Total Duds: 10 Products That Bombed

or: Don’t Waste your Money on These

In my personal and professional life as well as on this blog, I generally try to keep things light and fluffy and as positive and constructive as possible. That being said, sometimes I just cannot find any redeeming features for certain products, and find myself unable to write up lengthy reviews for stuff I genuinely dislike. Today, I can only just about churn out a quick paragraph per paragraph. No ingredients analyses or deep dives.

Here are a bunch of products that at best, did nothing, and at worst, aggravated me. I hope you take my reviews with a grain of salt. Personally, I cannot recommend these but perhaps, these might yet work for you. Do let me know where you agree or disagree in the comments.

In no particular order, I will be reviewing:

  • Nivea pop balm Raspberry & Red Apple
  • Byvibes Wonder Bath – Super Vegitoks Cleanser
  • Medi Paw Paw Remedial Cream
  • Dewytree Pick & Quick Sheet Masks (1 x calming, 1 x hydrating)
  • ma:nyo Real Aloe Soothing Gel
  • 2SOL Facial Recovery Booster
  • Daily Derma Cleansing Water
  • Cololab Matte Top Coat
  • The Trust TS Shampoo
  • Bourjois Paris Push Up Volume Glamour Mascara Waterproof in Black

1 Nivea pop balm Raspberry & Red Apple

I have always liked Nivea lip balms and expected a sphere balm similar to those famous EOS lip balms, which I have tried and loved in the past. While this Nivea balm did look similar in terms of shape and packaging, I found that this balm was actually super drying, it made my lips burn with dehydration (you know that feeling that you get just before your lips start cracking and you get that awful lip liner look?) and it was weirdly white on my lips, to boot. I hated this lip balm and even though I tried to make it work eg by applying it over or under lip makeup, it failed me every time and dried my lips to a husk. At least the scent was super yum – a lovely raspberry flavour, that much I’ll have to give this balm.

2 Byvibes Wonder Bath Super Vegitoks Cleanser

This cleanser smelled absolutely wonderful and I loved the colour and concept of little pulpy bits contained within the cleanser. Unfortunately, it was also drying to the max, which makes sense seeing as it is SLS (sodium laureth sulfate) based, an unfortunately common and also drying and irritating ingredient for many people, myself included. I ended up using it to clean my silicone makeup sponges and other silicone based beauty tools.

3 Medi Paw Paw Remedial Cream

I once grabbed this off the shelf at Olive Young, thinking I was buying the world famous Lucas Paw Paw ointment, which I loved using and which was widely available back when we were still living in Australia. Let me tell you, this is just like an inferior version of Vaseline and is NOTHING like Lucas. Shame on you Olive Young for stocking this deceptive Me Too product. Complete waste of money.

4 Dewytree Pick & Quick Sheet Masks (any type)

I love sheet masks and yet, I find them incredibly wasteful in terms of the rubbish that they contribute to. I was so excited to find these daily masks that seemed to minimise waste, I bought two kinds out of three.

There is an orange one too, pictured are only the green one (supposedly calming) and the blue one (supposedly hydrating, this one being highly rated on Hwahae – one of the many reasons I have pretty much stopped using the app because I feel the reviews are getting faker by the minute). Unfortunately for me, they both did f*** all. They did not exacerbate any skin issues but they didn’t hydrate either. The only benefit I could get out of them was to cool my skin down in the summer if I kept them in the fridge.

5 ma:nyo Real Aloe Soothing Gel

For the longest time, I was trying to figure out what this smelled like and then finally, I had it. This smells like Indian takeaway or perhaps hot chips with gravy, curry powder and curcuma sprinkled on top!! Yes, I am serious. If you have ever visited a neighbourhood Indian takeaway anywhere in the UK, you will know exactly what I mean.

The question is, is it a good scent in a skin care product? I would venture to guess that perhaps not. Anyways, this did absolutely nothing for me. I was trying to see whether I could replace my hydrating toner with this aloe gel and as it turns out, I cannot. It does not hydrate or soothe or anything of the kind. I was less but still somewhat underwhelmed with the brand’s famous Pure cleansing oil – you may find my comprehensive review over here.

6 2SOL Facial Recovery Booster

Niacinamide? Vitamin C derivative? Panthenol? I was stoked when I spotted this on the shelves of my local Lalavla. I’d been on the lookout for products containing exactly these ingredients, so I figured I must have just found my holy grail. Sadly, this serum had no effects on my skin whatsoever, neither positive but thankfully, I did not experience any negative effects either.

7 Daily Derma Cleansing Water

Sometimes, you find these amazing products that you know are perfect and absolutely HG worthy, and yet you stray, thinking there might be something better out there, only to have your high hopes knocked. This is what happened to me. I have loved and used Bioderma (reviewed here) for years, and yet, I decided to try something new.

Let me tell you, this was not it. As you may be able to tell from the photographic evidence, this is ok for cleansing skin of sunscreen and foundation and other base makeup – I recommend you still go in with another oil or foam cleanser right afterwards – but it does not remove eye makeup well at all, especially when it comes to gel eyeliner or waterproof mascara or fibre mascaras. Plus, it burned something awful if I just got it close to my eyes, and made my eyes water for 10 minutes if I actually got it IN my eyes, even when I rinsed them right afterwards. No lasting damage obviously, but the pain was something else. Two thumbs down.

8 Cololab – Matte Top Coat

I love painting my own nails – sorry, nail techs out there – and earlier this autumn, I was super into getting my chunky sweaters out and reading books in cafes. Yes, I am basic like that. I wanted matte nails to match that basic bitch vibe and picked up this Cololab matte top coat. Now, here’s the thing: I love Cololab colour varnishes and have written about them here at length. They last a week on me before they start chipping so long as I use a base and top coat. Sadly, this matte top coat disappointed on all fronts. Not only did it not keep my manicure in good condition, it also was not matte. As soon as I washed my hands with soap, or as soon as I used hand cream – a common occurrence for me during the colder months – the mattifying effect disappeared into thin air, and it was not even that great to begin with. I may have to try that silly Pinterest hack involving steam to matte down your nails after all.

9 The Trust TS Shampoo (hair loss product)

Apparently, many people in Korea experience stress related hair loss. There are tons of hair products out there that promise to keep that dreaded hair loss at bay and one of the more famous ones is indeed this TS one here which I keep seeing in advertisements and shop displays. So when I was gifted this shampoo, I thought, Great!

Unfortunately, my opinion changed pretty quickly when I realised how drying this was. I usually don’t make much of a fuss when it comes to hair – I am pretty much a wash and go kind of girl – and am not choosy when it comes to shampoos, however this one was so bad, I tossed it after only using it halfway. My poor hair turned into straw in front of my very eyes, in spite of using it in conjunction with conditioners and other softening products. I cannot attest to its hair loss-preventing properties because that is not something that I struggle with personally. I just found the drying effects too off-putting to pay any attention to hair loss preventing properties.

10 Bourjois Paris Pushup Volume Glamour Mascara Waterproof in Black

I am always on the lookout for a nice mascara, however I think I have finally found it in Heroine’s (Japanese brand) mascaras – more on those in a future review. I then saw this mascara go on sale. I really liked the wand, which was big and thick – kind of how I like them – and I appreciated the fact that it was waterproof. I tend to prefer waterproof mascaras as I feel that they tend to smudge much less, hold a curl and tend to wear better as the day goes on compared to regular mascaras. Sadly, this mascara was not like that at all. It smudged like there was no tomorrow, even when I primed my lashes with eye shadows, face powders, eye shadow primer or other, non-waterproof mascaras. Super disappointing.

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