I know I’m not the only one who has been left disappointed by a product or service that didn’t quite come up to scratch. I have (on more occasions than I care to admit) purchased a new ‘better’ foundation which looked fantastic in the store, at the sales assistant’s assurance that it was ‘flawless – the perfect colour for you’. After spending $90, I have subsequently found myself frowning in the mirror at my new jaundiced – but flawless – complexion, or (also on more occasions than i care to admit), picking at the 5 new pimples that have magically sprouted on my face in the hour that i have been wearing the magic new formula…hmmm.


As with anything in life (and in particular, when purchasing beauty products) it’s essential to assess ones expectations before we commit to a product or service. Establishing what you should realistically expect will ensure that you have a positive experience and get the best from the product or service you are purchasing. I make a point of asking my clients a series of questions when we sit down for a makeup application or lesson;

What are you hoping to achieve? 

This could be a specific look or one feature accentuated etc. For lessons this might be how to create a flawless complexion, how to create a classic eye, or apply false lashes. I like to follow this with, ‘How do you want your makeup to look?’

What do you not like? 

Is there something you have been wearing or trying to achieve that is not working? Do you have products in your makeup bag that you don’t like or no longer use? If so, why not? Are you using these in the best way?

Lessons learnt the hard way…

A negative experience can influence your perception of a whole product line and deter you from exploring what might be a treasure trove of beauty secrets. I recently had this experience with Dermalogica’s Skin Hydration Booster, which i discovered last winter when I was looking for some serious comfort for my flaking face. Having used serums for many years, I expected the formula to be ultra rich and instantly hydrating. Forgetting the golden rule of ‘serum application’, I mistakenly smeared the formula onto my parched cheeks, chin, nose and forehead and waited for the immediate ‘Boost’….Minutes later I found myself shaking my head in disbelief – there was no difference and it appeared to have evaporated into thin air. So, naturally, I applied more – in the same way – and was disappointed once again. Needless to say I quickly moved on to the next product, and I never used this serum again.

But it was my loss. This is a BRILLIANT product and apparantly one of Dermalogica’s most popular. Had I bothered to do my research (as as was later explained to me by the friendly team at the Miranda Skin Bar, the serum must be pressed firmly into the skin and the moisturiser applied over the top (not smeared on a worn alone, as I did)…

I have evidently been missing out on hydration heaven, and all because I didn’t pay attention to the product instructions.


Waste not, want not

If you are (like me), trying to save your bank balance, you might want to try the following tricks to make the most of what you have;

  • Revisit those unused or discarded items in your beauty kit to see what you have been missing out on. If you take the time to use these products properly, you will certainly get the best results and perhaps even what you paid for.
  • Test products before purchasing; not just in store (where you will certainly suffer the inevitable sinking feeling of buyers remorse when you realise you should have at least worn the foundation in day light just to check the colour).
  • Get product samples that will allow 2-3 applications so that you can get a proper feel for the product and how it reacts to your skin, since everybody is different in their looks, skin types and there is no ‘one size fits all’ for any beauty product.
  • Using a beauty professional?  When booking a makeup or beauty service, it makes sense to take the time to investigate their work – especially if it’s a bridal booking – before you book. Typically, the makeup they’ve done in the past (and often the makeup they wear themselves) will be the style that you’ll walk out with.

And above all…

Be kind to yourself. A makeup artist works with your best features to get the best result they can. You should also focus on accentuating your best features rather than hoping to change the things you cannot with unrealistic or quick fixes. Unfortunately unless you have the same face and bone structure as J-Lo, you probably wont look like her identical twin (sorry!). As one experienced makeup artist once said wisely, “Sorry ladies, it’s not a magic wand”…

By focusing on your positive beauty you may just find that your lifelong search for that magic potion is somehow not that important after all…

Check out more of Tammi Hendricks award-winning work @ The Beauty Garden.




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