Amateur Writer | Professional Nerd

March 2020 Favorites and Failures

This month, I finished a LOT of products! Within those products, there were a lot of hits and plenty of misses. Although I shared all the deets on how I felt about all the beauty stuff I used up, you may want to know, “Hey Katisha, thanks for all that info, but what did you really love (and what did you absolutely hate)?!” Basically, this list is where I’m spilling all the tea. Inspired by Jen Luvs Reviews, one of the my favorite Beauty YouTubers, the following are 10 products I used and finished this month from the stuff I absolutely hated to the item that has completely changed my skincare game. Let the countdown begin!

10. COVER FX Illuminating Setting Spray

I have been eyeing this setting spray for a minute even though the reviews for it have been mixed. When a mini version was available at Sephora for ~$10, I swiped that up with a quickness. I am sad to report that I am one of the users who did not have a positive experience with this setting spray. For starters, the bottle is opaque, which is not good for a setting spray with glitter because it is hard to know if you have shaken the bottle enough to completely mix in the sparkles. Also, the spray nozzle is terrible because it doesn’t evenly spray the product, which is also not good for a setting spray with glitter. Instead of an overall glow, I would have random pink splotches on my face. Y’all, it was not a good look. I cannot in good consciousness recommend this setting spray. RatingScam Alert

9. REN Clean Skincare AHA Smart Renewal Body Serum 

I read reviews that people used this serum and saw dark marks disappear and knew I had to try it. I have been trying to even out my knees and elbows for years. This REN AHA serum sounded like the perfect way to get the even brown skin of my dreams. Unfortunately, this serum did nothing for my rough dark patches. I actually don’t think it did anything for my skin at all. For something so pricey, I need to see results. I know this body serum was a miracle product for some, but it was a dud for me. I give this a hard pass. I also didn’t like the packaging. I think this product would work better as a pump since it’s so liquidy. RatingScam Alert

8. Milani The Violet One Lash Primer

I recently discovered lash primers, and they quickly became a game changer for me. I tried the cult fave lash primer from Lancôme, and it was pretty good. However, it was the Essence Volume Booster Lash Primer that really made me believe in the power of a lash primer. I was hoping for another option with the Milani The Violet One Lash Primer. My hopes were quickly dashed because this lash primer does not slap for me. This Milani Lash Primer coats my lashes with a purple primer that doesn’t dry clear, so it still shows through even the blackest blackity black mascara. Even when coating my lashes with several layers of mascara, primer still shows through. Also, the primer may actually be too sticky because it gunks on my lashes and makes them clump together. It doesn’t work well with any of the mascaras I used with it. This is a one and done for me. RatingScam Alert

7. Juvia’s Place The Nubian Mini Eyeshadow Palette

Juvia's Place The Nubian Mini Eyeshadow Palette

Juvia’s Place is the brand eyeshadow lovers turn to for high end quality at drugstore prices. Ulta bonus points, interest in the brand, and a want for more mini palettes brought me to The Nubian Mini. I feel like my experience with this palette during the month was hit and miss. The mattes in the palette are kind of dusty and don’t have a deep enough range to work for deeper complexions. It doesn’t really give me any transition colors. The light and medium browns look the same, and the dark brown barely shows on me. If you rely on Nyma Tang or Too Much Mouth for your foundation shade match, then this palette is not going to give you any transition colors. Also, you will need a silicone applicator (unless you’re okay using your finger) to get the best color payoff and lasting power when it comes to the foils and shimmers. Overall, this mini eyeshadow palette can give a beautiful natural or smoky eye for light to medium skin tones. Everyone else will be left cold. RatingClearance Bound

6. Natasha Denona Mini Lila Eyeshadow Palette

After hearing all the beauty fans rave about how great Natasha Denona palettes are, I’ve been wanting to try them to see if the hype is real. However, I was not about to pay the coins required to get on the ND ride. Despite the mixed reviews, I decided to give this palette a chance because paying $10 for a Natasha Denona sounds like a no-brainer, and purple is my favorite color. At the moment, I am feeling so-so about this palette mostly because I don’t feel like the purples are as vibrant on my eyes as they are in the pan. It may take more time working with the palette before I can make a final decision, but for now I would say walk by this one unless you’re a purple fanatic like me who just wants to have something from Natasha Denona in your collection without breaking the bank. RatingClearance Bound

5. Truly Unicorn Fruit Whipped Body Butter

This is the first product I’ve used from the Truly brand, and it turned me into an instant fan. Since then, I have already added several of their products to my skincare and body routine. This product has some misses, but I would still purchase it again and would recommend it to others. Although this body butter is advertised as whipped, it has more of a buttercream frosting texture. It is thick and not light and fluffy like one would assume a whipped product would be. Also, the product goes on like an oil instead of a creamy body butter. It is easy to go overboard and feel like a hot greasy mess on someone who doesn’t have dry skin or doesn’t like using body oil. I, however, absolutely loved shining like a brand new penny. The main negative for me was the delicious cotton candy scent doesn’t last outside of the jar. Despite the lack of scent, I would still buy this body butter again in a heartbeat. RatingHaul It

4. Catrice Prime and Fine Anti-Shine Fixing Spray

Catrice Prime and Fine Anti-Shine Fixing Spray

I put this setting spray towards the top of my list because it is one of the few matte sprays that doesn’t have any alcohol. I used this setting spray when blending my foundation, applying highlighter, and as the final seal for my entire face. I absolutely loved the finish of my makeup look with this spray, and I would absolutely buy this product again. The only negative for me is the size of the bottle. I finished the entire bottle in a month, but at less than $10, I would happily haul this setting spray again. RatingHaul It

3. Florence by Mills Swimming Under the Eyes Gel Pads

Florence by Mills Swimming Under the Eye Gel Pads

I usually buy single use eye pads, but I wanted to try something with less packaging, so I picked up these eye gel pads during a recent haul. Even after a few weeks of use, I’ve already become a fan!! I use these juicy pads before my makeup application to plump and hydrate my dry under eyes. These are just as great as the eye pads from prestige brands, and the whale shape is too cute to boot!! RatingHaul It

2. Mon Guerlain Eau de Parfum

I am very particular about scents, so it is quite rare for me to fall in love with a fragrance very often. Usually when I fall in love with a scent, there is a reformulation, and I quickly go from loving the scent to despising it (I’m looking at you, Ralph Lauren Romance and Miss Dior). I initially fell in love with Mon Guerlain from a sample. On the initial spray, I smelled “old lady perfume,” but the scent quickly transformed to a vanilla, spicy floral. I was immediately in love. Although I’m not planning to repurchase this fragrance in the near future, I will definitely purchase Mon Guerlain again … as long as they don’t reformulate that amazing scent. RatingHaul It

1. Vichy LiftActiv Vitamin C Brightening Skin Corrector

When I tell you this Vichy Vitamin C has been a game changer!! Almost a week into using this product, I noticed a visible difference in the size of the pores on my cheeks. My skin felt both plumper and more firm, and my post-acne scars seemed to disappear faster. I don’t think I have ever seen such a noticeable difference in my skin in such a short period of time after introducing new skincare products. On the other hand, while I sing the praises of the Vichy LiftActive Vitamin C, I must also note that I will stop using it for a while after my current (and second) bottle. This product has a high concentration of denatured alcohol, which can damage the skin barrier with prolonged use. Despite that caveat, I would still recommend this product. However, I would suggest using 1-2 bottles at a time then moving to a different Vitamin C. RatingHaul It