Sunday, May 20, 2012

Overhyped and Overrated

These products aren't necessarily bad enough to make it to The Sh*t List, but they are still pretty disappointing.

This living, breathing list is reserved for products that fail to live up to the hype. These products received glowing reviews, came highly recommended, or touted themselves as some sort of miracle in a way that was at least semi-believable. Whatever the reason, I had hoped that these products would be less of a bust than they turned out to be. I will continually be adding to list as I encounter (or remember past encounters with) such disappointing products.

So, if you're considering buying into the hype surrounding any of the following products, read what I have to say before you try them out.
Let's start with one of the most overhyped and overrated products out there. I'm sure that, like me, you have been hearing for years that this stuff is just soooo great for the price and blablabla. I have tried various version of Maybelline's Great Lash and they all have been underwhelming. I have known this since high school, but I guess that from time to time I just keep deciding to revisit Great Lash due to all the undeserved accolades and hype surrounding these mascaras.

Learn from my mistake: Maybelline Great Lash mascaras are NOT and NEVER HAVE BEEN worthy of the hype. I'm sorry. I have tried truckloads of great mascaras and this just doesn't even come close to being one of them.

With that said, it's not horrible. I've tried worse. But why would you want to settle for a product knowing that it's just "not the worst out there..."??

It doesn't lengthen lashes. It doesn't thicken lashes. It doesn't hold a curl. It doesn't last very long. It fades. It's a bit wet and can be messy. Even the "BIG blackest black" version is just way too thin and doesn't do much to amplify lashes. I suppose it's possible to achieve a decent amount of coverage--after like 10 coats.
I think this one had one of those obnoxious cliche commercials where they have some "hair stylist" at a "fancy" salon claim that he cannot tell the difference between the bargain brand and "salon brands."

Now, before I go on to review this or any other "moisturizing" conditioner, I should explain that I have very high standards. My hair isn't in a dire state at the moment, but it has been before. I have put my hair through a lot of abuse over the years. It has been just about every hair color and been stripped, stressed, and strained in various other ways. But I have been spending the last four years getting it back to a healthy state and attempting to grow it nice and long. I limit heat styling and I avoided doing anything even remotely damaging to the color for years. I'm just now easing back into getting highlights. With that said, I do have textured hair. It's pretty thick, but the strands are relatively fine. It is somewhat curly--more wavy I guess. As is generally the case with moderately curly hair, if it isn't kept properly moisturized it gets frizzy, dry, and my waves/curls get uneven and unpredictable. And then comes the breakage....As I mentioned, I'm trying to grow it out, so breakage is not ok with me.  I have tried so many great conditioners over the years, and sampled my fair share of crappy ones. I rotate my conditioners regularly to keep them working well. It has been my experience that great conditioner, generally comes at a hefty price. But I don't have much money. And I have been reading rave reviews of bargain brands that have convinced me to give some of these a chance.

Now that we've gotten that out of the way, this Suave humectant stuff has gotten some pretty impressive reviews all over the internet. Which I thought was amazing since it is dirt cheap. So I had high hopes that this stuff would at least be decent.

No dice. I knew after just one use that this conditioner wouldn't cut it. I could feel in the shower that my hair wasn't really sucking it up. My hair still felt thirsty. So I reapplied it and reapplied it and left it in to soak for a bit. Still no dice. I washed it out and my hair felt far crispier than it did before I washed it. Dried my hair and it still felt crispy. But for the sake of being able to give it a proper review, I used it several more times just in case it needed a few days to kick in. I tried blow drying my hair to see if it felt smoother straight after using this stuff. Nope. Didn't help. At the end of my little experiment with this stuff, I was afraid my hair would fall out. 

If you are in need of an actual moisturizing conditioner, this is not the conditioner for you. If you have normal hair that is never prone to any real dryness, this might be fine for you. But Suave claims that this product is meant to restore moisture to "dry hair" and many of the positive reviews out that are written by people who claim to have dry or even very dry hair. But this girl right here with just moderately dry hair found this conditioner to be thoroughly unimpressive. 
Again, cyberspace is chalked full of glowing reviews of this conditioner by people who claim to have dry hair. And again, I decided to give this bargain product a shot. It's incredibly reasonably priced considering that it comes in a pretty large bottle. You get a lot of conditioner here. It smelled pretty nice when I first opened the bottle, but when I went to use it in the shower, I found the scent to be overpowering. Still, I proceeded to slather my hair in it. I could just feel that it wasn't enough to moisturize my hair. It still had that thirsty feel. I ended up using a lot of product and I threw on a shower cap to let it set for a few minutes in hopes that the result might still end up decent. Again, I was disappointed. Only this time, it was even worse. As my hair dried, it felt crispy and under-hydrated. Perhaps even worse, the texture of my hair was all off. This conditioner straightened out random sections of my hair while leaving others wavy. My hair is really soft and bouncy when it has been properly conditioned, so I generally know when I've been sold a lemon after just one use. But, for the purposes of giving this product a fair review, I used it twice more. That's about all my hair could handle. I feel pretty certain that my hair would have fallen out if I had conditioned using this stuff. It left my hair feeling odd and almost filmy. I definitely do not recommend this product to anyone who needs a truly hydrating conditioner.
This one sure seems to be a fan favorite. Unlike the previous two conditioners, this one showed a bit of promise after my first use. It wasn't anything to write home about, but at least my hair felt adequately moisturized. I decided to keep using it since it worked okay and to see if the results improved at all after a few more uses.

After my second use, it seemed that the results were just about as same as the first use. During my third application of the conditioner, I noticed that my hair just seemed really thirsty. This conditioner wasn't quenching it well enough. So I applied more, and more of the product and threw on a shower cap and let it sit for a couple of minute. Disappointingly, this did not help. My hair dried and it felt a little on the crispy side. The conditioner wasn't working like it had before. 
To make matters worse,  I noticed that I was starting to break out horribly on my neck and my shoulders (even though I'm careful to was my neck and back after conditioning and even though I use a shower cap whenever I let a conditioner set). This breakout was the worst I have had in years and I felt pretty certain that it was a reaction to the conditioner. Perhaps my skin did not appreciate all the dimethicone?

Regardless, I used the conditioner a few more times. I was even more careful about letting it get in contact with my skin. Unfortunately, it seems that my hair had "gotten used to" the conditioner. It did nothing to moisturize my hair after that point. It just made me break out worse. My scalp even broke out a bit. 

I think I had a bad reaction to this one, but I doubt that most people would have the same experience. The breakouts were probably somewhat of a fluke. The conditioner did not agree with my skin. But, this conditioner still seems to lack the ability to moisturize dry hair for more than a few days. But, if you have normal hair, this one might be okay.

Much, much more to come.

<3 Bee