Disappointing Products and Better Alternatives!
I have recently tried some beauty products that did not wow me at all. They weren’t awful or bad or horrible; they were just sort of disappointing. I liked them, but since trying them I’ve found alternatives that are even better. They are not dupes, because essentially dupes are the same, these are in fact much better. They range in price, in use and claims, and get the job done. So what are these underwhelming products, and which ones outperform them?
Photo via Kiehl's
Ever since Kiehl’s launched their Buttermask for lips, I was intrigued. It looks so luxurious. I mean just look at that photo and try not to drool. With coconut oil and mango butter, I imagined it would be this amazingly healing lip treatment. And it is nice. It smells decadent, and moisturizes the lips. Yet, the soft and supple feeling this provides will not last you longer than an hour or so. There is nothing wrong with it, but it just lacked the wow factor I was expecting.
Photo via Laneige
If you want the most luxurious and healing lip mask around, you want to go for the Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask. This product is unmatched in every way. Not only does it leave your lips looking fuller, but it actually treats them, and you can even feel the effects after 8+ hours of applying it. It does not smell like cocoa butter, but does have an indulgent berry scent. Plus, it actually looks like a gloss on the lips so it can be worn all day too. And another thing about Laneige Lip Sleeping mask that makes it that much better than Kiehl’s is the lower price for the double amount of product. The suppleness this mask gives to your lips after just one night of use is beyond anything you have experienced.
Who hasn’t tried the Sally Hansen wax strips at least once in their life? Removing hair is always a hassle, so trying an affordable at home process makes sense. And from experience, I can tell you these strips lack the oomph that other alternatives provide. Not only are they painful, but I find they only remove so much hair. Yes, they are convenient, and some people swear by them, but for me it just is not worth it.
Instead, I recently entered the world of sugar waxing. This method of hair removal has been in existence for centuries. Now it is not convenient in any way, shape, or form. It requires some minor cooking skills, lemon juice, sugar, and water, and it is pretty darn messy. But sugar waxing is also a natural and chemical-free way to remove hair from the root. It is noticeably less painful than conventional waxing, because you apply the wax in the opposite direction of hair growth, and rip in the direction of hair growth. This makes the whole process go more smoothly and prevents the chance of ingrown hairs. Not to mention, cotton strips are optional in the world of sugar waxing, and after so many goes at it, your hair stops coming back! Now, from my experience, this is a lengthy process, but having to only do it once a month is so much better than shaving daily. On the downside, it only works for thick and dark hairs. My lower legs love it, but it just doesn’t pull out the fine hairs on my thighs. With that, I still highly recommend this over other hair removal methods, if you want something long lasting.
Photo via YSL
YSL or Yves Saint Laurent is a prestigious brand known for their glorious packaging. Their new Volupte Tint-in-Balm is no exception. This shiny lipstick provides color, and nourishment in one. Plus the lip-shaped imprint in the bullet is pretty darn adorable. But this does cost $34, and has been said to apply a tad streaky. So even though owning a YSL lipstick is an irreplaceable feeling, there is a wildly similar, and even better option from your local drugstore.
Photo via L'oréal
The L’Oreal Colour Riche Shine Lipsticks have not only eerily similar packaging, but provide even more color, even more shine, and even more shades. And all of that is only $10. If you prefer pink shades, YSL may be something to look into, but this L’Oreal collection has a better variety of shades, and apparently an even more smooth application on the lips.
In a past Openletr post, I discussed hair growth inhibitors. Since then, I have given you my review on a serum called Luna Smooth, but more recently, I purchased the Completely Bare Body Moisturizer & Hair Inhibitor. Although this is a pleasant-smelling, lightweight moisturizer, after more than a month of using it, my hair still grows back at the same rate. So, yes, that is disappointing, but I will continue to use this up as a moisturizer since it smells so nice, and doesn’t irritate my skin.
Something you may think does not even qualify as comparable to a moisturizer is dry brushing. If you don’t know what dry brushing is, it is simple. It is a very old process of using a natural brush to exfoliate the skin, improve circulation, reduce cellulite, and it even removes toxins from the body. Along with all of that, I find it drastically lengthens the time it takes for your hair to grow back. This is mostly due to the exfoliation benefits. And although you can exfoliate with a glove, a scrub or a million other methods, dry brushing seems to be the easiest, the most affordable, and the most effective.
Photo via Jergens
Jergens Natural Glow Daily Moisturizer has been around for what seems like decades. Although its popularity remains high, this being one of the first of its kind means there is room for improvement. Yes, the fragrance has been altered in recent years, but is still quite offensive to many people. Plus, the moisturizer is known to give you that Oompa Loompa look rather than a sunkissed glow. I have tried to make this work a handful of times, but always come out with a patchy, uneven, orange look.
Photo via St. Moriz
Something I recently discovered and am in love with is the St. Moriz Golden Glow Tanning Moisturizer. As far as I am aware, this gem is only sold on Feel Unique as it is from the UK, but it is under $7, has a lightweight tropical scent, and actually gives you a subtle golden glow. Now, I love a good overnight tanning mousse, but it is a process to apply, and then have to rinse off the top layer in the shower, and it can be a bit too much color for some. This moisturizer makes tanning easy. Using a tanning mitt you simply apply this all over after a shower as a regular body moisturizer. After two to three days of use you will notice the most natural warm tone to your skin. And it can be built up for more than a week. Then you simply exfoliate your skin to remove it and start all over. There is no flaking or patching, just a gorgeous natural glow.
So although all of these products have their benefits, perks and even downsides, there are some that are just plain better.