Beauty Wednesday: Overrated Beauty Products

Overrated (But Classic) Beauty Products -- and What's Worth It | CorporetteIn the wake of all the makeup sales lately, I’ve been perusing the “best seller” lists, and am continually surprised to see some of the listed products because I’ve tried them and been underwhelmed. I thought today it might be fun to discuss classic beauty products — what’s worth the hype, and which beauty products are overrated? For your review, Sephora has a list of best sellers as well as a list from Allure’s Best Beauty Products of 2014, has another list of Award Winning Beauty; and Ulta has a list of their fan favorites.

My list of the overrated beauty products includes:

  • Diorshow — Meh. I briefly liked Benefit’s They’re Real!, but am still on the hunt for a good mascara.  I’m keeping my eyes peeled for a mascara gift set for the season so I can try a bunch.
  • NARS Lip Pencil — I have this in a dark mauve and I hate the way it wears.  I’m ok with Clinique’s Chubby Sticks, but I’m always baffled when I see this one on best-of lists. (Note that Sephora has a limited edition Chubby Colour lip set for $25 with four shades.)
  • Naked Palette.  I WANT TO LIKE THIS SO BADLY!  It just seems like a lot of blah to me.  Even for daily, low-key makeup, I reach for a million other things first.
  • Benefit’s High Beam – meh.  I do really like the eyebrow highlighter pencil in a very similar shade, though.  In general, I prefer Nars the Multiple to add a bit of shimmer to my cheeks before I head out for the evening.  I had a gold highlighter from Josie Maran (which they don’t seem to make anymore) that I loved, and was excited to see Benefit come out with a similar gold highlighter, but after watching the video it looks like it isn’t intended for my pale skin at all.  I’ll still try it the next time I’m in a store, though…
  • Benefit’s Benetint — I feel like I’ve been trying to like this one for 20+ years.  Meh.
  • Tarte cheek stains — in fairness, I’ve never owned one of these, but I’ve tried them on in the store a zillion times.  They just don’t look like anything on me.

My list of classic beauty products worth the hype:

That’s my list of overrated beauty products (and the ones that are worth it), ladies — what’s yours?

Photo: Shutterstock / severija.


N.B. These substantive posts are intended to be a source of community comment on a particular topic, which readers can browse through without having to sift out a lot of unrelated comments. And so, although of course we highly value all comments by our readers, we’re going to ask you to please keep your comments on topic; threadjacks will be deleted at our sole discretion and convenience. Thank you for your understanding!



  1. I just ordered the YSL Babydoll mascara on the recommendation of a friend, so excited to try it!

    I second the Cliniqe Almost Lipstick in Black Honey, it looks amazing on me.

    Otherwise, I love the Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer and clinique’s brow pencil/highlighter.

  2. Woods-comma-Elle :

    Worth the hype (and mentioned the other day): the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Pomade.

    Agree with Kat on Touche Éclat.

    Not a fan of the Benefit push up liner which seems to be everywhere at the moment – I don’t like the applicator at all!

    • Agreed on the Benefit liner. It was interesting in theory but it didn’t work for me, so it went back.

      • Woods-comma-Elle :

        I like the product itself, but I find it impossible to get exactly the right amount of liner out and make a clean line without scratching my eye or getting a huge clump of liner. Not cool.

        • Agreed with Elle on the Push Up – love the look when I get it perfect, but far too many “arrrrrgh” moments when a giant clump comes out.

    • I read that the Benefit pushup liner was extremely difficult to remove. Any experience with this? I normally use makeup removing wipes or argan oil to remove eye makeup. I’m not looking to buy a new liner if I have to pull at my lids constantly to get it off

  3. LilyStudent :

    Almost all of the No7 products (Boots own-brand) are incredibly underrated. I think being UK-only means they disappear in the transatlantic beauty blogging and vlogging communities. I especially recommend their Superlight foundation (similar to a Chanel one whose name currently escapes me) and their Stay Perfect mascara.

    • We actually have Boots No 7 at Target here (they have a whole section of an aisle). I’ve not tried the brand at all, though.

    • Boots #7 is at Target stores in the US – I do like their moisturizers.

    • We also have it at Shopper’s Drug in Canada. I like No. 7 moisturizers and their lipliners.

    • This is good to know. I ordered their Beautiful Skin Dry Skin rescue and I’m not sure how I feel about it yet but I’m sure by the time this Chicago winter is over, I’ll form a conclusion about it.

    • LilyStudent :

      I stand corrected on the UK only front! I have actually yet to try any of their skincare, but I’ve been consistently impressed by their make-up. The new foundation-matched lipstick system is genius.

    • I’d love to use more of these products, but they are PACKED with parabens.

      • Fill me in on the danger of parabens?

        • There isn’t a huge danger; no individual product has a level of parabens (preservatives that at high levels cause hormone disruptions) that would cause harm, according to the FDA:

          The problem, or potential problem, is that so many products are loaded with them (and something is needed to inhibit microbial growth in cosmetics & skin care products) that the cumulative effect could be problematic (I am not aware of conclusive studies either way). Since there are plenty of cosmetics formulated without parabens, I choose to avoid them where I can, since they are not completely avoidable in other products. See also

  4. I love Sephora and use a lot of their stuff. Fortunately there is a store on the way home (they are NOT open when I walk in), so I alway’s stop in there and buy what I need. I also can sampel thing’s in there and they encourage me b/c they said I can be their best ambassador. Yay!!!!!

  5. (Former) Clueless Summer :

    Benetint and all cheek stains – totally agree!
    Orgasm blush – I have used it and liked it but I think it is too gold shimmery for everyday.
    Laguna bronzer – not bad, just totally not worth the money. Check out the $3 NYX bronzer at the drug store

    Totally worth it
    I’ll second the Anastasia brow products (although I prefer the powder with two colours for mixing)
    Tarte blushes!

  6. Not a fan of Black Honey (in any formulation) or NARS Orgasm (in the powder form).

    I liked Diorshow for a while, but have moved back to drugstore mascara (currently: Maybelline Full & Soft) because a $25 mascara should not be clumpy when first opened.

    This year’s favorite product: NARS matte multiple (in Exumas and Laos, for my skin tone). Easy to apply and to touch up, makes me look not dead, lasts a long time (both on my face and the life of the product).

    Also really like the Urban Decay Naked basics palette – really easy to use, much cheaper and smaller than the larger ones.

    • Also, in general, I am always amused by how one person’s HG (holy grail) product is another’s OMG NO product.

      • Anonymous :

        Totally agree with this! I could never get into lip color of any kind unless cherry chapstick counts, until I found the Nars Velvet Gloss pencil. Ah-mazing! Not sticky, not dry, perfect amount of color for a minimal makeup wearer. I also liked the color from Benetint as a lip gloss but it’s a bit sticky (including the outside of the container, and I don’t want that in my bag).

        And Diorshow is my staple mascara. I’ve tried others because the fragrance in Diorshow irritates my allergies, but it’s the best I’ve found. I had a deluxe sample of They’re Real and it was AWFUL. I would rank it as the worst mascara I’ve tried, and I’ve tried a lot.

        My overrated list: Clarisonic, Chanel Chance, Josie Moran anything, and Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer (it’s so sticky and poor-wearing!)

        • Agreed on the Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer! It was recommended to me by a bunch of people but just didn’t work on my skin – it looked like it was just sitting on top of my skin, didn’t really ‘soak in’ or blend well. I went back to Maybelline Dream Fresh BB cream and I haven’t strayed since.

    • Yeah, Black Honey doesn’t look good at all on me – very dark and 1990s.

      • Lorelai Gilmore :

        That’s probably why I like it. As someone who came of age in the mid-90s, dark lipstick still makes me feel like a teenager :)

  7. I love Tarte’s Lights, Camera, Lashes mascara. If you haven’t already, give that one a try!

    I got the Naked palette as a gift and while I like it, I don’t think I would buy it again. I find myself using the same couple of shadows over and over and there are a few I haven’t touched. I’ll buy full-size versions of the colors I like once they run out, though.

    I agree that the Black Honey lip products are a great, all-around flattering color. I stopped using it only because I learned that Estee Lauder brands have gone back to animal testing.

    And Moroccan Oil has been life-changing! My hair dresser introduced me to it and it has made an enormous difference in my hair.

    • A professional woman :

      Depending on how many colors, it may make sense to rebuy the palette. The shadows in the Naked palette are full sized and UD shadows are $18 each. Also not all are available as singles (e.g., Sidecar). So if you want more than 3 shades, might as well get the whole palette again.

    • A professional woman :

      Depending on how many colors, it may make sense to rebuy the palette. The shadows in the Naked palette are full sized and UD shadows are $18 each. Also not all are available as singles (e.g., Sidecar). So if you want more than 3 shades, might as well get the whole palette again.

    • Can someone explain to me what miracles the Moroccan Oil is doing for their hair? I’ve tried it, and it just feels like I put oil in my hair, like it could be EVOO from my kitchen and there would be no difference. I’m not getting it.

    • I love the Naked 2 palette, the Naked (original) didn’t do much for me.
      Tarte’s Lights, Camera, Lashes works well for me, and I can’t stand the Diorshow – they have been too wet and/or clumpy for me. I like the LM Tinted Moisturizer , but prefer the Nars version. I agree that Nars Orgasm (the powder especially) ends up looking too glittery on me.
      I do still occasionally use the Black Honey, but I’ve also use the Sephora Lip Stain, and have recently begun using the Wander lipstick (they have a day/night dual ended one).

  8. Couldn’t make myself like:

    Touche Eclat – it did nothing for my serious-at-the-time undereye circles
    Urban Decay eyeshadow primer – regardless, all eyeshadow creases or falls off for me, so I’ve given up on it
    Any drugstore mascara, no matter what Allure says! I swear I always *save money* when I just admit that a tube is going to cost at least $20. Right now I like Too Faced Better Than S3x (though I am sooooo tired of makeup names referring to s3x or nudity in all the myriad ways they can imagine to do so. We get it.)

    Worth splurging on in my book:
    Lancome Kohl eyeliner – one of the few that stays on me, and more reliable than waterproof formulas
    For lipstick: YSL, Dior, Givenchy, Too Faced. (For about half the price of these brands, CK One is surprisingly good for lipstick as well)
    Bumble & Bumble Pret a Powder dry shampoo. I did use the Klorane spray that everyone swears by here, but this allows for better texture and longer spacing between washes IMO.

    • I was similarly underwhelmed by Touche Éclat concealer – no substantial difference for me. I do LOVE the YSL touché éclat foundation, makes me look all glowing and ethereal for when BB cream just isn’t doing it.

      I have also been consistently unimpressed with the pink & green Maybelline mascara, no matter how many people say it’s amazing. I used to love L’Oreal voluminous (above Dior & the rest) but I think they’ve changed the formula and it’s not as good now. My two current faves are the Laura Mercier volume one and the Bare Minerals one. But still looking for that “perfect” mascara.

      As for favorite recent discoveries: the Dior glow lipstick is basically my perfect neutral, and Macadamia Oil Cleansing Conditioner which makes my semi wavy hair with a mind of its own into perfect bouncy curls (although, alas, it’s only good as an every other day cleansing method. Still need a shampoo in between or hair gets kind of gross).

      • Anonymous :

        That’s because the Touche Eclat in a pen is not a concealer, it’s a highlighter!

      • Brunchaholic :

        Agree with you on the drug store mascara. I’ve tried to love Maybelline over and over, and just don’t. Benefit They’re Real is my mascara of choice and it’s awesome.

    • WestCoast Lawyer :

      For serious under eye circles I like Boi-ing by Benefit. It seems to have much better coverage than the pen/brush style concealers.

      • Lorelai Gilmore :

        YES. That product is a holy grail for me.

      • Agree, I love Boi-ing too.

        I don’t think Touche Éclat is really meant for concealing the color of undereye circles. It reflects light, so it can actually emphasize the area.

      • I like Boi-ing a lot too – but would recommend Benefit erase paste if someone needs extra color – correction.

        • Agreed – Erase Paste is mega coverage for those dark circles (pulling an all-nighter midweek, recovering from a fabulous weekend on Monday, whatever). It covers & stays put, plus it blends easily under most any other foundation, or can be worn alone with powder to set.

    • LilyStudent :

      That Too Faced mascara is great, isn’t it? Topshop do a similar one called 3D Curve which is comparable and has the benefit of lacking the annoying name – though the tube doesn’t feel as nicely weighty.

    • hoola hoopa :

      Urban Decay eye shadow primer is a must-have for me. Love it! lol

  9. I had a very similar discussion in another forum last week and I will say the same thing. I have yet to hear a compelling argument for buying expensive mascara. I’m perfectly happy with Avon wash-off waterproof mascara. I check the catalogues from time to time and when it’s on sale for 4 or 5 dollars, I email a local Avon lady and stock up.

    I am willing to spend money on other things, like a good pressed powder or eyeshadow, and I love the Lancome Poudre Crayon I bought for my brows. But I just can’t deal with the idea of spending upwards of $35 on a product that I’m only supposed to use for a few months before throwing it out.

    • I buy expensive mascara because my lashes are already dark and curly, I just want them to look like falsies without putting on falsies. Cheap mascara never does that for me, but expensive mascara can get pretty close.

    • Woods-comma-Elle :

      A make-up artist recently told me that she buys all expensive products, except all her mascara is high street brands.

      In fairness, I do like Diorshow and Hypnose, but always combine them with Maybelline or L’Oreal!

  10. Anonymous :

    There is no reason to buy department store priced mascara when there is Maybelline. Every time I have had the pleasure to have a professional do my makeup, that is what is in their kit.

    Also, I second the vote for NARS Orgasm mascara.

    • Honestly, I have tried all the varieties of Maybelline mascara and it just seems like…mascara to me. I’ve seen way better results with Make Up Forever and, for cheaps, CoverGirl LashBlast.

    • Maybelline smells bad and is tested on animals, so that is two reasons for me not to use it.

  11. I have gotten a ton of use out of the Naked 2 palette; I keep looking at the 1 and 3 and I’m underwhelmed by them. The metallic shimmers in 2 work really well for me, day to night.

    The Stila liquid eyeliner pens are INCREDIBLE. If they ever quit making those I will ragequit makeup, because they last an incredibly long time, make it super easy to do a cateye of all kinds of intensity, and have great staying power (but come off easily with remover).

    As for drugstore mascaras, I have been very impressed with the L’Oreal Voluminous line. My favorite is the butterfly effect variety.

    I also use NARS blushes all the way to the bottom of the pan. I’ve tried four shades ([email protected] a bunch of times, deep throat, super [email protected], and now angelika) and nothing else comes close for staying power or for making me look alive in the pale, dead winter months. or to looking bright and radiant in the summer.

    I keep trying to like Benefit products and I never do. I’m also underwhelmed by most Smashbox.

    • Anonymous :

      ITA- Everything from benefit is overrated

      • Anonymous :

        See, I agree on the Stila liquid eyeliner (just picked up my second one at the VIB sale in a dark blue color), but I don’t agree on Benefit because my favorite blush and bronzer are Benefit products. I love the Benefit Coralista to layer over a brighter blush. That extra layer always makes me feel like my blush achieves that natural flushed look.

        • Baconpancakes :

          The Benefit blushes are amazing. Love Dandelion on my pale skin, and I boost up to Coralista for summer (plenty bright on my pale skin even with a tan). They look fantastic and they smell beautiful, even after a year of use.

  12. Along these lines, what foundations do you guys use that you think are worth the money?

    I am wondering because I have been using MAC for years but no longer feel it is doing anything that fantastic for my now-40-year-old skin. I have normal to combination skin, need medium coverage (I don’t get many blemishes – it is more to even out skin tone), prefer something fairly matte for fall/winter, and want something with some SPF. I have looked at Sephora reviews but honestly all the options there are overwhelming so I would appreciate your thoughts. Thanks!

    • I use a BB cream now but I really liked MakeUp Forever’s HD Foundation. Bonus, it comes in a zillion shades so you’re very likely to find a good match.

    • Anonymous :

      I highly recommend Armani Luminous Silk and YSL Touche Eclat foundations.

    • I love Tarte’s amazonian clay foundation. It wears light and pretty matte and has SPF. I also agree with Pretzel above, MUFE’s HD Foundation is great and has a ton of shades.

    • I’ve switched to a CC cream for everyday use. I love IT Cosmetics:

      When I need more coverage, I use Tarte’s Amazonian Clay foundation.

    • I really love the YSL touché éclat foundation but it’s definitely more on the dewy side. For something more matte, try Chanel – great foundation, ime.

    • I’ve tried ’em all. Here are my favorites:

      Chanel Perfection Lumiere Velvet– lightweight, matte, buildable, limited shade range.
      YSL Fusion Ink– very light yet creates an airbrushed finish, minimal coverage, not long-lasting.
      NARS Sheer Glow– contrary to its name, has a lovely satin (as opposed to a dewy) finish, great shade range, requires a lot of blending.
      Hourglass Immaculate– solid coverage, long-lasting, not mask-like, but a touch too matte to look entirely natural.

    • I’m in my early 40s and use to use MAC foundation. I’m now on my second bottle of Sephora liquid foundation and I *love* it. I just use a little around my nose and chin to even out my complexion, and it does wonders. Bonuses: it’s less expensive than high-end brands and you can sample it before you buy.

  13. I didn’t like the Tarte cheek stains I either; they seemed really sticky. Sephora does have a mascara sampler now:

    • Diana Barry :

      +100 to the mascara sampler! I looooooooooove it. I got one last year and it has been great. I have used 4-5 so far, I replace them every 3-4 months and because I don’t use a ton of product, I don’t feel like I’m throwing away so much every time. AWESOME. I didn’t like the Blinc one and just tossed it rather than trying to make it work for the remainder of the 3 months.

      Worth it for me – NARS lipstick, wears like iron. Tarte lip crayons (I actually used one all the way up, which never happens!!!). Laura Mercier caviar eye shadow stick – quick and easy smoky eye. Ditto with the NARS shadow sticks.

      Not worth it – the naked palette, it is too big to bring anywhere. I keep wanting to use it but it’s too big to put in my bag. All Benefit products.

      • +1 for NARS lipstick’s durability. The matte lip pencils are one of the only beauty items I’ll wear daily and I have them in colors ranging from Bahama to Dragon Girl!

    • omg this is on my christmas list now

  14. Anonymous :

    Here are some of the things I really like and recommend:
    Kerastase makes the best hair products on the market and is absolutely worth the money. In fact, I would be willing to pay double, if necessary.
    YSL False Lash Effect mascara is fantastic, despite the fact that it only lasts about 4-5 weeks. SO worth it.
    Foundations: YSL Touche Eclat, Armani Luminous Silk – both are amazing. I have oily skin and neither is made for my skin type so they don’t really last on me but they make my skin look incredible so they are worth it. Dior Airflash is another phenomenal foundation but the color range is somewhat limited so I can only find a suitable shade when I am very tan.
    Setting powder: YSL, Guerlain and Givenchy (compact versions).
    Cotton squares: Shiseido – I will never use drugstore cotton ever again.
    Makeup remover: Bioderma.
    Face wash: Chanel (exfoliating)
    SPF: Clarins spf40
    Body products: Tonic oil by Clarins and Disrobe Lotion by Sunday Riley.

  15. I am a regular Stidex pad user, but am going to experiment with Peter Thomas Roth.

    My skin is terribly oily, to the point where I don’t bother wearing makeup (just lipstick and some powder).

    I am starting to look at filling in my brows a bit — I’m all Kara Delavigne in the middle but that thins out as you go out from there to the point where it’s starting to bug me and not be a great look.

  16. The Diorshow mascara may be overrated BUT I LOVE the Diorshow lash plumping serum – and I never liked lash primer before this one. Unfortunately it sold out in the Sephora sale over the weekend before I could get another tube. Works almost as well as Latisse at a much lower price and no eye irritation.

    I also like the Dior Addict-It mascara, too.

    Fresh Sugar lip balms are worth the splurge.

  17. The Sugar lip tint. I want to love it, it feels great on, and I really like the amount of color. But it always, always, always ends up on my teeth. Is it possibly user error? Except I can’t think of another lipstick or tint that ends up on my teeth like the Sugar does — I think I know how to apply lipstick!

  18. Contracts :

    I have stopped shopping for department store makeup, with few exceptions. I’ll pay for the Anastasia brow pencils. I have found such reliable drugstore dupes that I don’t feel the need to spend money experimenting with expensive products. (Thank you, beauty blogs and pinterest.) Example: the Jordana 12-Hour Made to Last liner costs $.99, and it’s creamy, easy to apply, and seriously lasts. I also like ELF’s studio cream liner. My HG eyeshadow is “Walking on Eggshells” by Wet and Wild. Do I miss luxurious packaging? Sure. But the savings gives me the excuse to buy really good eye cream and great makeup brushes.

    • Maddie Ross :

      I’ve actually had really good luck with some ELF products. I like their fake Makeup Forever HD power and use it daily. Also really like the NYC brand at Target translucent setting powder. I’ve read that’s its a spot on immitation of some higher end brands. I don’t like ELF for concealer or foundation, but do love their eyeshadows. Esp the three “prism” palettes. I have the Naked palette from UD and like it, but always find myself using these ELF prism palettes instead.

      • Contracts :

        My experience with ELF has been really hit or miss, so I don’t buy unless I read amazing reviews online. The HD powder is great, as well as the setting spray. Other drugstore products I like are the Milani baked blushes – long wear and good colors. For mascaras, I like the L’Oreal Voluminous line and Mabelline Miss Manga mascara (though I hate the name). And my HG lipglosses are the butter glosses from NYX – so good. Foundation? Revlon Colorstay is it for me, both in liquid and cream.

  19. Blinc mascara! Someone on here recommended it a while ago and just bought it last week. I really love it – not clumpy at all, and comes off in the shower (somewhat water resistant, requires you to rub gently with water to get it off).

    • Love Blinc mascara! The only thing I’ve found that’s not clumpy. I’m using expensive Lancome Grandiose right now, and it’s ridiculous how clumpy it is.

    • I love tube mascaras, particularly Trish McEvoy Lash Curling, because you don’t get raccoon eyes. I tried the Blinc based on recommendations here on an older post. I got a couple of colors and liked them, but ended up going back to Trish. When I went to try the Blinc again, both colors had turned to an unusable liquid with a couple of weeks of non-use. It was bizarre!

      • KateMiddletown :

        YES x1000. This and the similar but less effective L’Oreal Lash Tubes are the ONLY mascaras I have purchased in the last 3 years. (Others = Mary Kay and Benefit freebies, which I keep @ my desk for emergencies.)

        I love how they come off so easily!!!

    • Contracts :

      Blinc is on sale at Hautelook right now.

  20. Pretty Primadonna :

    Old school Maybelline Great Lash mascara is still my fav, though They’re Real! comes in a close second.

    I also love Buxom lip glosses.

  21. Benefit Eye Bright – can’t live without it. Always have one to use and one in the box to make sure I don’t run out.

  22. I’ve been on a quest to find the perfect mascara. Here are my thoughts on what I’ve tried over the last six months (most were free through points or in gift sets/GWP) –

    The boring mascaras — Benefit Bad Gal, Buxom, Blinc. They are all perfectly fine, but don’t seem any different from Great Lash so they aren’t worth it to me

    The spider lash mascaras — They’re Real and Lights, Cameras, Flashes – They look exactly the same. Only difference is that TR is impossible to remove, whereas LCF comes off a little more easily and is not waterproof. Excellent at lengthening, but create spider lashes. I use them over another mascara to add drama on special occasions.

    The pretty good mascaras – Marc Jacobs, MUFE – better than the first category, not as good as the others. MUFE is not black enough.

    The runners up – UD Perversion and Josie Maran Black Oil. Both are good at lenthening and thickening. But they give an unnatural look that’s not great for day. Black Oil can sometimes go on clumpy.

    Winner – Bobbi Brown. This mascara is perfection. Good length, good volume, no clumps, very black, excellent staying power, not horrible to remove.

  23. I don’t wear much makeup. Mostly under eye concealer, concealer as necessary, liner and occasionally bronzer and mascara. I have a love hate relationship with Benefit They’re Real. My lashes look SO long but yes, it’s clump. Why the clumps?! So I might try out the ones I’ve seen in this thread.

    I also love Revlon colorstay eyeliner. I’ve been using it since high school.

    My favorite beauty product is this no-name hyaluronic acid from Amazon I’ve been using it for a year now and my skin has never looked better. I also love Loreal’s facial oil. I’m trying Olay’s right now but I don’t like it. I might use the rest of it on my body instead of face.

    Recs I’m looking for: eyelash curler, an under eye concealer for my out of control dark circles and any eye cream/serum that legit reduces dark circles. Sleep also but that’s not happening.

    • Maddie Ross :

      Fascinated by the hyaluronic acid. What lotion do you use with it? The facial oil you mentioned? What about at night?

      • In the summer I used it with only the facial oil. I have really dry skin that’s exacerbated by the winter so now my routine is hyaluronic acid, facial oil, theraplex hydro lotion. At night I do the same but I haven’t nailed down a night cream that is moisturizing enough.

        I’m obsessed with that hyaluronic acid because of the price, we know it’s supposed to be anti aging and amazing for the skin, and the fact that my skin has never looked better. i’m convinced its the same stuff in the $$$ high end brands.

    • mintberrycrunch :

      I just bought the Sephora eyelash curler, and I’m really liking it – definitely notice a difference from the drugstore brands that I’d always used in the past.

      I’m definitely also on the hunt for a good undereye concealer and serum – my dark circles are out of control, and now that I also have some fine lines, I really can’t find anything that actually covers them AND looks natural.

    • I have terrible dark circles- always have. I use Cle de peau, but the right color is really key here, so there might not one for everyone. The trick is application – a lot of gentle tapping while looking up. Sometimes I will tap in a smidge of Touche Eclat in the really dark parts to brighten too if they are looking really bad.

  24. First Year Anon :

    This is fun! And helpful!

    Not worth it:

    Tarte lipsurgence (although I do love it)- the Revlon equivalent is just as good and way cheaper. I know tarte is all natural and cruelty-free so that might justify a price bump.
    MUF powder foundation- I found the sephora version to work just as well
    Benefit badgal eyeliner (the stick)- doesn’t stay as well as I’d hoped it would

    Worth it:
    Fresh lip stains
    Nars blush- blends better than any other blush I’ve used. I am fair and bought Liberte- it looks dark but it makes you look flush with a slight tan-look- very beachy.
    Benefit BOING concealer- doesn’t budge. not greasy, lasts forever
    Benefit Eye bright- easy to put in your purse as a pick me up
    Ole Hendrikson Vitamin C serum- it’s in a glass bottle (bad!) and is a low concentration. I use a drugstore one that’s better (20% vit C) that is air-tight.

    As for mascara, I think it highly depends on your lash type. I love the Givenchy 4 in 1 with the ball at the tip (had a sample), I loved DiorShow, but anything runny (which the Mabelline one is), doesn’t really do it for me.

  25. A Nonny Moose :

    Kat I would love to see a cruelty-free beauty post one week. I’m trying to make the switch and it’s been tough to find replacements for my favorite products.

    • Lorelai Gilmore :

      Oh yes! I started paying attention to cruelty free products after a recent discussion on thissite and have had a hard time finding replacements.

    • This would be an excellent topic for a guest blogger. Maybe someone along the lines of Humanely Chic or one of the My Beauty Bunny bloggers?

  26. A professional woman :


    – Expensive mascara! I have tried a lot of them, but I really can’t find one I think is SO much better than Maybelline The Rocket to be worth the extra $$$. My favorite high end mascara is the Too Faced one in the pink tube with the ridiculous name, but it’s not 3x better than Maybelline. I like them almost the same.
    – MAC eyeshadow. Sorry, I like other brands better. My favorites are Urban Decay, Lorac, and Too Faced.
    – Smashbox anything. The primer and foundations break me out. I do like the BB cream but the color is too orange. I have an eyeshadow palette I like but I just had to hot glue the packaging back together. I feel like they cut corners.
    – Hourglass primer. It’s expensive and no better than the Estee Lauder matte primer.
    – Nars Laguna bronzer – doesn’t show up on me.

    Things I love:

    – Makeup Forever Mat Velvet + foundation – wears beautifully and lasts all day.
    – Hourglass Ambient Lighting powders. No idea what’s in them but they make me look better.
    – Lorac eyeshadow primer. Also love the Nars primer. They are the best primers I have found for preventing creasing.
    -Maybelline The Rocket mascara.
    – Fresh Sugar tinted lip balms – especially Rose, Berry and Petal.
    – Marc Jacobs Daisy perfume. It’s my signature scent.
    – Bite Beauty lip pencils. They are gorgeous.
    – MAC blushes. Love them.
    – Urban Decay Naked 1, Lorac Pro, Lorac Unzipped, Too Faced Natural Eye, Too Faced Chocolate Bar, Makeup Geek eyeshadow any BareMinerals ready eyeshadow.

  27. Lorelai Gilmore :

    My go-to is
    *Clinique Quickliner for Eyes, which is a non-runny, easy-to-use, no-sharpening-required, long-wearing eyeliner for me,
    *Bo-Ing Concealer for dark circles under my eyes,
    *Bobbi Brown BB Cream,
    *and one of a million lipsticks always kicking around my bag.

    I really like Tarte blushes (powder form), which actually show up beautifully on my skin without making me look clownish. I have virtually given up on mascara because it’s really hard for me to get it off my eyelashes without breakage, which is just not worth it.

  28. Sensitive Skin and Eyes :

    Can I get some recs for products for sensitive skin and eyes? I know many of you made some great recommendations for mascara/liner yesterday, but I’m really interested in hydrating eye creams and under eye concealer for sensitive eyes.

  29. Rachelellen :

    Max Factor 2000 Calorie was my HG mascara, then it went away and I was lost, then Drugstore brought it back and I was in heaven, and now it seems to be gone again. I might bite the bullet and buy like half a dozen from Amazon or eBay.

  30. Kontraktor :

    I’ve actually switched about 85% over to all natural, vegan makeup, which has taken a lot of the stress out of beauty products for me. Sure, you still have to find which vegan makeup isn’t terrible at what it’s meant to do and which brands greenwash, but for the most part, it’s been pretty straightforward. Since I’ve cast off conventional products due to ingredients and my crazy skin sensitivity, I just stopped paying attention. Less stressed.

    My favorite vegan makeup is from a small boutique called the All Natural Face. She uses bare bones ingredients and the majority of things I’ve bought from there have been great. Some OK. I have also had okay luck with Honeybee Gardens and 100% Pure (expensive and some greenwashing, I feel in terms of how good the ingredients actually are). I am still looking for a really good natural/vegan mascara and don’t mind this one by EcoBella, but I am still supplementing with Loreal Voluminous in the gold tube. I also supplement my powder/concealer with Physican’s Formula pressed powder which I’d like to get away from but I need the extra coverage it provides. At least I use way less than before. Zoya is a good chem free nail polish.

    I know everybody’s skin is different but I have been amazed at how much switching to 100% natural products has done well for my skin. I no longer use conventional soap or lotion either; instead I use organic goat milk soap and a Dessert Essence face wash, as well as only organic argan oil for my face and organic raw coconut oil as a makeup remover. Highly recommend exploring natural items if you are fed up with convention and stressed out by everything available. It is a little tough though as I do love makeup (have tons of Chanel polish I use rarely now and the Urban Decay palette and used to love MAC stuff), but I feel it was messing up my skin and also just making me feel overwhelmed in terms of choices. So, now that my choices are way limited, I just feel it’s easier.

  31. I stumbled on the BY TERRY TOUCHE VELOUTEE (available at beauty dot com) a couple of years ago and love it. It is very similar in packaging and to the YSL Touche Eclat, but a bit larger. It is also similar as a highlighter, but with more concealer. I love that it doesn’t crease under my eyes. My only complaint is the price.

  32. TimRiggins :

    – Great Lash Mascaraa:- I never get any volume with this one, and I barely get any lengthening. Instead, I end up with four stuck-together clumps of lashes.
    – DiorShow: I couldn’t get over the smell.
    – Nars Orgasm: much, much too dark for me, even with the lightest application. I’ve found in general that powder blushes don’t work for me.
    – Oil facial cleansers: I thought this would be a great way to keep my skin from getting so dry in the winter, so I tried maraja oil from Tarte. I broke out all over my face, and my skin still felt dry. .
    – Urban Decay eyeshadow primer: I kinda liked it, but I had a really hard time getting my shadow to blend over the primer. And then the primer dried up prematurely. So never again. Now I use a palette from Revlon with a primer that does the trick.
    – Clinique dramatically different moisturizer: I broke out, and I swear my skin had a strong yellow hue.
    – Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer: too thick and gummy.
    – Smashbox primer: I liked how it felt on my skin, but it didn’t change anything about the way my makeup went on.

    Love it:
    – Sugar tinted lip treatments. All the colors!
    – Benefit boing: the best. Good coverage, blends well, especially on my dry skin.
    – Makeup forever smoky extravagant mascara: got this in a Sephora bonus, and I love, love, love it! Great brush, great formula, everything!
    – Clinique high impact mascara: my old favorite, and I still wear it when I don’t want to spend quite as much money.
    – Too Faced BB tinted cream: a little SPF, a little coverage, easy to apply and blend (a big thing for me, apparently), and great for everyday makeup
    – Clinique Perfectly real makeup: no SPF, but it’s good for coverage without being too heavy.
    – L’Occitane she butter ultra rich lotion: so smooth and rich, and I love the smell.

  33. I am absolutely in love with Arbonne’s Mascara right now. It doesn’t clump up on my eye lashes like many other types I have tried, removes easily, and doesn’t smudge off during the day. I’ve caught myself rubbing my eyes and check my hand to see if any has come off and nothing has transferred to my hands or smudged on my eyes. It’s been great!

  34. For mascara, I love love love BareMinerals flawless definition mascara. I had been using Benefit’s They’re Real! but found that it flaked. The BareMinerals doesn’t clump or flake and still gives that semi-false lashes length and definition.

    Second the comments in favor of Makeup Forever HD foundation. It gives great coverage without being heavy.

    One thing that hasn’t been mentioned yet: The Makeup Forever Mist and Fix spray is a miracle product. Leagues better than Urban Decay’s setting spray.

  35. Baconpancakes :

    Super worth it lipstuff that actually makes you want to use color (and thus get your money’s worth):

    Lipstick Queen Medieval – just gorgeous on pretty much everyone. Fairly sheer, but really bright. Perfect for the holidays.
    YSL glossy stain referenced by Kat – really does stay put, but isn’t sticky, but is still glossy. Not sure I want to know how they do that, but it sure is pretty…

  36. Rachelellen :

    I always suspected the reason a lot of people recommend Maybelline’s pink and green mascara has to do with the wand, which is… spikier? … than most.

  37. I’ll bite, too. I’m such a product junkie, but here are the ones I buy time and time again: for smooth lips Elizabeth Arden 8 hr cream or Homeoplasmine (or vaseline or neosporin at night if they are in bad shape with dry weather). For plumped wrinkle free skin (I’m still in my 20s though) Avibon and Clinique Turnaround Overnight at night and Clarins spf 40 or Skinceuticals spf 50 for day — everyday. Lots of water and fish oil supplements (and sleep!) for glowy skin and hair. I also put oil in my hair *before* shampooing (biolage exquisit# oil, moroccan oil, or even coconut oil or olive oil!) Bioderma for makeup removal.

    Makeup I have re-purchased so many times over the years: guerlain’s meteorites, YSL touche eclat, cle de peau undereye concealer, chanel and neutrogena skinclearing foundation, Nars and bobbi brown blush, BB eyeshadows, I use dark brown/black BB eyeshadow as a liner or just a felt-tipped maybelline from the drugstore for a liquid one. I am always on the quest for a good mascara, but sometimes the best thing is to go on ‘hiatus’ and to be super slow and gentle in removing eye makeup. When I let them be for a while, they come back thick and full again. Also an eyelash comb! That being said the only mascara I have repurchased many times is Guerlain. Chanel makes the best lipglosses in my opinion for not being annoyingly tacky.

  38. KateMiddletown :

    RE: Mascara sampler set– just found this at Sephora — on sale for $45.

    Highly reccommend all of their samplers, especially the fragrance gift sets. GREAT VALUE!

  39. Oops I’m creating a separate post bc this is important: I need concealer and under eye concealer for VERY pale skin!! Ugh. I currently use clinique’s airbrush concealer in Fair and it works really well. I’m not sure if Benefit bo-ing in it’s lightest color would work :( Also for reference, clinque’s classic concealer in 01 Light is too dark for me outside of the summer months.

  40. I find the affiliate links really distasteful when you’re linking to things you dislike.

  41. Tarte Lipsurgence lip crayons are the only lipstick-esque products I like enough to use on the regular. So many colors and so easy to use! I just bought the Sephora holiday giftset and I love it!

  42. Kat, sephora has a mascara sampler at for $45. I ordered it during the VIB sale this weekend so I can’t say as to how good any of them are yet. I currently am using They’re real! but am hoping to find something better or just as good that comes in a waterproof version. I’m tired of getting raccoon eyes if I accidentally get water on my face during my post workout showers.

  43. I love love love Chanel’s Inimitable Intense mascara–worth every penny to me! And I’ve tried a ton of mascara–just never found one that works quite so well.

    Smashbox Photo Finish Primer is fantastic as well.

    Another big one I can’t believe no one’s mentioned–Bobbi Brown gel eyeliner in jet black and chocolate shimmer! Love how well it wears, and it’s easy to apply.

  44. Overrated:

    Agree on the Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer. I tried to love it because it seemed like a good summertime substitute for foundation, but it just turned me shiny and then, within an hour, seemed to disappear.

    I live in a dry climate, and when I bought a Clinique Chubby Stick it dried out and became unusable in less than a month. I had the same problem with a Stila waterproof eyeliner pencil.

    Worth it:

    Black Honey Almost Lipstick is better than any tinted lip balm I’ve ever tried. The color is subtle and it lasts a fairly long time.

    Smashbox Be Legendary lipstick in Mandarin is the only color that looks like a clear red on me, even though it’s coral in the tube. All other “red” lipsticks turn pink on me.

    Urban Decay Primer Potion is what’s made it possible for me to wear eyeliner. If they ever stop making it, I will cry.

    Dior Vernis nail lacquer goes on so beautifully and lasts forever.

  45. I have hard time with blush because I need it but loathe shimmer. I wanted to like Benetint, but agree that it is overrated. My current favorite is the sheer cheek gel by Pixi (at Target). I wear it to work but also with my minimal weekend face (blush, concealer, mascara).

  46. Ladymac25 :

    ok so I’ve spent a fortune on this stuff and now here’s what works for me:
    Serious Skin Care Vitamin A line- cleanser, serum, moisturizer with spf 30 and eye moisturizer – sold on
    If you can find StriVectin 30 best anti wrinkle project for the money.

    Make-up for over 40 Avon ANEW age-transforming Foundation $ 16.00 a bottle p- has spf p- and you will need a new bottle every 2 months but you will look great.

    Mascara – this looks like a toy- but its great fun – called Mega Effects mascara – looks like little paint brush- needs practice – but it is so worth it

  47. I love love love Trish McEvoy’s mascara. It does not smudge or flake, even on me and I rub my eyes a lot. And, it comes off easily with warm water without leaving raccoon eyes. The woman at the counter in Nordstrom told me it was unique and it absolutely is. I’ve tried Dior, Channel, Benefit, Bobbi Brown, etc. and nothing compares to this one! Total win in my book!

  48. GoldMedallion :

    Love all these comments suggestions… I work in consulting and try to get the most bang for my buck since I sometimes have weeks/months of heavy travel and couldn’t stand the feeling of “did I remember to bring X eyeshadow?” because I left it in the “other” bag…

    I generally lean towards Laura Mercier, MAC and YSL.. Surprised to hear of the disappointment with the Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer.

    Moisturizer: MAC Comfort Creme
    Primer: Laura Mercier
    Fave foundation: MAC BB Cream or Studio Fix, Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer
    Eyelid primer – Varies. I travel with NYX, but also like Laura Mercier Rosegold as a standby, and MAC’s Prep and Prime.
    Eyecolor – YSL 5 Color Palette. LOVE this thing…

    Love the YSL Kiss and Blush to kill two birds with one stone.

    I also found the NYX Palette Love in Paris to have a perfect set of neutrals for business trips… and it’s CHEAP!! I picked it up from Target (and the NYX translucent powder) and leave them in my travel makeup bag.

    I have not yet found a mascara that I love, though – YSL comes close (and oddly enough, the Sephora brand is pretty good) but I’ve been disappointed in the vast majority of MAC and underwhelmed by Laura, and usually stash Maybelline in my work bag/workout bag/purse because I won’t be crabby if I lose a $5 mascara… I will check out the Trish McEvoy.

    Agree with the love for Black Honey. I also enjoy LM’s Black Orchid for a more plummy color. MAC “O” works for me, sometimes blended with another shade…

  49. They’re Real! Mascara is my go to thing. I could skip everything else if necessary, but that’s going on. However, a bunch of the other Benefit products have been meh or worse (Benefit Fakeup, which is an undereye concealer, seemed to catch all my eye makeup and cause terrible raccoon eyes.)

  50. Stephanie L :

    I Don’t See What Everyone Else Sees: Lancome mascara, MAC spice lip pencil and MAC Ruby Woo (perhaps due to my very fair skin?), Living Proof hair products (very, very heavy – I’m just shaving my legs with the conditioner).

    You’ll Take It Out of my Cold, Dead Hands: Phytovolume Actif is well-behaved hair in a can. Cetaphil – the dermatologist said my skin looks a good 12 years younger than my biological age. Benefit Erase Paste is fabulous for those of us with dark under-eye circles (and if there’s anyone else with lupus, it does an amazing job of hiding the “butterfly” markings we get). I don’t think it’s on anyone’s Best Of list, but the Ulta store brand lipsticks are surprisingly nice, though I do like my Clinique Black Honey.

  51. Anastasia :

    Eyes- Trish McEvoy shadows and primer are great, Lancôme Definincils or Bobbi Brown for Mascara, Lancome Kohl pencil or liquid liner, Trish under eye pen for the triangle of light, Trish blush pen- so easy and stays on all day, Armani, Lancôme, and Chanel all have great foundations for my pale skin, Kate Sommerfield CC cream for Summer, lips Bobbi Brown or Armani with a touch of Buxom plumping gloss. Lancer skin care.

  52. Not worth the hype:

    – Lorac Pro eyeshadow palette. Yes, it has an even mix of mattes and neutrals, but I just don’t love the colors. Meh. I really like the Lorac Unzipped palette. For warm golden neutrals, my favorite is the Too Faced Chocolate Bar palette.
    – Stila liquid lipstick. Too uncomfortable on the lips.
    – Revlon Colorstay foundation. It feels like paint. It’s too heavy. Plus I don’t have a color match.
    – Nars Orgasm. Sorry, it doesn’t show up on my medium skin. Same with Nars Laguna bronzer. I can’t see it when I wear it.
    – YSL Tint in Oil. I like it. It leaves a nice stain, but I was expecting it to be more hydrating.

    Worth the hype:

    – Ofra Liquid Lipsticks. Far more comfortable than Stila and Kat Von D.
    – Sephora Liquid Lipsticks (Cream Lip Stains). See above.
    – Fresh Sugar Tinted Lip Balms. These are the BEST for winter. They sooth my lips and the colors are beautiful. My favorite is Petal.
    – Too Faced Chocolate Bar palette. I have the original and the new Chocolate Bon Bon palette. Colors are great, they last all day, and they have more variety than the Naked palettes. If I’m going away for a longer trip, this is often my choice.
    – Urban Decay Naked Smoky palette. This one is very versatile and I consider this a good travel option because you can get warm and cool looks, day and night looks all in one palette.
    – Mac eyeshadows. I picked up the Nordstrom Naturals palette this year and it is a favorite. I can use this every day and not be bored. It has a good variety of mattes and shimmers and cool and warm tones.
    – Nars Pro Prime eyeshadow primer. That stuff works.
    – Becca highlighter. I picked up the Jaclyn Hill highlighter palette recently and I love it. I have been wearing either Pearl, Champagne Pop, or a mix of both every day with a Satin blush. I also like the copper shade by itself as a shimmery blush.

  53. L’oreal double extend tubes mascara is hype worthy.

  54. Anonymous :

    The Kevyn Aucoin contour book has become my absolute favorite beauty product. It is the best contour product I’ve ever used and the eyeshadows are all I need when traveling out of town for work.

  55. Worth the hype –

    Marc Jacobs Highliner Gel Eye Crayon – goes on super smooth and doesn’t smudge

    MAC Pro Longwear Lipcolour – the ONLY all day lip color (by all day, I mean an hour day). Nothing else even comes close. Some find it drying, but I’ve never had that problem.