In terms of beauty, we’re often presented with a sort of problem-solution narrative. This product does this job to fix this issue. And that’s great – in times of uncertainty, knowing that there are tried and true solutions to our most menial needs and whimseys is valuable. But in a different way, it sort of misses the point of beauty. Sometimes, products don’t have to necessarily do anything. And that’s what we’re talking about today.
A product I can’t strictly say is necessary, but is a real delight, is the Smashbox Primerizer. If you use a nice moisturizer, you really have no need to add this as an extra layer/ But when you do, makeup does feel as though it goes on that little bit more luxuriously. Call me crazy, but I’m buying it.
On a similar note is the Duwop Lip Venom. Does this give the effect of lip fillers? No, obviously not. But does it feel as though it could? Yes. And sometimes, we just want to imagine we’ve got the plumped-up lips of our dreams and let reality take a backseat.
Another strong contender for my favorite “useless” beauty product? It has to be the Guerlain Meteorites. Does this intricate tub full of pearlescent balls look stunning on your dressing table? Duh. Does it do anything discernable to your complexion? The jury’s still out.
A product that time and time again has proven to be without effect is any “stretch mark” treatment. Once you’ve got stretch marks, you’re pretty much stuck with them (and that’s absolutely fine, by the way). However, I still have a soft spot for the Clarins Body Partner. It promises to reduce stretch marks, which I can’t see any evidence for – but as a luxurious body treatment, I have no complaints.
Whether or not eye cream actually works has long been a question put to beauty insiders – and I’m breaking the silence. The answer is, kind of. Basically, any hydrating eye cream only helps add a bit more protection to the delicate, thinner skin. If you’re happy without one, don’t feel a need to rush in – but if you do want a hint of something more under your peepers, go for the Glossier Bubblewrap Eye & Lip Cream. It’s reasonably priced and will help plump and smooth (albeit on a temporary basis).
In recent years, the peel-off mask has really taken off. Products like the Innisfree Super Volcanic Peel Off Mask have gained an almost cult-like following due to their unique ability to visibly pull out pore gunk. Whether they have any lasting impact on the clarity of skin is undecided – but there is something hugely cathartic about using one. I get a similar vibe from some more abrasive scrubs, like the Lancer The Method Polish. I can’t say for sure this is doing my skin any good – but boy, does it feel nice to rub it all over my clogged up pores and see them rinse away.
Speaking of masks, there are a ton of sheet masks on the market right now – and whether they actually deliver results still seems sketchy. After using, your skin does tend to feel more fresh, juicy, and smooth – but after a few hours, things tend to return to normal. Nonetheless, the relaxation factor of kicking back drenched in essence isn’t lost on us. And if you need a quick fix before a big event, you could do a lot worse!
The main offenders in terms of “uselessness” though, must surely be the facial spray. These guys are some of the biggest “emperor’s new clothes” items in all of skincare – and yet I continue to use and love them. What crazy hold does the Caudalie Beauty Elixir have over me? And as for the Evian Mineral Water Spray (a £5 can of literal water) – I’m not angry with myself, just disappointed. But hey – if they bring me joy (and allow me to live my dewiest life) then who am I to complain?
Shop 9 editor picks to find the best use of these products
Featured images via Lancer Skincare
PS: Every single item is independently selected by our editors. Depending on the product, if you buy something through our links, The Weekly Cut may earn an affiliate commission.