In high school, we had a tall, gangly comedian for a math teacher. When he graded an especially horrendous page of problems, he would sometimes write T.B.S on the bottom of the page. We asked him what T.B.S meant. He laughed and said “Try Better Still.” Later we got him to confess that it meant “Total Bull S*&%.” Well, I have brought quite a few beauty products in my lifetime that fit that category, and I’m sure you have too. Here’s three that I regret buying.

I love anything mint. Mint lip gloss, mint foot scrub, mint body wash, minty fresh hair products. You name it, I’m buying it. Especially if it cost less than $10. So imagine my delight when I saw Queen Helene Mint Julep Deodorant. The description says, and I quote: “Mint Julep Deodorant Stick leaves a sweet, refreshed safe feeling.” Very funny, Queen Helene. This stuff burned the bejesus out of my armpits.

I put it on when I was already dressed for work, and the rising heat in my pits got so bad that I had to take my clothes off and get in the shower all over again, just to wash the burn away. I want to make it absolutely clear – I had no kind of cut or wound under my arms when I used this stuff. I hadn’t even shaved that day. And I don’t have particularly sensitive skin, either. It just burned like green fire. I had never contacted a company to complain about a product before this one. In three weeks, a sweet representative recompensated me with a stick of their Vitamin E Deodorant Stick. It has minimal scent and no antipersparant properties. The most I can say is, it soothes my armpits in the same way that rubbing a giant, mildly scented lipgloss on them would. Sometimes after I take a shower at night, I put it on. Then I think to myself, why do I even still have this shit? If I wasn’t such a packrat, I would have thrown it out months ago.

I already made a veiled swipe at the Maybelline Cool Effects Cooling Shadow/Liner in an earlier post. I became terribly excited when they first came on the market, like I said, I love a fat eye crayon. The cooling effect also sounded interesting. Well, I must say that this purchase proved to be a total waste of my hard-earned money. I bought three of these damn pencils, in purple (excuse me, “midnight chill”), turquoise, and chocolate brown. They worked great at first, then the pencil pretty much dried up. They literally stopped working. The purple wouldn’t even write on my skin, and the turquoise gave a light shimmer, which was NOT what I wanted. I used the brown one down to the nub, then it was sharpening time. I read the horrible reviews on Makeup Alley, but I thought if I was careful I could actually y’know, sharpen this eye pencil like most others. I was wrong. The jagged tip left scraped painful lines into my eyelid, then the whole color center slipped out of the pencil exterior, and broke. No wonder Cool Effects was discontinued.

Great work, Maybelline. I won’t hate you because you’re beautiful, I’ll just hate you because this product is terrible.

I’m a fool for packaging gimmicks. So when I saw this tiny bottle of Smooth n Shine Repair Xtreme I got excited. The liquid is layered, clear at the top, opaque at the bottom. The customer is expected to “shake to activate.” Oooh. Sounds like fun, right? The product dripped out and left a residue on my hair like dirty dishwater. Smooth n Shine Repair Xtreme promises “instant repair for extreme hair damage,” but that’s all a big fat lie. Save your $1.99, ladies. Smooth n Shine Repair Xtreme sucks.

*My bad, y’all. I looked through The Drawer of Abandoned Cosmetics, and discovered that I have FIVE of those crappy eye pencils. Three are Maybelline, two (including the turquoise one I alluded to earlier) are Cover Girl Eye Slicks Gel Eye Color pencils. Same shit, different company. Try better still.

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Your Girl says:
September 8, 2006, 10:21 am
Thank you for sharing this. I don't buy a ton of product so when I do and it sucks I'm REALLY disappointed. I'll be sure to avoid these next time I shop. PS - WHAT THE HELL is the deal with a deoderant burning your pits??!! That is completely unacceptable. I'm mad for you.
Julia_Claudine_Deveraux says:
September 8, 2006, 3:07 pm
I let out a weird shrieking noise when I read "burned like green fire". bwahahahaha! I know what you mean girl, I've bought tons of crap that just sit in my cabinet because they terrible. The worst products on the market are those "stay-put" lipsticks that make your lips feel like sandpaper! YUCK!
70ssoulchild says:
September 8, 2006, 5:28 pm
Ouch! Burning armpits is NOT cool at all! At least they sent you an alternative product but that doesn't sound very good either! Thanks for the tip Afrobella. I'll heed your advice..I'm not very beauty savvy so your reviews are so helpful for me.
Shonquayshah says:
September 9, 2006, 6:40 pm
queen helene did THAT to you...okay, thanks for the warning...I remember that was THE conditioner in the 80's, O-KAAAAAAAAAAY! any hoo- love your site and it truly makes me want to try just a little bit harder at being pretty/glam/sexy because i have fallen into a rut here lately...most times no make up and if i do it the same old eyeliner/mascara/lil' lip when I do wear like colored lipstick...people go "oooh, you look nice! etc" also am thinking of going natural...gonna get braids first though because i only perm my hair 2-3 times a year and have been wearing it in a pony tail with a piece or extenstion for the last______ year (s) *smh @self: that's a damn shame! i am digressing so i am gonna go now...keep up the good work!
Shonquayshah says:
September 9, 2006, 6:41 pm
p.s. I love that TBS and will use it at my son's basketball gqames when the ref's are making wack calls! Hilarious!
spacekitty says:
September 10, 2006, 7:24 pm
i guess QUEEN HELENE should stick to beauty products because that's were they shine. LOL i loooove their EGG MASK AND PEEL OFF GRAPE SEED MASK. it has taken away my severe acne and i thank god 4 that.
Leah Jeffers says:
September 13, 2006, 1:50 pm
A you had me crackin up on this one. I know exactly how you feel. I have purchased products that were recommended by some of the beauty blogs and have been disappointed. The product has not lived up to it name. I am happy to see your site because you and I have the same tastes in lots of things. I also love the fact that you are cautious before buying. That is a good thing. I have learned from you to ask for samples before purchasing the products. Keep up the good work and throw that stuff out
Shandy says:
October 6, 2006, 10:24 am
I can't get over that Queen Helene deodorant! I love minty products too and I'm so glad I read this review before buying it. Love your blog by the way, it's excellent!
ednita says:
June 26, 2007, 10:21 pm
Oh my gosh! the QH stick did that to me too!!! First, I thought I had a cut or something, then, I thought it was just a bad batch, so I actually bought another one. Now I know! I stick w/ tom's of maine natural deordorant.
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