Disappointing Products and Thoughts Why Bloggers Only Give Good Reviews

I don’t think I have done a post focusing on product disappointments. I’ve tested plenty of items that are not for my skin type (dry, dehydrated) or the right shade, I tend to pass those on. Same with items that just aren’t my cup of tea. But today’s lineup are honest disappointments: products I wanted to love, but underachieved for me. This isn’t bashing the brands, many of them I love. If these products work for you, great, maybe you can leave some tips for me below!

This post contains press samples: all marked with an asterisk (*).

Disappointing Products | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog @laurantaina

Why all the GReat reviews?

With empties there are plenty products I rather would not re-purchase, but I’d say that most product reviews on the blog have good to great reviews - or at least suggestions who would prefer them. Why is that? It takes hours to style, photograph, edit, type and re-read blog posts, so I prefer to focus on items when a) I have something to say b) enjoy writing about it.

I’m often quick when I judge products and can quickly tell if something isn’t working for me: those products I usually give to friends and family or repurpose (as body creams, shower gels etc). I admit, I am a snob. If a drugstore eyeshadow palette doesn’t meet my standards, I just don’t even bother mentioning it. But when something comes from a brand I like and doesn’t meet the expectations? It’s going to be here today.

*Klair’s Gentle Black Deep Cleansing Oil

Overall I like Klair’s, they are pretty affordable K-Beaty line with some gems, such as the toner and soothing cream. I had heard good things about this cleansing oil and I was hoping to find a wallet friendly opinion. The pump bottle is ok and there isn’t any offensive smell, but this oil simply doesn’t remove my eye makeup effectively enough. When I use a cleansing oil/balm on my eyes I expect to look like a panda and rinse/wash cloth clean. I have to use a separate makeup remover for mascara or use the oil twice before moving to second cleanser.. So this is a pass for me.

*Lily Lolo Eyeshadow Base

Again, a product I had heard good things about. I had my doubts of using a creamy eyeshadow base for my hooded lids and unfortunately my suspicions were right: this eye primer creases. It creases quickly and I see little to no point why there are two pigments in this eyeshadow base? Shouldn’t you just get one that matches for you the best? For very dry, non-hooded lids this may work.

*Lily Lolo Volume mascara (black tube)

I loved the Lily Lolo mascara in white tube and this was supposed to be the volumizing one. I’m 100% positive the white tube is more volumizing and thickening while the black tube gives some definition and separation. If you love to mascara just “be there” but not really show up, like a “no-mascara mascara”, then maybe this is the formula for you. Not for me, I stick with the white tube (review here).

Disappointing Products | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog @laurantaina

Shiseido ControlledChaos Mascara Ink

I love everything about this mascara: the wand, how it builds, chic packaging - except it smudges under my eyes. I had received the bright blue shade in PR, which I loved and had no problems with, so I eagerly purchased the black shade for review. Unfortunately the black was a complete letdown, I can’t touch up my under eyes several times a day.

*BYBI Prime Time Exfoliator

I recently read a review praising this exfoliator.. and I dare to disagree. The formula is too stiff, you have to squeeze the bottle very hard to get any product out. The exfoliating particles are sparse and a common ~coin-size amount isn’t nearly enough for proper manual exfoliation. Only use if your skin is very sensitive, but I still think there are better alternatives on the market.

Hourglass Arch Brow Liner

After several sponsored Youtube videos and a trip to Swedish Sephora, I was excited to try Hourglass’ new brow liner. The packaging: beautiful. The tip size and shape: excellent. Unfortunately the formula is way too stiff, not very pigmented and the roll-up side of the pen shakes and feels flimsy. While I think It Cosmetic’s alternative is too thick for similar precision, it beats Hourglass by being user-friendly. Despite the stiff formula, I ran out of this brow liner under 5 weeks.

Disappointing Products | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog @laurantaina

BYBI Baby Balm Bronze

When I saw that BYBI was coming out with makeup I rushed to TwistBe store and bought myself one. I don’t use much bronzers, but I love the Babe Balm and BYBI as a brand, so I was excited.. only to discover this bronzer is sheer - very sheer and has little to no base color. Just golden shimmer. I don’t get this at all. Could work as a cream highlighter for tan to deep skin tones, but wouldn’t you like more base color? I would use this as a lip balm if it wasn’t so glittery. (EDIT: I later read this is meant to be a highlighter after all? I will pass this to someone with deeper skin tone)

Origins Ginzing Peel-Off Mask

I was kindly gifted this mask after it didn’t work for a friend (hi Nastia!). I was a bit afraid of the “peel-off” aspect (the mask dries down and you can actually peel it off vs washing), but I like Origins a lot and decided to give it a go. Firstly, the scent is overpowering and offensive with menthol, made my eyes water. Secondly, when the mask has set it literally hurts to peel it off. Didn’t notice any skincare benefit and looking like a bronze tin man while the mask sets felt stupid. I can’t recommend this to anyone..

What product has disappointed you lately? Do you get along with any of the above? Let me know!

5 Best Tips for Long-Lasting Lip Color

"That's pretty, but will it stain or fade if I kiss?" This year I've noticed that my lip color preferences have been taken over by longevity. While I do enjoy a creamy lipstick, a shiny gloss or a strong full coverage matte lip - if it's a date night I'm more drawn to a long-lasting formula than wiping off stains from my boyfriend's cheek. Here are my tips for a long-lasting lip color and a couple of product favorites.



No lip color, especially matte or liquid lipsticks, look good if your lips are very chapped or parched. One of my favorite ways to exfoliate my lips is by mixing sugar with thick lip balm (such as Nuxe Reve de Miel) and scrub away. Lazy girl’s version is by using BYBI Beauty’s lip Buffer*, which also conditions the lips. It’s not very abrasive scrub so I rub vigorously before removing with a tissue. The Plumper* is a balm with a minty feel, but I the plumping effect is from natural moisturization instead of tingling. In Finland BYBI is available on Jolie.fi* and Twistbe.fi - who also have a super cute set*.

No Lip Balm Underneath

Lip balm - as much as we love it - is the devil when you want a long-lasting lip color. Add the balm when you start out your makeup routine, but make sure to rub it off with a tissue before adding any color. This slight rubbing not only removes the extra slip of the lip balm, but the last bits of dead skin - giving you even smoother canvas!


The Lip Liner Trick

Classic, obvious, but so good. You don’t only line the outside of your lips for the perfect shape, but color your entire lips with either 1) “my lips but better (MLBB) shade” or 2) something closely matching your lipstick color. This matte and even surface makes your lipstick glide nicely on the top, but also gives something to stick to. When your glossy lipstick fades, you still have something underneath and there will be no color left on the cracks of your lips. Here I’m using the trusty ol’ Charlotte Tilbury Lip Liner in Pillow Talk* and lipstick in Stoned Rose* I shop at Cult Beauty.


Double Blot

You apply lipstick, then either press a tissue against your lips or bite a tissue. Apply some more lipstick, just one layer and blot again. This layering technique works for a variety of lipsticks, making them last longer and a bit more matte looking.


Dab lip stains, tints and Jumbo Pencils

Lip tints are my best friend when it comes to a long-lasting lip look. I especially love the Lancome Matte shakers (available in Finland at Kicks.fi, Sokos, Stockmann), but unfortunately we have a very limited shade range in Europe. This lip color leaves a nice stain after the majority of the color wears off. If you’re not into the Lancome shades, look into Korean lip tints and tint waters, but not liquid lipsticks - they can be too drying.

I’ve noticed that jumbo lip colors tend to be created for all-evening wear. Also try dabbing a matte lipstick with a finger to your lips for that diffused, modern, hazy look. My favorite formulas are by ADDICTION and ‘Crushed’ formula by Bobbi Brown, which leaves a ting to the lips as well.

Did you learn any new tricks? Are you a lipstick or a lip balm person?

*BYBI Beauty products were kindly gifted for consideration.
My thoughts are honest and my own.

Millennial Pink Meets Eco Beauty - Bybi Beauty Supercharge Serum Review

Cute millenial pink packaging, cruelty free, 100% natural and a price point that doesn't make your choose between beauty and your rent. That's BYBI, a British skincare brand launched in 2017. While the range is well-curated and simply adorable on the outside, does the skincare actually perform? Today I'm taking a look at their Supercharge Serum* and sharing you my thoughts! Enjoy!


BYBI Supercharge Serum

This natural facial serum is designed to be potent, nutrient-dense yet light and fast-absorbing in texture. Unlike many eco facial oils, the Supercharge Serum has almost a transparent color and the blend of natural oils and essential oils are in a squalane base. Suggested use is in the mornings for a fresh, dewy look or as a night treatment before, in place of or added to a normal moisturizer. Packed in a glass bottle with a pipette dropper. 30ml / 1.018 fl.oz. for £32 or 38,90€. In Finland you can find BYBI from Jolie* or TwistBe*.

About BYBI Beauty Brand

BYBI was a completely new brand to me and I had to do some research who/where/what was it all about. The packaging is very cute millenial pink, typography is smart, overall the look is very Instagram friendly (and my graphic designer's heart is very happy). The price point is moderate/affordable if you consider the fact these ingredients promise to be high quality, 100% natural, vegan and cruelty free. The name BYBI stands By Beauty Insiders and the brand is founded by Elsie and Dominika, who are both UK beauty bloggers, consumers and formulators. They wanted to create a transparent brand based on their knowledge and bring something fresh to the market.


Using the Supercharge Serum

I've used this product as my serum step before a moisturizer (AM routine) or sealed under a nourishing beauty balm (PM routine). Despite testing the product during the heatwave that was scorching Europe, my skin wasn't left looking or feeling like a grease ball. BYBI describes the oil "almost like a dry oil" and I can agree - it sinks in very quickly, leaving the skin looking fresh and moisturized. I have a firm love for heavier, opaque colored eco facial oils, but it was wonderful to reach for something lighter during the hotter months. I take a generous amount (more than 4-5 drops), press my palms together and then press and roll on my face, neck and décolleté. The scent is slightly citrusy, but not overpowering.

I almost always prefer a dark opaque bottle for packaging to protect the product from light, but I guess the oils in BYBI's formula aren't that 'sensitive' type? I'm used to droppers but BYBI's is a tad flimsy as the glass pipette once fell off from the plastic pipette. Nothing was spilt and I pressed the glass part back to it's place, but as a consumer I don't want to think or be careful with the packaging. So that's a minor minus point, but otherwise I would travel with this serum despite the glass bottle as it does work very nicely under makeup.



Squalane, Raphanus Sativus (Radish) Seed Extract, Aleurites Moluccana Seed Oil, Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil, Camellia Japonica Seed Oil, Plukenetia Volubilis Seed Oil, Citrullus Vulgaris (Watermelon) Seed Oil, Echium Plantagineum Seed Oil, Tocopherol, Oenothera Biennis (Evening Primrose) Oil, Opuntia Ficus-Indica (Prickly Pear) Seed Oil, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Oil, Papaver Somniferum (Poppy) Seed Oil, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Oil, Citronellol, Pelargonium Graveolens (Rose Geranium) Flower Oil, Geraniol, Jasminum Grandiflorum (Jasmine) Flower Extract, Citral, Linalool, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Cymbopogon Flexuosus (Lemongrass) Oil, Limonene, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Eugenol, Isoeugenol

The base of this serum is squalane derived from olives. SqualAne is a hydrogenated version of squalEne, but not subject to auto-oxidation ie. it has a longer shelf-life. They're both naturally occuring compounds of human sebum and won't irritate or sensitize the skin. Squalane is a popular emollient and moisturizing agent in a lot of skincare as it absorbs quickly, making the skin nice and plump with no greasy residue.

Looks like BYBI has chosen a lot of other very moisturizing, antioxidant rich and stable oils for their formula, such as meadowfoam seed oil and Japanese camellia oil. I could find only little info on the second ingredient, kuikui or candletree oil, but meadowfoam is another fast-absorbing oils that locks in moisture and delivers nutrients into epidermis. There's also Tocopherol (Vitamin E), evening primrose and prickly pear seed oil. Especially prickly pear seed oil has been popular in green beauty as it has high olinoeic acid and antioxidant content.

After a few flower oils there is a surprising amount of fragrant ingredients, most likely naturally derived, but they are possible irritants and allergen (Linalool, Limonene, Eugenol etc.). It's weird because the Supercharge Serum has only a faint citrus smell that doesn't linger. So why the need for fragrance? Luckily I haven't had any issues while using this oil, but if you're very sensitive or have issues with essential oils I'd patch test or give it a sniff first. 

I think Supercharge serum would suit the best for reactive, perhaps acne-prone and oily skins as the comedogenic rating of squalane is very low, but it provides well-needed moisture for the skin. Just be cautious of the fragrance. If you have more mature or very dry skin this serum alone might not be enough for you, except if you enjoy a lighter and fast-absorbing oil under makeup.


Final thoughts

As I mentioned before, BYBI was a completely new eco brand to me and I had some healthy scepticism that something so cute wouldn't be effective.. silly I know and I'm happy report I was proven wrong! I thought the range would be only aimed towards younger audience judging by the pink packaging and lower price point (with eco oil serums the prices can be in 3 figures), but so far the products I've tried have won me over. I'm glad there's a range with an oil serum that is both aesthetically fresh but also won't break the bank.

*This product was kindly offered for consideration.
My thoughts are unbiased, honest and my own.