Sunday, January 1st, 2012

10 Worst Beauty Products of 2011

These are some of the biggest flops I tested out during 2011!  Creasing, poor pigmentation, grittiness, dryness, you name it, you’ll find it on this list!

  1. MAC Interior Life Eyeshadow Quad
  2. Dolce & Gabbana Sweet Temptations Eyeliners
  3. MAC Street Art Eyeshadow Palette
  4. Dior Blue Tie Palette
  5. YSL Volupte Sheer Candy Lipstick
  6. MAC Evil Eye Eyeshadow Quad
  7. NARS Celebrate Soft Touch Shadow Pencil
  8. MAC Miss Piggy Pink Eyeshadow
  9. Clarins Barocco Gold Shimmering Powder
  10. MAC Big Bounce Shadows

What was the worst product you tried out this year?

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102 thoughts on “10 Worst Beauty Products of 2011

  1. LOL Christine! I didn’t even know that you tested YSL Rouge Volupte Candies.. Or I wasn’t even interested I guess looking at it since I am aware that Rouge Volupte’s formula is not good at all… slippery and makes me look like a clown!

  2. Lulee

    wow half this list is MAC. they should be ashamed.

    • Em

      I think that’s the problem with introducing so many new products in a year–some of them are bound to be a bust.

      • G

        I hold MAC in high regard… but they have been letting me down big time lately… seems like they have been getting bad reviews all around. Its really time for them to step it up! I know a bought a few disappointing matte shadows a while back… one of which was plumage which was so hard I had to cut into it with a knife to use the product…

      • Lulee

        i dont think that’s the problem because if you look at the best of lists Christine put out, MAC only made 3 out of 50 of the best products. Using your logic, with mac putting out so many new products they should’ve also had half or more of the best products (25 out of 50). Quite frankly, MAC sucked this year, and as other high end brands are stepping up their game, MAC is pushing quantity over quality and losing many customers in the process.

  3. I hope the public negativity that now-ubiquitous beauty blogs are willing to give bad products is enough motivation for companies to make better formulas and colors–MAC, you are HALF of this list; that is a wake-up call! Three cheers for social media.

    • I guess that’s what happens when you put out so many products – you increase the probability of putting out flops! I feel like MAC put out so many products that it made them less memorable overall and what I remember most were the big disappointments more than anything else. They had some good products and shades, but there wasn’t a lot that felt great or truly impressed!

      • JoElla

        Christine I understand they have so many launches but, wouldn’t one expect an eyeshadow should be the same formula for this line?

        I can understand Bounce being different but pressed shadows?

        • Not really – they have a variety of finishes, which means each finish has its own formula. You would, of course, expect consistency across the line in general, but most lines do have ones that are really bad or exceptionally good. They also put out different formulas all the time – e.g. Mega Metal Eyeshadows were different from other MAC eyeshadows.

          • Avatar of Johanna Johanna

            I´ve only bought two eyeshadows from MAC and they both left me very dissapointed. But I still feel that they seem to have excellent products out there on the market, so I’m going to buy a few more before I decide that I don’t like the brand.
            I’m thinking on buying “satin taupe” and “woodwinked” next. Can any one tell me if these are worth the money?

            • Which two did you buy? Satin Taupe and Woodwinked are good choices!

            • Avatar of Johanna Johanna

              I bought “Satellite dreams”, which is in a beautiful purple colour. But when it was applied to the lid it was hardly noticeable and it looked more like red than purple.
              The other one is “spread the wealth” big bounce shadow. I honestly don’t know how to use that one!

  4. It’s a good thing I didn’t get any of these. One thing I can’t understand is how the quality of MAC shadows deteriorates once they go into the quads. Aren’t they the same size as the singles?

    Wishing even more success in 2012 Christine!!!!!!!!!

    • Yep, they are the same size as singles! No idea what goes on there… maybe they just don’t spend as much time on it or as much money? They’ve put permanent shades in quads and they tend to be about the same in quality when that happens.

  5. Elizabeth

    MAC needs to step up their game!! :)

  6. Liz

    MAC had some MAJOR fails in 2011…totally agree with this list!

  7. Connie

    You know something is wrong when ONE company takes up HALF the list. MAC seriously needs to slow down and make better products.

  8. Arlee

    Funny how this is all high-end products – just shows that you don’t always get what you pay for!

  9. Steph

    Yes I agree!! Especially MAC products. I don’t know why the quality of their makeup has really been disappointing lately! Thank you for all your insight and hard work! You’ve seriously helped me so much on all different kinds of beauty products! Also, Congratulations on your engagement!!! I know you’ll be a blushing bride!! :) <3

  10. anna

    5/10 are mac. oh the lulz.

  11. Not shocked about the MAC things sadly, what a shame :X Also kind of disappointed that most of the other ones were from High End/Fancy lines, considering the price etc.

  12. Jill

    Oh gosh, I remember there also being a NARS green glitter pencil that was terrible too! They had two green pencil strike outs this year!

  13. Kelly

    Wow. That’s a lot of Mac in there. Those big bounce shadows definitely deserve to be in there. Mac seems to have had more fails then successes this year. (IMO). Anyway, congrats on your engagement Christine. And may 2012 be a good year for you and all your readers. xxxx

  14. cyndi

    the worse product i tried was loccitane cherie face highlight powder it had chunky gold glitters in it that fell all over your face didnt even seem like cosmetic glitter, also the pink powder underneath just came off as transparent had no highlighting sheen to it whatsoever.

  15. Avatar of Victoria Victoria

    It seems testers in a lab somewhere would figure out these don’t work! Very disappointed in MAC this year. Venomous villains was the last collection I was excited about

  16. Avatar of Kimberly Kimberly

    I could’ve guessed a few of these.

    Such a shame that half of these are from MAC. Maybe they should start concentrating on quality not quantity? Maybe they should start listening to their customers’ feedback?

  17. Marsina

    I have to respectfully disagree on the Interior Life Quad, & the Big bounce Shadows. I work for MAC & while I don’t love everything we put out, I love both of these products.
    The Interior Life Quad is the best palette I’ve used in the last few years. (disclaimer, I’ve worked for MAC for 5 1/2 years & have been also worked with all the other major lines in the last 13 1/2 years) This is what the majority of customers ask for-less shimmer, cool toned neutrals that are versatile for natural & dramatic looks. In the past week I’ve applied it to no less than 50 people & it has performed amazingly on everyone (22-68). I know shadows that run more matte are harder to swatch & apply but it’s all in the brush/application.

    I agree as cream shadows the Big Bounce failed but as bases they were amazing! Especially as a base for pigments. Any Big Bounce Shadow applied with a finger (yes, a brush is not always your best bet!) with a pigment on top is absolutely gorgeous & wears for hours!!! The only problem for me is that they were marketed wrong.

    • Hi Marsina!

      Thanks for letting us know! I, unfortunately, didn’t have the same experience when applying the quad – I wish that I did! I based all of the “worst” on my reviews/ratings, so even though you could use the Big Bounces as a base, they were supposed to be long-wearing, so that’s why they made the list for me!

  18. Avatar of Mandy bxboricua

    I was really disappointed with Butter London’s Wallis and Chanel Peridot…the colors were beautiful but the polish chipped on me so quickly! Both polishes are so expensive that I expected a better formula.

    • Hope

      One of my good friends works at a place that sells Butter London so we’ve both tried tons of their polishes. She’s tried HRH, Saucy Jack, Rosie Lee, Bluey, Wallis, and Blowing Raspberries I think. I have No More Waity Katie, Wallis, British Racing Green, Come to Bed Red, West End Wonderland, and Union Jack Black.

      I’m one of those people that used to wear Essie and OPI polishes for a week and a half without a top coat and be fine. With Butter London, you NEED a top coat. Some of the polishes last longer than others – British Racing Green and Come to Bed Red held up great. Wallis does chip, but it doesn’t chip as badly as No More Waity Katie. NMWK applied terribly and chips, the color is gorgeous but it’s kind of a troll polish because it’s so overhyped and not that great.

      The shimmer polishes like British Racing Green and HRH definitely hold up the best. As far as creams, Come to Bed Red was better than Union Jack Black. West End Wonderland is a really underrated polish, it’s gorgeous with the gold and red glitter. BUT, the last time/second time I used it the formula had kind of clumped up. Idk if that was because I had traveled or if Butter polishes just do that, but it wss really annoying.

      Basically my verdict is that you should buy Butter London for the colors and not expect noticeably better quality than Essie.

  19. Courtney

    NARS Arabian Nights was such a disappointment. Such a bummer. Returned that.

  20. Wow a lot of MAC there, but then given the number of new products MAC comes up with im not surprised. I really wish they slow down on the collections, and give us fewer but more memorable collections with interesting packaging and new products.

  21. Julia

    I think the worst part of the list (I agree with your reviews 100%) is that half of the list were MAC products. Just boggles to think how they could of fallen so quickly.

    My worst product? The MUFE HD foundation I bought this year (here in Australia, where the RRP is $75) and absolutely loathed! The only reason I haven’t given in to someone else is the shade is the closest match I’ve ever found, so it comes on my makeup shopping trips.

  22. Mac’s Big Bounce shadows were probably the biggest flop of the year for me. They didn’t work on their own at all and while they were decent as a base, I didn’t find they added much to a look. Worst of all, they began to irritate my eyes something wicked.

    I was going to try to defend “Celebrate”, but the fact is that I just got sucked in thinking it was such an awesome colour. It’s really difficult to work with.

    Overall, I’m not surprised to see Mac making so many appearances. I think that they had a really off year last year- especially compared to 2010, which I thought was really impressive. I hope they get back on stride again in 2012.

    • Celebrate is GORGEOUS! That chartreuse POPS, but yeah, it just doesn’t want to work. Do you have MAC True Chartreuse pigment? Because I find that is a lot like Celebrate while applied with mixing medium.

  23. Avatar of Karana Karana

    I notice that Mac was all the list a few times. I guess this year wasn’t their year. Maybe it’s because they decide to make more profits then to improve what they already have. :/

  24. Carrie Ann

    I haven’t tried any of the other products on this list, but I really liked the Big Bounce Shadows. I’ve applied these with my just my finger over a primer and they lasted all day w/o creasing or fading. I had absolutely no problem with the product.

    • What primer do you use? I found ways to make them work in some capacity, just not the way they were supposed to use, so they were still on the worst list!

      • Carrie Ann

        I use Too Faced Shadow Insurance. I was actually given a sample of one of the Big Bounce Shadows at my MAC counter because I was unsure about them. I liked it so much that I bought a full size one. Not sure why so many people have had problems with them. It lasts all day in the heat over my primer and didn’t even crease a little. I can see them creasing w/o any base or powder shadow on top, but putting a primer on first is automatic for me. Most shadows would crease & fade w/o it.

  25. Roo

    The worst thing I remember trying was the MAC Pro Longwear concealer. It’s actually a pretty good product but the packaging is so terrible that I wonder how that could possibly have made it through the go-to-market process. I think there were some other shockingly bad packaging choices last year but I can’t remember them. Packaging that doesn’t function should never make it to store shelves!

  26. Avatar of Dini Dini

    So sad to see MAC with so many products in the “worst” category. They make so many products we love, but seem to put out a fair number that disappoint. Can’t win ‘em all, I guess…

  27. anonima

    The Miss Piggy Pink actually did work for me (with or without a base.) I guess because im tan skinned and the pink shows up better.
    But there’s a makeup forever shade that’s almost like it and blows it out the water. I dont remember the shade number though, but its one of their lighter pink ones. I am going to get that one next when I run out of Miss Piggy. Its been my fave, btw. Pink is my fav color

  28. K

    Love that you include flops as well as the tops. Great reads and money-savers, thanks Christine!

    P.S. The image of the Miss Piggy Pink Eyeshadow incorrectly links to the Clarins Barocco review.

  29. MAC deserves to be up there.. It was so difficult keeping track of their 1001 LE launches, esp because they launch 2-3 months later in India – plus the best pieces go out of stock so soon – I really hate that – creates such mindless frenzy. MAC – This year, do less collections with better pieces & more quantity so that people can enjoy them more.

  30. malia

    Actually I cant even count how much $$ and time this site has helped me save! The Big Bounce shadows I wanted so bad until I read your review. And at that time, I was a bit obsessed with chartreuse so I ordered the green Nars pencil… I cancelled my order after I saw you posted it looking like doo doo!! I went with the I Dream of Greenie from Wet-n-Wild and was happy with it. Thank you!

  31. Avatar of Lisa Lisa

    Lol, this list made me laugh. I remember everyone of these posts!

    Happy new year to you and all your readers!

  32. Nicole C.

    It kind of makes me sad that MAC makes so many appearances on this list, especially since the Evil Eye eyeshadow and the Interior Life eyeshadow look so pretty, at least in the packaging. I actually have not tried any products on this list, and it’s good that I read it because I got a gift card to MAC for Christmas and I probably would have spent it on the Interior Life quad. So thanks for the honest reviews! Also, am I the only one that thinks that the Clarins shimmering powder looks like dog food pellets? Or Cocoa Puffs?

  33. Ali

    Hm. I have the YSL Sheer Candy in Mouthwatering Berry (awful name but I think most makeup names are awful). I adore it, and it is one of the few makeup items that appears in my purse. This stuff is super moisturizing on my perpetually chapped lips, and the colour payoff is better for me than anything else I’ve tried in terms of sheer/gloss products. Everything under the sun leaves my lips with colourful skin flakes BUT the YSL stuff. Frankly, this and the 14 Golden Gloss has totally turned me into a YSL fan.

    Interesting that my experience is so drastically different from yours. Just goes to show that everyone is built differently, I guess!

  34. Cynthia

    Oh my gosh Christine, NARS Celebrate is LAUGHABLY bad!! Hahaha

  35. Is is just me or MAC had a lot of flops this year? I skippped on a lot of the collections and when I read this I see a lot of MAC products that didný work out the way they should have.

  36. Chiara

    I slightly disagree on the Dior palette. I bought mine a couple of months ago and I’ve loved it ever since to create a quick and easy smokey eye. I have no pigmentation issues at all, nor any fallout.

  37. Leigh

    I like how MAC dominates this list. Maybe they should take that as a sign! ;D

  38. Nancy

    The MAC Big Bounce Shadows were suggested to me by a MAC SA as a shadow base because I find Paint Pots too drying and difficult to remove and look terrible on my mature eyes. The Big Bounce Shadows did work well as a thinner base that was easier to remove however I returned it because the shadow I bought had tons of micro glitter that wound up everywhere and even after washing, the glitter remained. If Mac made these again without any glitter, I would buy as a base or sheer shadow.

  39. Vickie

    Looks like MAC failed as hard for you this year as it did for me! No product on this list is undeserving of the title!

  40. You forgot Mineralized Eyeshadows, we could have made the list 60% Mac! Ah Mac, getting worse by the year. It’s all about quantity and not quality with them, I can’t even fathom how that’s still profitable.

    All that comes to mind for me (as I don’t often go out on a limb and buy things that I’m not basically SURE will be awesome) is Temptu’s defective airbrush system. I went through 3, all stopped working after being used once or twice, Sephora confirmed all as defective machines and said that these are returned CONSTANTLY for the same reason and Temptu has yet to fix the problem. Getting back in touch with Temptu is on my January to-do list, because the FORMULA in the airpods that go in their defective compressor is the best thing I’ve ever used, so they need to remodel their damn machine.

  41. Anna

    I would have to disagree with the Big Bounce eyeshadows being on the list. I adore my Trophy Big Bounce. It does wear long for me and is a great base. I had problems at first but a few MA at my MAC counter who loves using them suggested I try natural hair brushes. It worked like a charm.
    They dont crease and the colour is gorgeous especially to add a little something to neutral eyes.

    • Anna

      Oh and I use UD Eden pp underneath.
      It also doesn’t fade either unlike eyeshadows which fade a bit towards the end of the day.

    • They’re supposed to be long-wearing on their own, which is why they were such a flop. Even though you can find a way to make them workable, which is great (I too found you could use it as a base), it wasn’t how the product was marketed. That’s a big deal – since what a company says the product works is how I review and rate it.

      • Anna

        I haven’t tried them by themselves yet though because I automatically use my UD eden pp whenever I do my eyes but I’ll see if that works and let you know :)

        • Amanda

          I tried to use Trophy on it’s own and lasted about 40 minutes before it was done. It looks amazing when paired with MAC’s hush though because Hush is a semi-sheer color so the Trophy comes through and looks beautiful.

  42. Martyna

    Christine, I love that you did a “negativ top 10″, too.
    Shows you honesty and more important… shows that you are not affraid to say it out loud! Meaning… no bought reviews.

    I really appreciate that!

  43. OMG! HAlf of them are from MAC! Sad!

  44. nice

    What about Mac’s metal cream shadows wasn’t this released in 2011?

    • They weren’t as bad as these products – since MAC said they weren’t supposed to be long-wearing. This list is primarily based on overall rating :)

  45. Hahaha I got suck a kick re-reading all the reviews. Thumbs up for the honesty Christine! I hope companies would think twice before launching a product that is a total disaster. Consumers want more!

  46. Honeybumblebee

    Wow, most of it is MAC. That should send a big message to them. I have lost almost complete interest in MAC because of so many bad products. I hope they can hear this and turn it around. Don’t be so fast to push inferior products. If they have to wait and showcase less but with the ONCE high standard of MAC then wait of goodness sake.

  47. Avatar of Amy Amy

    I actually quite liked the Big Bounce shadows!

  48. heidi

    I did not buy any of this stuff thanks to you christine because I knew they would be disappointments. This is also why I do not buy limited edition products. 1 because I want to be able to get more when I run out. I never use LE for fear of running out. And 2 because the quality is just not always there. That being said Surf baby was pretty great.

  49. Nadia

    At least MAC is a winner in something even if it involves stealing the top spot in a list of worst beauty products lol.

  50. Violet

    I find it hilarious that MAC products are taking up half the list.

  51. jen

    Funny how the majority of the list is MAC products. They should focus on quality instead of quantity of collections they put out. I’ve also noticed their collections don’t sell out like they used to…hopefully they are taking note that their customers expect more from them! Thanks for all the great review last year – such a huge help in picking out new products that hit the beauty shelves!

  52. sophie

    Not surprised to see all the Mac products here, they’ve had such a bad year :( Mac used to be my absolute go-to brand for EVERYTHING, but recently I can’t get excited over any of the collections – I don’t have the money to buy things that turn out to be crappy quality! Illamasqua have definitely taken over as my HG brand – they remind me of what Mac used to be. I really hope they step their game up in 2012.

  53. I’m so glad you tell us about what does or doesn’t work for you. It really does help me decide whether or not I want to try it. I totally skipped the big bounce shadows because of your review. I figured with my oily lids they’d never last!

  54. Karla

    I was excited when the big bounce eyeshadows were going to be released but was soooo quickly disappointed. Horrible product. Even the MA @ the counter said that everyone was returning them. Too bad, because the colors looked gorgeous in the pots. I returned the MAC and bought the beautiful Illusion D’ombre in 3 shades.

  55. Lindsay

    Aw, I love the YSL sheer candies. I bought the more pigmented colors though, I would have never bought the ultra sheer one. I think maybe you should give one of the pigmented colors another chance. Then again, I am a person who hates the slick-stickiness of lip gloss and the thick look of lipstick, so this is absolutely perfect for me.

    And it is a huge shame MAC made 5/10. They should take note.

    • Hi Lindsay,

      I’ve tried four of the shades from the range – they were so terribly drying. After testing each shade, I’d have to do major HEALING of my lips, so no thank you – I think four is more than adequate to say these are awful and I can’t recommend them based on my experience. I’m glad they work for you, but it’s the *formula* that I have issues with, not just pigmentation.

  56. T

    I’m shocked that the YSL sheer candy made it on the list. I have 3 of them and I’m addicted. I’m going to chalk it up to the shade you reviewed. I love my Dewey papaya, cherry, and pomegranate. I would suggest trying another shade before completely writing them off.

  57. Knowing what to avoid is JUST as valuable as knowing what to purchase. Thanks for this list Christine!

  58. Becca

    it’s sad because half of the products are from MAC…

  59. lauraaaa

    lmao, just seeing the pics i was like D:

  60. jasmine

    MAC has been disappointing lately.. walked into a store willing to blow some money and walked out with nothing.

  61. Adelita

    I had high expectation of M·A·C in 2011 as they started the year with a great collection. Do you remember Peacocky with its Mega Metal Shadow and Kissable Lipcolour? Hollaaaaa!!! I can only remember 6 collections from last year: Peacocky, Wonder Woman, Blogger Obsession, Surf Baby, Posh Paradise (which I was madly in love with its Mattenes but I skip the rest of the collections) & Quite Cute (which more like quite bad I think since I only like Candy Yum Yum lipstick), but other than that… I lost track. Most M·A·C collections aren’t memorable last year. They just launched too many collection (and sadly it leads to too many fails).

    PS: Oh my goodness Christine, the NARS Celebrate Soft Touch Shadow Pencil are the epitome of worst beauty product! *lol*

  62. Avatar of Michelle Michelle

    What surprises me is that none of these are drugstore products!

  63. Wow! There were a lot of MAC duds. I didn’t like the Big Bounce Shadows. I bought one and didn’t like it much. It was too messy for my liking.

  64. Avatar of Veronica Veronica

    There is a disturbing amount of MAC on that list. Someone at PR should make note.

    The YSL candies don’t surprise me. I checked them out while at Sephora the other day, and I honestly couldnt’ figure them out.

    The worst product I probably picked up this year was a beige Revlon satin finish, which I had hoped to use as a cheap brow highlighter. Usually their satin finishes are pretty darn good for their price, but this one was fallout hell. Oh well, at least it only put me out $7. :P

  65. Amanda

    One thing I didn’t like that I purchased this year was the MAC Surf Baby stackable pigment set “Surf The Ocean”. I Love the side with the silver and the aqua/seaformy pigments. However the Gold in the other set of 2 was VERY heavy on the eye lid due to it’s newish formula. Also weird application with that one. And it’s too bad because the blacked Navy it came with is a beautiful color and the 2 would’ve really complemented each other if the Gold wasn’t terribly odd.

  66. Avatar of Melissa divinem (Melissa)

    MAC had some major fails this year. I don’t remember a year I’ve ever been this disinterested in MAC. Bummer.

  67. Avatar of Dominique Dominique

    I don’t like YSL make-up, I have just one eye palette and a lipstick but I never use them. Lipsticks from YSL are very bad, it’s no wonder you put this one on your list. I really thought Interio Life Quad was ok but I didn’t purchase it. I did try ( and still have ) 2 Big Bounce Shadows, well the texture is really liquid and bad, I used them twice so far I remember. Many M.A.C products on your list, they did so well with other products as the Liquid Powder or simply their usual lipsticks so what a pity ! The spring collections are all pretty, 2012 is another story for make-up products !

  68. Helene

    Hi !:)
    Can you have a video about YSL Candy face?
    I would love to se swatches:)

  69. Delicately Realistic

    I absolutely love love love MAC s big bounce shadows !

    They work so well On me without a primer even, and a sheer layer lasts for hours with NO creasing

    I’ve got tons of compliments on it & I’m so upset it’s not available anymore