Worst of 2014: The 10 Most Disappointing Beauty Products

When I think about “Most Disappointing,” it doesn’t always mean all the Fs, because it can also mean formulas or products that you’ve come to expect A-level quality from that end up C-level (or worse!) quality, which is possibly more disappointing than a product that was never great to begin with. There were also some new formulas that were introduced this year that had little to no ability to be saved!

What were your big beauty disappointments this year?


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Erika Avatar

Christine, you must’ve got a bad batch of the UD shadow box, I love that palette, mine is soft and buttery, perfect pigmentation. In fact I bought a back up of it. Maybe try another one? Sorry it didnt work for you 🙂

xamyx Avatar

I rather liked that palette… Sure, Gothika is a bit tricky, but still workable, and the other 23 shades are nice, so I have no regrets. I also have seriously dry eyelids, so a primer and/or base are always a requirement, unless I’m using a cream shadow or foiling loose shadows. I figure primers are available for a reason, and unless a product *still* won’t work, I don’t think a product is “inferior”.

Karen Avatar

I am loving the uniqueness of the rest of the 23 other shadows as well, just beautiful! This is why I love Kat Von D make up. Just am always wishing/hoping for good grades for all the brands offerings, so it pains me that this had a couple of misses.

Ariana Avatar

Yup. I had lipsticks in the old packaging that worked fine (well one seems to have gone bad on me which is one thing) but I got Poe in the new Studded Kiss packaging and…wow. Just awful. Like dragging sandpaper across my lips.

Happy to return it.

julia Avatar

Dare I say, please don’t haha. Felt like Benefit gave everyone and their dog a PR sample and the over saturation has actually put me OFF the entire brand.

Christine Avatar

That’s part of why I didn’t review it (I understand why brands do it, and sometimes I’d be shooting myself in the foot by simply not reviewing, e.g. Urban Decay Vice3, but it also makes me feel like part of a marketing plan – often why I prefer to buy products!), while the other is just that I can’t wear eyeliner on my upper lash line without irritation, so it’s a harder product for me to review (since it’s largely focused on winged eyeliner and whatnot) as I can’t give insight into the primary purpose! (Same reason I don’t review a lot of liquid eyeliners.)

Rachel R. Avatar

Kat von D Star Studded Eyeshadow Palette gets my vote for worst eye palette in the history of the universe. So much fallout. I was lucky that I got some of the good Kat von D Studded Lipstick shades, but I’ve seen such bad swatches on so many of the colors, I passed on buying any more. 🙁

I really like my Stila Body palette and UD Shadow Box (a bit more powdery than usually, but mine is still pretty good).

It was really a bad year for some of higher end eyeliners, wasn’t it?

Michele S. Avatar

Christine – Say it ain’t so! The Stila Eyes Are the Window – Body – palette is one of my favs. I reviewed it on 9/25. Every time I wear these shadows, I get compliments; especially the Rose Quartz, Aquamarine, and Emerald. I really have to disagree with your call on this one. Completely agree with your other calls though.

Nikki Avatar

DIPBROW!!!! I had the highest hopes for it because I’ve adored Anastasia’s other brow products and it was a total dud for me. Fussy to apply because it’s so easy to overdo, and no matter what I did I couldn’t make it last through the work day. I tried keeping my eyebrow area unmoisturized, I tried UDPP, I tried setting spray. It stayed great on my eyebrow hairs like a tinted gel, but it WOULD NOT STICK on my skin. I’m still sad about it because it wears like a tattoo on most people and can look so beautiful and natural when applied well.

Ariana Avatar


Who are the people who love Dipbrow?
I was so excited to try that item and got it almost immediately when it came out only to return it a week later. Fussy product. Too smooth with not enough coverage. Glad its worked out for other people, though.

Michele S. Avatar

Whitney – Oh, yes, I have to agree with you. I dropped the $60 for the Jardin palette hoping to have some flexibility with it since the colors looked gorgeous. For me, I found the best I can get from it is a stained-glass effect – which doesn’t last very long. I think it would be ok for over the Summer, but still disappointing. Which one(s) did you buy?

Kay Avatar

Two of Kat Von D line of products on this list? So sad I always root for her and have been pleased with the stuff I have bought from the line. Amazing pigmentation. But as for those Stila palettes, I will agree. Expensive and the shadows don’t live up to the prize at all!

Lauren Avatar

Wow, I originally missed the review on the Stila Body palette but I’m glad I held out and saw it now, that pigmentation is so terrible – especially on the more unique colours. That’s a shame 🙁

I’ve only had one product that I’ve regretted this year and it was the Benefit They’re Real liner, I gave it so many goes but it just kept clumping up, drawing terribly uncrisp lines and transferring to the rest of my eyelid like crazy, would *not* recommend!

Sylirael Avatar

Eeep! I saw the title of this post, and I laready knew a few of the things that would be on it, LOL! Actually it’s probably more of a cringe/LOL, really.

From a personal perspective, I’ve been fairly lucky – nothing worse than a couple of colours that just didn’t really suit me. I do get quite a visceral response from seing some of the disasters you have to deal with though, like that Gothicka shadow and that pale Studded Kiss lipstick that looked (and probably felt) like you’d been attacked by dried toothpaste… the only other thing is the repeated failing of brands to do blue eyeshadow weli (even if the rest of the palette was OK… *twitch*

Johnna Quick Owens Avatar

I know that Kat von D’s Studded Kiss lipsticks got horrible reviews overall, and yet my all-time favorite lipstick is from that line. Lolita is such a wonderful shade, I have bought two of them in the last 6 weeks or so, and will no doubt buy more when these are done. It is the perfect match of matte without being draggy and horribly drying, and it lasts for ages. I wish the rest of the line were as great as I find this shade, because I hate to hear how disappointed people are with this line.

Bella Avatar

I was very disappointed by the Nars Narsissist eyeshadow palette. I have all of the shades as either duos or singles and was hoping to consolidate them into one mindblowingly gorgeous palette. However, the colour payoff and formula is so bad I hardly use the thing. I took it away on holiday once and ended up wishing I’d brought some more shadows. Big downer for me!!

Michelle Avatar

I agree about the Kat Von D lippies! I was so disappointed with those. I must’ve missed your review because I would’ve skipped them.

jilly Avatar

In an attempt to try some budget-friendly products, one of the items I bought was the Pixi Ultimate Beauty Kit 2nd Edition. It’s only $34 for 40 eye shades and 12 cheek shades but it was $34 that could have been spent better elsewhere. The eyeshadows have mega fallout and no staying powder, and the blushes and highlighters are like children’s makeup — even with a very light hand they come up clown-like andare hard to blend. I guess that’s one positive — those suckers didn’t fade the whole day.

Donna Avatar

I was disappointed in the Hourglass Mechanical Gel Eye Liner. I liked the actual product but the pencil would break easily and this kept it from lasting very long. But – once applied, I thought the product was good.

Genevieve Avatar

I agree with all the above as I read your original reviews. There was a lot of rubbish put out last year – especially some of the holiday palettes. It’s great that you are able to honestly and systematically review the various beauty products so that unwary consumers like me (us!) do not end up with a substandard product. Keep up the good work Christine.

jilly Avatar

Hear, hear! I’m new to the blog but already an addict. (Complements my makeup addiction well.) You have already influenced my spending so much! Mostly to spend more ;p, but I find myself waiting to push that “buy” button until I’ve read your reviews. Thank you, Christine!

Judy H. Avatar

The MAC Techankohl Liners are the worst! I was so disappointed. There was virtually no color payoff at all. I could get better color from a 99 cent Wet n Wild pencil from Walgreens.

Jenn Avatar

I actually love the Kat Von D lipsticks. Yes, they are dry but that’s a matte lipstick for you. The colours I got were gorgeous and pigmented, they last a long time and I always get tons of compliments on them. I’ve recommended them to friends and they ended up loving them too. I plan to pick up a few more.

Christine Avatar

I think you can get matte lipstick that isn’t painful or cause lips to bleed, so for me, they were a big miss, even if they lasted a long time 🙁 Several of them physically tore my lips up! If they were stiff but at least wore long and didn’t hurt, it wouldn’t be quite as bad for sure! Glad they’re working well for you!

Heather Avatar

I have noticed so many formerly great independent stand-alone brands change (formulas, quality) once they are bought out by a parent company. So frustrating! I’ve watched it happen to Bobbi Brown (Lauder), MAC (Lauder), and even UD in some instances now that they’ve been bought – things are still in transition there. I can’t speak for KVD as that is different altogether. Once brands become “Lauderized”, they start to lack richness in formula and performance. Happens every time.

Lilac Avatar

Hello Christine 🙂

Happy New Year to you 🙂

Regarding the Worst Products of 2015, I have the Kat von D Mini-Lipstick Set that was available before Christmas, and even though I have not tried all colours yet, those that I did try, they were fine.
Yes, they are dry, but I can work with them and they are not as dry as some older MAC mattes, for example. Also for me the colour does not turn extra dry, like it sometimes happens with some lipsticks which you wear all day long. I kind of apply these lipsticks by patting them on and they truly last all day.
Plus, I found a great colour, Lovecraft, it suits me so well that I ordered a fullsize. (Have heard of the story that possibly the full sizes have a different quality than the smaller lipsticks but it did not deter me). For once in my life a “nude” colour does not turn orangey or too brown, as has happened to me with most MAC neutral colours that I tried (luckily many of them from The Body Needs, as samples, so not all fullsize).
Before ordering, I saw your reviews but I was too curious about the KvD-brand and I liked the colour selection.

Next time, I will try the liquid lipsticks 🙂

Lotus Avatar

This is so accurate yet I would input the mac studio eyeshadow and liner trios, whatever they were officially called by, round containers, two eyeshadow on each side and a strip of wet shadow liner between them? That was a major fail! The above showcase some I also had high hopes for and was not pleased. Amusingly so, I had to laugh at the BM liners, worst liner fail, that review was helpful 😀 and then of course the highly anticipated MAC ones. 😛 Otherwise, a repetion of Laguna bronzer was a miss unless you really love it! 😉


There were so many disappointing beauty products released last year. I pretty much stuck to brand staples. I did purchase the Benefit’s They’re Real eyeliner and it is abosultely horrible, so bad that I refuse to buy any products from that brand. First off, you twist it to bring up eyeliner and nothing happens, I don’t have all freakin’ day to apply eyeliner, when I open the darn thing later on, there’s a huge amount of liner on the tip which breaks off as soon as you try to apply it. I will stick to my Clinique and MAC gel eyeliner in the future. This was a huge and expensive failure.

Ariana Avatar

Your review sounds like what the Kat Von D liquid liners were for me.

I like the idea of them trying new innovative ways of me using an item but that whole twist up thing? Twist…and wait. Twist…and wait. Twist…and now I have too much, great. I needed a brush to help smooth it out and fix any mistakes which defeats of a liquid liner pen.

Aisha Avatar

I love the kat Von d lipsticks!! The shades are the best, I hate birung unoriginal shades. They have gorgeous colors! I understand hating the formula but the colors? No way.
Cathedral is the best nude ever! I get compliments everywhere. Love craft leeps getting sold out. Got boka looks amazing. Who would think of fine shimmery glitter with bronze lipstick?
These lipsticks are the best and I keep reaching for them.

Andrea K Avatar

Oh Christine… You made me LMAO with your comments. Priceless!
I remember trying the Studded lipsticks and reviewing a few at the Sephora website shortly after the release. I hated them. Painfully drying. I got showered with thumbs down. I guess all the die hard KVD fans couldn’t fathom that these really sucked, so started telling me that I had no idea how to wear a matte lipstick and all that. Shortly after I felt less weird finding that you didn’t like them either.

Christine Avatar

There are some colors in the Studded Kiss line that might be worth the effort, but the formula itself is a total let-down. It’s cool if you want to put in the work/make it work, but I had SUCH a drying experience with it that it’s so hard for me to fathom it being comfortable/hydrating/nice to wear, lol!

Lotus Avatar

This came up and I thought I’d take a gander again.. I laughed too! Christine… Your comment about a real liner… Priceless! I felt that one and laughed hard! I still am, actually! It’s so true though, but your disgust in the fact was so blatantly opaque for you that I’ll not forget that one! Lol! :*

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