We have all been there. You waited and waited, finally decided to buy a product (or sometimes, a whole line!), only to be completely dissatisfied when the product fails to impress. What can you do?
Well, there are pretty much just three choices – keep, return or toss. Should this misfortune happen to you (it happens to me A LOT since I use a new product every 3 months or less), there are still some things you can do should you decide to keep the duds.
Most of the eye creams don’t really do what they promise – I have come to accept that finding one that works is almost as mythical as the existence of Loch Ness (lately I finally found one: Babor Sensational Eye Cream). The good thing about eye creams is that you can still use them to hydrate your eye contour areas even if they don’t depuff, de-wrinkle and de-bag; it will become a basic product even though you probably spent a small fortune for its purported multi-purpose capabilities. They can also be used as lip creams (many Korean eye creams can double as lip creams, as I was told by sales associates at the Amore stores).
When to toss: if it rubs off, balls up or flakes, or causes any adverse reaction (e.g.breakout or allergy) there is no keeping any product. I would try to get a refund or exchange where you purchased it, if it is possible; tossing is a last resort and complete waste of money so I would try my best to get a refund or exchange before tossing.
Toners, Serums and Creams
I ususally use them even if they don’t work, however unhappy and dissatisfied I am. Unless they break me out or rub off of course.
To use up a toner faster, you can use it as a cloth essence mask. Buy any of the cloth masks that are not pre-soaked and saturate one with your toner and use it as a mask. Sometimes some of those seemingly useless toners actually work better this way, in larger amount like in a cloth essence mask.
Another way to use toners is to mix with a liquid or cream foundation. Astringents can make a too-rich foundation or too-oily sunscreen a little more matte.
Creams and emulsions – still good for hydration if not anything else they claim to do. Even if they break you out, you can always use them as neck creams. Best way to get rid of creams that break you out is to use them as a thickly layered hand mask. Spread an ample amount on the back of your hands, through to the finger tips, and leave on for 5-10 minutes. You can add saran wrap to seal in the moisture if needed. Elbows and knees are also great for using creams that break you out too. That way you don’t waste the product and your dry, rough hands and elbows will thank you too.
Makeup and Sunscreens
Hmm…these are usually hard to keep if they don’t work. An eyeliner that smears will be tossed. But I would always try to save it first.
If an eyeliner tends to run, I would try to blot a matching color eyeshadow on top, or a translucent powder (pressed or loose) to set it. An eye primer is a must for me so if even the eye primer and powder cannot rescue the eyeliner, it is going into the garbage bin. Sunscreens are pretty much the same way too. Some go on really thick, pasty and white, and you can either try to get a refund, or toss. You can’t really save such a bad sunscreen. So it is very important where you intend on buying stuff like sunscreen and makeup. My own strategy is do research – I know which sunscreen won’t leave a white cast on the skin and blends easily (e.g. Shiseido’s, Kanebo, Kose, all have great sunscreens), or eyeliners that stay put all day. If unsure, Sephora is your best bet.
Bottom line: always try to get a refund, store credit or exchange if possible. Places like Sephora have exemplary refund policies – even if the products are used, they will still accept returns. When you buy online from overseas companies, you most likely won’t get a refund, so you need to know what you are getting. Do your homework before your purchase. I am pretty lucky that most of the Japanese and Korean products I bought online never gave me any problems – but I did have problems with a lot of western brands so Sephora comes in handy!
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