10 Most Disappointing Products of 2015

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I totally hated the Lancome Audacity in Paris palette. It was about $68 and looked gorgeous, but ended up weak and chalky; returned, and heartbroken.

It makes me so disappointed when very expensive products perform poorly. I still expect budget items to perform at least decently, but it feels like an insult when a luxury item performs worse than something you get for two bucks. It feels like the company doesn’t even care about its customers, who spend often up to hundreds of dollars on their products. I also find a lot of people who buy luxury items have more brand loyalty (in my own experience), which makes it worse for me to see a company release products like these.

I agree with you on the Hourglass Modernist shadows, Christine. They were a hot mess, sadly 🙁 My biggest disappointment of 2015 would probably be Charlotte Tilbury Bitch Perfect lipstick. It’s not a terrible product; I just had such high hopes for it and it’s really quite ordinary.

Kind of surprised the MUG Sparklers didn’t make this list, lol!

Looking back on the disappointing products is kind of fun. I forgot how terrible those Hourglass palettes were! Though I heard the Ulta brand is selling a set of 3 palettes that are identical to the Hourglass ones, just obviously in cheaper packaging. I could see spending $20 for 3 with that kind of payoff, but certainly not almost $60 a pop!

The Ulta hourglass dupes got terrible reviews, too! Someone posted a theory about how using 1 base for all the different colors adversely affects the pigmentation and texture, and I think they may be right about that.

I have to agree on those Tom ford eye and cheek colors! I bought two right upon release. Thankfully, I was able to return them. Gosh, what a shocking disappointment.

I was disappointed by UD’s Smokey Palette. I love the colors in the palette, but the texture of the eye shadows is off, and the color payoff is disappointing…

Luckily, I’ve been able to get mine to work quite well, BUT; there is a definite “learning curve” or two involved! Like using sponge tips, and I also mix Whiskey with Combust to get the perfect transition shade for the deep bluish-grayish smokey look I do with it.

I hated the Dior Contraste Horizon palette this year. It has to be my biggest disappointment. Unfortunately, I bought it before your review or I would have passed. You save me so much money, because I tend to pass on things you do not like.

My top three disappointments were also my only returns lol so there was a silver lining!
-UD smoky way too much fallout and bad texture for blending
-smashbox those drops you were supposed to mix with your cream or primer to color it. Ya messy and sat on the skin. Terrible
-Bobbi brown concealer and corrector. So thick. Made me look ten years older yikes!!

I fell for the YSL metallic eye shadow so I totally agree. I have to add Giorgio Armani eye tints and Chanel Vamp collection eye shadows to the list. You’d think the high end price would be justified somehow but not with these.

Interesting! I had a terrible time with the YSL ones (as well as Dior’s), but the GA Eye Tints work exceptionally well for me with a couple that are not excellent but nowhere near YSL level!

The Tarte Tarteist Lip Paint in So Fetch. Mine was awfully paste like texture. And the Lunatick Cosmetics Labs Lip Slick, formula needs to be improved before I try those again, just too proned to feathering.

I got one of the Lunatick eye palettes last year (I don’t remember what it was called and it’s not on their website anymore) and it was so awful, probably close running with the NARS Andy Warhol/Debbie Harry palette in terms of awful.

People keep recommending them to me, but I constantly see bad reviews of their products.

Thanks to your site, Christine, I’ve avoided purchasing any (or many) duds. But two items that really disappointed me were the Chanel Entrelacs eyeshadow palette, as it looked like the very sort of thing I’d love but clearly the quality was poor. The other was that Hourglass Ambient Light palette. I could have lived with the tiny pans but what I couldn’t get over was the blatant over-charging for what was in the palette. And I owe you a huge “thank you” for doing the math on that one. I was really prepared to part with the $95 CDN for it until you pointed out that they were giving roughly half the amount of product for that price! And, interesting to me – while the 3-pan sold out when it was LE several years ago, there are plenty of these 2015 palettes sitting unpurchased at my local Sephora stores. People are just not buying it.

It’s unfortunate, because I think it’s another great concept… but the price point is ridiculous – even if it is small in stature so using it isn’t as practical, a lower price would have gone a LONG way. Consumers are smarter than (most) brands give them credit for being, I think!

I think one of the biggest disappointments were the stila eyes are the window palettes….. Those came out in 2015, right? If not, that’s when I discovered them and I don’t understand how they’re still on the market.

Allison, I have 2 of them – Soul and Spirit – and I like them a LOT. There’s one shadow in the Soul palette that is a let down but I honestly find the others to be really delightful to use and wear. I was reluctant to get them because Soul didn’t get the greatest review but I like it and I like Spirit too so I’m glad I took the chance (and it’s rare that I’m not totally guided by Christine’s ratings).

The Body palette was one of the few times I didn’t mesh with Christine on the ratings. Mine performed much better than hers, which makes me wonder if Stila had QC issues. I love mine and the pigmentation has been great.

My prediction is that we’ll have plenty of Panetone pastel colors make the 2017 worst products list. Were you planning to review the Sephora Panetone collection?

The Sephora + Pantone Shimmering Marsala cheek trio. I just tossed it. I loved the colors, but I couldn’t get the 2 blushes to blend well. It’s such a pretty looking set. I also regret the Stila liquid lipsticks I bought-the dried out really fast.

Charlotte Tilbury’s liquid/kohl eyeliners were disappointing (but that could be my lack of lining talent), as was Bobbi Brown’s liquid eyeliner that turns from black to grey. Also disappointi g were Bobbi Brown eyeshadow palette releases this year.

Bobbi Brown and Charlotte Tilbury had standout products this year but the above weren’t among them.

Hmmm…I would say the most disappointing product was ripe peach by Mac. Mine was hard, tough to pick up any color.

With your reviews, you’ve saved me a ton of money! I only returned a few things this year but most of them were older releases.

Also poorly done IMO was Bobbi Brown’s Sequin eyeshadows. I tried one a d returned it. Nothing but glitter fallout or a thick application on the lids when applied wet. Awful.

Bobbi Brown tends to be such a miss when it comes to eye products that I haven’t felt compelled to review in years 🙁

Do you mean the Sparkle shadows? Those are my favorite!! But they can only be applied by finger tip and dry. Otherwise terrible fallout. But they are life changing when applied correctly!

My entire order from Rituel de Fille! The products are so hard to work with and they’re also not as unique or dimensional as they appear/are described on the site.

Like Shadow Self lipstick is describes as “A dark, metallic blue-black created with tyrian purple undertones” and “An intensely saturated, rich and luxuriant lipstick carefully crafted to reveal bold, daring color and impart enduring moisture” but it’s a basic matte black that looks and performs worse than the $5 ColourPop “Bullchic” lippie.

I have to say, there were quite a lot of disappointments. Those Hourglass palettes, YSL’s Full Metal Shadow, and TF’s eye/cheek combo were the most surprising. Usually, YSL puts out a decent product every time, maybe not stellar or HG but decent. I love Hourglass eyeshadow formula before these, having bought two palettes from them so I was shocked. TF, wow, so bad.

As for all the MAC flubs this year, I come to expect it but some of them were possibly even worse than an F rating.

I had a few bad eggs myself this year and surprisingly all from top brands that I love. I have yet to write them up yet. One of them is a cult product! The other is almost a cult product 🙁

Yep, these are the disaster zone alright!!! And at these price points, these brands who decided to put out these sub-par overpriced epic fails ought to be ashamed of themselves!!! Most DS and LE products work better than these. Pfft! ?

The Hall of Shame. The Modernist eye palettes were so disappointing to me, because they looked so beautiful in the pan, and I would have splurged on one or two. There were a lot of disappointing products that I didn’t buy: Modernist, Watercolor Mist, Too Faced Le Grand Palais, Tarte Light of the Party, the MAC x 9 palettes.

Fortunately, I didn’t buy too many duds, thanks in large part to Temptalia. Nyx Studio Perfect Primer in Green was horrible and got returned. MUG eyeshadows; I got a refund on the last ones I ordered. I refuse to even try them any more. (Their customer service was awesome, to their credit.) ColourPop Ultra Mattes because the quality was all over the place. The worst for me were Trap and Sundae.

Most of the new e.l.f. Moisturizing Lipstick shades — they’re more sheer and waxy than the old shades. I don’t know whether e.l.f. intended them to be sheer or it’s a formula change. I asked, but they didn’t even post my question, much less answer it. E.l.f. Everyday Smokey Eye Palette was really powdery, which was a surprise because Mad for Mattes was so good. E.l.f. Clay Eyeshadow Palette in Smoked to Perfection; this one was also really powdery and the highlighter was kind of chunky. Overall, I love e.l.f., and they had far more hits than misses this year, but IMO the misses really missed. lol

It’s really frustrating when brands can’t bother to adequately describe their own products. It shouldn’t be a mystery what kind of coverage a lipstick formula will have – some like sheer, some like opaque, and all are welcome on the market… just tell us!

Happy to hear you were able to get a refund on the Makeup Geek eyeshadows you tried and disliked! That is awesome to hear.

I agree. If e.l.f. had intended the new lipsticks to be sheer, I wish they’d just launched a new line. If not, they should have mentioned “sheer” in the color description.

Or like the new Too Faced La Creme Lipsticks: The more glittery ones should have been given their own line.

Thanks to checking here first, unless I go rogue and purchase without due diligence I’ve only had 2 disappointments: Hourglass Ambient Light Palette/Trio and Burberry Cream Eye Colors. Both were gorgeous to look at and while I think Hourglass Ambient Light might be a good product just ‘not for me’, I think the Burberry was more of an overall product fail.

Yeah, the Hourglass shadows were so hugely anticipated and so disappointing. I had to return these items, as they faded, creased, or smudged on my oily lids–Burberry Smoky Gray quad, Burberry shadow in Stone Blue, Bobbi Brown Cream Shadow Stick in Vanilla, Shiseido Shimmering Cream Shadow in Nightfall, and Cle De Peau Quad in Stardust, which I traded for Satin Moon, which performs better but it’s nothing really special and not worth the exorbitant price. I only swatched these in store, and they were absolutely horrible – LM Watercolor Mist palette and Burberry Khaki Ammo palette, you will need a trowel to get any color. BTW, thanks for the pic of your eye lid with the MAC Studio Eye Gloss –that was probably the funniest blog pic I saw all year round, the epitome of a “hot mess”. It shows that the life of a beauty blogger is not all Rouge G’s!

Hourglass’ eyeshadow formula was such a let-down after the success they had previously, and then their prior eyeshadow formula was SO GOOD that I was puzzled by the new one.

I hated the Smashbox BB Water Foundation. I typically like a lighter coverage…but this was just awful. I couldn’t even tell I was wearing anything on my face and it separated within two hours.

The above are just about all HE brands and yet they had major fails. Something is going very wrong in their labs for this to happen. Some of these brands just churn out products and expect us savvy buyers to purchase them. I recently had a MUA from a well known makeup place try to tell me that the Laura Mercer palette above was “fantastic value” I assured her it was not.

LOL! I wonder what her expression was like. The LM palette was particularly sad as it was such a great idea in theory!

That LM Watercolor Mist palette was so bad the SAs were actually hiding it behind the counter or on an upper shelf. I actually had to ask to see it, and as soon as I swatched it, they would try to steer me to something else! I don’t think they want to deal with all the unhappy customers and returns

Surprise! The MUA confessed to never reading beauty blog reviews at all. She also directed me to look at the Hourglass ones – another set of duds. Again, I commented – bad reviews.
I find a lot of the MUA in Australia to be quite ignorant of the products of the beauty world out there -other than their own brand.
Some of them haven’t even heard of the Urban Decay brand.

I didn’t purchase it, but I really disliked my sample of Too Faced’s Born this Way foundation. Seemed like a harder-to-work-with UD Naked Skin.

UD Matte After Dark lipstick is lovely, but I have trouble applying it cleanly. Which is weird, because I normally find it easy to apply from the UD tubes.

I remember hearing that Born This Way ran really yellow, too, though I know they’ve added more shades to the range since.

I thought it ran a bit dark in the initial run of shades, anytime I’m matched to the lightest shade I think the line’s a bit dark. It was only kinda yellow? Nothing like Benefit’s Oxygen Wow, that one was absurdly yellow. I’m neutral undertoned, so a hint of yellow isn’t usually a problem.

I thought the color matched me all right, the texture was just…ugh. Ironic, because most of the raves on it were for the texture!

I’m still bummed about those eye glosses from MAC’s Dark Desires collection. The colors were soooo beautiful, but they just had to be what is essentially expensive Vaseline with some glitter/pigment. 🙁 I almost forgot about those Tom For eye/blush shadows! I couldn’t believe that they could screwed up so much that a blush from the 99 cents store is better than their own expensive product. I had high hopes for UD’s waterline eyeliners, but I guess I’m going to have to accept the fact that no liner can last more than an hour on me.

I was so looking forward to new blushes from TF, because I love the regular blush line, which is quite small! But noooope!

I was also very disappointed in the Hourglass Modernist Eye Shadow palettes — I tried two of them because they looked so pretty in their packaging, but they didn’t do much on my lids. And the Waterline pencils slid right off my waterlines (so does almost everything else, but, still, they were supposed to be made for that purpose!) Those products got returned.

Seems like the Modernist palettes were one that made a lot of readers’ lists, too 🙁 Sadly, of course, because they looked interesting and had a lot of promise before any of us touched them, lol.

I’m unclear why the Hourglass Ambient Light palette made this list. Was it the price point? If so, does it really belong on this list if it performed well but you thought it overpriced? Just curious.

It’s a list of most disappointing products to me, personally, not necessarily worst performing 🙂 I felt let-down by Hourglass as a brand completely by that product – personally, of course. (Right in the post, it says: “These are products that let me down the most!”)

My #1 was the Cover FX custom drops/ pigment— I was so excited for the launch & then loved it the first month. after that first month the consistency got super thick and sooo messy to work with~ I ended up throwing the bottle away. Definitely needs packaging!!

My most disappointing product this year, by faaaaar, was the Nars Luminous Weightless Foundation. From what I’ve seen this was one of those “love it, or hate it” products, and I was def in the latter category lol.I could honestly talk for an hour about how horrible it was! It just never “set”, and within maybe 1/2 an hour it was literally sliding off my face D: Yuck, yuck, yuck.

Yes, it definitely seemed to get LOVED or hated! It does seem like application is tricky, and it can depend on your skin.

Oh yes, I forgot about that one! It was one of the worst foundations I’ve ever tried –it never dried down on my face so every powder would instantly cake it, it never sank in but just sat on top of my skin very unnaturally, and it looked matte, not luminous at all, and I was in-between shades, too. I tried all different kinds of primers, brushes, blenders, powders for weeks and weeks. Finally had to return

For me, it was the Dior Addict Fluid Shadow, especially Destinée. It was such a beautiful color! I wish they would have applied and worn like the Giorgio Armani Eye Tint. =( I’m hoping Armani releases some new colors. I love wearing Flannel on the lid with deeper shadows through the crease.

Armani, if you’re listening, an OPAL shade would be MUCH appreciated! 😉

Isn’t it really, REALLY weird how different the formula performs compared to the Eye Tints? It is bizarre to me.

What’s especially interesting is that Armanin, to my knowledge, has only been making cosmetics since the 1990s and they’ve produced a product that is superior to Dior’s, who have been in the cosmetics business since 1969. (Then again, Armani is a division of L’Oreal and they were founded in 1909.) [End of my history lesson! LOL]

I’m just glad somebody, somewhere created such a lovely eye tint. It would be nice if a few other brands followed suit, as with the liquid, matte lipstick craze. =)

I do have one item from your list : The TF ombre blush. I still use it so It isn’t a total fail for me. One item that made my list, and I’m sorry to report, because it is very popular, the Guerlain Rouge G — I have Gracia and the LE holiday Merveilles shades (which I had to search for, I might add). While the packaging is amazing and the pigmentation is pretty darn good, the formula accentuates any dryness my lips have. For $50 bucks a pop, I expected flawless performance on these..

Oh no, I am sorry to hear you did not have a good experience with Rouge G! 🙁 That is actually one of the reasons I love the formula (for me) is that they always make my lips look better and more hydrated than they are 🙁

For 2015, MAC probably released 3-5x more makeup than the average brand, but it’s very telling that none even made it to the Top 100 list this year, and only about 5 ended up on the Personal Favorites lists (and 3 of them are glosses, no shadows, no blushes, no lippies). I sure hope MAC slows down in 2016 and focuses more on quality and creativity rather than sheer quantity.

The Urban Decay 24/7 Waterline pencils are truly horrible!!!!!!I ordered 3 from UD.com when I ordered the Vice 4 palette right when they released them.I love Perversion 24/7 pencil so much so I thought these would be similar maybe even better if possible,they are just disturbingly bad.I sent all 3 back!They only one I actually tried on was Legend lol legendarily terrible!!

It seemed like the majority REALLY disliked the Waterline pencils, though I have seen a few people say they work really well for them, but the reviews are sooo gapped, lol!

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