10 Most Disappointing Beauty Products of 2013

Not everything released in the past year was impressive, and some products were downright disappointing! When I worked on compiling this list, I thought about cringe-worthy products; ones that I can’t wrap my head around at all. These are products that truly disappointed me with their performance and quality. Β Every single brand mentioned below has products I love but not every product can be a winner.

What were the most disappointing beauty products you tried this past year?


Comments that do not adhere to our comment policy may be removed. Discussion and debate are highly encouraged but we expect community members to participate respectfully. Please keep discussion on-topic, and if you have general feedback, a product review request, an off-topic question, or need technical support, please contact us!

Please help us streamline the comments' section and be more efficient: double-check the post above for more basic information like pricing, availability, and so on to make sure your question wasn't answered already. Comments alerting us to typos or small errors in the post are appreciated (!) but will typically be removed after errors are fixed (unless a response is needed).

We appreciate enthusiasm for new releases but ask readers to please hold questions regarding if/when a review will be posted as we can't commit to or guarantee product reviews. We don't want to set expectations and then disappoint readers as even products that are swatched don't always end up being reviewed due to time constraints and changes in priorities! Thank you for understanding!

Comments on this post are closed.
Rikki Avatar

I have the Benefit thing mentioned here and I didn’t care for it either. I still need to play with it some more since I’ve only used it once, but eh. I also didn’t like the Shu Uemura holiday palette, the pink one. Which is a shame because it’s gorgeous for but 70 dollars, you better not be creasing on me! L’oreal Lineur Intense liquid liner was also a fail for me.

Carrie Avatar

I like the Veluxe Pearlfusion Eyeshadow Palettes. The colors are subtle and pretty, and with primer they last just as long on me as any other eye shadow. Did MAC ever claim that these were super pigmented? I think they’re meant for people who like their eye shadow on the sheer side, like I do. Anyway, I think these palettes are lovely.

Christine Avatar

You can read their official description here: http://www.temptalia.com/mac-veluxe-pearlfusion-shadow-collection-for-summer-2013

But basically: super saturated color if applied wet, sheer if applied dry. It wasn’t just pigmentation that I had issues with, though, from my experience. Which ones do you have? Some were better than others, with Pastelluxe being the worst (to me).

Carrie Avatar

I have 2X Dare, Pastelluxe and Pinkluxe. I think they’re really pretty and they last all day for me over a primer. I don’t have any issues with fallout, either. I suppose it’s a product that’s not for everyone, but I personally like these palettes and haven’t had any problems with them.

PJ Avatar

Luckily, I read your reviews and avoided the above products. However, I was disappointed with my purchases of Laura Mercier Nouveau (star– too sheer, not buildable) and Spellbound illuminator (meh!) this year. Also, one of my fave brands, Bobbi Brown, did nothing to thrill me this year, except for the elusive bronze long wear cream shadow stick, which is divine!

Christine Avatar

I’ve been, in general, disappointed with some of Bobbi Brown’s offerings lately πŸ™ There is something a bit uninspired about some of the collections (and yes, I know, Bobbi Brown is all about nude and soft and natural, but it’s not the theme so much as the products themselves or campaign imagery).

Amy Avatar

Still love Fine One One and have none of these issues with it πŸ™‚ On me, it blends beautifully, lasts forever, and works well as a lip product. Probably one of my favorite products of the year.

Christine Avatar

Hi Rachel,

Editor’s and Readers’ Choice Awards will be in January – the year has to close before we start taking nominations or finalizing winners (on my end) (for any last minute releases, as there were several this year!). πŸ™‚ Editor’s Choice Awards will be sometime after the first week of January or so! We’ll open nominations for the Readers’ Choice Awards in the first week of January (want to make sure everyone’s back from vacations and the holidays before we kick it off). Thanks!

alyssa897 Avatar

My most disappointing product of the year is probably Urban Decay Primer Potion. I know it wasn’t released this year, but I just tried it this year. I don’t know how it’s a go to eye primer. Maybe because it’s pretty accessible and known? It not only creased on me, but clumped up on my lids and it looks really gross.. It didn’t increase wear time, in fact I think it decreased wear time if you can believe that. I think it’s great that it’s able to work for some people, but for me it was the biggest disappointing product I tried this year. Luckily I found the Lorac Behind the Scene eye primer and it’s amazing!

erin Avatar

I had the exact same happen to me with the stuff. I also must have gotten one with a bum doe-foot applicator, because it would scratch my eyelid. I really, really hated the color and considered it garish. I did, however, love the packaging.

Kerry Avatar

I really think you might have received a bum batch of the Laura Mercier Longwear Creme Pencils. I adore mine! I’ve had trichotillimania for most of my life, so eyeliner is the one thing I won’t even walk to my mailbox without. I’ve tried them all, and right now, the Longwear Creme Pencils are my favorite because they’re pigmented, they don’t budge, and they last all day. The ones I have are all soft and glide-y – though admittedly, some more than others. The Olive, Espresso, and Noir pencils have the best textures, but I get great performance out of all of them.

Audrey Avatar

1. Hourglass Ethereal Light Ambient Lighting Powder. I have Mood Light and love it. Ethereal light barely came out of the pan for me, looked SUPER chalky on my skin and cast this weird white look all over my face, no matter how much/little I used. I returned it ASAP. $45 is a lot to spend if it’s just going to sit in my drawer forever unused.

2. Chanel Bagatelle glossimer. It was SO sticky. The stickiest lipgloss I’ve ever used. On top of that, zero product comes out on the applicator so it takes forever to make it look nice on the lips.

3. Burt’s Bees Lip Gloss (the one in a solid plastic tube with a doe-foot applicator, not the squeeze tube ones). The colors are nice, but they’re very gritty and, the biggest problem is that hardly any product comes out. It’s worse than the Chanel Bagatelle in that aspect because hardly anything at all comes out and it takes minutes to make it look nice.

There’s probably more, but these are my most recent disappointments.

Alia Avatar

Completely agree the UD lipsticks are awful! They apply unwvenly are so heavy and never dry down meaning lipstick all over my teeth and then it is worn off after an hour. ..

Lisa C Avatar

I couldn’t agree more! For awhile, I was beginning to wonder if I was the only one who didn’t care for them. IMO they are just awful, very drying and bleed all the time. Glad I’m not the only one!

Samantha Avatar

Ugh. I would definitely agree with you about Fine One One being one of the worst products of the year. After I watched a Birchbox & Benefit how-to video I thought it looked like a great two in one product.. so much so that I paid for it three months before it was released online. When it finally got here I was so disappointed. The highlight section isn’t large enough, and the colors together on the cheek just look juvenile. Also I have really dry lips, and this product just made all of the cracks and dryness look worse, instead of doing what a good lip color or lip moisturizer should do and sort-of blanket your lips. I thought it was a great idea with really beautiful packaging, the product itself just fell really flat, unfortunately.

Coco Avatar

Benefit’s The Fine One is… crap. :/ Can I say that here? Crappy then. I just don’t understand how it got released or became so hyped. It’s so gimmicky and bad, in my opinion at least.

Xero Avatar

I guess these products are pretty old, since I bought them on clearance this year, but the Revlon powder blushes. I got Softspoken Pink and Wine With Everything for $2 each. They were sheer and looked much warmer on my face than they did on the pan. They also had mediocre staying power, even compared to my other drugstore blushes. I don’t regret buying them at $2 each, but I would have been upset if I had bought them at the regular price of $10. Not worth it at all.

Anne Avatar

Thanks to you, I don’t think I’ve had any true disappointment. In fact, I’ve been happy with all of my purchases, and more often than note, frankly thrilled.
However, I bought a MAC 217 brush, and while I like it, I find it hard to wash: it has a lot more split hair than I’d like, and I have to be extra-careful while I wash it and while it dries so it doesn’t get out of shape. It’s still a very good brush -though I was so floored with the quality the first time I tried it! It’s as though it lost its sheer awesomeness after the first wash, which is mildly disappointing-, but it’s irritating. It’s the only brush I have that has this problem.
I also got the Chanel SΓ©duction quad earlier this year (for a bargain on ebay), and while it’s a very solid palette, the colours somehow don’t suit me. I still have to resell it.
That’s the worst I have as far as disappointments go, which isn’t bad at all!

virginia Avatar

So interesting that the Mystere palette made your top 10 worst as it is one of my favorite products of the year! I didn’t have the same powdery issues that you had. Wonder if the batch makes any difference.

Rebekah Avatar

I was surprised to see this too, as mine is definitely one of my fav purchases of the year…buttery and very pigmented! That being said, my sister and I live in different parts of the country and have had this experience also. One of us will get a product that’s amazing and love it and the other will purchase that same product only to find it’s quality subpar and disappointing…I don’t know if our locales have anything to do with it…but just a thought :).
On a different note, Christine I love reading these lists (and your whole blog) so much!! Thank you for posting them and for all the work you do to keep us informed and up to date…you rock girl, and you’re beautiful!! Wishing you a wonderful New Year filled with awesome experiences and great memories!

Melissa Avatar

I just wanted to say thank you for all your reviews I read daily but never have time to comment with a 16 month old son. My biggest fail was the Cle De Peau winter garden bouquet I love all cream pencils and have a good variety Laura Mercier, By Terry, Chanel and none ever crease these ones I couldn’t get the color to go on smooth no matter what I tried and they have great products, but these creased after 10 minutes then disappeared within 30 minutes. For $95.00 I returned them. Have a great new year.

Christine Avatar

I didn’t try those, but I was tempted to! Doesn’t sound like they were a good formula πŸ™ Especially if you don’t usually have issues with creasing!

Thank you so much for commenting, Melissa πŸ™‚ Happy new year to you and your family!

Liz Avatar

The 2 most disappointing products for me are Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation Mineral Powder Foundation and Laura Mercier Cake Liner. I love the liquid Skin foundation, but the powder is terrible. I also really hated Laura Mercier Cake Liner. It was a horrible mess on me and a really big disappointment.

Wwendalynne Avatar

Count me in as someone who loves that hot mess Chanel Mystere and again recently totally suckered into another powdery abomination called Quadrille. Sad to say, but I’m getting pretty good at dealing: wet base, gingerly pat on colour, no sudden movements and ah hell don’t try and blend too much. Both of these quads are really gorgeous on hazel eyes.

Worst purchase this year: Stila CC cream–the shade to combat redness. pathetic.

Mariella Avatar

I thought I posted a reply to this question but I must have forgot to hit “post comment”. Anyway, I wanted to say that I haven’t had any disappointing products this year and that is entirely down to this forum and your work, Christine. Thanks to what I’ve read here, I’ve managed to avoid wasting my money on things that are of poor quality.

Jennifer Avatar

The Technicolor palette was the most disappointing thing I bought all year!! I bought it for the green and the lavender and they were the worst colors out of the whole palette, which honestly wasn’t saying much. They were SO chalky and wouldn’t blend at all. It went right back to the store!

mary Avatar

Urban Decay 24/7 Eyeliner in Uzi. I really thought this might be *the* one. It wasn’t. In less than an hour it had smudged on my upper lids. So, so, SO bummed, since the color was excellent. However, part of the fun is the hunt…so the hunt is on again.

Michelle Avatar

I’m so glad you mentioned the Laura Mercier longwear creme eye pencil! I’m a massive fan of LM and adore her caviar eye stick (hich I use as an eyeliner with a thin flat angled brush); I was so thrilled she was releasing a longwear eyeliner in pencil form. And the few reviews that were out didn’t criticise the pencil, so I snatched up two when they came out. Amd I have just been utterly disappointed! It’s impossible to draw a precise thin line with these! And yours is the first true review of the product! So, thank you for this (and all your other amazing posts, which I cannot live without)! Happy new year, Christine!

Sylirael Avatar

I was crushed when I saw how terribly that Chanel blue eyeliner turned out to perform. It’s exactly the sort of thing I go for (or fantasize over, anyway!)

I’ve been pretty lucky this year – only one dud lipstick! (The Balm Balm Girls in Ima Goodkisser)

BeckBeck Avatar

I love that you made this post – it’s great to see some real constructive criticism in the beauty blog world. The thought that goes into your reviews, whether they end up positive or negative, is what keeps me coming back when I need to prune my online shopping carts πŸ™‚

Steffy Avatar

Totally agree! I also love the user friendly layout of everything. Thank you for all your hard work giving us the unbiased truth. I used to only associate your site with MAC, but I see so much more than ever, organized so nicely and easily to use anywhere, and its wonderful! I don’t shop anything without coming here πŸ™‚ saving me a ton last year researching before engaging in the usually later regretted impulse buy or latest MUST HAVE trend item πŸ˜‰
I guess as I age trends mean less, and findng a style Or style that works for YOU is key. Easier said than done, but that’s what the interwebs are for right!? :p

BaddieeV Avatar

Definitely the Revlon color stay foundation for combination/oily skin. It broke me out so bad and clogged my pores. definitely another overhyped product.

erin Avatar

I believe the name of it was (Mac’s) Stroke of Midnight makeup palette in cool shades. It’s from this past Christmas. The eyeshadows were murky with no vibrance, and all the other stuff in it was pretty ho-hum. The compact it came in was bulky and cheap.. Returned it for my $49.

Jan Avatar

Chanel overall was a hit or miss this year. Besides their usual formulas being a hit or miss, some of the products ran too orange.

I usually like Revlon lip products but there was one in the summer line that was drying and stinging, even though the color was incredible. I had to toss it.

We try to approve comments within 24 hours (and reply to them within 72 hours) but can sometimes get behind and appreciate your patience! πŸ™‚ If you have general feedback, product review requests, off-topic questions, or need technical support, please contact us directly. Thank you for your patience!