April Tried But Not True

hi~  this is going to be a monthly series of stuff i’ve tried this month but found they that didn’t work for me, so i’m returning.

April TBNT Hair & BOdy

i’ve heard a lot of good things about African Botanics.  i grabbed this body lotion from http://www.beautysage.com during their free shipping (still going on) while i also had a discount coupon.  all the glowing reviews i read about this brand happened to be face products, but since a body lotion was what i needed, i decided to give it a shot.  sadly, African Botanics Botanical Body Hydrator did not live up to brand reputation.  at $55 for 3.8fl oz, i expected it to have magical properties.  perhaps it was a little bit of user selection error.  i have very dehydrated and dry skin on my body,  i tend to prefer creams with a certain amount of wax to prevent moisture from escaping too easily.  clearly, looking at the ingredient list, this lotion wasn’t my preferred formulation.  but since i’ve had some recent success with another oil, i decided to give Botanical Body Hydrator a try.    i was really hoping the marula oil that i’ve been hearing so much about would have soothed my dry and irritated skin.  it did give me softer skin temporarily, but after an hour or two, my skin would go back to dry and itchy.  it has a sharp green scent when first used before rounding out to a lasting sweeter scent.  it was a little too much aromatherapy for my liking.  last, but not least, at times it discomforted my skin slightly.  i think i may be sensitive to the percentage of neroli they use.

i’ve always wanted to try Rahua because i’ve heard so many good things about it, but the volumizing set just didn’t work for me.  my hair didn’t feel especially volumized, and it dried out my hair a little and left it more tangled than usual.  since my usual arsenal outperformed it at ⅓ of rahua’s price, which comes at the hefty price tag of $32 each, i didn’t feel like the set needed further experimentation.

Bumble and Bumble Cityswept Finish is a microfine misting balm that is supposed to give definition to your hair.  i was hoping that it would give my layers some definition, like a texture balm without the grease.  it did give very subtle definition, no where near the result i saw when the beauty consultant demonstrated it on her hair, but it also tangled my hair.  it also made my hair slightly greasier than normal.  since it didn’t give me the effect i was hoping for and made my hair harder to manage to boot, it’s going back to Sephora.

Tarte The Brow Architect was probably another product i didn’t completely think through before i purchased.  it has a colored pencil to fill in your brows, a built in concealer to highlight the arch and hide stray hair, and a brush to comb the brow.  i have dark hair but pale skin, so i chose the medium color.  the brow color was a little light but could be built up to proper intensity.  the concealer for highlight, however, was too peach and slightly darker than my current highlighter shades.  since this means i would never use half of the product, i decided it should be returned.

April 2014 TBNT MU

i heard Cover Fx Anti-Age Smoothing Eye Primer was white in color when applied.  i had high hopes that i could combine my eye primer and a white base (such as Nyx Jumbo Pencil in Milk) into one step.  Anti-Age Smoothing Eye Primer is a milky color and has a eye gel like texture, but it dried clear for me.  the dry time for it was also longer than other primers i’ve tried.  it performed less well than my Nars, Urban Decay, Too Faced, and Benefit eye primers.

Urban Decay Super-Saturated Ultra Intense Waterproof Cream Liner in Perversion (man who needs product description with a name like that?!?) is my latest attempt at getting cream/gel liners to work for my oily lids.  i’ve always heard that they were the best formula for oily mono-lids, but i must have weird eyelids because liquid liner is still the only kind i can get to not smudge on me.  i should just give up on this type of formula all together.  i will say that it did a better job than Wet n’Wild, Bobby Brown, and Tarte though.

No Bleeding Lips Secret Lip Liner – this is a clear liner that’s supposed to prevent bleeding and feathering.  i bought this hoping i could save myself from having a bunch of different dark lip pencils that i only use once in a blue moon to define my lips when i’m using dark lipsticks and glosses, but it wasn’t up to the task.  color still went outside of the line.

Sephora + Pantone Universe The Eye: Radiant Femme Artistry Set – another product i should have known better than to pick up.  i had firmly written off Radiant Orchid off as an eye shadow because i knew fuchsias and other pink toned purples are not a good color on me; they tend to make my eyes look a little swollen.  but i loved the Divergent Cosmetics Multi-Piece Collector’s Kit and was told it had the same formulation, and the beauty consultant i was chatting with convinced me that i could rock it too.  sadly this palette had some performance issues.  some had a lot of fallout and poor pigmentation.  plus, i was right in my fear that Radiant Orchid wasn’t a good fit for me.  i played with it in several different looks, placing the color in different parts of my eyes at different intensities but i was never able to make it work.  the picture below was the best of the lot, but it’s still not great.

Radiant Orchid with green and gold from the same palette

Radiant Orchid with green and gold from the same palette

it also made this really loud, annoying clack sound when you close it.  it sounds like you’ve accidentally broken something in the plastic hinge.  While i appreciated the palette giving me 6 quadrants of coordinated looks, i thought some of the neutrals were too similar and repetitive.  i love looking at the colors in this palette but it wouldn’t get good use, so it’s going back.


Readers, what have you loved or sent back this month?  my boyfriend named this series, what do you think of the title? 

6 thoughts on “April Tried But Not True

  1. Hey Joy, gah I’m so sorry to hear none of these worked for you! I’ve wanted to try African Botanics for a while, but I might pick something else as my first product if this is really not doing the trick for you. I like the “tried but not true” part 😉 We can’t send anything back here, so I just have to be super cautious about buying ANYTHING!


    • hi sunny~ haha it’s ok. at least a lot of money will come back into my wallet! yeah definitely try something that’s actually for the face on Afican Botanics. honestly, i was pretty sure it was going to end up being a return anyways but i figured with 20% off and a good return policy i’d give it a try. so many great face product companies make just average body lotions, i didn’t have high hopes but was willing to be proven wrong. thank goodness for return policy. i’d like to say that i’d be more cautious if i lived in a place with no return policy, but honesty forces to admit, it’d probably only save me from 50% of my impulse purchases? o.~


  2. Wow, girly– that’s a whole lot of misses in a month! I’m most sad that the African Botanics Body Lotion didn’t work for you– I haven’t tried that one, but I do have and LOVE LOVE LOVE their Botanical Body Cream. I find it super moisturizing, and hydrating. ❤


    • i was shopping on beautysage during their sale. they weren’t carrying the full line of African Botanics so that was the product i ended up with. i do remember you raving about the body cream, i’m sure i’ll get around to it eventually. luckily winter has past so the skin isn’t freaking out anymore.


      • I definitely love the cream, and my bet is that you would find it quite a bit more moisturizing. Thankfully your skin gets a break from the winter weather! 🙂


      • yes but in another couple of months, i’ll be spending a couple of weeks in asia. i’m sure my skin will freak out again when i return home. there’s really no making it happy. in asia, it protests the pollution. in la, it protests the dryness 😛


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