Top 16 of 2016: Disappointing Beauty Products

It’s time to chat about what products disappointed me last year!  It wasn’t hard for me to compile this list at all – I find that those products that failed me tend to stick in my head more than those that impressed me – perhaps I’m just  a bitter person that can’t let go of a grudge (hehe!).

  1. Nivea 3-in-1 Gentle Cleansing Wipes
    These may be some of the worst makeup removing wipes I’ve ever tried…sorry Nivea!  They could barely remove any of my makeup and they left a greasy film behind.  Despite the fact that they were labeled as gentle and made for sensitive skin, they had an overpowering scent.  Oh and I didn’t even get halfway through the package before they had completely dried up.  Huge thumbs down!
  2. Tarte Rainforest Foundation
    When this foundation was released last Spring, everyone on YouTube was raving about it.  It coincided nicely with the Spring Sephora sale so I thought it was a perfect time to give it a try.  Unfortunately it didn’t work for me.  I found it so dry!  It looked nice right after I applied it but after that it started to cling to all my dry patches.  On top of that, it also made me really oily in my t-zone.  It was just an all-around disaster and I ended up returning it.
  3. NYX HD Concealer
    This is another product that seems to be very popular within the beauty community but just didn’t work for me at all.  I made the mistake of using it under my eyes a few times and it emphasized every single fine line, including ones I didn’t even know existed!  I found it quite drying even for spot concealing as well.  Wouldn’t recommend it.
  4. CoverGirl Ready Set Gorgeous Concealer
    If I had to nominate a concealer for the award of “Worst Concealer I’ve Ever Tried” this would be it.  You might as well not even bother with this one – it’s super thin and watery and has very little pigment in it so you can’t cover anything with it.  I picked it up because the foundation in the Ready Set Gorgeous line is pretty good but they really missed the mark with this concealer.
  5. Rimmel Brow This Way Brow Gel
    Apparently this has been voted Product of the Year in Canada for 2016…I struggle to understand why.  I found the formula gloopy and clumpy and the Blonde shade was Oompa Loompa orange.  Perhaps the clear version or other shades are better but I wasn’t impressed by this at all.
  6. Tarte Rainforest Eyeshadow Palette
    Last year I was very set on buying myself an all-in-1 palette that I could travel with; I wanted it to ideally include eyeshadows, blush, bronzer and highlighter and this one checked all the boxes.  I used this exclusively anytime I travelled this year so it got a lot of use and unfortunately, the more I used it, the less I enjoyed it.  All the products have become hard and dry and as a result have become increasingly difficult to blend.  The eyeshadows look really muddy when I try to blend them together, particularly the brown shades.  I’m a little confused because when I first started using this palette they were super soft and easily blendable.  Interestingly enough, it appears as though it’s been discontinued – and based on my experience, that’s for good reason!
  7. Tarteist Double Take Eyeliner
    2016 will now be known as the year when Tarte and I did not get along.  :S  This eyeliner is a fairly recent purchase – I picked it up at the VIB Sale in November.  It was another You-Tuber recommendation but I cannot stand this eyeliner!  It is way too fluid and it’s impossible to apply without looking like a panda.  It is double-ended and has a decent pencil eyeliner on the other end but unfortunately it doesn’t compensate for the liquid liner.
  8. Maybelline Master Precise Skinny Gel Pencil 
    So this was a recommendation from Emily Noel, who I adore but I’ve got to say, I never have any luck with her product recommendations.  I love how thorough her reviews are but I’ve tried many things she states are fantastic and they just never work for me.  It won’t stop me from watching her – I just need to stop buying things she suggests.  She stated this eyeliner was amazing because it glides on smoothly, was super black and lasted all day.  The only thing I can concur with is that it is quite pigmented.  I personally found it really dry and it smudged horribly.  There are much better eyeliner pencils at the drugstore than this one!
  9. Sephora Show Curl XL Lash Curler
    Has an eyelash curler ever pulled your eyelashes out?  Consider yourself lucky then.  I DESPISE this thing – the silicone finger pads never stayed in place and one day as I was using it they just flew off, causing my hand to slip, resulting in a chunk of eyelashes being ripped out of my eye.  As a result I’ll never use another eyelash curler designed like this one ever again – it’s not worth the risk!
  10. Covergirl Katy Kat Eye Mascara
    I’ll admit that I’m kind of picky when it comes to mascaras – but I also think they’re one of the most personal beauty products out there.  I’m sure there’s someone who thinks this mascara is the bees knees but I hated it.  It has a very wet formula and it completely straightened my lashes; it also has a weird brush that has lots of gaps in between the bristles – this resulted in clumps of mascara settling in those gaps which then transferred to my lashes.  I tried it again after letting it dry out for a few weeks but it barely made a difference.  I’m certain that Katy Perry doesn’t use this mascara….
  11. Essence Princess Lash False Effect Mascara
    ssence is always really hit or miss with me but I had high hopes for this mascara as many said it was fantastic.  I will agree that it definitely thickened and lengthened my lashes – but it came at a price.  That price was some major smudging and flaking that got worse as it dried out.  I think I’ve said this before – I can handle a few flakes but I will not stand for smudging.  On to the next one!
  12. Givenchy Phenomen’Eyes Mascara
    his was a deluxe sample from Sephora that I was super excited to use – the wand looks like a midevil torture device with it’s circular-shaped ball in place of the standard brush.  OMG this was horrible.  It gave me full-on spider lashes – long, thin and sticking out in a variety of directions.  I know I said that mascara is one of the most personal beauty products out there, but I really don’t see how this could work for anyone, especially given it’s $37 price tag!
  13. L’Occitane Verbena Icy Lip Balm
    ip balm is one of my favourite things and highly used beauty products – I’m always looking for the next best one.  This is not it.  I’m actually mad at myself for forking over $12 for it.  It does absolutely nothing.  No extra moisture, no softening.  Even it’s cooling and refreshing claim is underwhelming.
  14. NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams
     probably just need to give up on the hope that some day, I will find a liquid lipstick that works for my chronically-dry lips.  In the meantime, rest assured that these will never be worn by me again. As beautiful and vibrant as the shades are, the formula is equally as horrible.  They crumble and accentuate every bit of texture on your lips – giving you those much-coveted “raisin lips” look.  I’ve tried wearing them with balm underneath but it made no difference.  At least they’re affordable?
  15. NYC Expert Last Lip Color (Creamy Mauve)
    I picked up a couple of these at Wal-Mart a while ago and I thought I picked up two different shades but no…they were two of the same. Which wouldn’t be a bad thing if this was actually Mauve – but this an awful milky pink colour that’s super patchy and makes you look like you stepped out of a time machine from the 80’s.  Perhaps the other shades are better and would be worth a try but stay far away from this one!
  16. Essie Starry Starry Night
    I couldn’t resist picking up this nail polish shortly after it was released because it just looked so unique and beautiful.  Sadly, the formula on this is pretty much impossible to work with – thick, gloopy and uneven.  So disappointing!

What products failed to meet your expectations in 2016?


  1. Polished and Inspired says

    Ugh, so sad to hear that the Tarte Rainforest foundation didn’t work for you! That was on my list of foundations to try next 🙁 doesn’t sound like it would be a good fit with my dry skin at all! How weird that the palette hardened! That is unheard of. What a Shane, because I remember wanting that palette because the colours were so pretty. I think they released a second rainforest palette – hopefully they fixed that problem.
    Everyone says that the Essence mascara is so amazing! So sad it didn’t work out for you.
    Apparently the re-release of the Starry, Starry Night polish was completely different from the original and every review I read had the same issues as you. Disappointing seeing as that was a highly coveted polish.

    • prettyrufflife says

      Maybe get a sample from Sephora first – some people swear by it but it definitely didn’t work for me. Apparently water-based foundations are just dryer in general?

      I heard that about SSN too…I don’t understand why companies do that. It can’t be that hard to replicate a previous formula? I had such high hopes for it.

    • prettyrufflife says

      I should have mentioned that Tarte redeemed itself with the Shape Tape concealer so we’re friends again! Ha! 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

  2. stashy says

    Ooh I have both the NYX HD and CoverGirl Ready Set Gorgeous Concealers on my to-try list. I can’t seem to find a suitable colour match for the NYX one so I’ve shied away.
    I’m currently using the Covergirl Katy Kat Eye Mascara right now… it’s a decent mascara but yeah, the formula is REALLY wet. I’m hoping it will dry out over time and I won’t be constantly having to clean up my eyelids. It’s unlikely that Katy Perry wears this mascara just as Britney Spears doesn’t wear Fantasy perfume! 😆
    Well, I just read somewhere raving about the Essence Princess Lash False Effect Mascara! Now I don’t know WHAT to think! 😛
    But oh YES, Essie Starry Starry Night was total ASS. Thanks for reminding me of that colossal letdown. UGH.

    • prettyrufflife says

      I would give the Princess Lash a try – lots of people seem to like it, plus it’s cheap so you don’t have much to lose! 🙂

      I would definitely not recommend that CG Concealer – the most useless one I’ve ever tried.

  3. Blushstopshere says

    I tried the Sephora lash curler and didn’t like it, either. My favorite is the Shiseido Eyelash Curler, but I’m always open to trying a new one since curled lashes look so pretty!

    • prettyrufflife says

      I’ve heard good things about the Shiseido one! I’m currently using the Tarte version which I enjoy! 🙂

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