7 over-hyped beauty products our editors don’t think are worth it
Unpopular opinions incoming
Editor / September 19 2022
If you’re considered the ‘beauty person’ in your friend group, you’ll be well acquainted with the question, “is [insert popular product here] actually good?”. Blame it on TikTok, clever marketing, or both, but a lot of us have become skeptics when it comes to viral beauty products.
And while it’s the literal job of the BEAUTYcrew editors to test and recommend the best the beauty shelves have to offer (FYI, here’s our top mascara and drugstore concealer picks), even we get sucked into the hype sometimes. Especially if the packaging is pretty to look at.
But we’ve taken a step back, put on our honesty hats, and here you’ll find our unpopular opinions about some very well-liked products. Just remember, beauty is subjective (so don’t shoot the messenger).
Le Labo Santal 33
"Can I start off by apologising to any of my friends who wear this fragrance? Because there are a few. Look, there was once a special place in my heart for Le Labo’s wildly-popular scent, Santal 33. But that place was left back in 2018 and I need it to stay there. There’s nothing offensive about this fragrance. In fact, the blend of sandalwood and leather make for the ultimate unisex scent. However, as with any good thing, it doesn’t stay a secret for long. So I blame the overexposure for turning me off. Don’t believe me? Walk into any bar, party or office and you’ll immediately be hit in the face with the once mysterious and now all-too-familiar scent. And if it’s not the OG, it’ll be one of the squillion Santal 33 dupes that were released following the peak of its popularity. Whatever the reason, I can’t get around Santal 33. Matcha26 however? Now that’s secured me as a Le Labo fan for life." - Ruby Cotton, BEAUTYcrew's Content Producer
$467 at MECCA
Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in ‘Pillow Talk’
"I realise this is the beauty equivalent of saying Harry Styles isn’t your type, (he’s everyone’s type?!), but despite a few attempts at making it my everyday neutral, I’ve never been able to reap the same ‘perfect pinky-nude’ benefits from Charlotte Tilbury’s iconic ‘Pillow Talk’ shade as everyone else. I really rate the formula and I love the way it looks on others, but nonetheless find it always looks too overdone and a little ‘brown’ for my liking on my own face. Do I stow one in my handbag in the hopes of said issue changing one day? Yes. But alas, no luck as of yet. I must admit I’m the same with M.A.C’s ‘Velvet Teddy’ though, so hey, maybe I’m just not a matte nude lipstick lover!" - Delaney Loane, BEAUTYcrew's Beauty Editor
$49 at Charlotte Tilbury
ANASTASIA BEVERLY HILLS Brow Freeze Brow Styling Wax
"I know everyone loves this product for creating soap brows, but whenever I style my arches with the stuff I look insane. It’s not that it’s difficult to use. In fact, if anything, I have to praise the product for its simplicity when it comes to application. But I’m just not a fan of the severe, “frozen brows” look. I’ve been convinced by a few too many deceptively chic people on TikTok and Instagram to try the technique, but it never works for me. I end up looking like I’ve been overdoing it with Botox or like a literal drag queen. I’ll take fluffy, natural brows over that manicured, laminated look any day of the week." Briar Clark, BEAUTYcrew's Content Producer
$39 at Sephora
L'OCCITANE Almond Shower Oil
"Considering one of these is sold every 15 seconds worldwide, I know for a fact I’m pretty alone in this. But while so many of my friends (both in the beauty industry and not) are OBSESSED, I cannot get around it. I like oils but prefer them after showering and I much rather the sensorial experience of the L’OCCITANE Bath & Shower Gels — there are so many that smell just as good if not better! If you happen to be the one other person on the planet that feels the same as me, we can start our own Cherry Blossom Shower Gel fan club." - Samantha McMeekin, BEAUTYcrew's Editor
$39 at L’OCCITANE
NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer
"This is easily one of NARS’ most loved products and used to feature in my makeup look daily — until I discovered that there are concealers that don’t instantly age you. And don’t get me wrong, I love NARS as a brand but this concealer just didn’t do it for me. It creased and looked cakey after a couple of hours wear, no matter how I applied it (with my fingers, a brush, topped with setting powder etc.). But this could have been down to my almost non-existent skin care routine (I was 21, okay?!) and had never used an eye cream on my dry under-eyes. So these days I stick to skin care-infused concealers, because who doesn’t love a multi-tasker?" - Georgia Nelson, BEAUTYcrew's Beauty & Social Editor
$46 at MECCA
LA MER Crème de la Mer
"LA MER's Crème de la Mer would have to be one of the most iconic moisturisers on the market, so it pains me to say this but it sadly doesn't work for me. The cream has an ultra-rich consistency – which when you're paying close to $300 for 30mL, you would expect a thick, luxurious formulation – but it just doesn't seem to sit well on my skin. Come morning I find it has caused irritation and even some breakouts on my cheeks. The rave reviews of this (very) boujee buy mean I can only put my experience down to my current skin type and age, so you better believe I will be storing this away to try again." Aja Walter, BEAUTYcrew's Listings Editor
$285 from David Jones
Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara
"This has been one of the most hyped mascaras for a decade. And while I think it’s decent, it doesn’t really perform better than any other mascara I’ve tried. I LOVE the hour glass-shaped wand, but unfortunately, it doesn’t give me the long, voluminous lashes I so desperately look for in a mascara. Don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t clump or smudge, but I just feel like in order to make the most of it, you have to apply multiple layers. And as a self-proclaimed lazy girl, this isn’t really something I’m willing to do!" - Tiarne Blackwell, BEAUTYcrew's Listings Producer
Samantha McMeekin was BEAUTYcrew's Editor from January 2020 to June 2023. She has worked as a journalist in the beauty and lifestyle industry for over 10 years. In 2019, she was nominated for Best Digital Writer at the BSME Awards for her work on GLAMOUR UK. If you ever meet her in person, she'll probably try to guess which fragrance you're wearing (she's got a humble 60% strike rate).