Mixed Feelings: A Selection of Products

Good afternoon! Today I have a spread of six products that I don’t love but I wouldn’t say I hated either. They’re somewhere in the middle, but unsatisfactory enough that I wouldn’t repurchase any of them.

Usually these products make a great post for the 50 Words or Less series, but I went way over the word count for a few of these products. Cutting down the descriptions left me feeling like there was simply more to say for each item.

Rouge Bunny Rouge Concealer 004 Brush

This is just a weird brush. It’s a fluffy concealer brush and don’t get me wrong, I’m currently loving soft fluffy brushes for concealing, particularly under the eyes. But this one just doesn’t do it for me, I think I’d like it more if the hairs used had been a fine white goat. The rounded shape and the flatness are not the issue, just the choice of weasel which isn’t that forgiving of a blend with liquid or cream concealers.

It’s not on the RBR website anymore, presumably discontinued.

Bisyodo Alba Eyeshadow-B Brush, $15 at CDJapan

This is my first and last Alba brush. I knew as soon as I picked it up that I wasn’t going to like it very much, the handle is super lightweight to the point where it feels really flimsy in my hand. The white goat is ok, the white matte paint job is not. It’s gotten a bit stained and scratches easily, I had this brush for a little over a year and I’ve gotten some serious gouges in it. I don’t think any of my other brushes have ever gotten scraped like that before, not down to bare wood.

Christophe Robin Cleansing Mask With Lemon, $49-69 at Sephora
I bought this at the start of the year, and it sat around for a while. I finally opened it over the summer when I started swimming and wanted something on the gentler side for rinsing out chlorinated water. This isn’t it, as this product works much better on dry hair. On wet hair, I find that almost no sebum is removed from the scalp. 
In a way, this reminds me of the mid 90’s drugstore hair care – everyone was trying to squeeze shampoo and conditioner into one product, the result was something that was barely any good at either cleansing or conditioning. The texture isn’t homogeneous, it straight up looks like dollops of pearly shampoo mixed with a watery cream conditioner. It doesn’t really lather, it’s also hard to tell when you’ve rinsed it out completely. 
Berdoues Grand Crus Discovery Set, $22 at Smallflower
I bought this sampler from Sephora but it no longer seems to be available. First time trying the brand Berdoues. The little paper boxes that come with each perfume match the design on the full sized bottle. Something about the patterns reminds me of sheets of scrapbooking paper. 
These perfumes are not complicated but they are not super interesting either. The majority of them are like a half step up from being linear, just doesn’t morph around much. Pretty office friendly scents, their sillage is not great and the wear time is not long. I liked Arz El-Rab the best, a woody cedar scent with zesty ginger overtones tempered with powdery iris. 

Sidmool Secret of Red Astaxanthin Concentrate, $12 at eBay.

What the heck is astaxanthin? An antioxidant you’ve seen before but haven’t put a name to; it’s what gives flamingos and shrimp their color. I’m not sure how effective it is applied topically, I used this for six months (though admittedly not every day, with week long gaps on occasion) and my results were not visible to me through the naked eye. When digging around for info I found this, which talks about ingesting it, and with fats for greatest bioavailability.

It feels like a very lightweight, fast absorbing oil. It layers well with other products, but don’t count on it as an occlusive layer.

Natasha Denona Mini Blush & Glow, $19 at Sephora
I bought this mini duo last year to give ND blushes a try. The powder formula is really soft and has a creamy feel to it. The pigmentation is very mild, I can’t pick up enough product at all with a squirrel brush, definitely have to use a rougher goat to grab enough color for it to show up on my cheeks. 

I think the blush and highlight look pretty good in photos and from a few feet away. I tend to unde rapply this blush and have to blend a little more, and then even more after that. Each additional blend doesn’t really make the shimmer in the blush look all that great:

Anytime I glance at a mirror, I find that the grade of shimmer accentuates skin texture to look much worse than it actually is, this quality reminds me of the highlighters in NARS in the Unfiltered I palette. It’s nice when my makeup looks well applied to other people, but more than anything I want it to look good to me!

These six products are ones that I wouldn’t really recommend, but I’m not saying are the absolute worst either. There’s just better things out there that deserve your money and attention.

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