Drugstore Products I’ve Changed My Mind On

You get something new, and it doesn’t live up to whatever expectations you have. Or maybe it is a really great product. Even if you like it, sometimes you’ll set it aside and find yourself revisiting it some time later, only to form a completely different opinion.

Here’s a list of products I’ve changed my mind on:

Changed My Mind - L'Oreal Voluminous Miss Manga MascaraProduct I’ve Changed My Mind on
No. 1 L’Oreal Voluminous Miss Manga Mascara

At first, I was happy with this product; in fact, I posted my positive review just over a month ago. In just a month, the consistency has changed enough that the product causes my lashes to clump (even though it is not particularly dry). I can only separate them by going through them with a lash comb afterwards and I don’t have time for that. That isn’t to say the product is bad – I know some prefer that look, but I prefer definition and length to volume…so I’ve changed my mind on this mascara and will not repurchase.

Changed My Mind - Maybelline Color Tattoos

Product I’ve Changed My Mind on
No. 2 Maybelline Color Tattoos

This is something else I’ve shared recently. I tried the products but ultimately felt they didn’t live up to the hype so into the back of the drawer they went. I recently re-discovered them and found that they’re great when used with a specific Real Techniques brush. So glad I gave them a second chance.

Changed My Mind - Milani Eye Tech Extreme Liquid Liner

Product I’ve Changed My Mind on
No. 3 Milani Eye Tech Extreme Liquid Line

This felt-tip liquid liner’s formula is a great inexpensive dupe for Stila Stay All Day Liquid Liner. I used to really like it (especially at its price point), but the product itself didn’t properly flow all the way to the very fine tip of the felt pen which made it harder for me to achieve a fine line when I wanted (aka most of the time)…and so I changed my mind about it. If you want a suuuper-fine line, this isn’t the one for you. If you don’t mind your lines being a little thicker or having to go back and clean it up, this is still a good product. The formula is quality – it lasts, doesn’t smear, and is surprisingly gentle to the eye (in case your hand jerks during application and you draw on your eye – not that I know anything about that).

Changed My Mind - Maybelline Baby Lips

Product I’ve Changed My Mind on
No. 4 Maybelline Baby Lips

The Baby Lips line has had several iterations by now. I tried the first and then one or two here and there since, and the result has been the same. They were decent enough at first, but by the time I got midway through the tube I just wasn’t impressed because they feel like any other cheap balm (I actually prefer classic Chap-Stick [Cherry] to this). As a basic balm goes, there are better ones out there in terms of moisturization. As a tinted balm goes, there are ones that are better in terms of pigmentation and moisture. It just isn’t a formula that does much for me, and I will not repurchase it unless they come out with a new formula.

Originally, this was intended to be an overall things I’ve changed my mind on – but I have come to realize that I haven’t (yet) changed my mind on any of my prestige beauty products. I’ve tried things that disappointed, sure – but I haven’t yet changed my mind on one.

What about you? Have you had any products unexpectedly fall into or out of favor after your initial assessment?

Worth it? Benefit they’re Real Push-Up Liner

The internet went a-buzz when Benefit Cosmetics started leaking information about their they’re Real Push-Up Liner. They did a couple advanced sales between their site, Sephora, and Ulta and then everything was kept mum until its official release on June 27.

I am already a gel liner user – I find using an angled-bristle brush with gel gives me the most control and best results. I also like gel because it is pretty smudge-proof and long lasting. As I’m sure you can imagine, I was intrigued when I heard about Benefit’s they’re Real Push-Up liner. For $24, however, I decided that I would pass for the time being; although I like to try new things, I was already happy with my liner and didn’t want to drop that kind of money on a single eyeliner.

I actually made a Sephora order for other things on June 27 and to my delight found that one of the samples they were offering (via promo code) was a Benefit they’re Real Push-Up Liner deluxe mini. Of course I got it, we need to try it for science after all, especially considering all these top bloggers/vloggers got it early and are losing their minds over it. It is really innovative and clever, but it is that good?

Always a skeptic.

Because it arrived when it did, I didn’t have much time to fuss with it. I took a few photos of the product itself, but didn’t bother trying to apply it. I did poke at the silicone tip to get an idea for just how flexible it is – too much flexibility could cause me to make a ridiculous mess on my lids, so I wanted to know what to expect. On Wednesday I played with it, and Thursday I actually used it for the day!

I found that you have to turn-click the product’s base several times before product comes to the tip. It is important to do this slowly, especially for your first use. You don’t want too much product on the silicone, “AccuFlex,” tip, or else you’ll end up making a mess when you apply (unless you wipe if off first, but that’s wasteful – and I don’t know about you, but I’m not trying to waste any of a $24 product). So I clicked it up until it was about flush with the silicone AccuFlex tip – it protruded ever-so-slightly, but I think even a millimeter would be too generous an estimate of how far. You may not get as lucky with your and may have to tap or wipe yours even.

Here’s how it looked when I applied:

Benefit they're Real Push-Up Liner - 7AM

Yes, I realize my head is tilted, sorry. You can at least see the left wing well!

I had the best luck with this, which seems to be what Benefit recommends for they’re Real Push-Up Liner – and it is about the same method I use for regular lining:

  1. Twist product up (we’ve covered this).
  2. Press the tip along your lash-line three times, stamping the product at the beginning, middle, and end of your line.
  3. Connect the stamps.
  4. (Optional) Create a wing by placing the shorter side of the AccuFlex tip closest to your lower lashline and angle the longer edge outward as if you are ‘continuing’ or following the (imaginary) line of your lower lashline. Stamp again and pull inward to the outer corner of your eye.
  5. (Optional, required if you do step four so you don’t look foolish), connect the upper, outer part of the wing with the rest of your liner by sweeping the AccuFlex tip over towards it.

Stamping is super easy with they’re Real Push-Up Liner, and just like with gel and a brush, it is way easier to connect a series of three shorter points than it is to completely free-hand it. There’s less room for error, this way; these innovative silicone tip and these instructions really make this aspect of application of this matte gel liner very user friendly.

Here are a photo of the liner, eye nearly closed:

Benefit they're Real Push-Up Liner - 7AM, another angle


That’s about where the good things about this product end, unfortunately.

Application is not like butter. I found the formula of the gel to be rather dry and to skip and tug a bit, so I would have to pull it away and twist-click more product up, risking blobs near my lash-line. This might not be an issue if you like a thicker line, but for day-to-day, that isn’t for me. I am not a raccoon, after all. It took some work and going back over it several times to even out sparse areas as a result of the skipping – I figured this was preferable to risking smeared blobs, as I had heard it dries quickly. I found that much was true, and it actually made it a little difficult to even out the line.

Once I was satisfied with how it looked (finished at 7 AM, wings and all, I set about my day. I work in a reasonably low-humidity office and do not rub my eyes throughout the day (thanks glasses!). Around 11:30 AM, however, I noticed a black speck on my glasses.


Part of my left eye’s wing had flaked and literally just fell off. What?! Especially since there’s all this hype about how it’s soooo good, so long lasting, not flaky, amazing, perfect, etc. I was right to be skeptical – I’ve never had eyeliner just decide to spontaneously disconnect itself from my eye. Here’s a picture, because it definitely happened. Oh hey, random gap:

Benefit they're Real Push-Up Liner flaked4.5 hours into wearing Benefit they’re Real Push-Up Liner a noticeable section flaked off

At this point, I was not impressed and frankly, kind of annoyed. I touched it up right away, and went back to this:

Benefit they're Real Push-Up Liner post-flake touch up

Another big thing about this product is that purportedly, its staying power is so dang good that you just have to buy their special cleanser to remove it easily. Your regular makeup remover simply won’t do it quickly and gently, they say! I didn’t definitely didn’t believe this, based on the flaking I experienced. That night, I went to remove my makeup and lo and behold – they’re Real Push-Up Liner came off even easier than my other gel liners with a Ponds wipe. I didn’t need to use three of them, I didn’t need to tug or scrub. Don’t waste your money on the cleanser.

Between the price, the skipping application, random flaking, and lack of longevity-as-promised, Benefit they’re Real Push-Up Liner is just not worth it – not in its current form, anyway. I love the innovative applicator; I think it is really cool to bring engineering into makeup to improve our experiences with products…but the formula of the liner itself is lackluster at best. My Maybelline Gel Liner kicks its arse, and I will continue faithfully using it instead. Hopefully Benefit will improve the formula of the gel that makes up they’re Real Push-Up Liner (research shows that I am not the only person with these complaints) because the applicator (AccuFlex Tip) is pretty neat…which is amusing, because my prediction was that I would love the formula, but find the silicone tip weird. If it cost about $10 less than it does, I might be a little more willing to work with it.

Surprised: Maybelline Gel Liner

For you, I have sinned.

Okay, not really. I just wound up doing something you aren’t supposed to, beauty-wise.
And maybe it wasn’t for you, but it does end up benefiting you!

My fiance and I host a game night in our home for a small group of friends. This used to be on Saturdays, but we tried it out last Friday night. These nights routinely run until 2-3pm. My weekdays begin at 5am. I did my eye makeup (a neutral shimmery eye with Maybelline Gel Liner) at 5:45am on Friday morning, worked a full day of work, had a handful of errands to run, and then a house to hastily clean (moving it to Friday was a last-minute decision) before our company arrived. Woo, my makeup wasn’t a mess by the time we were starting, around 8:00pm.

When we wrapped things up around 2am, I promptly shambled to my bed and fell asleep. I am sad to admit that I can’t stay up like I used to, and I am amused to admit that though I am almost militant about makeup-removal-before-bed – I didn’t. In the future, I will nap before our entertaining so I am not a zombie by the time it concludes who does not neglect her routine.

Now, this is the Maybelline Gel Liner I discussed back in my Drugstore Gel Liner Comparison post last month, fully named Maybelline Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Liner 24H. I used the shade Blackest Black.

I woke up at 10:16 after having slept a miraculous eight hours. I am normally a side/stomach sleeper, so the fact that I was not remotely raccoon-esque was a feat in itself. Somehow, not only was I not raccoon-esque, my liner was more or less intact. Yes, read that again. Twenty-eight-and-a-half hours. My reaction? Awesome. Take a picture, then remove this stuff!

My groggy self thought it would use my phone’s front-facing camera for this (which isn’t as good as the rear-facing or the other two cameras I have access to), but I think it is sufficient:

Maybelline Gel Liner - 28.5 Hours Post-ApplicationMaybelline Gel Liner 28.5 hours after application

There. Not budged, watery-pollen-allergy-eyes and all. I didn’t even use primer yesterday when I slapped this stuff on.


Basically, I’m telling you that you need this in your life. I have not used any prestige gel liners like MAC Fluidline or Bobbi Brown’s gel liners, but unless you’re looking for a specific, crazy color that they carry, why bother? The Maybelline Gel Liner is opaque, applies easily, isn’t awkwardly shiny, and stays put. At only $6-8 per pot plus the fact that it is a brand that is frequently on sale at drugstores, mass merchants, grocers, and online, PLUS the fact that there’s almost always a $1 off coupon available, why would you bother with the more expensive brands? This item is available almost freaking everywhere, including Amazon. Run, don’t walk.

Disclosure: Seriously, I love this liner. This post wasn’t sponsored, and I was willing to share my beauty misdeed just to prove how awesome this product is. That said, some of the links in this post are affiliate links – this means I may get a very small percentage of the sale if you decide to buy something. I only recommend products I’ve tried and verified as awesome. And this one really is awesome.

Milani Eye Tech Extreme Liquid Eye Liner

Milani Eye Tech Extreme

When I heard Milani Eye Tech Extreme may be a reasonable dupe for Stila Stay All Day Liquid Liner, I had to look into it. Glorious as the felt-tip liner from Stila is, it is about $20 for a full size at regular price, which makes me kind of sad. This product, however, is only about $7-8.

Featuring a fine felt tip, the Milani Easy Tech Extreme liquid liner is structured very similarly to the Stay all Day and should be able to product similar results. According to Milani’s Site:

Non-feathering, waterproof blackest black formula lasts all day without flaking our budging.

I tested it out to see how well it met that claim. Here are the pictures, taken and laid out similarly to the Stila test.

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