Beauty Products and User Subjectivity

I wanted to write a disclaimer on the sidebar about how I am not a doctor or a cosmetologist, I’m simply a beauty product enthusiast, and that all of my opinions should be taken with a grain of salt. Everyone will have a slightly different experience than I did with all of the products I’ve mentioned on this page. But I also wanted to add my personal take on “everyone’s needs are different/everyone is different” and “you should never fully take the advice of someone on the Internet.”

My favorite makeup and skincare YouTubers are Jeffree Star and thataylaa. Jeffree Star is probably my prime example of “everyone is different”. He tries on makeup that he loves, that I generally think is tacky and god awful. Now Jeffree, I’m sure, has sponsorships of all kinds, even if he doesn’t directly promote them. But whether he likes, or dislikes, the product, he makes himself completely clear as to why. His videos allow you to actually see how the product performs alongside his, ah, very opinionated commentary. Whether or not you agree with him, that’s up for you to decide. But I find that his brand of brutal honesty is preferable to most of the other channels that exist, where the creator is seems almost hesitant to mention the drawbacks of the product, likely because they’re trying to upsell in order for you to click their affiliate links.

Next, there’s thataylaa. I also like her for her honesty, and her head-on approach with to dealing with cystic acne: she put her makeup-free face on display for thousands of viewers at it’s very worst, and demonstrated how to use and find makeup for people with similar skin issues. It helped that she had similar skin tone/eye color/hair color as me. As a result, much of my Amazon and Ulta shopping was fueled by her recommendations.

I found Catrice Prime and Fine finishing spray through her! It worked magnificently — until I broke out, read the ingredient list (yep, after buying it, of course… my fault), and noticed it had benzoyl alcohol in it. No, it wasn’t at the very top of the list, so the chances of it being an irritant were slightly less, but I still felt weirdly jilted. I mean, didn’t she know benzoyl alcohol is a common adversary for those who suffer from cystic acne?! How dare she! In the most petty way possible, I felt disappointed in her.

Then I opened my bathroom closet a few days later and realized that my favorite self-tanner had alcohol denat listed somewhere along the second line. But I loved that self-tanner! I was never going to give it up! Double-standards galore. I digress: it made me realize that everyone’s needs and likes are going to be different. Thataylaa probably wasn’t having issues the same way I was with the finishing spray, and why would she? She isn’t me.

So when you read any review, or watch a video that demonstrates the product, just keep in mind. Your results are probably not going to be the same. A popular product won’t always be guaranteed to work for you, just the same as a lower-rated product might be your personal holy grail. I’d take a guess and say that 98% of reviewers are not professionally certified in any way to give a completely accurate dissertation (including myself!), so digest those reviews accordingly. 🙂 ~A

Catrice Prime and Fine Dewy Glow Fixing Spray

Catrice Dewy Glow Fixing

“If it tastes good, then it’s not good for you”. Same applies here, minus the taste part… so I guess that’s more like, “if it works well, it’s not good for you”?

This stuff is amazing. So amazing that it’s always sold out at Ulta, and resellers price-gouge on Amazon and Ebay, pushing the price up from the original $7 to $20!

You can go ahead and layer up with your usual moisturizers with this product, then go ahead and spritz some product of this on prior to putting on your foundation. It even SMELLS nice — a little alcohol-y, but somehow, still fresh and floral. With almost any foundation, this fixing spray will guarantee that the makeup won’t budge for at LEAST eight hours, probably more. It works better than any setting or finishing spray OR setting powders that I’ve ever used. In fact, while I was using this, I wouldn’t even bother to use any other setters or finishers!

But alas… one day I turned the packaging around and re-read the ingredients. There it was, that evil benzyl alcohol. As you readers may or may not know — actually, I’m mostly writing this for myself, since I always forget — the “evil” alcohols in skincare are ethanol, isopropyl, methanol, denat, and benzyl alcohol. They make products dry up quickly on your skin, but end up also drying out and irritating your skin.

Possibly but not necessarily due to the benzoyl alcohol, my super sensitive skin had a couple break outs while I was using the product. Initially, I blamed it on my period. But then it persisted well past that time of that month and I just happened to take a gander at the packaging… (should this blog be called “a girl tries makeup without checking the ingredients first”?) It’s very disappointing because this product is phenomenal, and truly makes your makeup last on your face for a very long time. Back to the fixing spray drawing board…

Perceived efficacy: 5/5

Longevity: 5/5

How much I actually like this product: If there were no benzyl alcohol, 5/5!

Recommended for sensitive skin: No