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9 Nov 2014

Like but don't love

The premise of this post is to chat about products I have purchased recently that although nice to look at and perhaps use would definitely not qualify for a repurchase or a recommendation.

That’s the idea behind it anyway. Think of it as a passive aggressive way of slagging something off. So let’s get started!

Estee Lauder Heat Wave

Did you know that this highlighter is currently retailing for £80 on eBay. Yes, you heard that right. £80! The person that buys that is a sandwich short of a picnic in my opinion because this highlighter, while pretty, is not worth that sort of cash.

I bought this after a mention from Michelline and was informed that although sold out worldwide this was currently in stock at many counters in the UAE – all you have to do is ask/hover over the sales assistant while they rifle through the drawer to make sure they don’t miss it.

Well I did was I was told and dutifully picked it up. It’s a stunner to look at – all glossy gold packaging containing a well-pigmented champagne gold highlighter. To the eye this is very appealing and I can see why people collect these summer releases from Lauder.

However, while I do think this is nice to look at it doesn’t “pop” on my skin. In fact it just looks like any other generic highlighter I have stuffed in my drawer. The champagne shade doesn’t really translate when applied and instead I get a brush full of gentle shine.

This does not therefore measure up to theBalm’s Mary-LouManizer and Kevyn Aucoin’s Celestial powder (in Candlelight). In my opinion those two knock this out of the park. Like, way, way out of the park!

Christian Louboutin nail polish in Tres Decollete

True story: Laura captured the moment I paid a whopping amount for a singular nail polish in Level Shoe District (Dubai) on camera so she could retail-shame me forever more. She was horrified. I was excited.

I got the very me (AKA boring) colour – Tres Decollete. This is essentially a pale, baby pink and sits at the heart of The Nudes collection. When I examined the full colour range this was the only one that I really liked and the one that I knew I would be more likely to actually use up. I know normal people probably get the red but I generally prefer a red that sits beyond the classic Louboutin shade (i.e., brighter or more merlot-toned). So generic Tres Decollete it was.

Yes, it’s very expensive and no, the polish quality and consistency does not warrant the price tag. It wears as any good Essie or even Barry M polish would – marry it with a decent base and top coat and you will get a comfortable 5-6 days of wear time before the chips settle in.

What you pay for here is pretty obvious – it’s the design of the bottle. When I first spotted this on Instagram I was not a fan for practical reasons (the spike scares the living daylights out of me) but at this point I love the fact that the heart of the brand is represented in the aesthetics. He could so easily have slapped his name on a bottle that was cheaper to manufacture but instead made the effort to create something that both looks and feels truly special.

Am I going to buy more? Am I heck! Have you seen the price? I would have been tempted if the polish had been sensational but what you see above required three careful coats so there is nothing outstanding about the formula. This is firmly sitting in the “one off” category.

Bobbi Brown Sheer Brights For Eyes

For the record, I didn’t buy these eyeshadows – I was sent them.

These are so wonderful to look at. 

It’s a pastel paradise, with a mix of two finishes: metallic (read: high shimmer) and shimmer wash (sheer with a light pearl).

Some of the colours are very wearable – Golden Amber for example is very pretty on and gives a delicate, pretty finish…

it's a great shadow actually.

…the others however are more of a challenge for me. I mean I like looking at the baby blue, sea green and lavender shades but other than perhaps using them along the lower lash line or to blend out other colours, I just can’t imagine them working.

I think much of this comes down to age. I can’t help but think that much of this line would be perfect for a teenager. The pigmentation is sheer – and so much more appropriate for that age range – and the colours themselves encapsulate a youthful approach to makeup. Now you might argue that a teenager is hardly going to be able to afford a £17.50 a piece eyeshadow and I think you have a point there. As nice as these shadows are to admire they present too much of a challenge for me.

Right, I could go on (and on and on) with this post but I’ll stop here for fear of boring you with prose. 

I would love to know what products you have encountered recently that qualified as being okay…and yet not repurchase-or-recommendation worthy.

As always, thanks for reading the waffle!


  1. your skin looks amazing, i've always wanted to try that highlighter!

    Rachel // Style Soup

  2. That Highlighter looks amazing and the price is astonishing but its a shame you didn't love it.
    Thanks for sharing! Great Post, Kate x


  3. Oh no shame you didn't like the Louboutin polish! I still love the red and will definitely be picking up one of the dark shades. The Estee Lauder highlighter looks too pretty to use x

  4. I always admire your honesty and I was pretty jealous when I saw you had managed to track down the EL highlighter and totally gutted for you that it was 'nothing special'. Get it on eBay and buy yourself something pretty instead. You tried Mac Velvet Teddy lipstick yet?

  5. I love the color of the Louboutin nail polish :)


  6. I love posts like this! 'A passive-aggressive way of slagging something off...' Hilarious!

  7. Again, great post idea! For me, Chanel nailpolishes fall into said category: The colors suck me in, but I find the longevity and application horrible. To me, the price point isn't justified and any drugstore brand or Essie gives me way better results. Same for Well Dressed blush from MAC: gorgeous color, but the payoff is so disappointing. Maybe it's due to my complexion, but I have to swirl the brush like nobodies business to see just a tiny bit of color on my cheeks. As I like the color so much I will continue to use it, but definetely wouldn't repurchase.

    1. Julia, i had the same issue with MAC blush. you must try Tom Ford. I wrote a post about it recently. Its amazing, theres zero level of swirling involved and stays on for hours.


  8. Its such a shame when we spend on items that just do not work for us, love the lipstick you have on in the photo :) x

  9. This was such a cool post! Thanks for sharing!


  10. Love this post Laura! I really appreciate your honesty! Those Bobbi Brown eyeshadows were sent to you and you still gave your honest opinion. You just can tell in other blogs the fake OVER EXCITEMENT about the products they get from the brands to "review".

  11. I actually just watched MakeupbyTiffanyD's video and she bought of the of the louboutin nail polish, the red one, and while i can see myself buying it if i find myself in front of it, I was having some bad visions of myself poking my eyes out while applying the polish or worse - my son stabbing himself. (over-reacting much?)

    Love honesty as always!

    ps.sandwich short of a picnic - bahahahaha we have visitors from the UK currently I've heard this too many times this week - still hilarious though!

  12. I agree with your review on the Louboutin nail polish, it is hugely expensive for an average product but the bottle makes such a lovely ornament on my dresser it kind of makes it worth it! No?! Have a great day


  13. Laura! I can't believe I found you (again)! I used to read your blog and watch your YT videos way back when... what, 5-6 years ago? And then I just did a random search on Clinique soft matte lipstick and your blog popped up! Thanks to that I, A) ended up getting the lipstick in "Matte Mandarin" (obsessed!) and B) have my favourite blogger back! So happy :)

  14. Love your haircut and your skin looks beautiful :)

  15. I'm sad to say but I agree with the polish review. The bottles are gorgeous and I'd love to collect them all - not to use just for decor - but, golly, at over $60 AUD {last time I checked} it's a bit ridiculous.

  16. thanks for your honesty

    ♥ themarthalist.blogspot.com ♥

  17. Love this post Laura. I'd wondered about the Loubou nail polish, but now I'm not going to bother!
    Thanks for the non recommendation!
    Hugs xoxo

  18. This comment has been removed by the author.

  19. There are quite some products I bought that I think are just okay. Seems like I fall for a hype easily :)

  20. Nothing wrong with liking and not loving things! Or even not liking them at all. The world would be a very boring place if we were all the same.

    Ting | www.thetingthing.com

  21. Love your honesty, shame about the EL highlighter, it looks so pretty! Bea x


  22. The line " The person that buys that is a sandwich short of a picnic" .. was worth the read alone .. lol.

    Monica, www.pear-shaped-gal.com

  23. I can see why you bought that highlighter - it's beautiful! It's always such a shame when something like that turns out to be underwhelming. x

    Kate Louise Blogs

  24. That highlighter is super pretty in the pan. Hate when a product is stunning in the packaging, but lackluster on the skin!

    One of my good friends got me the original red Louboutin nail polish for my birthday, and I agree, it's a stunning decoration, but kind of a normal nail polish ha.

    Melissa | M is for Melissa

  25. I'm shocked by how huge the CL nail varnish bottle is!!


  26. I love this blog! I used to watch you on youtube and I'm so glad that I still get to read your opinions on products. Thanks for sharing!

  27. I agree about the bobbi brown eyeshadows. I would NEVER wear pastels on my eyes... young and old hehe. Those are the type of colours i see at counters and just brush off because they will never work on me. It took buying many many palettes to realise browns are the only colour i use. I did see a lot of lovely nude brown palettes at bobbi brown lately :) I still regret a very beautiful Dior garden palette i bought with pastel eyeshadows... i will never touch it :(

  28. Love that highlighter on you! Must get it♥ xo
    >Beauty & Fashion Blogger<

  29. great post and interesting read.

    my latest hype that i haven't tried yet is the newly launched Gucci make up. it looks the nuts and is created with such careful detailing, i only wonder if the products lives up to it. its pretty pricey but still affordable. i dont know if its made it to UAE yet, but do blog about it, if you come across it. x


  30. I gasped a little at the beauty of the EL highlighter when I first saw it. It's a shame it doesn't quite translate as well as you'd hope/expect. I finally witnessed the CL polishes in real life this week, they're so much bigger than I expected. Part of me wants one for the sheer dressing table joy, but I suspect I probably won't... xx