Hyped Up Beauty: Are These ‘Must Haves’ Really Worth Splurging On?

If there’s one thing the internet is great for, it’s hyping up beauty products as the ‘ultimate must have’ or ‘holy grail’ you ‘can’t live without’. Blogs and vlogs have definitely raised the profile of some under-the-radar brands and really effective makeup gems (how many of us have had our lives changed by finding something like the Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer eh?!) but they’re also equally as guilty of telling us something is the ‘best thing ev-a!’ when it’s really rather not. Over the years I’ve tried too many of these hyped up wonders to count, and I’m often asked if they’re really worthy of the investment; truthfully, some are but many more aren’t. Here are just a few of the most talked about beauty bits right now, alongside my personal opinion of them – including a ‘hyped-up rating’ out of ten, just for the lolz.

IT Cometics Your Skin But Better CC Cream (£30.00) 
I’ve seen so many glowing reviews of this multi-purpose base, but I was quite skeptical until I tried it myself. The relatively thick base aims to colour correct imperfections while providing SPF protection and targeting signs of fine lines, but the beauty is that you wouldn’t think this is anything other than a great foundation. When applied with a sponge it effortlessly glides over skin to create a uniform base, minimising any discolouration and imperfections to leave my complexion radiant and healthy looking. Although it’s not a game changer, it is really rather pleasant and something I’ve been using almost daily for the last few weeks.

Egyptian Magic Skin Cream (£30.47) 
Once you’ve seen through the slightly old-fashioned and random looking pot, within lies a really quite cracking multi-purpose balm that helps to nourish and heal all kind of skin ailments. Formulated with a combination of Olive Oil, Beeswax, Honey, Bee Pollen, Royal Jelly and Propolis Extract, it’s said to be the same concoction used thousands of years ago by the Pharoahs of Egypt – even found as offerings within tombs. It melts beautifully upon contact with the skin, turning from a solid to a liquid that you can massage into dry skin or use to tackle anything from eczema to mild burns; and it really does work. I’ve got a pot on my desk that I use to nourish my cuticles and massage into hands when they’re feeling parched, but this is also just as fab as a hydrating face mask or treatment for cracked skin.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pommade (£19.00)
I totally bought into the hype of this and, with high hopes, picked one up from a Sephora store in New York. A really creamy gel-like formula, this really does live up to the hype and helps create the most beautiful precise brows without any budge throughout the day. You have to apply it with a very precise angled brow brush, but it builds beautifully to create graduation and precision in one – plus the pot is huge, so it’s practically impossible to run out.

Kat Von D Tattoo Eyeliner (£16.00) 
Another one of those ‘this is supposed to be amazing’ makeup buys, I had such a huge amount of anticipation to pop open the cap and get to work creating the ultimate goth-babe flicks. Yes, the result is jet-black and easy to apply – but (and there’s a big but!) the formula dries out so easily and I actually found this to smudge and move throughout the day. Initially I thought this was one of the best liners I’d ever tried, but after a few weeks I decided it was a bit of a waste of money and didn’t deliver what I needed it to. A real shame.

Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micellar Water (£10.80) 
Much of the hype around micellar water existed purely because of its lack of availability on British shores; for years we had to stock up in Paris and lug back bumper packs of the fancy water, but the hype started all over again when it finally launched on UK soil. Although micellar water definitely plays a function in removing traces of cleanser or getting rid of heavy eye makeup without irritating, it’s not the cleansing solution most think it is. (Read more in my post here.) I always have reservations about it as it can be *almost* as bad as a face wipe, but it’s worth having a bottle on your dresser for getting rid of residue and helping to keep your skin feeling fresh.

Yves Saint Laurent Touche Éclat (£25.00) 
iconic and original ‘cult’ product, this under-eye highlighter helps to
deflect the light and brighten skin effortlessly. Although it’s often
mistaken for a concealer (it’s not – and in photos that’s what causes
those really bright white under-eyes!) when used properly it really is a
game changer and helps to add light to even the dullest of complexions.
Add just a couple of clicks in a v-shape and blend in with a sponge for
the best results. In my experience there’s no comparison between this
and any other ‘me too’ product; in my eyes it remains the first and the

Benefit Bad Gal Bang Mascara (£21.50) 
of the most hyped-up mascaras of the last few years, this extension of
the cult Bad Gal has been celebrated for its ability to create ’36 hour
full-blast volume’ without weighing down lashes. Featuring
aero-particles, one of the lightest known materials derived from space
technology, the innovative mascara layers incredibly easily without
weighing them down; uniquely it barely feels as if you’re wearing
anything, but it doesn’t compromise on result. The formula is quite
‘wet’ and takes some time to get used to (I smudged it all over my lids
and found it transferred just beneath my eyes the first couple of wears)
but I can’t really fault it overall. Although it’s a pretty great all-rounder,
it didn’t completely wow me or leave me feeling this was something I’d
repurchase time and time again – unlike their Rollerlash which is
blooming brilliant on every level. Worth a go, but not a must-have.

Pixi Glow Tonic (£18.00)
Described as an oxygenating and exfoliating facial glow tonic, Pixi
claims that this watery liquid helps to tone, firm and tighten skin. As well
as helping to remove dead skin cells from the surface for healthier
looking skin, it’s suitable for all skin types (including sensitive,)
it’s alcohol free and contains soothing aloe vera – so what’s not to love? I’ve used this on and off for years and it absolutely helps to refine and brighten my complexion, so much so that I’ve recommended it to all my friends and continue to reach for it (Read my full feature here.

Urban Decay Naked Palette (£39.95)
Can the bods over at Urban Decay do no wrong? I’m the first to admit I adore pretty much everything they launch, but the Naked Palette has to be one of the biggest icons in beauty. It may have spawned a few spin-offs, but the original (in my eyes at least) remains the most groundbreaking and most exciting – and not only because it gave ‘nude eyes’ a comeback and injected some much needed drama into the industry. These palettes are expensive, but they offer a wise investment thanks to their ability to take you from day to night with ease; the colour spectrum is completely wearable, but the texture of the eyeshadow is what makes this super special. I adore the silkiness and how well they blend, as well as they fact they don’t crease and work no matter your age. Worthy of the hype. 

Seche Vite Fast Dry Topcoat (£9.95)
Chipped or smudged nails drive me mad, but that doesn’t stop me from applying my polish an hour before bed. (I never learn.) This was one of those products that I kept seeing pop up on nail blogs as much as in nail salons, so I took the plunge and ordered a bottle for myself – that was about five bottles ago. The topcoat is really quite thick and requires only a little to seal in polish and keep it chip-free for a few days; although it doesn’t dry super quick or offer a seriously long-lasting protection, it does work well and leaves nails touch dry within ten minutes. Although it’s not a product I’d go out of my way to recommend, it’s definitely better than most others I’ve tried.

Wondering about any other ‘hyped up’ beauty products and whether they’re worth the splurge? Leave me a list below and you never know, I may revisit them in a future post!



Features PR samples unless otherwise stated. To read my full disclaimer, click here.  



  1. Jasmine Lauren
    February 19, 2018 / 5:40 pm

    I can't live without my pixie glow tonic, already on my 5th or 6th bottle! Want to try the new Bad Gal mascara but wasn't sure if it'll be worth the hype! Lovely post xxJasmine | http://jasminelaurenfancy.blogspot.co.uk

    • Hayley Hall
      February 20, 2018 / 9:30 am

      I think every woman in my life now uses Pixi Glow! The mascara is good, but expensive and not groundbreaking – worth a go though.

  2. Charlotte
    February 19, 2018 / 6:04 pm

    I also may have definitely purchased the ABHs dip brow due to the hype but loved it, raved about it and did a whole review on it because it was my favourite. Plus I bought it years ago and I've still got so much product left. I'm definitely in the hype group of people for that one. I've got a small bottle of the Pixi glow tonic and I love the way it makes my skin look, I just wish I could find a cheaper alternative. Loved this postCharlotte / Charlotte's Picks

    • Hayley Hall
      February 20, 2018 / 9:31 am

      OMG it lasts forever! I've had mine about 18mths and I'm not even a third through!

    • Zita
      February 20, 2018 / 11:09 am

      You could try The Ordinary Glycolic 7% as an alternative to the Glow Tonic. It has a similar percentage of glycolic acid in it and it also has plant extracts with soothing properties to counteract the exfoliating action. And it is very affordable.

    • Hayley Hall
      February 20, 2018 / 11:12 am

      You could, but the cost is very comparable to Pixi when you look at the volume – The Ordinary is in very small bottles and the Glow Tonic comes in huge ones.

    • Anonymous
      February 21, 2018 / 10:02 am

      This isn't right. The Ordinary's is 240ml for £6.80. Pixi Glow is 250ml for £18.

    • Hayley Hall
      February 21, 2018 / 7:07 pm

      You're right – I thought Zita was talking about the small bottles, but I've checked and this is in a big one so much cheaper! I haven't tried it so will put it on my list to check out.

  3. Shubana Alam
    February 19, 2018 / 6:30 pm

    Ahhh! KVD's tattoo liner was my MVP forever, so sad to see it so badly rated… which makes me think… if I thought it was so good, there's even better out there! what's your recommendation?

    • Hayley Hall
      February 20, 2018 / 9:31 am

      Definitely! I love Eyeko skinny liner and Soap & Glory's one for a cheaper alternative.

  4. Golden Feather
    February 19, 2018 / 9:34 pm

    the CC cream is great ^ ^

  5. Pam Scalfi
    February 20, 2018 / 9:47 am

    I'm a massive fan of UD and their original naked palettes but the heat palette was a miss for me…all the shades look exactly the same and I just couldnt justify it!Pam xo/ Pam Scalfi♥

  6. Jo
    February 20, 2018 / 7:34 pm

    Very interesting article, thank you :-)I just found your blog recently via Mikhila (aka Miss Budget Beauty Blogger) and am really enjoying your work.I don't think there's any hype around it but my recommendation for a superior alternative to Seche Vite is China Glaze's Fast Forward Top Coat (I also seem to always decide to paint my nails at bedtime!)Cheers, Jo

  7. Rebekah
    February 26, 2018 / 9:34 am

    The ABH dipbrow pomade is something that I've wanted to try for the longest time, but I could never justify the price, especially when I have so many brow products already. I didn't know if it was worth it either, but this review has definitely made me think twice about my reluctance to buy into it before now. Although it's still not a purchase I'd probably make myself (I don't wear makeup nearly enough to justify the cost) I'm going to add it to my birthday list. It sucks to hear about the Kat Von D liner, too. That's something I've been thinking about buying for the longest time after hearing so many amazing reviews, so it sucks to hear that it's not as good as the hype would have you believe. I'm currently using one from St Laurent that I received in glossybox which isn't too bad (although it's hard to get a thin line), so I think I'll stick to that for a while longer. Thanks for helping me avoid an expensive spending mistake.Rebekah Gillian | http://rebekahgillian.co.uk

  8. Sarah McMaster
    February 26, 2018 / 11:12 pm

    Its a shame you didn't get on with the KVD liner – its my absolute fave! I've still yet to try the Pixi Glow Tonic but I'm determined to get my hands on it soon. Sarah || Thosestarsthatshine.co.uk

    • Hayley Hall
      February 27, 2018 / 8:02 am

      I really liked it to start with – but it dries out so quick and then becomes quite unusable. But I know loads of people love it, so maybe I've just had dudd ones?!

  9. Caroline Davies
    March 1, 2018 / 12:22 pm

    I really need to purchase the Pixi Glow Tonic – I've heard so many good things about it!carriefi.co.uk

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