Let's be real here, how many times have you bought a product or have used a tester, only to find out that it doesn't really suit your skin? By then you may have already spent a fortune on those products and naturally, you can't return them.
I definitely have, especially with foundations.
For example, the tester for my Urban Decay All Nighter foundation was amazing. It really was, my skin looked absolutely flawless in camera with just one layer of this gorgeous full coverage foundation. So I bought the full sized product (30ml) for £27 to use on my wedding day. Something was fishy about it on my wedding day, where it was patchy and I haven't experienced this with the tester. Thankfully it wasn't anything major and the day went by without a makeup disaster.
And then it was another test shoot that I was doing... oh that was bad.... real bad. Not only did it patch up all over the face (forehead, cheeks, nose, chin...), it was also really difficult to work with the product . I had to wipe my whole face off and reapply the makeup - yes, it was bad enough that this was the best action to have taken!
So what went wrong? Well, whilst I am no longer fond of the product, but I have learnt to work with it; my skin had to be very hydrated and moisturised (well-prepped) for this product to work well. Was it the product's fault? Or was it mine, when my skin changes, becomes drier and this product no longer functioned as well?
I am 2 minds about this. On one hand, I feel that this should have worked regardless, that's the marketing and advertising, and that I have also invested in this product. Granted, it's onto the most expensive foundation out there, but still, I am expecting for the product to actually be worth the amount of money I paid for for it.
On the other hand, a product doesn't cater to my skin condition all year round. It's not a thinking thing and it certainly does not know my skin well. All products have some form of a shelf life too, just because it worked well when once new, doesn't mean they will always work in the same way. So maybe, it's not the product, it's me.
Now I'm sure not everyone will agree because, well, a product is supposed to do what it markets to do, and I get it, but no skin is made equal. One product would work amazingly for me whilst terrible for someone else and it is times like this we have to ask ourselves, is it really the product, or is it me?
Here are 5 examples:
- Foundation: how well the foundation goes on your skin depends on not only the product itself, but also your skin condition. If your skin is dry, chances are that thicker, full coverage foundations will patch up a lot quicker and you may have to prep your skin very well before applying it. There are also other factors such as the tool you are applying the foundation with, and what primer/moisturiser is layered under. There will be some products, like my Urban Decay All Nighter, that are a lot more unforgiving than other products, e.g. NARS, Illamasqua, MAC, Make Up Forever (and now we know why make up artists rarely have Urban Decay foundations in their kit!)
- Moisturisers:/oils: there are some "holy grail" moisturisers out there, and then there are some popular ones, then there are some cute ones... it's often hard to decide what is best for your skin and this is one of those products that you find you may have to change throughout the year for your skin to benefit from the product. Some moisturisers/brands that other people like may not suit you. I would say this is 50/50 - you have to pick one that works for your skin rather than just pick one that everyone likes. Occasionally you may have to break your perspective on certain type of products. For me this is steam cream - I had an amazing one from Skin Ceramic, and now I have one from Secret Key that I'm not necessarily liking, even if it's a steam cream. There may also be ingredients within moisturisers that may not work well with your skin at all and at this point, is it really the product? My skin does not mesh with oil at all, and I have even tried squalane, but this doesn't mean that these oils do nothing, it's just me.
- Exfoliators: so this one may be just me... when I first started using AHA and BHA exfoliators, I didn't think that my peel was working and dismissed the product for a while. Learnt that it should be used on dry skin rather than damp has changed my perspective on the product. Sometimes with products like this, it's not the product, but us not using it correctly for the product to really work
- Make up removers: whilst I will always condone a balm cleanser, this may not work for you. Many people I know use make up wipes and I am just not convinced that the wipes truly remove all make up because it doesn't work for me, whilst other people I know find it work well for them. Perhaps it is their make up habits, but even with light make up I definitely feel that I need some thorough cleansing before I feel that my skin is squeaky clean (and to prevent breakouts). Are the wipes bad? For me it is and I cringe every time I hear someone uses them solely for removing make up, but it doesn't necessarily mean that they are ineffective, especially for those who enjoy these products and feel it works for them
(I still do not using solely make up wipes and I will always stand by this!)
- Toners/mists: honestly there are some toners and mists that are highly raved about and highly rated but I just cannot get along with them. One of which is Caudalie mist that everyone seems to love, but this product is far too fragrant and contains alcohol which doesn't sit well on my skin, nor do I enjoy the smell of it. That being said, there have been toners that I have enjoyed that have alcohol, but worked well on my skin (even though I still despised the smell). Time and time again I will give it a second chance because of travelling, but the fragrance is not something I prefer. Is this the product? No, this is definitely me
So, in conclusion, before your dismiss a product, ask yourself whether it truly is the product, or is it yourself that is the problem? Does the product just not work for your skin, are you using the product correctly, or are you using it under incorrect conditions? This is why I will always trial a product for 3-4 weeks before writing up a review, unless I really love it upon first use, or would want to write up a first impression blog.
What are your thoughts? Do you give your products a second chance? How many circumstances are because of you and not the product?