Opinion Page: Product Follow-ups, Vol. XVI

Aug 1, 2023

My purchases have slowed down this summer as I rein in my spending, so I need what I buy to live up to expectations.  From makeup to clothes to home goods, I cannot afford to be disappointed.  Sadly, a few of my recent purchases haven’t all been winners.  Here are honest follow-ups.

Even great products can have problems.  Last week, I reviewed the Merit Beauty system.  I loved the ease of it, the formula, and the way the colors blended together seamlessly.  And I still love all that, but I need to be honest about something.

The day after I published my review, a reader noticed that many of the reviews of the Merit Foundation Stick said the stick falls out of the packaging or that the twist function sometimes fails.  She asked if I’d had that issue, but I hadn’t.  Fast forward 48-hours and I was looking down at a dislodged foundation stick, which has unceremoniously flopped into my bathroom sink. Sadness.

I took the stick to Sephora, and they immediately replaced it.  I’ve been more careful about how I twist the stick (I think I may have pushed this defect along when I twisted the mechanism the wrong way) and how I store it, so it’s not banging around in my makeup bag, but what a bummer.  I still love the product in spite of this issue.  I intend to keep using it for the foreseeable future.  But I really hope Merit figures this out.

I recently accepted a job in another state.  Even though I will be working remotely, I will still be visiting Utah with some regularity.  So I have plane rides in my future.  This Side Button Poncho from Ann Taylor is perfect for that.  It adds warmth without adding bulk.

If your office is chilly, this poncho would be a great desk sweater.  It’s easily layered over other pieces because the sleeves are wide and the fit is flowy.  So you could even wear it over a suit.  I bought the tan, but it also comes in brick red and black.

Influencers are obsessed with Necessaire. From the body wash to the lotion to the Sex Gel, this product line fills my feed.  So when I spotted The Body Lotion on the cash wrap at Nordstrom, I decided it was time to try it.  The lotion runs $12 for a small size, so it’s a financial commitment if you buy it regularly.

I won’t bury the lede, I was disappointed by this product.  It’s thin, watery, and I found myself needing to apply two coats to get that moisturized feeling.  And while my skin is a little dry, it’s not that dry.  For my money, there is still no better deal than the giant bottle of Creme de Corps from Kiehl’s.  It’s rich, creamy, moisturizing, and blows this drippy lotion out of the water.  Hard pass.

Post-baby, I’m not ready to wear a bikini.  But one-pieces can be difficult to find because I have a slightly long torso.  Enter the tankini.  I shared this Amazon suit on Instagram a few weeks ago, and I still love it.  It’s youthful and easy to wear, but offers the mid-section coverage that I’m looking for.

I bought the black and the army green.  I’m also considering the hot pink.  It’s a nice suit if you don’t want a “Mom suit” but want coverage.  I paired it with this tie-side bikini bottom instead of the ones that came in the set.

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  1. another Emily says:

    Congrats on the new job!

  2. N. says:

    You should check out Andie swimwear! Several of my friends like the brand and they have a lot of one pieces that come in “Long Torso!”

    • Marie says:

      Fwiw, I was suuuuper disappointed in the Andie suit I bought. I ordered right before a trip. The cups were lumpy and wrinkly, so I ended up discarding those and wearing nipple covers. The shelf bra band hit at an awkward spot. And worst of all, every bit of my pubic area was clearly outlined through the fabric, in spite of the “slight compression.” The rear tended to ride up as well, in spite of the long-torso sizing…I’m 5’10”, so tall but not THAT tall.

      And they only offer a 14-day return window so by the time I got back from my trip and tried to process the return, it was too late.

  3. Connie says:

    Ugh. I had the same thing happen to my Merit foundation stick, except it actually dropped straight down my drain. It was brand new, and I hadn’t twisted it up yet at all. Frustrating. I’m debating getting a new one, or trying the Jones Road face stick instead.

  4. MK says:

    I wonder if you got a bad bottle of the Necessaire. I would never describe it as watery. I have been so happy with it and their hyaluronic body serum, which I sometimes layer with it. Just tried the retinol body serum, and so far so good! I have sensitive skin, and I LOVE that the lotion is genuinely unscented and never ever irritates my skin, even on a sensitive day. I find it actually reduces itchiness and irritation. And I absolutely adore that you forget you have lotion on. I don’t mind the occasional slathering up with something like Skinfix AHA body cream (good stuff!), but I prefer to sleep without feeling sticky. I really need to lotion up every night, and Necessaire is the first lotion that I don’t mind doing that.

    • Belle says:

      A friend said that as well. It is a possibility. It was a mini that came from Sephora as a large sample. And it is very runny.

      • Julianne says:

        I agree you might have gotten a bad sample. I’ve used this lotion many times and also would never describe it as runny. I do agree that kiehl’s does a better job at moisturizing my skin especially in winter, but i do like Necessaire for summer or mixing with serums or tanners.

  5. SW says:

    Congratulations on the new job!!

  6. Joanna says:

    I have never been more disappointed with a lotion than Necaissaire. I think this is the first honest review as so many influencers rave about their products. Mine wasn’t funny, but I didn’t feel hydrated at all.

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