The thing about reviews – hyped-up products that didn’t work - twindly beauty blog
The hyped-up products that didn’t work for me, the thing about product reviews, and hwo Twindly will change that for beauty junkies.
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hyped-up products that didn’t work

The thing about reviews – hyped-up products that didn’t work

A beloved YouTube and blog category is the ‘Worth the hype’ tag for about every beauty product imaginable. For every beauty blogger and vlogger influenced hype, there’re again bloggers and vloggers wanting to check said hype. And in the end, it’s up to you what to believe. I want to show you what happened when I was enabled and why things went awry. Follow me on a journey through blogs, vlogs, discussions with friends, and see where Twindly comes into that.

It cosmetics CC+ Color Correcting Full Coverage Cream

it cosmetics cc cream review

it cosmetics cc cream – I mean, the claims are certainly impressive, right?!

I love YouTube. No matter that I know perfectly well that nowadays all big YouTubers are heavily sponsored and that what I watch is about as near to real life as Big Brother. I don’t care. I heard about the it cosmetics CC+ Cream from various vloggers since 2015 (notably Vivianna Does Makeup). Unsurprisingly, when I had the chance to snatch it up last year, I did. Prior to that Astrid had also bought and tested it, and I wanted in.

The claims

it cosmetics cc cream review and swatch

Still impressive…

“Clinically shown to give you 179% of skin hydration, smooth skin texture and enhance skin brightness, this breakthrough color-correcting cream never creases or cracks and instantly camouflages skin imperfections including dark spots. Plus, it’s infused with an advanced anti-aging serum (…) that work in harmony to diffuse the look of wrinkles, minimize pores and give you a more radiant, supple and flawless-looking complexion.“

My experience

it cosmetics cc cream in fair swatch

it cosmetics cc cream in fair – at least the shade is a fantastic match! (Right swatch blended, left one unblended.)

For me it doesn’t work. Not in Shanghai’s hot and humid climate, nor in Germany’s rather chilly and less humid summer. This base sits on my skin and never lives up to the claims. After a few hours of wear-time, the CC Cream settles in every pore and accentuates every patch of dryness I didn’t know I possessed. I’m sure I can make work with a primer or testing various bases beneath it, but honestly, I don’t want to.

What went wrong?

I usually take YouTubers’s recommendations with a grain of salt, but Astrid had endorsed it as well, and I trust her. But my skin type is different from hers and runs towards combination. Also while this CC Cream promises to do it all, I tend to wear serums, moisturizer and extra sunscreen beneath it. (And don’t want to skip that for the minuscule amount of ingredients you get when you apply foundation!)


REN Keep young and beautiful Instant Firming Beauty Shot

ren Keep Young and Beautiful Serum review

ren’s serum wins the price for the most cringeworthy name, but is a decent hyaluronic acid serum.

I love hyaluronic acid in skincare. It’s a great way to give your skin the needed moisture to stay supple. This serum promises “Skin looks dramatically lifted, firmer and more youthful” and was endorsed by Jane from British Beauty Blogger whose no-nonsense attitude I like.

My experience

ren Keep young and beautiful test and review

ren’s serum is a quite thick gel which smells very, very floral – beware!

Jane tells about an instant result of smoother, suppler skin, but for me, it was soundly meh. Yeah, moisturizing and all that, but incredibly pricey for a middling result. Also, this is heavily fragranced with Citronellol and Geraniol, which makes it borderline unsuitable for those with sensitive skin.

What went wrong?

ren instant firming shot review

For that price point and given the rather basic ingredients, you can easily find a better product.

Different skin types, apparently. Jane is older than I am and has apparently drier skin, which is supposedly why a hydrating serum does more for her than it does for me. Also, my experience with Korean skincare has shown me that you can get better hydrating products for less money.


Viseart petit PRO palette

Viseart Petit Pro review

Viseart Petit Pro Palette – gorgeous shades, right?

Hyped as hell, Viseart was suddenly everywhere last year. From messageboard (yes, I’m still a Specktra member!) to the big beauty bloggers – all it got was praise. Even my friends in real life started to tell me about how awesome the brand was. I saw great reviews on both Temptalia and Beautylookbook and was sure I’d love it.

The claims

Viseart Petit Pro eyeshadow palette swatch and review

It’s rather tiny, though…

“The Petit Pro Palette is an 8 pan eyeshadow palette that contains flawlessly blendable color. (…) This palette contains versatile pigment and rich colors in both matte and shimmer textures, curated from our heritage Parisian formulas to create stunning day to evening looks.” (Get it here.)

My experience

Viseart Petit Pro eyeshadow palette swatches

Viseart Petit Pro swatches – the mattes. The two darker shades swatch wonderfully well – very smooth and pigmented, the lighter ones are decent.

It’s a nice warm-toned palette in which all colours work well with each other. Where it falls short, for me, is that no matter what base and brushes I use, the shimmery shades yield an explosion of fallout. The texture reminds me of Urban Decay’s glittery eyeshadow formula. The mattes are reasonably soft and blendable, but it’s incredibly easy to overblend them and creating a very muddy look. All in all, I was quite disappointed.

What went wrong?

Viseart Petit Pro palette swatches and review

Viseart Petit Pro palette swatches – the metallics. The lighter shades are glitter central, the darker ones a bit better.

I couldn’t swatch the palette before ordering, but even if so, I’ve no idea if I could’ve spotted the issues I have with it. All shades swatch great! The old saying ‘your mileage may vary’ might apply here – while Christine from Temptalia mentioned fallout, it wasn’t a deal breaker for her. For me, though, it is. I also know that I’m quite heavy-handed when applying anything to my face, and application technique might come into play as well.



Bobbi Brown Instant Confidence Stick Line Smoother

Bobbi Brown Instant Confidence Stick test review

Or does this little primer in stick form win the price for the most stupid name?!

I was on the hunt for a good primer (mentioned a lot recently), and when I read Irit’s review of this little stick, my ears perked up. She mentions using it on fine lines around the eyes and mouth for line smoothing, for a better adherence of her concealer and a better appliance of lipstick that doesn’t ‘bleed’. I’ve recently noticed my concealer creasing, annoying lines around my eyes, some lines on my forehead…

The claims

“Infused with a powerful peptide, the formula helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles as soon as you apply. (…) an effective yet breathable blurring layer that helps to smooth and perfect skin’s texture. Plus, it works over time to absorb excess oil and control shine.”

My experience

Bobbi Brown Instant Confidence Stick test review

Bobbi Brown Instant Confidence Stick – no, can’t recommend.

Nope. First, I don’t like the silicone-y texture of this one – I absolutely can’t stand the somehow greasy feeling of pure silicone on my skin. Second, this doesn’t fulfil one claim for me. None. The smoothing it does is non-visible to my eyes, and it doesn’t control shine at all. Fail.

What went wrong?

Again, my skin type and Irit’s are nothing alike. It also could be a perception issue – others may see an effect where I see none.


The thing about reviews

the problem with beauty reviews

The thing about reviews… no matter how objective the writer may be, it might still be hit or miss if the product suits you.

While we all have trusted bloggers and vloggers that we rely upon, they liking a product and finding that it works for them may not mean it works for us. Even boards like Makeup Alley or other recommendation sites where products are rated by a lot of people might not be able to find the perfect product for you.

Why? Because hundreds of people liking one product might not mean you’ll like it too. That’s the reason we’re developing Twindly, btw – because finding your beauty twin, or more than one, means you’ll have another person with your skin type and preferences that you can use as a sounding board. (No idea what Twindly is about? Look here!)

Until then, swatching, using your brains and asking a few questions before buying and good old trial and error will be it.


Beauty junkie with about 20 years of beauty experience under her belt. Editor, writer and twindly’s PR heroine. Has an unbelievably large nail polish stash and a passion for skincare. Gets a kick out of pretty powders.

  • Eleni

    September 8, 2017 at 12:43 pm

    Well said! We are all different and we should take all reviews with a pitch of salt! The REN instant shot works for me too. I find it too active for younger skin though, so sitting in my drawer. It works well though. The BB stick I skipped-primer in a stick? No thanks. And the CC cream by IT cosmetics- too heavy for me and I cannot find a decent shade match. Whereas you could find one. It’s all so personal, but opinions make the world turn around, don’t they?
    Eleni recently posted…Chanel 2017 Fall-Winter Make-up Collection: Ombre Premiere in Memory and UrbanMy Profile

  • astrid

    September 10, 2017 at 7:27 pm

    I’ve to also comment on the IT cosmetics CC cream thing, I feel kinda responsible since I’m one of the person who is also raving so much about it :D.
    I actually wear it to the beaches in Bali, and it holds up so well on me (doesn’t feel heavy at all). Part of the reason, maybe, I don’t wear any other product with this. I also consider my skin a combination btw. At most I’m using a light Caudalie VinoPerfect serum. So I ‘m using it as a moisturizer + sunscreen + foundation. Which is the whole point of the CC cream?

    But yeah, different opinions are what make the beauty world goes round! Plus each of our skin is different. And the combination of products we wear are different too (can’t wait for twindly to be smart enough to tell me the possible solutions to this!)

    I’ve to agree with Eleni with the shade of IT Cosmetics too. When I get my tan (and that’s probably the 2nd day of Bali vacation already), the shade totally doesn’t work on me anymore (I’m in between Tan and Rich, and the step between this two shades is quite a lot).

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