What was the last product you loved that stopped working well for you?

I’m so stumped! Maybe the MAC 239 brush? I have a lot of them, but they have degraded over time (they are close to 15 years old!), and I have found replacements in the last few years anyway, so I don’t use them any more as they are a little rough.

— Christine


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Mariella Avatar

Probably some concealers…Sephora Make No Mistake and even my (formerly) beloved Dior one don’t seem to be doing the trick or looking so good, and the same applies to some others. It could be the hot, humid weather or abrasion from masks or a combination of factors but lately, concealer has been even more of a struggle than it has been in past. ALSO – Urban Decay Primer Potion!!!! What the hell did they do to that stuff? Not only have they combined the WORST of all their past packaging, but the formula – which was always my most reliable eyeshadow primer – has changed and isn’t nearly as good as it used to be.

Mariella Avatar

I just don’t understand it. It used to be such a great product (in that stupid Genie bottle but at least the stuff inside was great and I used to use a bodkin or cabling needle to get out the product that was wasted by the packaging); the stuff in the squeeze tube – finally a great container to hold the great primer. Now I find the primer doesn’t keep my shadows from creasing nearly as well as it used to and I don’t think the oiliness of my lids has increased. I’m going to finish the tube I have on the go now but not replace it – I’ll use the MAC, TooFaced and LORAC primers I have instead.

c Avatar

Ha, I was going to say the opposite! I work from home so I haven’t had to suffer much mask-related irritation (acne, missing blush stripes, Accidental Lipstick Clownface), but after a year of consistently wearing dry-and-set liquid mattes under mine, now I’m ALLLLL ABOUT diving into my stash of “normal” lipstick bullets. Also I feel mildly guilty, like I’ve been neglecting them, as tho they’re pets and they actually care whether they get used?

What’s letting me down is my trusty Nailtiques Formula 2. BRO, why you trying to peel off after a day and a half?!

Aspasia Avatar

This happened to me a few years ago with perimenopause. My skin care regimen slowly changed as my skin changed from super oily, to less oily, and now combination (oof). Then two years ago, the foundation I was using no longer meshed with my skin (double oof).

Valerie Avatar

As far as brands go, the biggest disappointment has been UD. It was such a good brand for eyeshadow – my first palette was the original Naked and I loved it. The quality as degraded so much. The recent Prince release was so bad that it’s already on 50% discount at Sephora.
There’s also Too Faced. It was very pigmented wonderful eyeshadow in the palettes and then I remember buying the same palette I always used, noting the packaging had changed somewhat, and immediately saw the pigmentation wasn’t there.
Tom Ford – same issue. The overall quality has degraded over time – for lipsticks and inconsistent eyeshadow releases.

There are other palettes and brands where this has happened. At least I have some old palettes because I can compare pigmentation and know that I’m not hallucinating – the quality really has changed over time.

Ana Maria Avatar

It’s even more disappointing when brands mess up things so bad that a new formula (I assume both manufacturing technology and ingredients evolve and improve with years) is worse than a product used for years, exposed to elements and most likely close to some sort of expiration date.
Or maybe makeup is not like produce, it’s like a cheese or wine getting better with age. 😅

DVa Avatar

Tatcha Silk Canvas Primer.
Gah. I loved it.
Then it just imploded. Pilling or not sinking into my skin and leaving white residue.
It could be that it expired, but after using every day, if I can’t get through 1/2 the jar without it going bad… I’m not paying that kind of money anymore.

Wednesday Avatar

Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir mascara. Just having fear a lot of MJ cosmetics are going to be discontinued so I have been experimenting with other mascaras I like in my stash, and I’ve come up with a new plan for my upper lashes and my love affair with MJVN is officially over.

Ditto for MAC 239. The Sonia G Builder 2 is my packer of choice.

Nancy T Avatar

The only thing I can think of is that just about every eyeshadow primer has failed me eventually. I wouldn’t say that I blame the primers for the malfunctions, but my own wonky allergy tears or wind inflicted tears. My pH of my tears must be very off!
At present, I’m still using the one by MAC. It is very good, yet even with that, my tearing up can still damage my eye look to an unpretty mess.

c Avatar

Ugh, I feel that! I’ve gotten to the point where I deliberately avoid using super dark/bright colors on the inner 1/3 to 1/2 of my eyelids, bc there’s a HIGH probability that it’ll be wrecked in an hour due to tearing up from … wind? a bug? cold? heat? just existing on a planet and drawing breath?

Agona Avatar

I have to use two thin layers of eye primer on each eye. Basically, until the surface is slightly tacky. I have hooded eyes and that’s the only application method that works for eye primer for me. (I use bareMinerals Prime Time Eye Primer for reference.)


I used to be obsessed with the 217 but as noted above, the quality of it has seriously degraded. The brushes I have are probably 15-20 years old at this point. But they’re scratchy and not as soft or effective anymore.

Valerie Avatar

Mercari 🤫 I’ve picked up five brand-new 217s in the last year. Make sure you’re buying the 217 and not 217S, the synthetic impostor. I check the photos and write the seller, just to be sure.

Ana Maria Avatar

The first product that came to my mind is Benefit Gimme Brow. It was my first brow product and I loved it since the time there were two shades (at least in Eastern Europe 😅) and they had that old classic tube packaging. I still have a grunge they switched to the cheap looking silver wand like packaging, but at least the formula was still good.
But I re-purchased it last year and I was so disappointed about it. I don’t know if formula has changed or I discovered better brow gels, but it’s so… mediocre… It’s not even close to my current holy grail (Hourglass tinted one), and it’s even worse than the new MAC brow gel (which is another issue, because they discontinued another favorite, the Prolongwear brow gel).

But your answer Christine made me think about brushes. I love my old MAC 217 brushes… I have like a 7-8 old one. The new 217 brushes are just not as good. I wanted to buy replacements, but it seems I’ll have to hold to the last hair on my old one. 😅

Denise S. Avatar

Almost all of my pretty Stilia liquid eye shadows have dried out. I won’t be repurchasing them. A couple of my Drunk Elephant skin products expired before I could finish using them. Guess they don’t use preservatives because they have that off smell and they weren’t that old. A shame because I love the C-Firma Vitamin C day serum a lot.

Agona Avatar

My minis have started drying out. It’s only been a couple of years. I told myself I need to keep my liquid eye shadow collection at a minimum of they’re not going to keep, so I won’t be repurchasing anymore either.

Aspasia Avatar

Two of my purple eyeshadows seem to have lost their longevity over the past few months. One is a Stila powder eyeshadow and the other one is a L’oreal metallic shadow with a cream-to-powder formula. I now use the Stila in the crease and there seems to be no issues there. As for the metallic shadow, I was thinking of finding a new use for it-maybe a homemade nail polish? I can’t bear to throw it away…

Devon Avatar

I desperately miss the big handle smudger from Bath N Body Works. I bought those 4 at a time. I miss the original Gimmie Brow from Benefit – new formula stinks. Literally. And I miss the original formula of eyeshadow primer in Rose by Clinique. It was like eyeshadow glue and it melted into your skin. Not so much anymore.

brendacr1 Avatar

AM (after menopause) finding a foundation that is compatible with my skin is almost impossible. It shouldn’t be this hard. Lots of them say they won’t settle into fine lines or cake and they do so it’s back to the drawing board.

Genevieve Avatar

Hmm- I don’t have many really as I only came into the wider makeup market several years ago and just about everything we had here in Aus was dud (and overpriced).
I guess the most disappointing set of products has been the demise of Urban Decay – that was at the top of its game when I entered the makeup scene. Now you can’t even give their palettes away, some of them are so bad that they are heavily discounted within weeks of release.

Helene Avatar

I love my old MAC brushes. Love them! My 239 is probably half the length it used to be, yet I use it every day and am trying to find a good replacement, but finding holy grail brushes online isn’t easy. Often they just show “the front” of the brush, not the side in the photos.
If anyone can point me to a really good dupe for the 239 and the, was it 217? the little blender one I’d be forever grateful!
So what has stopped working and was also something I loved? UD Primer Potion, original works, but not at all as well as it used to as I said, agreeing with Mariella and Ana Maria. Something else? No, I don’t think so. There are brands I used to like, but never even think about these days, but that is probably another question.

Christine Avatar

Sonia G. has replaced most of my brush favorites, in general!

For the 239: Sonia G Builder Three – it is denser than the original MAC 239. Smith Cosmetics 253 gives me all the function and performance I loved about the 239 but has an arrowhead shape (which makes it particularly great for putting product on the inner and outer lid area). Chikuhodo GSN-9 is very similar, just a bit softer (sometimes too soft to pick up firmer/denser/thicker formulas as well as others). Hakuhodo J242 is more tightly packed and a little smaller but I use it similarly to the 239.

For the 217: I think a lot of brands have mimicked this shape, so this one would be easier to replace. From Sonia G, Worker Three is the most comparable but is denser and less fluffy/feathery. Hakuhodo J5523 is very similar to the 217.


Brooke Avatar

You hit the nail on the head. I really miss the original MAC 239. I still use mine to smudge under the eye but they’re all so old now they’re not good for much else. I don’t like the new version at all.

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