Most Overhyped Asian Cosmetics
If you spend some time reading beauty blogs, magazines, forums or following bloggers on social media, you might have noticed that there is certain products everyone loves. I always wondered if those products were so loved by everyone because they are truly good or because humans have an innate herd mentality. Think of it as a kind of cosmetic placebo. It is already hard to figure out if skincare is actually effective or if it is our minds trying to make us believe that it is. I admit I have really really hoped in the past a beautifully packaged or expensive product would work wonders on my skin. I also believe that the ability to compare is very important. Why do people love Touche Éclat so much, because it is amazing or because it was the first highlighter of its kind and there were no others to compare too? I honestly wouldn't have thought that American drugstore products were overpriced and below average quality if I wouldn't have been used to a much cheaper and often better German alternative. Even when it comes to Asian cosmetics my standards have changed quite a lot. When I started using them a few years back, it was hard for a product to disappoint me, now after having tried a large variety of Asian cosmetics, I am more picky and have higher standards.
After all, why use something mediocre if there is excellent products available!
Before I blogged I was an avid reader of anything beauty related, I followed the hype trains with fascination and wonder, dreaming about one day trying all those interesting and amazing sounding products. Now, as a blogger, I almost feel obligated to try some of those items everyone is raving about. After all, if it is amazing I need to share it with the world and gush about it with my fellow hypees. Unfortunately, as usual, I am not part of that fun sounding club. I am sitting in a corner alone, or with a few confused others, wondering why I can' be part of the hype train too. Maybe it is because I am a very critical person, or because my skin is inherently strange. Either way, I have decided, after so many failures and disappointments, to not buy tickets for the hype train any more. I am happy to ride for free but I have no money to spare just to find out that Bioderma is not a miracle makeup remover after all! Here is a little list of some products that I find a little bit of a waste of money, and hopefully this saves you some moolah by experimenting with other not yet discovered wonders instead.
There was a lot of hype about Benton products in 2014.
There was also a lot of controversy.
If you are interested in reading about the good and the bad of Benton and how it partially destroyed my face read here.
If we ignore the fact that some products were contaminated we are still left with overhyped products. The Essence is quite lovely to be honest, but most of my friends who have used it (and loved it) have moved on to better more effective products. The cream on the other hand is a product, that to me, the hype is absolutely baffling. The cream is super thick yet not hydrating at all making it suitable for normal skin only. It is only usable as an occlusive and there are cheaper products to do exactly that.
If you want to use skincare that contains snail mucin and actually moisturise your face try Nature Republics Snail Therapy or Misshas Snail Cream instead.
Etude House Wonder Pore Freshener
I wonder if this toner is so popular because it claims to do 7 things in one (or 10 depending on your version). To me, this is a lot harsher than most Asian toners (which makes them so nice in the first place) more like a western toner. An astringent some might call it.
Honestly though it does nothing it claims to, and for me that is a deal breaker.
Try Cosrx BHA/AHA Clarifying toner that actually reduces the appearance of pores and acts as an anti-inflammatory too.
Etude House Moistfull Collagen line
When I started using Asian skincare everyone seemed to really like this line. I ordered a sample kit right away and was quite happy I didn’t go for the full size since the ultra hydrating action it is supposed to give skin is non existent. This line really only works for normal skin types, but once again almost everything works for normal skin. It isn’t hydrating enough for dry skin and too rich for oily or combo skin. The anti aging benefits are also bogus since applying collagen to your face will actually not improve the collagen content in your skin, no matter how many times Etude House is trying to convince you.
If you liked the old line or want to try it out anyway, try the new super collagen products. They feel better texture wise and hydrate more effectively, even though they aren’t the best creams out there either. If you want to actually increase the collagen production in your skin try a Vit C serum.
As far as a lightweight moisturising line goes, you can give The Face Shops Chia seed line or Innisfrees Green Tea line a try. They are customizable to your skin type and quite hydrating.
Holika Holika Magic Pole mascara
When Givenchy released their ball wand mascara I was very underwhelmed.
It was already incredibly average and this is a dupe that isn’t any better.
The wand is awkward to use and the results are practically non existent. It doesn't curl, lengthen or give volume, it works great for people that already have good lashes but that just need some color and definition.
Try Etude House Doll Doll Lash Perm 3 Step Volumecara or Kiss Me Heroine Mascara Volume and Curl instead.
Skinfood Rice Mask Wash Off
Some people tout this as the best exfoliator for sensitive skin.
Well actually, it might be the best exfoliator at doing nothing much at all.
I received this as a sample a while ago, naive me was so excited to finally find something to scrub my sensitive dry face, which is said to also give tons of moisture.
Well it did neither.
The rice is not scrubby enough to exfoliate, and the mask doesn’t hydrate much at all. Besides that it was quite a messy application and I did not enjoy the experience. Try this Klairs Gentle Black Sugar Polish for actual scrubby bits that are enveloped in oils to not dry out your skin.
Well this is not really about a specific product but a whole range of them. To be honest they vary in effectiveness from none at all to not that bad, but is it worth it? The companies would like you to believe that the product reacts with your skin and all you do is rub off bits of dead skin.
As appealing as that sounds it is simply untrue.
The product does indeed react with your skin, but not in the way you would like. The creams will turn into little balls on contact with the oils of your skin. That can create some bits that can indeed mildly exfoliate your face. As a freak of nature without any noticeable sebum this nifty trick hardly ever works for me so I give them a pass. The better ones in this category can indeed be useful for a pre makeup exfoliation to get rid of some scales without giving you any redness. If you really need your peeling gel fix, try Misshas Super Aqua Peeling Gel, since it is the best one I have found.
Etude House Fresh Cherry Tint
I apologize to Mother for using her as my personal guinea pig at times. She wanted a natural tint so I thought I would get her the very popular milky tint. Mmmhhh, that was a mistake, and I am surprised how long Mother stuck with it in the first place.
The color looked nothing like the promo pics or swatches online. It is the color of Pepto Bismol and not in a good way. Application is very average, the color is not very layerable and the durability is very mehh. If you are looking for a nice milky tint try Periperas instead.
Long lasting Lipsticks
Oh my, I have a beef with long lasting lipsticks!
Why do I hate them?
Well, they are dry, look strange and often don’t even last that long and if they do they usually make your lips look weird.
I admit that I haven’t tried any of Clios famous Lipnicures. I doubt that they will convert me (since “cult” lipsticks like the Velvetines didn’t either) but the ones I have tried were just not good.
If you want long lasting colors on your lips, try some Tonymoly tints. They are the bees knees and so versatile! My favorites are the Cats Wink line and the Lover Live Kiss ones.
Etude House Baby Choux Base
Ok I won’t lie, when I saw the Baby Chouxs for the first time I was both intrigued and delighted. Unfortunately I never got to try the first version but I have the one in the tube and in the cushion.
I would like to talk about the tube one here, since the cushion is a completely different product (better but it has similar flaws). I am not sure how hyped up these primers really are but for some reason people keep asking about them, so I thought I would give it to you straight.
If you want a color correcting primer, get the one from The Face shop, it is super similar for half the price.
Now the reason why I am not a fan, they are not suitable for daily life usage and don’t do what they promise. They don’t really cover or hide pores, they don’t blur or reduce sebum and lengthen the life of foundation by very little.
What they do and do well is whiten. To a degree that looks less than natural. Thus they are great for costume make up! The green one giving you the most deathly paleness. Even the peach shade which is suppose to be for “darker” skin is too lightening to look decent on anyone that doesn’t already have pale skin from the beginning. Besides their very fake appearance the product is also unsuitable for dry or scaly skin. It accentuates every flaw instead of hiding it and just makes you look masky and weird. I actually like the Face Shops Lovely Me:ex base better since the thinner texture makes them look more natural. If you want a primer that doesn’t make you look recently deceased, try the Skin Conditioning Cream by Etude House instead.
What are the most overhyped products in your opinion? Is there any that you have tried and thought all the kerfuffle surrounding them was worth it?