3 High-End Makeup Products That Aren’t Worth the Splurge

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3 High-End Makeup Products That Aren't Worth It

Every time I go into Sephora, I kind of want everything. It’s all so beautiful and looks fantastic, which makes it super-easy to go over budget splurging on makeup!

As we’ve mentioned before, some high-end makeup products are worth the splurge, but unfortunately not all of those high-end products are worth the extra cash. For today’s post, I wanted to talk about several expensive beauty products that simply didn’t work for me.

Read on to learn about three high-end makeup products that went straight back to the store:

(Quick disclaimer: just because I’m telling you to avoid a product that you might already love doesn’t mean to stop purchasing it. It just didn’t work for me! Makeup is so subjective. As always, try something out! Who knows, it might work for you.)

Benefit They’re Real! Push-Up Liner

Benefit They're Real push up liner

$24 at Sephora

This new, innovative “gel” eyeliner was extremely hyped-up at the beginning of the year. I, like everyone else, was excited to try it!

However, after I purchased this product, I was a little confused about how to use it. So, I went online to Sephora’s website to look at the reviews, which normally help me figure out how to use products, and they were no help. For me, the product looked “chunky” on my eyelid, and at times, actually fell off. It only applied smoothly if I applied a little heat to the product with my hairdryer.

The other thing I found strange: on their website, Benefit claims that “81% said it was waterproof.” Isn’t a product supposed to be either waterproof or not? It’s not supposed to be waterproof for some people and not waterproof for others. That struck me as weird, and definitely contributed to me returning this product.

Because of all the hype surrounding this product, I do feel like I’m missing something. Let me know if I’m not alone with this one. Also, if you have any awesome tips for applying this product, share them with me!

NARS Larger Than Life Lip Gloss

Nars larger than life lipgloss

$26 at Sephora

Let me start this one off by saying I hate sticky lip gloss! If I close my lips and can feel them sticking together, then I am grossed out and want that gloss off my lips immediately. This lip gloss by NARS is like that, so I was super disappointed! The colors are beautiful, and NARS normally doesn’t disappoint, but this product just didn’t do it for me.

I also didn’t care for the brush on this lipgloss. It’s tiny. It looks like NARS accidentally used a child-size brush, and it doesn’t make the application smooth. It takes a while to apply this gloss correctly. Regardless of the pretty color range, I can’t justify the $26 price tag. I’d much rather buy several lower-priced lip glosses that I love!

Too Faced Better Than False Lashes Lash Extension System

Two faced better than false lashes lash extension system

$35 at Ulta

I received this product as a gift, so I definitely felt like I needed to give it a full go before deciding I didn’t like it. Too Faced makes amazing mascaras, so I thought that this one sounded perfect… at first. I love the look of false lashes, but there’s no way I’m putting those things on every day.

This mascara takes multiple steps to apply. First, you apply the mascara in the big gold tube, then you brush the nylon fibers in the white bottle over the mascara. After that, you apply another coat of the mascara in the gold tube over the nylon fibers, and then let it dry.

I don’t think this ever dried completely. It looks okay at best, and if you spend a ton of time on application, it can look better. However, it always looks clumpy, and it made my top and bottom lashes stick together. This mascara also flakes off, and takes FOREVER to remove… even with my Holy Grail Lancôme eye makeup remover. It’s just extremely sticky, and not comfortable to use, which made this mascara a miss for me.

What do you think?

What are some disappointing high-end makeup products you’ve tried? Have you tried any of these products? Would you like to see more posts like this? Remember to tell us your thoughts by leaving a comment!

23 thoughts on “3 High-End Makeup Products That Aren’t Worth the Splurge”

  1. Your post is great. I understand what you mean by makeup being subjective but its a great idea to us why you didnt like it – if the same issues are important to us, it makes sense.

    For instance, I found Eyeko eyeliner and have not bothered with any others since! Its easy to apply and I am just not interested in those that are not. So I am definitely going to avoid spending that much on the Benefit one.

  2. I agree on the Benefit liner. I’m a Sephora Rouge member (aka I spend way too much money in there) and it’s one of only TWO items I’ve ever purchased that I have wanted to return. I’ll just stick to my eyeliner pots and brushes for a better result. But I guess if I just wanted to throw it in my purse to do a touch up at a party or something that wouldn’t be to messy, it might be okay for that. Otherwise, it’s not really that revolutionary.

  3. YSL lipstick was the biggest waste of money. I have big lips so I love a full-coverage lipstick, and I was told that this one was. Not so much. I have to pile it on to get the full effect. The only reason why I didn’t return it is because I adore the color. My Laura Mercier lipstick is the best and costs half as much.

  4. I love the benefit liner. A little goes a long way so one-two twist can do both eyes. I am not the best at eyeliner and this really does make it easy for me. Of course I was skeptical and didn’t plan on buying it but figured why not if I can return it. Remember** just use a little bit!

  5. Ugh I hate the Benefit liner! I figured out the best way to do it was to twist it up until there was a tiny bit of excess, wipe it off on the back of your hand, and then apply it… But it causes you to waste product, and creates a mess on your hand. Not at all worth trying to figure out a new technique for a mediocre formulation.

    I didn’t find the Nars Glass to be that sticky; I avoid all Buxom lip glosses for that reason. It’s not the most smooth ever, but the slight stick helps it to stay on longer.

    100% agree with the mascara though. It just doesn’t work how you expect it to, so no matter what you try it’s always kind of annoying.

  6. Thank you for these discussions. I too go into Sephora, and ‘I want it all’.
    So sifting through these products is a big plus. I am a Big Kat Von D – reasonable, unique, and they Work.

  7. NARS recently refomulated their gloss to be less sticky and they now have a regular applicator. You may want to give them another try.

  8. I own and LOVE the Benefit liner. I was turned on to the product by an employee at Sephora right around the time it came out, so I got a demonstration before I ever tried it. I think that might have been an advantage I had. For me, it’s waterproof, smudgeproof, EVERYTHING proof, and wear it when I need a bulletproof liner (unless I opt for Kat Von D Tattoo Liner – also bulletproof). The only thing I’ve noticed is that it does transfer just a tad if you have hooded lids, like me, and wear nothing on your lids as far as shadow, because the oils from your eyelid will pick it up. Also, when you dispense too much product, it will form a ball and fall off of your eye, but if you have some practice with it, it’s a truly amazing product. I’ve repurchased it twice now.

  9. As a pro makeup artist at Sephora
    for over 10 years I’ll spill my faves..Lancôme still makes the best mascaras. Armani and Dolce Gabbana have the best concealers. Stila and Eyeko have the best liquid eyeliners.

  10. I way prefer Kat von D’s tattoo eyeliner that a sephora employee recommended b/c I’ve tried most of the eyeliners @ sephora and this is my fav, I’m not a “tattoo” girl so I never would have tried it on my own. I give the benefit mascara a 8 out of 10 tho.
    As for Too Faced, the product worked like it said but it is time consuming and those little fibers ended up in my eyes a few hours later and hurt like hell. I vote for “better than sex” mascara for bombshell lashes along with some cheap falsies. *always apply glue to false lash and never to eyelid and you will get a better result every time.

  11. Thank you for these posts. While I’ve never tried these high-end makeup products in particular, I love the overall message of this post. Sometimes you don’t always get what you pay for. Sometimes you are paying simply for name brand, not quality. And sometimes a lesser known brand, or even cheaper product will do the trick just fine.

  12. Younique’s Moodstruck 3D lash kit works well, and I think you’d like it better than the Too Faced system. It’s around the same price. The fibers are black and there are ways to get the length without the clumps that I couldn’t seem to achieve with the Too Faced.

    Also, I was super disappointed in benefit’s they’re real mascara. it did NOTHING for me and I felt like I gave into the hype.

  13. Totally disagree about the Benefit liner. It’s actually a great product, just tricky to use. A Sephora employe told me it’s designed to be used with one “click”‘s worth of product for each eye to keep it from getting panda-y, and slow strokes so the product is evenly distributed.. The way it gets right up to the lash line is unlike any other liner I’ve tried, and if you don’t put too much on it stays on for DAYS. It’s glorious.

  14. I am actually in love with the Benefit Liner as welll! and I completely agree with morgan! A little goes a long way. I remember my mom trying to use it and she went twisty happy and too much of the product came out and it was hard to apply without half the product just ripping off. I just twist it so that I barely see the product rise out of the applicator and it glides on perfectly! It does take practice as Carol also mentioned but once you’ve mastered the technique it’s an amazing eyeliner to use.

    I may be biased because I am in love with gel liner.

  15. I agree that the Too Faced mascara isn’t worth it for everyday, but I actually like it for occasions where I just don’t have the time or energy to fiddle with putting on false lashes! I’ve found that using my favourite volumizing mascara as the “base coat” has best results for me.

  16. I find the Benefit eyeliner works well if you take the pen and put it in your bra while you apply other makeup? Then it heats up without wasting product. Also I find it helps me to apply less product or else it does get flaky. I have two or three gel liners of different brands and I find they absolutely must be warm or else they’re useless. I used to use the back of my hand to warm it before I heard about the bra trick…sounds weird but I like gel formulas!

    I also got the Nars lipgloss and returned it the next day, found it way too sticky! I’m not sure why companies keep producing sticky lipglosses- does anyone actually like them?

  17. I agree about the Too Faced Mascara. I have used Better Than Sex before and it is way too wet compared to other mascaras. In general, I think drugstore mascaras now are really good, even as good as the high-end ones.

    I’m also not going to venture into the Benefit liner…too gimmicky for me. I have seen so many mixed reviews and I just don’t feel like eyeliner should be so difficult to apply, especially at that price.

  18. I think the Benefit push up eyeliner just requires some practice. I purchased it online and went to the Benefit Bar in Ulta before it arrived so that the girls could show me how to use it. It took some practice but now it applies flawlessly and it stays on all day. I would definitely say that it is waterproof for me, as I’ve worn it to the pool, the lake and the ocean, and it’s stayed on through it all. I suggest removing it with a cold cream, as it can be a little tough to remove and you don’t want to be too harsh on your eyes.

  19. When you use the Benefit Push-Up Liner you don’t want to use too much or it does get flaky and crumbly. When I push up some more liner I grab a piece of toilet paper and wipe the excess off. When I do that it still leaves me with enough liner for both of my eyes. I know it seems like somewhat of a waste of product but when I do that I have absolutely no issues with it. I really love that liner.


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