The relationship with some beauty products may not always be a love from the first sight. Sometimes, you really need to understand the formula and find the right way of using the product before you can make your judgmental decision.
I test a lot of products on myself, and honestly, “it’s not always rainbows and butterflies“. I usually get rid of the products I don’t like right away. However, after starting this blog, I’ve become more open-minded, especially after learning about the basket/pan projects and accepting its philosophy – understanding the product and its formula as you use the product continuously till you hit the pan. Moreover, fair return policies in my favorite stores are very supportive in discovering the products more thoroughly. With this in mind, it makes more sense to try the “failed” products again, and to my surprise and excitement, some of them are really worth giving a second and even a third chance. Here are my four recent discoveries.
‘The Original’ MakeUp Eraser
I got a sample of the MakeUp Eraser in my first Allure beauty box, and as you might have understood already, I didn’t like it. I was surprised to find it was really soft, but I didn’t see myself replacing my two-step cleaning routine with a piece of wet towel. Moreover, I found it harder to clean eye-makeup and it me took longer to finish the cleansing. After trying the MakeUp Eraser for a couple of days, it went back to a plastic it came with and was left in my drawer for a while.
A week ago, I decided to give this product a second chance and to my excitement, it came in handy removing the residues of eye makeup without putting cleansers into my eyes.
The life-changing tip about this cloth is that you need to use a warm water and continuously make it wet since it dries much faster than you think. Moreover, you should start with the “short-haired” side as it is designed to remove waterproof makeup. Yes, both of the sides are different and should be used for different purposes!
The MakeUp Eraser indeed cleanses your face without any product. It is super travel-friendly, easy to wash and will last you for up to 5 years.
I’m definitely not dumping all my cleansers, but I’m going to use it more frequently than I thought I would.
By the way, you can get a sample of this one for free ( along with other 14 different samples) when you shop at Nordstrom! Check this link for more details.
Benefit BADgal BANG! Volumizing Mascara
I got this mascara the same week it was released and when I tried it for the first time, I remember texting my friend saying how terrible this mascara was. I had a sample size, so it kept sitting in my makeup bag for a while. A couple of months later, I decided to try the mascara one more time before I can toss it, and it felt and looked completely different.
What has changed in my understanding, is that in the beginning the formula was too fresh and once it dried out a little in the tube it became as it was supposed to be. It really lengthens, curls your lashes and this curl stays for the whole day! I especially like how black this mascara is and now it’s one of my favorite products.
Kiehl’s Creamy Avocado Eye Treatment
I tried the avocado eye cream in a sample for the first time, and I didn’t like the thickness of the product. Moreover, with any eye cream, I expect the product to help me in getting rid of my dark circles. Unfortunately, this product is not designed to brighten up the under-eye area, and therefore, I didn’t consider it as a right product for me.
Kiehl’s Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado, $29–$48 (Buy Now)
I was looking for an eye cream I can use under concealer and after seeing tons of positive reviews, I decided to give this product a second chance. And I’m so glad I did because it is much creamier and smoother than it was in that sample – it probably dried out there before I even had a chance to experience the real formula.
I’ve also posted about this product in a separate review. You may want to check it out here.
Kiehl’s Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleansing Masque
I got this mask in a set with other masks from Kiehl’s during the winter sales. The set of 5 different masks was a perfect deal to try different products for a decent price.
Kiehl’s ‘Rare Earth’ Deep Pore Cleansing Masque, $33 (Buy Now)
I’ve heard different opinions about the pore cleansing mask from praises to allergy reactions and breakouts. When I tried this one for the first time, I didn’t notice any difference in my pores and I was a little disappointed. As well as the other products, it kept sitting in my drawer until I decided to give this mask a second try to be loved. After trying it for the second time, I’ve realized that it really worked and now I use it regularly. It indeed cleanses my pores within 10 minutes without causing irritation to my sensitive skin.
What I think I didn’t do right the first time is probably the timing. Because I wasn’t sure about the reaction it can cause, I probably kept it for less than 10 minutes.
These are my recent re-disroveries. For sure, it’s not always the case with the products that I didn’t like from the first application. There isn’t a guarantee that all of the so-called “failed” products will actually perform better with use. However, as long as there is no serious irritation from the product, I’m willing to give it another chance.
What is the one product that you’ve changed your negative opinion about after trying it for a while? Let me know in the comments down below!
P.S. You can support my blog by using the links in this post to purchase these products!
This post is not sponsored. My disclaimer is here.
If any of the products cause irritation discontinue use immediately.
With fluctuating airline ticket prices and extra-fees for the luggage, my main problem with packing for travel is usually answering the following question: What from my vanity cabinet will make it to the destination?
After paying $100 for over-weight baggage, obviously because of the heavy makeup bag, I’m trying to be realistic on skincare and makeup products that I would definitely need and use during the trip.
The decision-making process can be hard. As a frequent flyer, I can definitely tell that the content of your makeup bag can dramatically change depending on the type of travel, days of travel and the destination.
To save you some time and bucks, I decided to share top picks based on my experience on each and every destination that I’ve travelled. I’ll start with one of my favorite places on earth: Miami.
Miami is one of our favorite vacation destinations, my husband even considers this place as “our second home”. This sunny relaxing city is so inviting, that it’s almost our first choice when we are planning our next vacation. Because you can sunbathe, relax and party – and do it all in one place, your makeup bag should definitely represent all these activities.
Since now I’m so much smarter about the sunscreens – and hope, you are too after my extensive research on this type of sun protection – I’d recommend using COOLA® Suncare Mineral Sport Sunscreen Stick SPF 50. You won’t have problems with TSA to take it onboard because it’s a stick. You can also opt for a tinted one since it won’t leave white residue on your skin, which means you can use it away from the beach.
COOLA® Suncare Mineral Sport Sunscreen Stick SPF 50, (26$, Buy Now)
Don’t forget to reapply it every 80 minutes and follow the instructions of the package. Make sure you apply enough product – 1 shot glass for the body, as we know now is the right amount, since under-application substantially decreases the SPF factor.
And remember, that the best sun protection is still seeking shade and covering your body with clothing during the peak hours!
You face is what represents you, so make sure you don’t forget about it as well. To make your life easier, take the Umbra Tinte™ Physical Daily Defense Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 30 from Drunk Elephant. Because it is tinted, You can use it while you’re at the beach and afterwards if you wish to wander in the streets during the day. It won’t make you look white and the glow that it adds to your skin will look perfect on pictures!
As well as with the body sunscreen, you need to reapply this sunscreen every 2 hours and use a dollop amount of the product for the optimal protection.
Skip on mists, sprays, powders especially for your face, even if you’re being told in the store that they are mineral and safe for your skin, which they are. However, they are not safe for inhalation as they can damage the lungs.
NEW All Good SPF 30 Kids Sunscreen Lotion, Water Resistant, 3 oz, ($15.19, Buy Now)
For babies, FDA recommends to stay away from any type of sunscreens so make sure your babies are in the shade or you use clothing as the protection from sun exposure.
Whether you love tanning, or you try to avoid the sun, the aftersun lotion is a must in your body care routine. My favorite one is from Korres because it is made with natural greek yogurt – a milk product used for centuries to cool the skin after the sun exposure.
KORRES After Sun Greek Yoghurt Cooling Gel for Face and Body, ($26.00, Buy Now)
By the way, you can also apply it to your face! For a more cooling effect, put it in a fridge or an ice bucket!
If you’re travelling only with the hand luggage, you would probably need to put this cream into the travel container. Check with your airline for allowed sizes for liquid on board.
Your skin will be dehydrated by the sun and the ocean, so you need to replenish it with the most effective moisturizers. I’ve tried lots of different products and here is my short list:
These are another products that I’ve also tried and shared in my highlights. The best part of this kit is that you get three amazing products – an essence, a lotion and a facial cream – for quite a decent price ( compared to full-size prices and the kit’s value of $155) and they are in a perfect size for travel. Check with your airlines though, if they let you take 2.5 oz of the essence onboard before you leave the house!
Moisturizing Eye Cream
Since your relaxation and time that you spend outdoors during the vacation will probably contribute to a good sleep and less visible dark circles, skip on heavy eye creams and use the moisturizing one instead. My personal favorite is Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado from Kiehl’s. You can find the detailed review of this cream is in this blog post.
Kiehl’s Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado ($29.00, Buy Now)
I’ve always used to be less caring about hair when I travel, however things changed. Still, if I can skip on my favorite Living Proof shampoo that I’ve written about earlier in this blog, there is nothing else found in the hotel room that can help me with the dry split ends. Moreover, since they are getting worse because of the environmental exposure, I no longer can be that neglecting. Luckily, I’ve discovered L’Oreal Ever Pure Hair Sheet Mask that I’ve written about in my previous post. It is easy to pack and you’ll get the result instantaneously.
Tying your hair in the braids is a good idea to get effortless beachy waves. I’m always taking my Invisibobble hair ties with me. It is so much easier to wash them and bring them back in shape after using – just scroll on my highlights on my instagram!
Invisibobble Original Hair Tie – Crystal Clear, pack of 3, ($8.00, Buy Now)
Charlotte Tilburi Color Chameleon Color Morphing Eyeshadow Pencil, ($27, Buy Now)
If you don’t like eyeshadows in cream, you can use this small travel pallet from Smashbox. Use your fingers to get more pigment out of the product and soften the edges of your eyeshadows with a fluffy clean brush.
I was very skeptical about Benefit’s latest BADgal BANG! mascara and I didn’t like it at all when I tried it for the first time. Believe me or not, I like it a lot right now. I don’t know what has changed, but now it’s among my favorite products! And it is quite resistant to humidity so you definitely want to take it with you to Miami!
I suggest to skip on foundation and let your skin shine! For more confidence, you can use a concealer to hide small imperfections.
If you are looking for the concealer that will give you enough confidence with your “bare” skin, try the Benefit’s Boi-ing Airbrush concealer. It will give enough coverage and will look natural on your skin. My shade is 02.
There is no sun-kissed blush look without a bronzer or a blush! To save more space I’d recommend Terracotta Light Powder from Guerlain. It has some blush pigment alongside to the natural bronzer shades, resulting in the most subtle refreshing luminous bronzer you can get.
Alternatively, or in addition to this, you can also consider Tom Ford’s Shade & Illuminate Glow Stick in Sunstruck with a rose-gold highlighter on one end and a coral blush on the other.
Tom Ford Shade & Illuminate Glow Stick ($55.00, Buy Now)
While it is so hard to pick just one highlighter, I’ve just discovered one from Hourglass in shade Champagne Flash and I’m absolutely in love with it! It gives such a natural subtle glow, that you can wear during the day and night. You can use it on high points of your cheekbones, nose, corner of your eyes and on your cupid’s bow – wherever you feel the necessity to add more luminosity to your beautiful skin.
Miami is a hot place, so if you want to keep your favorite Tom Ford lipstick in shape, my best advice is to skip on it. Instead, try liquid lipsticks or lip glosses. My favorite liquid lipstick is Powermatte Lip Pigment from Nars. I’ve already got one in American Woman, and I’m planning to get a red and coral-pinkish one.
Micellar water is one of the best inventions in beauty. If you like Bioderma Sensibio Micellar Water, you’ll appreciate these wipes for sensitive skin. There are no TSA restrictions on wipes, so feel free to take it onboard.
Since most of the mentioned products can be applied with fingers, you would need only a brush for bronzer and a couple for eyeshadows.
Tom Ford’s Soleil Blanc is the perfect perfume for Miami. If you want something more affordable and less bulky, 10 ml eau de toilette of MAISON MARGIELA ’REPLICA’ Beach Walkis the best option for you. it has a similar to Soleil Blanc notes, in particular Bergamot, Ylang Ylang, Coconut and Benzoin. This size is also acceptable by TSA.
MAISON MARGIELA ’REPLICA’ Beach Walk, 10 mL Eau de Toilette Rollerball, ($28, Buy Now)