Earlier in the year I wrote of my unfortunate experiences with a handful of cosmetics and beauty products, so that I might save you, dear friends, the misfortune of spending your money on them, or perhaps worse – applying them to your person.

As it turns out, there are quite a lot of really awful products out there! And as you can imagine, I like to ramble on extensively about such things, so I shall be featuring a quasi-regular Stinkers & Duds column to share with you these products that range from Mildly Offensive to Relatively Useless to Really Fucking Gross, Kill It With Fire.

On today’s list:

1. Caudalie Lip Conditioner $12: this has the consistency of a 1000 year old crayon – nay, a fossilized million year old crayon.  Perhaps carbon dating methods cannot even determine the exact age of the waxy substance which comprises this product. Combine this with all the healing properties of spiked lizard skin and scraping sandpaper and then imagine scouring this rough specimen across your poor, tender lips. Wonder at the bleeding mess you have made of your mouth because you have done this ill-advised thing.  Think about demanding your money back from Sephora but then never actually do it because you find the act of returning things to the store and dealing with customer service repugnant.  Stew fretfully for the rest of your life about it.

2. Nature Republic Bee Venom Cleansing Foam $12.98: I had read several good reviews about this product, the bee venom is supposedly good for neutralizing redness, and I have this problem on my cheeks and chin every now and then. I don’t quite understand what it is – i am not naturally ruddy-cheeked (I am actually rather sallow) and it’s not acne or blemishes.  Just sort of an…inflamed irritation?  I don’t know.  Anyway, this did not help at all.  Not only did it do nothing – I am still as red as a tomato most days – it smells a bit like hand cream that you’ve left in your pocketbook too long and which has gone off, and it was terribly drying. Nope.

3. Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb $50: I hate Victor and Rolf’s Flowerbomb so much that I nearly fly into a rage. It smells petty and mean spirited and small-minded. Like bigoted small town pageant moms and the shitty popular girls in 80s movies. It simultaneously makes me want to cringe and cry.  It’s all the Heathers. Also: it’s an enormous lie. It smells nothing like any flower. As to what it does smell like, precisely, I cannot pinpoint. A shallow dish of sugar water with some sneezy, sweetish powder mixed in. Like Koolaid, I guess. It smells like a celebutaunte-inspired Koolaid. Or perhaps flower extrait that smells like Bongo jeans and hair-sprayed bangs and the wretched duo of Jennifer W. and Amanda P. in the 7th and 8th grade. How’s it feel to be the inspiration for the world’s worst fragrance, you dumb, hateful bitches?

4. Redken Color Extend Magnetics Sulfate Free Shampoo and Conditioner $26.50 Yeah, yeah, yeah. Sulfates are bad, I get it.  Whatever – I LIKE sulfates!  They actually lather up and clean my hair and get the dang job done.  However, my stylist talked me into trying this stuff, and to be honest I only used it once. T

Me: nearly waist length, color treated hair. Slightly coarse, wavy. Frizzes up in the right conditions (ie 100% in Florida). I have a lot of hair and you can tell.

Me on Redken Color Extend Magnetics: Hair is lank, limp, greasy. I look like Samara, crawling out of the well and off of your teevee set to kill you. Guess you shouldn’t have watched that video when you knew your friends were dying one by one a week later. I now officially resemble a Japanese murder ghost and obviously someone has to pay.

Also when my sweet, thoughtful, always complimentary dude wrinkled up his nose as he sniffed my freshly washed head and remarked with a grimace “ugh, you smell like dog ears” – which, WTF does that even mean? –  I threw it out with out a backward glance.  Life’s too short to smell like dog’s ears, folks.

What’s had you wrinkling your nose lately?  Tell me all about your own stinkers and duds!  I’m all ears, as always.

Avon lady says

Sulfates can strip color from the hair so if you're getting your hair colored and want it to last you need to use a product like redken color extend. I have no idea what your problem is but it isn't the product.

S. Elizabeth says

Turns out my Holy Grail shampoo and conditioner from Pureology is sulfate-free, too (I don't think I actually realized that, but with a name like "Pureology", I don't know what else I was expecting) I guess they're not all that bad! At least this one doesn't doesn't make my hair smell like I'd been living in a dog house, though :)

Jane says

Sulphates do not strip colour from hair and are not the devil everyone thinks they are. Redken products are full of silicones and make hair greasy for sure. So yes it was the shampoo. Awful overpriced stuff.

Celephais says

That review of Flowerbomb is beyond perfection.

JW says

Halp! I'm dying of laughter.
If your stylist hawks Redken or Bumble&Bumble products it's probably because there is a wholesale agent hiding in the ceiling threatening her with a gun. Apparently they are horrible companies to deal with, and they force salons to sign draconian exclusivity contracts.

Shana says

I laugh OUT LOUD at your reviews. I'm not a big Redken fan either, I'm like you and have to have things smell pleasant to use them.

No idea about duds.....I am habitual in some of my product use and it takes me a while to move away to even try others. Palmer's Cocoa Butter is a current addiction though....I keep little .99 cent bottles everywhere.

Queenshaboo says

I think I know what dogs ears smell like; my husband always says they smell of salami ;-P

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