NOT so Awesome – Volume 3

Alas, sometimes we encounter things that are simply, NOT awesome. This is Volume 3 of my ‘Not so Awesome’ reviews. Hopefully, these honesty reports can help you avoid wasting time and money on future purchases. Hunt for the awesome…you deserve it!

Awesome…if you want to look jaundice
Lemon Aid by Benefit – Tessa’s Pick
I’m always a sucker for packaging and Benefit always seems to attract me with their bright benefit-lemon-aid-gooddisplays and cutely named products. I have a few staples that I can always count on from this brand, namely their mascara (They’re Real) so I decided to try one of their eye brighteners –
Lemon Aid.How Benefit describes Lemon Aid:
Wake up your eyelids! This warm yellow correcting cream helps to hide redness & discoloration with just a dab. In a snap, eyes look refreshed, frisky, and ready for fun. One shade blends to perfection on any complexion. Includes a mirror for freshening up on the go.Instead of looking “refreshed and frisky”, I looked yellow and chalky. It also did not blend well and after an hour, I ended up with the dreaded crease drawing even more attention to my under eye lines…not awesome. Overall, your skin tone and texture may play a large role in your satisfaction with this product but for me – it just wasn’t working out. Thankfully, Ulta has a nice little return policy…

Screen shot 2013-07-22 at 11.40.00 PM 2Awesome…if you want to be a dried up prune
Clean & Clear Daily Pore Cleanser – Courtney’s Pick
I have a night time routine that I’ve been doing for years – probably since middle school. It consists of taking my makeup off, washing my face, brushing and flossing my teeth and going to bed. I’ve even used the same products for this routine ever since I can remember, except when I ran out of my face wash a couple of months ago. This isn’t too big of a deal; it has happened to me before. The real issue was that when I went to the store to buy more face wash, I couldn’t find my favorite, Clean & Clear Deep Action Exfoliating Scrub.I looked everywhere and for some reason it appeared to no longer exist. Instead, I opted for another Clean & Clear product- Clean & Clear Daily Pore Cleanser.

Wrong decision. After one day of using it, I found my face to be extremely dried out, which is not normal for me. I thought it was a fluke and continued using this product for about another week. Consistently every day that I used the Daily Pore Cleanser, my face was dried out. Since then, I’ve found my old face wash at the store again and have switched back. (HOORAY!) Needless to say, I was a bit disappointed in my new purchase and won’t be buying it again. You have been warned…


NOT so Awesome – Volume 2

I thought it might be time for another edition of “NOT SO AWESOME.” I decided to ask one of my friends, Alex, to share a product that she has recently encountered which did NOT live up to her expectations.

Awesome…if you like to look like a hot mess
YES TO CARROTS – shampoo and conditioner – Alex’s pick

yes-to-carrots-daily-pampering-hair-care-regimenAll natural? Organic? Healthy hair? These are the words I look for when choosing products.

When I came across the brand Yes To, I couldn’t resist.  I chose the Yes To Carrots Nourishing Shampoo and Conditioner in hopes of strengthening my hair with all natural products.  Boy, were my expectations crushed.

After using the shampoo and conditioner for a month, I noticed a drastic change in my long, shiny black hair.  My ends were broken, the shine became dull, and the texture had even been damaged.  I was unable to run my fingers through my hair without pulling out a small wad of hair because my strands had become so weak.  Gross!

While I used to have naturally slick hair, I noticed I was now sporting a more “wild” and frizzy look.  In total, every expectation I had for this organic shampoo was not met; in fact it had 100% worsened the condition of my hair.

I had high hopes that the natural organic ingredients would strengthen my hair, but I was sadly left with stringy, frizzy and weak strands.  The organic label was alluring, however I won’t be so quick to grab the first natural ingredient product next time.

You have been warned!

NOT so Awesome – Volume I

Unfortunately, occasionally we all encounter the “not so awesome.” I decided to ask a few friends to share some products / experiences that they would NOT recommend. Sometimes the most valuable lessons are knowing what to avoid.

Three epic fails coming your way… You’ve been warned.

Awesome…if you like your hair being pulled out:
I rarely ever wear my hair straight because the process is faaaar too time consuming – so my routine typically entails washing and air drying my hair at night and then touching up with a large barreled curling iron in the morning…which allows me to sleep an extra 40+ minutes…priceless.As I was perusing around Target a few weeks ago, I came across the Infiniti Pro Spin Air Rotating Styler. I was intrigued and thought, maybe this was the solution to my problem. So I watched a couple YouTube videos when I got home and it seemed simple enough. Naturally, I had envisioned the brush winding my hair up into a big tangled mess…but if the lady in the video could do it, so could I!I ended up shelling out the near $60 to try this puppy out but after the first painful tug…I knew…this was one of the most “not awesome” products that I had ever purchased.The rotation button was confusing, it grabbed onto my hair winding it up until the brush was tight against my head with no give (NOT like the video). I find it quite interesting that the item’s main selling point of making hair more smooth and shiny seemed to make my hair both frizzy and dull!

Long story kind of short…this was not the solution I was looking for and I’m sure hair type has a lot to do with whether this product is right for you…the thinner and shorter the better, in my opinion. I’m just glad I kept the receipt! (its on sale now btw – grr)

Awesome…if you like to waste your time:
I admit it.  All of the potential benefits that cleanses have to offer has sucked me not once, but twice.  Both times either Groupon or Rue La La offered various promotions that convinced me it was worth a shot.

Last summer I tried out my first all juice cleanse that lasted for 3 days.  A store in Chicago, Peeled, prepares all of your juices for the duration of the cleanse, which is a bonus from a preparation standpoint.  Of the 6 juices to consume each day I found 3 of them horrendous and dreadful.  At the end of the 3 days I felt pretty good but wondering how much of it is in your head that you should feel good.Last week I decided to give a different cleanse a shot.  This one was through the company Aster Elliot and lasted 6 days.  The company ships the various supplements and shake ingredients to your house.  This time I had to make majority of the very specific meals while taking the various supplements at directed times.By the end of day 3 I couldn’t stand not being active so I figured I would try a short run for some fresh air.  Five minutes in I realized it was a huge mistake.  My body and legs felt so weak and I was probably in more danger of injuring myself than I realized at the time.  Once I made it home I came to the conclusion that the cleanse should stop immediately, this time certain that any benefits were most certainly in my head.  At the end of it all the biggest benefit was probably the removal of caffeine and alcohol from my system.By this point I have learned my lesson and will not be going for round 3.

Awesome…if you like all of the moisture sucked out of your skin.
Recently a friend of mine won a contest that allowed her and 3 friends to attend a Mary Kay pampering event! I obviously jumped at the chance to learn about Mary Kay’s products, since I really didn’t know much about them and haven’t used them before. Plus the contest included champagne, a facial and hand massage – no brainer!

Little to my surprise, the “facial” was really trying the products yourself while looking in a mirror and the “hand massage” was non existent. I was a little bummed, but still excited about learning about new makeup and skincare products.Our consultant was very knowledgeable and incredibly friendly, so when she brought out the Mary Kay Timewise Eye Firming cream, I immediately perked up. Being officially in my ‘late twenties’ (ugh) I had been debating whether or not I should be using some sort of eye cream yet. Our consultant assured me (politely) that I should. She went on and on about the benefits of the Timewise cream, how it can be worn either under or over makeup, and that applying it both in the morning and at night before bed would result decreased fine lines and wrinkles. I was sold!I purchased the eye cream and immediately began using it as the consultant recommended. She basically said this stuff was like crack to her and that it could be used rather liberally.

After about two days of use, I noticed the skin under my eyes was very dry, almost brittle. I immediately stopped using the eye cream and soon enough, my skin was back to normal. I have not had this sort of reaction with any other products, and while my skin is somewhat sensitive, this seemed to be an extreme reaction.I was very disappointed with the Timewise eye cream and consider this to be a not so awesome product. The hunt for eye cream (and slowing down the wrinkles) continues!