Products I won’t Buy Again

I’ve noticed that a lot of blogs post only positive reviews of products. To be honest, it makes me doubt the sincerity of products that receive the rave reviews. I know we’ve all had disappointing experiences with products that come highly recommended or have such great marketing that you’re almost promised with results. No one seems to really talk about them, so to really do the readers justice, I’ve decided to do this post on products I regret buying and won’t buy again. This isn’t to say I dislike the line, but just the specific products I used.

Product: Caudalie Vinoperfect Radiance Serum
Price: $79

After reading so much about this natural, clean product in magazines and on Intothegloss, I was excited to give it a try. I was told by the sales associate that this is Caudalie’s answer to dark spot correction, pigmentation issues, and delivering radiant skin. 

The first negative is that upon reading the ingredient list, it seemed to be filled with synthetic fragrance. Indeed the scent is lovely, but it stays and stays, which really annoys me for a face product. Secondly, it’s too runny and I have to rush to apply the product to my skin. Third, it seemed to sit on top of my skin, which leads to point four: it broke me out on my forehead which rarely ever happens. And finally, it truly made no positive difference to my skin whatsoever. I couldn’t even ‘convince’ myself that this did anything after having used up the entire bottle. Useless, overpriced, and not at all a clean product.

Product: Ole Henriksen Sheer Transformation
Price: $45

I so wanted to like this after my boyfriend told me how it was his “skincare staple”- which for a guy is pretty rare. Again, this earned a natural seal from Sephora so I thought it would also be a clean product. After I saw the ingredients list, I was shocked at how much silicone was in this! It’s “sheer transformation” because you’re basically slathering on a layer of carcinogenic, skin-smothering, acne-promoting silicones! On top of that, it didn’t seem to do anything for my skintone, although I will admit that it was mildly hydrating which makes it’s moisturizing qualities suitable for younger, combination skin. But at $45, I would much rather go with better formulated moisturizers.

 Product: Dr.Brandt Collagen Booster
Price: $75

Granted I don’t have much need for a high strength collagen booster at my age, I still wanted something more “anti-aging” to boost the first signs of wrinkles/fine lines I was getting toward my smile lines and forehead. Although this didn’t break me out, it didn’t do anything else either. I was so hopeful after all the great things I heard about Dr.Brandt’s line that the lack of anything noticeable after the entire bottle was used up was very disappointing.

Product: Philosophy Miracle Worker
Price: $57

This has a spot on the list because it is the one product that made me swear off ALL Philosophy products. The scent was disgusting, very chemically smelling. EACH time I put on this moisturizer, I would get at least 2 new breakouts and these aren’t small ones, we’re talking CYSTIC acne. And this happens the morning after I put it on each and every single time- without fail. It was because of my experience with this product that I decided to clean up my beauty routine and use things without silicones, and harsh chemicals.

Product: Vbeaute ‘It Kit’
Price:  $165

Okay, this is going to sound a little harsh so get ready. Vbeaute was started by hedge funder, Julie Macklowe and the story is: her products were confiscated by TSA when she was travelling and upon arriving in France, she had to buy new beauty products which gave her an allergic reaction so she started Vbeaute to make travel-friendly, high-performance skincare. To be honest, there is nothing about this story that makes me want to try the products.

Number 1, French skincare is held to a higher standard and has far less allergens than products sold Stateside. Number 2, most skincare companies these days make travel-friendly products so I don’t see the appeal of spending money solely for products under 3 fl ozs. Number 3, it tells me nothing about why I should trust her of all people to make a line that is better than anything else out there, after all she was travelling with existing products that seemed to meet her needs already.

Despite my lack of enthusiasm with her ‘story’, I was eager to try this out, since Intothegloss, Vogue, and a host of other high-end publications featured her stuff. The packaging, names, etc. aren’t really my cup of tea but that is just personal opinion (Undercover Agent? Evidence Eraser? Really?). The product signature lies in an ingredient called Alpine Rose which is said to combat UV damage and heal skin. But I’m not a fan of lines that focus on “star” ingredients, like Josie Maran’s line that is all about Argan Oil- I feel like no matter how good the “star” ingredient, the best products should have a host of things in there for good measure. So from a formula stance, I’m also not feeling this. 

After finishing her It Kit, I have to say her creams and serums reminded me of those creams my mom used as I was growing up, beautiful smelling, luxurious textures, but ultimately no true benefit for skin. I don’t want to sound mean, but I truly believe in skincare and beauty “you are your product” and when someone told me Julie Macklowe was under 40, I was surprised. She looks older than her age, maybe I’m wrong and she really is in her late 40s. I just feel like if she doesn’t look that youthful for her age, mixed with my personal experience with her products – what will keep customers coming back? I just couldn’t shake the feeling that I was buying snake oil.

I think she does get a bump in press and getting into high-end stores because of her connections. Every story about line focuses on the founders finance background, socialite status, etc. but that can only take you so far in this crowded beauty market. In the end the products have to speak for themselves and in this case they aren’t up to snuff. I couldn’t find any reviews of her actual product online and could only see press introductions for her It Kit, which says to me this is more a marketing business than true skincare. 


1 Comment

  1. April 28, 2013 / 4:41 pm

    Exactly why I started reading your blog is for this reason. More review blogs need to include their Blacklist items! I love transparency and too much positive leaves too many options out there. But I do see a pattern in all these so far, as clearly none of them are organic. Might be the synthetics doing you wrong….

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