I was checking the blog the other day and I realised that it has been a whole year since I last did a disappointing products post. With the volume of products that come through my door there are bound to be things that just don't cut it at times, rather than posting lot's of individual negative reviews (although I write them when in the mood) I tend to pop things together in a post like this. These days there is a heck of a lot more pressure on bloggers, with more PR involvement and everyone seeking positive coverage, it is easy to sweep disappointments under the carpet for an easy life, however this is still my corner of the internet and people come here for my opinions, so I wouldn't want to be afraid to give them.
I would like to point out that this is at the end of the day supposed to be a sincere but light hearted post and not designed to offend, if any of these products are your holy grail and you love them, well then crack on, I am not trying to persuade anyone otherwise, we are all individuals and that is OK.
I am going to start with the biggie, May Lindstrom's the Clean dirt. Oh how I wanted to love this product with it's luxe packaging and May's impeccable marketing, I know more fans than I do otherwise but recently I have started through my honesty about my dislike for the product started to hear others agree with me, mainly in hushed tones, but I know I am not alone. This product is marketed as a cleansing clay, for my skin type (sensitive) I only ever attempted to use it at most once per week as an exfoliant, dear readers had I not been so restrained I fear I wouldn't have much of a face left at this point. This cleansing clay is a mix of clays, bicarbonate of soda, sea salt and spices with some vitamin C and other ingredients such as rose, marshmallow and calendula.
It all sounds innocent enough but I kid you not, this stuff is potent and costs a pretty penny too with it being sold in the UK for £46. First of all I am going to say I find the gingerbread scent a little disconcerting, it smells like I want my food to smell but not my skincare. However the mayor issue I have with this exfoliator is that it is just too harsh for my skin, leaving me with red, blotchy skin that is drier and flakier than when I started. I have tried to make it work sadly without much luck, adding an oil rather than just water makes the mixture slightly kinder to skin and helps with the flakiness (although not the redness), but if I am paying £46 for something I want it to work well on it's own, you shouldn't need to add anything else in. Looking at the ingredients list my finger is pointed at two ingredients, the salt, which in this blend is left rather chunky which is unpleasant and the bicarbonate of soda which is notorious for causing rashes for people in deodorants due to it's PH level, so I simply can't understand it's purpose in a facial skincare product. If you are after something similar but are of a sensitive nature like me, De Mamiel (Edit: De Mamiel also contains baking soda but is so much gentler on the skin, so overall the formulation is much better in my opinion), Mel Millis and Antonia Burrell all have options that my skin enjoys much more, so may be worth a try for you.
The SW Basics cleanser I believe came to me through a beauty box, it is not a product I would have purchased, but having enjoyed very much the lip balm and the cream I decided to open it up and give it try. The first thing I found rather unpleasant was that the metal cap had already rusted by the time I came to open it, not a deal breaker by itself, but not what I would expect from a product. This "cleanser" contains a simple three ingredients, rosewater, glycerin and tea trea oil, you have to use it with a cotton pad and it says to remove with water. I do use this product and will finish it off, but just like micellar water the thought of using it as my only cleanse sends shivers down my spine, so it is used as a first cleanse. Firstly the glycerin and tea tree feel greasy and heavy on the skin, so as soon as I apply I can't wait to follow it up with something else to take the feeling away. Secondly whilst it does an OK job of removing make up, my skin is far from cleansed after use, considering the whole SW Basics less is more philosophy this product just isn't what I expected given the quality of the other products I had tried.
Another big player in the green beauty community, Josh Rosebrook and his Cacao antioxidant mask. I love the Oculus eye treatment so had high expectations for this mask but sadly it won't be a repurchase. Whilst the cacao definitely does leave you with slightly brighter more even toned skin, the dry texture of this mask means it flakes badly as it dries, meaning I can only use it whilst sat in the bath. Given the high price point, if I was bowled over by it's application and performance then I would happily repurchase, sadly this did none of those things for me and so I will give a miss in favour of the more economical dry powder masks or something creamy like Pai skincare.
Far less disappointing than the others is the Lippy girl Vegocentric lipstick*, but still worthy of a mention. The colour pictured is Coral me Maybe and I loved the colour for summer, sadly though when I reviewed snog me, I had mentioned that I thought the real test for this lipstick brand would come in the summer, as there is no beeswax just Shea butter making the formula very delicate indeed in the heat. Sadly unlike Snog me which seemed relatively OK, even though you did have to be very gentle with it, Coral me Maybe wobbled from the day I received it for review, until finally it completely broke off in the bullet. Now if you are a Vegan these lipsticks seem to have one of the nicest colour ranges available but for someone like me who is happy enough to use beeswax for performance then it is a difficult call as to whether I would buy one of these myself. Having been in touch with the PR that sent it acting on behalf of the UK distributor she has confirmed there is indeed another formula in the works, so watch this space, I shall certainly be interested to compare the two. For now I have been told to press the lipstick back in to the bullet and to pop it in the fridge, so we shall see if it makes a difference.
I usually like Organic Surge for good value products, but the last product I was sent, the Ultra light oil control lotion* didn't live up to it's claims. This is a light weight feeling lotion, however it is still fairly nourishing and includes argan oil. This product works absolutely fine as a moisturiser, my issue is however that it claims to be oil controlling and even on my slightly dry skin it did nothing of the sort, leaving my forehead and t-zone shiny in the middle of the August heat when I was testing it. With so many other products clambering for my attention, this soon got relegated to the "not for me" drawer, if you are after a light textured moisturiser then it does it's job, but just don't expect a mattified complexion in my opion.
Lastly we have the MyChelle Pure Harmony mask*, a gel based mask formulated for sensitive skin, I found despite the natural looking ingredients list the feel of the product doesn't seem to match that. First off the product is a light blue gel, I couldn't see anywhere any mentions of colourants or dyes, but there must be some in there. Secondly the scent and feel are not that of a product with such a natural ingredients list, it has a nice light scent, but to me it smells like something you get from a conventionally formulated brand. The last and perhaps most important part is that despite it being marketed for sensitive skin, it left me sore and irritated. Anyone can be sensitive to any ingredient at any time, natural or not so this isn't something I can blame MyChelle for, more simply luck of the draw, but this formulation has left me unconvinced, especially given that you only get 35mls in the package making is rather expensive at £21.
Don't let me moan alone, what products have disappointed you lately?
*Indicates samples were provided, as always all thoughts, opinions and beauty musings my own.