What's one product you hold onto even though it doesn't work for you?

I have a lot of things I don’t particularly like hanging around, but in terms of something I feel like I’d keep if I wasn’t a blogger, I’d say Chanel’s specially embossed powders (the ones that weren’t good).

— Christine

55 Comments

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.
Marie Avatar

I tend to keep items if they were given to me as gifts. I might try it a few times and not like it, but I’ll feel guilty throwing it away.

Also, sometimes I buy things that are limited edition, try it, and then find that it’s not flattering. This happens less often bc I only buy limited edition items if I think I’ll like it. But if it’s limited edition, I hold on to it too long, unused.

Also, I keep some perfumes after I have grown tired of the scent.

Rebecca Avatar

My Too Faced Born This Way, I bought Ivory before they added the 2 new lighter shades. I keep it under some misguided idea that I may get a tan and it will match.

Tracey E. Avatar

Though I no longer wear perfume due to my spouse’s sensitivities (and now own my sensitivities), I’ve kept a bottle of Calvin Klein’s Dune that I visit every now and again.

Nancy T Avatar

Do clothes count??? Because I have an entire closet full!
I know, I know, makeup. Hmm…That all matte palette that MUFE put out this summer is just half useful for me, Vol. 4. In other words, only half, if that ever get used because it’s very cool-toned. Kinda feel stupid that I’ve kept it, y’know? There’s other things, but that one really stands out to me.

Mia R Avatar

I used to keep a closet full of clothes “just cause”, too! But then I read Marie Kondo’s book The Art of Decluttering and learned to let go…and most of them I donate so I don’t feel too guilty about tossing things out. You should try it, it’s seriously refreshing to open your closet and always have something to wear!

Why not try and depot the MUFE, and just keep the shades you like?

Lulle Avatar

A bunch of Physician’s Formula blushes and bronzers (not the most recent Butter range). They basically don’t show up on my skin, despite my light complexion, unless I pack them up like crazy. But I’m always bummed when I wasted money on something that looks really cute, so I keep them…

Mel Avatar

One of the Tarte holiday eye palette. I’m really thinking about tossing it, the eyeshadows’ pigmentation is awful, the blushes are all coral, I just detest it, and never ever use it.

Natalia Avatar

Usually my purchases are thought through well enough for me to know that I will use it regularly. Two that come to mind are:

– MAC Tonight’s the Night Colourdrenched Pigment (what a name!). I cannot get it to blend nicely to use as an eyeshadow, I don’t like that color as a liner, but it looks gorgeous in the pan and I like the packaging 🙂
– MUFE Pro Sculpting Lip in #11. I really dig the concept, it’s soo unique and the quality is good, but.. having so many lipsticks, I don’t find the color too flattering on me, while I do want to have it in my collection.

Isa Avatar

A lot of stuff, actually. I wish I could return stuff that doesn’t work, but the stores here only accept returns when product is obviously damaged.

If I could actually return things, I foresee that I would still hold onto perfumes I don’t particularly care for, if it has interesting bottles.

Anne Avatar

I practically never use my Guerlain Dore Meteorites because they’re too dark for me, but they’ll always remain in my collection. I just may ‘need’ them some day, lol.

Susan Avatar

None. If it doesn’t work and I don’t like it, I get rid of it. Otherwise, it makes me feel bad when I see it or know it’s in storage, and Mama ain’t got time for that! The Konmari method changed my attitude about hanging on to stuff just to hang on, and getting rid of everything I don’t love or need feels fantastic.

Susan Avatar

P.S. Fascinating thread! Reading through, I see the words: guilty, sub-par, not flattering, stupid, bummed, wasted, terrible, lament, awful, detest, disappointed. Really? Who wants to feel that way?

I know Konmari doesn’t suit everyone and that plenty of people think it’s idiotic. Keeping something because you love the packaging or because you think it’s pretty or because it has happy memories associated with it — those are all great reasons. But no way I’m torturing myself with guilt or regret. I would rather look at my makeup collection (closet, bookshelf, etc.) and realize I love everything in it. That makes me squee like a little girl. 😉

Anne Avatar

I applaud your ‘squee’, and agree that keeping something you absolutely hate is better served in the trash without so much as a single regret (just lessons learned not to be repeated), but lots of people are mentioning products that they’re still using and trying to make work. I love the Guerlain meteorites I mentioned, but I can only use them a few times in the summer months. Oh well, but I still love them. There’s nothing wrong with trying to morph a less-than-ideal product into something functional. I do it all the time. Mixing is my middle name. Don’t get me wrong, your philosophy is mostly mine: Love what you buy! No regrets! But, mistakes happen. Seasons change. Needs change. And thankfully, lots of products already owned can be morphed into something than can please us. Otherwise, we really do need to think about the trash can (or finding a new home for them, etc.) and moving on.

Donya Avatar

Congrats!! I have started to adopt Kenmare also. So far, so good but I must say that about 20ish older makeup brushes I have since upgraded did get demoted to the craft room. I dumped expensive makeup and moved into a metal MAC pro case. Everything fits.

Susan Avatar

Ooh, Donya, re-purposing makeup brushes for crafts is a great idea! Now I want to do that.

And yes, Anne, I do understand trying to make things work or using some products only a few times a year, and think that’s wonderful. I’ve mixed two colors of nail polish that were only so-so to make one I love.

The part that makes me sad is when someone sees something they bought or received as a gift and it makes them feel guilty or stupid or anything negative. We are worthy women deserving of self-respect! 🙂

Joyce Avatar

MAC Photorealism quad. It was super coveted and rare years ago. I think it’s sub-par quality and doesn’t really suit me, but I still keep it. It was my first MAC premise quad. Unfortunately I started getting into the game when MAC quality started going downhill.

Rock & Republic eyeshadows and powder foundation. I’ve depotted the eyeshadows but the powder is still in its packaging. I’m terrible at using depotted makeup. I still lament the brand discontinuing its makeup!

MoMerrell Avatar

I had to think really hard about this one but my pressed powder (forgot the name of it, it’s a drug store brand I think) but anyway it’s color isn’t bad on my skin however I hate pressed powder and have tried many times to use it but don’t like it. So I keep it around for my lace wigs. I use it to color the lace parts to look more real and from my scalp. It is perfect!!

Emilie Avatar

Kat Von D’s Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in L.U.V. It’s pretty horrible, uneven and causes purple specks of fallout everywhere, but I can’t just toss it and it was also the first one I bought. I’m also holding onto the Too Faced Mr. Right brush, mainly because of a horrible customer service experience with Too Faced. The brush came extremely misshapen and they wouldn’t just replace it for me, I had to really work hard on it and heat treat with steaming hot water and a hairdryer it to get it to the shape they advertised. It turned out to be bigger than what I was looking for, but I just don’t want to deal with all the stupid hassle of returning it (especially bc Too Faced never responded to my emails and I had to call them twice, I don’t trust them to process a return!)…

Zoe Avatar

Lots of eyeshadow, especially when it is given as a gift.
I feel like you can’t make do with a lot of poor quality products, but crappy eyeshadow can always be saved with a sticky primer or as a sheer wash on the lid. Therefore I feel more guilty tossing it when it only needs a little finessing to perform.

Shannon. N Avatar

I got a deluxe sized (It’s huge! It’s a TEENY TINY bit smaller than full size!!) “sample” of Cliniques Moisture Surge CC cream.

And boy is it awful on me!! I’v tried EVERYTHING. I used a paddle brush, a buffing brush, my hands, a sponge. Nothing can make this “CC” cream go on smoothly and evenly.

And as i’m oily/dehydrated. I need to powder my face. So when I got to PAT. NOT BUFF. PAT my loose powder overtop of my cheeks, and middle of my forehead, it just WIPES RIGHT OFF!!

Don’t even think of blending blush and highlight overtop of this bad boy. Nope.

I don’t know WHY I stil hold onto it and try it out from time to time, I guess it’s the thought of it. As I adore their moisture surge creams/mask. I dunno!

Deanna Avatar

I have a handful of concealers that are just a shade off that I’ve never managed to get rid of. However another item I’ve held onto for years that never worked was Guerlain Meteorites from probably 10 years or so ago. The shade I bought was too dark so I’d use it, hate, put it away, then repeat the whole process once or twice a year. A few months ago I went through and picked out a ball of each color and swatched them. Then I managed to pull out the darker balls that made it too dark for me. It actually works for me now though I’ve instead been using my newer Meteorites. My goal is to start using it when I polish off my newest container though.

Anne Avatar

I have done the exact same thing. Well, now there’s two of us!!! Lol! (Though I bet there’s a lot more who do it, too!) I was going to mention it in my comment, but chickened out.

Deanna Avatar

I also had to throw out the “dust” in the bottom of the Meteorites as I found it just had too much darker pigment blended in there. (FYI if you’re going to try it.)

Michelle Avatar

A few expensive serums and moisturizers. I have acne/oily skin and from time to time I’m gifted these. I keep telling myself, “Oh I probably can use this…”

Silvia Avatar

Presently none I love everything I have. Must think hard on a few old products I have and still hold on, one is a bright pink Elf blush given as gift I rarely use it but my sis in law gave it to me and I find it hard to get rid of as well as a few perfumes cause i love glass and their designs. I hold on to two creamy foundations I used years ago and never again will purchase find them too thick and cakey. One was from Body Shop and the other from Cover Girl I use them now to give some color to my milk colored legs (I’m a runner and the sun just ignores my legs Lol!). I will never buy again a face primer they tend to break me out into these white milia pimples which luckily go away quickly when stop using them. However, I tried the WetnWild primer for the eyes and boy! That does work! First time I notice my eyeshadow hang on as freshly applied. Those I think I need!

Donna E. Avatar

Most of what I don’t like goes back or gets gifted. The only thing I can think of is an eyeshadow trio in brown from Smashbox. Never can get it to work.

LeeLeeB Avatar

I purge items I don’t use pretty often (much more than 4 times a year) in my quest to reorganize my makeup collection to some always evolving new grass is greener system. The only thing I was holding onto a bit were three Mally shadow sticks (quality has gone down past 2 or 3 years!) that were way to sparkly/fallout for me. I did a final last chance wear 3 Saturdays ago, and realized…nah, never gonna work. Chucked them. I love NOT holding onto stuff so I can see what I do have & love and use it!

MacKenzie G. Avatar

The KVD Monarch palette for sure, I can’t get it to work for me but especially now that it’s discontinued I can’t seem to give it up. Also the Too Faced Grand Hotel holiday set, but I’m not sure that worked for anyone lol. Other than that I tend to give away or get rid of most other things that don’t work for me.

Amy S Avatar

All the gazillion lipsticks I either got in subscription boxes or mistakenly chose for myself, that really don’t look good on me but I hold onto them thinking someday I may change my mind and decide I like them.

Caroline Avatar

This is an awesome question, because it makes me come to terms (publicly, lol) with a problem I have. KEEPING EVERYTHING. Something I have a problem with is keeping things I have used in the past and grown tired of. One thing I can think of in particular is foundation. It seems as though the sweet lady I see for my makeup is so sweet and gives me many large samples of foundation. Some of them I really don’t like, but I think things like, “I’ll use this “bad” foundation when I go on another mission trip in the hills of the Dominican Republic, or “I might use this on a summer day when I go to the pool and don’t need really good makeup”. This is ridiculous. I am trying so hard not to keep things I don’t like. Life is too short to not enjoy the things you put on your face!! I know I rambled, but I do this with lots of things.. foundation is just one example. I needed a come to Jesus moment with this topic!

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