I’ve been thinking a lot lately as I sort through my makeup about how much of the stuff I have I would NEVER have bought pre-social media, and how much of it I actually use and like. I know recently, there’s been a lot of backlash on beauty influencers for promoting brands and products (and getting paid to without the disclosure) that are mediocre at best. I want to be a responsible blogger and have completely honest reviews. So I’m removing my affiliate links page and the affiliate links of the side of my page. My reviews are no longer going to have links for profit, and I’m not going to be mass purchasing items just to review them. I have an always will let you know if I’ve received anything in exchange for a review. I will still be showing what I used in any look. I will still be buying certain things (like the Naked Heat palette), but because it’s actually something I want. With that being said here are things that I definitely would not have bought if it weren’t for social media, and my honest take on whether or not it was worth it.
Dose of Colors is one of those indie brands that there was a chance that I would find it one day at Naimies, but it definitely would have taken me a while to actually try the products. Now, in all honesty, I get a 35% MUA discount on these since I am a certified makeup artist.
- Liquid Lipsticks – Considering these are the liquid lipsticks that I reach for the most, I 100% stand by this product. Even if I had to pay full price (which BTW I have before realizing there was a discount) I would repurchase these in a heartbeat. I probably wouldn’t get as many colors, but I would still get these since it’s a staple in my life.
- Supreme Glow Highlighters – I have 2 now. I’ve only used the Gold is the New Black color so far, but it honestly is one of my favorite highlighters. It’s the ONLY one I’ve used since I’ve gotten a little darker. I did get Milk N Honey and will report back on whether the formula and sheen are the same. GITNB is honestly the most “wet” looking highlighter I’ve ever gotten and it has that effect that I’ve been looking for without having a bright white/frosty stripe on my face (not really down with that look on me). I don’t think I could live without this in my makeup bag.
Their glosses and lipstick are okay (nothing SUPER special, I do think they’re really comfortable, but not my fave formula), I don’t love the shade range that they have for the glosses and lipsticks. I haven’t tried any of the eyeshadows or other products, and I have swatched them, but nothing has ever compelled me to buy them. I will also say that I feel a slight kindred spirit to the owner because she graduated from the same Makeup School as me (no the same year), but I also really disliked a lot of the people I went to school with, so it wasn’t really a factor in my liking the brand, it was just nice to see a kindred alumni succeeding.
Tarte is one of the biggest culprits of using social media to sell their products. The funny thing is before it was a big deal to use influencers to sell their products, I used to LOVE Tarte. I was a HUGE fan of the fact that their products were more natural and that they were a paraben free company (also cruelty-free is a huge plus). I used to SWEAR by their eyeshadows and I did like their Amazonian Clay BB cream, but the SPF gave me hives. In more recent years, they’ve become so focused on being trendy and keeping their influencers happy that I really believe that their products have suffered. I also get a 40% MUA discount on these products and I STILL feel lackluster about them.
The Rainforest of the Sea collection is okay at best. The only thing that I REALLY love from that collection is the Drink of H2O moisturizer, but I haven’t quite decided if I like it better than the UD Hot Springs Moisturizer. The eyeshadow palette, the highlighting palette, and everything else I did like it when I tried it, but the reality is after a few times I’ve never picked them up ever again and I probably won’t ever again unless I’m forcing myself to use something different.
The ONLY product that they have that I 100% would repurchase even at full price is their Amazonian Clay 12 hr blushes. Their colors are lacking, but they few colors I do have, I love, and it really does stay put ALL day long (and I’m a serious face toucher).
This is another company that is all about the influencers. I’ve bought quite a few palettes and some brushes and here’s my take on them:
- The eyeshadow palettes are really inexpensive, so if you’re looking to start getting into makeup, I highly recommend them. If you’re already a pretty seasoned makeup junkie, I would pass. While I have been at fault for getting suckered into getting the 35O the 35F and I think I have the 35T?. They pigments are okay. I do love the colors in those particular palettes, I mostly bought them because I hadn’t seen a palette with the 35O and 35F colors before. (I’m sure they existed, but I hadn’t seen it). Now, while I like them, there’s only a handful of colors in each palette I use. Not all of the shades are great quality, but most of them are decent to good. That being said I would NEVER use these on a client. When someone is paying for my services, I 100% believe in using top quality products that never fail me. If I know there are 5 or 6 shades in a palette that are complete garbage, why would I want to be stuck all the sudden with a client realizing that I have to fix a mistake because one shadow is chalky and won’t blend or it’s just not giving enough color so I’m digging into the palette. It’s just not professional, but at home when I hit a color that’s not ideal, I can fix it. I don’t care.
- Their brushes… There are only 2 brushes from them that I like – E8 & M403. The E8 is honestly just the best shape I’ve found to blend out the undereye concealer. It sheds a little bit, but not a ton. The M403 is my favorite blush brush to use with high pigmented blushes. It’s the perfect amount of fluff and shape is just right for me. However, it is POORLY made. It sheds EVERY time I use it, so I have to make sure to de-shed it before I use it. I have tried to find a replacement one, but I can’t find one with the same shape, so until then I will repurchase this. The other brushes I’ve bought are too rough and also shed too much. The gunmetal brushes I have are all poorly made and the ferrule is warped and doesn’t sit on the handle correctly (mine haven’t broken, but I also only used them a handful of times). I ordered these online so I couldn’t check the quality before purchasing.
- Blush palettes, I bought these mostly because I wanted to expand my blush collection without spending a stupid amount of money. I really like the 9N and it’s great to travel with. They don’t stay on the face as well as the Tarte ones, but it’s a good price for 9 blushes that are pretty flattering on most people. Once again I wouldn’t use this on a client, for traveling and everyday use it’s actually a pretty handy palette to have.
Their individual eyeshadows are okay. nothing special. So unless there’s a very specific color you want, I would pass.
Benefit has been around for FOREVER and is one of those brands that I knew about, I’ve tried a few products here and there, but I never really got into the brand so I forgot about it until all these influencers started talking about it again. Some things I’ve bought from them thanks to social media:
- RollerBall Mascara – wow was this the ever fail. Everyone SWORE that their little super flat lashes would finally curl using this mascara and mine fell flat as always. I’ll stick to my waterproof mascara.
- Cheekathon Palette – I bought this because every year they had a pretty cheek palette that would come out and wanted one. I STILL haven’t used it. Rockateur is WAY too shimmery for me. Hoola is too light to be used as a bronzer, Dallas is a little too red for me to use, Coralista is too shimmery, and Dandelion doesn’t actually show up on my skin… Why did I buy it? Because influencers made all these palettes look so appealing. SIGH. Just a pretty vanity decor now.
- Ka Brow – This I actually like. I don’t LOVE. The formula is a little dry for me, so I tend to add a little fluidline (or anything similar) to it AFTER every use (this way it’s not super liquidy when I am using it). I like this MUCH better than DipBrow because DipBrow is a little too creamy and can be a hot mess if you’re not careful. If you need a long wearing brow gel/cream, I would recommend this. I do wish there was a formula right in between the two formulas, but like with gel liners it’s hard to keep the product from drying out over time. I will say it’s really pricey for such a small amount of product though. So on the hunt for a less expensive version, but until I find something I really really love or is comparable in formula and less expensive, I’ll be sticking to this.
I think this has become a pretty long post. I’ll have a few more of these as I go through and clean up my makeup drawers.
I had a really bad allergic reaction to something in my eye a few nights ago (during my sleep so not a product). The whites of my eye literally swelled up soo much that it hurt to blink and close my eye. Lots of Benedryl and Zatidor and my eyes are almost back to normal, but needless to say, I’ve been too nervous to wear makeup or use anything around my eyes, so makeup looks and such are going to have to wait a bit.