We Need To Talk: Overhyped Beauty Brands

There have always been overrated beauty brands. It used to be the brands promoted by TV celebrities and models: they were in all the magazines and everybody bought them to look as glamorous as their favorite stars, only to discover that their products were just average. But in this day and age of compulsive social media use, the problem has become even more widespread. It's so tempting to rave about the same brands everyone else seems to love. It makes you feel like you're "one of them", that you belong to a community of like-minded people, and if you have to mute your critical mind to be part of the cool kids group, so be it. Well, not today...

I'm way past the age of being afraid to be judged for my opinions, and I'm sick and tired of getting disappointed when I purchase products from those social media darlings. So I'm going to help you save your hard-earn money by sharing my list of brands that I think are completely overhyped, and whose products are subpar, overpriced, or just plain mediocre. You may not agree with me, so feel free to let me know why you love these brands that I'm rolling my eyes at, or which products you think could make me change my mind about them!


Glamglow is the perfect example of a brand with very basic, mediocre products that gained huge recognition thanks to very smart marketing. They have a wider range of skincare today, but when they started a few years ago they were only selling extremely overpriced clay and charcoal masks. Despite offering super harsh masks for $50 or more - that you could dupe for a handful of quarters - they managed to become incredibly popular very quickly.

Don't be fooled by the trendy packaging, the words "glam", "glow" and "Hollywood" that are all over their product descriptions, or the fact that beauty influencers mention them all the time. Their skincare isn't worth the price, the formulas are nothing unique or special, and you should definitely avoid them if you have sensitive skin. What you're paying for with Glamglow is the dream of flawless skin like a Hollywood actress. It's very far from reality, and if you really want to look like a movie star, you're going to need plastic surgery, fillers, botox, professional peels and laser treatments, plus of course Photoshop - not a charcoal mask.


If you follow me on Instagram or read my subscription box posts, you know that I'm very mad at haircare brand Briogeo. They've been spamming the Sephora Play box, and every other beauty subscription box, for years now. They have an aggressive marketing strategy that consists in shoving their products in people's throats as often as they can. That would be just mildly annoying if their products were really awesome, but they're not.

Everything I've tried from Briogeo has ranged from useless to terrible. And I've tried a lot, since I kept receiving deluxe samples in my Sephora Play boxes. Their best-selling Don't Despair, Repair! hair mask does absolutely nothing for my hair. Their Rosarco Milk leave-in spray is the worst leave-in conditioner I've ever tried: it didn't provide any hydration at all, and it didn't even help detangle my hair. It was basically as effective as spraying water into my damp hair... The list goes on but I'm going to spare you the rest. Just know that their products are expensive, ineffective, and absolutely not worth the hype.


This is probably the one brand that people will not agree with me on. But my opinion is based on personal experience. Drunk Elephant products are not terrible or even bad, but they are vastly overrated and overpriced.

I think the brand gets a pass from a lot of beauty lovers because they appear to do a lot of things right: the concept of highly curated skincare formulas with natural and "clean" ingredients is very appealing. That's exactly what many of us are looking for. But when you remove the marketing spin, it's just very classic skincare products at an outrageous price. $90 for an AHA/BHA serum, $40 for a tiny bottle of marula oil, a smelly, sticky vitamin C serum that oxidizes quickly, really? You can find similar products for way cheaper.

As for their effectiveness, the two full-size products I tried didn't convince me at all. The B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Gel isn't moisturizing in the least, and I got one with a broken pump. The new C-Tango Multi-Vitamin Eye Cream, that I was sent in PR and have been using for several months, has done absolutely nothing for my undereye area. And I can only use it at night, because it makes concealer applied on top ball off. And it burns... All that for $64!


Oh yes I'm going there. ABH, probably the most popular makeup brand on social media, is massively overrated. I've got to give credit to the marketing team that turned them from a solid but boring brow brand to an iconic beauty empire. Impressive job guys!

Especially considering that ABH's success is mostly based on subpar products: horribly drying liquid lipsticks, eyeshadows so powdery it snows every time you use them. They've done ONE thing that was really life-changing for the beauty community: their Modern Renaissance palette. That palette not only made the use of red-based colors and "warm neutrals" on the eyes mainstream, it also triggered the eyeshadow palette hysteria that is still alive today.

Based on the amazing success of the Modern Renaissance, I thought ABH would become a true trend-setting brand, guiding us towards new ways to play with makeup, and expanding our creativity with new and unique color stories. But everything they've done since is evidence that the Modern Renaissance triumph was an accident. Like they were just in the right place at the right time. The epic failure of their Subculture palette, the lack of enthusiasm for their Prism and Soft Glam palettes, and the mixed reception of their most recent Norvina palette were all deserved. I bought the Norvina as you know, and I was expecting much more. It could have been another breakthrough for the brand, but they wasted the opportunity.

What's left is what was ABH's historic core products: the brow powders, pencils and gels. Those are great. Everything else, including their recently launched classic bullet lipsticks (I've NEVER tried a lipstick so dry, the tugging on my lips is at a level I didn't know could be reached) is overhyped and disappointing.


On paper Paula's Choice skincare is everything I ever dreamed of: no frills, affordable, and focused on ingredients proven to be effective. And yet somehow everything I've ever tried from the brand was a letdown.

First, the brand completely disregards the sensory aspect of their products. They consider it irrelevant, because they're wholly goal oriented: who cares what a face cream smells like as long as it works? Well, the problem is that for any skincare product to work, it has to be used very consistently. But it's really hard to stick to a routine when the products stink, feel gross on the skin, on turn you into a grease ball. Enjoying a moment of self-care is essential for me, and when skincare is so unpleasant that I dread applying it, I give up. Which I have done several times with Paula's Choice products due to their heavy, greasy textures and fouls smells.

But you know what, I could get past all that if these products really worked for my skin. But they never did. I used the stinky BHA exfoliator daily for an entire year with zero effect on my blackheads. I tried several moisturizers, which left my combo skin either totally dried out (as in peeling and flakey) or horribly greasy yet completely dehydrated. I've tried and tried again, and nothing ever had positive results for me. I want to believe people who say that Paula's Choice changed their life for the best, but I can't imagine I'm the only one with a negative experience!


Sorry, but what is Milk makeup for exactly? What niche are they trying to fill? I know they have a cool kid image, but I don't get it. The few things I've tried from them were very basic products repackaged in stick form to make them look new and innovative. Can we talk about the fact that they made stamps for the face, or a stick called Cooling Water? I've tried that stick, and it was the most useless product to ever live in my bathroom cabinet.

I don't know, Milk seems like a boring version of Glossier to me - the jury is still out on Glossier for me by the way. They seem to be extremely overhyped, but I haven't tried their products yet so I can't tell if the quality justifies their reputation.


Sorry fans of the brand, but my personal experience with Viseart was such a letdown that I can't begin to understand why they're so hyped up. Everyone and their puppy will tell you that Viseart makes the best quality eyeshadows out there. Their mattes are silky soft and work so beautifully on the skin, their shimmers are gorgeous and blah blah blah. Okay. So why are some of their small palettes utter crap?

I bought their Petit Pro palette to test the formula I heard so many wonderful things about, and saying that it was a disappointment doesn't even begin to describe my feelings. The matte shadows were okay-ish, workable but certainly nothing to write home about. The shimmer ones, however, were some of the worst I have ever tried. Zero color payoff with a dry brush, not much more with a damp brush, fallout gallore, and impossible to blend without disappearing. For me that was really a WTF moment. I thought it had to be my fault since everybody seemed to agree Viseart shadows were the best. So I kept trying and trying, which is why I still have this palette although I should have returned it immediately. My looks kept looking dull, rough and plain ugly.

I think there's a tendency for niche expensive brands to be overhyped, and Viseart certainly falls into that category. It's hard to admit that you paid $80 for an eyeshadow palette that's just average, especially when everybody else raves about it. It makes you look bad. Luckily I "only" paid 30 bucks for that Petit Pro palette and I can tell you with brutal honesty: it absolutely sucks.

What beauty brands do you think are overhyped on social media? Share your opinion in the comments!

I received no compensation to write this post, which only reflects my personal opinion. One of the products mentioned (the Drunk Elephant eye cream) was sent to me by the brand for consideration.

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