Products that did not do it for me, featuring Estee Lauder, Sally Hansen, Live Clean, and NARS

I think a lot of bloggers get a lot of flack for always loving products, or never having anything negative to say about products, especially ones that they get from PR. A lot of times, I do get products I dislike, but I only have so much time on my hands so I try to only share the ones that I recommend to my readers. That being said, there have been a few big releases recently that just haven’t earned my stamp of approval. I went into trying these products being hopeful, as usual, that I found the next HG products, but sadly they failed to performed, and were even downright bad on some levels. So… read on for some of the products that I’ve disliked recently.

Just a caveat though – these are products that I personally dislike because I have a different skin type, or general preferences as you. If you like any of these products, please continue to use them. I’m not trying to dissuade you from using them, I’m just saying they did not work for me personally.

Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Intensive Recovery Ampoules

Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Intensive Recovery Ampoules review

I was introduced to this product when I was going through a really rough time in my life – I was really sick for over 3 weeks, I was stressed out over the closing of my first apartment, I was busy planning a three-week trip to Asia, AND my day job was crazy busy – so I was really looking forward to trying this product. Basically it is a oil concentrate contained in individual ampoules, which is designed to calm and repair the look of over-stressed skin. Even though the Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair line is designed to be anti-aging, this product was created for those with dry, combination, and stressed skin, as well as those with sensitivity. You would use this as a skin “reset,” applying one ampoule each evening for a two week period at a time.

Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Intensive Recovery Ampoules review

I have to say it smells so warm and inviting, and the ingredients list looks very promising. Unfortunately, this product failed to absorb in my skin, and left a greasy mess every time I used it. I even tried using it over wet skin, which is how most oils absorb into my skin, but still this was stubborn and just stayed on the top layer. It also broke me out, and left congested pores on my cheeks, temple, and chin. Despite it being so “oily,” I actually woke up with dry patches all over my face, I have no idea how that happens. I tried using it alone, over hydrating serum, under moisturizer, with both hydrating serum and under moisturizer, and I just couldn’t get it to work. My suspicion is that the oil is too thick and not refined enough, so you’ll probably need to be someone who has very dry skin in order to enjoy this.

You get 60 ampoules though, for C$135 (ouch), which is enough for just over four treatments.

Sally Hansen Color Therapy Nail Polish (with Argan Oil)

Sally Hansen Color Therapy Nail Polish review

I was really excited to try this Color Therapy polish formula from Sally Hansen because it contains an infusion of argan oil, which sounded so promising since my nails are super dry and brittle. Unfortunately, this is one of the worst nail polish formulas I’ve ever used… the instructions say that you don’t need a base coat, but I used a red shade (not the one pictured) which then stained my nails. The worst thing wasn’t even that, it was when I applied the specifically designed top coat on already-dried colour, there was a ton of colour transfer onto the brush of the top coat which then dyed my top coat red. I tried a different shade on my ring fingers, and due the red colour bleed, my ring finger ended up with streaks of red on it as well.

Sally Hansen Color Therapy Nail Polish review

The only good thing I can think about for this formula is that it doesn’t smell as foul, but if it’s not effective as a polish, I don’t really care how it smells because I just won’t be using it. Wear time was average, maybe 5 days on me before it chipped substantially, but then it got another week’s wear out of it, so even though it does start chipping quickly, the entire nail doesn’t chip off that quickly, which I guess can be another good thing. Maybe.

The argan oil cuticle oil is okay, but not amazing. It smells pretty fragranced (powdery floral) and does temporarily hydrate my nails, but it’s nowhere as good as my CND Solar Oil (which I carry around with me everywhere).

Live Clean Exotic Silk Keratin Oil Smoothing Shampoo and Conditioner

Live Clean Exotic Silk Keratin Oil Smoothing Shampoo and Conditioner review

The Live Clean Exotic Silk Keratin Oil Smoothing Shampoo and Conditioner was my first foray into Live Clean hair care. I’ve previously tried their body care products and I’m a fan of the natural, SLS/sulfate-free, phthalate-free and paraben-free formulas. Sadly, the Keratin Oil Smoothing Shampoo was probably one of the worst shampoo / conditioner combos I’ve ever used. My beef is mostly with the shampoo – it suds up nicely but it refuses to rinse out completely so it leaves a thick layer of reside on my hair, making it heavy, limp, and also very greasy looking. The shampoo, together with the conditioner made my hair look and feel kinda gross, which is unfortunate.

I stopped using the shampoo after about 2-3 weeks, but I continued to use the conditioner. I don’t have ultra damaged hair but it can get frizzy, especially with the cold dry winter air. This conditioner is very nourishing, but also heavy so that you aren’t able to style your hair with a lot of volume. It’s not amazing enough for me to recommend, but it does its job.

Don’t get me wrong, I am a fan of Live Clean products, but the Keratin Oil line is not great.

NARS Sculpting Multiple Duo

NARS Sculpting Multiple Duo review and swatches

I was really looking forward to these NARS Sculpting Multiple Duos. Dior had previously released similar (but limited edition) contouring duos so I was interested to see how this performed. The Dior and NARS sculpting duos are both priced similarly, the Dior is C$48 and NARS is C$52 (I was surprised too that Dior was cheaper than NARS). That’s kind of where the similarities ended – the NARS Sculpting Multiple Duos are very dry, much dryer and waxier than the Dior duos, and also sheerer. The two variations I have are Copacabana – Sidari Beach (swatched on the left) and Hot Sand – Laguna (swatched on the right).

NARS Sculpting Multiple Duo review and swatches
NARS Sculpting Multiple Duo review and swatches

As you can see, the highlighter shades are pretty patchy, and don’t blend out very well. The contouring shades are slightly better, but they end up blending out so naturally that it doesn’t look quite contour-y. I was hoping that despite it not being intense contours, you can still get a nice bronzed look with highlight, but again the highlights continue to blend patchy, rendering them basically useless. Lastly, the tubes are quite large, my face isn’t that wide so when I swipe this down my cheek, it covers too much area so I have to be careful when I apply and blend. I like NARS regular Multiples way better, and I think you might get better results purchasing the highlight and contour shades separately, or instead get powder contour products that apply better.


All products featured in this post were provided by PR; opinions are my own.