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Cheap products, cheaper results: The worst drugstore beauty products on the market

Not long ago, I shared my list of the best drugstore beauty products. But this week I'm divulging some arguably more important information: the top drugstore products to avoid at all costs.

These products all fail for an assortment of reasons, but they share one commonality: Every cent you spend on these drugstore duds will be wasted. Trust me, I have the receipts, as well as the ragged soles and frazzled locks, to prove it.

Don't try this at home

The professionals at your local upscale spa are not allowed to use tools like this, purportedly because they can spread blood-born diseases. So I settled down in the safety of my own home to test Tweezerman's Callus Shaver and Rasp ($8.99). Apparently the danger of infection was the least of my concerns, as the product went to pieces in my hands, and the razor tumbled into my bath water. A complete lack of instructions on the packaging provided no assistance but, I persevered, and finally assembled the product. Unfortunately, it simply wasn't effective at removing dead skin. When I risk life and limb for beauty, I expect results.

Lip Service

After seeing an advertisement featuring Eva Longoria looking stunning thanks to L'Oreal's new Infallible Plumping Lip Gloss, I headed right out to CVS and picked up a tube in "Plumped Coral" ($9.99). According to the ad, my lips would appear fuller and the gloss would last six hours. Impressive! After applying the gloss, I definitely didn't notice any plumping, but I was willing to overlook that if the gloss simply lasted as promised. One hour and one veggie wrap later, the gloss was nowhere to be found on my lips.

No pain, no gain?

I'm accustomed to feeling the burn, but only at the gym. Nair's Moisturizing Face Cream ($4.99) promised to remove hair in five minutes, but what I experienced was hair-raising. After five minutes, I removed the product as directed to find my skin highly irritated, visibly red and, days later, still chapped.

Just walk on by

I picked up a variety of self-holding hair rollers at my local drugstore in an assortment of brands and sizes. Some, such as Conair's Thermal Ionic Rollers in Extra Large ($5.29) had no problem staying put, but clung to the hair so well that removal damaged my locks. Others, such as Scunci's Easy Out Self-holding Rollers ($4.49), didn't pull the hair, but lacked the teeth to stay put, falling out quickly, leaving my hair frizzy, and me frazzled and fed up.

Remember, there are good and bad products at every price point, and while I've certainly discovered some drugstore darlings in my beauty travels, be wary of selecting products bases on price alone. Thankfully, my beauty advice is always free of charge.

— Carolyn Brundage is the founder of, a guide to all that is hip and happening in local beauty. Need beauty advice? E-mail her at

Cheap products, cheaper results: The worst drugstore beauty products on the market 08/27/09 [Last modified: Monday, November 7, 2011 4:58pm]
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