I had to perform one of my least favorite tasks today – returning products I bought that just didn’t live up to my expectations. I really wanted to like them, I really tried to like them, but I just couldn’t bring myself to actually like them.
Neostrata Exuviance Skin Caring Foundation
I’ve been using mineral foundation for quite a long time and for some reason I thought it would be a good idea to dip my toes in the liquid foundation waters again. I thought I wanted to try something with a little more coverage, but looking back on it, I think I was just in the mood for change. Either way, I gave it a shot.
I was excited to try the Exuviance foundation as it is “…formulated to visibly reduce the signs of aging while providing all-day coverage, treatment and protection from the sun”.
My normal pre-makeup routine is first cleansing followed by moisturizing. I usually let my moisturizer “soak in” for 15 minutes or so, then I use a primer and set to work with the foundation.
The Exuviance foundation was a little thicker than I remember liquid foundation being, but as I said, it’s been awhile since I even tried liquids. I applied it lightly with a brush – the color blended nicely with my skin tone, and I was initially pleased at its coverage. However, upon closer inspection, this foundation seemed to exaggerate every single line, crack, and pore in my face – despite my liberal use of the Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer prior to applying the foundation. I figured it was because I just didn’t finish my entire face – once I set it with powder and finished everything else, it would look fine, right?
I left it on to see how it would wear and by the end of the evening, I looked like a hag. The foundation looked like it was literally cracking right on my face. I was confused. What did I do wrong? Did I use too much? I used two pumps for my entire face. I didn’t think that was a lot at all.
The next day I was determined to try again, thinking perhaps I missed some Cardinal Rule of Foundation Application. That time, I mixed two pumps of the foundation with a small dallop of my moisturizer. Again – beautiful color blending and coverage, but the texture of it on my face came up short for me – it just seemed to exaggerate any imperfection in my skin.
Being the scientist I am, I will usually exhaust all possible “operator errors” (read: me!) before I give up on a product, but there was one thing that sealed the deal for me. The Monday following my little experiments I woke up and shuffled into the bathroom to put in my contacts. As I was peering in the mirror, I noticed something odd.
If you’ve read my post, The Mother of All Skincare, you may know where I’m going with this. Since I’ve been using apple cider vinegar on my skin as a toner, I have not had one single breakout at all. I haven’t had a pimple on my face in the last four months or so. If you haven’t guessed already, I think apple cider vinegar is Voodoo Magic for the skin.
Well, on that morning, there were pimples all over my chin, next to my mouth, and a couple on my forehead. Even before I started using apple cider vinegar, I never had pimples like that (in my adult years, anyway). It took me exactly thirty seconds to locate the box and plop the bottle of foundation right back into it. I may have had some “operator errors” applying it, but there is no way I will settle for pimples!
Urban Decay Supercurl Curling Mascara
Again, this is a product I really wanted to love. I’ve always gone for volume in my lashes, but for some reason I saw this and was swayed by the promise of curling.
Well, that and the gunmetal container is supercute.
But the curling – I had a vision of curly, flirty lashes for spring – perfectly coordinating with a light palate of springlike shadows.
From the first stroke of this on my lashes, I was disappointed. Did it curl? Yes. Did it make my lashes supercute and flirty? No. The reason? Big, fat clumps do not make supercute and flirty lashes.
No matter how I tried to apply this mascara, it clumped – clumpity, clump clump. Not only that, but one day at work I was in the ladies’ room washing my hands – and as I looked into the mirror I saw what looked like a mascara blizzard – little flakes of black everywhere. And yet there still were huge clumps on my eyelashes. I looked a hot mess and vowed from that day on I would keep makeup remover pads in my desk drawer for emergencies such as this.
Back in the box you go, you supercute gunmetal container of curling mascara.
Not all is lost, however. As depressing as it was to return things, I ended up exchanging them for products I know I love. More on those later, it’s time for my beauty sleep – lord knows I need it!