Time for another roundup of products that left me distinctly unimpressed. I feel these kinds of posts are some of the easiest to both read and write, because the sentiments expressed are so genuine and immediate. We all have certain hopes and expectations after handing over hard-earned money for products that are hyped or look promising. An initially rosy outlook can swiftly turn into disappointment and a sense of waste once reality enters the equation.
Revlon Parfumerie Scented Nail Enamel in Autumn Spice
When these range of nail polishes launched in Australia (for an eye-watering $15.95 each), I was dead set on getting Autumn Spice because of how incredible it looked on Scrangie's nails. Her swatches sold me 100%. The shade looked so rich, complex and unique, a smoky russet with fiery, coppery shimmer that gleamed in the light. I don't know if Scrangie just has a gift of photographing nail polishes in the most flattering way possible, but Autumn Spice was so underwhelming on me. I disliked the thin, runny formula immensely, the brown metallic colour looked extremely dated and unattractive, the shimmer was flat and almost grainy, the polish refused to dry, and the gimmicky scent was overwhelmingly cloying and artificial. Unpleasantness all around.
Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat
I've previously ranted a bit about Seche Vite, but I feel it deserves another mention here. Since I discovered more about "3 Free" polishes, I was surprised to read that the second ingredient in Seche Vite is toluene. Because of that, the bottle has a disclaimer that reads, "WARNING! This product contains a chemical known to the State of California to cause birth defects or other reproductive harm." Hmmm. Not very confidence-inspiring. Even if the risk is low, which it probably is, I just don't like this top coat. It smells offensive, it slightly discolours certain polishes depending on the shade (it gave a dirty yellow tint to my OPI I Don't Give A Rotterdam!), but most problematically, it shrinks around the nail edges. I always have to consciously paint over the edge of my nail, onto the surrounding skin, so that the top coat will cover the whole nail when it dries. I don't have to deal with any of these issues with Sally Hansen Insta-Dri, in my opinion a far superior fast-drying top coat.
Sanctuary Spa Brightening Facial Polishing Hot Cloth Cleanser
I bought this to qualify for the Priceline skin care goodie bag last June, hoping it'd be similar to the Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser which isn't available in Australia. Now that I've tried the Liz Earle, I can confidently say this Sanctuary Spa version is nothing like it. And not in a good way. Every time I've used this, it's mainly left my skin feeling more dry and slightly irritated. It has an almost lemony, herby, tea scent which isn't awful, but isn't my favourite either. It does have a thick, creamy texture which works into the skin nicely, but it's hard to wash off completely and leaves a balmy residue that doesn't feel hydrating.
Caudalie Vinosource S.O.S. Thirst Quenching Serum
This one is definitely the most heartbreaking of this current crop of product disappointments. An Essie Button favourite with a 4.5/5 rating on MakeupAlley to boot, I was more or less expecting that I would fall in love with this serum. I don't know if the problem is my skin type (probably not dehydrated, as it seems to be recommended for) or something else with my skin's chemistry, but it just does ... nothing. At best, nothing, at worst, it breaks me out. It has a very light, almost watery consistency that's easily spread and sinks into the skin quickly. I try to layer this underneath my moisturiser, both day and night, and I see and feel no noticeable difference than if I'd skipped it altogether. I love the refreshing scent and the packaging, and generally hold Caudalie products in high regard, so this was an extreme bummer.
Nivea In-Shower Body Lotion Skin Conditioner Normal to Dry Skin
I'd read about the dry skin version on milkteef and I Covet Thee in June last year, which was enough exposure to make me at least curious to try this newfangled product for myself. I'm guessing there isn't a huge difference between the normal to dry skin, and the dry skin versions, so I was puzzled at the good reviews. When I put this on, it feels like I'm putting Pantene hair conditioner on my skin. It's that same type of consistency. The first time I used it, I made the mistake of not washing the lotion off thoroughly enough. I dried myself off, and my legs were basically still covered in the lotion. My skin felt uncomfortably sticky and wet. The lotion just sat on top of my skin and didn't sink in properly whatsoever. The second time I used this, I actually applied it first, then used a BODY WASH in an attempt to avoid a repeat of the first experience. There was definitely less remnant lotion on my legs, but I strongly disliked the sensation of the product still physically lingering on my skin. Plainly put, it's not a good body moisturiser, at all. It's no better than sorbolene and it's very heavily perfumed. It's arguable whether there's any meaningful time saving using this in the shower compared with slapping on some body moisturiser post-shower, given you're still taking the time to apply this in the shower anyway, and not only that, you're taking extra time and effort to wash it off, lest you want unbearably greasy legs afterwards.