Saturday, January 4th, 2014

Temptalia Asks You


What are the best, worst, and craziest gimmicky makeup products/tools you’ve tried? Share!
Temptalia's AnswerOne that I can recall that I did like were the MAC Masterclass Brushes – they weren’t perfect, but I really liked the larger Oval brush for certain applications. One of the worst was Benefit’s Fine One One. Can’t think of one for craziest!

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52 thoughts on “What are the best, worst, and craziest gimmicky makeup products/tools you’ve tried?

  1. .. I really don’t think I know what I would consider best… I can’t choose. For worst, though, one of them would be Milani Infinite Liquid Liners. Just… too goopy.
    Rikki Recently Posted: Urban Decay NAKED3 Makeup Tutorial | closed captioned

  2. Is it weird that I consider Beauty Blender to be a gimmicky product? I mean, it’s just a very expensive sponge, which I love btw. Also, those blotting sheets infused with blush and hilighter, not bad in a pinch. Have Too Faced better than false lashes mascara. Haven’t tried it yet, but the reviews are pretty terrible, so no high hopes for that one.

    • Avatar of Leah Leah

      For what it’s worth, I LOVE that mascara! I haven’t looked up any reviews for it – I can’t imagine what people could complain about unless they’re doing a poor job applying it!

  3. breyerchic04

    That pink Benefit primer is pretty crazy gimmicky. Also sheet masks with some product listed like Caviar or platinum.

  4. Julie

    I actually really disliked the Beauty Blender. I tried it for a whole week, hoping I would like it. I tried it dry, damp, etc. Nope. Back to a stippling brush. :)

  5. I’ve actually been quite lucky in avoiding most really gimmicky stuff, usually because we either don’t get the stuff here or it’s so expensive that you can’t really justify taking the risk!

    On the other hand, I’ve probably tried lots of products with gimmicky *claims* – I think I tried some of those silly ‘pore refining’ peel-off nose strip things back when they first became a thing in my corner of the world (probably like 15 years ago!). Naturally, they did absolutely nothing, although they were kind of fun to use… :-P

  6. Janelle

    I got those rub on eyeshadows. Kind of fun I had a lepoard print! But expensive, gimmicky and hard to use too!

  7. CeeBee

    Worst: Powders that need grinding (why?!) or any eyeshadows with those little pop out bullet sponge applicator thingies – always so messy and not necessarily a better way of applying product.

    Craziest/worst: Any liquid/cream product with a brush applicator attached – so unsanitary (and I’m NOT a germ phobic but how are you suppose to ever clean them?) and those clicky pen applicators are horrible, nothing, nothing, nothing, wait forever, oh too much! And usually incredibly expensive for tiny, tiny amounts. NO THANK YOU.

    Best: Some of Anna Sui’s stuff is really gimmicky but I love the lilac loose face powder in the huge, stupidly impractical ornate claw foot tub with the giant purple fluffy powder puff.

    • Avatar of Laura Laura_Lou

      Got to agree about powder products you har to grind yourself. I really fail to see the point in those at all.

      • Christina

        And why are they so expensive? I noticed that blushes, powders and eyeshadows with this feature are about 10 to 12 dollars more than the regular item of the same brand (NYX grinding blush for one -$24.99). So you want me to do more work AND charge me more money and I all get the same result?? Hmmm….
        I think I’ll pass lol. Unless I’m missing some benefit from the grinding?

  8. Jessi

    I love those Masterclass brushes, too, especially the large oval. It applies my foundation (MAC Matchmaster) better than any other brush I own. They DO look like funky toothbrushes or shoe shine brushes.

    To me, the craziest beauty tool is still the eyelash curler. Those things look like medieval torture devices and I’ve yet to really get a noticeable curl out of one either (probably because I’m too freaked out to really crimp them in there).

    • Avatar of kate Kate

      I could not do without my eyelash curlers, lol! My eyelashes are so fine and straight that there is no point applying mascara unless my lashes are curled first as you just wouldn’t see them! They certainly have a learning curve but I have used them for decades and wouldn’t be without them. You also need to be selective with the mascara you use after curling too otherwise they’ll just be straight again. I wouldn’t bother though if your lashes naturally have a little curl. Definitely my favourite gimmicky product (in case you hadn’t noticed!)

    • I have completely straight eyelashes (asian genes) and I would have NO eyelashes without the curler – mascara looks really weird when it goes straight forward and not up and out). I had been using it wrong for a good 5 years, until I tried a new angle and technique (crimp from base, crimp close to base, then crimp mid-shaft). If you have even the slightest curl, you can try different techniques with mascaras (the wiggle, the slow up-and-hold) to get yours to fan up and out more.

  9. stacey

    Nyx eyeshadow pencil in Milk. Yes yes, I know it is some bloggers favorite. Yes yes, I know it is accentuate the color and makes it brighter. And for me to buy from Nyx is a stretch. I refuse to buy Made in China’s stuff. This was made in Taiwan…so I gave it a try. Yes yes, I know the eyeshadow does appear nicer…..But the texture is tacky….sticky…gooey…and you have to get its special sharpener. So I did what some of these bloggers did. I heated the darn thing….unscrewed the back of the end and push it out into one of those Nordstrom sample jars. I got the whole thing in the jar. Then I got a glob of the remainder on my fingers. It took forever to remove the leftovers. It was like sticky tacky paint…and even water base paint is easier to remove. I felt that if this was going onto my eye area whether in a pencil format or with a brush….it was going to tug at my delicate eye area. I wear eyecream almost everynight and sometime even during the day if I have no makeup on…and been doing it since I was 17. There was no no no way that I was going to pull on my eye area. I dont even wear contacts for that reason along. I dont pull my lower part of my eye tissue just to place eyeliner. I rarely use eyeliner. No, I no longer have the edgy look. I dont want to have the baggy eye look like Duchess of Cambridge (Kate).
    So yes, I like the concept of Nyx’s Milk, but there is no no no way that I am going to use it again. I search high and low for it too when of all places Sears didnt have it. I dont like to buy makeup online. Yes yes….OCD and old at the same time. :)

  10. soren

    Makeup in my country is really expensive so I cant really afford to buy a product unless I know for sure that it has great reviews and works well so luckily I dont have any ‘worst product’ stories or experiences. But my favorite ‘gimmicky’ product is probably the See by Chloe paint-a-scent perfume. applying perfume with a little brush instead of spritzing it on atomizer-style is just such a nice experience.

  11. Avatar of Joyfriend Joy

    At first I thought Sigma’s textured brush cleaning glove was just a gimmick, but using it in combination with a solid brush cleanser has cut my deep cleaning time in half! Now if someone wise would add that kind of texture to the cap of the solid brush cleanser jars, they’d have a hit product!

    • MizLottie

      I was on vacay the last couple of weeks and was all over YouTube and saw videos re substitutes for the Sigma glove. One was a silicone potholder glove you can buy at Bed, Bath & Beyond (use that 20% discount certificate!) for about $9.00. It’s textured like the Sigma glove and WAY cheaper.

      • Christina

        They also have a dupe for the sigma glove at target in the pet department. I believe it’s either for brushing or washing your dog. Looks almost identical. It’s purple and gray and it’s about $8. Can’t remember what it was called though.

  12. The closest thing I have to any of these descriptors is probably the Boscia Konjac sponge but despite its odd looks (my husband asked me why there was a “boob” hanging in the washroom) and the fact that it takes DAYS to dry, it is a really terrific cleansing tool.

  13. laura soto

    Benefit “Fine One One” seemed pretty gimmicky to me.

  14. I really don’t get sucked into gimmicks, but one that I received as a gift was color changing nail polish. It wasn’t something I was interested in to begin with, but it didn’t work regardless.

  15. Bonnie

    The ones I got were from Revlon, but I had seen them from a few other companies as well… it was a product for making little tiny “dew drop” sort of things that stuck to your eye lashes. They were calling them Lash Jewels, I think. The effect was nice, but time consuming to get right, and the little drops didn’t dry or anything, they were just little drops of goo that stuck to the ends of your eye lashes. I liked the concept, but it was an odd cosmetic product.

  16. As beautiful as they are, I’m still not convinced about Stila’s Magnificent Metals shadow. I either get glitter in my eyes or it creases.

    I’ve also not gotten great results with the Too Faced False Fibers mascara. I have a heated lash curler from Sephora that I’m not convinced gets me any results.

    Also, any tingling lip plumpers. Maybe it’s because my lips are already pretty plump, but I think that’s a psychological thing to make you think you’re lips are actually plumping up!

    • I have a novel on the Stila shadows that’s still waiting to be published, because I’m still trying to see if there’s a way to make them work…

      • Christina

        Can’t wait for your book on the stila shadows lol. They look so beautiful but I have heard so many mixed reviews. Waiting to hear what you think :)

  17. The Maybelline Dream Bouncy Blushes definitely rank for worst.

    • breyerchic04

      I keep one of those in my car so that if I need a quick blush I can use it with no applicator, just rub it on my cheek lightly and blend if needed.

  18. I havn’t tried it, but the most obviously gimmicky product that springs to mind is the Loreal One Sweep Eyeshadow.
    The small palette comes with a special curved brush that is supposed to add all colors to the lid, crease and brow bone in one sweep. It does NOT work and I can’t believe how it ever reached the shelves.. O_O

    ( See this video review by Emily Noel: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rewwN1YjIns )

  19. The L’Oreal One Sweep eyeshadow palettes. I don’t know who thought it was a great idea, or who bought enough to keep them around and have the company make them in more colors. It was a mediocre shadow trio on its own, so usable, but the gimmick was this crazy large foam applicator + the configuration of the pan was supposed to make it so all you had to do was swipe once and have an entire dimensional eyeshadow look.

    Crazy thing was, it actually kind of worked? But I found it impossible to make my eyes match each other just using the applicator. And if I have to haul out brushes for the pan, why am I using the gimmick in the first place.

    Dustin Hunter did a great video review of this. I think he had to get drunk, first.

    • I’d never heard of that one, so I just googled it. I think you win for craziest gimmick! Those are insane! I can see the appeal of them… it’s like cartoon makeup, where you go from plain to full-face in one swipe with one brush.

      • Yeah, it was pretty nuts. I got mine free through BzzAgent, so that’s how I tried it. No way I would’ve spent money on that thing, haha.

  20. Avatar of Daniel Daniel

    Worst: Benefit’s Stay Flawless Primer!! It is too soft and breaks when I applied it… AND GAVE ME A SKIN REACTION THAT LASTED FOR A WHOLE WEEK!! :( :( :( My (usually oily) skin got all red and peeled off!
    Best: Too Faced’s Better than False Lashes Mascara. Wispy, long lashes :D I like it!
    Craziest: Violent Eyes’/Lips’ eye/lip decals… WHAT!?!?!?!

  21. Avatar of Phoebe Phoebe

    You know those eyeliner stickers? I tried one (it came in my Birchbox). It is just as terrible as you’d think it’d be.

  22. Best would probably be my Clinique bottom lash mascara which I use every day and couldn’t live without! Worst is definitely the mua fuzzy nails powder which gives a furry effect which ended up looking like i’d dipped my fingers in mould, terrible idea!
    Gemma Recently Posted: Wish List #7

  23. Zainab

    The most gimmicky thing I’ve tried was the Urban Decay BOS IV with the speaker and smartphone barcode things. It worked but was just pointless, and having the speaker made the palette ridiculously big. Why not just upload the videos to YouTube and just make them part of the advertising?

    Another gimmick I don’t get is pencil lip glosses you have to sharpen. It just seems like I’ll have to waste product for no real reason- why not make them twist up or just shape them like regular lipsticks. They’re not any more precise or convenient.

  24. I’m not sure about the craziest or the best – but I have a winner for the worst gimmick! The black Urban Decay eyelash curler, with the “revolutionary” design. It was impossible for me to use without injury, and I had a bruised lash-line for two weeks after trying it.

  25. smfrances

    That really expensive (about 70$ I think) mud mask that is supposed to enable you to see the gunk being pulled out of your pores. What a rip off.

  26. Avatar of Dorottya doroffee

    Some cheap “color-changing lipstick”… it was supposed to be a different color on every person, but it was just a pink that got brighter with warmth. I also got to know that it’s not a good idea to throw this on in the morning thinking “oh, a nice natural pink”, because it can turn crazy magenta by the end of the day…

  27. Avatar of Samantha Samantha

    Best- MAC Magically Cooling Liquid Powder in Truth and Light. That entire line had a ridiculous gimmicky hype to it that bordered on me thinking the whole line might be useless. However, this powder is the only one ever that has ever been hydrating to my fair, dry skin (I have a little stash from the permanent collection, and would like a bigger one).

    Worst- MUFE Technicolor palette. It is without a doubt the worst palette I have ever had. The hype was only there to sell an inferior product. In the pan it was nice, but there was not one redeemable shade in the set. I was disappointed to put it lightly.

    Craziest- I have to go back to my former years for this one. Sparkle brushes. I had several! They made me smile, and I have no idea why. Glitter on my face, check. Glitter on my décolletage, check. Makeup all over my bedroom, check. Craziness for no reason. They smelled just like stale candy.

  28. Most of the products by Benefit scream gimmick, but some of them work out well, obviously.

    I think the most gimmicky products are any that claim to “smart match your skin.” This isn’t possible! It just oxidizes once it’s out of the packaging….right??

  29. Jojo

    Worst – Too Faced False Fibers mascara. Maybe it gives some people long lashes, but it also gives my eyeball a little extra fiber bits. It makes my eyes very watery. Not impressed.

    Best – Fan brush for mascara application. I have one for myself and one for my kit. It helps me to apply mascara on myself even on my short stubborn lashes. It preserves my kit mascara and save me money from restocking those disposable wands.

    Craziest – spring hair remover – it’s an crazy idea, so simple but it works. And its cheap too.

  30. I thought the beauty blender was a HUGE gimmick (and I still hate spending that much on a sponge), but it applies foundation so naturally & doesn’t exfoliate my super dry skin like so many brushes do.

    Almost every glitter cream product I’ve tried has been horrible! They look pretty, if you don’t touch the product, but once you try to apply you get a gross creasy mess. Applying glitter other ways is so worth the extra effort.

  31. Avatar of Jerrilyn Jan

    Torn between passing and answering this one as mine lean more to trends than specific products or tools. But I do have strong opinions on it so here goes.

    WORST – (more bad than good this year)
    1) Lipsticks with an overall strong blue undertone – subjective, I know – HOWEVER, there is a point at which the blue cast makes one look a little scary, particularly in photography/videos. Kind of like foundations with SPF. Most brands have at least one – a couple of brands have several (including MAC).

    2) Nude lipsticks that are more white than nude – again, subjective. Not many can pull this off, and hats-off to those that can. I would look like someone sprinkled flour on my lips. I rarely see this on the street or at parties but it is rampant on YouTube

    3) Mascaras with motorized action: Cool and fun on the one hand, but I’ve never known one that actually works better than my favorite regular mascara. And they also tend to break (or lose their battery power), so what was the point?

    GOOD
    Crème-to-powder blushes. I particularly like Chanel’s but then again, I haven’t tried many of the other brands.

    CRAZIEST
    Crystals and other items around the eye. With my luck – one would fall in my eye. When done properly, these can look gorgeous – particularly for stage performance. It is – by design – meant to be showy. It can create a crazy good but it scares me to put anything so large near my eye.

  32. Deb

    Worst: too many to list but right at the top, Dior’s heated eyelash curler. Huge waste of money.

    Best: Touch Face Auto Makeup Device. Brilliant. So good it saved me from throwing away tons of liquid/cream makeup that I could never get to apply properly. Also, the Wet Brush.

  33. Avatar of Susan Susan Dowman Nevling

    Although some are of very high quality, I find mixed and swirled colors in one compact gimmicky and annoying. It’s impossible to tell what the actual color is. I feel the same about the Guerlain Meteorites. Was so happy to see them reviewed last week (?) so I understood what the results were. Wanted to try them for years.
    Some of my favorite products are Dior Black out mascara and Clinique’s lower lash mascara.
    I dislike the packaging in many of Benefits products. Specifically the creme products in a group in a cardboard container. They become hard and unusable in a very short time.
    Another pet peeve is very short applicators on tube lip glosses. Difficult to apply. Prefer rabbits foot applicator.

  34. BEST: Guerlain Meteorites Perles. I love their subtle, yet awesome effect. I used to think they were just an expensive gimmicky product, but IMO they’re worth the splurge.

    WORST: L’Oreal one-sweep eyeshadow trios. Just stupid. Same goes for any product claiming to do similar things (say: highlight, blush and contour in one sweep!… Gimme a break!). Also hate any “smart” product that claims to adjust to your skin tone, like Smashbox O-Glow Intuitive Blush.

    CRAZIEST: Givenchy Phenomen’Eyes Mascara. I have crappy, straight, downward, stubborn lashes. This applicator did make a difference! Sadly, I also poked my eyes even more than usual… (I tend to poke my eyes with mascara wands quite often *shame*, but this applicator made it particularly painful). I haven’t repurchased, but I absolutely intend to. I love the results, I just need to polish my skills applying this mascara.