My sister-in-law recently left me a comment and said that the T.B.S posts are her favorite. In a way they’re mine, too. I wish I could see more brutally honest sponsors-be-damned beauty writing in magazines. Sometimes a product sucks and you gotta call it out for what it is. I consider this a service to all product junkies out there. These companies are rich enough. They don’t need any more of your money!

Here are three products I completely regret buying. Next time you see them leering at you from the aisle of your local drug store, give them the side-eye and keep it moving.

John Frieda Frizz Ease Dream Curls Curl Perfecter. What a horrendous misnomer. It puports to “transform wilted waves and curls into sexy swerves, curves, & spirals. Alcohol-free formula leaves hair super-silky, never “crispy.” For my 4 A hair, all this stuff did was turn existing curls into limp waves. My curls actually unraveled and became less defined. I looked like Buckwheat.

Not otay.

Dream Curls Curl Perfecter is one of those products that requires “scrunching” to achieve an effect, so I think it wasn’t meant for me because my hair springs into curls on its own. I have tried many of the Frizz Ease products, to similarly disappointing effects. The serum leaves my tresses covered in gloppy residue, and the finishing cream had no penetrating power or noticeable effect on my hair. Forgive me, politically correct types when I use Brad Pitt’s terminology. At this point I can only assume that John Frieda’s products are basically made for white-people hair; ’cause they don’t do diddly for me. But I asked a Peruvian friend who has pale skin, blue eyes, and loose brunette curls, and she said it sucked for her as well, so who do they work for? If any John Frieda products have satisfied your naturally curly haired needs, please let me know. I’m batting 0 for 3 over here.

Aussie Dual Personality Mousse + Conditioner seemed so fascinating at first. It squirts out as mousse, but claims to “style your thirsty mane while keeping it soft and shiny.” Here’s a formula for you, Aussie. Mousse + Leave In Conditioner = a bad idea. I don’t want a leave in to make my hair hard, and I’m sure people who use mousse don’t want it to leave their hair without hold. The two ideas don’t gel in my opinion. And this product made my hair stiff and clumpy and unattractive to see and touch. Small wonder, since the ingredients list is chock full of cones and propane and other ingredients to avoid. Try better still, Aussie.

I’ve had great results with the 3 Minute Miracle, but there’s something I just don’t get about companies that use animals as their mascots while simultaneously performing animal testing. I’m not a PETA member, but that just don’t make sense to me.

Coup de Theatre mascara by Bourjois Paris. I wanted so much to like this stuff. There are two steps to the application – 1. “I lengthen my lashes to infinity,” a white primer that came on thick and strange, and 2. “I dress my lashes divinely”, the color application. I bought the “pourpre tragique” shade, a deep and promising burgundy. Alas. I spent like twenty bucks on this mascara and it left me clumpy and disappointed. J’regrette. I’m still looking for that miracle mascara that will give me the false lashes effect to perfection.

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summer says:
October 3, 2006, 10:26 am
The original Frizz-Ease used to work for me... but now it doesn't. I don't know why. Tis odd. Now it just makes my hair feeling like somebody else's and it leaves residue. And that mess they tried to make for "black hair" was a complete waste of money. A mascara I like is Estee Lauder's MagnaScopic. I have like NO LASHES. With this, I feel like blinking at people coquettishly. (is that a word?) :)
Coffy says:
October 3, 2006, 11:44 am
i hate when i see a product that promises moisture and i turn it around and the first ingredients are petroleum and mineral oil. true deceptive advertising.
Carolyn says:
October 4, 2006, 12:20 am
I use John Frieda's Corrective Styling Mousse (Curl Reviver). I've used it for years and consider it a must have item. None of the rest of his "style curly" products work for me though.
Dahls says:
October 4, 2006, 1:19 am
I've heard many people rave about the Aussie Three minute Miracle, and have always wanted to try it. But if the test on Animals i'm staying clear. I agree with summer Estee Lauder has some great mascaras my current fave is their More Than Mascara. The cover girl lash exact is very good also. It lives up to its claim and has no clummping!
kay-oh says:
October 4, 2006, 2:46 pm
I have used John Frieda's Frizz Ease for a while now. Whem my hair was relaxed, I used to use a small amount on those (very) rare occasions that I would blow dry it. I've been natural for just short of 4 years now and I mix it with the product that I use when I do my two-strand twists. I think the key is that a little goes a long way with this product and if you use too much it can make your hair feel greasy. Also, you have to use it when your hair is still VERY wet. The only other John Frieda product that I have tried was a leave-in conditioner from the Frizz Ease line. I didn't like it very much. But, as with any product, what works for one doesn't work for all. Hope this helps.
Elle says:
October 4, 2006, 7:35 pm
As a relaxed bella :) I absolutley love the John Frieda "Dream Curls". Yes, it does require that you "scrunch" your hair as you blow dry, but for me it is well worth it. And they're right, your hair doesn't come out hard like you just used holding spray on it. I mostly use it when I go out to parties and clubs, so I call it my "party hair" and I always get compliments on it. I would do the style more often if it didn't take so much time (about 20-30 for shoulder length hair). The only downside is that living in Florida with the crazy humidity kills the hair style (as it does for just about everyone's hair who lives here). I started using it under the name "ripple effect" from John Frieda's line for relaxed hair and I was so sad when they discontinued the line because I thought I wouldn't be able use this again. Obviously, I found the same stuff in the different bottle :) Anyways, its great and that's my two cents...
trini Y says:
October 4, 2006, 9:09 pm
So I switched up my hair routine today...used Farouk Biosilk Shampoo and hydrating conditioner (these are expensive for my tastes approx $8/bottle but they make my hair very soft) Also for styling I sprayed some Paul Mitchell Awapuhi Moisture Mist $12(found this on discount at Nordstorm outlet) and then applied Suave healthy curls scrunching mousse $2 (which I applied generously) and Garnier fructis Sleek and Shine leave in conditioner $3. My hair has never felt so soft. I was a little apprehensive about the scrunching mousse since I expected a little crunch but not at all. My hair dried soft and curly. There was no huge increase in shine but the softness was worth it.
Courtie says:
October 5, 2006, 9:44 am
I love your site -- this is my first time commenting. I can't believe Coup de Theatre didn't work for you. I absolutely love that mascara. My mom and I have the shortest eyelashes on the planet, and that stuff has us fluttering our eyelashes like Josephine Baker. Strange that a mascara would work for some people and not others -- are everyone's eyelashes different?
Morenae says:
October 7, 2006, 2:03 pm
I've been natural for all of my lfe and gave up using "other people's products" a long time ago - with the exception of John Frieda's Frizz Ease Secret Weapon in the tube. It has a creamy consistency. It's not one of my holy grail staples, but I keep it around for smoothing down hair at the temples and adding a bit to dry curls and ends. It's nothing more than a touch-up product to keep in your purse - and in a pinch it makes a half way decent hand lotion too. LOL.
Hot Hair says:
October 7, 2007, 9:41 pm
Well, just researching the John Frieda Dream Curls and came across your review, I usually have good results with JF products serum's great (for a serum) finishing cream gives life to my extensions ;o) So... I think I may try it anyway. About the mascara NOTHING (believe me I have tried them all) compares to YSL false lash effect mascara it is the King Queen and Omega of mascaras, you can also get a great false effect using loreal Telescopic and layering on Bourjois clubbingx
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