We Used the Beauty Products We Hate the Most for a Week—Here's What Happened
Even though we're product fiends, there are those items we avoid like the plague, be it for the fact they don't look good on us or because we just haven't figured out the best match for our specific needs. As much as we're open to trying new products, though, we're admittedly a bit more stubborn when it comes to the products we've sworn off: We've said our goodbyes, we've buried them, and we've moved on.
However, I challenged myself and my fellow Byrdie editors to try the products we hate the most for a full week to see if, perhaps, we'd actually come around to liking them. For many, the mission was a great success, but some (ahem–moi) are still sceptics. Keep reading to find out how we fared in our weeklong trials.
"I chose to wear eyeshadow for the week, a product I rarely wear but consistently admire. I love the look of a soft, creamy metallic, a sheer wash of pastel, disco glitter, and haven't been able to get Lily Collins's rose petal lids out of my mind since she wore them on the red carpet. So no, I don't hate eyeshadow—quite the contrary. I just relish in a no-maintenance makeup look (one that takes 10 minutes or less) and usually go for a bright, naked eye to keep them looking big and (hopefully) awake.
"On the first day, I wore RMS Beauty's Eye Polish in Lucky ($40), a burnt bronze that glides on smooth and only slightly sparkly. It is gorgeous—the perfect complement to my recent vacation-bound spray tan. It was easy to apply (I used my finger) and made my blue eyes pop. It wasn't a huge departure from my usual routine as it's subtle and as natural as a metallic shadow can look. I went on to try blue, pink, and beige and finished the week in a smoky eye I wish I could take back. In the end, I've absolutely come around to eyeshadow. I've honed in on the necessary skill to apply it quickly (without any major mishaps) and will absolutely integrate it further into my daily routine. All in all, the experiment was a smashing success, minus the smoky eye (it made my eyes look small)."
Product: A Hairdryer
"Slightly hyperbolic but true: A hairdryer is the most useless beauty product in the world. Why spend your precious time blowing hot air on your strands (and subsequently damaging them) when you could just shower an hour or two before bed and let your strands air-dry? Then, you can wake up and style as you please—or, better yet, style them while they're drying. This has been my philosophy for the better half of my life, and I (like to) think that I've spent the time I would have been blowdrying my hair on more life-enriching tasks such as getting bagels before work, editing my Instagram photos, and, well, things. Though, if I'm to be honest, my aversion to hairdryers mostly stems from the fact that I have minimal upper body strength, and in 30 seconds or less, my arms get tired from holding them up. Plus, I have a lot of hair, and my regard for my tired arms always outweighs my patience to coax my hair to a 100% dry state.
"All of this is to say that I have little regard for hairdryers and thus was not looking forward to a week where I would be forced to use one. Full disclosure: I only ended up using it twice. But I have thoughts. For my experiment, I thought it only fitting to use the Lamborghini of hair dryers: the Dyson Supersonic Hairdryer. Last year, this buzzy product made the internet swoon like a teen (okay, fine, me) at a One Direction concert for its sexy design and the fact that it promised to majorly cut down your drying time. It also has something called 'intelligent heat control technology' that prevents it from getting too hot and frying your strands; it's also supposed to be more lightweight and less migraine-inducingly loud than traditional hairdryers. All of these things made it very appealing to me, but the fact still stood that I hate drying my hair, so the dread remained.
"Turns out drying your hair isn't as much of a pain when you have a good hairdryer. My hair is shorter and thinner right now than it usually is, but I still marveled at the fact the Dyson dried my hair in around five minutes. There's always a section in the back that never fully dries—the part of my hair right by the nape of my neck—but for the most part, I was staring at a dry, smooth head of hair in less time than it usually takes me to put in my credit card info for my Uber Eats order (kidding—that info is definitely saved). The Dyson is not quiet, by any means, but I suppose the whirring is more soothing that most old-school hairdryers. Sadly, the Dyson does not fit my (made-up) criteria for weighing less than 500 grams, so my Popeye-like arms still wobbled a bit after setting the hair dryer down (but at least I got my workout in for the day!). I used it once more with a twinge less dread a few days later and once again admired how quickly it dried my hair. Will I be incorporating a hair dryer into my daily routine? Short answer: no. I am still lazy, and my arms are still weak. But I certainly have a newfound appreciation and respect for women who would take theirs to their grave. It even sort of makes sense to own one, if I think about it hard enough."
Product: Hair Straightener
"I've always been pretty low-maintenance when it comes to my hair, but since cutting it short (I chopped off nearly 30 cm) last April, I've let it air dry almost exclusively, have abandoned most of my styling products, and have definitely given up trying anything with a hair straightener.
"On the first day, I instantly regretted choosing this tool simply because of the extra time it would add to my morning routine. I purposely allowed myself an extra half-hour to get ready in case my hair got wet in the shower (I still refuse to blowdry) or if I ran into any other issues trying to wield a hair straightener after almost a full year of abstaining.
"As soon as I began passing the hair straightener over my strands, my only regret was not doing it more often. The straightener instantly smoothed out any frizz or signs of bedhead, and with just a few passes, my hair looked worlds more polished. Throughout the week, I played around here and there with styling other looks—a slight curl or stick straight. While I've decided those efforts are best reserved for big occasions or nights out, I can get behind a quick daily pass to smooth out strands, because the polished results are well worth it."
"I hate wearing lipstick. I mean, I like the idea of wearing lipstick and enjoy collecting them in piles in my office, handbags, and bathroom, but each tube is mostly just for show. The reason? It just never really looks great on me. Oddly enough, a lot of the time, my lip line gets bumpy after I apply it (if anyone else has experienced this issue and found a solution, please help a sister out), and/or it bleeds out or gets on my teeth (the worst). This is probably just because I'm not applying it correctly or taking proper care of my lips, but I'd rather be bare-lipped and happy than look like a vampire who just finished feeding. Alas, when I needed to choose a product to test-drive for a week that I don't normally wear, I decided I'd bite the bullet and give lipstick a fair shot.
"When searching for a lipstick to take on a seven-day spin, I opted for two new shades: Tom Ford Lip Color in Indian Rose ($78) and Kosås Lipstick in Rosewater ($33). Both colours are very similar (a mauvey rose) but give me that my lips but better type of look that I love. They're very subtle yet stand out enough where it looks like I've got a little something on. Call me a Plain Jane, but I'm completely obsessed with these shades and feel very comfortable in them.
"I actually really enjoyed wearing the lipstick and looked forward to each application; the only downside was having the product come off on coffee cups or water bottles. I have a thing with seeing my lip print on a cup and being extremely grossed out, so it kind of ruined the experiment for me a bit, and ultimately, I've decided I'm still only going to reserve lipstick for special occasions. However, I'm so happy I gave them a try, because now I've found two shades that I'm absolutely in love with (even if they're totally similar). Plain Jane and proud of it."
"In spite of the many compliments I received while wearing it, I still don't think I'm a blush convert—it's just a forgettable extra step in a makeup routine I'm already trying to pare down. I will say that I really liked the product I used: Milk's Blush Oil is so easy to blend and layers on beautifully, so it really does look natural."
"Truth be told, I never understood the primer obsession. The stuff has always just sat on my combination skin like a slippery, silicone-y layer, failing to mattify the greasy sections of my face, hydrate the dry parts, or help my makeup stay on any longer. More than one respected makeup artist has confirmed my disdain for primer, so for a long time, I was convinced: Primer and I simply don't mix.
"But now I'm thinking that I was simply using the wrong primers, because after this weeklong experiment, I'm shocked to say that my tune has changed. I spent the week applying ISH Beauty's moisturising, silicone-free primer, which was recommended to me by several other beauty editors. It has an instant blurring, glow-ifying effect that I definitely didn't hate. And without a doubt, the product helped keep my makeup from sliding off my face (even throughout a 10-hour Golden Globes party and a one-hour workout class). Now that the experiment is over, I'm still attached to this primer. I guess all I needed was to find the right match."
Product: Nail Polish
"While I love the way nail polish looks on others, I have never been a fan of painted nails, mainly because I'm not great at applying it and because I'm a bit OCD when it comes to chipped polish. However, when I came across Smith & Cult's Pillow Pie polish, aka the pale pink shade of my dreams, I thought why not give it a go? While I loved the look of my nails on day one, the polish started to chip toward the end of the week, and I was once again reminded as to why I don't like painted nails. All in all, I don't think I will be painting my nails anytime soon; however, should a special event arise, I do see myself applying Smith & Cult's dreamy colour once again."
Have you sworn off a particular product? Which one and why? Tell us in the comments below!