1. Infusium23 Leave-In Treatment Moisture Replenisher: Whoever designed this packaging probably got fired for it. Why, why, would you have a straight up liquid that has to be applied to your hair come out of a spout?! It's impossible to pour it into your hands and somehow get it up to your head without making a mess. I even tried the old lean-way-over-stick-your-head-over-the-sink-and-just-pour-it and still somehow wound up getting it all over the bathroom floor (in hindsight, that might not have been the best idea). This stuff is supposed to nourish and hydrate your hair and from what little of it actually made it to my strands, it didn't seem to make any difference. At least it was only $5.
2. Bio-Oil: This was a really popular item a little while back (and still is). A little skincare miracle, this oil is supposed to reduce acne scarring, even out hyper pigmentation and help fade stretch marks--sounds terrific, right? Even though I have extremely oily skin, I still swiped some of this on my face every night, waiting for it to work its magic. But either something in the formula or maybe my skin's level of oiliness just won't allow it to soak in. Every night was like dipping my face in this greasy, slippery oil (it's definitely not one of those light, dry types) that would crawl down my neck. No matter how little I put on, my face wouldn't absorb it and I would wake up in the morning with Bio-Oil all over my pillowcase and a bone-dry face. I do use it on other parts of my body, but that's only in an effort to use it up.
3. Suave Professionals Dry Shampoo: I, like most other oily-scalp folks out there, LOVE dry shampoo. Usually I stick to my Batiste ones (post here) but I picked up the Suave one a little while ago. Normally I don't have very good luck with drugstore brand dry shampoos (Tresemme's made my hair look a million times dirtier and Psssst is very chalky and hard to rub out) but the marketing comparison to the Rene Furterer one convinced me to try it out. This product is actually neither very bad nor very good--it's just mehhh. I do like the citrusy smell it has (always good when your hair looks and smells clean!) and it's very inexpensive (around $3) but it doesn't fully rid my hair of that greasy look. It does take the worst of the oil away, but if you really look at my hair when I've sprayed this in, you can kind of tell that it's dirty and I'm just trying to cover it. I do use it sometimes when my hair is only slightly greasy or I'm just trying to give it some more volume, but I really can't use it on days when I've skipped a shampoo. This does, however, make for a great and cheap "gym bag" product as a quick refresher for your roots after a workout.
4. Origins Zero Oil Oil-Free Moisture Lotion: This and a face mask (post coming!) were my first explorations into Origins products. I've always heard really excellent things but they were always a bit expensive and nothing really stuck out to me on the website. But since I'm still on the hunt for my perfect everyday moisturizer (post) I got their lotion designed to help control oily skin. Honestly, if I didn't know better, I'd think this was a lotion to make your face as shiny and greasy as possible--to call it "Zero Oil" is beyond absurd. I tried it out a few times on my no-makeup days, and even with blotting my face and mattifying primers, I still looked way too shiny. I didn't give up on it, thinking that maybe it would keep my oils at bay over time (no idea how that made sense at the time) but there's just no way this moisturizer could ever work for me. If you have severely dry skin, though, you might want to give this a whirl. Just beware of its sawdusty smell--apparently it contains saw palmetto and mint (weird).
5. Boots Botanicals Skin Brightening Deep Clean Gel: Remember when my skin turned dry to the point of flakiness, red and severely irritated? Well, I figured out that all those symptoms were due to this guy. My cousin offered me this cleanser, warning me that it had given her some sort of funky rash. I took it, of course, and waved off any concerns because she's fairly sensitive to skincare products, and my face never reacts to anything--no matter how strong. Just a few days of using this cleanser, though, and no amount of makeup could hide the reaction I was having--putting foundation on flaky skin, by the way, is an absolute nightmare. Sorry for the stock photo, but this cleanser was chucked the moment I figured out it was the culprit behind my irritated skin.
6. Conair 2-in-1 Hot Air Styler: I bought one of these in Taiwan years ago and absolutely loved it. A blow dryer with a brush head takes all the muscle aches and discomfort of two-hand drying with a round brush but still gives you that smooth finish. My cousin wears a bob and she uses something like this to get her hair nice and sleek, but also curled in at the ends. I haven't been able to find a good one since my Taiwan dryer broke a few years ago, so when I saw this for a mere $18.99 at my Duane Reade, I wasted no time tossing it into my basket. This one has the added bonus of an additional 3/4 inch brush head to give you smaller curls, while the normal 1 inch attachment would be better for volume. I eagerly tried it out and using one of these brush/dryers was just as easy as I remembered, but there's just no getting around how weak this tool is. The only settings on this are on/off--it simply can't get any hotter or cooler than its standard temperature which is barely hot enough to style my hair. Not only does this take forever to actually dry my hair, but even with all the brushing and going over sections that I did, my hair just looked like a puffy, frizzy mess. The actual brush also snagged my hair a lot which was really only adding insult to injury. The only good that's come out of this is that I've taught myself to properly use a round brush and hair dryer to style my hair since this crap failed me so miserably. My DIY blowouts are nothing compared to a salon job, of course--but they're pretty good, if I do say so myself!
I'm sure this is just the start of many posts dedicated to subpar products! I'd love to hear if you've tried any of these things and loved/hated them!
And just when I was privately congratulating myself on not buying any new nail polishes...I saw this. Gahhhh, I want it. It's perfect and beautiful and totally unique--not to mention limited edition! I haven't purchased it yet, but if I see it in person and it's as gorgeous as it looks online, I'm sure I will. I know I'm ridiculously pathetic, but just look at that color!
I'll try and be good, but if my unfaithfulness to diet and exercise regimens is any indication, I'll be cracking on this nail polish ban sooner than I thought.
Off to meet up with some friends for dinner--I'm in the mood for Moroccan!
Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!