (at least these serve their actual purpose though).
  • Tom Ford Cheek Colour Frantic Pink. This blusher was not very pink, more of a bright pale peachy colour (and it ended up being an expensive way for me to find out that very light peach blushers don’t suit me). Nice formula, just not the right colour for me.
Tom Ford Cheek Colour Frantic Pink + Swatch
Tom Ford Cheek Colour in ‘Frantic Pink’
  • Natasha Denona Camel Palette. One of the most recommended eyeshadow palettes from Natasha Denona, but sadly the strong yellow undertones of these brown shades do not flatter me. There are two very similar mid-tone matte browns and I feel one could be switched out for a mid-tone shimmer (the bronze shade is a little dark for me). Perhaps this palette would suit someone with a more medium skin-tone better. I was slightly wary of this, but seeing so many positive reviews even from people with fair skin fooled me into this purchase. So maybe it’s just my personal taste!
Natasha Denona Camel Palette 5-pan eyeshadow palette
Natasha Denona Camel Palette
  • Burberry Pale Barley Eye Colour wet & dry silk shadow. People used to rave about this years ago. Admittedly I have the newer formula, but this was the most ‘meh’ eyeshadow I have ever tried. I actually really like the Burberry Eye Quads and appreciate their subtle satin effect, so it’s not as if I was expecting something similar to a Natasha Denona metallic, but something about this particular shade and finish just looked like almost nothing on my eye.
Burberry Pale Barley Eye Colour No.102 wet & dry silk shadow
Burberry Pale Barley Eye Colour
  • Suqqu Liquid Eyebrow Pen. I’m not sure how this compares to the old formula, but the tips of these brow pens run dry after a couple of strokes, after which it’s almost impossible to get any colour payoff without excessive shaking of the pen in between each individual stroke, making this essentially unusable. I have tried two shades, Brown and Moss Green, both of which do this. In addition, Moss Green is very much green, and not the ashy tone I was hoping for (see swatch below, however it shows up much more green next to brown brow hairs).
Suqqu Liquid Eyebrow Pen Moss Green
Suqqu Liquid Eyebrow Pen in Moss Green
  • Fenty Gloss Bomb in shade Fu$$y. I’m not too sure why everyone loves this particular lip gloss more than any other on the market. It’s not overly sticky, but I don’t really see anything too special about it. That said, I’m not really a lip gloss lover, so wrong target audience here. The reason that this makes it onto the list though is the scent. I HATE the scent, it’s so sickly sweet in a horrible fake way, I can’t stand it.
  • Bobbi Brown Lip Colour. Described as a creamy, semi-matte lipstick, this isn’t the most comfortable to wear. But the smell is really offensive and takes a long time to wear off. It’s not a particular fragrance, just the smell of the actual lipstick. I did actually try these on in store and didn’t notice any smell then, but perhaps it had worn off the testers after being open at the counter for a long time. I have had a few different ones from different places (in-store and online) and they all smelt the same from the moment I opened the bullet. It’s a shame, as I really like a few of the shades. I have kept my favourite shade ‘blush’ in my collection, but this one is discontinued now anyway.
Bobbi Brown Lip Colour Lipstick swatches in shades Blush (left) and Sandwash Pink (Right)
Bobbi Brown Lip Colour in shades Blush (left) and Sandwash Pink (Right)
  • Sisley Black Rose Cream Mask. This is probably aimed at more mature dry skin types, and perhaps it works better for those people, but for me this did nothing for my skin. I’ll stick to hydrating face masks like the Dermalogica Skin Hydrating Masque for the time being – I really want to try the Sisley Express Flower Gel Mask. I currently have the Sisley Velvet Sleeping Mask with Saffron Flowers which is lovely to wear overnight when my skin is super dry in the winter, and it really nourishes my skin and makes me glow. Would definitely recommend it over the Black Rose Cream Mask.
  • Sunday Riley Good Genes. It was actually a few years ago that I tried this, back when they still sold the lactic acid formula in the UK. I don’t usually find lactic acid to have much effect on my skin and tend to stick to glycolic acid, but everyone said this was a really effective exfoliant (even outside those fake Sephora reviews). Sadly, this did nothing for my skin. In contrast to what people usually dislike about this product, I quite liked the scent as it reminded me of those Refresher chew bar sweets.
  • Sian Richards Brushes. I watched pro make-up artist Sian Richards giving a demo using products from her own makeup line at IMATS 2019 in London. It was one of those moments when you recognise someone’s sales tactics and think “wow, they’re really doing a good job of trying to sell me their products”, but then immediately fall for it yourself. I picked up a lot of products from her line that day, and I struggle with most of them as they’re really geared towards make-up artists (which I am not – my bad). However, that’s not to say I can’t get some use out of her brushes (previously called the ‘London Brush Company’). WRONG. Handmade, natural bristles, at a similar price point to Japanese Fude, these are seriously lacking in quality. First off, the wooden handles feel so cheap and have no weight to them. They also smell a bit funny. The manufacturers took no care to ensure the writing on the handle aligned nicely with the ferrule and bristles. The edge of the ferrule feels scratchy. Most of the brushes are sparsely packed with fibres. AND the quality of the hair fibres themselves are far from the high quality I am used to with Japanese Fude brushes. In the unlikely event that you come across these brushes, do not buy them. They are a total waste of money IMO.

And there you have it! Let me know of anyone products you’ve tried that were total garbage – I’d love to rant some more in the comments 😉


This is not a sponsored post. All products mentioned in this post have been purchased by me.

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1 Comment

  1. Anonymous
    November 18, 2020 / 11:44 pm

    Must agree with you on sian richards brushes from white goat bristle line. Advertised as soft and high quality goat haired brushes they were not (Compared to similar quality brushes from other companies)