Archive of ‘Don’t Waste Your Money’ category

Bath & Body Works Cooling Gel Lotion Needs A New Name

bath and body works coconut water chill shower gel Bath & Body Works Cooling Gel Lotion Needs A New Name

A few weeks ago, I paid a visit to my local Bath & Body Works store. I was on the hunt for a tropical-smelling body wash that wouldn’t break the bank, and B&BW seemed like a good place to search. When I entered the store, I was greeted my a really nice saleswoman who asked me what I was looking for. I told her I was looking for something coconutty and she recommended their new Cool Coconut Surf Shower Gel. Typically, a bottle would set you back $12.50, but since it’s new, it was only $6. It smelled good and I almost bought it…that is, until I found a bottle of Coconut Water Chill Shower Gel in the clearance bin marked down to $2.75. I liked the scent a little better and the price couldn’t be beat. (more…)

DO Hold Your Breath: Prada Infusion de Fleur d’Oranger

prada infusion de fleur d%27oranger photo DO Hold Your Breath: Prada Infusion de Fleur dOranger

I am hopelessly devoted to Prada Infusion d’Iris. In 2007, when I gifted Mama Spoiled Pretty with a bottle for Christmas, I was seduced by its charm, and I’ve been wearing it ever since. In fact, I carry a full-sized bottle in my handbag. Yeah, I’m crazy like that. So when I recently learned that Prada would be releasing a new incarnation of the fragrance, Infusion de Fleur d’Oranger, I was beside myself with excitement.

Well, this past Saturday on a trip to Bloomingdale’s, I stopped by the fragrance counter to see if the perfume was worth the wait. I misted Prada Infusion de Fleur d’Oranger on a tester card, haphazardly catching a few of my fingers in the spray. And when I caught a whiff, I immediately cursed my bad aim.

I was expecting something modern and light, like my beloved Infusion d’Iris. Instead, I found the perfume to be an offense to my nostrils. I’m no fragrance expert, so the best way I can characterize the scent is cloying and grandmothery. It’s so strong that it would be the last perfume I’d think to spritz on in the warm summer months that are right around the bend. And while I recognize that fragrance is a very personal thing, I can’t think of one person I know who would willingly wear this perfume.

Jo+Malone+Orange+Blossom DO Hold Your Breath: Prada Infusion de Fleur dOrangerInfusion de Fleur d’Oranger eau de parfum is available in three sizes: 1.7 oz ($74), 3.4 oz ($100), and 6.75 oz ($135). The line also includes a 8.5 oz Hydrating Body Lotion ($52) and 33.8 oz Perfumed Bath and Shower Gel ($50). But I personally wouldn’t buy any of these products, even if Prada was having a BOGO promotion.

So I’m just going to stick with my Infusion d’Iris. And if the Orange Blossom mood strikes me, I’ll pick up this perfume by Jo Malone.

Colgate Wisp: A Moment On The Lips, Several Lifetimes In A Landfill

 Colgate Wisp: A Moment On The Lips, Several Lifetimes In A LandfillIn the past few weeks, it seems like I’ve seen Colgate Wisp in countless magazines and on every site on the Interwebs. But if you’ve been living under a rock and you haven’t yet heard about the Wisp, I’ll bring you up to speed. Here’s the Cliffs Notes cheat sheet:

Colgate Wisp is a single-use mini-toothbrush with a breath freshening bead to give you a clean, fresh mouth with no water or rinsing required. Smaller than a lip-gloss, you can keep Colgate Wisp with you for anytime you may need it. Colgate Wisp has cleaning bristles which gently remove food and plaque from between teeth and along the gum line, giving you a just brushed clean. As you brush, a refreshing, liquid filled bead (available in three mint flavors) releases a burst of freshness in your mouth. No need to rinse, just brush and go.

Available in a pocket-sized package, each brush is individually sealed, making the Colgate WISP an all-in-one convenient solution that allows you to clean teeth and freshen breath away from home.

Sounds like a clever and convenient product, right? I mean, no one is actually born with minty fresh breath, so it’s easy to understand how the Wisp would appeal to the masses. But I can’t be the only person on Earth who finds this product’s timing incredibly ironic. With Earth Day on April 22nd, it seems very foolish to launch a product that is meant to be tossed after just one use. Whatever happened to the Three R’s (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle)?

 Colgate Wisp: A Moment On The Lips, Several Lifetimes In A LandfillAnd get this: even if you wanted to reuse the Wisp and be mindful of Mother Nature, Colgate puts the kibosh on your tree-hugger tendencies. In the FAQ section of the Wisp website, the brand says, “No. Colgate Wisp is designed for a single use. Keep in mind, each pack comes with four brushes, so you can freshen up multiple times a day.” Awesome answer. Don’t bother trying to go all green, ladies. Just buy more Wisps and hand over your greenbacks to Colgate. Brilliant!

Think that’s bad? Oh…it gets worse. The website also states, “Because Colgate Wisp is comprised of more than two different types of plastic, it’s categorized #7 for recycling – which is not recycled by most municipal programs in the United States.” Ouch.

Well, there you have it, straight from Colgate’s mouth…

Wisp: a moment on the lips, several lifetimes in a landfill.

LashBlast Wannabe: Max Factor 2000 Calorie Extreme Mascara

max+factor+2000+calorie+extreme+mascara LashBlast Wannabe: Max Factor 2000 Calorie Extreme Mascara
When I first laid eyes on Max Factor’s new 2000 Calorie Extreme Mascara, I thought I was experiencing a case of déjà vu. There’s a definite glitch in the Matrix, because this mascara is like the goth version of CoverGirl’s cult classic, LashBlast. The 2000 Calorie Extreme tube is exactly the same as LashBlast’s, just in black – and the wand is a doppleganger for LashBlast’s super-sized applicator brush.

lashblast+vs+2000+calorie+extreme LashBlast Wannabe: Max Factor 2000 Calorie Extreme Mascara

covergirl+lashblast+mascara LashBlast Wannabe: Max Factor 2000 Calorie Extreme MascaraGiven the striking similarities, I expected Max Factor’s latest mascara to deliver dramatic, doe-eyed lashes. Instead, 2000 Calorie Extreme’s dry formula fattened up my lashes with a whole lotta clumps.

I even tried wiping excess product off of the brush and separating with a lash comb, post-application. But the mascara still failed to give me LashBlast’s intense, fuss-free fringe.

In summation, if you’re in the market for a fabulous, volumizing drugstore mascara, just buy CoverGirl’s LashBlast.

When Life Hands You Lemons: Be Fine Rough Spot Lemon Balm

be+fine+rough+spot+lemon+balm When Life Hands You Lemons: Be Fine Rough Spot Lemon BalmIt’s human nature to be seduced by pretty packaging. And we gullible homo sapiens expect that inside said exterior, we’ll find something equally fabulous. Unfortunately, this misguided tendency is the reason why beauty buffs, like myself, end up knee deep in products we were so excited to buy, open and use that don’t live up to our expectations.

Such is the case of Be Fine’s Rough Spot Lemon Balm. The packaging looks like a lemon; it’s so realistic-looking that if I left it lying around, Mr. Spoiled Pretty might take it upon himself to put it in the refrigerator. Unfortunately, the salve hidden inside is such a nothing-to-write-home-about product, it makes total sense that they worked so hard fashioning the container.

First, I assumed that the balm would actually smell fresh and citrusy…and it does, if you sniff really, really hard. Secondly, you literally have to dig the balm out with your fingernail to get any product in your hands. Finally, the balm is so greasy, it’s a hazard to your clothing, couch and carpet.

burts+bees+coconut+foot+creme When Life Hands You Lemons: Be Fine Rough Spot Lemon BalmSo what’s a beauty addict to do when life hands her lemons? Yep…make lemonade. So I dug into the salve with my nail and spread that grease balm all over my heels, arches and toes. Then I covered my tootsies with some old gym socks and let it marinate for a bit. Twenty minutes later, I did a preliminary check and was shocked to find that my feet had completely absorbed all of the product – but they didn’t feel softer or more moisturized…not at all.

Rough Spot Lemon Balm was disappointing – on so many levels – that I cannot recommend this product, despite the package’s high kitsch factor. One thing the product did accomplish, though, was to remind me about the awesomeness of Burt’s Bees Coconut Foot Crème.

Slather it on, slide on some socks and hit the hay. In the morning, you’ll swear the magic foot fairy made a late-night house call.

HIP Color Presso: Spoiled Pretty Is Not ImPressed

hip colore presso in snazzy HIP Color Presso: Spoiled Pretty Is Not ImPressedI really wanted to love the new HIP Color Presso lipglosses from L’Oreal Paris. I really did. Unfortunately, I can’t think of one reason to recommend this product to all of you.

The concept is great…a duo of glosses that blend together to create an infinite array of shades. But a cool concept can’t redeem a mediocre product. First of all, the odd packaging feels and looks cheap…and it’s got this little loop at the top that I just don’t get. It’s as if L’Oreal designed it so that you could put it on your key ring…or hang it on your Christmas Tree.

Secondly, you have to squeeze the lipgloss chambers to dispense the product onto the applicator; I was expecting a dial or button…so having to squeeze the two tubes simultaneously just upped the cheap factor. Finally, the color (I have Snazzy) was just okay. Nothing to write home about. In fact, I kinda loathed the honeydew melon half of the twosome. So if I continue to use my Color Presso, I’ll probably just end up wearing the other shade by itself. Furthermore, Color Presso costs $13. Personally, I wouldn’t pay half that for this lipgloss.

The product smells and wears exactly like HIP Jelly Balms, which I absolutely adore. So do yourself a favor – if you were contemplating a Color Presso purchase, just buy a Jelly Balm instead.

Spoiled Pretty’s Take On Smooth Away

smooth away pads Spoiled Prettys Take On Smooth Away
So I survived the Spokane snow I’m back in Philadelphia. And you know what that means. It’s time to weigh in on Smooth Away, the hair removal discs sold on TV.

My sister wasn’t exaggerating when he said that the mini Smooth Away pad deftly defuzzes your upper lip. The superfine crystals on each pad exfoliate – buffing away dead skin in addition to hair. But if you have sensitive skin, put the pad down…don’t buff nuthin’. I smoothed away my mustache three days ago and my skin is still raw and tore up. It feels like I have a rug burn below my nose – and there are a few small spots that look and feel slightly scabby.

smooth+away+package Spoiled Prettys Take On Smooth AwayTo be thorough in my testing, I also used one of the larger Smooth Away pads on my leg. As the skin on my leg is more resilient thant that on my face, I didn’t experience any irritation. The pad removed the hair – although, afterwards, it did feel a smidge stubbly to the touch. Another Smooth Away shortcoming is that you’ll go through the pads fairly quickly. The pads are most effective when they’re brand new and haven’t yet been used; and once you start buffing, you’ll notice that the efficacy of the pads will start to diminish.

One Smooth Away kit contains: 1 Large Smooth Away, 1 Small Smooth Away, 4 Large Smooth Away Replacement Pads, 4 Small Smooth Away Replacement Pads. And right now, when you purchase one kit at $14.99, you’ll receive an extra kit for free. But I doubt that having two Smooth Away sets will keep you smooth and hair-free for long. Depending on the length and texture of your hair, one large pad will likely lose it’s grit after one leg.

Bottom line: Smooth Away is, indeed, a throwaway.

L’Oreal Bare Naturale Gentle Lip Conditioner Tastes Like You Bought It At GNC

l%27oreal+bare+naturale+lip+conditioner LOreal Bare Naturale Gentle Lip Conditioner Tastes Like You Bought It At GNC
I’m a big fan of L’Oreal (it doesn’t get much better than HIP JellyBalm or Skin Genesis Daily Moisturizer Oil-Free Lotion), but I’ve got something to say about their Bare Naturale Gentle Lip Conditioner and it isn’t pretty.

metamucil LOreal Bare Naturale Gentle Lip Conditioner Tastes Like You Bought It At GNCThe preservative-free, fragrance-free lip soother is 96% natural and does a decent job of conditioning lips while adding a sheer tint to your pucker. But must it taste and smell like old-school Metamucil? For real, it tastes like some supplement that you’d buy at GNC.

Surely there’s a way to add some fruit juices or bubblegum essence to this product without rendering it carcinogenic. Don’t ask me how, I’m no scientist…just putting it out there. And it’s $10! I don’t know about you, but if I’m shelling out that much for .11 ounces of lip balm, I want some flava.

If This Concealer Is Smart, I Shudder To Think What A Dumb Concealer Looks Like

Almay+Smart+Shade+Concealer If This Concealer Is Smart, I Shudder To Think What A Dumb Concealer Looks LikeYesterday, I visited the parental units and my sister happened to be home from college. As is the norm when she makes an appearance, her makeup arsenal was splayed out on the counter in our once-shared bathroom. I couldn’t help myself from taking a peek and rooting around a bit.

Most of the products I’ve tried before, and a majority of the stockpile were gifts from her benevolent big sis. But before turing off the light and moving on, an unfamiliar tube caught my eye – Almay Smart Shade Concealer.

Almay promises, “with Smart Shade Concealer, there’s no more guessing or stressing over what shade of concealer is right for you. This revolutionary colorless concealer contains microscopic color beads that are activated when you smooth it on—transforming into a shade that complements your skin tone. It conceals minor imperfections on face and dark circles under eyes and provides easy, buildable coverage.”

So what’s the verdict? This product is neither a smart buy, nor does it conceal.

First of all, the concealer has an odd, paste-like consistency. Kinda like toothpaste. And it’s thin, so don’t smooth it on, as directed. In order to achieve any kind of coverage, you must dab it on…but even when you do, don’t expect to camoflage anything more than a freckle. No joke. And, finally, if you’ve got medium to dark skin, just fugetaboutit. Almay Smart Shade Concealer leaves chalky white patches in its wake.

I think that a product that adjusts to compliment your skintone is great…in theory. But, in my opinion, this ‘technology’ is much better left to blush or lipgloss – situations where there’s more leeway with regards to color. With foundation, powder and concealer , you’re trying to fake a flawless complexion. So why leave a perfect match to chance?

You would do much better to choose your own shade than let Almay’s ‘microscopic color beads’ make the decision for you.

Pop Goes The Hair Elastic

hair+ponytail Pop Goes The Hair Elastic
Whatever you do, do not purchase “Ponytailers” from Conair’s Styling Essentials line. On a recent trip to CVS, I purchased a set of 75. I used them for the first time the other day, and I’m so upset by the poor quality that I’m tempted to write Conair and demand my money back. Here’s what had happened…

I pulled my hair back into a low pony and secured with one elastic. Then I coiled my hair into a bun and secured with another elastic. While running errands, I felt something hit me in the back of the head – like someone threw something at me. But when I look back, there’s no one in sight…so I chalk it up to my overactive imagination. Then, five minutes later, the same thing happens. I hear a sound behind me, and it feels like someone has thrown something at my head – so now I’m peeved. Except, again, there’s no one there. I reach back and find that my hair is no longer in a bun. Or even in a ponytail. My tangled mess of a mane is flowing freely down my back. Both of the elastics had failed me by up and deciding to spontaneously burst.

I rummaged through my purse for anything resembling a hair taming accessory, but came up empty-handed. Frankly, I was embarrassed to have a handbag so bereft of beauty accessories. Fortuitously, I found a twist-tie (why I have a twist-tie but no barrettes or hair clips is beyond me) in my bag and MacGyver-ish-ly wrapped that sucker around my mortifyingly messy hair. Thank goodness for small miracles, literally.

When I returned home, I removed the twist-tie and pulled my hair back using another of the Conair Ponytailers. Like clockwork, 20 minutes later, it snapped too. Third time was certainly not a charm. And my hair is baby fine, too…not thick at all, so I don’t understand the problem. This product is obviously defective, and I fully intend to contact Conair and express my displeasure.

I did a Google search on “Conair Ponytailers” and it came back empty…which makes me think that this product is no longer on the market. Unfortunately, someone forgot to tell my local CVS. So if you see Conair Ponytailers at your local drugstore or mass market retailer, do like Dionne Warwick and “Walk On By.”

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