Disappointing Products

Now I'm not one for perpetuating negativity, even when discussing products but if this posts helps save your wallet the sadness of wasted purchases, then you're exactly who I'm writing this for.  To that end, if you love any of my 'disappointing product' choices don't be sad, they just didn't do it for me or uphold my expectations.

disappointing productsNARS Pro Prime Face: there isn't many products from this line that aren't in my top all-time favorites but this isn't one of them! It reminds me of the Laura Mercier Primers where you really can't tell if it’s actually doing anything. I want a primer to make my skin feel different or smooth or ready for makeup... Something! This gives nothin'.

Instead Try: Smashbox Light Photofinish Primer or for especially oily t-zones you will love Porefessional Primer by Benefit or Becca Ever-Matte Primer

NARS Tinted Moisturizer: if you're planning to use this as a moisturizer then you'll like it but if you think you'll get a lick of coverage... Keep walkin.

Instead Try: Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer for excellent coverage on normal to dry skin, Jouer Matte Moisture Tint for oily/combination skin or Benefit Big Easy for normal/combination/oily skin with sheer coverage.

T3 Hair Dryer: almost two years ago my dear Babyliss Pro TT dryer shot fireworks out the back end while I was drying my hair which clearly meant we had reached the end of our relationship (insert sobbing face) so I decided if an expensive professional dryer could only last me two years, next time I'd buy the famed T3 that I'd been hearing about in magazines for years. Upon unboxing it looked like the Porsche of dryers… almost too pretty to use but with the first use it was clear, she was pretty but ineffective, heavy and took forever for my hair to dry. I stood by it for over a year because after all I did drop $250 on it at Nordstrom. Finally I couldn't do it anymore! After finding my exact Babyliss model on Amazon for now only $60 (what?!?) I quickly packed up that T3 and marched it right back to Nordstrom for a full refund!  It might sound silly but I actually enjoy drying my hair again :)

Dr Gross Alpha Beta Pads: I enjoy his products and have loved the oil free moisturizers for years so why wouldn't I love the tanning towelettes? Especially since they promise alpha beta exfoliation.  Because they turn you incredibly orange and have a bit of a weird smell in the hours following application. Boo Dr Gross, boo.

Instead Try: Kate Somerville 360 Tanning Towelettes because they have a light citrusy scent, offer a subtle golden glow, travel well being individually packaged and they are large enough and saturated enough to do your entire body! #winning

Diorshow Maximizer Lash Plumping Serum: I love Dior but this product makes my mascara nearly impossible to remove and my lashes so hard that I find them breaking during removal so I'm not sold on what it's actually marketed to do. Don't bother with it girls!

Instead Try: Brow Enhancing Serum Advanced from Anastasia.  It’s packed with vitamins and peptides that condition and enhance both your brows AND your lashes.  It dries quickly and can be applied am & pm.

Chanticaille Total Concealer: this product is so thick that I've tried applying it with a brush, a Beauty Blender and my fingers yet it still creases almost immediately and is difficult to blend.  At $38 your dollars would be better spent on another brand.

Instead Try: Bobbi Brown Color Corrector

Living Proof Prime Style Extender: This was a no brainer purchase... It promises to extend the life of your blowout and after all it is endoresd by America's sweetheart known for her amzing locks.  Now because I love the concept of this brand and it's scientifically created to do incredible things I'm confident that there are other life changing products in the range (I quite like the flexible hair spray and love the fact that it's under 3oz making it travel friendly) but this extender just didn't impress me.  My blowout felt slightly gummy, it seemed to crease more easily when putting it behind my ear, in an elastic or bobby pin and I didn't stretch my blowout any further than normal.

Instead Try: Bumble and Bumble Primer spray which also offers UV protection and create tension while drying your hair with a great quality brush!

MY PERSONAL FAVORITE PRODUCTS

1. Tarte Lifted Eye Base which keeps my eye makeup on without creasing even on my longest and hottest days in the Florida weather.

2. MAC Brun eye shadow which I use in my brows everyday and have since I was 16 years old with the MAC 266 brush only!

3. Laura Mercier Secret Concealor set with the most incredible Secret Brightening Powder which makes my under eye area flawless until bedtime (and beyond some days).

4. My 2 favorite foundations are Nars Oil Free Matte in Fiji (winter) and St. Tropez (summer) and Laura Mercier Oil Free foundation in Sunny Beige.

5. Smashbox Light Photo Finish Primer… I have yet to find a better primer for my oily skin that does not aggravate breakouts and photographs beautifully.

6. Laura Mercier Black Violet eye liner lining on the inner rim of the lower tear line makes the whites of my eyes super bright and gives an intensity to my eyes that commands attention (that’s for dramatic days) and on my days off I usually reach for either Bountiful Brown or Bordeauxline by MAC which are completely water proof and stay all day with or without an eye primer.

7. MASCARA, MASCARA, MASCARA… this is a very personal choice and it takes a long time to find the perfect one but after many tries I have found my perfect pair. I use Laura Mercier Long Lash on my days off or when I want a very natural mascara look and for more dramatic eyes I use Tarte Lights, Camera, Action BUT I have recently tried the NEW Laura Mercier Full Blown mascara and it may give Tarte a run for it’s money!

8. It’s no secret… I love my lipgloss… I literally have hundreds (don’t judge) so I can only tell you my favorite brands: Chanel, MAC, Dior, Georgio Armani & CO Bigelow Peppermint Balm.

9. For bronzer I have my all time favorite stand by Hoola Bronze which I have used for over 6 years but I recently tried Kat Von D’s shimmer bronzer and although it is not enough color to use on most days alone, I do like to sweep it lightly over my Hoola Bronzer or use it in place of blush.

10. Which brings me to blush, my 2 favorite colors that I use regularly are Mata Hari and Orgasm by NARS… you can’t beat them, I promise you 

11. Eye Shadows, there are too many to have just one favorite or even 5 so I’ll give you the ones that I find I feel sexiest when I use them: Laura Mercier Deep Night (wonderful for smoky eyes and recreating the famous Kardashian eye), MAC Copperplate which is a beautiful soft dove gray and I wear it usually when I’m wearing something really feminine or pearls, Corfu from NARS which is a cream shadow that looks subtly sparkly and looks great for a Boheimian look, MAC Sumptuous Olive with Fig1 in the crease brings out the green in my eyes and doesn’t look like 2 colors that you’d think of putting together but they work great! I also rarely use mineral shadows because I think they are messy and hard to travel with but 3 colors that I like from Bare Essentials are Queen Tiffany, Gold and Sanctuary (which I only bought because the proceeds went to help the rainforest but it turns out I really liked it). Diamond Lil by Stila is a gorgeous diamond like gray that makes a great smoky eye too. I also use Kid by MAC a lot to start a smoky eye or in the crease for a more retro, pin up style eye with bold liner. See… there’s a lot and that is only a small fraction of the ones I use regularly. I try to do a different look with completely different colors every single day because it challenges me and makes me want come up with a different combination that I can use on my clients too. Oh and I also love Atlantic Blue over white chomaliner by MAC (it makes it super bright). Ok, that’s it for this round.

12. Last but not least is my ALL TIME FAVORITE lip liner – Subculture by MAC because it is so close to my natural lip color and I can wear it with a clear lip balm or under any gloss I choose.