I’ve written a lot of long, rambling reviews of beauty products here over the years, but it occurred to me a few weeks ago that when I read product reviews myself, there’s really only one thing I want to know: does it work?
(OK, and also how much it costs. And whether the packaging will look nice on Instagram. But mostly ‘does it work’?)
Well, folks, that’s the question I’m going to be answering for you today, in respect to the four suspects – sorry, I mean, products – below. They are (drum roll)…
The Product: Boots No. 7 Fanomenal Lash Serum
The Claim: Applied twice daily to the lash line, it will make your eyelashes grow long and lush, and you will look just like Kim Kardashian, only your lashes will be real. Can also be used on eyebrows, in which case you’ll look more like Cara Delivigne: awesome!
Does it work? In a word: no. I still have bald patches in my eyebrows, and my eyelashes look exactly the same as before. I mean, I guess there’s a chance that if you measured them you might be able to tell me they’re a fraction of a millimetre longer, but if you know how to measure eyelashes, you know more than me. Tell me your eyelash-measuring secrets! (Actually, on second thoughts, don’t: ain’t nobody got time for that…)
To be fair, there was a point around 2 weeks into my use of this where I thought my eyelashes were looking pretty fly, and I wondered if it was starting to have an effect. Because I hadn’t bothered to take a ‘before’ photo or anything like that, though (I took a really scientific approach to this one, obviously), I also had to wonder if I was just imagining it. Which is ALSO a possibility.
Ultimately, I think that for me to declare this a success, it would have to make the kind of difference there could be absolutely no doubt about: like, if my eyelashes were suddenly so long I could knock things over in the breeze caused by batting them, and people were constantly coming up to me saying, “Wow, look at your lashes! Tell me your secrets, O Lash Guru Amber!” for instance. When it’s just the kind of difference that makes you think, “Well, maybe they’re a bit longer? Possibly?” then it’s not really worth it for me. This gets awesome reviews on the Boots website, though, so who knows, maybe I just have particularly stubborn lashes? That sounds like the kind of thing that would happen to me…
The Product: Garnier Simply Essentials 2-in-1 Makeup Remover
The Claim: Removes even waterproof makeup. No perfume, no alcohol, no rubbing.
Does it work? YES! And no one is more surprised than me, because for years I’ve laboured under the impression that Botanics All Bright Soothing Eye Makeup Remover was the only product in all the land that could successfully remove my waterproof mascara. (Or the Lancome version, which is even better, but WAY too expensive for my budget…) This one, however, is just as good, although I will quibble with the “no rubbing” claim – I’m not sure how I’d remove my mascara without at least a BIT of rubbing (It’s definitely not like in a TV commercial, where the person just gently waves a cotton pad in the general direction of her eye, and POOF! All makeup gone!), but it doesn’t take a lot, so I’ve actually re-purchased this a couple of times now since I first tried it. And photographing this particular bottle has just reminded me I need to do it again. Brain, take a memo, please.
The Product: Inhibitif Hair Free Deodorant (PR Sample)
The claim: Contains “high concentrations of multiple actives” (whatever that means) to inhibit hair growth. “With daily use, the need to shave or wax will be reduced dramatically.”
Did it work? Nope: I used the entire bottle, and the need to shave or wax was NOT reduced dramatically – in fact, I honestly didn’t notice any difference at all, although, as with the eyelash serum, it’s a fairly tricky thing to measure, isn’t it? I mean, have YOU ever tried to count how many hair follicles you have under each arm? GOD, it was a NIGHTMARE, let me tell you. Nah, I jest: I didn’t take a particularly scientific approach to this one either (or, indeed, a remotely scientific approach), because I was assuming the “dramatic” difference would be self-evident – which it wasn’t.
Again, I suppose that if I was to compare my skin before and after, it might show some kind of percentage reduction in hair growth, but in order for me to justify the cost of this (It’s £8.99: I normally just buy whatever deodorant is on special offer at the supermarket…), the difference would have to be one I’d notice without having to send a sample of skin tissue off to the laboratory for analysis.
The Product: Essie Apricot Cuticle Oil (PR sample)
The claim: “Rehydrates and revitalises cuticles and nails.”
Does it work? I kinda wish I hadn’t started this now, because it’s all taken a turn for the super-negative, but let the record show that no, I didn’t really notice a difference with this either. In its defence, I have the driest, most awful cuticles in the entire world (No, seriously: I’ve conducted a study and everything…), and so far absolutely NOTHING has ever worked on them, so I’ve pretty much given up on them now. Don’t worry, Essie, it’s (probably) not you: it’s me.
On the plus side, this smells nice, and absorbs quickly, and although I’ve been using it for quite a while, I still have most of the bottle left, so although it’s pricey, it lasts forever. Or thereabouts. I think I might go and apply some now, actually – toodlepip, everyone!